WVU Tech summer camps season kicks off June 12

Campers use a microscope during a WVU Tech summer camp program

Summer’s here, and this week is the start of WVU Tech’s summer camp season. Middle and high school students from throughout the state will gather on the Beckley campus in June and July for three summer programs to study forensic investigation and STEM fields.

Forensic Investigation Camp (June 12-14 and June 29-30)

The inaugural Forensic Investigation day camp will begin on Monday, June 12. The program will introduce 50 area middle and high school students to the science behind popular forensic investigation fields ranging from bloodstain pattern and fingerprint analysis to footprint impressions and firearms. Students will cap the experience by putting their new skills to work on a mock crime scene at the WVU Tech Crime Scene House.

Roger Jefferys, WVU Tech forensic investigation instructor and camp director, said that the camp can provide helpful, hands-on information for students who are fascinated with the field.

“Students will get a firsthand look at various careers in forensics and law enforcement to better understand the work that takes place. It will provide them with an entirely new perspective and will be a great introduction for them leading into studying these disciplines in higher education,” he said.

A second session of the camp will be hosted June 29-30.

Camp STEM (June 18-23)

WVU Tech’s popular Camp STEM program will bring dozens of high school students to the Beckley campus for a weeklong immersion in all things science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Students attending the camp will explore career options and learn about STEM concepts in interactive demonstrations and experiments. Campers will participate in interactive classes, where they’ll program robots to perform simple tasks, learn about the science behind automobiles, discover various ways to produce energy and explore engineering concepts. Students will also hear from men and women who currently work in STEM fields.

Camp STEM is sponsored by Dow.

STEM Academy for Girls (July 9-14)

The WVU Tech STEM Summer Academy for Girls will return to campus for its third year in July.

The popular program, sponsored by Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, brings current and incoming high school girls to campus to explore STEM career fields. Academy students attend courses and conduct experiments in fields ranging from computer science and electrical engineering to chemistry and biomedical engineering.

Attendees also take a day trip to see STEM in action, work on a weeklong design project, hear from women who have built successful careers in STEM and present what they’ve learned to their parents at the end of the experience.

Dr. Kimberlyn Gray, professor of chemical engineering at WVU Tech and organizer of the university’s STEM outreach programming, said the camps are the perfect setting for students to explore the career paths they may want to follow in the years to come.

“Camp STEM and the STEM Academy for Girls are about more than simply introducing students to fields like mathematics or engineering. They’re designed to be fun and inspirational,” she said.

“They provide an atmosphere where students can learn new concepts and explore new fields alongside other students from a wide range of backgrounds. It provides an introduction to STEM in an environment that mimics the college experience and the sense of independence and self-determination that comes with that environment.”

For more information, visit camps.wvutech.edu. And be sure to check out WVU Tech on Flickr for photos throughout the camp season.