A summer camp in the Black Hills is blowing up. High school students from across the country are learning the finer points of explosives this week at the School of Mines Mining and Engineering Explosives Camp.
But its not just for fun. The students are exploring a possible career.
Explosives are a huge part of the mining and engineering industry. The "campers" spent time this week in the classroom learning about how to safely use explosives, and Wednesday they got some hands-on experience.
"This is a way to let high school students and pre-college students know about engineering and how mining and explosives are used in engineering," SDSMT Mining Engineering Department Head Shashi Kanth said.
17-students from all across the country are attending explosives camp.
"My dad told me that he had found an explosives summer camp online, and I've always kind of enjoyed that kind of stuff so I signed up," Syracuse, NY, 12th grader Alex Cantrall said.
"It's definitely a learning experience that I've had a lot of fun with so far, and I'm glad that I found out about this camp and that I got the chance to come," Arvada, CO, 11th grader Sarah Hemler said.
"They have a good immersion into what it takes to make these explosives work efficiently, and most of all our key has been on safety; on how to handle them safely, how to recognize an unsafe situation, and how to deal with it," Kanth said.
Not only does the camp give students an inside look into the world of mining and engineering, it's also a nice recruiting tool for the School of Mines.
"We do have a good conversion rate, that students who do come to these camps do end up becoming our students at the school," Kanth said.
"The big thing I was worried about was whether or not I liked the campus. I love the campus, so it's definitely, completely, 100-percent top," Cantrall said.
"If you have the opportunity, I would definitely say take it, learn, and have fun with it," Hemler said.
The explosives camp runs for five days and wraps up on Friday. It's made possible by the generosity of Century Drilling and Blasting and Davey Bickford Company, which donated between $80-100 thousand worth of explosives and equipment.
To learn more about the camp, visit the School of Mines website.