TryEngineering Summer Institute

An exciting two-week, on-campus engineering camp for high school students held at three premier universities across the United States in 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find the Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Below

How do I become an engineer?

Think you might have a passion for creating things to make the world a better place? That's great! If you want to become an engineer, you will have to study engineering in college and earn your degree. It is also great to get a head start and start experiencing what engineers do before you even enter college. But you do not have to want to be an engineer to attend this program. All you have to have is a desire to check out something new, make new friends, and explore life on a college campus.

Yes! Students applying do not need to have any engineering experience. Not every high school student has had a solid engineering class or a formal background in this discipline. This program will introduce all students to the principal areas of study within engineering.

Yes!  The TryEngineering Summer Institute curriculum is specially designed just for this program by IEEE STEM curriculum specialists for students with lots of experience, as well as those new to engineering. In addition to technical knowledge, there is a strong emphasis on communication and working in teams on engineering projects, which are essential skills for every engineer. No matter what ability level or experience you have, this program is for you!

Yes! We train our staff to work with students who are having their first sleepaway experience. Also, you are not alone! There will be many other students who will be sleeping away from home for the first time, some traveling from other states and countries. We are here to help with any homesickness, and make sure you have a great first experience.

Yes! We work very hard to make the experience safe, fun, and a wonderful learning and growth opportunity. Living on a college campus is awesome.  This applies to every student, regardless of how much experience they have at camp or in another sleepaway program!

Yes! One of our curricular goals is to give students the opportunity to find out about and explore a myriad of options and careers within engineering. From electrical to aeronautical to mechanical engineering and more, there is a whole lot of opportunity in today’s tech world. We will discuss these options and explore how to become an engineer as part of our program.

Because ages and grades can vary by geography and nationality, we list both eligible ages and grades. We accept students who are 13-17 years old and/or students entering grades 9-12 in the coming school year (after the Summer Institute) into the program.

We understand that the age differences create variations in experience, academic backgrounds and other areas. There are times when everyone is together and other times when smaller groups gather. Our instructors have flexibility in adjusting the level of complexity, so everyone is challenged. And in the dorms, students are placed in rooms by age so that each roommate is the same or close to the same age as their roommate. We work very hard to ensure that everyone feels safe and has a great time.

Student safety is our top priority! Throughout the day, students are offered a variety of supervised activities tailored to their interests and energy levels. Residence halls are staffed with live-in staff including the Program Director, the Program Health Director, and Resident Assistants who provide 24-hour supervision. Staff members are also always present on off-campus excursions. With an experienced, highly trained staff and the support if needed from on-campus college security, we provide the necessary supervision to ensure the safety and well-being of all students.

Yes! There is an IEEE discount for members who would like to send family members or friends to the program. All that is needed is an IEEE member number to take advantage of the discount. The tuition fees are listed on our enrollment page. Please call or email us with any questions: +1 866 397 2267 / info@tryengineeringinstitute.org

A $500 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration.

Final payment is due June 1, 2020.

Yes; payments of any amount can be made at any time between registration (where a deposit is required) and final payment through our online registration system. There is no additional fee for making online payments.

Yes! There are a limited number of need-based scholarships available to legal residents of the USA. To see the full list of information and to apply, please visit our scholarship page.

Roommates are matched by age and by using the information provided in the roommate section of the application. Students are housed in residence halls, and organized and separated by self-described gender and age. Staff members will live on each floor to provide constant supervision and direction. Explore each program location to read more about each venue.

Yes; we offer drivers and vans to pick-up and drop-off students. Please contact our office for details. For those who choose this service, full payment and travel information must be submitted by June 1, 2020. The price for this service is $175 for both ways or $95 for one-way. The airport codes for airports closest to each camp include:

  • University of California, Riverside: Los Angeles International (LAX) or Ontario International Airport (ONT)
  • Vaughn College: JFK International Airport (JFK) or  – LaGuardia International Airport (LGA)
  • Texas A&M University: George Bush International (IAH) or Houston-Hobby Airport (HOU)

Booking the flight:

  • Arrival: On the first day of the session, anytime before noon is preferred.
  • Departure: On the last day of the session, anytime from Noon – 5pm is preferred.

