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AUSTIN — The Texas Workforce Commission awarded 14 grants totaling nearly $1 million to Texas universities and community colleges for summer youth camps that focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The grants will allow 1,200 students between the ages of 14 and 21 to attend camps, which help prepare them for future high-skill, high-demand jobs.

“These camps offer students the opportunity to get hands-on experience in math and science inside and outside of the classroom,” said Governor Rick Perry. “As the global economy continues to evolve and technology gets more sophisticated and essential every day, students need to have these building blocks as they prepare for the workplace of the future.”

Administered by TWC, the effort is part of the Governor’s Summer Merit Program, which aims to inspire Texas youth to pursue STEM-related careers.

“TWC is pleased to support these STEM camps that help Texas’ future workforce discover new areas of interest that can lead to high-demand careers,” said TWC Chairman and Commissioner Representing the Public Andrew Alcantar. “These camps enhance our students’ competence in STEM, positioning them for future success in a number of industries all across Texas.”

In the Upper Valley, South Texas College received more than $80,000 for 216 scholarships for WaterBiotics day camps in which high school students learn about simple machines, buoyancy, inertia, action/reaction, engineering concepts, icon-based programming, and sensors and motors, which can lead to an interest in a variety of STEM careers.

The University of Texas at Brownsville also received a grant of a little more than $75,000.

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