Camps for Students, Educators Focused on Manufacturing and STEM

Camps for Students, Educators Focused on Manufacturing and STEM

Camps for Students, Educators Focused on Manufacturing and STEM

Sara Plummer
Camps for Students, Educators Focused on Manufacturing and STEM

This summer, OSU Institute of Technology, along with several industry partners, are offering STEM-related camps for students and educators in Okmulgee County.

There are two LEGO Robotics Camps that highlight science, technology, engineering and math for students. There are also two All About Manufacturing camps for educators that will introduce them to careers and STEM concepts used in the modern manufacturing industry.

Green Country Technology Center, Okmulgee Public Schools and Dream It Do It, along with OSUIT, are partnering to offer both the student and educator camps.

The LEGO Robotics Camps are June 14-16, and July 12-14 on the OSUIT campus. They are open to children ages 9-12 and lunch is provided.

OSUIT has received generous community support to offer these camps. The Okmulgee Education Foundation is providing the funds for both LEGO Robotics Camps, which will introduce children to LEGO Mindstorm robotics and programming software.

The goal of OEF has always been to enhance and encourage the education of the students of Okmulgee Public Schools, said Mary Lewellen, OEF president. With the recent emphasis on STEM training, our board felt that the LEGO Robotics Camps were an opportunity to take our funding further.

The All About Manufacturing educator camps are June 21-23 and July 19-21. They are open to all K-12 grade teachers and counselors in Okmulgee County, and lunch is provided. The camps will be conducted at OSUIT and Green Country Technology Center, and a stipend is available.

CPKelco and Covington Aircraft are funding the educator camps, which will explore manufacturing career pathways and local employment opportunities in manufacturing.

“The primary purpose of the educator camps is to introduce teachers to modern manufacturing, careers in manufacturing and the excellent job opportunities available in Okmulgee and surrounding communities,” said Sheryl Hale, associate vice president of workforce & economic development.

During the All About Manufacturing camps, teachers will tour local manufacturers, learn about manufacturing through a hands-on activity and participate in a round table discussion with community leaders and local manufacturers including the Okmulgee Area Development Corporation, Okmulgee Main Street, Okmulgee Chamber of Commerce, and Ron Drake of Ron Drake Consulting.

Okmulgee is a great community with great people and great businesses, but there has been a disconnect between the businesses and the existing and future workforce, said Aaron Abbott, Covington Aircraft’s executive vice president for aircraft engine maintenance, overhaul and repair facility. It is our goal that through these summer camps a greater awareness of local job opportunities will be gained.

OSUIT has offered similar camps in Pryor and Okmulgee in the past, Hale said.

“Local industry and the community recognized the need to provide students and educators with knowledge regarding modern manufacturing,” she said. “Local industry anticipates a significant labor force shortage due to retirement eligibility so opportunities like these camps are critical.”

For more on the camps and to register, contact Anna Dinsmore at anna.dinsmore@okstate.edu or call 918-293-5178.