Tag: camp

Summer Youth Programs now offering Virtual Programs

In our 48-year history of delivering hands-on, engaging, discovery-centric Summer Youth Programs, we have faced and overcome many challenges. The cancellation of 2020 in-person programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic was undoubtedly the most difficult to date. Of course, with challenge comes opportunity, and we are thrilled to announce the launch of virtual Youth Programs (vYP) — the same hands-on, experiential approach we’re known for, delivered in a new way.

We know that learning happens through doing, and our vYP are much more than just screen-time. With a variety of program lengths, learning outcomes, and subject areas, we invite you to explore with us!

Courses include:

  • Calling all Writers!
  • Musical Theater Performance Intensive
  • BEHIND THE SCENES: Technical Training for Professional Theater
  • INTRO TO MUSICAL THEATER: “A day in the life” with U.P. Summer Theater Institute
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering

Additional programs will be added soon. Learn more about our current virtual programs here!


2020 Summer Youth Program launching SOON!

Summer Youth Programs are coming back in 2020 for another great summer of exploring, learning, and making new friends. This year we will have around 50 courses to offer along with our Competitive Scholarship Programs.  Some new courses for 2020 include:

Into to Machine Learning: The amount of data on the internet is projected to reach over 450 GB per day by the year 2025! Manually analyzing and finding trends in this amount of data is impossible, so we rely on computers and machine learning to do the analysis for us. In this course students will learn how to use machine learning tools to allow for automatic data analysis and visualization. Students will get a glimpse of the problems computer engineers and data scientists work on, as well as an idea of the career opportunities available to those who choose this field.

Transforming Sunlight Into Energy: Ever wondered why solar panels are blue or what they are made of? This exploration will take you into Michigan Tech’s microfabrication facility where you will fabricate, test, and even take home your own solar cell. Additional projects will demonstrate how what you learn in the microfab is being used to fabricate smartphones, computers, lab-on-a-chips, and optical devices.

Engineering Psychology and Human Factors: Human Factors (also referred to as Engineering Psychology) is a scientific discipline which examines human behavior and capabilities in order to find the best ways to design products, equipment and systems for maximum safe, effective, satisfying use by humans. It is a multidisciplinary field that focuses on a range of unique topics of interest in psychology and engineering. Unique concentrations include cognitive ergonomics, which is the scientific discipline of making technology systems compatible with human cognitive abilities and limitations at work. On the other hand, user experience engineering carefully studies how workers interact with tools, technology and systems in order to improve functionality and efficiency. Finally, error prevention is one of the most important specializations because it plays an active role in reducing quality and safety concerns. In sum, Human Factors specialists seek to improve society by saving money, saving time, or saving lives! In this class you will get hands on experience with a driving simulator, eye trackers, robotic motor behavior system, and other commonly used techniques used in the field.

U.P. Summer Theater Institute (Choose from Performers focus or Tech/Design): Do you have dreams of singing and dancing on Broadway? This immersive program will lead aspiring performers through a three week rehearsal period, culminating in performances of a full scale musical for a public audience on the stages of Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts! The UP Summer Theater Institute has created a program that mirrors the professional rehearsal and performance process that industry professionals are accustomed to when hired at an Equity theater.   For the Tech/Design focus: If you love the theater, but would rather run the soundboard, call the curtain cues, build the set, or run the followspot than perform onstage, this program is for you! This program will give aspiring young designers and theater technicians the chance to hone their understanding of lighting, audio/sound design, set design/construction, costume design/construction, and stage management as the mount a full-scale musical on the stages of Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.


2019 SYP Story Contest

Thank you to everyone who shared their SYP story with us for the 2019 SYP Story Contest. This is always a tough decision but we do enjoy hearing about so many great memories! Here are our winning entries that will be featured in the 2020 SYP Catalog!

Congratulations to Hailey G. for being our winner for the 2019 SYP Story Contest, Middle School level.

