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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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Amazing Field Trips and Guest Speakers

One thing that sets our program apart is our connection and access to actual working engineers and industry leaders who can bring their experience and insight to our students. This happens in two ways:

Field trips: Each session of the program features field trips to meet with engineers at their places of business. Last year our students:

  • Toured the main ConEd power generating plant in Manhattan, and met with the working engineers there
  • Toured Johnson Space Center in Houston and met with one of the original Apollo Program engineers as well as touring the facility
  • Toured at the Aerospace Corporation in Southern California, a defense contractor, and saw what they are up to
  • Visited the new construction at La Guardia Airport in NYC and got to go on the tarmac and see up close all of the challenges facing the engineers as they rebuild and add-on to one of the country’s busiest airports

TESI students on the tarmac at La Guardia Airport in NYC

TESI Talks and Panels: TESI Talks are when guest speakers come to our classrooms and give presentations about their careers and lives. The IEEE community is able to generate some amazing guest speakers for our students! Panels are when we bring in small groups of engineers to give presentations and to answer questions about what it is like actually working as an engineer and to explore the different disciplines of engineering like electrical, mechanical, aerospace and much more. TESI Talks and Panels occur in-class and on campus. We design it this way to give our students access to different kinds of engineers and to give us the opportunity to hear about their lives, background, careers, and futures. Because that is what this program is all about… having our students try on a new future now!

Guest speakers and panelists have different experiences and backgrounds.

  • The founders of start-up Thimble.io who came to discuss their business, their background, and why education and engineers matter
  • A senior engineer at ConEd with 30 years of experience in figuring out how to power the City of New York and especially what to do in times of crisis like in storms, hurricanes or other unforeseen events including 9/11 that can impact power on a regional scale and what ConEd can do about that. A fascinating talk that had our students on the edge of their seats!
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.
IEEE Panelists discussing their careers at TAMU 2019

2020 Panels, field trips, and TESI Talks: We are in the process of organizing and confirming our 2020 Panels and Speakers. So check back often or simply call or email us for more information! 866-397-3367

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; and Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, in Queens, N.Y. 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.

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.”


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