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National Grid Partners with UB to Offer Summer Camp for Tomorrow's Engineers

By Mary Cochrane

Release Date: May 31, 2012

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Where can future engineers go to build robots, learn about engineering disasters and test toy buildings on a life-sized earthquake shake table? Beginning this July, they can go to the University at Buffalo, thanks to a generous gift from National Grid.

National Grid has given $200,000 over four years to the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences to run an annual weeklong residential summer camp for 60 high school students entering their sophomore and junior years.

This year, spots for the camp -- to be held July 30-Aug. 2 on the North Campus -- are being filled via a nomination process in selected high schools, including Amherst, Buffalo, Clarence, Sweet Home and Williamsville. School administrators nominated students with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher (95 and up) and mathematical ability who are interested in engineering careers. Beginning in 2013, eligible students will be able to apply on their own to participate in the camp. For information about applying, contact Marilyn Helenbrook at 645-3066 ext. 1114, or by email at helenbrk@buffalo.edu.

Camp participants experience UB campus life, interacting with professors and college students while learning engineering concepts. Students live on campus and are supervised by faculty and dorm counselors. The camp will include demonstrations and hands-on activities in engineering disciplines, including design, team building and leadership skills. Students also will participate in lab and computer exercises, field trips and recreational activities.

"The National Grid/UB Engineering Leadership Camp is a perfect fit for our company's long-standing commitment to supporting science, technology, engineering and math education among our youth," said Dennis Elsenbeck, ME '96, regional executive for National Grid in Buffalo. "The energy industry is growing and changing rapidly, and we believe there will be tremendous opportunities for the next generation of engineers and researchers. Our goal is to pique students' interest and support their development early, and we're again pleased to partner with the University at Buffalo to make this a reality."

"We are grateful to National Grid for its generous gift to help spur high school students' interest in engineering," said Rajan Batta, interim dean of the school. "We look forward to a long partnership with them to help students learn about all the avenues that engineering offers them."

And building robots? That begins on Day 2 of camp, using Lego Mindstorms Robotics Kits.