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Girl power electrifies 2015 Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp at MTSU

That electrifying sound emanating soon from the MTSU campus will be the sound of young girls finding their voices.

The 13th annual Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp, slated for July 27 through Aug. 1, will give nearly 50 girls between the ages of 10 and 17 a chance to express themselves through music and show an audience what they’ve learned.

The band “Spotlight Slayers” performs the song “Good Time” at the showcase concert concluding the 2014 Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp at MTSU. (Photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)

The band “Spotlight Slayers” performs the song “Good Time” at the showcase concert concluding the 2014 Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp at MTSU. (Photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)

MTSU alumna Kelley Anderson, a co-founder of Those Darlins and a professional musician and audio engineer, created the day camp in 2003 to give young women an empowering, positive place for self-expression through music.

“We’ve got a lot of campers that are coming back this year as volunteers,” said Sarah Bandy, administrative director of the camp’s parent nonprofit organization, Youth Empowerment through Arts and Humanities.

Campers will check in at 8:30 a.m. each morning Monday through Friday, followed by assembly at 9 a.m. They are to be picked up by 5:30 p.m.

To find parking and buildings on campus, attendees can use the printable map at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking14-15.

Activities, most of which will take place in the Wright Music Building, include instruction from experienced musicians in beginning and advanced guitar, beginning and advanced drums, vocals, electronic music and bass.

The camp will culminate in a showcase concert at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, at Hinton Hall in the Wright Music Building. Tickets are $10 for adults ages 18 and over and $5 for ages 10 through 17; children under 10 will be admitted at no charge.

You can watch a video from the 2014 showcase below.

http://youtu.be/AJVgl2Yyi7w

Members of the audience can win guitars, massages, gift certificates, a scholarship to next year’s camp and other prizes in a raffle on the day of the showcase.

Workshops in recording, screen printing, photography, image and identity and music “herstory” will be provided. There also will be daily lunchtime performances from local acts such as Wildfront, Sallow, Becky Buller and many more.

Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp is a program of Youth Empowerment through Arts and Humanities, or YEAH!, a Murfreesboro-based nonprofit organization. For more information, contact YEAH! at 615-849-8140 or artsempoweryouth@gmail.com, or visit the SGRRC Facebook page.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Young musicians celebrate the 2013 Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp inside MTSU's Wright Music Hall in this file photo provided by Youth Empowerment through Arts and Humanities.

Young musicians celebrate the 2013 Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp inside MTSU’s Wright Music Hall in this file photo provided by Youth Empowerment through Arts and Humanities.

Chinese students wrap up cultural exchange visit at Student Union

A group of 30-plus Chinese children visiting Murfreesboro as part of an educational and cultural exchange wrapped up their visit July 14 with closing ceremonies in the Student Union Ballroom.2eeee

In town since July 10, the visitors from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University also included Chinese educators and parents.

Confucius Institute logoTheir five-day visit marked the fourth year of a reciprocal exchange program organized by the university. Rutherford students visited China in 2012 and 2014, and Dongcheng students first came to the Murfreesboro campus in 2013. The delegation’s visit ended July 15.

The Confucius Institute, named for the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, is sponsored by China’s Education Ministry to promote Chinese language, history and culture through tours, exchanges and university partnerships. There are more than 440 institutes in 120 countries.

MTSU joined with Hangzhou Normal to open its institute in 2010. The two partners recently extended their pact for an additional five years.

MTSU first lady Elizabeth McPhee, right, chats with a student from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University in China during closing ceremonies Tuesday night in the Student Union Ballroom to wrap up their visit to Murfreesboro. The visit, which included elementary and middle schoolers as well as educators from China, was facilitated by the MTSU Confucius Institute, which works to develop cultural and educational ties between China and the United States. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU first lady Elizabeth McPhee, right, chats with a student from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University in China during closing ceremonies July 14 in the Student Union Ballroom to wrap up their visit to Murfreesboro. The visit, which included elementary and middle schoolers as well as educators from China, was facilitated by the MTSU Confucius Institute, which works to develop cultural and educational ties between China and the United States. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Elementary and middle school children from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University in China perform during closing ceremonies Tuesday night in the Student Union Ballroom to wrap up their visit to Murfreesboro. The visit was facilitated by the MTSU Confucius Institute, which works to develop cultural and educational ties between China and the United States. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Elementary and middle school students from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University in China perform during closing ceremonies July 14  in the Student Union Ballroom to wrap up their visit to Murfreesboro. The visit was facilitated by the MTSU Confucius Institute, which works to develop cultural and educational ties between China and the United States.

