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Students, Staff Attend Rice University Tapia STEM Camp

This summer, six students and two teachers attended Rice University’s prestigious and unique camps hosted by The Tapia Center for Excellence and Equity. Made possible through a grant from partners ExxonMobil, they joined students and teachers from across Texas and beyond for a week of engaging STEM projects and communication skill practice.


“We had an amazing learning adventure at Rice,” said attendee and STEM Coordinator Marinette Parkerson. “My Student’s enjoyed all of the STEM activities and challenges.”


Campers experiment with hands-on STEM projects, like building miniature wind turbines out of household items including glue, cardstock and popsicle sticks. At the same time, students enhance their communication skills by learning how to simplify complicated STEM ideas via graphic drawings and an end-of-camp oral presentation – all while experiencing life on a college campus.


“This opportunity gave them the confidence boost to push them into STEM related careers as the get older,” said Parkerson. “The partnership also provides my students a learning experience that they will share with future classmates”


The professional development camp for teachers of all subjects and levels provides participants the tools to implement project-based learning in their classrooms. Teachers who complete the program earn Continuing Professional Education hours and learn tools to implement hands-on experiences in their classrooms.


“As an educator, it is my responsibility to expand my reach by exposing my students to what they can’t see for themselves,” said Parkerson. “I thank ExxonMobil and Rice for helping me expose my students to the wonderful possibilities of STEM education and careers.”