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Summer camps offer young students engineering and technology experiences

k-12 students with a robot

Students design and build robots in the RobotCamp offered by the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Photo by Jessica Hochreiter/ASU

Students in grades 6-12 can learn to build robots, make iPhone apps and design thermally efficient houses through more than a dozen summer camps offered by the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Information on the camps, costs and applications is available Registration is now open.

The summer programs give students an understanding of the way science, engineering and technology shape our everyday lives, said Tirupalavanam Ganesh, an associate research professor and the assistant dean of engineering education in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. The experience of learning outside a traditional school setting often sparks interests that lead to deeper engagement later in life.

“You may wonder, ‘Will my child learn anything by engaging in a summer program?’” Ganesh said. “The answer is a resounding yes. Structured, out-of-school, learning experiences like these can stimulate specific interests and expand the sense for what type of work in which the student might want to engage in the future.”

Students often are unaware of the many ways that engineering and technology make our everyday lives better. The summer offerings are designed to expand that knowledge and foster computational thinking, engineering design, modeling, systems thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity and other practices in engineering and technology.

“The Fulton Schools, through these summer programs, are helping prepare the next generation of engineers, technologists and scientists, citizens engaged in solving the grand challenges of our times, including clean water, improved healthcare, global energy needs, secure data and information privacy.”

Summer programs also inspire independent learning, Ganesh said.

“Students get excited in these programs, where learning is fun, and different than ‘school,’ ” Ganesh said “They develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter by generating their own explanations, testing ideas, and building models to explore how something works.”

Camps will be held on both the Tempe and Polytechnic campuses, and include three residential camps for which students spend a week or more living on campus. Residential camps on the Tempe campus include the Summer Engineering Experience, which introduces students to the engineering profession and allows them to work with faculty and graduate students on research projects, and the Summer Transportation Institute, which focuses on transportation systems throughout Arizona and takes students on tours to transportation facilities not open to the public. On the Polytechnic campus, students can participate in the Ultimate Technology Boot Camp, which explores games, robotics, apps and animation.

There are two camps specifically designed to encourage girls to participate, including one session of the App Camp, which teaches students to develop apps for smartphones, and a session of the Engineering Adventure: Renewable Energy, which explores solar, water and wind energy.

The High School Engineering Research Program is offered on both campuses, and allows students to work with ASU faculty and graduate students on engineering projects that benefit society.


High School Engineering Research Program (for students entering grades 10-12) – Students will work on projects that benefit society and learn about the disciplines of engineering. Students will meet and work with ASU faculty and graduate students in a laboratory or research center setting. They will learn about lab safety and etiquette, engineering opportunities, and will present their research project at the end of the program. Two sessions, one four weeks and one eight weeks: June 2-27; June 2-July 25

Tempe Campus

App Camp (for students entering grades 9-12) – App Camp teaches the basics of iPhone app development. Participants learn the skills needed to create and develop smartphone apps. The camp will cover Apple XCode, Objective-C, Javascript, HTML5, user-interface design principles, mobile application design and development considerations, iPhone app construction, advanced debugging techniques, Web application development for portability, and more. There are two sessions, one designed to encourage girls on June 16-27, and one on June 30-July 11 (excluding Saturday, Sunday and July 4)

Engineering Adventure Programs (for students entering grades 6-8) – The Engineering Adventure programs explore the ways engineers solve problems to make us healthier, safer and more comfortable. The four concentrations are Renewable Energy, Mechanical Animations and Automata, Mitigate the Urban Heat Island and To the Moon, Mars, and Beyond!

Renewable Energy (for students entering grade 6) – Renewable Energy will explore the role of renewable sources for energy production, make a model of solar, water and wind energy production, measure the electricity output from energy production models, harness renewable energy by designing a solar-powered car and windmill, and light up Sparkyville by generating their own electricity. There are two sessions: June 2-6, and one geared for girls on June 16-20

Mechanical Animations and Automata (for students entering grade 7) – Mechanical Animations and Automata will explore the role of force and motion in designing mechanical animations. Students will use pegboard strips and boards joined by pivots and incorporate art to make their own mechanical animations and automata. June 9-13

Mitigate the Urban Heat Island (for students entering grade 8) – Mitigate the Urban Heat Island will investigate the causes and consequences of the urban heat island on plants and animals through a variety of field studies and activities. Participants will design a physical model of a thermally efficient house. The program is offered in collaboration with the Global Institute of Sustainability. June 23-27

To the Moon, Mars, and Beyond! (for students entering grades 6-8) – Participants in To the Moon, Mars, and Beyond! will join scientists and engineers in the ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration to explore missions, spacecraft and instruments used to find the largest canyons, deepest craters and the highest volcanoes in our Solar System, then travel beyond to explore stars, exoplanets and galaxies. Students will learn about current NASA missions by visiting science operations centers on ASU’s Tempe campus, and will design and build a spacecraft. June 2-13 (excluding Saturday and Sunday)

