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Upward Bound focuses on STEM

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McCollum students who were part of the Upward Bound Math & Science Program are celebrating the end of another successful summer. It was a summer they spent getting ready for the start of another school year.


A total of 28 ninth-eleventh graders attended St. Phillip’s College’s southwest campus to take part in SAT/ACT prep and college workshops, as well as Calculus, Algebra 2, Physics, AP Chemistry, English and Speech courses.


This year’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) theme was Alternative Energy. Students explored the different sources of energy and the effects of its transformation; they weighed the pros and cons of renewable vs. nonrenewable energy sources; and they studied the impact of energy consumption on the environment. Students also worked on building a small scale solar powered house and hydrogen fuel cell car.


In English, the focus was on improving the students’ writing and reading comprehension skills. They completed several writing assignments, including writing college admission essays.

All that work was topped off with a little play. The high schoolers visited the University of the Incarnate Word, Our Lady of the Lake University, the University of Texas – San Antonio, St. Edward’s University in Austin and the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg.


They also volunteered with the city’s graffiti wipeout program.


“Principal Aracelie Bunsen and her staff at McCollum High School have been most supportive of all LNESC Upward Bound events,” said Elisa Kirkwood, project coordinator. 

Upward Bound is part of a million dollar four-year grant awarded to the Harlandale ISD via the LULAC National Education Service Center (LNESC). According to the Department of Education’s website, it “provides opportunities for students to succeed in their precollege performance and ultimately in their higher education pursuits” by providing year-round services.