Students Hone Math, Science Skills At BMW, USC Upstate Camp -

Students Hone Math, Science Skills At BMW, USC Upstate Camp

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It's not your typical summer camp.

Some of the best and brightest high school seniors are learning about manufacturing and engineering in a real-life environment.

Wednesday, they took their love of math and science to the test track at the BMW Performance Center in Greer.

Drake Fish, a student at Wade Hampton High School, was eager to get behind the wheel.

"That was awesome," he said, as he climbed out of the car. He's one of many top tier students who will one day get into the driver's seat at manufacturing companies like BMW.

"This has really showed me that I want to do this," said Fish about the program.

It's all part of a 2 week camp. The BMW Manufacturing Summer Camp at USC Upstate is teaching students the tools that engineers use to solve problems.

Tim Ellis, Program Coordinator, Engineering Technology Management at USC Upstate says getting students excited about manufacturing keeps them interested in learning.

"To get them excited about the statistics and math they learn in school in a fun way, and show them how those work in the real world," Ellis explained. "It's not just using your hands anymore, you gotta use your brain."

Showing students the high-tech reality of the industry is important, at a time when those skills are in such demand.

"We hear from all the local manufacturers that they need good talent," said Ellis.

This is the third year for the camp. In this short amount of time, Mark Fendley, Continuous Improvement Manager at BMW, says he's seen the lessons make a difference.

"We've had parents come back to us and say this has changed the direction, maybe the field of study for their students, for their children," Fendley explained.

Mauldin High School Student Zach Girvin says spending part of their summer here helps students find their calling.

"It does give a more realistic view of what you're actually going to be doing if you pursue an engineering path," Girvin said.

Keeping them on the right track - for a good career.

Next year, Ellis says they're hoping to grow the camp to include a healthcare emphasis and increase the number of students accepted into the program.

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