Jones Academy to Host STEM Camp

Summer is an exciting time in Choctaw Nation. With many events occurring between June and August, tribal members of all ages have their pick of ways to enjoy the mid-year months.

This summer, 9-12th graders who hold a CDIB card are encouraged to attend the Science Technology Engineer and Mathematics (STEM) Camp at historic Jones Academy in Hartshorne from July 13-18.

During the week-long residential camp, students will be able to partake in exciting, hands-on STEM-centered events such as robotics, forensics and engineering. Trips to a bio-med forensics lab, computer-aided drafting (CAD) lab and an engineering lab will give participants a feel for the broad range of STEM professions available after graduation. Students will also experience environmental science and learn about the impacts of climate variability in our state.  Classic summer outings such as trips to Robbers Cave State Park and the movies will also be on the docket for the camp.

“We want to give our students opportunities to explore varying STEM disciplines and allow them to experience these disciplines in a hands-on, culturally relevant way through workshops and field trips,” stated Karen McGaugh, project coordinator for the camp.

McGaugh’s statement reflects Choctaw Nation’s vision of achieving successful, productive and self-sufficient lifestyles for tribal members, as a STEM oriented transcript can draw considerable interest from colleges and major corporations, according to Stephanie Gardner, college prep coordinator for the Choctaw Nation Scholarship Advisement Program (SAP).  This means Choctaws who are involved at an early stage will create numerous prospects for themselves in the future. 

“We want our Native students to understand that they are capable of successfully going on to post-secondary education or directly into a career in any number of STEM disciplines,” continued McGaugh.

This program is made possible by an award from Oklahoma NSF EPSCoR and a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Other contributors include Oklahoma CareerTech and KISS Institute for Practical Robotics. All housing and transportation will be provided by the Choctaw Nation.

Applications are due May 9, and space is limited. Must be in grades 9-12, hold a CDIB card and have successfully completed Algebra 1. Download the application here .

Please contact for more information.

Portions of this story are reprinted from a Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma press release.