A STEM camp opens up opportunities for all students at a community college, and this year a satellite academy has been established to expose all students, especially minorities and females, to careers and opportunities.
At Lenoir Community College, the week long NCSU Imhotep Academy provided the advantages of a satellite academy from the end of the school year through the end of the summer. The purpose was to work with local middle school students on STEM subjects.
“We want these students to know they can participate in these fields they are used to seeing other people in,” said NCSU graduate research student Alonzo Alexander. “What you find is (minorities) are less represented in those fields than we see in the general population. Just as an example, African Americans make up 12 – 13 percent of the population, but less than one in 15 African Americans will graduate with one of these STEM degrees.”
According to Alexander, when minorities are working in STEM fields there is an important economic impact not only for those communities but for the entire country.
This year, the theme for the camp was forensic science. Students used skills in chemistry, math, and physics to solve mock crimes.