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SOWELA iCamp Offers Free STEM Experiences for Middle Schoolers this Summer


SOWELA Technical Community College is offering a free camp to introduce sixth, seventh and eighth grade students to STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) career fields by immersing them in a different program every day. iCamp availability was limited and interested students were accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis once all application materials were submitted. The camp is offered at no cost thanks to the generosity of Shell Oil Company.

The SOWELA iCamp will take place at SOWELA, May 28 – June 1. Campers participate in four different programs, including:

  • Drafting – Basic drafting concepts will be introduced along with 3D printing concepts and creation.
  • Chemical Laboratory Technology – Experiment with laboratory exercises involving everyday organic compounds.
  • Process Technology – Experience Plant and Operational processing using advanced technology and hands-on experiences.
  • Instrumentation/Electrical – Explore basic control loop functionality using individual microcontroller kits.

On Friday, the camp culminates with various hands-on exhibits. The Offshore Energy Center’s Mobile Oilfield Learning Unit (MOLU) features six self-contained stations with activities about energy, technologies, and sciences affiliated with the oil and gas industry. The second exhibit is the Trailblazer, a one-of-a-kind STEM museum on wheels from the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME). The Trailblazer museum is packed with hands-on exhibits that teach students about energy, space, weather, biotechnology, and aerodynamics while introducing them to career opportunities in STEM, such as biomedical engineer, electrician, meteorologist, and more. Campers will also enjoy a STEM-related scavenger hunt and offshore production rig and underwater virtual reality experience.

SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, distance, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. The College empowers learners in career and technical education and enables transfer students to pursue a four-year degree so all learners excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for 80 years.