PHARR - A group of 34 Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD students and 24 staff members recently participated in the 2018 Rice University Tapia Summer Camps in Houston, held July 8-13, 2018.

Focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), the camps provided students with opportunities to learn about a variety of STEM disciplines through hands-on project-based learning experiences at Rice University. To be selected, students had to be active participants of the Duke TIP Program, a nonprofit organization that serves academically gifted and talented youth. This program is available at all district middle schools.

As part of the innovative camps, rising 8th grade students participated in interactive activities such as communication drills, project presentations, STEM Olympics and they attended lectures from expert speakers. The Tapia Summer Camps focused on encouraging teamwork and improving students’ presentational, perseverance and communication skills.

In addition to sponsoring students, PSJA ISD also sent 24 educators to the Rice Tapia Professional Development Camps, which included a rigorous schedule meant to simulate the student experience by immersing educators into Project-Based Learning (PBL). During the camps, teachers received 35 Continuing Professional Education hours and were challenged with a variety of STEM disciplines with a focus on computer science.