Texas A&M Summer Camp Preps Future Engineers
A&M University's civil engineering department has
wrapped up its second annual CampBUILD,
a project-based summer camp in which it
invites high school students to spend a week on campus finding
solutions to challenges involving science, technology, engineering and
"Project-based learning is a highly effective
Texas A&M Civil Engineering Department Head Robin Autenrieth. "Added
benefits are the things we can't teach them, like the value of
critical thinking and confidence."
The 75 students accepted for the program came from
Texas, as well as schools in California, Colorado, Illinois and Ohio.
records for academic achievement were important, so was the fact that
them did not have access to engineering courses.
"We need a civil engineering professional that has
and appreciates this richness," said Associate Professor Kelly
we selected a group of campers that spans these ranges."
Throughout the week, the students participated in a
hands-on experiments, tours and competitions. Among other things, they
clean water drip from a filter they had built themselves, a truck smash
into a guard
rail during a crash test, and the intricacies of building a stadium that
safely seat 100,000 football fans.
"I really recommend you come to CampBUILD," said
School Junior Makysia Goodwin of Sachse, TX. "You meet people you never
you'd be friends with, and you learn so much beyond engineering."
The additional good news for Texas A&M is that
students like Goodwin may end up on its campus one day. Of the 20 high
seniors who attended last year's inaugural CampBUILD, 13 will enter
A&M this fall as freshmen, 11 as engineering majors.
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.