Grab some summer fun, adventure at USC camps
Ever wonder what it’s really like to investigate a crime scene?
How about mastering digital photography and learning how to turn your pictures into visual art with graphic design tools?
Maybe you’re interested in science and engineering and would like to delve into the world of nanoscience and learn how to create a fuel cell.
Or perhaps you’re ready to try your hand at fashion design, international cooking, baseball, music, dance or drama.
If so, the University of South Carolina is the place to be this summer.
This year’s summer camps offer elementary, middle and high school students the chance to try out a new hobby, improve their skills or discover a career path.
“The goal is to give students the opportunity to come to campus, experience all USC has to offer, and see that this may be a major or a career field they want to go into,” said Kate Shelton, director of Continuing Education and Conferences. Shelton's office coordinates the Carolina Master Scholars programs, which is just one of several summer camp sponsors at USC.
Middle and high school students come from all over the country to take part in the Carolina Master Scholars Adventures Series, a collection of 18 weeklong courses in everything from anatomy and nanotechnology to writing and graphic design.
The classes are taught by USC faculty or experts and have limited enrollment _ 12 students for Adventures in Medicine and 20 for other classes. Students get to immerse themselves in the subject and receive individual attention.
Students in the Adventures in Forensic Science classes for grades 6-9 and 9-12 shadow crime scene investigators and officers from USC’s Division of Law Enforcement and Safety. They learn about fingerprints, bloodstain interpretation, footwear impressions, crime scene diagrams and the collection of trace and DNA evidence. They even get to investigate a mock crime scene.
“Scholars quickly find out that watching one hour of CSI on TV just scratches the surface.” said Meredith Fievet, a program coordinator in the Office of Continuing Education and Conferences. “There is a lot more to forensic science than what is in a one-hour TV show.”
Within each adventure, scholars work toward completing a group project. It could be taking sides and running a mock trial in Adventures in Law, creating a fuel cell in Adventures in Nanotechnology and Fuel Cells or building a robot to compete against each other in Adventures in Vex Robotics. The courses are challenging and hands-on with access to instruction, labs and facilities not found in most middle and high schools.
The scholars will also find out about USC – and get a feel for what it would be like to be a student here.
That’s what happened to Rachel Cotten, a rising sophomore in USC’s Darla Moore School of Business, who attended three Carolina Master Scholars Adventure camps when she was in middle and high school.
“It really, really helped open me up to want to do more things. It gave me the opportunity to build myself up and let me realize who I am as a person, to learn to cooperate with other people and to see what it’s like to be in college,” said Cotten, of Rock Hill.
Cotten said the opportunity to live on campus and interact with USC professors stood out when it came time to make her college decision.
“Being able to go over the summers made it much easier when I transitioned as an actual student. I knew places. I had talked with college professors. I was deciding between USC and Clemson and I had no interaction with Clemson before. The interaction with USC made my decision much easier.”
This year, Cotten will be back at camp, guiding students around campus in the same way she was helped.
“I looked up to my counselors so much while I was there," she said. "They helped me a lot. Now I get to do the same thing.”
MORE CAMP OPTIONS
The Carolina Master Scholars Adventure Series is just one of the summer camps and programs on campus this summer. Here is a look at a few of the others:
Cooking camps cover the basics, the science of food and food around the world for ages 9 and up.
Partners for Minorities in Engineering/Computer Sciences, June 26-July 1, rising 9th-12th graders. More info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolina Journalism Institute, June 8-12, rising 7th-12th graders.
USC Summer Dance Conservatory, June 27-July 30
USC Summer Drama Conservatory, June 6-24, 1st-12th graders
String Project Summer Camp, July 11-14
USC Summer Sports Camps, ages 7-18
Summer Music Camps, rising 7th-12th graders, for more information, email: email@example.com
USC SAT/ACT Summer Institutes at USC Columba, Beaufort, Sumter, Salkehatchie and Aiken.