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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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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.”

Why You Don’t Need Engineering Experience to Attend the Summer Institute

The TryEngineering Summer Institute offers students incredible hands-on experiences in engineering and exposure to the top engineering campuses, companies, and centers, plus the opportunity to meet real-world engineers. Clearly it is going to be the perfect two-week summer camp for kids who are all about engineering!

TAMU group trip
Students at the Summer Institute at Texas A&M University.

But the Summer Institute is also the perfect camp experience for teens who are just beginning to explore the field, and even those who aren’t sure they’re interested in engineering at all. The only requirement for our program is a keen sense of curiosity.

Is your teen curious about …

  • Living on a college campus?
  • Exploring a new city?
  • Meeting new people?
  • Going outside of their comfort zone?
  • Gaining self-confidence and independence?

Then your teen belongs at the TryEngineering Summer Institute! Register now.

Our program is designed to introduce teens to the field of engineering, but they will come away with improved teamwork, communication, and creative thinking skills that will transfer to many facets of their lives, including their future field of study (in any discipline) and career. They’ll have the chance to live like college students on a prestigious campus, explore a new city, meet new friends, and get to know themselves in a way they never have before.

Of course, our hope is that they’ll also develop such passion for this exciting field that they will choose to pursue degrees and professions in engineering!

Our Introductory Program is perfect for students embarking on their first exploration of the engineering field. Anyone interested in learning more about this field will be challenged and inspired through fun and engaging classes and activities, field trips, speakers, and more.

Students who are returning to the Summer Institute for a second year, or who already have a strong grasp on engineering concepts, will benefit from our Advanced Engineering Program. The curriculum and coursework in this program builds in intensity, perfect for older and more experienced students who want to deepen their understanding of the engineering field.

For more information about the Summer Institute and a FREE infographic to share with your teen, complete this form today.

Celebrate National Engineers Week!

Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) in 1951, National Engineers Week (February 17-23, 2019) is all about increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers. This event promotes recognition of the importance of a technical education and a high level of math, science, and tech literacy, in hopes of motivating young people to pursue engineering careers. It’s a celebration of all things engineering and a way to recognize the positive contributions engineers make to our society and our quality of life.

Here are some suggestions for celebrating National Engineers Week:

  • tryengineering summer institute field tripUse our free resources to plan engineering activities with the kids in your life, whether your children, grandchildren, students, or youth group volunteers.
  • If you work in engineering, volunteer to be a mentor for Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (February 21, 2019) and give girls the chance to think like engineers. You’ll be amazed by what you learn.
  • Try one of our engineering games, and learn while having fun!
  • Enroll your teen in this year’s TryEngineering Summer Institute and give the opportunity to explore this promising field during a two-week summer camp experience on a prestigious college campus, complete with behind-the-scenes field trips, guest speakers, and more. (Remember: “Early bird” special savings ends February 22, 2019.)

However you choose to celebrate National Engineers Week, be sure to take time to appreciate the marvels of engineering all around you and how they enhance our lives, from mega structures to wind turbines, engine work, medical treatments and devices, safety systems, and more. And if you know or meet an engineer, be sure to thank them for their contributions.

9 Things You Might Find at the TryEngineering Summer Institute

The TryEngineering Summer Institute is an inspiration in so many ways, helping students find their calling in the wonderful world of engineering. From design challenges to dorm living, students at the Summer Institute experience life on a college campus, get their feet wet in a promising field, and meet new friends who care about the same things they do.

For a glimpse of what you or your teen will experience this summer, check out these nine things you might find at one of our programs, and register today — spaces are limited!

Remember: “Early bird” special savings ends February 22, 2019.

9: Hands-on engineering lessonsTryEngineering Summer Institute students design project
Getting their hands on a project is the best way to learn.

8: Smiling faces
Student enjoy camaraderie in the classroom, working in teams to complete their projects.

7: Supportive fellow students
Students work together and push each other to succeed.

6: Superb story tellersTryEngineering Summer Institute trip
Spending time together in common areas on campus gives students time to connect outside of class.

5: Sunny outings
Students get off campus for fun outings to explore the surrounding area.

4: Time out for a friendly game of volleyball
Students have access to on-campus facilities for sports and other activities.

3: Photo-worthy field trips
Summer Institute students attend exclusive field trips to top engineering companies and centers for a glimpse at what their future could be like.

2: Cool treats
After all, it’s summer time!

1: Downtime fun
Sometimes just hanging out together creates some of the summer’s best memories. (Baby shark, do-do-do-do-do-do …)


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