WSU Hosts Summer School Graduation Celebration for Young Scholars

The first class of 47 junior high school students to complete Weber State University’s three-year summer school program known as WSU PREP will show off their best work during the Graduation Celebration July 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Shepherd Union Ballroom.

The program will include remarks from WSU President Charles A. Wight, who as a chemist, will share insights about the opportunities and excitement of a career in the sciences. Following the program, guests will get a chance to view the students’ projects.

“We expect about 700 people,” said Dana Dellinger. “The 190 students in the three-year program will display their physics and engineering skills — their rockets and robots. They’ll engage families in logic and problem-solving games. I want people to realize that committing to this kind of learning is hard, but it’s a great benefit to the students, families and community, and that’s why Weber State embraced PREP.”

Offered by WSU’s College of Engineering Applied Science & Technology with the support of the College of Science, PREP is an intensive, seven-week summer boot camp in science, engineering, technology and math. Seventh to ninth grade students who maintain a B+ average in their math classes and have a teacher recommendation are eligible to apply. Students from groups underrepresented in STEM fields are especially encouraged to participate. The program began with 72 students in 2015 and now has 190; 53 percent are female, and 30 percent are ethnically diverse.

Kailey Stucki is in her third year. Summer school has made her education at Syracuse Junior High more successful.

“I understand technology and how to program a computer, and I understand how engineering is involved everywhere,” Stucki said. “I was able to accelerate in math at school. If girls apply themselves to go into STEM fields, they will be great.”

The opportunity is free thanks to the collaboration with Weber State, Davis, Ogden and Weber School Districts, and the support of Hill Air Force Base STEM, BAE Systems, Soroptimist International of Ogden, and Wadman Corporation.

Students attend five days a week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays are reserved for field trips. First-year students are introduced to logic and its application to math, engineering and problem solving. Second year is for algebraic structures, physics and more math-related problem solving. The third year focuses on technical writing, probability and statistics and computer science. Over the course of three years, participants also hear from 72 career awareness speakers who describe various professional opportunities.

David Brown, a ninth grade student from West Point Junior High, has determined to study and work in the field of retroviruses, following the advice of a career awareness speaker. “One of them said it was the intersection between what you loved doing, what paid well, and what you’re good at. I was having difficulty deciding the type of field to go into, and that helped.”

Families appreciate the broadened learning the program provides and are now enrolling younger siblings.

“I’m impressed with the students’ intellectual curiosity and willingness to work hard to increase their knowledge. They are smart, funny and generous kids.” Dellinger said. “Their families are wonderful too, making considerable effort during the summer to support their child’s education and future success

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Dana Dellinger, Center for Technology Outreach director
801-626-7552 •

Allison Barlow Hess, Public Relations director
801-626-7948 •