HPU Hosts Record Number in Summer & Young Scholars Programs This Week


Another record number of students are participating in this year’s Summer Scholars and Young Scholars at Howard Payne University this week according to Dr. Julie Welker of HPU.  Welker stated that 80 students are taking part in the program.

Summer Scholars and Young Scholars programs include 1st through 6th graders.  The young scholars, or 1st through 3rd graders, participate in a week of classes in music, reading, and history.  The older group of 4th through 6th graders, summer scholars, study reading and history as well as the very popular robotics class.

“This is the largest group we’ve ever seen enrolled,” stated Welker.  “I think we can attribute some of the growth in attendance to our robotics.”

Welker stated that there are many local students attending as well as students from other areas such as the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex area and San Antonio.  She stated that participants this year are from public, private and home schools.

“This is a good time to get kids out of the house,” said Welker.  “I think parents want their kids to get an edge on education.”

She explained that the Summer and Young Scholar programs are a week of activities that challenge students to think critically.  Students also learn about government such as the difference between the office of president and governor and how the Electoral College works.  In robotics, students are learning not only to build and program them but also how robots help people and are beneficial to society.

This year’s Summer Scholars teachers include Melinda Elkins, seventh-grade language arts teacher and head cross-country coach at Early Middle School and assistant basketball and track coach at Early High School; Tami Hull, sixth-grade science teacher at Early Middle School and coach of the robotics and University Interscholastic League science and mathematics teams; Dr. Kristen Hutchins, assistant professor of biology at HPU, who holds a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction in the area of science education; and Dr. Evelyn Romig, professor of English at HPU, who holds a doctoral degree in English.

Young Scholars teachers include Melinda Elkins; Deanna Erxleben, adjunct instructor of music at HPU, who holds a master’s degree in vocal performance with a concentration in voice science and pedagogy reading; Jennifer McKibben, eighth-grade science teacher at Early Middle School; and Clairissa Tucker, second-grade biology teacher at Bangs ISD who holds a master’s degree in education.

Pictured above is Mrs. Tucker with students in her science class.  Below are more photos of the Summer and Young Scholars Programs on Thursday.