Chemical engineering camp mixes high school students, hands-on summer learning


RAPID CITY, S.D. - Sixteen high-school campers from South Dakota and around the country came to the School of Mines from July 21-26 for an intensive, hands-on introduction to chemical and biological engineering (CBE), and the opportunities that come with a degree in engineering. 

The Chemical and Biological Engineering Institute is a five-day residential summer camp designed to get students excited about engineering through hands-on activities and field trips. The curriculum is developed and taught by SDSMT professors in the chemical and biological engineering department, including Dr. Dave Dixon.

"Students learned the breadth of the chemical engineering discipline, including micro electronics, biofuels, petroleum, bio-fuels production, alternative energy, polymers, catalysis, food, and pharmaceuticals," Dixon said. 

The CBE Institute exposes students to careers chemical engineering graduates from SDSMT are involved in and that impact South Dakota's workforce development.  Students toured Prairie Berry Winery in Hill City, observing firsthand how chemical engineering is used in the region.

Campers also had the opportunity to meet and talk with SDSMT alumni working in the chemical engineering industry including Mat Peabody (BS ChE 1972), who started CalxAqua in Rapid City and Keith Flanegan (BS ChE 2003) , who started his own engineering consulting business called ideaChem. 

The South Dakotan students participating in the camp included Harley Lindamood and Zachary Schmitz of Sioux Falls, SD; Joseph Bauer of Piedmont, SD; Justin Bendesky of Vermillion, SD; and Jackson Peterson of Box Elder, SD.

Campers from out-of-state included Matthew Green of Brighton, CO; Sarah Rees of Parker, CO; Ariana Lopez of Worthington, MN; Kari Radko of Elk River, MN; Connor Claus of Eden Prairie, MN; Tomas Romero of Fayetteville, NC; Bryce Watson of Albuquerque, NM; Dorian Carter and Matthew Slizys of New York City; and Kenneth Petry of Gillette, WY.

For more information on this and other School of Mines camps in 2014, interested students, parents, and counselors may call (605) 394-2693. Updated information will be posted at as it becomes available.

Media Contact
Chris Marshall

(605) 394-2585


Check out our camp photos!

CTA photo 173