High School Summer Camps

Summer Engineering Camp - Project Discovery is a great experience for high school students who want to know if engineering or computing is the right future for them.

Project Discovery

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Session 1: July 8-13, 2018

Session 2: July 15-20, 2018

Project Discovery, is a week long, residential, intensive learning camp for high school students (grades 9-12 in fall 2018). Campers choose from different engineering disciplines and work closely with KU faculty and graduate students as they complete a hands-on project. Held on KU’s Lawrence campus, students will get an up-close view of KU and the School of Engineering classrooms and labs. 

Camp Experience: Each morning campers will learn about a field of engineering through lectures and laboratory tours. After lunch, campers will make their way back to the engineering complex to design, test and build various hands-on projects. Evenings at camp are filled with activities, competitions, and chances to unwind.

Includes meals, housing and lab supplies - fees must be paid in full at time of registration.
  • $750.00 (Kansas residents)
  • $995.00 (out-of-state US residents)
Scholarship Information
A limited number of partial scholarships will be awarded to in-state applicants based on demonstrated financial need/economic hardship, academic criteria and a review of the requested student essay.​  ​

Scholarship applications will be accepted from March 1-15 for priority consideration.  After March 15, applications will still be accepted and considered on a case-by-case basis, depending on available funds.

A complete scholarship application will include the following:  
  • Online application
  • A letter from a high school counselor or teacher stating that the student is participating in the free or reduced price lunch program at the high school of attendance OR a brief statement from the parent/guardian explaining the basis of the financial need.
  • A high school transcript reflecting a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher.
  • A one page written essay from the student explaining why they are interested in attending the camp and how the experience would be of benefit to them.
Engineering and computing disciplines offered
Aerospace Engineering
The week starts with an introduction to aerospace engineering and its applications. Then we continue with the subject of how airplanes fly. The forces and moments acting on an airplane in flight namely, lift, drag, weight, thrust, pitching moment, rolling moment, and yawing moment are explained and demonstrated. The control surfaces of aircraft such as, aileron, elevator, rudder, as well as flaps and trim tabs will also be covered. The basics of helicopter flight will follow the purpose of the main and tail rotors, as well as the collective and cyclic pitch controls are explained. These subjects are clarified by the use of in-class video tapes, model airplane demonstrations, wind tunnel testing, etc. Then, the aerospace engines will be covered. In this part, the principle of operation of aircraft piston engines, jet engines, and rocket engines will be covered. Engine models, video tapes, engine animations, and engine simulators are used to support the lectures. Finally the supersonic flight, shock waves and sonic boom are covered. The morning lectures are supplemented by afternoon’s laboratory sessions of wind tunnel testing, water tunnel testing, running the jet engine simulator, flying the aircraft simulator, and finally a visit to our flight test facilities at Lawrence Airport and observing operational drones, airplanes, etc.
Architectural & Civil Engineering
Civil and Architectural Engineering have their roots in the oldest works of humankind and cover a wide variety of engineering challenges, ranging from buildings and bridges to highways, dams, water systems, energy and traffic management, and protecting the environment. In this course we will explore these topics and more as we plan projects, build structures, visit operating engineering structures, and learn how engineers design engineering works that function well for the modern world.
The Bioengineering course track is experiment based camp, and one where students will perform hands-on experiments. While completing these experiments students will be introduced to medical device design, bio materials and tissue engineering, and biomechanical engineering. No prior knowledge in these topics is required.
Electrical Engineering
The Electrical Engineering (EE) summer camp is a week-long, project based, camp where the students will learn to construct both analog electronic circuits and digital electronic circuits on breadboards provided by the Instructor. Circuits under consideration will include amplifier or filter circuits using music (WAV) files as inputs under the Analog Domain as well as circuits such as binary half/full adder and 3-bit binary counter under the Digital Domain. As both analog circuit design and digital circuit design forms the bedrock of Electrical Engineering, students will be taught on the building blocks for designing these circuits via lectures as well as hands-on project experiences. In addition, students will also be exposed to Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) tools such as PSpice and VHDL design and simulation languages to verify the output from their circuits constructed on breadboards. Finally, no prior electrical engineering knowledge is required from the students.
Chemical Engineering
The Chemical and Petroleum Engineering (C&PE) course track is experiment based camp, and one where students will perform hands-on experiments. While completing these experiments students will be introduced to the fundamentals of chemical and petroleum engineering including reaction engineering, catalysis, thermodynamics, polymer science, and reservoir engineering. No prior knowledge in these topics is required.
Computer Science
The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the field of Computer Science. Students will work with each other and the instructor to develop and understand the essential concepts of Computer Science through group work and project based learning. The student will learn algorithm development, basic computer organization, syntax and semantics of a high-level programming language, including testing and debugging. The students will use the concepts of structure in data and programs, top-down design, subroutines, and library programs to develop a working computer program.
Mechanical Engineering
The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the field of mechanical engineering through an exploration of its core areas including mechanics, kinematics, thermodynamics, material science, structural analysis, and electronics. By using principles and methods of design and analysis, students will be engaged through group work and project based learning in both research and teaching laboratories. For example, each afternoon the students will work in small groups using active learning to develop an understanding of: 1) concepts in computer programing, 2) the use of sensors and logic used in controls, 3) the design and development of small scale robots, and 4) strategies used to compete in daily design competitions. The student will be encouraged to think creatively throughout.
Typical daily schedule
8:00 - 9:00 AM Breakfast
9:15 - 12:00 PM Course Track
12:15 - 1:15 PM Lunch
1:30 - 5:00 PM Course Track
5:00 - 6:30 PM Dinner
6:30 - 9:00 PM Various Activities
10:00 PM Room check/lights out

First day drop off and last day pick up times:
3:00-4:00 PM Check-In at dorms
4:00-5:00 PM Opening Reception
5:00 PM Parents Depart

3:30 - 4:00 PM Parents Arrive
4:00 - 4:30 PM Course Track Presentations
4:30 - 5:00 PM Closing Reception
5:00 PM Check-Out of Dorms


Still have questions?  Take a look at our FAQ page.


Engineering Research Highlights

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