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Michigan Tech holds 50th annual Summer Youth Program

Middle and high school students get early college experience and start possible career paths
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 6:24 PM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Since 1972, Michigan Tech University has held its Summer Youth Program, giving kids finishing sixth to eleventh grade an opportunity to take courses, ranging from Engineering to Computer Science.

“We have classes on everything,” said Jannah Tumey, the Assistant Director of MTU’s Center for Educational Outreach, “from Aviation to Forensic Science to Michigan Species of Concern and other ecology-type classes and Chemistry.”

On average, at least 1,000 people take part each year.

One of the programs this week is Women in Engineering. Madelyn Hachenski, a rising high school junior from Riverview, has had fun making some glow slime and doing it with her classmates.

“It’s just good to branch out,” Hachenski said. “I’m not from around here, so to meet people from all over the country is great.”

While the kids learn, Tumey says they also get an early college experience.

“Getting yourself up, eating in the dining hall, staying in the residence hall, finding their way around campus, and some of those different things,” she said.

Tumey says the program is more than middle and high school students getting an early college experience. It is also about them getting started on possible career paths.

“They get to discover their passion,” she explained. “They get a little sample, and they get to see if a certain career field is right for them. And, they get to try different things that maybe they haven’t had the experience to in their own schools.”

While Hachenski is leaning towards Mechanical Engineering, she says other options could be on the table.

“I’ve now been exposed to nine different types of engineering,” she said. “I have a better idea and sense of what to expect in those classes and maybe go into a different one.”

The program is hoping to continue to expand and have more classes and participants moving forward.

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