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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.

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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 Summer Programs Make a Difference to College Admissions Officers

While grades and standardized test scores are still the top factor for college admission, colleges take a close look at extracurricular activities as well. What students do over the summer is of particular interest.

According to Mark Kantrowitz, senior video president and publisher at Edvisors Network, in an article published by CNBC, colleges think of summertime in the same way that a prospective employer thinks about a hiatus between jobs. “Colleges want to understand, what have you been doing with yourself? What happened during that gap?” he explains. The answer to those questions can be indicative of what a student will spend time doing on campus.

Students at the TryEngineering Summer Institute engage in a design challenge.

The summer experiences that are most likely to stand out to college admissions officers are those more specialized than a recreational summer camp. Students hoping to show off their dedication to athletics might consider a sports camp, while someone who has their sights set on admission to an engineering school will want to spend time over the summer at an engineering program that will set them apart from other applicants.

Something that makes Steven Infanti, associate vice president for admissions at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, take a closer look at a student’s application is a STEM camp experience. “When I look at an applicant who has a 2.5 [GPA], which would be kind of a borderline admit for us, but I see on the application, I participate in this camp … that shows a lot of initiative and someone who has passion,” he says.

Students at the TryEngineering Summer Institute design and 3D print components for robot cars that they will also race and put through obstacle courses.

Attending a camp can also help solidify what a student wants to do for a living in the future, helping them to be more focused in college.

As one past TryEngineering Summer Institute student said, “Multiple times throughout the camp, I had these moments where I could envision my future with such clarity that I now know my future major and profession will be in engineering.”

Showcasing Summer Experience

During the college admissions process, students may choose to showcase their summer experience in a variety of ways, from simply listing it as an extra-curricular activity on a college application to working especially meaningful experiences into the essay portion.

Students at the TryEngineering Summer Institute make new friends from all over the world.

“If you had a transformative experience at the summer program or a big impact on others, that tells them more about who you are as an individual, especially if you can write about how it set you in a particular direction,” Kantrowitz said. “If something is of interest to you, you’re more likely to write a passionate essay.”

Students might also consider reaching out to summer camp counselors or directors for letters of recommendation. “Relatively few students submit letters from outside [school] or that are job-related,” says Eric Greenberg, founder and director of education consulting firm Greenberg Educational Group. “That can be enormously valuable.”

How Engineering Education Sets You Up for Any Career

Engineering students learn about engineering, of course. But they also gain skills that becomes transferable to a host of careers – some that may not even utilize the direct application of engineering principles!

An education in engineering teaches core skills that are highly employable across many different industries and professions. Therefore, employers are consistently interested in recruiting graduates of engineering programs.Group project work at the TryEngineering Summer Institute.

When you explore or expand your education in engineering at the TryEngineering Summer Institute, you’ll be well on your way to developing these employable skills:

  • Effective communication. By learning to present ideas in a confident, professional manner, engineering programs like the Institute prepare you for future communications with colleagues, bosses and the community.
  • Competence in application and practice. As an engineering student, you’ll learn how to properly utilize engineering techniques, as well as relevant tools and programs.
  • Interpersonal and teamwork skills. One of the most highly transferable employment skills you’ll develop is the ability to function effectively within a team and as the leader.
  • Problem solving skills. You’ll learn to identify problems, use logic and reasoning to identify solutions, and use objectivity when approaching implementation of solutions.
  • Understanding professional, social and ethical responsibilities. As a professional engineer, commitment to these principles is key.
  • Lifelong learning. Engineering students are taught the importance of lifelong learning and acquiring new knowledge and skills to benefit your career.

Don’t wait to develop these skills. Registration for the 2019 TryEngineering Summer Institute program is now open. Learn more and enroll today!


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