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Buffalo State partners with National Grid to offer tech camp to high school students


Fri, Apr 22nd 2022 10:40 am

Buffalo State College, in partnership with National Grid, is offering a free technology camp for local high school students July 18-29 on campus.

“Future Innovators in Tech and Engineering,” or “FITE,” will be open to 50 rising juniors and seniors from Buffalo and first-ring suburbs and will include electrical engineering technology and creative and critical thinking lessons. Faculty and alumni from the EET department and the International Center for Studies in Creativity will provide instruction over the two weeks.

“Students will get to work in the Smart Grid lab, take a field trip to a National Grid facility, and tackle a real-world challenge,” said Kristin Fields, director of the Continuing Professional Studies Office, which is managing the camp. “On the last day, National Grid employees will come to campus to see the students’ solutions to the challenge.”

Representatives from National Grid spoke with Katie Welsted, Buffalo State director of corporate and foundation relations, about the possibility of funding a diversity program for youth emphasizing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). That dovetailed with an idea Fields had for an onsite summer camp, based on her experience working with both nontraditional learners and high school students.

“It was a perfect fit,” Welsted said, noting National Grid’s $80,000 grant made the camp possible. “As an urban-engaged campus, our primary focus of recruitment is Buffalo Public Schools and first-ring suburban schools, including Cheektowaga, Lackawanna, Kenmore and Tonawanda. We want to make it accessible to students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to learn STEM concepts on a college campus. We are so excited about the partnership.”

There is no minimum grade-point average to participate. Rather, the college will rely on qualitative criteria, including a strong interest in STEM subjects and teacher recommendations.

“Encouraging high school students’ interest in STEM professions through a summer camp is the first step toward getting them to college,” Welsted said. “Supporting them once they are accepted is the second step. We are extremely grateful to National Grid for seeing both needs and meeting them with their generous donations.”

Visit the Continuing Professional Studies website to register.

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