Summer Engineering Camp 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

TU and other local colleges and universities host 40 TPS students

Summer Engineering Camp 2011The University of Tulsa hosted about 40 Tulsa Public Schools students, grades 7-9, during Summer Engineering Camp on Tuesday, June 28.

The weeklong program was sponsored by the Tulsa Alliance for Engineering and allowed students to visit several local colleges and universities; get a behind-the-scenes look at some of Tulsa’s largest engineering facilities; meet engineers and professors; and learn about career options while encouraging them to enroll in upper-level math and science classes. Camp field trips include visits to Williams, Flight Safety International, American Airlines, and John Zink.

With hands-on activities, exciting tours, college labs, and student mentors, children are learning about a field with limitless possibilities including alternative energy, computer science, electrical engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, and petroleum engineering.

All of the applicants were hand-selected by their math and science teachers. Selection preference was given to minorities and girls.

Summer Engineering Camp 2011While at TU, the students were led by physics instructor Jerry McCoy from the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. He gave the students a short talk about the physics of projectiles and then divided them into 10 teams of four for a design challenge. Each team was given materials such as PVC pipe, surgical tubing, and duct tape. They had one hour to develop a device capable of launching a projectile before heading to the lawn just south of Sharp Chapel to try out their designs.

The teams were judged on the distance and accuracy of their shots and the creativity of their designs. The farthest distance was 102 feet, 5 inches. The closest to the target was 7 inches. Afterward, the students were treated to a physics show that McCoy does at schools and recruiting events all over the region.

McCoy said the camp was important because it helps feed the country’s need for more engineers and scientists at a critical time and because it shows young people that these types of careers can be fun, fulfilling, and profitable.


Mona Chamberlin