Summer Camps for High School Students

XCITE lab group

XCITE lab group

Dozens of high-achieving high school students converge on LSU’s campus each summer to learn about the various disciplines available at the College of Engineering. The Recruiting into Engineering High Ability Multicultural Students (REHAMS) and Xploration Camp Inspiring Tomorrow’s Engineers (XCITE) LSU Residential Summer Camps introduce students to construction management, computer science, and engineering through workshops designed to teach through hands-on, problem-solving exercises. The camps staff partners with LSU faculty and industry professionals to create novel programming that connects what are often abstract scientific and mathematical concepts to students’ everyday experiences.

This year, the College’s Assistant Manager for Recruiting, Terrica Jamison, begins her tenure as the administrator of the camps. She is bursting with ideas to enhance campers’ weeklong stay on campus, and she eagerly shared them with The Engineered Tiger.

What are you most excited about as you prepare for 2015 REHAMS and XCITE?

I meet with thousands of students across Louisiana and beyond in my role as the College’s assistant manager for recruiting, and I often encounter talented high schoolers who either don’t know much about engineering or don’t think they would fit in at the College. REHAMS and XCITE give me additional avenues to introduce students from all walks of life to engineering and show them at it is a viable option for them.

Students at the PERTT Lab

Students at the PERTT Lab

What will be different about REHAMS and XCITE this year?

My staff and I are focused on building lasting connections between engineering and the students’ everyday lives. The challenge my staff, and both our LSU and industry partners face, then, is to show the students that they already engage in the type of problem solving that successful engineers, construction managers, and computer scientists use in the professional world. That’s a tall order in just one week! My approach this year is to teach by doing, so participants should expect innovative programming that presents them with real world problems they can solve to improve the lives of others. Students might be building a robot one day and creating an app the next. I haven’t finalized the schedule yet, but nothing is off the table.

I have also prioritized student-to-student interaction. It can be difficult (and a bit intimidating!) for students to situate themselves within the engineering discipline exclusively through their interactions with tenured faculty and established professionals. I want the students to visualize themselves here as successful LSU engineers, so I’m working with faculty to incorporate some of their top graduate students into the camp curricula. Additionally, I am also asking our industry partners to make junior members of their staff who are LSU alumni available to meet with the campers whenever possible. Our students and graduates are what make the LSU College of Engineering such a powerful force, and we want to capitalize on those resources by showing the campers the elite corps of aspiring and working engineers they can join if they work hard.

In the past, REHAMS and XCITE included general sessions about college life. Will you continue that tradition?

Absolutely! For some of our students those sessions are their first exposure to college prep, and helping to bring college within reach for all of our campers is one of my top priorities. Both REHAMS and XCITE will include a visit to LSU’s new Olinde Career Center, where they will learn about proper interview dress and techniques. They will also attend sessions with Enrollment Management and Student Aid & Scholarships, where LSU staff will go through the college, scholarship, and financial aid application processes in detail.

Speaking of application process, have the REHAMS or XCITE applications changed?

The selection process will be more competitive moving forward, so yes, I have made a few changes. The selection committees will place greater weight on the students’ motivations for attending the camps, so we increased the space allotted to student essays. We will evaluate the essays for both purpose and clarity and give preference to those who can best articulate how they will use what they learn at the camps to forge a pathway to a career in engineering, construction management, or computer science.

We are also asking parents and students to return all application materials, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and the non-refundable $25 application fee, together in one packet. Applications are available on the Summer Camps page on the College’s website, and all materials are due by close of business on April 24th.

REHAMS lab group

REHAMS group and their student leader

Do you have any final thoughts for aspiring engineers who want to attend REHAMS or XCITE?

The College established REHAMS and XCITE to provide students from diverse communities an opportunity to create and experiment in a collaborative yet competitive environment that exposes them to life as a college student. I have one piece of advice for students out there reading this who are excited about the prospect of participating in one of the camps but unsure of whether or not they have what it takes to be engineers: Apply! You have potential; let us show you how far it can take you if you’re willing to work hard and invest in your own success.

REHAMS LSU Residential Engineering Camp

Dates: June 14-20, 2015
Location: LSU Campus
Application deadline: April 24, 2015
The cost of the camp is $400, inclusive of room and board, and there is a non-refundable $25 application fee.

XCITE LSU Residential Engineering Camp

Dates: July 12-18, 2015
Location: LSU Campus
Application deadline: April 24, 2015
The cost of the camp is $400, inclusive of room and board, and there is a non-refundable $25 application fee.

A limited number of need-based scholarships are available to qualified students. Check the REHAMS 2015 Application and XCITE 2015 Application on the Summer Camps website (www.eng.lsu.edu/prospective/camps) for eligibility requirements and guidelines.

 

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