It’s not every day you get to hold a human brain in your hands, or make your own extension cord, or build a foot-tall tower that can support a brick from paper.
But it’s what the participants at his year’s Emerging and Converging Technologies Camp got to do during their week-long stay at OSU Institute of Technology.
The camp, 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 camp on the OSUIT campus. “Hopefully it will give them insight into areas they are interested in or they learn about other opportunities.”
This year, the nearly 40 students spent time in several OSUIT programs including Nursing; Orthotics & Prosthetics; Civil Engineering Technologies; Air Conditioning & Refrigeration; Automotive; Culinary Arts; Information Technologies; Photography; and 3D Modeling & Animation.
“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 was Aubriana Freeman’s first year to come to E&C Tech Camp. The 14-year-old from Del City already had an interest in the medical field, so she wasn’t squeamish when it came to getting a closer look at the human body.
“We got to hold a heart and brain and lungs. Seeing all the different parts of the human body, it was interesting. It didn’t bother me at all,” Aubriana said.
The same couldn’t be said for 14-year-old Patrick West from Sasakwa, whose top career choices right now are accounting or mechanic.
“I was interested in the heavy duty equipment,” Patrick said. “It’s been great meeting a lot of people. I learned a lot.”
It’s also been a learning experience for the students staying in Hannigan Residence Hall, having a roommate for a week, and spending a lot of time with people they may have never met before.
“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. This is important and will help them. 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.”
For Herbie Jordan, a 15-year-old from Preston, the week reinforced his interest in the health care field.
“I was kind of leaning toward something medical, but I’m a lot more interested now once I got to see the options,” he said.