Camp Aims to Expose Young People to STEM Careers



WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 5, 2013)—With America facing a growing shortage of minorities and women entering science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) careers, a locally-based summer camp is out to change the disturbing trend by exposing more young people to STEM fields. Twenty incoming seventh, eighth and ninth graders will see these careers up close during the East of the River Career Exposure Camp August 5-10, 2013 at the Southeast White House in Washington, D.C. The camp program targets young teens residing in Ward 7 and 8 and will also focus on leadership, service and academic excellence.

Now in its third year, the camp emphasizes the importance of science, math, reading, along with creativity and critical thinking skills. College STEM majors and degrees are also a big part of the camp's curriculum.

"In an increasingly competitive economy, it is of utmost importance that children are prepared for the world that awaits them,” said Camp Coordinator Bernard Suber. “The camp introduces students to exciting career options that can capture their imagination and help guide their future academic progress.”

Aviation and architecture are the themes this year as campers will participate in a number of hands-on activities and fields trips, including a hard-hat tour of the Community of Hope Health and Resource Center under construction; visit the air traffic control tower at Ronald Regan National Airport; and a trek to a suburban airfield to meet aviation pilots and ride in an airplane. This is in addition to structured learning lessons and group presentation during the camp program. The camp concludes with a recognition ceremony celebrating students’ achievement with parents and special guests.

“We connect the dots for our students,” said Camp Coordinator Kellie Armstead Didigu. “By teaming up with STEM professionals, students learn firsthand that hard work, good grades and a positive attitude can lead to a successful career. Anything is possible.”
The 2013 East of the River Career Exposure Camp is a partnership between the National Organization of Minority Architect, Washington, DC Chapter (DCNOMA); National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) / Project Pipeline Program; Southeast White House; River East Emerging Leaders (r.e.e.l.); and the National Coalition of Black Federal Aviation Employees, Washington Suburban Chapter.

Generous support and contributions were provided by the Capitol Construction Group, LLC;
K. Dixon Architecture, PLLC; Marshall Moya Design; Maryland State Highway Administration; ZGF Architects, LLP; and William C. Smith.

Additional information about partners and sponsors are located at

**NOTE TO MEDIA: Due to age of the camp participants, coverage and interviews will be tightly controlled. Media interested in covering the camp must schedule in advance for clearance.

About National Organization of Minority Architects (Washington, D.C. Chapter)
The Washington, D.C. Chapter, National Organization of Minority Architects’ mission is to serve and promote the interests of underrepresented groups within the design profession and community at large. DCNOMA accomplishes these goals through professional development programs, public advocacy, and community service projects, partnerships with allied organizations, student support and promotion of the design profession to the youth of today.

About NOMA Initiatives/Project Pipeline
The Project Pipeline is an educational summer camp that provides an opportunity to teach and to engage African-American youth about the process and impact of architectural design. The program is designed and taught, primarily although not exclusively, by local African-American architects. Camps are conducted annually, around the nation by local, NOMA Chapters. Each camp location will create an architectural design project which fosters greater connection with the local community by addressing a recognized need within that same community.

About Southeast White House
The Southeast White House’s mission is to serve as a refuge, resource center, mentoring center, training group and gathering place for individuals and groups serving the needs of the Randle Highlands, Hillcrest, Penn Branch, Congress Heights, and Fort Dupont communities in Southeast Washington, D.C.

About River East Emerging Leaders
Conceived by a group of concerned citizens from Washington, D.C.’s Wards 7 and 8 communities, the River East Emerging Leaders (r.e.e.l.) is a nonprofit organization created to engage and empower the East of the River community by strengthening bonds between residents, businesses and government; stimulating interest in East of the River neighborhoods, and fostering dialogue that leads to solutions for community growth and investment.

About National Coalition of Black Federal Aviation Employees (Washington Suburban Chapter)
We the members of NBCFAE NE Region shall continually reach, teach and mentor all men, women and young people who cross our paths during our lifetime. Zealously living out what we believe in, which are equality, fairness and justice for all.

About East of the River Career Exposure Camp
The East of the River Career Exposure Camp is a six day summer youth camp for Ward 7 and Ward 8 students enrolling in 7th, 8th or 9th grades in the fall of 2013. The camp exposes students to STEM + A careers with historically low-minority participation. Students experience hands-on project based curriculum led by volunteer industry professionals with an emphasis in science, math, reading, creativity and critical thinking.