Growing ART Academy Adds Robotics Lab

The ART Academy, a week-long residential camp for low-income youth, is adding a robotics lab to its program at Rogers State University this year. The camp, whose acronym is short for Appreciating Real-World Technology, will be held June 14 through June 19 on the RSU Claremore campus.

The new robotics lab is the result of a new grant through AT&T Aspire, according to Dr. Abe Marrero, RSU psychology professor and the event’s principal organizer. He says the lab will tie into concepts found in science, technology, engineering and math, known as STEM education.

Marrero says the camp started in 2013 with 15 students from 10 area high schools and it grows every year. This year the camp is at capacity, with 30 students signed up to participate and others placed on a waiting list.

Marrero said the camp is designed to offer junior and high school students a hands-on classroom experience in a college environment. Many of the participating students would be the first in their family go to college.

“We’re trying to show that some things you do at college are fun,” Marrero said. “We de-mystify college.”

Throughout the week, camp participants will have the opportunity to work with technology used in various fields of study, including leadership development, robotics, media production, microphotography and crime scene investigation. They will also be paired with current RSU students who serve as mentors during the camp.

ART Academy is funded through Gear Up, a U.S. Department of Education program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in college. The program is free to students. RSU collaborated with Northeast Technology Center to produce the camp’s technology-focused curriculum.

For more information, call 918-343-7813.