gO W.E.S.T. Academy, which stands for gO Women for Engineering, Science and Technology Academy, is a new summer camp open to 50 high-performing, underrepresented high-school females. The camp will launch July 7 at Lamar University introducing young women to concepts that will promote their interest in science, technology, engineering, and math.
     Lamar’s College of Education and Human Development and College of Engineering designed the program. Otilia Urbina, executive director of the gO W.E.S.T. Academy and Ryan Underdown, associate professor in the College of Engineering, submitted the proposal to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Engineering Recruitment Program. Lamar’s proposal was ranked first among those submitted by16 Texas institutions by a team of experts from academia, state government and industry. Lamar’s program received a $20,000 grant to conduct the summer camp to attract more women to collegiate engineering programs.
Lamar’s undergraduate engineering enrollment as of fall 2007 was138 females compared to 737 males. Urbina said the proposal was written to address a local, state and national need.
     With support from ExxonMobil and the Beaumont Independent School District, the gO W.E.S.T. Academy will encourage young women to expand their science, technology, engineering and math potential through hands-on, real-world lab activities.
     The camp will take place July 7 -11 for students attending public high schools in Southeast Texas. Students interested in participating will undergo a selection process. For more information, contact Urbina at (409) 880-7793.