MMA Alumnus Seeks to Spark STEM Career Interest for MMA Cadets through Engineering Summer Camp Sponsorship


“If I knew when I was a cadet that my passion would become STEM, I might have saved a lot of time and tuition until that spark was ignited three years into a business major,” says Schafer, an engineer who earned a Bachelor of Science in geological engineering from Missouri S&T and is vice president of operations and sales for Apex Resources, an oilfield chemical company focused on engineered fluid solutions for oilfield stimulation.
Before joining Apex Resources, Schafer spent 18 years working for Halliburton, one of the world’s largest oilfield service companies, and ended up as a global director for integrated solutions. For the past several years, Maj. Mike Pemberton, science department chair, has sponsored Schafer as a visiting professor at MMA (see photo below). He’s also the current secretary of the MMA Board of Directors.
“Most young men in their formative years need hands-on exposure to ignite the spark of their academic passion. This is where my wife and I saw that we could, in some small way, help to ignite the spark of STEM in young men, where that opportunity may not have readily presented itself,” Schafer says.
At the Introduction to Engineering Summer Camp, students will:
  • learn about engineering disciplines from leaders in their fields while working with some of the brightest students in the nation
  • learn what engineers really do and the tools they use
  • be introduced to engineering’s various disciplines through hands-on activities and team design competitions
  • gain practical engineering experience during lab and department visits in the afternoon test their skills in friendly student competitions during the evening.
According to Schafer, the camp not only provides an opportunity for interested cadets to explore their interests but also a path to a high-demand field with plenty of room for growth.
“STEM degrees are in high demand, but graduates with STEM degrees are too low to meet that demand,” he adds. “The result is that the top 10 highest paying jobs directly out of college are all STEM-related degrees, and it’s been that way for over a decade.”
Before cadets can enter that field, however, something has to create that spark.
“MMA’s charge as a college preparatory is to prepare young men for success in life,” Schafer says. “It’s the reason why parents choose MMA to prepare their son for success. If STEM exposure is one mechanism to spark that interest that leads to success, then we are fulfilling MMA’s value statement to those parents.”
Overall cost for the weeklong camp is $550 per student, which includes food, lodging and lab costs. Rising juniors or seniors interested in the opportunity should see Maj. Mike Pemberton, science department chair, for an application. To be eligible, cadets must ...
  • be in good standing at MMA
  • be rising 11th and 12th graders
  • complete and submit the MMA application form (due Jan. 31)
  • submit a typed essay (250-500 words) describing interest in science, math, engineering and/or medicine and a desire to attend the camp.
Cumulative GPA will also be considered with the application. The above criteria will be used, initially, to select the cadets for the sponsorship. After those cadets are selected, the same criteria will be used to fill the rest of the spots for the camp. We will notify selected cadets (and parents) by mid-February, 2019.
Click here for more information about the Introduction to Engineering Summer Camp at Missouri S&T.
Learn more about STEM education at MMA.
Read about successful MMA alumni working in STEM careers.

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