 


 

Games, fun for Chinese students at MTSU President’s picnic [+VIDEO]

July 13, 2015

The lawn of the MTSU President’s Residence turned into a picnic ground July 13 for the 30-plus Chinese school children visiting Murfreesboro as part of an educational and cultural exchange organized by the university.

Cheerleaders from Blackman High School and MTSU welcome a delegation of visiting Chinese youngsters from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University to MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee’s official residence Monday. At center is MTSU first lady Elizabeth McPhee. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Cheerleaders from Blackman High School and MTSU welcome a delegation of visiting Chinese youngsters from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University to MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee’s official residence July 13. At center is MTSU first lady Elizabeth McPhee. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

The visitors from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University started the day at Overall Creek Elementary School, where retired Murfreesboro City Schools educator Elizabeth McPhee, the first lady of the university, arranged for them to explore American-style classrooms and meet with local teachers.

They returned to campus by midday for a picnic at the President’s Residence that resembled a pep rally with cheerleaders from Blackman High School and MTSU welcoming the group.

Blackman cheerleaders did face-painting for the Chinese children as well, and a watermelon-eating contest followed lunch.

The head coaches from MTSU’s volleyball and soccer teams, Matt Peck and Aston Rhoden, as well as players from both teams, also led the visitors in demonstrations of both sports. The lawn featured soccer goals and a volleyball net for the occasion.

The children, ranging from middle- to high-school ages, clearly were thrilled by all of the activities, as was MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee.

“What a beautiful day for a picnic,” President McPhee said. “It’s another great experience for our Chinese guests to treasure about their visit to our campus and our country.”

Watch a video from the picnic:

http://youtu.be/aFSq2RgOfEY

The group, led by former HNU President and Dongcheng Chairman Lin Zhengfan, left the picnic for a tour of the MTSU campus, then viewed science projects by Scales Elementary School students on display in the lobby of MTSU’s Science Building.

MTSU’s mascot, Lightning, gets to know Chinese children visiting from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University on the grounds of the MTSU President’s Residence Monday. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU’s mascot, Lightning, gets to know Chinese children visiting from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University on the grounds of the MTSU President’s Residence July 13. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

They spent the evening socializing with the families of Rutherford County students who visited Hangzhou last year as part of the annual reciprocal visits organized by MTSU’s Confucius Institute.

Teachers and administrators from both countries will huddle July 14 to exchange ideas and swap classroom experiences, a feature that President McPhee said is the centerpiece of the visit. The delegation’s five-day trip to the United States ends July 15.

The Confucius Institute, named for the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, is sponsored by China’s Education Ministry to promote Chinese language, history and culture through tours, exchanges and university partnerships. There are more than 440 institutes in 120 countries.

MTSU joined with Hangzhou Normal to open its institute in 2010. The two partners recently extended their pact for an additional five years.

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, fifth row, center, poses Monday with the delegation from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University, MTSU cheerleaders and cheerleaders from Blackman High School in front of the President’s Residence. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, fifth row, center, poses July 13 with the delegation from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University, MTSU cheerleaders and cheerleaders from Blackman High School in front of the President’s Residence. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Visiting youngsters from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University experience what an American classroom is like Monday at Overall Creek Elementary School in Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Visiting youngsters from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University experience what an American classroom is like at Overall Creek Elementary School in Murfreesboro. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

A youngster from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University enjoys watermelon at a picnic Monday on the grounds of the MTSU President’s Residence. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

A youngster from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University enjoys watermelon at a July 13 picnic on the grounds of the MTSU President’s Residence. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)


 

MTSU brings 30-plus Chinese children to East Tennessee

July 12, 2015

MARYVILLE, Tennessee — More than 30 elementary and middle school students from Hangzhou, China, came to east Tennessee July 12 as part of a five-day education and cultural exchange program organized by Middle Tennessee State University.

The 30-plus Chinese youngsters, accompanied by parents, teachers and administrators, came from Murfreesboro to Maryville by bus for a picnic lunch on the farm of Keith and Peggy McCord, then traveled to The Lost Sea Adventure, part of the Craighead Caverns near Sweetwater.

A delegation of Chinese school children, sponsored by Middle Tennessee State University, pose with Keith and Peggy McCord on Sunday after a picnic on the McCordsÕ Maryville, Tennessee, farm. (MTSU photo)

A delegation of Chinese school children, sponsored by Middle Tennessee State University, pose with Keith and Peggy McCord July 12 after a picnic on the McCords’ Maryville, Tennessee, farm. (MTSU photo)

McCord, a former member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, and his family helped MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and his wife, Elizabeth, plan the excursion to east Tennessee. Chinese students were treated to a barbecue at the McCords’ farm, played games and explored a nearby pond.

