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January 30, 2003 - Aquinas College is planning an annual Summer Math/Science/Technology Camp for seventh and eighth grade women. Grants from the Michigan Women's Foundation (MWF) and the Nokomis Foundation have made the camp possible and future grants will be forthcoming.

Campers will experience a weeklong slice of college/academic life intended to encourage and support interest in math, science and applications. Some of the College's best math and science majors will serve as teachers/counselors and they will split the instruction load with various professors. The guest speakers and academic topics aim toward museum and industrial visits later in the week.

Besides addressing the gender imbalance in math and the sciences, the planners have also considered the financial difficulties, which keep some bright students from considering college. Aquinas has obtained funding for he camp so that economically challenged campers only pay a small fee for the week.

The structure of he camp borrows from other summer programs and camps with some of the plans taking advantage of Aquinas itself and the Grand Rapids area. A planning committee met on October 21, 2002 and generated some fine ideas. For instance, by using Knapp Hall as a resident, the twelve campers and three counselors will be housed in building that they will not share with other summer program attendees. The campers, on campus from June 23 through June 27, will have the opportunity to mix with members of the Aquinas Summer Jazz Camp and attend the concerts. A second camp session will be held from July 7 through July 11.

An example of a topic, which starts at Aquinas and ends with a local visit, is a study of stereoscopic imaging. Campers, equipped with their own viewers, compasses and straightedge, will learn how to construct their own stereoscopic geometric figures and how to make them on a
computer. A visit to the IMAX theatre for a stereoscopic movie will follow and provide more than just a fun trip. The campers will be knowledgeable insiders.

Michael E. McDaniel, Ph.D., Chairman of the Aquinas Mathematics Department, says, "Here is an opportunity to encourage financially challenged young women in mathematics and science. Since such a camp fits the mission of Aquinas College, we have students, staff, administrators and faculty interested in giving the campers an excellent experience. I never have to explain the purpose beyond a few sentences because the people here immediately understand our motivation."

The Michigan Women's Foundation is the first and most experienced statewide foundation that identifies, supports, and invests in women and girls. Founded in 1986, the mission of the Michigan Women's Foundation is to promote the economic self-sufficiency for women and girls in the state of Michigan. Over those sixteen years, MWF has granted more than $3 million to approximately 325 nonprofits thought the state.

Consistently ranked one of the top liberal arts colleges in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report, Aquinas College offers an approach to learning and living that teaches students unlamented ways of seeing the world. Founded in 1886 by the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids, the College's Dominican tradition of working, service and lifelong learning remains alive today in a diverse student body. Students from more than 22 states and 15 foreign countries are enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs. Within six months of graduation, nearly all graduates are in full-time jobs, enrolled in professional schools of law, medicine, or dentistry, or in a master or doctoral program.