Wayne State invites future engineers back to campus for 2022 Summer Academy

group photo of engineering campers and instructors

After pivoting to virtual and hybrid models for the last two years, the Wayne State University College of Engineering will welcome more than 500 elementary, middle and high school students to its midtown Detroit campus for the 2022 Summer Academy. This robust series of engineering and computer science camps, offered to rising first to 12th grade students, aims to inspire the next generation of innovators that will revolutionize industries, stimulate the economy, enhance the country's global competitiveness, and revitalize and sustain the local community.

The Summer Academy introduces science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) resources in one-week, age-appropriate sessions geared toward students' varied interests and strengths. Common threads between all of the camps include opportunities for students to build confidence and work outside of their comfort zones, get ideas for potential careers, and maintain a level of productivity that curbs summer learning loss.

“We are excited to welcome pre-college students back to the campus while sparking their interest in STEM and giving them an opportunity to become aware of an exciting future in engineering and computer science,” said Jasmine Roberson, director of community engagement and outreach program specialist for the College of Engineering.

While a few of the high school programs were held in June, the majority of the camps — particular those that cater to K-8 students —start in early to mid July.

Students rising first to fifth grades will gain basic proficiency in STEM through classes in such domains as coding, game design and movie making, while participants rising sixth to eighth grades will be introduced to areas that include engineering, animation, coding, and robotics. The Summer Academy is particularly valuable for students in the latter age group that want to improve performance in STEM subjects or get a head start on preparing to transition to high school.

An abundance of options for students rising ninth to 12th grades — who will undoubtedly benefit from a glimpse of life on a college campus — include construction technology, cybersecurity, e-Sports, drones, LEGO Mindstorm robotics, engineering in medicine, aviation career exploration, and Python coding. The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering will also offer its weeklong virtual Data Science and Visualization Academy starting July 18.

Partnerships with such industry leaders as Continental Automotive, DTE, Ford Motor Company, Google, General Motors and Microsoft bolster the program's offerings. The success of the Summer Academy is also aided by collaboration with the educational community including K-12 schools, universities, nonprofit organizations, government entities and other campus programs.

College of Engineering students, alumni, faculty and staff, along with industry professionals, lead groups as large as 20 to 25 learners through the various modules and provide valuable mentorship. These leaders are often volunteers motivated by a passion for learning and discovery as well as a desire to energize future Warriors and young people in Detroit and surrounding communities. Attendees also enjoy the opportunities to interact in team-based environments with people from unique backgrounds and cultures.

Registration for the 2022 Summer Academy is ongoing. Each session is $500 and students may be registered for multiple sessions. Need based scholarships are available. Campers receive a t-shirt, backpack, lanyard, and water bottle, and will have lunch provided daily. A demonstration day that includes presentations and a certificate ceremony is held at the conclusion of each program.

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