Updated: Friday, 03 Apr 2009, 11:34 PM MDT
Published : Friday, 03 Apr 2009, 11:34 PM MDT
SOCORRO, N.M. (KRQE) - When someone at New Mexico Tech says a new summer camp for teenagers is "the bomb," they mean it quite literally.
High school students will actually help blow things up at one of the world's top bomb labs when New Mexico Tech hosts it's a first-ever Explosives Camp.
Tech says America needs to recruit a new generation of explosives experts.
Already explosives experts and first responders dealing with commercial detonations and terrorist bombs come to Tech from all over the world to get their training.
Now Dr. Christa Hockensmith is seeking high school students who are at least 16 to come to Tech's Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center this summer for the week-long Explosives Camp.
"They will learn how to analyze explosives," Hockensmith told KRQE News 13. "They will learn how to detonate explosives."
But combining teenagers and explosives? One might not think that's a good mix.
"One might not, and one would be correct because explosives and untutored individuals: not a good mix," Hockensmith said before adding cheerfully, "But what is a good mix, is students, faculty, ordnance people and me."
Many of America's explosives experts are approaching retirement. So new explosives talent is needed for careers in anti-terrorism, mining, civil engineering and others.
"Every career except accounting," Hockensmith said. "Accounting doesn't fit well with explosives.
"Neither does brain surgery, but it may in the future. We'd take teeny-tiny amount of explosive, and we can implode that tumor in your brain and you'll be well again. But that's in the future."
Summer campers may participate in car-bomb training.
"But not real close to the car bomb," Hockensmith said.
Explosives camp enrollment costs about a $1,000 and is limited to just 10 students. The application deadline is May 1 with the resounding fun starting June 21.
Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA and letters of recommendation.