NMSU partners with Verizon to host virtual STEM summer camp for middle school students


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — New Mexico State University’s computer science department is collaborating with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship to host a free Verizon Innovative Learning STEM enrichment summer camp for 100 middle school boys.

The program is also inclusive of all genders and non-binary students.

The three-week summer program begins July 12 and runs through July 30. Students will learn design thinking, 3D printing, augmented reality and social entrepreneurship skills. Students will also participated in one session per month on Saturday’s throughout the school year to continue learning.

Current NMSU computer science students and previous camp teachers will be teaching students in the program.

“Opportunities like this are very important for students who do not get access to camps like this,” said Adan Delval, director of the Verizon Innovation Learning STEM enrichment program at NMSU. “It is an opportunity to explore areas such as computer science, engineering and other STEM related fields.”

In previous programs, students demonstrated an increase of interest in various areas. That includes a 92% increase in school engagement and a 94% increase in interested in attending a four-year college. That’s according to the 2019 program impact report.

NMSU’s computer science department received a two-year grant to implement the Verizon Innovative Learning STEM enrichment program in 2017.

Since then, the department has hosted two programs and had last summer’s program postponed due to the pandemic. This year, the program will be virtual with hopes the once-a-month sessions during the academic year can be in person.

“Despite the program going virtual, we are excited because we are able to expand to more students in other communities like Hatch, Deming or Alamogordo,” Delval said. “The challenges we will be facing are students suffering from virtual burnout.”

Officials said middle school students from the Deming, Hatch Valley, Alamogordo and Las Cruces Public Schools will be selected for the ease of traveling to Las Cruces during the Saturday engagements.

Registration is open now and will close July 5.

To register, visit https://www.nacce.com/vil21regformboys and fill out both the parent consent form and the student information form.

To learn more about the Verizon Innovative Learning Program, visit https://vil.nmsu.edu/

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