“We deeply appreciate the kindness and generosity of the McCords in hosting our Chinese visitors,” said McPhee. “It was an opportunity to showcase this beautiful part of Tennessee and provide them experiences they will not forget.”MTSU Wordmark

The visit is the fourth of the reciprocal exchanges between MTSU and the Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University. Rutherford County students visited China in 2012 and 2014, and Dongcheng students first came to the Murfreesboro campus in 2013.

The delegation will tour an elementary school, view science projects by Rutherford students on display in the lobby of MTSU’s Science Building and learn about MTSU’s partnerships with universities in China.

Teachers and administrators from both countries, meanwhile, will participate in educational workshops. McPhee said what makes this exchange unique is the opportunity for teachers and administrators from both counties to collaborate and share ideas.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, and Yiping Cui, associate director of MTSU's Confucius Institute listen to Keith McCord's welcome to a delegation Chinese school children visiting his Maryville, Tenn., farm on Sunday. (MTSU Photo)

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, left, and Yiping Cui, associate director of MTSU’s Confucius Institute listen to Keith McCord’s welcome to a delegation Chinese school children visiting his Maryville, Tenn., farm July 12. (MTSU Photo)

The exchange is coordinated by MTSU’s Confucius Institute. Named for the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, the institute is sponsored by China’s Education Ministry to promote Chinese language, history and culture through tours, exchanges and university partnerships. There are more than 440 institutes in 120 countries.

MTSU joined with Hangzhou Normal to open its institute in 2010 and recently extended the partnership for an additional five years.

Under the leadership of Director Guanping Zheng and Associate Director Yiping Cui, MTSU’s institute has helped teach Chinese language and culture to more than 2,000 students in seven Tennessee counties. It also offers long-distance language training via satellite TV and the Internet.

MTSU also announced plans in March to build a Chinese Music and Cultural Center, which will be funded from a $1 million grant from Hanban, the headquarters operation of the Confucius Institutes.

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)


 

Chinese youngsters introduced to Murfreesboro, MTSU

July 11, 2015

The 30-plus Chinese youngsters visiting Murfreesboro July 11 as part of an educational and cultural exchange organized by MTSU started with a heavy dose of Tennessee history and local geography.

But it’s safe to say that the Discovery Center at Murfree Springs was the high point for the middle and high school students visiting Middle Tennessee, along with many parents, teachers and administrators, as part of an reciprocal exchange facilitated by MTSU’s Confucius Institute.

A guide at the Discovery Center at Murfree Springs on Saturday shows a reptile to Chinese school children visiting Murfreesboro as part of an educational and cultural exchange organized by MTSU. (MTSU Photo)

A guide at the Discovery Center at Murfree Springs shows a reptile to Chinese school children visiting Murfreesboro July 11 as part of an educational and cultural exchange organized by MTSU.

Day One for the visitors from Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University started at the Embassy Suites, where retired Murfreesboro City Schools educator Elizabeth McPhee, the first lady of the university, mapped out a morning for cultural orientation.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee web

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Guests moved from table to table, where Rutherford County students who visited Hangzhou last year described different elements of the local community.A first visit to the MTSU Student Union Building for lunch followed, then the delegation was treated to a special day at Discovery Center, hosted by the center’s CEO Tara McDougall.

Chinese students, joined by their American counterparts, clearly enjoyed the center’s interactive exhibits, including the large, two-story twisting tube slide. They also got to see and touch animals and reptiles in the center’s collection.

“We want this to be a life-changing experience,” MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee told the delegation at the start of the five-day visit. “You will discover that we live in a beautiful state with a rich history and culture.

“The program that we have put together for you over the next few days will show you the many treasures of Tennessee.”

The university held formal welcoming ceremonies for the delegation July 11 at an evening event at the Student Union Building that featured country-western music, dancing and activities.

They will travel to east Tennessee July 12, where the delegation will visit The Lost Sea attraction, part of the Craighead Caverns near Sweetwater.

On July 13, the delegation will tour Overall Creek Elementary School, view science projects by Scales Elementary School students on display in the lobby of MTSU’s Science Building and learn about MTSU’s partnerships with universities in China.

