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.

Our Mechanical Engineering Camp Projects

TESI Curriculum Module: Mechanical Engineering Summer Program

Are you interested in how things actually work, and how they are built? Do you enjoy taking things apart and putting them back together?  Are you searching mechanical engineering for kids, looking for projects to keep them occupied this summer? You may have an aspiring mechanical engineer and we have the best mechanical engineering summer programs for high school students waiting for you!

Our goal at the IEEE TryEngineering Summer Institute is to give students a chance to try out all aspects of engineering.  That includes our mechanical engineering summer camps!  Our intention is to provide high school students with a path forward, to allow them to take a glimpse into their future. Our mechanical engineering summer camp will allow them to see and feel what it is like to be a real life engineer before they go off to college. 

Put simply, we are out to create the next generation of problem-solvers and difference-makers, and position these innovators for long-term success in both their academics and in their budding professional lives. Our ten-day, hands-on mechanical engineering summer camp is designed to empower students while giving them real-world skills and a great academic program to put on their college applications.

In our mechanical engineering summer program for high school students we will build several projects designed to introduce them to the principles and science behind real-world applications of mechanical engineering.  And what it takes to study mechanical engineering. 

Our students will work with their classmates on building projects that they will use for a competition to see who can build a bridge to handle the heaviest load - and why that load can be handled in the first place!  We also get to the basics of the mechanics and math behind the structures of everyday life.  

Below are some of the mechanical engineering projects that we built during our engineering summer camp in previous years.  Keep in mind that mechanical engineering is just one part of our larger focus toward STEM education. Our students will be able to explore the fundamentals of civil, electrical, and aeronautical engineering as well!  If you have ever been interested in mechanical engineering for kids or you think engineering could be the future for you child keep reading to see exactly what mechanical engineering projects we work on! 


Mechanical Engineering Camp Projects:

Hydraulic Robot Arm Challenge

Learn the basics of robotics and hydro-mechanical power.  In this challenge, students will assemble a wired controlled robot arm and test the arm by conducting various tasks, introducing them to hydraulics and hydraulic machinery. They will then assemble and prepare a hydraulic robot arm that controls six axes of varied movements.

Students are challenged to use lever controllers to lift various items with suction mechanisms as well as using the gripper to transport a range of products. As a group, they will  simulate a construct of a conveyor belt with multiple robot arms to transport multiple materials down a mock production line. Teams also compete to see which can stack the highest number of dice using only the arm.  All of this speaks to our commitment to introduce students to our mechanical engineering camp projects like this and more!

Design Think Challenge

Design thinking is a creative process developed at Stanford University that helps you design meaningful solutions to problems.  Students will experience the full cycle in an introductory hands-on challenge and then they will walk through the process of identifying a problem, developing a “how might we…” statement, defining the problem, designing a solution, and creating  a prototype. At our engineering camp program teams can choose to enter our own home-grown “shark tank” and develop a pitch for their solution.

Program Dates and Locations:  

University of San Diego (San Diego, California):   June 30 - July 8, 2024 AND July 11 - July 19, 2024
Rice University (Houston, Texas): June 30 - July 8, 2024 AND July 11 - July 19, 2024
University Of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA): July 14 - 22, 2024 AND July 25 - August 2, 2024

This co-ed day and residential engineering summer camp is open to any student ages 13-17.

Learn more about the TryEngineering summer campuses: University of Pennsylvania, University of San Diego, or Rice University


Sleepaway/Residential:  $3895 ($3795 for IEEE members)
Commuter/Day:  $3295 ($3195 for IEEE members)

Scholarship Opportunities:

A limited number of need-based scholarships are available.  Click HERE for more information.

Other Engineering Focuses within TESI Program:
Aerospace Engineering Summer Camp
Civil Engineering Summer Camp
Electrical Engineering Summer Camp

If you want to learn more about all the different fields of engineering, be sure to check out all of our engineering articles below which will help you get a feel of each different subset we have to offer:

At the TryEngineering Summer Institute summer engineering programs for high school students, you’ll explore various engineering fields, such as electrical, civil, mechanical, and aerospace. Our STEM summer course allows you to meet working engineers and experience VIP tours of engineering companies and centers. Learn new skills and engage in hands-on projects that explore how engineers can solve real-world problems.

The TryEngineering Summer Institute is a program from IEEE, the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology. Our more than 417,000 members in 160 countries, including more than 120,000 student members, help us provide the trusted "voice" for engineering, computing and technology information around the globe via highly-cited publications, conferences, technology standards and professional and educational activities. Our curriculum is created specifically for this program by IEEE STEM summer specialists.

Last summer we visited:

  • NASA's Johnson Space Center (Rice University students)

"If you are ever thinking about doing engineering or trying to see what it's like, I would 100% recommend this camp." - 2023 student


Our Engineering Program

TryEngineering Summer Institute gives teens the opportunity to explore a variety of engineering disciplines in a fun, hands-on way. The program is ideal for students who are considering a degree or career in engineering, as well as for those that are curious to learn more. Whether your teen is brand new to engineering, or has taken a few classes in school, every student will have fun tackling a variety of engineering design challenges while developing skills in engineering, communication, and consensus-building. The 2024 engineering summer camp is designed by IEEE STEM summer specialists specifically for our TryEngineering Summer Institute.

If you are interested in mechanical engineering for kids and think your teen may benefit from our mechanical engineering summer program, keep reading below to find out the full scope of our camp!

Students participate in team-based, hands-on design challenges, hear from and interact with working engineers, and experience exciting off-campus field trips to local engineering sites. While there may be other mechanical engineering summer camps, there are none quite like the TryEngineering Summer Institute.

The program is perfect for those who want to:

  • Find out how engineering is applied in the real world, and how it’s shaping our future.
  • Participate in multi-disciplinary projects in electrical, civil, mechanical, aerospace and other engineering disciplines.
  • Learn to think like engineers while building critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills.
  • Experience how engineers work in teams to solve local and global challenges.
  • Gain insight into what it’s like to study engineering at the university level.
  • Engage with professionals working in your field of interest.
  • See real-world engineering projects while learning about future academic and career possibilities through exciting trips and tours.
  • Build awesome projects that teach engineering concepts by making things like rockets, remote control cars, drones, trebuchets, building and soldering circuits, and much more.

…All while having fun with new friends on one of our engineering campuses.

Curriculum Overview

Questions about our mechanical engineer summer camp program?
Call us at +1 315-816-4023 or email info@tryengineeringinstitute.org

Program Highlights

Two students working on a hands-on design challenge

Hands-On Design Challenges

Panel session

Exclusive Guest Speakers

Group under SCA nose

Exciting VIP Tours
and Field Trips

Access University Engineering Labs and Tech Spaces


Tuition for the TryEngineering Summer Institute is all-inclusive, covering all activities, tours, lodging, meals, and transportation while on campus. Both residential and day programs are available.

Click to Learn More...


A limited number of scholarships are available for those that demonstrate financial need. Click the link below to learn how to apply.

Click to Learn More...

Questions about our programs?
Call us at +1 315 816 4023 or email info@tryengineeringinstitute.org