Kamp Kettering

Aug 7, 2006

Kettering hosts 54 at this year's pre-college adventure in engineering and the sciences for seventh and eighth grade girls.

They call her "The V": the boss; the final authority; sort of like a principal, but one who teaches you Diana Ross lyrics.

"The V" is Virginia Hill of Student Affairs, who is a legend among short students at Kettering - especially the 12 and 13-year-old girls who attend Kamp Kettering.

Kamp Kettering is the University's pre-college, career exploration day camp that provides a diversity of hands-on experiences in engineering, science and math for girls who will enter the seventh and eighth grades this fall. Week 1 of the five-day adventure ran from July 31-Aug. 4. Week 2 ends Aug. 11.

Student Affairs's Betsy Homsher and Terry Love support and offer administrative leadership for the program, but Hill runs the day-to-day operations. She's the official greeter in the early morning and presents the coveted stuffed toy to the lucky girl who arrives first each day.

Last Tuesday, that was Maria Faris. "Kamp Kettering didn't feel like work at all - it felt more like an activity center where all the fun of school was waiting to be discovered," said the 12-year-old who will be a seventh grader at Holy Redeemer Catholic School in Burton this fall. She and Holy Redeemer classmate, Elizabeth Fischer, attended the camp together. "I hope I can come back next year."

Faris's favorite class was Fuel Cell - Hydrogen Energy with Dr. Etim Ubong of Mechanical Engineering. "I think it's interesting to find new kinds of energy without polluting," the young environmentalist said.

Christian Conyers from International Academy thought Venetia Petteway's presentation on "Walk Your Talk" was the best part of camp. Petteway is a corporate relations manager in Kettering's Cooperative Education and Career Services office. "Overall, this is a wonderful experience," Conyers said. "I liked the class with Venetia because it was like being in a counseling session. She reminded us not to hurt other people's feelings."

Shanterya Thompson, also from the International Academy, liked the camp's interactive parts. "I liked the jet engine class the best," she said. "It was easy to understand and the kind of hands-on experience that makes engineering so interesting."

Students made their own hand cream and soaps with Cynthia Aronson and spent time learning about optics, optical fibers and lasers with Corneliu Rablau. Dan Ludwigsen showed them the science of musical instruments in the acoustics lab and Robert Gentner officiated at the ever-popular session on making slime. Other courses during the week were Saroja Kanchi's Introduction to Computer Science, Matthew Sanders' Bridge Building and Dr. Richard Stanley's Statics & Dynamic Animations.

Kamp Kettering participants during the July 31-Aug. 4 session were:

Alyssa Baker of Riley Township,
Rachel Baker of Fenton,
Leecia Barnes of Flint,
Anastasia Bubin of Fenton,
Lacy Buck of St. Petersburg, Fla.,
Meghan Carr of Burton,
Joanne Christy of Flushing,
Kate Colasanti of Grand Blanc,
Christian Conyers of Flint,
Maria Faris of Swartz Creek,
Elizabeth Fischer of Flushing,
Patricia Hrit of Flushing,
Courtney Krause of Mt. Morris,
Sierra McNeal of Flint,
Anna Macherkevich of Grand Blanc,
Tori Mottershead of Commerce Township,
Ashley Payne of Flushing,
Alexaundria Rett of Flint,
Cheree Riddle of Flint,
Lydia Seale of Mt. Morris,
Nikki Taylor of Flint,
Shanterya Thompson of Flint,
Morgan Ulseth of Grand Blanc,
Jaysa Withey of Mt. Morris,
Madisson Witnauer of Grand Blanc,
Kaylee Wittock of Flushing, and
Julia Zayan of Fenton.

Kamp Kettering participants during Aug. 7-11:

Katelyn Anderson of Fenton,
Morgan Blue of Flint,
Jessica Bruce of Flint,
Rachel Burroughs of Flint,
Khaleah Calloway of Flint,
Alaina Ellis of Flushing,
LaTosha Johnson of Mt. Morris,
Alexis Joseph of Flint,
Shivani Kaushal of Grand Blanc,
Julia Kehoe of Flushing,
Destini Leavell of Flint,
Rahel Medhanie of Flint,
Elizabeth Melton of Goodrich,
Jasmyn Milton of Harper Woods,
Saara Mohammed of Swartz Creek,
Ashley Morgan of Flint,
Rosalyn Ringlein of Goodrich,
Jessica Scott of Swartz Creek,
Keni Thomas of Flint,
Lauren Uhrig of Davison,
Rachel Wandmacher of Flint,
Alexis Watkins of Flint,
Emily Wendling of Flushing,
Blake Whitmore of Holly,
Alida Wilson of Flint,
Sara Yufa of Flint, and
Stephanie Zang of Flushing.

After four days of classes, the Kamp Kettering crew travels to Toledo, Ohio, for a field trip to the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) for hands-on learning.

Additionally, each student is given a trendy lime-colored backpack and gifts that include purple-sparkle sunglasses. "I have an awful lot of fun with them," Hill said. "They make me feel young again!"

Written by Patricia Mroczek
(810) 762-9533