Chinese school children visiting Murfreesboro as part of an educational and cultural exchange organized by MTSU learned about the Middle Tennessee area from local elementary and high school students during Saturday's opening session at the Embassy Suites Hotel. (MTSU photo)

Chinese youngsters visiting Murfreesboro as part of an educational and cultural exchange organized by MTSU learned about the Middle Tennessee area from local elementary and high school students during a July 11 opening session at the Embassy Suites Hotel. (MTSU photo)

Teachers and administrators from both countries also will huddle that day to exchange ideas and swap classroom experiences, a feature that President McPhee said is the centerpiece of the annual reciprocal visits.

The Confucius Institute, named for the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, is sponsored by China’s Education Ministry to promote Chinese language, history and culture through tours, exchanges and university partnerships. There are more than 440 institutes in 120 countries.

Under the leadership of Director Guanping Zheng and Associate Director Yiping Cui, MTSU’s institute has helped teach Chinese language and culture to more than 2,000 students in seven Tennessee counties. It also offers long-distance language training via satellite TV and the Internet.

MTSU joined with Hangzhou Normal to open its institute in 2010. The two partners recently extended their pact for an additional five years.

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)


 

MTSU to welcome 30+ Chinese children for cultural exchange

July 10, 2015

MTSU will welcome elementary and middle school children Friday, July 10, from Hangzhou, China, for a five-day visit, marking the fourth year of an education and cultural exchange program organized by the university.

MTSU cheerleaders welcome a delegation of elementary and middle school children and educators from Hangzhou, China, during the group's inaugural visit to campus in July 2013. More youngsters, their parents and teachers will be at MTSU beginning July 10 to develop student exchanges and cultural ties with Tennessee schools. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU cheerleaders welcome a delegation of elementary and middle school children and educators from Hangzhou, China, during the group’s inaugural visit to campus in July 2013. More youngsters, their parents and teachers will be at MTSU beginning July 10 to develop student exchanges and cultural ties with Tennessee schools. (MTSU file photos by J. Intintoli)

The 30-plus Chinese children, accompanied by parents, teachers and administrators, have a busy first full day planned for Saturday, July 11 — a visit to the Discovery Center at Murfree Spring that afternoon and a formal welcoming ceremony at the Student Union Building that evening.

They will be paired throughout the visit with Rutherford County students who visited Hangzhou in July 2014, a trip that also was facilitated by MTSU’s Confucius Institute. The Confucius Institute works to develop cultural and educational ties between China and the United States.

Hangzhou Normal logoThe visit will be the fourth of the reciprocal exchanges between MTSU and the Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University. Rutherford students visited China in 2012 and 2014, and Dongcheng students first came to the Murfreesboro campus in 2013.

“The university is proud of the continuation of this valuable educational and cultural exchange,” said MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee. “It is a bridge that allows students and educators from both countries to learn from each other.”

The delegation will tour Overall Creek Elementary School, view science projects by Scales Elementary School students on display in the lobby of MTSU’s Science Building and learn about MTSU’s partnerships with universities in China.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, center right, jokes with Liu Jinbin, center left, of the Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University as children and educators from Hangzhou, China, snap photos of a special welcoming cake before enjoying a picnic in July 2013.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, center right, jokes with Liu Jinbin, center left, of the Dongcheng Education Group of Hangzhou Normal University as children and educators from Hangzhou, China, snap photos of a special welcoming cake before enjoying a picnic in July 2013.

McPhee said what makes this exchange unique is the opportunity for teachers and administrators from both counties to collaborate and share ideas.

MTSU Wordmark“This interaction creates opportunities that extend far beyond the visit,” he said.

Chinese students also will visit the homes of local students, tour a farm and participate in educational workshops. They will travel to east Tennessee, where the delegation will visit The Lost Sea attraction, part of the Craighead Caverns near Sweetwater.

The Confucius Institute, named for the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius, is sponsored by China’s Education Ministry to promote Chinese language, history and culture through tours, exchanges and university partnerships. There are more than 440 institutes in 120 countries.

MTSU joined with Hangzhou Normal to open its institute in 2010.

Under the leadership of Director Guanping Zheng and Associate Director Yiping Cui, MTSU’s institute has helped teach Chinese language and culture to more than 2,000 students in seven Tennessee counties. It also offers long-distance language training via satellite TV and the Internet.

MTSU and Hangzhou Normal recently extended their partnership for an additional five years.

MTSU also announced plans in March to build a Chinese Music and Cultural Center, which will be funded from a $1 million grant from Hanban, the headquarters operation of the Confucius Institutes.

