Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo's middle school summer science camp has received grant funding from the IU Women's Philanthropy Council (WPC) – allowing the program to continue for the fourth consecutive summer.20110610-Science_Summer_Camp_Activities_Geology_Chemistry-IMG_8768A student participant of the Science Rocks summer camp poses for a picture.

"Science Rocks!" was among the eight inaugural grant recipients honored by the Council. The camp received approximately $8,500 in funding.

Christian Chauret, chairman of the science, mathematics and informatics department, said he appreciates the grant.

"This grant from the IU Women's Philanthropy Council is great news for enriching science education in the region," Chauret said. "Programs like this are geared toward better preparing students for taking math and science classes in high school, and encouraging them to major in math- and science-related fields in college."

"Science Rocks!" is a free two-week summer science camp for middle school students from underrepresented populations, including girls, minorities, and children from single parent homes. Chauret said, so far, the camp has served about 45 students. There will be an added focus on health and the environment this year.

Jackie Simmons, WPC's fund grants chairwoman, said the Council awarded eight grants that totaled more than $100,000.

"Our intention was to fund projects that would give back to the Indiana University community at a grassroots level by identifying and addressing challenges we face in education, health care, and cultural environment," Simmons said. "The variety of submissions we received exceeded our expectations. It was difficult to select only eight of the 58 excellent proposals. I'm confident, though, that we've chosen outstanding projects that address a wide range of needs on many of IU's campuses."

Chauret said "Science Rocks!" provides an opportunity for middle school students to experience college life on campus, and has been a good tool to build relationships with area schools.

"We hope they see the opportunities they have to earn a high-quality IU degree in science or math on our campus," Chauret said.

The WPC has a mission of leading fundraising and engagement efforts that inspire women to give of their time, talent and resources to IU, and of developing female leaders in philanthropy.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.