The Educational Talent Search (ETS) program at Purdue Calumet identifies middle and high school students in Hammond and East Chicago that have educational goals after graduation but may need some assistance figuring out how to reach them. The ETS program offers many services to these students and their parents but one of the favorites is Project EXCEL.


Project EXCEL is an educational summer camp for middle school students in the ETS program. It offers campers the opportunity to study subjects such as math, technology, science, engineering and language arts by participating in fun activities and field trips during the month of July. This year, the drama class was a camp favorite.


“The drama class has been fun and it’s a great way to express ourselves,” said camper Dave Williams. “It’s exciting to be able to act out another person.”


Classes like the drama class are all held on campus at Purdue Calumet. This allows the students to get a feel for what being at a college is like, which is exciting and encourages them to work to get into college after high school.


However, the campers don’t stay at Purdue all summer. There are numerous field trips to places like the Museum of Science and Industry and White Sox games. These trips help to combine education and fun and allow the campers to explore areas outside Northwest Indiana for a day. The whole experience at Project EXCEL camp is focused on getting students excited about education.


“Students can have access to a high quality of services and resources in a warm, positive, encouraging and engaging environment that fosters equitable, healthy student development,” said ETS program director Jimmie Sanders of the Project EXCEL camp.


For more information on the Project EXCEL camp and ETS program, visit