You can watch a video from the Dongcheng Education Group’s first visit to MTSU and Tennessee below.

http://youtu.be/P-isITUXAYM

— Andrew Oppmann (andrew.oppmann@mtsu.edu)

Summer opportunities to visit MTSU abound for prospective students

Prospective MTSU students and their families wanting to visit campus this summer have ample opportunities.

Now through Friday, Aug. 7, campus tours will be offered Monday through Friday starting at 10 a.m. in the Student Services and Admissions Center, 1860 Blue Raider Drive.

MTSU daily campus tours and special Saturday tours are led by Office of Admissions Blue Elite team members like K.G. Kennedy, center, shown in this file photo. (MTSU file photo)

MTSU daily campus tours and special Saturday tours are led by Office of Admissions Blue Elite team members like K.G. Kennedy, center, shown in this file photo. (MTSU file photo)

Special Saturday tours will be offered starting at 10 a.m. July 18 and Aug. 1.

To register, visit www.mtsu.edu/tours.

The daily campus and special Saturday tours include an information session, housing tour and visits inside the Campus Recreation Center, James E. Walker Library, Science Building, John Bragg Mass Communication Building and Business and Aerospace Building.

Housing tours are available each weekday at 12:15 and 3:15 p.m., departing from the Keathley University Center, room 300.  For more information, please call 615-898-2971 or email housing@mtsu.edu.

To find parking and campus buildings, view a printable campus map at www.mtsu.edu/maps.

To contact admissions, call 615-898-2233 or email admissions@mtsu.edu. For questions about tours, call 615-898-5670 or email tours@mtsu.edu.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Young programmers ‘scratch’ the surface at MTSU Coding Camp

The need to expand Camp STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) at MTSU and offer more hands-on opportunities for computer-savvy teenagers brought on the first Coding Camp at MTSU June 15-19.

Youngsters from Murfreesboro and Franklin, Tennessee, are attending the camp, which is being taught by Gayle Porterfield, who teachers sixth-graders at Mitchell-Neilson Elementary School.

Coding camp at MTSU participants Condoleezza Rankins, left, 12, of Murfreesboro, Nora Peebles-Ross, 11, of Smyrna, Tennessee, and Addesyn Frink, 11, of Franklin, Tennessee, work to properly connect wires involved in their June 17 project as teacher Gayle Porterfield observes in a Kirksey Old Main computer lab. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

Coding camp at MTSU participants Condoleezza Rankins, left, 12, of Murfreesboro, Nora Peebles-Ross, 11, of Smyrna, Tenn., and Addesyn Frink, 11, of Franklin, Tenn., work to properly connect wires involved in their June 17 project as teacher Gayle Porterfield observes in a Kirksey Old Main computer lab. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

In computer programming, coding is the process of designing, writing, testing, troubleshooting and maintaining the source code of programs.

Utilizing a number of fun programs, Porterfield — with assistance from high schoolers who are proficient in computer programming — is helping the youngsters grow in their knowledge of coding.

The students are learning to incorporate new concepts they learn by building complex games, animations and interactive stories such as Pacman and Pong.

The campers are being taught Scratch, HTML, CSS, jQuery and more.

Scratch is a free programming language and online community where participants can create their own interactive stories, games and animations.

HTML, an acronym for HyperText Markup Language, is the standard language to create Web pages.

Cascading style sheets, or CSS, is a language used for describing the look and formatting of a document written in a markup language.

jQuery is a cross-platform JavaScript library designed to simplify the scripting of HTML. The 8-year-old jQuery is considered the most popular JavaScript library in use today.

The students also are taking part in a Google Hangout with special invited guests for an interactive makers session.

David Lockett, who teaches fourth-graders at Homer Pittard Campus School, is the Camp STEM director.

For more information about the coding camp, the various STEM camps or the 2016 Summer Math Institute at MTSU, call Lockett at 615-415-7963, email him at David.Lockett@mtsu.edu or visit www.campSTEM.us.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

As Nashville television videographer Charlie Woodward films them, coding camp at MTSU participants David Wilson, foreground, of Murfreesboro and Jackson Smith of Franklin, Tennessee, work with software programs. Wilson, 13, will be a rising eighth-grader at Oakland Middle School while Smith, 15, will be a rising sophomore at Centennial High School. Assisting Smith is Cruz Jean, 17, of Murfreesboro, a rising junior at Central Magnet School.

