Every summer, the University of South Carolina and the College of Engineering and Computing opens campus to middle and high school students looking to explore future careers in engineering, the arts, business and more through the annual Carolina Master Scholars Adventure Series summer camps. The camps kicked off in June and lasted through July 14.
Rising sixth through 12th grade students had the opportunity to participate in various camp experiences and were able to stay on-campus in a university residence hall, experiencing life as a Gamecock, even for a brief period. Campers also had the option to commute to camp which allowed them to check-in daily and go home in the evenings.
The camps give our scholars the opportunity to experience classes and careers that they have dreamed about.They had the chance to learn without the pressures of grades while enjoying student life at the university.”
— Stefanie Perrell, outreach and recruitment director at the College of Engineering and Computing
At the College of Engineering and Computing, Carolina Master Scholars enrolled about 20 other students in one class per week. They signed up for experiences such as: Adventures in Computer Gaming, Adventures in Aerospace, Adventures in Engineering, and Adventures for Women in Engineering.
In the “Adventures in Aerospace” summer camp from June 12-16 campers learned about innovations in aerospace engineering. Students made composites from everyday household items to make structures, such as beams, and tested their strength. The aerospace camp also had participants learning to build model gliders to learn the simple mechanics of aircraft manufacturing and flight.
The “Adventures for Women in Engineering” summer camp ran from July 9-14, enabling young women to explore the generally male-dominated engineering career path by participating in hands-on activities such as: creating blinking name tags using circuits, building mock prosthetics, and participating in bioseparation labs, a key process in biomedical engineering.
Campers more interested in construction enjoyed the “Adventures in Natural Hazards and Civil Engineering” summer camp with a unique opportunity to learn interactively about South Carolina’s natural hazards and their effects on different types of civil infrastructures. These included dams, roads and buildings. Students then designed and built their own structures, such as dams or bridges. Campers particularly enjoyed testing various structures under conditions that simulated earthquakes, floods and other hazards—a great way to get hands-on experience while applying engineering principles to everyday life.
“The camps give our scholars the opportunity to experience classes and careers that they have dreamed about,” says Stefanie Perrell, outreach and recruitment director at the College of Engineering and Computing. “They had the chance to learn without the pressures of grades while enjoying student life at the university.”
Camp counselors were all current USC students hired by the Office of Continuing Education and Conferences, and all engineering and computing camps were taught by College of Engineering and Computing professors or graduate students.
To apply to join in the program, a student must be academically talented and gifted as established by objective means, attend a school accredited by an approved state or national accreditation organization, and submit a completed application and a report card or official transcript from an accredited institution. The scholar should maintain a grade point average at or above a 3.0 GPA or score at or above the 93rd percentile nationally in reasoning ability on a standard aptitude test.
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