August 18, 2022

Summer Camp Gives High School Students a Glimpse of College Life

Rappahannock High School rising senior Shaniyah Lanier participates in ‘Kitchen Chemistry’ during UMW’s Summer Enrichment Program, as Professor of Chemistry Kelli Slunt looks on. The residential program gives high-schoolers a glimpse of college life. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Rappahannock High School rising senior Shaniyah Lanier participates in ‘Kitchen Chemistry’ during UMW’s Summer Enrichment Program, as Professor of Chemistry Kelli Slunt looks on. The residential program gives high-schoolers a glimpse of college life. Photo by Suzanne Carr Rossi.

Holding tight to a video camera aimed at his face, high school junior Simon Young became a blur of motion earlier this month, whirling on a whimsical stool in the University of Mary Washington’s Hurley Convergence Center. The experience and its result – a panoramic portrayal of Simon’s dizzying ride on the curious chair – was part of a lesson in virtual and augmented reality.

Billed as an exploration of science fact rather than science fiction, the class was one of several – from kitchen chemistry to computational physics – available to rising 10th- through 12th-graders who took part in UMW’s weeklong Summer Enrichment Program (SEP). Packed with immersive instruction and high-impact activities, the unique residential program creates a microcosm of college, giving teens a taste of how it feels to live and learn on campus.

“I wanted a snapshot of college life,” said Zack Roland, a senior at Stafford’s Mountain View High School. “It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.” Read more.