Game Camp (for students entering middle school and high school) – Game Camp provides an intensive experience in video game creation, visualization and production. Students will create concepts and prototypes for games using the latest software, hardware and development tools. Session for students entering high school, June 2-13 (excluding Saturday and Sunday); for students entering middle school, June 16-27 (excluding Saturday and Sunday)

RobotCamp (for students entering middle school and high school) – There are two sessions of Robotics Camp, 7up and 9up, for students who plan to pursue a science and engineering career. Participants will use component-based robot construction, robotics programming, Web programming, and Alice game programming to learn the latest engineering design concepts and computing technologies. They will build robots to enter a robotics challenge and demonstration at the end of camp.

    – 7up RobotCamp (for students entering grades 7-8) – Students in the 7up RobotCamp will learn programming using Alice programming environment with 3D animation, movie and game development. They will design and construct robots, learn NXT-G robotics programming, and participate in the robotics challenge at the level of difficulty similar to FIRST Lego League Robotics Competition. June 2-13 (excluding Saturday and Sunday)

    – 9Up RobotCamp (for students entering grade 9) – Students in the 9up RobotCamp will learn Microsoft Robotics Studio, robot construction, VPL programming, C+ programming, web programming in Service-Oriented Computing, Phone app programming, and participate in a robotics challenge. June 16-27 (excluding Saturday and Sunday)

STEMagic (for students entering grades 10-11) – Participants in STEMagic will be introduced to the science and technologies behind magic and will build creative technologies for performing magic acts. Designs will be presented at a showcase on the last day of camp. July 31- Aug. 2

Summer Engineering Experience: SEE@ASU (for students entering grade 12, application required) – The Summer Engineering Experience is an exciting introduction to the engineering profession and the faculty, students and innovative programs at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Students visit research labs and learn about undergraduate research opportunities at the university and in industry. Participants test their creative problem-solving skills with fun, hands-on team projects. It’s a great way to discover how engineers really work, and how they take on the greatest challenges facing our society and make a difference. Three weeklong sessions: July 6-13, 13-20 and 20-27

Summer Transportation Institute (for students entering grades 10-12, application required) – Participants in the Summer Transportation Institute stay on campus for one week and participate in activities and field trips focused on transportation systems around the state of Arizona. They tour traffic systems not normally accessible to the public, meet with professional engineers, work on lab activities, and participate in evening activities on campus. The program is funded by the National Summer Transportation Institute and is free to participants. Three sessions: July 6-11, 13-18 and 20-25

Polytechnic campus

Making and Tinkering (for students entering grades 6-12) – Students in Making and Tinkering can create, tinker and imagine new ideas in these unique weeklong summer programs. Students learn to use technology, including rapid prototyping equipment, to make their ideas real. Hands-on learning inside a fully equipped lab offers students the chance to learn new making and building skills. Six sessions: June 2-6, 9-13, 16-20, 23-27 July 7-11, 14-18

STEAM Machines Invention Camp (for students entering grade 8) – Participants in STEAM Machines Invention Camp learn principles of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) through building chain-reaction machines. June 22-27

STEAM Machines + Arts Camps (for students entering grades 7-12) – STEAM Machines + Arts Camps is a collaboration with the Mesa Arts Center Studios Program. Participants brainstorm ideas, design and build a creative invention using a chain-reaction machine and dance. Participants will learn and integrate science, technology, engineering, arts and math concepts together in their machines, and have fun working in teams. Two sessions are planned, one for dance and one for drama. Both end with a performance/demonstration. Dance, July 7-11; Drama, July 14-18

S.T.E.M. 101 (for students entering grade 9) – S.T.E.M. 101 students must help Sparky, who is marooned on an island. They will make a boat using only upcycled products and make it float and move across a body of water without assistance. June 2

S.T.E.M. 201 (for students entering grade 10) – S.T.E.M. 201 students beat the heat with math, creativity, brute strength and water balloons, using a trebuchet to launch them across a field. June 9

S.T.E.M. 301 (for students entering grades 9-12) – S.T.E.M. 301 students will build something to race around campus using only recycled products. Not to worry, helmets will be provided. June 16

Ultimate Technology Boot Camp (for students entering grades 9-12) – Students in the Ultimate Technology Boot Camp, a 10-day residential program, will explore games, robotics, apps and animation. Students will work in teams with ASU faculty to build games, apps and robots. They will experience campus life, staying at the state-of-the-art Century Hall. Students will visit the Arizona Science Center, Intel Embedded Lab, ASU Flight Simulation and ASU Decision Theater. June 16-27 (excluding Saturday and Sunday)

Media Contact:
Judy Nichols, [email protected]
(480) 965-9248
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

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