If you cannot find flights at these times, please try to find one as close as possible, so we can group the pick ups and drop offs together. Once you have booked your flight, please forward the entire itinerary to us at info@tryengineeringinstitute.org. Please make sure the itinerary has the student name, date, time, and flight numbers included.

Is your student flying as an unaccompanied minor? You will need the name, address, and phone number of the staff member that will be picking up or dropping off your student. We do not assign the staff members until camp begins, so in the meantime, you will need a placeholder. Please contact us, and we will provide the contact info for the director on-site. Then when camp begins, you will be able to call the airline and change it to the person who will be there.

The day before the flight, the director will be in contact with you to confirm all of the flight info, and assign the staff member that will be in charge of the pick up or drop off. Then the staff member will text a photo of themselves to your student and make sure they have each other saved in their phones.

Upon arrival, the assigned staff member will be waiting at baggage claim with a camp T-shirt and their cell phone in hand. Once your student exits the plane they can call the staff member (and you!) to meet up, grab their bags, and head back to campus in a cab or shuttle.

Staff members will also drop off students at the airport. Students are transported by cab or airport shuttle. The staff member will help them get checked in, and check baggage. (Note: If your student is checking a bag, please be sure to send along cash for any fees that might need to be paid on the return flight for luggage. This will vary from airline to airline.)

If your teen is flying as an unaccompanied minor, our staff member will escort them through security and wait with them until the plane takes off. If your student doesn’t need an escort, then our staff member will remain at the airport until the plane takes off. If you have any questions regarding this procedure please feel free to give us a call anytime. (866) 397-2267

We prefer that you arrive by noon on start days and leave after 3:00 p.m. on departure days. We cannot accept students a day early or keep students a day late as we do not have access to the residence halls and rooms at that time.  For students flying in, we will pick-up at any time on those days, however to ensure the best experience we urge all families to have their student arrive during those times. We do know that international or cross-country flights may make that impossible and we will work with you individually to determine what is best for you and your student.  Call us!

If you require airport pick-up/drop-off service, please let us know as soon as you arrange your flights. Email the student’s itinerary and receipt from the airline to info@tryengineeringinstitute.org

Pickup: Parents will receive a phone call the night before the student’s flight to confirm all information. Parents will also receive an email with the name and photo of the person conducting the pick-up, so students will know who to look for. Staff members will be waiting just past security in a TryEngineering Summer Institute t-shirt with a sign containing the student’s name and the Summer Institute logo. Parents will receive a call as soon as the student pick-up is complete. Assistance is provided with baggage pick-up and loading items into a professionally driven transport. Students are then personally escorted directly to the residence hall.

Drop off: Students are transported from the dorm with ample time before their flight departure. Students will receive assistance with check-in and baggage drop-off, and are escorted to security. Please ensure any baggage fees are prepaid prior to check-in. One staff member remains at the airport until all flights have departed, so if a flight is cancelled, someone is available to offer students assistance with re-booking or even returning to the dorm as necessary.

Airport Information:
Vaughn: LaGuardia (LGA) & JF Kennedy International (JFK)
UCR: Los Angeles International (LAX) & Ontario International Airport (ONT)
Texas A&M: George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby Airport (HOU), or the airport on campus Easterwood Airport (CLL)

Please call +1 866 397 2267 with any questions about the flight pick-up and drop-off service. International students may find it easier to email us at info@tryengineeringinstitute.org

Yes! International students visiting the United States to attend the TryEngineering Summer Institute do not need anything other than a tourist visa. Neither an F-1 nor an M-1 visa is required. Visas can be obtained from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the student’s home country. We do not offer assistance in obtaining the visa or with entry into the United States. We can however provide a letter confirming a student’s participation in the program if needed. Students can be picked up at the airport using our optional drop-off/pick-up service. Please call or email us with any questions: +1 866 397 2267 / info@tryengineeringinstitute.org

Yes! We accept both commuter students and residential students. Commuter/day students have the convenience of living at home while residential students enjoy the complete university experience.

