Mines News

Release Date Friday, July 29, 2016

150 High School Students from U.S., Rwanda Participate in Summer Camps

The 2016 Summer Camps program hosted nearly 150 high school students who traveled from 30 states and as far away as Rwanda for personal attention and hands-on experiences doing what South Dakota Mines does best – engineering and science.

This year’s camps ranged from 3D printing to mining explosives, from paleontology to bridge building, from green chemistry to entrepreneurship. The unique, high-quality residential camps offered students the opportunity to engage in field and lab experiments and make connections nationwide.

Over 50 need-based scholarships were awarded.

The goal is to encourage the next generation to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math and get a taste of college life.

Students spent a week working one-on-one with professors to get a Ph.D.-level experience with state-of-the-art laboratory equipment as well as conducting field experiments. Campers also toured engineering companies and explored activities and attractions for which the Rushmore Region is famous.

About one-third of campers were from South Dakota, but students also traveled cross country from states such as New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Michigan.

The longest distance traveled, however, was 11,000 miles from Africa.

Gretha Teta attended the June 20-24 Mining and Explosive mining engineering camp from Kigali, Rwanda. The camp included field trips to Cloud Peak’s Cordero Rojo coal mine near Gillette, Wyo., Coeur’s Wharf gold mine near Lead and Pete Lien’s limestone quarry in Rapid City. Campers also set off explosives of their own such as detonation cord and dynamite in a field near Piedmont.

“The opportunity to participate in the summer mining engineering camp at SD Mines has proved to be invaluable to my academic advancement. When I went to the camp, I had no familiar face with me, but the camp helped me get out of my comfort zone and chat with new people,” Teta said. “Interacting with other highly-motivated students from diverse backgrounds who share my interests and my passion for mining engineering has provided me a rich environment in which I learned and grew. This has increased my motivation to continue to pursue a career in the field.”

Teta was provided a Mines scholarship to help offset camp registration. Cloud Peak provided additional help to fund the cost of Teta’s travel and support her visa application.

“The campers who attended our camps were the kind of quality student that we already find on our campus. Their education and their futures were positively impacted, and they made lasting connections with our faculty, community and Rushmore Region. I am excited to see these students become future Hardrockers,” said Taylor Davis, SD Mines camp coordinator.

South Dakota Mines will host 10 summer camps next year, with registration opening in August.


View photos from the 2016 Summer Camps on our flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdsmt/albums/72157671626998856


About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,778 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $61,300. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Fran LeFort, (605) 394-6082, Fran.LeFort@sdsmt.edu