CFISD students attend Rice University STEM camp

September 21, 2020

Salyards Middle School eighth grade student Elijah Smaw was one of four CFISD students selected to attend a STEM camp hosted by the Tapia Center for Excellence and Equity at Rice University this summer. The five-day camp was virtual and open to eighth-12th grade students. Salyards Middle School eighth grade student Elijah Smaw was one of four CFISD students selected to attend a STEM camp hosted by the Tapia Center for Excellence and Equity at Rice University this summer. The five-day camp was virtual and open to eighth-12th grade students.

Sept. 21, 2020—Salyards Middle School eighth grade student Elijah Smaw, Cypress Springs High School freshman Alejandro Garcia and Bridgeland High School freshman Vernard Jenkins and junior Josiah Smaw were among a select group of students from across the state to attend a STEM camp hosted by the Tapia Center for Excellence and Equity at Rice University this summer.

All four students received scholarships from ExxonMobil to attend the five-day online STEM camp. The camp was led by Rice professors where students worked on projects that built problem-solving and communication skills. Each camper was responsible for designing a heatsink, simulating the process through which heat is transferred away from a processor in a computer to keep the device from overheating.

Bridgeland High School junior Josiah Smaw was one of four CFISD students selected to participate in a five-day online STEM camp hosted by Rice University. Each student received a scholarship from ExxonMobil to attend the camp. Bridgeland High School junior Josiah Smaw was one of four CFISD students selected to participate in a five-day online STEM camp hosted by Rice University. Each student received a scholarship from ExxonMobil to attend the camp.

“During the camp, I learned a lot about convection currents and heat sinks,” Josiah said. “My favorite part was when we got to hear from college students and ask them questions about their college experiences. I will be going to college soon and this was very beneficial.”

The camp was offered to rising eighth–12th grade students. Each student received a kit with building materials, which included a copper hanger strap, pliers, aluminum foil, machine nuts and screws, an ice cube tray, a penny and a paper towel.

Students who attended the camp were responsible for designing their own heatsink, pictured here, which is a device that keeps computers from overheating. Students were given a building kit that included materials to create their heatsink. Students who attended the camp were responsible for designing their own heatsink, pictured here, which is a device that keeps computers from overheating. Students were given a building kit that included materials to create their heatsink.

“What I enjoyed most about the camp is that we did a lot of hands-on experiments,” Elijah said. “I also enjoyed leading a presentation for other students in the camp.”

Visit the Tapia Center website for more information.

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