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Students Experience a Taste of College at NSBE Summer Camp

This is a photo of four students looking on as a man in a hard hat demonstrates something with an electrical truck.Amari Laub was out of his dorm room in Syracuse University’s Kimmel Hall by 7:30 am. He walked with his friends to the University’s Ernie Davis Dining Hall. Then, he headed to class.
Amari isn’t an SU student – yet. He’s an incoming Nottingham freshman who, thanks to the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Summer Camp, had the opportunity to spend a week living and learning on the SU campus this summer!

Along with 40 other students, Amari used the one-week camp as a way to help him explore his interest in STEM as well as get an inside look at what college will be like.
“This was my first on campus experience,” he shared. “It was really cool learning what the college experience would kind of be like and getting an early feel for how the campus functions.”
ITC incoming sophomore Tristan Bey has been attending the NSBE Summer Camp since 2019.
“I like the NSBE Summer Camp because I like meeting people, building with robotics, and seeing what I can do,” Tristan shared. “It gives me a perspective into what college will be like. I like the teachers and how they treat us and really engage us in what we’re learning. I like the presentations, and I like learning new things!”
Tristan shared how he was using his creativity – and a provided tool kit – to build his own machine using conductors of electricity. He was building a car, while some of his peers were working on sound machines or devices to charge a calculator.
“My favorite part of the summer camp is the classes,” Tristan said. “I like trying new things out and seeing how they work. I like using my creativity!”
As part of the NSBE Summer Camp, each day, students attended a math class and a science class. They heard from guest speakers representing National Grid and Syracuse University’s Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP).
This summer, the focus was on teaching students about energy and power. They learned how to calculate total potential and kinetic energy, they learned about circuits and how electricity flows, they conducted experiments using water balloons, and they even had the opportunity to build their own wind turbines – competing against each other to see who could generate the most energy!
“At first, I didn’t know how to do it, so I was putting the blades straight,” Amari said. “I didn’t get much energy. Then, I learned that you have to tilt the blades a little bit so they catch the wind. You can’t have too many blades or too few or it won’t move at the right speed… and the length of the blades is an important factor as well! We had classes about how we can make energy more efficient. My favorite part was learning so many interesting statistics about energy, like how much energy an average home uses and how energy is distributed throughout the world. I’ve learned so much about energy and about all the jobs you can have in that field. It’s opened my mind to how big this field actually is and what kinds of jobs could be open to me.”
After hearing from powerline workers, engineers and others, the students were able to see the workers’ equipment, their vehicles, and more.
Outside of the academic piece, the students were invited to participate in teambuilding social events like roller skating, outdoor laser tag, outdoor games and more.
“I’d definitely do another NSBE summer camp in the future,” Amari said. “It’s cool how they make it so fun!”
“I like the atmosphere on the college campus,” Tristan added. “It’s so big and clean. We can chill in the lounge, meet new people and play games! I always knew I’m going to go college, but this experience makes me want to go to SU and is helping me get an idea for what I may want to study. I’m really interested in STEM, and we’ve learned about biotech – how we are changing the world and making things more green. That changed my perspective. I really want to innovate and help improve the world.”
The Syracuse City School District would like to share a special ‘thank you’ to National Grid for their $100,000 donation in support of the NSBE summer camp!
Anthony Q. Davis, Superintendent
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
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