Here is Hailey’s story: 
“My name is Hailey and I was extremely excited to go to Junior Women in Engineering (JWIE) sponsored by ITC Holdings because I didn’t know what field of engineering I want to pursue a career in. JWIE showed me insight into my future career options. This experience let me meet other crazy smart girls with the same interests. Getting to design prosthetic legs, building gliders, and making ice cream taught me about just a few of the many fields of engineering. I even got to learn about engineering off campus when we toured Quincy Mine, the wastewater treatment plant, and more.  JWIE also allowed me to experience college life. Staying in the dorms, eating in the dining hall, and having class in actual classrooms and touring labs. Making fast food runs, attending the variety show, attending the block party, and going to Walmart were just a few of the many evening college life experiences. Spending time with other like-minded girls, and with what I learned at JWIE I am now more certain about my future and want to be either an electrical or computer engineer. I think that everyone should experience SYP before college. SYP is an excellent opportunity to be able to experience Michigan Tech and see some of the amazing opportunities that it has to offer. Experiencing what life has to offer after completing high school as a middle schooler will help me make smarter decisions about my future higher education. I really hope I can attend SYP next year!”

Congratulations to Sarah H. for being our winner for the 2019 SYP Story Contest, High School level.

Here is Sarah’s story: 
“There was just something about the whole experience I can hardly describe with words. I met so many wonderful, intelligent people, I got a glimpse of the incredible opportunities the Michigan Tech campus has to offer, and I feel that for once in my life I finally know what I want to do with my life. I want to go out and explore every corner of the world, like we did on all the excursions every evening; I now know that I have the capability to do just that during my time at college with study abroad programs. I want to work with my hands, just like we did blacksmithing and casting metal; I can easily get a grip on some hands-on work by majoring in mechanical engineering technologies, a major that dabbles in a bit of everything I love. I want to keep improving, to get better at being myself, so that I can be more prepared for the future. I think this experience was one of the first steps in that process. I had more fun in two weeks than I would have spending my summer at home. If I had to just pick one favorite part, I’d choose the whole thing! So for anyone even considering a program like this, do it! No one will experience it the same, but it’s guaranteed to be a great time.”

 


New weeks of programs added!

The school year is coming to an end rapidly, which means that it’s time to think summer! Although some of our SYP explorations have filled up already, we have a few exciting last-minute opportunities that you may want to take advantage of.

  1. Additional week of Electrical & Computer Engineering. The department has added another section of this popular course during the week of June 23-29!
  2. New cybersecurity program. The GenCyber program will run during the week of June 16-22 and provides a full scholarship for those who participate. This program is limited to commuter students and is based on grant funding, which means local or staying-local participants only!
  3.  Space still remaining! We still have plenty of seats remaining, particularly in our June courses! Check out the full catalog to see all the great options that remain.

If you have any questions, please feel welcome to contact our office. We are so excited to see everyone in just a couple of weeks! Our offices can be reached at 906-487-2219 or syp@mtu.edu


Devin’s Story from SYP!

At the end of each summer we ask students to share with us what attending Summer Youth Programs meant to them in the form of a story contest, these stories never disappoint! Our 2018 middle school level winner shares her story below.

“My name is Devin and SYP has taught me so much. I learned how to be a strong and independent person, how to make the world a better place. I got to experience college living firsthand, and have fun while doing it all. In Engineering 101 we learned about so many different things that come into play in everyday lives without people even realizing. Everything was hands on and taught us how to think creatively, like the time we designed prosthetic legs out of recycled materials in the Bio-Medical lesson. SYP was nothing close to a regular summer camp, but that’s what made it so special. It was days packed full of learning, amazing food, new friends, and a few Walmart runs all mixed into one unforgettable experience. Michigan Tech has always been my dream college. It was so inspiring to learn about science and engineering from instructors of this amazing school. I learned so much about future career paths and can’t wait to learn even more. I hope in the future there will be more and more female engineers that I will grow to work with and learn from. My experience at camp was absolutely amazing, and I hope I can come back next year.” – Devin O., 2018 SYP participant

We love reading stories like Devin’s and hearing that students are not only learning about careers, but building confidence and independence in themselves and their ability to succeed in college. We also hope that Devin comes back this summer to learn even more and work on her own path to becoming a successful engineer.


SYP Staff Spring Training

Staff photoFollowing Michigan Tech’s spring break, we all returned with a ton of enthusiasm here in the Center for Pre-College Outreach. Among many other springtime happenings, March brings the first all-staff gathering of a Summer Youth Programs cycle!

