For the past six weeks, 65 youth have spent most of their summer in class hitting the books, taking field trips and working on projects that test their knowledge and skills covering science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Yesterday, July 18, it was time for robots and wreckage for the campers from area school districts attending the Corpus Christi Prefreshman Engineering Program (CCPREP) summer camp held at Del Mar College.
During the annual CCPREP media day, campers demonstrated what they’ve learned with some “friendly” competition.
Before the contests began, however, the College and DMC Foundation recognized Flint Hills Resources (FHR) for their $51,000 donation for which nearly 80% was allocated to support CCPREP, including $19,700 for new robot kits and $20,000 for the program. Representatives unveiled a uniquely-shaped robot check during the donation announcement.
“Flint Hills Resources is a proud supporter of the TexPREP program and Del Mar College,” said Andy Saenz, Regional Manager of FHR Public Affairs. “The key to our successful businesses is quality employees, and we know that programs like these help identify and prepare those students who may one day serve in our workforce. This is a great business investment for us and the community.”
The other $11,300 provided support for Foundation scholarship initiatives, such as Bernie’s Famous Crawfish Boil and Stringers for Scholarships, sponsorship of the Skills USA competition held on the West Campus and a President’s Council Membership.
View an interview with Mr. Saenz and footage of CCPREP campers in action:
The annual summer camp is free to all participants and made possible by funding from Flint Hills Resources, its major contributor, with additional support from other organizations.
Del Mar College is the local site for TexPREP and offers the program to talented middle to high school-age students who want to get a head start or continue studies in science and mathematics. The curriculum emphasizes study and research work in mathematics, computer science and engineering with an overall objective of increasing the number of students who will pursue STEM studies when they attend college.
Since 2000, nearly 1,000 students have participated.
One first-year participant is Gavin Peters, whose grandfather works for Flint Hills Resources as their Training Services Manager at the local refinery. Peters is visiting his grandparents for the summer and expanding his knowledge and skills in STEM.
“Gavin demonstrated strong capability in math and science throughout his elementary career,” said Rick Legvold. “We became aware of the CCPREP program several years ago and had been coaching him to consider the opportunity when he met the requirements. Our family views the program as a valuable development opportunity for Gavin to advance his studies.”
Legvold added, “I’m proud to work for Flint Hills Resources, a company that provides funding for this program, and I believe it aligns with the many community organizations that Flint Hills supports that are geared to provide long-term value for our community.”
He noted during the announcement that most importantly, he’s proud of his grandson.
IN THE PHOTO:Andy Saenz, Flint Hills Resources Regional Manager of Public Affairs (right), helps Karen Silva, Development Officer with the DMC Foundation (behind easel) unveil the $51,000 robot-shaped check as three CCPREP campers look on.