New Summer Camp, New Opportunities

doctor hassan zargarzadeh shows off his mini drone experiment

The College of Engineering introduced a new summer camp this year to assist high school students looking to pursue their interests in STEM, called Lamar Introduction To Engineering – Senior (LITE – Senior), now the second summer program under the LITE name. “The purpose of LITE is to engage junior high students with our faculty and students to explore the various fields of engineering LU has to offer,” says Dean Srinivas Palanki, “LITE – Senior takes that premise and brings it to the high school level.”

Over 70 students were invited to participate in the week-long camp. Students excitedly came from all over southeast Texas from Spring to Orange and everywhere in between. Students were split into groups based on their current grade level and were paired with College of Engineering Ambassadors every day to explore the fields of chemical, civil, electrical, industrial and mechanical engineering.

doctor keivan davami introduces students to various aspects of mechanical engineeringWhile LITE – Senior shares a similar concept with its sister camp for younger students, Senior incorporates the research professors from each department are currently conducting. For example, Dr. Hassan Zargarzadeh, assistant professor of electrical engineering, has an expertise in the realm of robotics and drone programming. “Drones are becoming a huge area of interest for younger kids today, so I wanted to incorporate the design and programming aspect into my portion of the camp,” says Zargarzadeh, who purchased mini drones for students to work with. Students were presented with the information and had to program their drones to act on command.

Through five days of fun activities and learning, students were left satisfied by the amount of information that was given. In fact, many students found that their chosen field of interest may not be the one they inevitably pursue. “Because of how successful the LITE – Senior camp was this year, we hope to attract 125 students next year and to continue to spike these students interest in engineering,” says Palanki.