The SIUE School of Engineering hosted its annual Engineering Summer Camp for high school students interested in learning more about engineering and the career options within that field. The popular program registered a record number of 56 students between two sessions, one from June 9-14 the second from June 16-21.
Students at the camp completed various hands-on activities that introduced them to the fields within the engineering discipline. The activities encompass principles of mechanical, industrial, electrical and civil engineering, as well as construction management and computer science. For inspiration campers get demonstrations of projects built by SIUE engineering students.
Each year, the camp attracts students from Illinois and neighboring states, including Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri. This year, applications were received from as far away as Alaska and Idaho.
Sisters Casey Beard, 14, and Reese Beard, 12, traveled from Howser, Idaho, to attend the Engineering Camp. They are home-schooled students who attend the Idaho Virtual Academy, which is an online home schooling program. Despite their ages, they are at high school academic levels, and they both came to the camp to explore their career and college options.
“I know I want to go into engineering,” Casey said, “but I don’t know if I want to be an electrical engineer or an industrial engineer. This program has the best survey of all the different fields of engineering.”
Brent Ellis, 16, of Bloomfield (Ind.) Junior-Senior High School, finds the several fields of engineering each fascinating in different ways. He has also found that having knowledge in all of the fields can be helpful in starting a career.
“I have already found more fields that I’m interested in,” said Ellis. “I’ve learned that sometimes you can get one degree in engineering but then still go into a different field because the fields can overlap.”
Chris Gordon, associate dean of the School of Engineering, and the coordinator of the engineering camp believes that bringing together promising young students with varying engineering interests and showing them the diversity within the broader field has garnered enthusiasm among SIUE engineering faculty and students.
“Our campers bring incredible dynamism to the school,” said Gordon. “We get to work with them as they learn what they are most excited about and which direction they might want to go. It’s a great opportunity for us as faculty members to work with future engineers and learn about their ambitions and their approaches to the various challenges they experience during the week.”