September 6, 2019

More than 100 K-12 summer camp sessions pack Wayne State University’s campus

The China Corps summer camp, held by Wayne State's Confucius Institute, exposed middle and high school students to Chinese language lessons and cultural activities. It was one of more than 100 summer camp sessions held this past summer on campus.

Summers at Wayne State University are typically a quieter time, as some students opt for a brief reprieve from their studies before the fall semester begins. But anyone walking around campus these past three months wouldn’t have guessed that.

Over the course of 10 weeks, more than 2,800 students attended 130 different K-12 summer camp sessions held throughout Wayne State. Ranging from week-long day camps to overnight camps, focus areas included music, dance, athletics, career preparation, STEM, entrepreneurship, CPR, cybersecurity, forensics and more. In addition to the summer camps, 1,300 students attended K-12 Planetarium shows and went on tours of Wayne State’s Gordon L. Grosscup Museum of Anthropology.

Camper Nicholas Archer shows off some of his out-of-this-world projects from Camp Cosmos.

“From Manoogian Hall to the School of Medicine, local children were able to expand their horizons in a variety of ways on Wayne State University’s campus,” said Provost Keith Whitfield. “We are proud to host these bright, young minds and look forward to continuing these types of programs all year round.”

This summer was also the first time Wayne State offered scholarships to cover the full cost of 70 STEM-related camp sessions for students who qualified for free or reduced lunches. Of the 100 scholarship applications received, 80 were awarded and used toward College of Engineering camps, Camp Cosmos in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and C2 Pipeline camps.

The C&IT Summer Engagement scholarships were made possible by WSU’s Computing & Information Technology, under the leadership of Daren Hubbard, associate vice president and chief information officer for C&IT.

“Wayne State’s summer camps are made possible through the many departmental collaborations within the university,” said Dawn Medley, associate vice president of enrollment management. “Accessibility to education is a priority of Wayne State and these camps help play a crucial role in showing these girls and boys all the opportunities that exist.”

Curtis Kratt, director of desktop engineering for WSU’s Computing & Information Technology, works with campers during the STEM Summer Camp.

Making it even easier for campers and their parents this year was a new one-stop shop website launched by WSU Enrollment Management, allowing users to browse, select and register for camps. Powered by InfoReady, the site offers a sleek, user-friendly design and the ability to search for programs based on age, interest, duration, schedule or price. Prior to the website, an interested parent, guardian or student might have needed some insider knowledge about who was holding camps on campus — or a little help from Google.

“We wanted to make camps more accessible to people who, maybe, aren’t part of a college-going family,” said Chloe Lundine, enrollment management project manager. “And for a parent, or even a high school student signing up, overwhelmed with all of the information getting thrown at them, to be able to see every camp and make the best decision is very powerful.”

With the exceptional turnout around campus for this year’s summer camps, it appears the website did its job. And for Lundine, who usually expects campus to be a little quieter, it was clearly noticeable.

“There was a time where you would walk through campus during the summer and feel like it was a bit of a ghost town,” Lundine said. “But this summer, the energy was completely different.”