Voorhees continues its e-SMART program for high school students

July 1, 2012

For three weeks, Voorhees will be hosting its annual summer Environmental Science, Mathematics and Related Technology (e-SMART) Day Camp for high school students in the surrounding areas. Camp orientation for participants was held Thursday, June 28.  

This is the third consecutive summer Voorhees has held this program for students interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics who have at least at 3.0 grade point average or higher.  

Through a $3.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, Voorhees designed a program to improve environmental science education for students and increase the number of students pursing degrees in environmental science, mathematics, biology and computer science at the institution.  

“Each summer, we try to expose our camp participants to new environments and increase their knowledge in STEM areas and careers,” said Barbara Nimmons, program director. “We have been successful with not only increasing our numbers each year but also our retention rate in the program.”  

The retention rate for the first summer was 80 percent, and last year, the program boasted a retention rate of 98 percent.  

During the three weeks, students attend academic classes in the mornings, have various workshops and speakers in the afternoons, and enjoy physical activities such as swimming and playing basketball and tennis in the evenings.   Last year, the culminating event was the participants visiting the Epcot Center in Orlando, Fla. to experience the behind-the-scenes looks. They also toured the Kennedy Space Center.

"We hope that through our e-SMART program, we continue to change the minds and lives of students by continuing their interest in STEM program," said President Sellers. "This program continues to be a great mechanism for recruiting students to our institution."