Young Engineer Summer Camp, Arconic team up for young scholars

Young Engineer Summer Camp, Arconic team up for young scholars

Young Engineer Summer Camp, Arconic team up for young scholars

Forty-two aspiring engineers will visit the MSU Texas campus this summer as part of the annual YES Camp (Young Engineer Summer Camp) sponsored by Arconic Foundation. The University's McCoy College of Science, Mathematics & Engineering will welcome the group of motivated high school students to its learning center June 24-28.

Students of the weeklong camp will spend time in the McCoy School of Engineering and participate in a tour of Arconic's Wichita Falls facility.

"We are thankful to Arconic for their support of MSU," said Camp Director and MSU Associate Professor Salim Azzouz. "It is through their generosity that we are able to provide this annual summer camp."

Arconic, a company that specializes in lightweight metals for engineering and manufacturing, operates a plant in Wichita Falls and partners with MSU Texas in many ways, including the youth camp. YES Camp began in 2010, and this will be the seventh year of support from the Arconic Foundation. In the seven years as co-sponsor, Arconic Foundation has provided $220,000 to support the engineering camp.

"The goal of this weeklong summer camp is designed to enhance a participant's interest in engineering as a potential career, and to develop analytical skills needed for college-level courses," said Marcie Williford, a Monoshell Business Unit Process Owner for Arconic.

"The YES camp is always exciting being it brings opportunities to learn more about STEM careers to students thinking about the future," said Dr. Marcy Brown Marsden, the dean of the McCoy College of Science, Mathematics and Engineering. "There is a high demand for engineers in the world today, and these students have a lot of potential to be highly skilled and capable members of that important workforce."

Azzouz has worked with the camp since 2014, and assumed the director's role this year. He believes the camp is a benefit for all involved. He said he loves seeing teens who are "really interested in what's going on in the world, especially with energy, engaged in the discussion. I would say most of them ask good questions. They are interested in climate change and energy and they pay attention to that. It's interactive. I challenge them to think and ask very challenging questions."

Williford said a frequent question from young people involved is "how much do engineers make? That is always a great motivator for them to pursue an engineering field," she said. "That question is usually followed by what does it take to get an engineering degree? It is a great lead into the need to work hard and study because it is worth it."

Not only do MSU Texas engineering students work at Arconic in Wichita Falls, but also many graduates have moved on to work at other Arconic locations. The company said it enjoys connecting with students even before YES Camp with tours each year for junior high and high school students.

"Midwestern State University and Arconic work closely together on various projects in addition to YES Camp," Williford said. "MSU is our No. 1 source for our engineering talent." Williford said the plant employs two engineering co-op students who participated in previous YES Camps.