Summer Camps

Please check back for updates regarding 2019 WYSE Camp

Click here if you would like to be notified when the WYSE Camp 2019 Application period opens.

See below for a list of all the summer camps we offer:

1. Exploring Your Options (EYO) is a week-long residential program that introduces high school rising juniors and seniors (graduating in 2020 or 2021) to the field of engineering.  EYO is held at the University of Illinois campus in Urbana-Champaign during the normal weeks of camp.  Participants will interact with engineering students and faculty members, plan and build a project, and engage in hands-on activities prepared by departments within  the College of Engineering. There are two sessions offered: see the camp details below for extra details (please note that not all information is ready for the 2019 camp season). In general, the first session is held during the first week of camps and the second is held during the last week. The two sessions are completely identical in how they are run, operated, and what activities are done.

Exploring Your Options also offers Mechanical Science and Engineering and Nuclear, Plasma, & Radiological Engineering tracks during the camps weeks. Look below at the particular camp details for more specific information pertaining to those two camps.

**Please note that this camp is the most popular of all of the camps that we offer between WYSE and GAMES and fills up the most rapidly.  Ergo, please apply as soon as possible if you are interested in attending one of the two sessions for this camp.

See the video below to take a look at a video summary of EYO Session I from 2015!

2. Exploring Mechanical Science & Engineering is a week-long residential program that introduces high school students whom are rising juniors and seniors (graduating in 2020 or 2021) to the field of Mechanical Science and Engineering. Mechanical Engineering is all about building things! Mechanical engineers understand how machines work and how to design and construct new ones to solve challenging problems in the world. This camp will explore many of the exciting new topics in mechanical engineering, such as:

  • Constructing wind turbines to harvest clean energy from nature
  • Building robots to explore and clean up hazardous waste
  • Creating prosthetics to help people with injuries walk
  • Making water treatment systems that run on sunlight for the developing world

Campers will get hands-on experience building and designing machines that make the world a better place using all their creativity and problem-solving skills. The camp will also include field trips to on-site labs and nearby research and manufacturing companies.


3. Exploring Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering

The NPRE summer camp is for students whom are rising juniors and seniors (those graduating in 2020 or 2021). This track provides campers with the opportunity to explore nuclear, plasma and radiological engineering disciplines through many hands-on projects and demonstrations. Through individual and team activities, participants will investigate the disciplines of nuclear energy; plasma and fusion technologies; and radiological science, and apply them to:

  • nuclear reactor power production
  • the promise of fusion energy
  • use of plasma-material interactions in semiconductor processing
  • plasma medicine and biomaterials
  • using plasmas for nanotechnology
  • development of radiation detectors for medical and security applications
  • and other engineering design challenges.

These topics will help the students answer questions such as:

  • How does a nuclear reactor work?
  • What keeps a reactor going for two years without refueling?
  • What percentage of the nation’s electricity comes from nuclear power?
  • How much less Carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere due to the use of nuclear power?
  • What are the issues regarding nuclear reactor safety?
  • What is radiation and how is it controlled?
  • What is spent fuel and how is it managed?
  • What is plasma and what are its uses?
  • How can create materials for medicine with plasmas?
  • How does a radiation detector work?
  • What are some of the beneficial uses of radiation?
  • How are radiological devices used in medicine?
  • How are radiation detectors designed and built?

These questions are answered through lectures, hands-on activities, and team projects. Campers will see nuclear, plasma and radiological engineering in practice through laboratory demonstrations and field trips such as:

  • Using Geiger counters and other devices to measure radiation
  • Seeing a mousetrap reactor simulate a nuclear reaction
  • Experiencing radiation through a cloud chamber demonstration
  • Touring a virtual nuclear reactor
  • Using virtual simulations to learn about radiation dosages.
  • Participating in half-life and shielding lab simulations
  • Observing confined plasma created by DC current or radio frequency
  • Interacting with a plasma ball
  • Taking part in can crusher demonstrations to understand magnetic pressure in plasmas
  • Touring HIDRA, NPRE’s unique plasma/fusion facility.
  • Touring a plasma nanotechnology facility (MNTL)
  • Touring the labs that make the machines that make semi-conductor chips
  • Touring the radiological Instrumentation Laboratory
  • Touring the soft robotics (like humans) lab

The camp coordinator for NPRE is Margaret Krause (


4. Discover Engineering (DE) is a week-long residential camp for rising freshmen and sophomores (graduating in 2022 or 2023) who are interested in math and science. Students will work on several projects that will incorporate different aspects of engineering. DE is also offering a Bioengineering track; see below for a specific description regarding that camp. The general Discover Engineering camp is meant as a similar version of the Exploring You Options but for rising first year and second year high school students. Campers will get to visit various labs around campus and hear from and talk with many different forms of engineering that take place on campus. They will get to do various different activities in many areas all designed to help educate students on different specialties of engineering.




Play the video below to take a look at a video summary of DE 2015!


5. Discover Bioengineering is a week-long residential camp that introduces rising freshman and sophomores (those graduating in 2022 or 2023) to the field of Bioengineering. Bioengineering is all about modeling of systems, design of new technologies and devices for low cost, effective medical care. Bioengineers study and understand how complex biological systems work and how to design and construct medical devices, design better therapeutics, and solve big problems facing society. Here are some of the exciting topics campers will discover:

  • Cell and Tissue Engineering
  • Biomechanics and Prosthetics
  • Imaging and Sensing
  • Therapeutics Engineering
  • Computational and Systems Biology

These topics were covered through lectures, hands-on activities and team projects. Some hands-on activities and projects that campers were involved in included:

  • Cell culture of mammalian cells
  • Motion capture biomechanics
  • Analysis of biomimetic materials
  • Creating genetic models
  • Building biomedical instrumentation


For additional camps offered by the College of Engineering, please visit the Women in Engineering page to learn about GAMES camp and the Aerospace Engineering Camp page to learn about the Illinois Aerospace Institute (IAI) Summer Camps.