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ECU summer camp helps local students Reach Up in science

GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Apr. 6, 2009)   —   A summer camp at East Carolina University uses hands-on experiments in biology, chemistry and geology to help local African-American students develop an interest in science and science-related careers.

The East Carolina Reach Up Scholarship Program will invite 24 talented students in sixth through eighth grades in Pitt County Schools to participate in this summer’s day camp. The three-week summer portion of the program takes place July 13 – 31, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., on the ECU campus.

The program is free to all African-American participants, thanks to sponsorship by North Carolina GlaxoSmith Kline Foundation Ribbon of Hope Program and East Carolina University.

Rhea Miles, program director and an associate professor in the College of Education, said “Reach Up seeks to close the statistical gap in performance by African-American students in math and science fields.”

The summer camp has been held twice in the past, 2002 and 2004. Data from those years showed that, after participating in the program, more than half of the participants maintained a grade point average above 2.9 and at least half of the students expressed a greater and deeper interest in pursuing a science-related career, Miles said.

“I am proud of those results,” Miles said. “I feel this program has made an important contribution to the community.”

This summer, six ECU students who major in chemistry, biology and geology will serve as counselors and mentors for the campers. ECU faculty members Andrew Morehead (Chemistry), Anthony Overton (Biology) and Mike O’Driscoll (Geology) will supervise the laboratory activities for the middle school students. Cheryl Treadwell, a science teacher at C.M. Eppes Middle School, will assist the middle school participants with designing their science investigations.

Students will also enhance their test-taking skills, and start work on a science fair project that they will complete during the academic year with help from ECU tutors.

Transportation is provided for students who need it. Campers will receive breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. The application deadline has been extended to April 10.

For more information about the program, visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/msed/ or call Rhea Miles at 252-328-9366.


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Contact: Rhea Miles | 252-328-9366