HISS Supports Reach for the Stars Camp

Back to Newsroom

October 1, 2007

HISS Engineers and Interns Support the Reach for the Stars Science Camp

Worcester and Wicomico counties had 27 middle school students attend the Reach for the Stars Balloon Science Camp. As a cooperative effort of the STEP UP (Science, Technology, and Engineering Pipeline for Underserved Populations) coalition, UMES/HISS, NASA, the Easter Seals of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore and the Lower Shore Tri- County Council, the camp had at risk students and those with disabilities working with gifted and talented students.

Engineers and Interns from HISS, NASA, and UMES, taught campers about space and balloon atmospheric science. Campers then designed their own balloon payloads to use for conducting atmospheric experiments. With the assistance of engineers and technical interns, the students launched their payloads on a weather balloon, complete with Coast Guard retrieval. At the same time, UMES rehabilitation sciences interns gained first hand knowledge of students with disabilities being capable of pursuing careers that use their full range of intellectual and personal abilities.

This camp is just part of a larger effort to reach out and encourage students to pursue careers involving Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), in hopes that they will continue through the programs as interns, coops, and hopefully as scientists or engineers. According to the Easter Seals’ Director of Marketing, Ford Waggoner III, the camp “allowed students with disabilities to participate in all aspects of the camp program while they are learning and growing.”

STEP UP is a collaborative effort that involves federal, state, educational and community agencies that together will develop the technology workforce.