An Engineering Summer Camp for Underrepresented Students from Rural School Districts

  • Matthew Elam
  • Brent Donham
  • Stephanie R. Soloman
Keywords: engineering summer camp, pre-college students, underrepresented students, rural schools


A two-week summer program designed to promote interest and learning in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields is documented. The program included a week-long engineering emphasis. Students and teachers from ten rural and financially disadvantaged school districts participated in the program. Three middle school and three high school students were chosen from each district. Students were selected by their districts based upon interest and/or perceived potential in STEM fields, with an emphasis placed on underrepresented and first-generation college students. Additionally, one middle school and one high school mathematics or science teacher from each district participated in the program, enabling the program's curriculum to be transferred back to the secondary classrooms. Pre- and post-student surveys and parent surveys were administered to assess the success of the program. Results indicated the program had a positive impact on students attitudes towards engineering.