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.


From TESI student to TESI staff and an Engineering Major – Karina’s story!

Here is an authentic and moving post from a former student and current staffer:

Hi! I had enrolled in the Try Engineering Summer Institute at Texas A&M University in College Station back in 2018.  At the time, I was 16 years old and wanted to do something out of the ordinary that summer.It was until one of my old robotics mentors recommended that I should apply to the Try Engineering Summer Institute to gain more experience in the engineering field while exploring a university. As I was looking into the program, I mentioned it to two of my high school friends and we all applied to the program. What attracted me to this program was the fact that I was going to experiment with different projects and find a specific field of interest in engineering. While doing so, I wanted to explore one of the top universities I wanted to attend.  

 While being accepted into the program, I was thrilled and no words can describe such experience. I recall walking into the Neely Hall Dorms with my two friends from high school, where we were welcomed by the resident assistant Tahj and Lauren. They asked for our names and escorted us to our dorms. From there, we unpacked and met everyone in the lounge room where we were able to introduce ourselves and where we were from. I recall meeting several people from other states and other countries. After meeting everyone, we had many “ice breakers” (activities that allowed us to get to know the other students that were in the program). After the first day of activities/games, the academic part of the program was introduced to us. We met our two professors of the institution and they began giving us an introduction of what we would be doing in class. I recall sitting in the class having no clue as to how to solder a resistor to a circuit board, nonetheless, creating my very own circuit board. The professors gave us proper instructions and other students of the class were able to help me and some other students learn how to use a soldering iron. While doing so, we were able to bond with one another as we were able to share a few laughs. That was one of the many activities that I consider both a learning and memorable experience. 

Before the program, I always had an interest in robotics and participated in robotics competitions along with other STEM related extracurricular activities. As a high schooler, I was on a journey to search for a field in engineering that I would like to pursue. I had joined the  robotics club since the 8th grade of my middle school years to gain a generalization of robotics engineering. Little did I know, I had a strong fascination with the mechanics of robots. I would constantly stay in robotics practice late at night to work on different mechanisms to attach to the robots, so that the team can accomplish more tasks to win competitions. From that point onwards, I still was not sure if other engineering fields would be appealing to me. It wasn’t until I enrolled in the Try Engineering Summer Institute, that is when I knew what field of engineering  I wanted to study. 

As of now, I am in the General Engineering Program at Texas  A&M University at Higher Education Center in McAllen. Next semester, I will be transitioning to College Station to pursue a degree in the mechanical field. I am living in Edinburgh, Texas and working my way to getting into the mechanical engineering program in College Station. I was placed here in McAllen to take my basic engineering courses and apply to my desired engineering major. Once I do so, I plan on working towards my bachelors degree in mechanical engineering and minor in electrical engineering. 

My friend from high school, who also attended the Summer Institute in 2018, mentioned how she applied to the program to become a resident assistant. She recommended that I should apply and I did not give it a second thought. I applied the following day because I knew how the resident assistants made it more memorable when I attended the summer institute and I want to do the same for the incoming students. 

I would like to tell the incoming students “ The whole purpose of the camp is to learn, meet new people, and make some long lasting memories.”

See you this summer!


Karina (former student and now a new resident assistant and staff member for this summer!)