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Technology camps engage Kauffman scholars, area children

July 08, 2009 12:00AM

Bob Susnick, a professor in engineering technology at PSU, leads a group of Kauffman scholars in an exercise in plastics.

T he C

We keep coming to PSU because of the professors and what they provide. "
~ Liz Hicks, a math/science academic coach for Kauffman
ollege of Technology at PSU is in full gear this month with programs in plastics, construction and robotics - but their students are a bit younger than the usual crowd.

This summer, the college is once again offering a variety of camps for junior high-age students. This week from July 7-9, camps are being offered for approximately 30 8th-grade students from Kauffman Scholars Inc., a division of the Kauffman Foundation.

The foundation, which gives 1,300 students from the urban core of Kansas City an opportunity to experience college courses and thereby become motivated to graduate from high school and go on to college, has been partnered with PSU for the past three years. Last month, a group of Kauffman scholars took a combination of courses from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education, and Business. This week, the program focuses exclusively on the College of Technology.

"Some of these students may end up coming to PSU, so it's a good educational experience for them and a good recruitment tool for us," said Leslye Steptoe, director of student diversity at Pitt State.

For the students, becoming a Kauffman scholar is an intensive commitment with amazing benefits: They get the college experience during multiple camps throughout high school, and if they are accepted to college, Kauffman covers the cost. The program focuses them on the goal of leading a successful, educated life.

"We keep coming to PSU because of the professors and what they provide," said Liz Hicks, a math/science academic coach for Kauffman. "This is so interesting to the kids. They are so actively engaged, I don't even know if they realize they're learning."

But the camps, which teach children how to mold plastics, build houses, and assemble robots, aren't just being offered to Kauffman scholars this summer. Children ages 9-13 from throughout the area are encouraged to sign up for the college's annual summer workshops, which begin July 13. The camps, which can be taken in half or full-day sessions, begin with "Construct Your Future" from July 13-17. "Adventures in Robotics" and "Plastic is Fantastic" both run for two weeks, from July 20-24 and July 27-31. More information on the sessions can be found at or by calling 620-235-4350.

---Pitt State--- 

©2009 Pittsburg State University