Academy Offers Hands-on Experiences for Middle, High School students

Academy Offers Hands-on Experiences for Middle, High School students

Sara Plummer
Academy Offers Hands-on Experiences for Middle, High School students

Just how many germs are on door handles? And how do the wires in extension cords work together to make electricity flow? And how can a person make a robotic prosthetic hand move with their mind?

It’s those questions and more that the 38 students enrolled in OSUIT’s Emerging and Converging Summer Academy figured out themselves after taking part in hands-on activities related to the institution’s academic programs.

The week-long academy, funded by the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education, shows eighth through 10th graders how math and science are immersed into all types of careers.

“The purpose is to get students acclimated to college and the different options that they have so they will better prepare themselves while in high school,” said Angie Been, who organizes the event on the OSUIT campus. “Hopefully it will give them insight into areas they are interested in or they learn about other opportunities.”

Sheldyn Kizlinski, a ninth grader at Edison High School in Tulsa, said she’s enjoyed meeting new people, and learning about what OSUIT offers.

“They have a lot of opportunities. I really want to go into health care,” Kizlinski said. “It was interesting. It was really interactive. Everything is very hands on.”

This year, the students spent time in several OSUIT programs across campus including Air Conditioning & Refrigeration; School of Arts & Sciences’ microbiology lab; Orthotics & Prosthetics; School of Culinary Arts; Pro-Tech in the School of Automotive Technologies; School of Energy Technologies; and Nursing & Health Sciences.

The group of students also took several field trips including one to OSUIT’s Advanced Training Center at MidAmerica Industrial Park in Pryor.

“I try to get them into as many programs as possible on campus. The programs are really good to work with us and find hands-on activities for the students to participate in,” Been said. “I also like to pick areas that have math and science incorporated heavily into the program.”

This is the second year Chase Coleman, a 10th grader at Millwood High School in Oklahoma City, has attended the academy.

“I like getting to see the different career options. You get to see whether it’s what you really want to do,” said Coleman, whose favorite experience was visiting OSUIT-MAIP. “I think that’s what I’m going to do — manufacturing.”

He wasn’t the only one. Jayden Hannah, who is going into 11th grade at Edmond Santa Fe High School, is also interested in manufacturing.

“They showed us behind the scenes, showed us where our stuff comes from,” Hannah said.

Emergin and Converging Summer Academy StudentsAt the ACR program, some of the students shared skeptical looks when they learned they would be making their own working extension cords.

“Really, extension cords? Who makes extension cords?” Kizlinski said. “But it was really neat. You got to see inside and how the wires worked. I’m really proud of my extension cord.”

For some, staying in residence halls on campus, having a roommate for a week, and spending a lot of time with people they may have never met before is also a big learning experience.

“I feel like it gives them a taste of college life,” Been said. “They have to work together in groups on some of the activities, which helps build their soft skills. When they go back to their middle or high school, they will be a little more well-rounded having learned to work with total strangers for a week.”