This Spring Training was held on March 20th for all staff who accepted a position with SYP. From residence counselors to chaperones, we all gathered together to accomplish a few pre-summer goals. First and foremost, Spring Training provides an opportunity for the head counselors to meet their staff: as peer leaders, it is critical to start building a sense of teamwork as soon as possible! The different staff groups got together to learn names, ask preliminary questions, and get a feel for what their summer will look like.

From there, we spend time outlining summer expectations. We discuss the schedule: what weeks are SYP explorations running? When are the competitive scholarship programs? Which days do staff get off? We also cover expectations of ensuring safety, acting as excellent role models, providing a welcoming and inclusive experience, and the impact of SYP.

Staff are also introduced to the first few items on their training checklist: what days first aid/CPR training is offered, when they will receive their general safety awareness training links, and the time frame for picking up staff books. All in all, Spring Training is a great primer for getting staff excited and prepared for another great summer!

All of the details about the scholarship programs, including required application materials, can be found on our website. If you have any questions, you can always reach us at syp@mtu.edu or by phone at 906-487-2219.


Benefits of A Summer Program

Why Is It Important To Send My Child To Camp?

Developed from an article shared by the American Camp Association

Youth development experts agree that children need a variety of experiences in their lives to help them grow into healthy adolescents and adults. For children to develop positive behaviors, their experiences must produce:

  • A sense of industry and competency
    • Do they develop skills? Do they learn to work for what is important? Are they successful at what they do?
  • A feeling they are connected to others and to society
    • Do they feel like they “fit”? Do they see a role they can play in their group, family, or community? Do they have friends?
  • A belief in their ability to make decisions
    • Do they learn to make good choices? Do they see the results of their decisions?
  • A stable identity
    • Are they learning what their skills are? Are they receiving positive feedback about themselves?

The mission of Summer Youth Programs to provide quality, innovative teaching and learning experiences that promote academic studies, college life, and career  awareness. Through hands-on, discovery based programs, students break out of their comfort zone and stretch their imaginations-without the pressure of grades, exams, or assignments. Our facilities, along with research and teaching faculty, deans, and advisers, help students develop college and career goals. Current Michigan Tech students serve as role models, providing inspiration, encouragement and guidance.

We survey students each year to determine the impact of our programs on this mission. Here is information gathered from the 2017 Summer Youth Programs student surveys.

  • 96% of students would recommend their exploration to others
  • 92% of students felt their exploration differed from their classrooms back home
  • 88% of students gained confidence in their ability to be successful in a college atmosphere
  • 86% of students showed interest in coming back for another summer
  • 66% of students felt more likely to attend college

Camp and summer programs provide an excellent experience for your child to learn and develop and is uniquely positioned to provide many key developmental needs for children. Consider camp as the perfect partner to family, school, and community youth activities in helping your child learn independence, decision-making, social and emotional skills, character building and values – all in an atmosphere of creativity and enrichment under the supervision of positive adult role models.

“I found my passion. Thank you for the best experience of my life. Everyone should attend a camp like this before college.” – 2018 Women in Engineering attendee

In today’s pressure-oriented society, camp provides a non-threatening environment for youth to be active, to develop competence in life skills, to learn about and enhance their own abilities and to benefit from meaningful participation in a community designed just for them. In addition, our programs invite students to dive into STEM and learning intentionally and purposefully. Students gain valuable insight into what their future career could look like before they even begin college.


SYP Course Feature: From Idea to Market

Attention students in 9-11 grades who have a business idea! Come and learn the innovation design process used by companies like Google and Apple to create the next great product or service. The “From Idea to Market” exploration will introduce you to the exciting world of design thinking… a human-centered process for developing innovative solutions to life’s messy problems.

Students will identify a problem they’d like to address and apply the design thinking process to create an innovative solution. From there, you will learn the basics of what it takes to start a business by applying the Lean Start-up process to develop a business model, you’ll pitch your idea to a panel of judges, and you’ll have an opportunity to market your ideas right here on campus. Each day of the week you’ll learn different innovation and business start-up skills through a variety faculty and student-led activities. No prior experience or knowledge is necessary to become a Michigan Tech SYP innovator and entrepreneur!

