SD Mines offers summer camps for middle and high school students

RAPID CITY, SD – South Dakota Mines hosts 24 camps each summer, inviting students into the many different science fields that can be explored at the school.

“These are STEM camps. They are there to ignite passion and STEM for our students. We have our mechanical engineering camps. We have weather camps. We have students who come from all over the country to come to our fossil camp,” says Shelli Grinder, Deputy Director at SD Mines Admissions. “So we have hands-on camps based on projects that are really unique and fun for our students.”

21 of these camps are available for high school students.

“Most of our camps are for high schoolers there, current eighth-graders who are going to be ninth-graders this summer, and seniors who are currently graduating,” Grinager said. “We are offering three college camps this year. So students who are currently in grades five through seven can come join us for our two-day camps and a virtual mining explosives camp.

Typically, camps last a week from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday or Friday. Plus, they’re led by experts in these fields who hope to share their passions with future generations.

“They are taught by our prestigious teachers.” Grinager explained. “So everything from the dean of mechanical engineering students to Dr. Filipovic to create chemistry. These are therefore taught by prestigious professors from all over the world who teach on our campus.

Prices range from $200 to free, depending on the camp.

“It’s very important for everyone and anyone who is interested in STEM and has that kind of passion to be able to experience it,” Grinager added. “We have very generous donors who want to allow these students to come to camp. And so if a student, regardless of their economic status, the family can’t afford it for whatever reason, we want to offer that to them.

Students have the opportunity to explore their interests before making decisions to direct their studies in a more specific direction.

“It’s just a really good way to explore if it’s something you’re passionate about. You always pick up where your kid picks up a rock, you know, when they go out for a walk, check out one of our geology. We have several,” says Grinager. “It also kind of helps them know, because they’re in high school, if it’s something they want to do for a career.”

The activities are hands-on and exciting, but also provide industry exposure.

“So in our rocket science camp, these students build a rocket that they have to be able to keep a raw egg and they launch it into the sky and have this parachute drop it,” says Grinager. “Our mining explosives camp fills up very quickly. It’s great fun because you can blow things up. We’ve actually partnered with some of our local businesses and restaurants in town – we’re going to go out and see some real life explosions at those sites.

Above all, students are encouraged to imagine themselves in their dream job.

“Well, these camps help these students see the possibility,” Grinager said. “Every time you get a kid on campus, for whatever reason, they’re more likely to go to college because they can see themselves here. And so I think the most important thing is for them to go to campus and see that college is a possibility for them.

For more information on summer camps, click here.

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