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Engineering Summer Programs for High School Students

Introduction to Summer Engineering Programs

There are a wide variety of engineering summer programs that have been designed for high school students, teenagers, as well as younger students. The growth in technology as well as other factors have led to increasing opportunities for students to explore engineering in during the summer months. Engineering  programs provide students with a chance to learn about the different types of engineering, potential college majors in the field, as well as career pathways for budding engineers.
Robotics - Engineering Summer ProgramEngineering summer programs often enable students to engage in hands-on activities that involve building and designing activities that serve to cultivate an interest in the field. Participants can find themselves building bridges out of common materials, designing new and exciting buildings, engaging in robotics projects, and much more. Effective summer engineering programs tend to provide students with a look inside of the field of engineering while also promoting fun, collaboration, and enjoyable activities. Some programs are more academic in nature than others and students can consider this as they determine the type of summer opportunity that would be the best fit for them.


Different Types of Engineering in Summer Programs

Engineering summer programs can help students to learn about the varying types of engineering that exist in the field. Learning in the summer about different types of engineering careersFor example, some programs have been developed to help students differentiate the different types of career pathways such as biomedical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental, materials, mechanical, and more. These programs can assist students in learning about the different types of options that are available when pursuing a career in an engineering. For students that already have an understanding of the different types of engineering, there are some programs that focus on a specific area within engineering that may be productive experiences for them.

Engineering Pre-College Programs

College Building for a Summer Engineering Program for High School StudentsEngineering pre-college programs can be particularly useful for high school students. These programs typically take place on a college campus and they are often sponsored by a university’s School or Department of Engineering. Through pre-college engineering programs, students can learn about what it would be like to major in an engineering field, the type of preparation that engineering students receive, and career opportunities in the area. Participants in pre-college programs may also have a chance to interact with current engineering students and faculty members, while also gaining hands-on experiences utilizing the resources at the college. Residential pre-college programs can also give students a preview of college life. Pre-college engineering summer programs may be beneficial for students who are considering a pre-professional program of study, as it may help them determine if they would like seek direct admission into an engineering major which is an option at some colleges and universities. 

Different Ways to Learning about the Field of Engineering


The more experience that students gain with engineering and the better understanding that they possess about the field, the more likely it is that they will be prepared to determine if they would like to pursue a program of study and career in this area. Engineering Blueprint for a Summer Pre-College Program i EngineeringHowever, engineering summer programs are not the only way to develop experience and understanding in this field.  For example, it is recommended that students pursue opportunities to shadow engineers, talk with current engineers, attend presentations about engineering, visit the engineering department at a local college, and take part in school activities that promote engineering (i.e. robotics, science fairs, STEM activities).

Overall, there are different ways to learn about the field of engineering. For students, who would like to pursue an engineering summer program, they are encouraged to find out about different options to to determine which ones will meet their goals and interests.


Examples of engineering summer programs include: