Wayne State University welcomes aspiring engineers and computer scientists to 2024 summer camps

Trio of students working on a project at the WSU engineering summer academy

This summer, the Wayne State University College of Engineering will host over 500 elementary, middle and high school students at its midtown Detroit campus for an extensive series of programs in engineering, computer science and aviation. These day camps and courses aim to inspire the next generation of innovators, poised to revolutionize industries, boost the economy, enhance the nation's global competitiveness, and rejuvenate and sustain the local community.

The Summer Academy introduces K-12 students to STEM concepts through project-based learning. Wayne State is also offering a Summer High School Research Program as well as an Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy. Most of these programs start in early July.

“We are excited to offer the Engineering Summer Academy to allow the community youth to explore STEM through hands-on projects and teamwork, igniting their passion for creation and discovery,” said Jasmine Roberson, director of community engagement and outreach program specialist for the College of Engineering. “These programs give students an invaluable glimpse into the engineering world, fostering their critical thinking and technical skills while inspiring the next generation of innovators."

Two-week day camps for rising first through eighth graders in the Summer Academy serve as 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. Participants will explore areas ranging from robotics, drones, gaming, animation and 3D printing, learning to code and build as a team using such resources as MinecraftEDU, Spheros and Apple Swift Playground. Sessions will be held July 8 to 18 and July 22 to August 1.

For rising ninth through 12th graders — who will undoubtedly benefit from a sample of life on a college campus — the Summer Academy offers four unique four-day camps. A course in Python programming for AI and Verilog starts July 8; a cyber security and ethical hacking program begins July 15; an introduction to engineering in medicine starts July 22; and Minecraft Adventures opens July 29.

The Summer High School Research Program allows students the chance to work on emerging energy technologies CAD/3D modeling or semiconductor engineering for six weeks. Beginning July 22, participants come to campus four days a week, and each week the curriculum is centered on a unique theme, including material synthesis, battery design and fabrication, testing and data evaluation, computer-aided design and semiconductor fabrication.

The week of July 8, Wayne State will host the ACE Academy, a national program supported by the Federal Aviation Administration that gives learners first-level exposure to the aviation industry by providing career exploration as well as lessons on aviation history, theory of flight and other related subjects. Students will meet aviation professionals and attend field trips to a variety of facilities and educational institutions.

Partnerships with Apple, Ford, Continental Automotive, SkyWest and Selfridge Air National Guard bolster the program's offerings. The success of Wayne State’s summer camps is also aided by collaboration with the educational community including K-12 schools, universities, nonprofit organizations, government entities and other campus programs.

“We could only do this work with our community partners who support making the program successful, said Roberson. “Their contributions have empowered young minds to explore, innovate and dream big.”

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 College of Engineering summer programs is ongoing. Pricing varies depending on the camps selected, and students may be registered for multiple sessions. 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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