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UHV accepting applications for free STEM summer camps

As the school year draws to a close, the University of Houston-Victoria is preparing to host four free science, technology, engineering and mathematics summer camps for high school and middle school students, including two new computer science camps.

All of the camps are funded by a $30,000 grant from Alcoa Foundation. In addition, a $7,500 grant from the Dow Chemical Co. Foundation funded the purchase of computers for the Texas Women in Computing middle school camp.

Jeffrey Di Leo

“The UHV School of Arts & Sciences is excited to continue to offer quality STEM summer programs, including the addition of new camps,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the school. “There is a national need for more people pursuing STEM careers, and these camps will help inspire students to pursue studies in those areas.”

The first camp will be the UHV Math Summer Camp from June 25 to 28 in the UHV University Center, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. The camp is for high school students, including incoming high school freshmen. During the camp, students will learn about theoretical concepts in advanced mathematics, including Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry, number theory, optimization, graphs and magic tricks. In addition, some students will have the chance to stay in the UHV residence halls.

Ricardo Teixeira

“Mathematics is a basic element of so many disciplines within STEM, so it’s important to show students how math can be fun and interesting, not just another boring school subject,” said Ricardo Teixeira, a UHV assistant professor of mathematics who will be leading the camp. “I look forward to working with these students and showing them how mathematics touches every part of their daily lives.”

Another camp available for high school students will be the UHV Digital Simulation and Robotics Summer Camp from July 8 to 12 in UHV University North, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. Up to 12 students will be introduced to basic robotics and engineering. Students will build and program robots to complete basic tasks using sensors. The goals of this camp are to increase the number of students interested in computing and robotics, and introduce students to the basic concepts of robotics, simulation and engineering. This camp also will allow some students to stay in the UHV residence halls.

“Robotics have become integral parts of today’s society, whether it’s industrial robots assembling vehicles, explosives disposal robots used by law enforcement or even the Mars rovers,” said Amjad Nusayr, a UHV assistant professor of computer science who will lead the robotics and computer science camps. “There are so many applications for robots, and this gives students the opportunity to get an idea of how they work and are programmed.”

In addition to the high school camps, UHV also will host a pair of camps for middle school students interested in computer science. The first will be the UHV Texas Women in Computing Summer Camp from July 15 to 19 in UHV University North. This camp is for middle school girls and will introduce them to advanced computer science concepts through hands-on activities. Students will learn core computing concepts and competencies such as computers and communication devices, computational thinking, data, algorithms, computer programming and teamwork.

Amjad Nusayr

“Although STEM careers are becoming more common, there still is a disparity in how many women are in the field versus the large number of men,” Nusayr said. “This camp is intended to encourage young women to go into computer science fields and advance their knowledge to a level that will make them feel less intimidated when encountering complex computer science concepts in high school or college.”

Because of the widespread response UHV received when the women’s middle school camp was announced, the university will offer a second middle school computing camp for boys and girls from July 22 to 26 in UHV University North, Nusayr said. This camp will focus on the design and implementation of robotics and will help students focus on problem-solving techniques and logical thinking. Applications to attend this camp will be available in June.

To learn more about these camps or to apply to attend, go to www.uhv.edu/stem-events/summer-camps.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as a teaching center in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities, and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.