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Robot Races and Bridge Breaking Among Projects Demonstrated During 2023 Engineering Summer Camp Competitions

Flint Hills Resources marking 11th year as lead sponsor of local Texas Prefreshman Engineering Program designed to inspire young minds to pursue STEM studies and careers

Article by Rosa Linda Reynoso
(updated 7/24/23)

On July 18, 40 area sixth- and seventh-grade students demonstrated their summer projects as part of the 2023 Corpus Christi Prefreshman Engineering Program (CCPREP) held at Del Mar College. The annual summer program is part of the statewide Texas Prefreshman Engineering Program (TexPREP) that encourages students to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related fields.

After attending the intensive summer camp for six weeks, these dedicated youth demonstrated the knowledge they acquired during competitions that included robot races that showed design and coding skills, plastic straw bridge building techniques that tested strength under pressure and a display of community architectural models that focused on design and applicable engineering principles.

Del Mar College’s program is designed for high achieving students with ‘A’ averages in all of their core courses. And, our philosophy is to prepare these students to excel while attending college, not to just get into college. We believe students who complete the College’s TexPREP are going to progress forward and finish their bachelor’s degree.

James Shollenberger, CCPREP Program Co-Director and DMC Associate Professor of Mathematics

CCPREP  is free and would not have remained possible without the support provided by industry partner Flint Hills Resources, which has served as the lead sponsor for 11 years and has donated approximately $170,000 overall.



We are incredibly proud of our 11-year partnership with Del Mar College in inspiring students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Through TexPREP, we have had the privilege of supporting some of the best and brightest students in the community. We believe these students have the potential to shape our future workforce, and we are committed to supporting their educational journey.

Andy Saenz, Regional Director of Public Affairs with Flint Hills Resources

Students also learned more about STEM-based career opportunities with guest speakers sharing their experiences and the skills and knowledge needed to enter their fields. This year’s program included representatives from Flint Hills Resources and Valero covering refineries, Chemours covering the chemical industry, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers covering civil engineering, DMC faculty speaking on academia and Workforce Solutions Coastal Bend providing information about opportunities in the region, among others.

Del Mar College offers the program to talented middle- to high school-age students who want to get a head start or continue studies in STEM. The curriculum emphasizes study and research work in mathematics, computer science and engineering with an overall objective of increasing the number of students who will pursue these studies when they attend college.




About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.