Humble ISD student Ishanna Gama presents her ‘heatsink’ engineering design, made of copper, aluminum foil and nuts and bolts, to her fellow campers via Zoom during the Tapia Center’s virtual summer workshops. Other Humble ISD scholars not pictured: Alyssa Cacanindin, Aidan Lopez and Juliana De Mesa.

This summer, four select students from Humble ISD received scholarships from ExxonMobil to attend unique virtual workshops hosted by The Tapia Center for Excellence and Equity at Rice University.
In total, more than 200 students and 150 teachers from across Texas and beyond completed the online programs, which promote project-based learning.

Like many organizations, the Tapia Center transitioned its prestigious on-campus summer programming to virtual experiences for the safety of all participants and instructors. The online STEM Camp for 8-12th graders features a five-day curriculum on science, technology, engineering and mathematics aimed at building problem-solving and communications skills.

Using materials that are mailed to participants after registration, campers are challenged to design their own heatsink, simulating the process through which heat is transferred away from the processor in a computer to keep the device from overheating. Led by Rice professors and experienced facilitators, the program follows a 4:1 student-facilitator ratio.

"It's crucial now more than ever that students and educators feel prepared with the tools and skills needed to succeed in changing learning environments," said Marisela Rodriguez, executive director of the Tapia Center. "Our programs are designed to teach students how to solve problems and improve communication skills, which are both integral parts of navigating this challenging landscape. It's been amazing to witness the commitment to education and resiliency that all participants have shown this summer."

For information on the Tapia Center’s fall programing, visit

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location