As Nashville television videographer Charlie Woodward films them, coding camp at MTSU participants David Wilson, foreground, of Murfreesboro and Jackson Smith of Franklin, Tenn., work with software programs. Wilson, 13, is a rising eighth-grader at Oakland Middle School while Smith, 15, is a rising sophomore at Centennial High School. Assisting Smith is Cruz Jean, 17, of Murfreesboro, a rising senior at Central Magnet School.

As Elijah Moore, 11, left, of Murfreesboro works with a software program, Mitchell-Neilson Elementary sixth-grade teacher Gayle Porterfield answers questions about coding June 17 in a Kirksey Old Main computer lab. For the first time, Camp STEM is offering a coding camp to stimulate middle school and homeschool students.

As Elijah Moore, 11, left, of Murfreesboro works with a software program, Mitchell-Neilson Elementary sixth-grade teacher Gayle Porterfield answers questions about coding June 17 in a Kirksey Old Main computer lab. For the first time, Camp STEM is offering a coding camp to stimulate middle school and homeschool students. Moore is a rising sixth-grader at Oakland Middle School.

MT Sampler Camp gives youths a glimpse of college [+VIDEO]

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Middle school students from across the region beginning to think about college and careers experienced a variety of MTSU offerings during the MT Sampler Camp June 8-12.

Camp Director Nancy Stubblefield, an adviser in the College of Mass Communication, arranged for more than 20 middle schoolers to check out segments of business, horse science, chemistry and physics, education, art and much more during the weeklong camp.

https://youtu.be/HBJ-yKMRKSw

One three-pronged field trip off-campus June 9 included visits to MTSU aerospace facilities at Murfreesboro Airport just off Memorial Boulevard, the Horse Science Center and the Tennessee Miller Coliseum on West Thompson Lane and the MTSU Farm and Dairy on Guy James Road in Lascassas, Tennessee.

The June 22-26 MT Sampler Camp for high school students is full with 40 students registered.

To inquire about the 2016 MT Sampler Camp, look for information to become available at www.mtsu.edu/sampler or contact Stubblefield at Nancy.Stubblefield@mtsu.edu.

For now, she plans to hold one camp in 2016 that will be for rising eighth- through 11th-graders.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

As MT Sampler Camp participants Zac Music, left, and Bradie McCarty share a laugh while watching, MTSU's Johnny Haffner performs an ultrasound, showing them the method used on pregnant horses in the Horse Science Center. MT Sampler Camp youngsters toured the facility and Tennessee Miller Coliseum June 9. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

MT Sampler Camp participants Zac Music, left, and Bradie McCarty laugh while watching MTSU’s Johnny Haffner perform an ultrasound, showing them the method used on pregnant horses in the university’s Horse Science Center. MT Sampler Camp youngsters toured the Horse Science Center and Tennessee Miller Coliseum June 9. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

Micah Owens, 12, of Cookeville, Tennessee, visits with a horse named Junior in the MTSU Horse Science Center stable area on West Thompson Lane June 9 during a visit by MT Sampler Camp participants. Owens, who said she is allergic to horses, is a homeschooled student and granddaughter of Dr. Rosemary Owens, MTSU coordinator of strategic university partnerships for the office of the provost. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

Micah Owens, 12, of Cookeville, Tennessee, visits with a horse named Junior in the MTSU Horse Science Center stable area on West Thompson Lane June 9 during a visit by MT Sampler Camp participants. Owens, who said she is allergic to horses, is a homeschooled student and granddaughter of Dr. Rosemary Owens, MTSU coordinator of strategic university partnerships for the office of the provost.

MTSU camp introduces youngsters to all things aviation [+VIDEO]

From unmanned aircraft to flying to maintenance, 30 high school students from across Tennessee experienced the various aspects of the profession during the MTSU aerospace Introduction to Aviation Camp June 1-5.

The camp was held both at the Jean A. Jack Flight Operations Center and other MTSU facilities at Murfreesboro Airport and in aerospace technology labs in the Business and Aerospace Building.

https://youtu.be/63mm_-2RdtU

Coordinated by MTSU’s nationally respected Department of Aerospace, the activities included unmanned aircraft systems, pro pilot, flight simulators, maintenance management and the air traffic control and technology laboratories.

“We’ve been rotating them through the various stations, representing all of the operational aspects of aviation,” said professor Wendy Beckman, the director of the fifth-year camp.

