TryEngineering Summer Institute

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


Graduate Profiles: Student Snapshot

Carl, Graduate of TESI 2018


Our summer engineering program provides lasting benefits.  Embedded in the process of designing and building projects is a unique methodology that has our students advance academically and lasts a lifetime.  Our academic experience provides valuable preparation for college, and for life.  We appreciate hearing from our former students, and hearing about what they are up to, and the difference TESI has made in their lives.

Here is more information about Carl!

We asked his mom these questions:


Hi Mom!  What is Carl up to now?
Carl is a senior at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX studying mechanical engineering. He did an internship at Urenco USA, a nuclear energy company in Hobbs, New Mexico last summer. He currently has a job offer to work for Texas Instruments in Dallas after graduation. He’s also busy restoring a 30 year old vehicle in his spare time.

Why did you choose to register him into our program initially?
The program had good reviews but most importantly I wanted our son to experience life away at a university campus with exposure to various engineering disciplines. Our hope was for him to see what he liked and disliked about going away and to reconfirm his interest in studying engineering. The overnight dorm style life with a roommate, field trips, group projects and lectures was a way for him to get a taste of college life with like-minded high school students. The program was geared to not only an academic approach to engineering but to give real world applications and solutions to everyday issues. It tested problem solving skills from understanding the problem, drafting an approach and managing the solution.

After camp, did you notice any breakthroughs Carl had as a result of attending our program, academically, socially or in any other way?
I think he realized that he could survive living away from home. His confidence grew and he matured. He realized that if he continued to work hard that could get into a great engineering program. I think it also helped him during his college visits to look for specific course programs, facilities and teaching approaches.

In the 4 years since attending our program, can you see where our program has had any impact on his life?
He’s definitely a very methodical person. Always looking for ways to solve issues. He’s a stronger person believing that he can succeed. He came home from camp with a very positive attitude and was hard working and very disciplined.

What is Carl up to these days?
He’s a senior mechanical engineer attending Texas Tech University expected to graduate August 2023.

Did attending our program alter the course of your student’s life in any way?
Carl found his path and continued following his interest in mechanical engineering. He did not give up even with the lock down and switch to on-line classes that covid brought.


Another fun picture of Carl!


Here is what Carl himself had to say:

What is your relationship to engineering now?
I’m still enjoying it… make sure you are strong in math and working in group projects. It will strengthen you.

Do you have a positive memory from camp you can share?
I built a robotic car, used some factory kits to model and had exposure to intro into coding. I was asked to consider applying to be a counselor for a future camp, and that made me feel good about myself.

What are you up to now? Where are you headed in life?
I’m focused on finishing my degree and entering the workforce.

Anything else you’d like to say to the kids or parents thinking about registering?
It’s a good program with fun activities.

2020 TryEngineering Summer Institute

Registration for the 2020 TryEngineering Summer Institute is now open for high school students ages 13-17. The 2020 sessions are currently scheduled at three U.S. institutions. The University of California, RiversideTexas A&M University, in College Station. Plans are currently underway for an additional location in the New England area. 

There are two program options available: Residential and Commuter.

The residential program option includes all academic supplies; double occupancy room; breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily; a camp t-shirt; site visits and excursion expenses; transportation to and from activities; and weekend activities.

The commuter program option runs Monday to Friday from 9am – 4:00pm. The Commuter program option includes all academic supplies; daily lunch; a camp t-shirt; site visits and excursion expenses for trips taking place during the day/class time; and transportation to and from activities.

Pricing for the 2020 TryEngineering Summer Institute

2020 TryEngineering Summer Institute Pricing

Register by 31 December and save $200 USD! IEEE Members also receive an additional $100 USD off.

This article was originally published on TryEngineering.

Stay Sharp Over the Summer with an Engineering Program

Educational professionals have long warned parents about summer slump, where students forget some of what they learned over the previous school year. One way to prevent it is to engage students in educational summer camps.

“Learning loss is a very real thing,” says Scott Vollmer, vice president of STEM learning at Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland. “You want your child to continue learning through the summer. But anyone with a child knows motivating a child in the summer is difficult. That is where educational camps come in. It’s not school, but it will keep that pace in the summer that kids are used to in the school year.”

Educational camps allow kids and teens to have fun while staying sharp. Participating in an engineering program like TryEngineering Summer Institute exposes older students to a wide range of experiences, including making new friends, acquiring collaboration and presentation skills, participating in hands-on design challenges, and growing more independent.

“Educational camp experiences provide an environment for growth, specifically about facing failure,” Vollmer explains. “In other camps, you don’t get those opportunities to fail and you definitely don’t get that at school. At summer camp, you can botch something and try over. There is a high reward with low risk.”

The key to getting kids engaged over the summer lies in choosing an educational camp based on their interests, where they will meet like-minded friends.

Of the TryEngineering Summer Institute, one student reflected, “This camp was life changing! I made so many new friends and got to understand how to solder, 3D design, build drones, and most of all, I got to meet and still keep in contact with all of the campers.”

Work together with your teen to choose the right summer experience for them, one that will challenge them while also embracing their interests. And when your teen is back in class in the fall, they will feel more confident and ready for what lies ahead.

Learn more about enrolling in the TryEngineering Summer Institute at one of our three campuses across the United States.