Yes!  Commuter students should check-in on opening Sunday between 2:00-3:00 p.m. to meet the staff, go over the rules and begin the process of creating a community. Commuter students will have dinner with us on opening Sunday. Commuter students and their parents are part of the closing ceremony on the last Saturday of the TryEngineering Summer Institute. If you have any questions or for some reason cannot make one or either of these sessions, please call us and we will work it out.  However the program is designed such that all students are there on Sunday for the start of the session and are present for the closing ceremony on Saturday.

Commuter students should be on campus for the Sunday start day from 2:00 - 7:00 p.m. They also attend classes Monday-Friday. Drop off on weekdays is between 8:00-8:45 a.m. and pick up is between 4:00-4:30 p.m.  The closing ceremony Saturday session on the last day of the TryEngineering Summer Institute is 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Students may bring their mobile phones; however, we have a strict mobile phone use policy. Students turn their phone in after breakfast/before class, and then the phones are returned to the students at 9pm to keep overnight.  In addition students will have their phones anytime they are travelling off-campus.  In this way students can be in touch with their friends and family at night, use their phones as an alarm, etc and still be fully present to participate in all academic and social activities at TESI.   Students may not bring laptops.  Please call us if you have any questions regarding this. We understand this is a sensitive subject for many students and parents. What we want is students who are engaged and learning, and parents who feel their children are safe and can be easily contacted if the need arises.

The focus of the TryEngineering Summer Institute is on student achievement, personal growth, academic enrichment and socialization all bundled into an amazing collegiate experience. The curriculum has been developed specifically for this program by engineers and educators from IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional association with 130 years of rich history and expertise. The academic program is aimed at providing students with engineering foundations, skills and tips on preparing for academic and career paths in engineering. The Summer Institute program is coordinated and delivered by Branded Camp Services, a provider with over 20 years of experience implementing premier academic summer learning camps for students. Each Summer Institute will also leverage the amazing resources provided by the host university. In concert, these resources create a unique summer academic experience that will make a lasting impression on students and will ultimately help to shape their future.

No. Academically, the programs are the same and mirror one another. Students who choose to attend a second session during the summer will be immersed in the same work, and given the opportunity to explore it in new ways. So no, there is no difference between the sessions, and you don’t have to attend the first session to attend another one. They are both stand-alone programs.

Yes. All of our host sites are familiar with students who have food allergies and can make arrangements for this.  We take this very seriously. Please let us know in advance if students have any food allergies or restrictions and we will work with you and dining services to make arrangements based on your needs.  Vegetarian options will also be available at every meal.

Absolutely! We welcome people with disabilities and are committed to providing all students with equal access to the educational experience. Please contact us to let us know and we will make arrangements based on your needs.

We are committed to offering the TryEngineering Summer Institute community with an educational experience of the highest quality, while maintaining a safe, healthy and respectful environment. Conduct that threatens the health or safety of any person, or that poses a threat of causing damage to the Institute, campus or community, will not be tolerated. The Institute has a “Zero Tolerance” policy with regard to alcohol, illegal drugs, theft, lewd or indecent behavior, sexual, racial or personal harassment or intolerance. Participants are subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal, for conduct in violation of these terms. All camps meet American Camp Association (ACA) accreditation and applicable state licensing requirements.

We do have a limited number of positions open. Please review our Job Opportunities page for more information.


We are more than happy to answer all of your questions! There are several ways to reach us.

Contact us via our online form, email info@tryengineeringinstitute.org or call +1 866 397 2267.