Wearing earplugs and safety glasses, Introduction to Aviation camper Carson Rogers, left, of Murfreesboro listens June 3 as MTSU associate professor Joe Hawkins explains maintenance and working mechanisms for the loud engine. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Wearing earplugs and safety glasses, Introduction to Aviation camper Carson Rogers, left, of Murfreesboro listens June 3 as MTSU associate professor Joe Hawkins explains maintenance and working mechanisms for the loud engine. (MTSU photos by Randy Weiler)

“It has been a great experience,” said Tim Potter, 16, of Christiana, Tennessee, midway through the camp. “You get to fly and see how things run. You see the job opportunities, such as unmanned aircraft and the transporting of goods and freight.”

Potter, a rising Riverdale High School sophomore, has aviation in his genes. His father, Tim, flies for UPS.

Carson Rogers, 12, of Murfreesboro, a rising seventh-grader at Central Magnet School, said what he found interesting was “learning about how plane parts are made.”

Weather, which included fog and low clouds, delayed flights in the Introduction to Aviation Camp.

The Professional Pilot Advanced Camp, which is full, will be held June 15-17 in the MTSU facilities at the airport. This camp offers three days of flight-oriented instruction.

To learn more about the camps and about registering for either camp in 2016, visit www.mtsu.edu/aerospace.

For more information about the camps or the aerospace program, call the department at 615-898-2788 or email Mary Lou Cornett at Marylou.Cornett@mtsu.edu or Beckman at Wendy.Beckman@mtsu.edu.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Alex Lomis, left, observes MTSU flight instructor Zach Hutcherson following cockpit and airplane safety precautions June 3 in the Introduction to Aviation Camp at Murfreeesboro Airport.

Alex Lomis, left, observes MTSU flight instructor Zach Hutcherson following cockpit and airplane safety precautions June 3 in the Introduction to Aviation Camp at Murfreeesboro Airport.

MTSU to host institute for educators on ‘experiential learning’

Registration is open for an upcoming daylong institute at Middle Tennessee State University for community college and university educators interested in incorporating experiential learning concepts into their classrooms.

The Institute of Experiential Learning will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 17, at MTSU’s James Walker Library.

In this 2014 file photo, MTSU student Maria Rojano, left, a sophomore graphic design major, stopped by the healthy eating booth during April's Health Fair held in the Student Union atrium by professor Mary Beth Asbury's Health Campaigns experiential learning class. Offering Rojano a sample of fruit-infused water is Starlethia Hicks, a junior organizational communication major from Nashville and one of five team members that set up the healthy eating booth. (MTSU file photo)

In this 2014 file photo, MTSU student Maria Rojano, left, a sophomore graphic design major from Nashville, stops by the healthy eating booth during a Health Fair held in the Student Union atrium by professor Mary Beth Asbury’s Health Campaigns experiential learning class. Offering Rojano a sample of fruit-infused water is Starlethia Hicks, a junior organizational communication major from Nashville. (MTSU file photo)

Attendees will learn how MTSU has infused experiential and service learning into academic courses to create a national model that is both sustainable and replicable.

Carol Swayze

Carol Swayze

Cost is $25 for non-MTSU faculty and free for MTSU faculty who register. Participants will earn Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credit and a certificate. Registration and more details are available at http://bit.ly/1IhtbqJ. Seating is limited, so early registration is encouraged.

In 2006, MTSU established an Experiential Learning Scholars (EXL) Program to enhance student learning through hands-on learning activities incorporated into academic courses. The campuswide initiative currently includes courses in all six colleges and includes 26 academic departments.

“The EXL Program is a direct result of MTSU’s commitment to student success,” said EXL Director Carol Swayze. “National research and MTSU data reveal the connection between experiential learning and higher student achievement. With the success of our program over the past decade, other institutions are now looking at adopting our program as a model for student engagement and achievement.”

EXL color logo webMTSU was awarded a commendation by the regional higher education accrediting body as a model quality enhancement program, and the EXL Program has won both the regional and national awards for best practices in programming.

MTSU is sponsoring the EXL Institute open to share information and guide development of best practices across the region. A variety of presenters will explore how the program has been institutionalized and how students earn the honor of the EXL Scholar Designation upon graduation.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee has praised EXL for improving student retention, noting that the six-year graduation rate for students taking EXL courses is 86 percent, well above average.

“Being an EXL student has literally changed my life,” said Chloe Truitt, a 2015 liberal arts graduate and EXL scholar. “The only part I have regrets about is not starting sooner. I would highly recommend this program to any student, professor and university. It has been a game-changer in higher education, and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity.”

