The University of Texas Permian Basin will host engineering camps for middle and high school students this summer — and it will be in person.
Anveeksh Koneru, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, was the camp coordinator last year and Mesut Yurukcu, a post-doctoral researcher in the College of Engineering, is the coordinator this year.
The middle school session is July 19-23 and the high school will be July 26-30. Hours for both are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the UTPB engineering building off State Highway 191 near the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center in Midland.
Registration deadline is noon June 18. Contact Mindy Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 432-552-3431. The cost is $295 per student; lunch and snacks are included; and limited scholarships are available upon review.
The camp is funded by the UTPB College of Engineering and XTO Energy. It will be kept socially distant and masks will be required.
Projects will include solar and wind power, gears, pulleys and belt drives, Newton’s laws, reactor simulation and Stirling engine, Ohm’s law, coding with Python and others.
The camp was conducted virtually last year, but people were still interested in it. Koneru said students were self-motivated and didn’t have to be pushed.
Koneru said they wanted to divide the camp into mechanical, chemical and electrical engineering to give students the experiences of those areas.
They want the students to have fun while they learn.
“It’s very fundamental and very, very basic, so without any prior knowledge in this the students should still be able to get some knowledge about how certain things work,” Koneru said.
One example would be learning how a wind turbine works.
Yurukcu said they are interested in future engineers, but also students who want to learn new things.
Koneru said they hope to spark interest in engineering and show off the $55 million facilities and realize that UTPB is a viable option for studying the field.
Courtney Wardlaw, XTO public and government affairs advisor Permian Division, said they are excited the camp will be held in person this year.
“… We thought this was a really great way to partner with the university for hands-on experience to get them excited about STEM fields,” Wardlaw said.
She added that research over the years shows that the younger you can get youngsters started, especially girls, the more likely they are to continue in STEM fields. The camp experience also gives students a chance to experience the fields outside a classroom setting.