SD Mines offers summer camps to middle and high school students

Sd MinesRAPID CITY, S.D. — South Dakota Mines holds 24 camps each summer, inviting students into the many different realms of science that can be explored at the school.

“They’re STEM camps. They’re here to ignite the passion and the STEM for our students. We have our mechanical engineering camps. We have weather camps. We have students that come from all over the nation to come to our fossils camp,” says Shelli Grinager, assistant director at SD Mines Admissions. “So we have some really unique and fun project-based, hands-on camps for our students.”

21 of those camps are available for high school students.

“Most of our camps are for high schoolers there, for current eighth graders that are going to be rising ninth graders in the summer and to currently graduated seniors,” said Grinager. “We do offer three middle school camps this year. So those students that are currently in fifth grade to seventh grade right now can come and join us for our two-day camps and one virtual mining explosive camp.”

Generally, the camps run for a week from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday or Friday. Plus, they’re led by experts in those fields who hope to share their passions with the next generations.

“They are taught by our prestigious professors.” Grinager explained. “So everything from the Dean of Students for Mechanical Engineering all the way to Dr. Filipovic for creating chemistry. So these are taught by prestigious, all around the world professors that teach at our campus.”

Prices range from $200 to free, depending on the camp.

“It’s very important for everybody and anybody that is interested in STEM and has that kind of passion to be able to experience it,” Grinager added. “We’ve got very generous donors that want to make it possible for these students to come to camp. And so if any student, no matter their economic situation, the family can’t afford it for whatever reason, we want to offer that for them.”

Students have opportunities to explore their interests before making decisions to steer their studies in a more specific direction.

“It’s just a really great way to explore if it’s something you have a passion for. You always pick up where your kid picks up a rock, you know, when they go out walking, check out one of our geology camps. We’ve got several of them,” says Grinager. “It also just kind of helps them to know as they’re in high school if this is something that they want to do for a career.”

The activities are hands-on and exciting, but offer industry exposure as well.

“So in our rocket science camp, those students are building a rocket that they’ve got to be able to keep a raw egg and they shoot it up into the sky and has this parachute that brings it down,” Grinager explains. “Our mining explosive camp fills up very quickly. It is a lot of fun because you get to blow things up. We actually partnered with some of our local companies and town restaurants – going to go out and see real life explosions at these sites.”

Above all, students are encouraged to envision themselves in their dream job.

“Well, these camps help those students to see the possibility,” Grinager said. “Every time you get a kid on campus, no matter for what reason, they’re more likely to go to college because they can see themselves here. And so I think that’s the most important thing is for them to go on campus and see that college is a possibility for them.”

For more information on the summer camps, click here.

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