Tulsa Camp Encourages Teens To Explore Engineering Field

Friday, June 22nd 2012, 5:39 pm
By: News On 6

Wearing blue T-shirts and hard hats, 36 Tulsa middle school kids spent the day visiting construction sites in downtown Tulsa's Brady District.

The tour included ONEOK Field and a two-story media center, which will soon be the home of News On 6.

Friday is the last day of the OSU-Tulsa engineering camp for the group of 8th and 9th-graders.

The Tulsa Alliance for Engineering has taken the students to several universities and businesses across town to teach the kids about what it takes to be an engineer.

"I've honestly learned a lot and I didn't know there were that many [engineering] careers," 15-year-old Madison Rainbolt said.

Alexander Tang, 14, said,"I've learned some stuff about rocketry, civil engineering, petroleum engineering."

With all of Oklahoma's oil and gas production and the construction boon, organizers said the state is a prime spot for engineers. They say there's usually a job waiting for college graduates.

But the key, they said, is to get the kids while they're young.

The alliance has even been working with students as young as kindergarten.

"These kids are curious," the alliance's Xan Black said. "They love math, they love science, so who of those is going to be an engineer? We don't know, so we want to introduce all of them to it, open the door to all of them and say, 'Here's everything that engineering is.'

The students seem to respond and they don't mind spending their summer visiting construction sites instead of relaxing by the pool.

"This is going to make my summer more exciting," Tang said. "I'll learn something new that's going to help me in high school."