FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SUCCESSFUL STEM CAMP MODEL BROUGHT HOME TO YORK COUNTY
Rock Hill, SC - March 1, 2023 - Rock Hill High School graduate Zach Oxendine brings his STEM camp model home to all local high school students. “STEM” is short for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The Pursuit of STEM Camp York County will be held June 11-16, 2023.
Oxendine, who currently serves as a Engineering Technical Program Manager at Microsoft, helped build “Discovering DC with Indigenous STEM 2022”, a camp for students from the Lumbee Tribe in North Carolina and Catawba Nation in South Carolina. Oxendine worked with the Project 3C team from the Lumbee tribe supported by a federal grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Indian Education and partnering with the University of North Carolina Pembroke.
Students of the camp spent a week in Washington, DC exploring different areas of technology including cyber security, various hardware security technologies including armored vehicles and communication systems. A day was spent touring Capitol Hill and meeting with Senator Thom Tillis (NC).
Sponsors of the camp included US Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), Microsoft, and Verizon.
Now, Oxendine has partnered with the Gravity Center, the Catawba Nation, Microsoft, York Technical College to bring a similar formatted camp to all York County students. Organizers expect to announce additional title sponsors in the coming months. The Pursuit of STEM Camp York County will be held at various locations around the area during the week of June 11-16.
The Camp will feature local companies including Insignia Group, LC, a software company in Rock Hill. Organizers will be announcing other companies also committed to sponsoring and supporting the camp through learning sessions focused on the opportunities and use of technology here in York County.
Students from any York County school will be able to apply for the camp starting March 15, 2023.
“The challenges of tomorrow will in many ways depend upon the STEM fields. We need more leaders, more innovators, more problem solvers in these fields from communities like ours. Our aim is to create the inspiration, the networks, and the opportunities for these students to build their future and accomplish their dreams,” says Oxendine.
“We are thrilled to be a part of the Pursuit of STEM Camp York County this Summer,” says Dr. Stacey Moore, president of York Technical College. “This program aims to expose our future leaders to high demand, high tech and high paying fields in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.”
“During their time at York Tech, the students will experience the possibilities of Advanced Manufacturing, Robotics, Mechatronics, Cybersecurity, Nursing and Allied Health programs – all highly skilled and high demand technical programs that continue to grow and advance our communities,” says Moore.
For contact information:
Zach Oxendine is Engineering Technical Program Manager at Microsoft, Inc and a veteran of the US Air Force (2014-current). Oxendine graduated from Rock Hill High School and earned his Applied Associates of Science in information technology (2019). He is a member of the Lumbee Nation and advocate of education in STEM. He is a Keynote Speaker and has spoken at the White House regarding equality and accessibility to STEM education.
About the Gravity Center:
The Gravity Center is a hub for entrepreneurial collaboration and development in York County. The services of the center will focus on providing space, incubation, mentorship and program support for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs. The Gravity Center is located at 153 South Oakland Ave, Rock Hill, SC, and anchored by companies that include Insignia Group and the corporate offices of Knowledge Perk.
Visit the GRAVITY CENTER website at www.mygravitycenter.com for more information.
David Copp Stringer