Why Girls Should Go to Summer Engineering Camp

Girls are an important part of the TryEngineering Summer Institute community

When investigating summer camp options for your daughter, it’s important to consider and encourage her interests, especially when she shows interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Studies show that girls lose interest in pursuing math and science fields in middle school. However, research conducted by Girl Scouts shows that 74 percent of high school girls across the United States are interested in the field and subjects of STEM, and that those girls are high achievers who are exposed to a variety of opportunities and support systems.

An engineering summer camp is an ideal environment for nurturing your daughter’s interest in STEM, providing opportunities to participate in hands-on design challenges, meet real-life engineers, and visit engineering workplaces to see what it would really be like to work in engineering.

Here are three basic reasons why girls should enroll in engineering summer camp:

  • Because they can. The stereotype that girls aren’t interested in STEM is just that, a stereotype. Girls need to be exposed to engineering early on so they can make informed decisions when choosing their career paths. “Engineering is not only meant for boys,” says Ana Quezada, a biomedical engineering student at the University of California, Riverside and 2012-2013 International Fellow, in an article published by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). “If you have any doubts, just take a look around you. Everything you see has some engineering in it. I believe girls will love engineering if they will only give it a try. It’s not only focused on cars and boys; it is more about creating new things from scratch just using your imagination.”
  • Because engineering needs more women. Around the world, there’s a lack of women working in the engineering field. In the United States, only 13% of engineers are women. The UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe, with only 11% of the engineering workforce being female. There’s a major skills shortage in engineering, science, and technology professions overall, and it’s important that we inspire many more young people to take up careers in these crucial areas.
  • Because the next big thing could be made by a girl. New technologies are developed every day, but if only one group of people is responsible for creating solutions, those technologies may not be the best they can be. That’s why diversity in the field of engineering is so important. NASA aerospace engineer Aprille Ericsson explains, “The different perspective that each human being brings forth toward solving problems and creating unique tools is required for us to continue to create awesome projects like Mars rovers, prosthetic limbs, or nano cancer treatments.”

Encourage your daughter to pursue her engineering dreams. Share with her IEEE’s free infographic highlighting exciting engineering careers and enroll her in the TryEngineering Summer Institute today.

TESI Talks: Speaker Series

This summer, each session at each TESI location features at least one TESI Talk! TESI Talks features presentations (followed by Q+A) by industry-leading professional engineers, entrepreneurs and more who will be providing real-world experience, know-how and guidance to our engineering summer camp students!

TESI Talk Speaker Profile: Oscar Pedroso and David Brenner: Thimble.io

Oscar Pedroso is the Chief Executive Officer of Thimble. Oscar graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in Mathematics and Economics in 2006. He is the first in his family to graduate with a college degree. After graduation, Oscar became a college admissions officer at the University of Rochester, School of Engineering, where he did some independent consulting on behalf of high school students who were interested in attending the college. Oscar noticed that the majority of these students that he helped were working on exciting STEM-related projects outside of school, but found that they really had no way to capture these projects in a way that would make them stand out from the usual GPA and SAT scores.  The projects that they were building and creating were being captured, for the most part, using physical portfolios to discuss their projects and share with others.

Oscar quickly learned that without the right resources, these students would decide to leave their STEM majors during their first two years in college because they either lost interest and pursued other courses (humanities) or just didn’t perceive enough value in completing a STEM degree. It made Oscar ask various questions such as: 1) How do you impress upon these students at the right age that the world is their oyster if only they pursue a STEM major? 2) How do you provide the right resources for these students, especially earlier on in their educational career, where they see the significance of such a degree or major?

In an effort to answer these questions, Oscar started GradFly, a tool that allowed students to build an online portfolio to showcase and explore STEM projects and share them with colleges and companies recruiting top talent. His role at Rochester led him to become a mentor for several FIRST Robotics organizations. He is obsessed with DIY and Maker communities and spends his time trying to understand makers and what makes them tick.

David Brenner serves as Chief Technology Officer and utilizes his technical strengths to design and develop Thimble’s core product: hardware kits, software learning applications, and learning content. He provides guidance for company strategy, hiring decisions, and oversees the planning, scheduling of contract vendors, and product development. David graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in computer engineering, where he also attended graduate school. He has previously worked for Microwave Data Systems, Advanced Micro Devices, Intel, Sun Microsystems, and IBM.

His work experience focused primarily on computer architecture, digital ASIC design, and pre-silicon functional verification. Highlights include: functional verification of a low-power floating point unit for the Bobcat x86 low-power processor, platform architecture guidance through analysis of an interconnect generation tool for Intel’s Atom processor system-on-chip (intended for use in cell phones and tablets), the promotion of MySQL, Solaris, and other open-source technologies created by Sun Microsystems at RIT through an educational lecture series, creation of verification models for IBM’s first 22nm system ASIC, and development of a documentation generation tool that was adopted by all of IBM’s Systems and Technology Group ASIC design teams (resulting in personal recognition from IBM’s BlueGene supercomputer team). David has been interested in electronics, computers, and technology since a very young age. He grew up with the maker movement and has a deep understanding of the market, its values, its needs, and its culture.  

TryEngineering Summer Institute STEM Summer Camp teens get an exclusive tour of the tarmac during a field trip to LaGuardia Airport

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