UHV to offer virtual STEM summer camps for Crossroads students – Victoria Advocate


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Middle and high school students in Victoria and surrounding areas will have a variety of science, mathematics, engineering and technology-related virtual summer camps to choose from at the University of Houston-Victoria including topics such as mathematics, robotics and data science.

The summer camps are listed on the UHV School of Arts & Sciences’ webpage at www.uhv.edu/stem-events/summer-camps, including links to register for the different camps and permission forms for students. Many of the camps are funded by a $30,000 grant from Alcoa Foundation. The camps will be hosted through Microsoft Teams.

“UHV is excited to offer a variety of summer STEM camps to high school and middle school students from the Victoria area,” said Craig Goodman, interim dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. “Our faculty do an excellent job engaging students and demonstrating the value of research and knowledge in STEM fields. We are pleased to provide opportunities for attendance in a variety of formats to ensure the safety of faculty and students.”

The first camp on the schedule is the High School Robotics Virtual Summer Camp from May 31 to June 4. The camp will introduce students to the basics of robotics and engineering, such as gaining knowledge and experience with programming language. Selected students will pick up the robotics kits from UHV to take home. Students can continue with robotics even after classes end and have the opportunity to create their personal designs. One main objective from this camp is for students to self-explore their own ideas and create their novel code, said Amjad Nusayr, a UHV assistant professor of computer science and leader of the robotics camp.

Incoming and graduating high school seniors can sign up to attend the Data Science Boot Camp from 12: 30 to 5 p.m. June 7 to 10. The camp covers topics connected to data science with a special emphasis on students’ career goals. Some of the topics covered include machine learning, tools and technology in the field, careers in data science, and hands-on experience with a data science project.

“Data science is a field that has a wide variety of applications in excellent careers,” said Hardik Gohel, UHV assistant professor of computer science, who will be leading the camp. “This camp is designed to encourage students to pursue their interests in data science and consider the possibilities for their future careers.”

During that same week, from June 8 to 11, the university will offer a virtual mathematics camp. The camp, which is based on similar camps from previous years, will be from 1 to 4: 30 p.m. and will teach high school students mathematical concepts including Euclidian and non-Euclidian geometry, group theory and probability. There also will be hands-on activities, group projects and lectures. Supplies will be shipped to students before the camp.

“Mathematics is a subject that touches everything else to do with STEM,” said Ricardo Teixeira, a UHV associate professor of mathematics and leader of the math camp. “We are very excited to have online camps. We understand the challenges due to the pandemic, but we also know that events like this must continue. Promoting STEM within our area will ultimately benefit the entire community. We have been preparing for the camps for months, and we are positive they will be amazing opportunities for students to advance in their education.”

During the next week, UHV will host the Texas Women in Computing virtual camp for middle school girls from June 14 to 18. The camp’s goal is to increase the participation of women in STEM fields, and it will teach students advanced computer science concepts through hands-on activities. Students will learn core computing concepts and competencies such as computers and communication devices, computational thinking, data, algorithms, computer programming and teamwork.

The virtual Middle School Robotics Camp, a similar camp that is open to middle school boys and girls, will be held from June 28 to July 2. The camp will cover the same concepts as the TWiC camp.

“These camps will give students, especially young women, the opportunity to see the various applications for STEM fields and how they can pursue their interests in these areas,” said Nusayr, who will also lead the computer science camps. “STEM careers play an integral part in today’s society, and these camps will give us a safe way to provide area students access to learn the basics of these different fields.”

This year, an additional camp, Programming with Arduino, will be available to students July 26-30. The camp is designed for students who want to explore engineering perspectives and learn how to code at the same time. Students will receive circuit board kits that include a microcontroller with several sensors and components used to build various designs to perform automated tasks.

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