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Student working on a project at TCE's Summer Algebra Enrichment Camp.

TCE Launches Algebra Camp to Overcome Barriers

Uneven access to pre-algebra and Algebra I can impact whether students study STEM-related fields in college. Many K-12 students from rural and marginalized communities are the most affected by the disparity.

The Tickle College of Engineering is launching a Summer Algebra Enrichment Program in June to provide a potential solution. The two-week program will combine remedial sessions in Algebra I with on-campus experiences to gives students in grades 8-11 the opportunity to experience STEM in a new way.

The program is June 17-29 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Zeanah Engineering Complex. The cost is $50 with fee waivers available for students in need. TCE will be accepting applications until the Friday before the camp starts to enable parents to enroll their children after final report cards are delivered in some areas.

“Our goal as a Land-grant university is to lower barriers for entry,” said Anne Skutnik, TCE’s director of student success. “This program is designed to open pathways to STEM for students who need it the most. It gives them a chance to discover STEM-related opportunities they may never have been exposed to otherwise.”

The program is being run in conjunction with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. UTC’s program will take place in the first two weeks of June in Chattanooga.

At the TCE summer program, the Algebra will be taught by an instructor from Vine Middle Magnet School. The students will get exposure to the college and potential STEM careers. They will receive lab tours on campus, learn computer programming, and visit the UT Veterinary Medical Center.

Four TCE students will be helping throughout the two weeks to mentor the kids, answer questions, and serve as guides.

“Our goal is to get the kids familiar with being on college campus while helping with their math skills,” Skutnik said. “Not every student has the same access of classes available at their schools and we want to help them make progress if they are a little behind. Every student should have the chance to pursue STEM-related careers if they want to.”  


Rhiannon Potkey (865-974-0683,