Governor Abbott Announces New Governor’s Summer Merit Program Awards For Youth STEM Camps

Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Communication

Governor Greg Abbott today announced 16 grants totaling $946,905 that will be distributed through the Governor’s Summer Merit Program to Texas universities and community colleges for summer youth camps that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). 

Governor Greg Abbott today announced 16 grants totaling $946,905 that will be distributed through the Governor’s Summer Merit Program to Texas universities and community colleges for summer youth camps that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). 

Administered by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the Governor’s Summer Merit Program aims to inspire Texas youth to pursue STEM-related careers. The grants administered through the program provide over 1,200 scholarships for students ages 14 to 21 to attend camps that will help prepare them for future high-skill, high-demand jobs in STEM-related fields. The camps introduce students to advanced technologies and manufacturing, aerospace and defense, biotechnology and life sciences, information and computer technology, and energy.

“I am grateful to work alongside the Texas Workforce Commission and our colleges and universities through my office’s Summer Merit Program to provide Texas students with the STEM-based training they need to compete in the 21st century economy,” said Governor Abbott. “We must ensure that our students are equipped with the knowledge needed to fill the future roles of current employees in high demand industries and careers in STEM-related fields. As our state’s employers become more technologically advanced, the success of Texas depends on the skills of our future workforce to meet those demands.”

“The Governor’s Summer Merit Program provides young, bright Texans, who are interested in STEM fields, the tools needed to meet the demands of Texas’ specialized industries,” said TWC Chair and Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “This program will also provide our Texas employers with a highly skilled talent pipeline.”

“STEM skills mean good jobs and TWC supports programs that give students an edge and a head start towards rewarding careers,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “The Governor’s Summer Merit Program allows students to develop a deeper connection and understanding of STEM related skills and the exciting possibilities waiting for them when they enter the workforce.”

“Inspiring our youth to be passionate about science, technology, engineering and math is why programs like the Governor’s Summer Merit Program are so important,” said TWC Commissioner Representing the Public Robert Thomas. “Our young students deserve to have every opportunity to feel confident that they are on the right path toward success for high-demand careers in Texas’ dynamic economy.”

The 16 Summer Merit Program grant recipients are:

  • Brazosport College, $100,000  – Full scholarships for 120 low-socioeconomic status Brazosport Independent School District (BISD) students ages 14 to 18 to attend one of eight week-long STEM Enrichment Camps. STEM-focused classes include: Life is Science, Energy at Work, Science at Work, and Technology at Work.
  • Lone Star College – Montgomery, $43,117 – 30 scholarships for students to attend the Mathematics and Minorities in STEM Summer Institute on the Conroe campus. Hands-on laboratory experience will be available for programs such as biology, engineering, biotechnology, energy and manufacturing technology, land surveying, and mapping technology.
  • Lone Star College – North Harris, $19,138 – 20 scholarships to historically underserved populations to attend a two-week, eight-day summer camp. Three Dimensional Summer Camp will provide middle and high school students (ages 14-21) with an introduction to STEM project management, teamwork, and in-demand career tracks in engineering and software development.
  • Lone Star College – Tomball, $28,310 – 40 scholarships for eligible middle and high school students who are economically disadvantaged to attend RoboTech Project-Based Academic Summer Camp. The camp will consist of two camps: Robotics & Electricity and Rocket Science & Cyber Security. The camps will provide a total of 80 instruction hours, enhanced by hands-on experience to improve participants understanding of STEM.
  • North Central College, $89,277 –120 scholarships for middle and high school students to attend MC2Technology Camps (Media, Coding, and Cybersecurity).
  • Palo Alto-Alamo College, $47,416 – 120 scholarships for economically disadvantaged students in 6th-9th grades to attend one of six two-week PAC Code Connect summer camps. Youth will learn about coding fundamentals and career possibilities from Youth Code Jam (YCJ), a San Antonio non-profit.
  • San Jacinto College, $44,080 – 80 scholarships for economically disadvantaged students ages 14-21 to attend one-week Mission to Advance Research on Space Settlements (MARSS) Quest camps. Students will be introduced to emerging science and technology being developed by NASA and the aerospace industry for their planned lunar and deep space venture to Mars in 2030.
  • South Texas College, $46,552 – 50 scholarships for students ages 14-16 to attend the Texas Prefreshmen Engineering (TexPREP) Program. The TexPREP Program at STC will incorporate a hands-on, problem-based learning curriculum that is utilized in a variety of science, technology, and other classroom settings around the nation.
  • St. Mary’s University of San Antonio, $69,397 – 80 scholarships for students to attend either Robotics, Programming, and Operations Research camp or Drones, Web Development, and Manufacturing and Logistics Operations camp.
  • Tarleton State University, $39,552 – 32 scholarships for the 2019 Physics Camp which is a two-week, co-educational residential summer camp for students ages 14-21. All students will engage in common science and mathematics activities designed to improve student’s basic skills in STEM areas and attend information sessions about real-world STEM careers and the education necessary to compete for these high-skill, high-demand jobs of the future.
  • Texas A&M University, $49,306 – 85 scholarships for eligible middle and high school students to attend Camp Secure – Introduction to Cybersecurity, Camp Smart – Introduction to Python and Artificial Intelligence, Camp Scout – Girl Scouts Introduction to STEM Computing, or Camp Stem – Mathematic STEM.
  • University of Houston – Clear Lake, $75,650 – 89 scholarships for students to attend STEM camps. Students will be offered admittance to Computer Secrets: Program with java on Your Self-Built Computer, Cutting Edge Medical Techniques, or Computer Secrets: Design Games on Your Self-Built Computer.
  • University of Texas at Austin, $100,000 – 200 scholarships for high school students to attend the UT Summer Merit Program in Geosciences, Engineering, and Computing. The program consists of four summer outreach programs in engineering and science at The University of Texas at Austin. The ultimate goal for all programs is to encourage underrepresented student groups to pursue STEM majors in college and STEM careers. The programs include: Department of Computer Science: First Bytes; Jackson School of Geoscience: GeoFORCE; Cockrell School of Engineering: My Introduction to Engineering (MITE) and WEatUT.
  • University of Medical Branch – Galveston, $89,939 – 51 scholarships for economically disadvantaged and underrepresented middle and high school students in greater Galveston and Harris Counties to attend one of three summer programs that promote STEM career awareness. Programs being offered are Summer STEM Camp, High School Summer Biomedical Research Program, and Summer Biomedical Health Careers Academy.
  • University of Incarnate Word, $81,751 – 58 scholarships for middle school and high school females from Title I schools in San Antonio and surrounding areas to attend megaGEMS camps focused on science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM). The mission of megaGEMS is to increase the number of female students interested in STEM careers. The 2-week STEAM camp sessions will be for 8th-10th grade students. The STEAM camp sessions encourage girls to explore various careers in science and engineering through projects and computer programming activities.
  • Victoria College, $23,421 – 35 scholarships for high school students to attend a 15-day STEAM summer day camp. Camp instruction will combine classroom learning, hands-on laboratory activities, and practical field applications, and educational field trips that provide STEAM-related career opportunities or learning experiences.