WT teaches young engineers through summer camps - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

WT teaches young engineers through summer camps

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA

Engineering camp at WT has grown from 60 campers during its first summer eight years ago, to 350 campers now with more hoping to join in.

Their goal is to teach kids about engineering now so they can grow more local engineers in the future.

So what is engineering?

"It's when you build stuff and you think of ideas to do to build different things," said 7-year-old camper Anthony Pappas.

That's a pretty good definition from one of engineering camp's younger campers.

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade spent this week with staff from WT's engineering department and employees of Bell Helicopter learning about all types of engineering.

Camp directors said this is a big recruitment tool for WT engineering, and teaching kids about this profession at a young age helps them better understand the role engineers play in our community.

"They're not familiar with what engineers do," said J. Rich Sparks, Development Officer for WT's School of Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics. "They can tell you what a doctor does, what a lawyer does, but they can't tell you what an engineering person does. The math and the science, hands on kind of work just intrigues everybody and gets their attention."

Sparks said he often sees older campers attend WT as engineering majors later on.

Bell Helicopter is glad to see kids interested in engineering, with hopes the campers stay creative and may want to join their company later on.

"They understand that there're no boundaries," said Shannon Massey, VP of Assembly Operations for Bell Helicopter. "And so as they continue to think about how those 'no boundaries' lead to new innovations, that leads to [new] things and how to introduce processes and new products and any new ideas, feeding that forward."

Bell brought one of its helicopters out to camp Thursday evening, which was a big hit all around.

First time and returning campers said they were challenged this week and had fun learning about their possible future careers.

Here's some advice from high school camper Price York if you're wondering if engineering is the right path for you:

"If you are really into math or taking apart stuff or really smart and know how to do stuff really well, you probably need to try engineering."

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