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Nathan Hailey gets a close up look of a lab specimen.

About two dozen sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students put their brains to work for the annual Math and Science Prep Camp at California State University, Stanislaus.

Among the variety of activities they engaged in, campers got the chance to dissect chicken wings, observe Mars and Jupiter through the university’s telescope, and learn some valuable tricks to math equations.

“It changed my whole perspective on math and science,” said camper Aileen Ayala.

Instead of learning strictly through books and lectures, the camp offered kids some hands-on experiences that really let them delve into their subjects.

“I learned so much more than I thought I would,” said Nathan Hailey.

The prep camp is aimed at giving students a broader understanding of math and science and encourages them to pursue those fields later in life.
“It’s programs like the summer prep that help kids get inspired to be

future scientists and as a teacher, I believe that’s critical,” said Art Doucette, who taught science during the camp session.

“They have the spark in them. We just fan it,” said CSU Stanislaus math Professor Viji Sundar, who coordinates the programs.

The prep camp ended Thursday and the university will be starting up the High School Math Access Program on Monday. The Strategies for Success program will offer two courses — one in Algebra and one in geometry — for students of varying skill levels. The course will run from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, beginning Monday and ending on July 30. The cost is $250. For more information about the program call 667-3780.