This course is offered in partnership with Michigan Tech’s Pavlis Honor College and the School of Business and Economics.


Building A Successful Summer Youth Programs Team

SYP SnowmanWith summer just around the corner (or should I say somewhere around the snowbank!), the time has come for us to hold interviews and begin filling the 65+ roles that it takes to make SYP a great experience. Each year, we hire a large seasonal staff for a wide variety of roles from live-in counselor to bus chaperones. This team, many of whom are current Michigan Tech students, always bring their own life experiences, fresh perspectives, and what we call a #BeAwesome attitude to the program—each summer is unique!

So, how do we build a successful team?  
With over 1,000 participants attending our summer programs, we rely on the staff in many ways and they need to be prepared for anything! The good news is, a lot of our staff already know so much before they even apply. With over 700 SYP alumni now attending Michigan Tech, it’s no surprise when many of them want to come back to the program to work as a counselor. They looked up to past SYP counselors for guidance and saw them as positive role models—now they want to give back. These program alumni, along with our dedicated returning staff, are excited to recreate the positive and inviting environment they experienced with SYP and become leaders for new staff members.

Training, Training, Training!
Once our team is selected, the real fun begins! Before any participants arrive on campus, our full team goes through extensive training both in-person, online, and through independent reading. We utilize Expert Online Training sessions that include educational videos and quizzes to prepare staff about problem solving, bullies, becoming a youth development professional, cultivating patience, listening, safe talk and safe touch, helping students fit in, supervising, and more.

All staff then attend a week-long training the week before programs begin that covers: CPR/First Aid training, van certification, background checks, building security, fire drills, mandated reporter training, Title IX training, case studies, student/staff rules and expectations, inclusion conversations, and much more. Even after this week is over, the training never really ends. The best counselors know that they are always learning and growing as they meet new participants each week. Some even say they don’t want it to end.

“THE BEST JOB EVER. The best hours, the best coworkers, and the best professional staff. Everything about this job is great. We heard about the student who wrote for the story contest and she stated, ‘My only regret is not being able to do it again next summer,’ and that is so applicable to me as an employee. I had so much fun with the students and hearing about all of their projects, that the only sad part would be if I am only able to get this opportunity once. Hopefully I can be back at it next summer!”
– Sarah, 2018 SYP staff 

It doesn’t get much better.
As a professional staff, we are so grateful to the incredible student staff who are the heart and soul of SYP—especially to our returners and head staff, some of whom have dedicated three, four, or even more summers to inspiring young people. We come back year after year, too, because as it turns out, we love this opportunity just as much as our students do. It’s so much more than a camp or class-it’s an experience. And for many, it’s life changing. Watching it all unfold; the friendships, the lessons learned, and the discovery of a career path they are passionate about, is what makes each year of planning all worth it.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.


Stay the Weekend: It’s More Than Just Engineering Camp!

If you’ve looked at our course catalog and wondered how to choose a program, we have good news for you: you don’t have to pick just one! If you wish to stay for more than one program in a row, we can save you the trip home and back, simply sign up to stay the weekend. Making the most of SYP involves both the classroom activities and getting to see more of the beautiful place Michigan Technological University calls home.  

Students who stay at SYP over the weekend (“stayovers”) get a unique chance to explore the wider Keweenaw and Upper Peninsula. Our Weekend Counselors chaperone excursions to places like: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore; Lake of the Clouds in Porcupine Mountains State Park; Adventure Mine; and the northern terminus of US-41, the town of Copper Harbor.

When not on these types of UP adventures, stayover students have a chance to relax and unwind in Houghton by going bowling, hanging out on campus, seeing a movie, visiting a local event or museum, or visiting downtown for dinner.

If you do choose to stay with us over the weekend, a stayover fee of $125 per weekend will cover room and board, supervision, meals (both in the dining hall and during away trips), and any applicable excursion expenses.

If you’re like us and are already excited for SYP 2019, visit the online course listing or  request a mailed catalog. If you have any questions, you can always find us at syp@mtu.edu or by phone at 906-487-2219.