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Summer Camps for College 'Prep'

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March 2017


As a mother of a high school student and an experienced teacher of collegians, Brenda Peters, PhD, sees the value in four new camps and workshops that will bring high school students to St. Ambrose this summer.

"Having a child at the high school level, what I have noticed is how much information he is getting from schools," said Peters, a professor of biology and faculty member at St. Ambrose since 1993. "From a selfish perspective, I think it would help to get more high school students on campus to see what St. Ambrose is like, to interact with faculty and experience the advantages SAU has to offer."

Peters and Assistant Professor of Biology Neil Aschliman, PhD, will team teach the Human Body Workshop for high school juniors and seniors on June 19 and 20.

The biology workshop will run concurrent to a Model United Nations camp for students in grades 9-12.

Both camps will be all-day, overnight opportunities that will provide future collegians a taste of the college classroom, and introduce them to the experience of eating in the cafeteria and living in SAU's state-of-the-art residence halls.

In addition to the two overnight camps, St. Ambrose will welcome students in grades 9-12 to a Mock Trial Camp on June 7-8, and a Piano camp, again for students in grades 9-12, June 26-30.

Joseph Hebert, PhD, a professor of political science and leadership studies, and Sarah Gorham '10, a Rock Island attorney and coach of the SAU Mock Trial team, will conduct the June 7-8 camp.

Marian Lee, PhD, a Julliard-trained pianist and assistant professor of music, will lead the Piano Camp.

The four high school experiences join an existing menu of summer camps for grade school students interested in chemistry, writing, health sciences and engineering. The university's coaching staffs also host instructional camps for young athletes in nearly every varsity sport St. Ambrose offers.

Maureen Baldwin, dean of Student and Academic Services and Community College Relations, said more classroom camps for high school students could follow next summer. She described the four additions as part of concerted effort to enliven the campus during summer and essentially add "a third term" to the traditional fall and spring semesters.

She said the academic opportunities fit the summer routine most high school students have experienced since they were toddlers.

"More and more, high school students are looking for experiences that will help them sort out their collegiate and career interests," she said. "And they are looking for events. This is a population that has grown up going to camps and interacting with teams. They don't want that to end with eighth grade."

All four high school camps will provide interactive, hands-on learning experiences. Students in the Human Body Workshop will use the biology department's cadaver lab to explore real human body systems to see how they are connected and how the body functions.

As with all students who learn via generously donated cadavers, Peters said workshop students first will be advised of the ethics of learning with cadavers and the proper treatment. They also will learn it is a unique advantage St. Ambrose is able to offer.

"We always say there is no better way to learn the human anatomy than actually seeing it first hand," she said. "And not just seeing it, but touching it. Thinking about the relationship to structures and, from a scientific perspective always focusing on form and function, how connected those two things are."

The additional camps coincide with a ramped-up summer of activity on the SAU campus that includes 22 classes on campus, 28 online courses and another two hybrid offerings.

Residence halls will open to students who stay for summer classes, who stay in the area to work in the Quad Cities, or who just want to live on campus. Interns from across the country working for Quad Cities businesses also will be staying on Residence Row.

Register for summer camps here.

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