Local student to attend STEM Program

With the school year winding down, students everywhere are looking forward to a break from school and time relaxing with friends.

However, local student Austin Sponaugle is looking forward to the summer for an entirely different reason. In June, the 13-year-old joins a select group of students from around the nation for a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics summer camp at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

The Naval Academy Summer STEM program is offered to rising 8th-11th grader students. Students must demonstrate superior academic performance to include GPA, class standing, and/or strong PSAT, SAT or ACT results, compose a personal essay, and demonstrate leadership in and out of the classroom. More than 4,500 students apply to the prestigious camp and only 375 students are selected to


Activities that Austin and his fellow Academy-goers will participate in include; a trip to the National Air and Space Museum and a tour of Washington DC, a hands-on approach to studying topics such as: energy and light, infrastructure, transportation and cybersecurity, environmental challenges, flight and fluids, automation, simulation and modeling, biometrics and robotics. They also will participate in activities on a Navy vessel.

The students will have a chance to display and demonstrate their projects to their family on the last day of camp, along with an award ceremony.

Sponaugle is excited to be part of such an elite group of students and he looks forward to the challenge. Austin is currently a 7th grade student at Robert Bland Middle School, where he participates in football, basketball, vaseball and track. Austin is the son of Tarra Sherrard of Weston and Jeremie Sponaugle of Dailey.