By Chris Carmody
Special to the Camden News
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is accepting applications for its Pathways Academy program for students from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Pathways Academy is an educational and community engagement program that focuses on preparing K-12 students for opportunities in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health sciences (STEM-H) disciplines.
In 2022, the program's inaugural year, Pathways Academy accepted scholars at pilot sites in Hot Springs, Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Springdale. It is expanding its reach this year to include Arkadelphia, Camden, Helena-West Helena and Jonesboro.
Pathways consists of four academies: the Junior STEM Academy for kindergarten through fifth grade; the Senior STEM Academy for grades six through eight; and the RAMP-UP program and the Student Athlete STEM Academy, both of which cover grades nine through 12.
Pathways' summer programming features a series of camps that provide hands-on experiences such as science experiments, engineering challenges and healthy-snack preparation. RAMP-UP and Senior STEM Academy scholars will engage in community-based research projects and will be invited to present their work at a summer research symposium in August.
This year's theme will be "Innovators, Thinkers and Tinkerers," with a curriculum that focuses on technology in medicine. The locations and dates for the summer intensive camps are:
- Arkadelphia: Junior STEM Academy, June 12-23
- Camden: Junior STEM Academy, June 12-23
- Helena-West Helena: Junior STEM Academy, June 12-23
- Hot Springs: Junior STEM Academy, June 5-16
- Jonesboro: RAMP-UP Academy, June 12-23
- Little Rock: RAMP-UP Academy, June 19-30; Student Athlete STEM Academy, June 25-27; Junior STEM Academy and Senior STEM Academy, July 10-24
- Pine Bluff: RAMP-UP Academy, June 19-30
- Springdale: UAMS Schmieding Foundation Pathways Academy for grades K-8, June 5-16
In addition to the summer camps, Pathways Academy holds once-a-month Saturday sessions during the academic year, serving as an extension of the activities the students participate in during the summer. RAMP-UP students also will receive help in preparing for ACT examinations.
"The start of year two for Pathways Academy has exceeded our expectations thus far," said Shanea Nelson, Ph.D., executive director of Pathways Academy. "We are very excited to expand to new sites throughout the state and engage additional communities in our mission to diversify the health care workforce in Arkansas."
Applications will be accepted through March 15. Those who are interested in applying or who want to receive more information about Pathways Academy can visit ddei.uams.edu/outreach-programs/pathways-academy.