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A WSU PREP student displays a robot she programmed at the camp's closing ceremony on Wednesday, July 20. The robot was programmed to sensor the edge of the table to prevent it from falling off. (Emily Crooks / The Signpost)

On July 20, the closing ceremony for WSU Prep summer camp was held at WSU in order to give students a chance to show off their work.

Over 140 students finished the seven week program and were able to display their progress and work for their families to see.

The camp ran from June 7 to July 20. The camp took place from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, giving students the chance to focus in on and hone skills in logic, engineering, problem solving and algebraic structures.

In addition to being in the traditional classroom setting, students were also able to hear from guest speakers, work with college students on projects and take field trips to museums.

The program was free for students, and Dana Dellinger, director of the Center for Technology Outreach, hopes to keep it that way.

WSU PREP has been sponsored by not only WSU but also Hill Air Force Base, STEM Action Center Utah, Browning Foundation, the Weber, Davis and Ogden school districts and many other donors to help keep this program accessible to all.

The closing event lasted approximately two hours, and in that time, students and their families were able to hear speakers express the importance of the program as well as congratulate the students on their success.

One of the speakers for the night was David Ferro, the Dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology, who gave the young students insight into EAST college and encouraged them to attend WSU once they graduate high school.

“Hopefully someday I’ll get to see some of you guys running around my hallways doing great stuff for the college,” Ferro said. “Even if you choose one of those other schools, I know that this experience is going to serve you well for the rest of your life.”

Col. Scott Nowlin, from Hill Air Force Base STEM, said he was pleased to speak to the students and believed that WSU Prep gave students a great opportunity.

“I’ve spent 24 years in the Air Force, and I’ve been all around the world, have visited over 20 different countries, have a PhD in Engineering Science, but I did not have the opportunities coming through high school that you all are experiencing right now,” Col. Nowlin said.

Students within the program also spoke about their classes and experiences from the camp.

Rik Bhattacharyya, a first-year student, mentioned that he had made the most progress in the logic course.

“The best experience I had was in engineering because it was hands on,” Bhattacharyya said. “And the best thing I was able to make was the world building, which is what we could do with our imagination and science to create our own world.”

Bhattacharyya plans on returning to the camp next summer as a second-year student.

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WSU PREP students ask people attending the camp's closing ceremony riddles to solve on Wednesday, July 20. The seven week camp teaches kids STEM courses and problem solving. (Emily Crooks / The Signpost)

Due to the growing community awareness of the program, it is recommended to get applications in early. The selection process will start January 30, 2017, and each following month until all 75 year one spots are filled.

There is no cost to attend, just an application process that needs to be completed before admittance to the program.

Even though the camp is over, the community can still stay connected to the program through the WSU Prep Facebook page.

For any questions or inquiries, or even potential working positions, contact Dellinger at danadellinger@weber.edu.

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