news releases

2006.01.09 > For Immediate Release
contact: Teresa Gleason - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: tmgleason@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO Summer Science and Math Camps Expand to After-School Pilot Program

Omaha - Starting this month, students at Western Hills Elementary will be staying after school, but not because they're in trouble for shoving on the playground or starting a food fight in the cafeteria.

They'll be having fun while studying math and science in conjunction with a new venture launched by the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

The university's popular Aim for the Stars program, which offers summer science and math camps on the UNO campus for students entering grades four through nine, is expanding to offer similar sessions in an after-school setting.

The pilot after-school program will be held at Western Hills, an Omaha Public Schools elementary school.  Session I begins Wednesday, Jan. 18, and continues on Wednesdays and Fridays through Feb. 10.  Interested students in grades three through six will meet from 3:50 to 6 p.m. on these dates.  The cost is $35 per student.

"I'm very pleased with UNO's pilot extension of the Aim for the Stars program," said Shelton Hendricks, dean of the UNO College of Arts and Sciences.  The college houses the UNO Department of Physics, which coordinates Aim for the Stars activities.

"With this expansion into the after-school arena, we anticipate UNO making more significant contributions to the mathematics and science education of the youth of our region," Hendricks said.  He also noted the efforts of Robert Graham, chair of the UNO Department of Physics, and Connie O'Brien, Aim for the Stars camp director, in growing the program. 

Students in grades three and four will be discovering ‘totally cool' math and science concepts through hands-on activities involving water, sound, robotics, engineering and more.  They will investigate simple machines, also, O'Brien said.

Students in grades five and six will be making maps and analyzing topographic maps.  They will also tackle "Lego Robotics," which includes programming and troubleshooting a robot that will accomplish a set task.

The Western Hills pilot program will be staffed by Heather Harbison and Linda Collins, both instructors with the Aim for the Stars summer science and math camps and Omaha Public Schools teachers.

"The hands-on, fun nature of Aim for the Stars allows kids to get excited about math and science," O'Brien said.  "It's a great way to facilitate learning."

For more information about the Aim for the Stars pilot program at Western Hills, contact O'Brien at 402.554.4999 or cobrien@mail.unomaha.edu.

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