NKU summer camps immerse middle, high school students in STEM study

For immediate release…
Monday – June 24, 2013

- This month, Northern Kentucky University partnered with the Northeastern Kentucky Migrant Education Center to host a science camp for 35 high school migrant education students.

The Summer Science Sampler Camp for Migrant Students is a new initiative from the NKU Latino Institute for Excellence (LIFE) and Office of Latino Student Affairs. Sponsored by the Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics (CINSAM), the purpose of the camp is to recruit underrepresented minority students to NKU and encourage them to major in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

The camp is designed to give students a glimpse into what it is like to be a college student, with overnight stays in campus residence halls, meals at the campus cafeteria and activities at the campus recreation center. During the day, students attended “classes” that covered such topics as astronomy, physics, chemistry, toxicology and herpetology. The students also took a field trip to the Queen City Riverboats where the Foundation for Ohio River Education (FORE) taught them to test water quality using chemistry as well as how to identify macroinvertebrates commonly found in the Ohio River and its tributaries.

In a related program, NKU also partnered this month with the YMCA Black and Latino Achievers program to introduce Ohio River research practices and Ohio River career opportunities to area middle school and high school students. Sponsored in part by CINSAM, the Ohio River Sanitation Commission and a University/Community Partnership between NKU and the Foundation for Ohio River Education, the program featured a trip up the Ohio River on a Queen City riverboat.

While aboard the boat, students determined the quality of the water in the Ohio River by collecting and testing water samples, and studying a variety of organisms such as plankton, fish and macroinvertebrates. On the second day, participants took a trip on an electrofishing boat with aquatic biologists from the Ohio River Sanitation Commission, analyzed water quality samples for bacteria in a mobile water lab took a tour of the Cincinnati water works and talked to professionals in the field of water science about internships and future career opportunities.

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