For more information on EXL, visit http://mtsu.edu/exl.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Camp STEM at MTSU gathers steam in June with young learners [+VIDEO]

As evidenced by the elementary school youngsters having fun while learning on a college campus, Camp STEM at MTSU is gathering steam.

Four weeks in June will find Murfreesboro City and Rutherford County students on campus, where they will grow in science, technology, engineering and math skills.

https://youtu.be/uHiZR0TaJPo

Led by director David Lockett, a fourth-grade teacher at Homer Pittard Campus School, Camp STEM pushes children interested in the STEM disciplines to increase their knowledge and have fun at the same time.

A group of elementary school-age boys participating in the first week of Camp STEM at MTSU recycle plastic bottles by turning them into a robot on wheels in a Kirksey Old Main classroom. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

A group of elementary school boys participating in the first week of Camp STEM at MTSU recycle plastic bottles by turning them into a robot on wheels in a Kirksey Old Main classroom. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

The camp is founded on the principle that students want exciting, challenging and life-impacting STEM experiences. Its goal is to demonstrate how STEM works in the real world by providing hands-on activities in STEM.

Camp STEM is a series of four one-week camps focusing on the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. An average of 25 to 50 children attend each week.

“Each week, we focus on something different, whether it’s robotics, recycling, art, earth science … something to pique students’ curiosity,” Lockett said.

The first and third weeks of the camp will focus on robotics. June 8-12 will pick up steam as the arts are added to the STEM elements. June 22-26, the final week, touches on earth and space science.

Science-driven Camp STEM also provides spring and fall break options in addition to the June opportunity.

For more information, visit www.campstem.us/about-us, email Lockett at David.Lockett@mtsu.edu or info@campSTEM.us or call 615-415-7963 or 615-569-5904.

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Wesley Gross, 11, left, and Brooklyn Elizabeth Moore, 9, maneuver the MTSU Experimental Vehicles Program lunar rover through a parking lot as part of Camp STEM robotic activities June 2. The two are rising sixth- and fourth-graders, respectively, at Homer Pittard Campus School.

Wesley Gross, 11, left, and Brooklyn Elizabeth Moore, 9, maneuver the MTSU Experimental Vehicles Program lunar rover through a parking lot as part of Camp STEM robotic activities June 2. The two are rising sixth- and fourth-graders, respectively, at Homer Pittard Campus School.

MTSU offers Summer Math Institute June 8-10 students in grades 7-12

Rising seventh- through 12th-graders looking to grow in mathematics can achieve this through the Summer Math Institute at MTSU.

Math sign72The 2½-day camp will be held Monday through Wednesday, June 8-10, in Rooms 141 and 149 in the College of Education Building. To register online, visit www.campSTEM.us.

Program highlights include modeling and real-world applications, graphing, problem-solving, strategies, games and puzzles, logic and reasoning and on-campus departmental visits.

Teachers for the camp will be Victoria Hamlin and Brittany Sikorski. Hamlin is an instructor in the MTSU Department of Mathematical Sciences.

The Summer Math Institute at MTSU is tuition-based. A fee of $75 covers all activities, snacks and supply costs. Financial aid opportunities are available for students needing assistance.

For more information, contact David Lockett at 615-415-7963 or email him at David.Lockett@mtsu.edu. He teaches fourth-graders at Homer Pittard Campus School.

An MTSU Department of Mathematical Sciences faculty member’s find can be viewed in a glass case on the second floor of Kirksey Old Main. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

MTSU, Olive Branch to host event for prospective students of faith

The Middle Tennessee State University Office of Admissions is partnering with Olive Branch Church to reach Rutherford County high school juniors and seniors of faith.

Vincent Windrow

Vincent Windrow

The “Education and Faith Night” will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, May 31, at Olive Branch’s location at 1115 Minerva Drive in east Murfreesboro.

“We’re hosting a fun community event to promote the importance of education and how students can remain involved in their faith while in college,” said Vincent Windrow, pastor of Olive Branch and interim assistant vice provost for student success at MTSU.

MTSU admissions staff will be on hand to discuss the university’s offerings, assist with the application process and answer financial aid questions.

The event will also include free food and games and activities such as a football-throwing contest, corn hole competition and rock-wall climbing.

“This event is a great opportunity for students and parents in Rutherford County to gain more knowledge about MTSU up close and personal,” Windrow added. “It’s designed not to be religiously stuffy but rather to be part of the ongoing effort to strengthen the relationship between the university and the community – rain or shine.”

For more information about MTSU’s offerings, visit www.mtsu.edu.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

MTSU Olive Branch flier