Fifty years, and going strong. A group of central Indiana students are participating in the Capapult program at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute.
The program is one of the oldest STEM-related summer educational experiences in the country.
“They meet students like them with similar interests who enjoy science, engineering and math. A lot of the students may come from a small school where there’s not a large number students who have the same interests they have, so they come to Rose Hulman and find 'wow there’s a lot of students who enjoy what I enjoy,'” says director Michael Robinson.
The aspiring scientists and engineers work in teams to complete several projects..
“We have science projects where we have a group of students looking at bacteria that occurs naturally in soil and looking at their anti-bacterial properties. We have students who are trying to grow algae to extract bio-diesel,” says Robinson.
Besides the projects, students are experiencing campus life – living in a residence hall, having a roommate, and participating in social and intramural activities. There also have been plant trips to learn about innovative practices at high-tech Indiana companies; visiting engineers, scientists and computer programmers; and attending lectures by Rose-Hulman professors on a variety of STEM issues.
Approximately 10,000 students have participated in the program over the course of its 50-year history.