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Local students build math and science skills at OU summer camp

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Local students build math and science skills at OU summer camp
By Katie Land, news editor

Math and science studies are all the rage at an innovative new summer camp, hosted by Oakland University’s Department of Pre-College Programs.

Spread over two sessions this June and July, more than 50 ninth grade students from Detroit Public Schools and some surrounding districts stayed on OU’s campus, all of whom are interested in pursuing careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics related fields.

The Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program’s (DAPCEP) Renewable Energy Advancement for Detroit Youth (READY) summer camp is an intensive two-week residential program designed to prepare underrepresented male students for university coursework and future careers.

“This program offers an opportunity for young men to broaden their horizons and learn about what it takes to be successful at a high level university setting,” said Toine Murphy, DAPCEP READY consultant. “Spending time immersed in a challenging academic environment helps give students the mindset that they can do it, they can be successful in college.”

Students are able to participate in sessions related to math and writing instruction, exploration of fossil fuel alternatives, and the development of websites. At the same time, students learned positive life skill lessons that were focused on leadership, character development, communication, team building, community engagement and professional development.

“It is important to get students geared up to understand the basic concepts of math and science, and show them how to apply that to a real life scenario,” Murphy continued. “And no matter what field a student goes into, when they build these essential critical thinking and problem solving skills, they will be successful in any setting.”

The READY camp also includes both educational and recreational field trips to places such as the Detroit Science Center and Joe Dumars’ Field House. Camp instructors and supervisors include industry professionals, OU staff and student facilitators.

“The camp has been wonderful,” said Reginald McCloud, director of OU’s Pre-College Programs. “After our first group of boys came through, their parents were thrilled and many of the students wanted to stay. A number of them even said they want to come back to Oakland once they are ready for college.”

DAPCEP is a partnership program that has been affiliated with OU for 30 years that has traditionally offered a variety of weekend programs for the participants. This year marks the first residential camp for the program.

For more information about other programs through OU’s Department of Pre-College Programs, view the website at