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For some students, summer camp means improving sports skills, spending time in a cabin, or learning how to tie different knots.

In the case of those coming to campus this week, it could mean building heart valves or solving the world’s energy needs.

The growing relationship between the College of Engineering and Eastman Chemical Company will be on display this week as the company-sponsored High School Introduction to Engineering Systems camp will give students the ability to work on ongoing high-end projects with UT faculty and students.

“It goes back to the idea that real-world experiences are more memorable,” said Engineering Diversity Programs Office Director Travis Griffin, who oversees the series of summer enrichment programs that includes the Eastman HITES camp. “We like the idea of letting participants see for themselves what is possible in engineering and opportunities available at UT.”

The Eastman HITES camp is designed to help high school upperclassmen find areas of focus that most interest them.

While at UT, they take part in a weeklong series of classes, labs, events, and field trips to learn what it means to be an engineer and what the College of Engineering can offer them.

“This is a great chance for students to come in and explore different careers in engineering,” Griffin. “We have faculty representing every department in the College of Engineering coming in to work with the participants, to educate them about engineering, and to answer any questions they might have about UT as well.”

With the camp geared toward high school upperclassmen, there is also considerable thought and instruction given toward areas of concern relating to college preparation.

In addition to an ACT testing overview, students also will be addressed on topics such as admissions process, financial aid, and university life and housing.

With such a diverse mix of possibilities, the Eastman HITES camp has drawn students from as far away as Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

That broad appeal to students and a desire to keep the College of Engineering successful are two of the reasons Eastman got involved in the camp, according to Eastman Vice President of Talent Development Murray Deal.

“It’s important for us, as a company headquartered in Kingsport, to have a strong university like UT in our region, both for the future employees we hope to hire and also for the alumni from there who work for us now,” Deal said. “To bring in the best student talent and have them see what the College of Engineering can offer is vital to its success in terms of maintaining its edge and eventually to our success in terms of having the best and the brightest right there with us.

“Supporting this camp helps us both.”

In fact, as part of the camp, students will take a field trip to the company’s headquarters, tour the facilities, and have a chance to see some of the engineering fundamentals they’ve been introduced to in practice.

C O N T A C T :

David Goddard (865-974-0683,