Photo features front of Discovery Park building with treesFor the second year in a row, faculty from the UNT College of Engineering have stepped up to offer a summer camp for K-12 students who need to catch up in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Mechanical Engineering Principle Lecturer Leticia Anaya, Assistant Professor Maurizio Manzo and Associate Professor Huseyin Bostanci developed the program last year as a means of supplementing lessons in STEM education that were missed when schools closed for the pandemic. This year, Manzo and Anaya are continuing the effort.

“The program was a huge success last year, so this year, we are supplementing the program by also adding STEM and college-oriented workshops,” said Anaya.

Six high school teachers were hired to teach algebra, biology and geometry at the high school level. Students in middle school will be able to take general science and general mathematics courses.

“Creating a strong foundation in the STEM disciplines is so incredibly important, and missing a class or falling behind in one of the subjects could make future classes in STEM far more challenging for students as they continue through their academic journey,” said Manzo. “That’s why it’s vital for us as educators to step up and help out where we can.”

All teachers within the program are certified by the State of Texas and have experience with teaching STEM classes within Denton and its surrounding areas. UNT students, too, are part of the effort, attending the classes and assisting as graders.

“This program is becoming increasingly crucial for the next generation of students pursuing college,” said Kuruvilla John, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. “As demonstrated by the recent state-level STAAR scores, online learning during the pandemic has set back more students with their STEM learning in schools. Summer programs such as this allow motivated students to catch up and be math-ready as they tackle future college-level instruction.”

This summer’s virtual camp runs from July 12 through Aug. 2.