STEM, Robotics Summer Education Programs Set Students Up For Success

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - School is almost out for summer, but that doesn't mean the learning has to stop. The Huntsville City school system is offering several summer academic programs to set students up for success.

STEM Summer Institute

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The STEM Summer Institute focuses on ACT prep. It is the second year the STEM summer program will be hosted at Lee High School.

In its first year, in 2013, the institute served only 16 students. This year enrollment jumped to 45, including students form Butler High School.

"[The students] do a lot of stuff independently. We give them the tools and they take it and run with it," said Winston Crute, a Lee High School math teacher and one of hte founders of the program. "That’s really the goal. To give them the tools to be that fantastic leader and that great success."

Last year, the 14 Seniors who attended the program received more than $950,000 in scholarships combined, ACT scores rose 2.25 points, and one student even received the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship - one of 1000 students chosen nationwide, out of 52,000 applicants.

"If you’re the type of student that not only wants to reach the next level but be able to do it on your own and be independent and learn those math and science skills and develop yourself into somebody that everybody’s going to want colleges and companies included, this is a fantastic opportunity to spend that downtime you get in the summer," said Crute.

Summer Engineering Camp 4 Robotics

It will be the third year Huntsville City Schools, partnered with the National Society of Black Engineers, will host the 3rd Annual Summer Engineering Camp 4 Robotics.

In its first year the program only attracted 50 students. This year they have 250 open spots at both each camp location.

The program will be held at Columbia High School and Grissom High School locations and is for 5th through 8th grade Huntsville City Schools students.

"They see how engineering works out in the real world, what kind of future opportunities and careers could be available," said Susan Moon, Career Academy Coordinator for the district.

The students will work in teams of 5, mentored by a high school robotics student and a teacher. On the final day of camp the students will compete with the robots they designed and built.

Industry professionals will speak with the students each day about their work in the engineering field, showing students how the skills they are learning making robots can translate into the real world.


"They work with their peers to solve a problem," said Moon. "It’s really a beautiful thing to see they have to use the math they've learned, they have to use their communication skills, they have to work collaboratively and use their analytical skills and they feel like they’re playing."

The camp is June 2nd through 6th, from 8 am. to 4 pm. The camp is free to students.

The official deadline for registration is May 16th, but they will be accepting applications until they fill the last 200 empty spots.

To register, or find more information on the district's summer programs, visit the Huntsville City Schools website. You can also register at the Annie Merts Center, at 200 White Street or call 256-428-6800.