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.


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. 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.

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.”