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.

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?  You just might be an aspiring mechanical engineer and we have just the summer camp 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 of course the mechanical engineering summer program modules!  Our intention is to provide high school students with a path forward, to see themselves as people for whom mechanical engineering could be a future.  

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 two-week, hands-on program is designed to empower students while giving them real-world skills and a great academic program to put on their college applications.

In this summer STEM program our students 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. They will also see what it takes to study mechanical engineering and how does it show up as a job or career?

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, computer, electrical, and aeronautical engineering as well!  This all points to the opportunity to discover what is the best fit for each student!


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 26 - July 9, 2022 AND July 10 - July 23, 2022
Rice University (Houston, Texas):  June 26 - July 9, 2022 AND July 10 - July 23, 2022
Vaughn College Of Aeronautics (NYC, NY):  July 10 - 23, 2022 AND July 24 - August 6, 2022
University Of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA):  July 10 - 23, 2022 AND July 24 - August 6, 2022
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 PennsylvaniaUniversity of San DiegoVaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology or Rice University


Sleepaway/Residential:  $3895 ($3795 for IEEE members)
Commuter/Day:  $2495 ($2395 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
Mechanical 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.

This summer we have some exciting field trips planned (and more coming!):

  • NASA's Johnson Space Center (Rice University students)
  • Con Edison power station, New York City (Vaughn College students)

"The overall experience was awesome and I would definitely recommend it to my friends.  Some of the highlights: the flight simulator and the field trip to the World Trade Tower and ConEdison.  Getting out and about was nice and it took the classroom to the real world." -  former student


TryEngineering Summer Institute helps to inspire the next generation of engineers as shown in this video from last year's summer engineering programs

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 program is designed by IEEE STEM summer specialists specifically for our TryEngineering Summer Institute.

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.

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 programs?
Call us at +1 866 397 2267 or email info@tryengineeringinstitute.org

Program Highlights

TryEngineering Summer Institute students participating in our summer engineering programs participate as a team in a hands-on design challenge

Hands-On Design Challenges

A panel of young engineering professionals speak to TryEngineering Summer Institute engineering summer camp students about their career path and the work that they do.

Exclusive Guest Speakers

TryEngineering Summer Institute summer STEM camp students pose in front of a rocket during a field trip to NASA and the Johnson Space Center

Exciting VIP Tours and Field Trips

TryEngineering Summer Institute students got to visit engineering graduate students working on autonomous vehicle technology in a test-bed during one of our summer engineering programs

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.

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

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Questions about our programs?
Call us at +1 866 397 2267 or email info@tryengineeringinstitute.org