TWC awards grants for 1,100 students to attend high-tech summer camps

AUSTIN – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) awarded 13 grants totaling $938,104 to Texas universities and community colleges for summer youth camps that focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The grants provide the opportunity for more than 1,100 students, ages 14 to 21, to attend camps which will help prepare them for future high-skill, high-demand jobs. 

“In order to remain a national leader in job creation, Texas must take the lead in training and encouraging a new generation of entrepreneurs, particularly in the STEM fields,” said Governor Abbott. “By providing our students with opportunities like the Governor’s Summer Merit Program and Texas Workforce Commission STEM grants, Texas will continue to ignite a passion for innovation and build a better and brighter future for generations to come.”

Administered by TWC, the effort is part of the Governor’s Summer Merit Program, which aims to inspire Texas youth to pursue STEM-related careers. The camps introduce students to one or more of six industry clusters: advanced technologies and manufacturing, aerospace and defense, biotechnology and life sciences, information and computer technology, petroleum refining and chemical products and energy.

 “TWC is pleased to continue our partnership with these outstanding universities and community colleges to provide Texas students with opportunities to explore high-demand science, technology, engineering and math disciplines,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “The Governor’s Summer Merit Program helps expose students to the vast array of careers that require high-demand STEM skills.”

Some students will have the opportunity to take field trips that will give them access to high-tech equipment, such as 3D printers and electron telescopes, while others will visit science and engineering facilities and have the opportunity to meet and speak with industry professionals.

“The young people who receive scholarships for these camps will be exposed to many career opportunities in the STEM fields and will discover that their continued education will lead them to great success,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Ronny Congleton.

Several of the camps are specifically targeted to encourage young women and minorities to pursue further education and careers in the STEM fields.

“It is wonderful to see higher education institutions engaging young women in STEM fields,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Hope Andrade. “It is very exciting for the future of Texas to have young men and women interested in high-tech and high-demand careers.”

The Summer Merit Program scholarships awarded to 13 grant recipients are: 
•The University of Texas at Dallas, $89,500 – 125 scholarships for the Science and Engineering Education Center (SEEC) and Academic Bridge Programs at UT Dallas including four Capstone Engineering Camps managed by the SEEC: Solar Car, Girls in STEM, Quad Copter and Introduction to Space. There will also be a one-week residential Engineering and Computer Science Academic Bridge Program (ECS-ABP) Summer Camp. 
•The University of Texas at Austin, $95,000 – 200 scholarships for UT Austin to host five camps in engineering and the sciences that strive to increase the number and diversity of students studying STEM fields of computer science, engineering and geology. Camps include GeoFORCE, Women Engineers at UT, My Introduction To Engineering, and First Bytes. 
•Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, $94,999 – 150 scholarships for the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) three BioFORCE camps. Students will learn about cutting-edge research, medical discoveries and bio manufacturing to prepare for college programs in engineering and science. These camps will prepare them for careers in R&D commercialization pipeline, research, engineering and manufacturing. 
•St. Mary’s University of San Antonio, $67,680 – 80 scholarships for four engineering summer camps that will raise student’s interest in STEM areas. The instruction will include robotics, programming, and operations research which will help students raise their critical thinking skills and problem solving strategies. 
•The Alamo Colleges: Northeast Lakeview College, $44,402 – 96 scholarships for four hands-on engineering summer camps that will provide opportunities to enrich the understanding of fundamental concepts in STEM as students build computer-programmed robots and create computer applications for mobile devices. The camps will serve as an introduction to robotics, engineering and computer programming. 
•South Texas College, $55,945 – 60 scholarships for the WaterBotics Summer Camp which prepares students for dual-credit courses offered during high school junior and senior years and will allow students to compete for high-skilled, high-demand STEM related jobs in the future. During the WaterBotics Summer Camp, students are exposed to hands-on, problem-based learning. 
•University of Houston-Downtown, $95,200 – 112 scholarships for four STEM Prep Camps, which will be targeting biotechnology, life sciences and chemical products. Sessions will target academic, workforce and higher education development.  
•Lee College, $8,150 – 50 scholarships for Magic of STEM Camp, where campers will experience and learn about a variety of STEM careers and education possibilities for their future. 
•Houston Community College, $95,281 – 50 scholarships for a STEM Summer Camp at the HCC Southwest College to encourage more students to pursue STEM-related careers by providing hands-on experience in STEM-related instruction through experiments, field trips, guest presentations, and opportunities for students to apply what they have learned. 
•Mountain View College, $58,450 – 50 scholarships for a STEM Summer Program featuring Mechatronics course in which campers will design and program a robot or unmanned vehicle. Students will demonstrate safety practices and demonstrate interpersonal teamwork skills. The goal of the camp is to attract underrepresented students into STEM courses and encourage them to consider careers in advanced technology and manufacturing.
•University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, $36,315 – 45 scholarships for three STARS Camps with concentrations in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Minority or low-income students and teachers who serve those students will be targeted for participation. Camps will increase teachers experience, confidence, and interest in laboratory exercises. Students will learn the basics through lab experiments and cutting-edge biomedical and bioinformatics research. 
•Texas State University, $63,562 – 20 scholarships the Mathworks Honors Summer Math Camp, which will develop the creativity and imagination of students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds through an in-depth immersion of higher-level mathematics and problem solving. Students will develop the critical abilities needed for future degrees and careers in math, science, engineering, and many other fields. 
•Lamar University, $95,000 – 82 scholarships for two camps including the Texas Governors School (TGS) and CHEM-E 101 camps, which focus on experiential STEM learning experiences and introduces them to postsecondary STEM education. The goal of both camps is to increase the number of STEM college graduates in Texas. 


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