Can you make a raft out of four plastic straws and a small, lightweight sheet of aluminum foil and build it strong enough to carry 180 pennies without sinking?
That′s just what a team of four area middle–school students did during "Escape from Harris Island," a raft competition held during ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp media day on July 20.
The event brought parents, friends, supporters, government leaders and media members to Trine′s Ford Hall to see what 54 students selected for the two–week residential camp were learning from the science, mathematics and engineering projects directed by Trine and other educators.
The kids really soaked up the information, and thrived in the learning environment, said camp executive director and Trine Middle College director Kelly Stout. "The campers amaze me every day with how much they are learning and how much they already knew," she said. "I feel so honored to be able to work with the Harris Foundation and ExxonMobil to offer these types of opportunities."
Dr. Bernard Harris, the first black astronaut to walk in space, founded the camps, which now have over 30 sites nationally, with support from ExxonMobil to expose talented but traditionally underserved students to careers in science, mathematics and engineering. His message to students from northeast Indiana, southern Michigan and northwest Ohio was clear: Nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it. Trine University conducted the summer science camp at no cost to the students′ families.
At the event, ExxonMobil engineer Eljona Fiorita told students of her childhood love of science in her native Albania, and how she knew that to have a career in the field, she would have to continue learning and educating herself. The Harris Foundation′s Rene Flores, program director for the camp, backed up the message. "You are among the best and brightest, and we hope to see you back here as Trine undergraduates," he told them.
To make that wish even more relevant, Trine President Earl Brooks II announced the continuation of a $1,000 annually renewable Trine University ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp scholarship, launched last year for any of the campers who choose to attend Trine after high school. "This scholarship is waiting here for you as you build upon your experiences and complete your studies. We encourage you to work hard and prepare well," Dr. Brooks said.
Since the launching of the Trine Virtual Campus (TVC) last fall, the online study program has burgeoned to now offer over 150 courses with 24–7 online convenience for busy adult students. And although the online convenience serves the needs of many, School of Professional Studies (SPS) Dean David Wood knows that for some, nothing replaces seated classes.
To provide more opportunities for the adult learner, Trine is opening new branch campuses in Warsaw and Logansport, Ind., and partnering with Harrison College to share programs and facilities.
Trine plans to establish a branch campus in Warsaw this fall, and partner with Grace in nearby Winona Lake and Ivy Tech in Warsaw to offer new education opportunities to support OrthoWorx. OrthoWorx is a Warsaw-based industry, community and education initiative to advance and support growth and innovation within the region′s orthopedics device sector.
Trine′s partnership with Ivy Tech will enable students to spend two years at Ivy Tech and another two at Trine to complete a bachelor′s degree in engineering. Further collaboration will allow two years at Ivy Tech, two years at Trine and an additional year at Trine to complete the master′s degree in biomedical engineering.
In June, Trine President Earl D. Brooks II inked an agreement with Logansport′s mayor and economic development director to occupy a building at 2815 E. Market St., Logansport, for the delivery of SPS programs in the fall. The Trine Virtual Campus will also offer an online course of study in lieu of seated classes to provide more flexibility for working adult students. Trine is providing discounted tuition to city and county employees and graduates of Ivy Tech Community College, which previously occupied the building.
In July, President Brooks and Harrison College President Jason Konesco announced a partnership between the SPS and Harrison that includes a sharing of resources, facilities and complementary programs. The agreement includes a two–plus–two arrangement whereby students can complete an associate degree at Harrison and then transfer to Trine to complete their undergraduate or graduate degree. New curriculum and degree offerings will also be jointly developed to support the needs of students within specific geographic locations, in state and naton–wide.