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Bring the Family: Kids U offers a unique summer experience

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Employees say UT is a great place to work. Benefits such as insurance, annual leave and sick leave are competitive and, in some cases, better than those offered by private companies. More perks of working for UT include taking advantage of day care, classes, camps and other activities for children right where you work.

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Rockets, bugs and lawyers, oh my! Despite what you might think, these are not the ingredients to pull off a spectacular prank but are a small sampling of the myriad of programs available at UT Knoxville’s Kids U this summer.

At Kids U, students K-12 come to the Knoxville campus for hands-on educational experiences in a variety of fields. What makes Kids U unique is that in every program, students work with University faculty, staff and graduate students.

“Kids U is a unique opportunity for both our campus and area students,” says Brent Lackey, director of Kids U. “At Kids U, kids can learn about insects, music, rockets and more from UT faculty, staff and graduate students.”

Last year, Danielle and Spence Meyers, both UT Knoxville employees, saw the benefit of the Kids U enriched learning programs when they signed up their son, Lucas, for “Rockets!” This three hour, three-day program gave Lucas the opportunity to learn how to build and launch model rockets from Space Science Outreach Director Paul Lewis.

“It was awesome,” Lucas says. “The best part was making the rockets fly.” Lewis had the students start with building basic rockets with bottles. By the third day, the students had advanced to model kit rockets that could shoot hundreds of feet into the air. If you worked on the Hill last summer, you may have heard the occasional “Zing!” of a flying rocket.

“At home, Lucas told us about jet propulsion and rocket flight,” Danielle Meyers says. “It was such a wonderful experience for Lucas and the hands-on teaching of Paul Lewis really had a lasting impression on him. He’s looking forward to more programs this summer.”

To learn more about Kids U, call (865) 974-0150 or outreach.utk.edu/ppd/kidsu/.

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