Every year at Newman University, the Investigative Summer Science Program provides two weeks of education, lab time, keynote speakers, field trips, and fun for high school students around Kansas and beyond. This year's camp brought 25 students, 11 from Wichita, surrounding cities as far as the Kansas City/Lawrence area, and even a couple of out-of-state students residing in Deerfield, Mass., and Lincoln, Neb.
The students stay in one of the residence halls on campus, which gives them a full college experience while attending the camp. Some of the highlights of the program for students included tours of Koch Industries and Textron Aviation, listening to astronaut Sam Gehar talk about his three space shuttle missions, and field trips to places like Tanganyika Park and Botanica Gardens.
ISSP participant Anna Schmidt of Wichita said, "My favorite thing was going to Textron and looking at all the different industries." She added, "Even though I'm not going into that field, I thought it was really interesting how they did the different processes and how everyone works together."
Anna is planning to major in nursing and would like to work in emergency nursing.
Hepsey Kelley, who will be a senior at Wichita Heights High School, sees this experience as an important learning experience.
"When I first started I was kind of skeptical of taking the program because I don't really enjoy science as much. I'm interested in going into business management." Hepsey also said, "But I thought that taking this opportunity would let me see if I wanted to switch into something else and do something in another field."
Riley Phillips, a junior at South High, liked the college experience she has gained.
"I've had a lot of fun being introduced to the college life and enjoyed being able to live in the dorms," said Phillips. Participating in the program allowed her to earn some college credits and meet new people in the process. Phillips said, "I first heard about it when I was in the Native American Scholars Program in the spring. I decided to take this because of the college credits."
Associate Professor of Biology Stacy Jones, Ph.D. said, "The ISSP students were highly motivated and rose up to the academic challenge of completing an interdisciplinary research project in two weeks. They came away with memorable, learning experiences, which will help guide and direct them as they pursue careers in the STEM areas."
The students ended their camp experience with an awards banquet where students were recognized for the innovation, hard work and ingenuity. Many students were sad to see their time end, stating that they have made some great friends and will miss seeing them every day.