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University offers a camp for budding engineers

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UW-River Falls will host the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering’s Camp Badger Exploring Engineering July 6-12 on its campus. 

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Students with an interest in math and science who will enter eighth grade in the fall are invited to apply by March 10.

The weeklong summer camp provides an introduction to what engineers do. It is designed to interest young students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines (STEM). Participants stay in the UWRF residence halls and eat in the campus cafeteria.

“Experience has taught us that this is the best way to help young people understand engineering,” said Camp Director Phillip O’Leary, a professor of engineering professional development at UW-Madison. “Campers are directly involved in the learning process and they leave with a better idea of what engineers do in real-life situations.”

Each day campers follow a 12-hour schedule of activities, all facilitated and chaperoned by university faculty and college students.

Popular activities are field trips to local companies and engineering facilities. Activities also include project-based exploration, hands-on exercises, team-building projects and small-group discussions.

All campers receive a workbook with questions designed to guide journaling and discussion of their experiences. There are no tests.

This summer marks 16 years of successful sessions in Madison and the fourth summer on the UWRF campus.

In addition to the camp session held in River Falls, there are five sessions held on the UW-Madison campus, and one at UW-Oshkosh.

Interested students are invited to apply no later than March 10 for the 30 spots available per week.  

Qualified applicants will possess determination, creativity, problem solving and time management skills, as well as the ability to get along well with others in a team environment. Cost for the full week, including lodging, meals and field trips, is $595 per student. Need-based scholarships are available. 

“One goal of Camp Badger is to offer an experience to kids who would not otherwise have the opportunity,” said O’Leary. Females, representatives of traditionally underserved populations, minority group members and young people who have not had an experience with a pre-college program are encouraged to apply, he said.

For additional information, including application forms, visit http://www.uwrf.edu/ContinuingEducation/YouthandStudents.cfm or contact the UWRF Outreach office at 715-425-3256.

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