NOAA 2000-308
Contact: Patricia Viets


Twenty sixth-grade students from Accomack County on the Delmarva Peninsula are attending a summer enrichment camp at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, thanks to a program sponsored by NOAA and three partners.

"The two-week camp is designed to promote the fields of mathematics, science, engineering and technology to under-represented groups of minorities, the economically disadvantaged and women," said Scott Gudes, NOAA deputy under secretary. "The selfless efforts of Eveline Cropper are exactly the type of high-impact outreach in the community that NOAA is proud to support."

Students are being prepared for mathematics and computer courses that will help them to be successful at the middle and high school levels. The students are also strengthening communications skills, working in teams, developing survival strategies and learning new methods for increasing science and engineering knowledge. The program also includes information on scholarships, college preparation and activities aimed at increasing the students' interest in attending college.

Eveline Cropper, a NOAA federal program officer who works at NOAA's Command and Data Acquisition Station at Wallops, Va., has been the driving force behind the program. She coordinates a group of volunteers who assist students with their homework and provide tutoring in various subjects. The project known as HELP, the Horntown Educational Learning Project, is a co-sponsor of the summer camp.

"We are delighted to participate in this vital program, which is so important to the students, the schools, and the community," Cropper said. "We all benefit when our students pursue careers in math, science and technology."

Rear Admiral Evelyn Fields, the first African-American and first woman to become head of the NOAA Commissioned Corps, will take part in the program as a role model for the students. "It is a priority of mine to show kids that with the proper education, they can go as far as their motivation and drive will take them," she said.

The University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, and the Accomack County School System, co-sponsors of the program, are working with HELP to run the camp. The sponsors have provided program supervision, selected summer faculty, selected tutors, arranged for classrooms, meals, logistics and other details. HELP and the Accomack school system will also provide math, science, and computer enrichment activities for these students throughout the school year.

"Eveline Cropper is a real leader at NOAA, and she has shown great personal initiative to make a difference in the community here on the Eastern Shore," said Gudes. "She is really a special person."