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Robots, Catapults and Bridges…CCPREP Celebrates 20 Years of Summer STEM Camp and Impacting Young Lives

Article by: Melinda Eddleman

While most sixth through ninth graders have spent their summer sleeping in, going to the beach or hanging out at the mall or the movies, 49 of their peers dedicated their time hitting the books, building architectural and robotic wonders, taking field trips and learning more about the possibilities that the STEM fields have in store for them when they finish their primary and secondary education.

These inquisitive youth spent the past five weeks as part of the 2019 Corpus Christi Prefreshman Engineering Program (CCPREP) summer camp at Del Mar College. And, they make up a special group of campers by marking the program’s 20th anniversary this year.


Over the years, our alumni have become professional engineers, graduate students and even ranked in the top five percent of their high school classes.The program has touched the lives of nearly 1,000 Coastal Bend youth over the past two decades, and we anticipate many more success stories for years to come.
James Shollenberger, CCPREP Program Director, DMC Assistant Professor of Mathematics

CCPREP is the local program for the statewide TexPREP initiative that keeps students engaged in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities each summer.

On July 16, the College’s Emergency Training Building (FEMA Dome) on the West Campus became a hub of competitive activity as youth demonstrated their summer projects as part of the wrap-up to this year’s camp. Students competed in robot races, where teams programmed their custom-made robotic vehicles to navigate a race cours. Campers engaged in strength tests of plastic straw bridges they built to demonstrate their understanding of engineering principles, and they also competed using 3-D printed catapults and launched golf balls s for distance. Others showed off architectural model communities designed under the mentorship of members of the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects; and discussed research projects that focused on “energy.”

View remarks by Shollenberger, regional director of public affairs for Flint Hills Resources Andy Saenz and CCPREP campers below:

The annual six-week summer camp is free to all participants and made possible by funding from Flint Hills Resources, the lead sponsor, with additional support from Del Mar College, Coastal Bend Community Foundation, the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, Citgo and the Texas Department of Transportation, among others.

The program targets high ability middle through high school students interested in pursuing careers in STEM fields. CCPREP is challenging and rigorous, including classroom study, homework and group projects. Campers also are exposed to engineers and scientists during lectures and field trips while benefitting from a “hands-on” college experience.

Campers’ hard work won’t go unrewarded, either, by CCPREP organizers.

A Celebration Ceremony is held the last day (Thursday, July 18, this year) so that each student receives a camp diploma. The 2019 ceremony begins at 7 p.m. in Richardson Performance Hall on the East Campus.

To learn more about the College’s CCPREP summer camp, visit the program’s web pages at www.delmar.edu/offices/math/ccprep/index.html.


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.