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STEM Academy begins June 9

6/3/2014

The Murray State College Summer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Academy begins next week on the Tishomingo campus. Dozens of young people from around Oklahoma will be on the MSC campus June 9-12 to participate in hands-on activities designed to nurture STEM-related learning, encourage the students to attend college, and to let them experience college life on campus.

Close to one-hundred eighth and ninth graders applied for the forty available spots. From Colbert to Bartlesville, from Nowata to Boise City, the campers will travel from across Oklahoma to take part in the summer academy. STEM Academy director Karen Cantrell says that Murray State College is partnering with several agencies in the surrounding communities to put on a fun-filled and informative four-day academy.

“Several MSC faculty members are involved as instructors or supervisors,” says Cantrell. “(MSC Mathematics Instructor) Greg Boyd will be the engineering and math instructor for a bridge project. He also has a couple of engineers from Oklahoma Department of Transportation coming to help out. In addition, we have science teachers from Tishomingo and Ardmore who have come on board.”

Other activities on the Tishomingo campus include faculty and staff-led hands-on activities about the various STEM-related courses and degree programs on campus including Veterinary Technology and Agriculture. There will also be team-building and nutrition & wellness activities for the campers. The Oklahoma Museum Network Science Matters Mobile Museum will also be making a stop on the Tishomingo campus where participants will enjoy the “Light Up the Night” interactive program about science in the dark.

In addition to the activities on campus, academy participants will also take several field trips. Participants will take a trip to Ardmore where they will be treated to lab activities at the Noble Foundation Academy, and a tour of the University Center of Southern Oklahoma. Back in Tishomingo, students will travel to the Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge where they will collect and study different types of insects and butterflies as well as observe and identify birds. They will also be involved in outdoor science projects at the National Fish Hatchery. While at the Fish Hatchery, students will also collect water samples to bring back for a lab experiment.

Jordyn Naugle, MSC student government president, was an evening supervisor at last year’s camp and is again serving as an all-day supervisor. She says that despite the fact that history is her field of study, she appreciates the academy’s focus on STEM-related education. She says the camp gives her valuable experience that will help in her future career working with students.

“I love the opportunity to watch students grow in the area of their interest and to seek out their passions,” she says. “Last year I was amazed at the overall feeling that they were learning something new and creating dreams and opportunities for their futures right here at Murray State. This Academy nurtures the students' bright minds and creativity. I hope that the participants are able to take home with them a sense of pride in their unique personalities and intellect.”

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