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Home News-Telegram News Cory Ward, Project STEEM alumnus, accepted to MIT

Cory Ward, Project STEEM alumnus, accepted to MIT

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COMMERCE – Cory Ward of Yantis and Scott Landers of Cooper, Project STEEM mentors at Texas A&M University-Commerce, are headed to Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall.

Ward, 2009 valedictorian of Yantis High School in Wood County, and Landers, 2009 valedictorian of Chisum High School in Lamar County near Paris, have been awarded the scholarships needed to attend this elite Northeastern university.

Ward and Landers, who attended the 2007 Project STEEM camp on math, science, technology, and engineering for Northeast Texas rural middle school and high school students and teachers, became friends and will be roommates at MIT.

In addition to helping with the Infinity camp in June, which is for high achieving high school students from rural schools, the two are enrolled in an independent studies math class at A&M-Commerce taught by department head Rick Kreminski.

Ward and Landers have both taken college courses as high school students. Landers is now a graduate of Paris Junior College.

Both students said they learned a great deal attending the Project STEEM camp. "It was really neat. It showed us stuff we hadn't seen and won't see until college," Landers commented.

Funded in 2007 by a $1.5 million grant from the Greater Texas Foundation, Project STEEM is geared to exposing students in rural Northeast Texas to technical fields and encouraging them to attend college.

"We are very proud of Cory Ward and Scott Landers for being accepted to MIT," said Project STEEM director Kerri O'Connor.

A graduate of MIT, Kreminski is also proud of Cory and Scott. "They are both good-natured, friendly, helpful, smart, talented, mature, highly motivated and very focused individuals with a great deal of determination and a good sense of humor," he said.

"I was very happy to write letters of recommendation for them for MIT, and I know that they will do well. They both seem to have a genuine hunger for math and science that runs a little deeper than in many of the other kids that I have interviewed for MIT, and I wish them the best of luck and hope that they stay in touch," Kreminski continued.

The vast majority Project STEEM students do go on to  attend college, O'Connor said.

Twenty-six of those who attended Project STEEM's Infinity or X-TEEMS camps are attending college o




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