Ciana Martino, a sixth grader at , loves to take things apart and see how they work. She has dreams of becoming some kind of engineer or scientist later in life.
This summer she is taking a step in that direction by attending the University of Rhode Island’s Summer Transportation Institute.
Ciana is one of 20 middle school applicants who received a full scholarship for the program which includes tuition, meals, transportation, equipment and supplies, field trip expenses, workshops and facility usage. During the two-week summer program that beings on August 1, she will be learning about the design of highways and bridges, the construction and maintenance of roads, transportation of people and goods, among other topics.
“I’ve always liked to take things apart, but I’ve never been good at putting them back together so I’m hoping that I’ll learn how to do that,” Ciana said. “I really like to see all the wires and how things work.”
During the school year, Ciana is apart of the after-school robotics club. This past year, the club participated in the 2011 First Lego League Rhode Island Robotics Challenge at Roger Williams University.
“I hope I get picked for the robotics club for next year because I’m hoping that I learn a lot this summer that I can bring back for next year,” she said. “I’m the only girl in the club at school, but I’m really excited to find a lot of people at this camp who like the same things I do and to make friends with them.”
Ciana says that her interest in technology and science began when she was in fourth grade.
“I really liked my science teacher that year and we did a lot of really cool science things in class,” she said. “It was after that that I started taking things apart and seeing how they worked; things like toys that my brother didn’t want or an old calculator or something.”
Her mom, Nicole Martino, said that at first she was surprised her daughter was so interested in mechanics and technology, but now she just wants her daughter to have fun.
“I’m very proud of her and that she is really jumping in with both feet,” Martino said. “I’m really hoping that she has fun this summer and that she will be able to retain and apply the knowledge that she gets to any career she may choose; science or any other area.”