Upward Bound Math-Science is part of a group of programs called TRiO funded by the Department of Education. Included in the program is a segment to occur at West Texas A&M University.
The purpose of Upward Bound Math-Science and TRiO is to exercise the intellectual muscles of low-income and first-generation students in the fields of Math and Science. Various professors share the importance of Math and Science across WT.
“Having an appreciation for mathematics and science is vitally important to the growth, security and strength of, not only our nation, but the entire world,” Dr. Nick Flynn, department head over the Math, Chemistry and Physics Department, said. “As our population continues to grow we are going to need to come up with innovative solutions to problems such as food supply, pollution, national security and materials development.”
Along with the TRiO programs, WT also offers several programs for high school students.
“Middle and high school students interested in math and science can enhance their skills through extracurricular activities and summer camps,” Dr. Ashley Campell, associate professor in the Department of Education. “Involvement in activities such as the Science Bowl at WTAMU and the WTAMU Engineering Camp are local examples of ways that interested students can enhance their [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] skills.”
According to the program’s mission statement on WTs’ website, WT offers these by giving middle and high school students access to the university facilities.
“The program’s [Upward Bound Math-Science] mission is to prepare low-income, first-generation college bound students by providing them the exposure to university research, networking opportunities with faculty and graduate students and activities that will enhance their knowledge in the math and science fields,” the website said.
The summer program of TRiO is an opportunity at a unique experience at WT. The students live on campus for five weeks from early June to early July. They attend classes with “hands-on” activities in the STEM field. They attend educational workshops to learn about research and field experience. They find out what it is like to live on a university campus. Plus all expenses are paid with a $15 weekly stipend.
There are selection criteria. A student must be first-generation or low-income. Students must have an acceptable grade point average and must possess a strong desire to attend a university and major in the STEM field. Finally, students must complete all parts of the application process.
The application process for the Upward Bound Math-Science program starts with obtaining of a application packet from the high school counselor, Mathematics teacher, Science teacher or the Upward Bound Math-Science office at WT. Students then need to obtain letters of recommendation from three current teachers. Following the recommendation, the students must then interview with the Upward Bound Math-Science Director or Outreach Coordinator. During the interview, the parents must be in attendance. Afterwards, students will be notified of their acceptance status into the program.
“As an educator of pre-service teachers at the K through eighth grade level, I try to instill the importance of teaching math & science at the elementary and middle school level,” Campbell said. “Considering the importance of science and math to our society, children need a solid foundation in math and science at an early age.”