Aerospace EAGER Camp

For rising 10th – 12th Graders [*EAGER]
July 9th – July 15th, 2023 (Residential & Commuter)
Hendrick House Residence Hall

Camp is FULL for Summer 2023


Residential: $1,000 per camper. Scholarships are available.
Commuter: $600 per camper. Scholarships are available.

See the Summer Camps FAQs page for more information about camp costs and the Trail Blazer scholarship.

NOTE: This camp is an EAGER camp. The Illinois Aerospace Institute (IAI) camps are not designated EAGER camps. Please consider this when applying.

*EAGER camps are mission-driven camp sessions led by Engineers Aiming for Gender Equity & Representation in STEM majors and careers. These camps focus on support and empowerment of traditionally excluded populations in STEM. The absence of their talents is a detriment to the STEM fields. EAGER camps provide a safe environment to build a community of peers and mentors who empower one another to be confident in their exploration of STEM. All are welcome to apply.


2022 Campers and counselor on a field trip to the Willard Airport
2022 Campers and counselor on a field trip to the Willard Airport

From tiny airplanes delivering packages to sending humans to Mars, today is an exciting time for everything related to Aerospace Engineering!  The Aerospace EAGER camp provides young women with the opportunity to explore aerospace engineering through numerous hands-on projects and demonstrations, including a field trip to the local airport where the campers will have the opportunity to take an actual flight in a small aircraft operated by the Institute of Aviation (dependent on COVID-19 health and safety requirements).

2022 Campers visiting the campus observatory
2022 Campers visiting the campus observatory

Utilizing individual and team activities, participants will investigate various aspects of this discipline comprising flight mechanics, aerodynamics, aerospace structures, orbital mechanics, and propulsion systems, and apply them to aircraft and spacecraft design.  Alumni guest speakers from throughout the aerospace industry will discuss the real-world applications of the topics students explore during the sessions.  Past guest speakers represented NASA, the James Webb Space Telescope, Northrop Grumman, the Boeing Company, SpaceX, and many others.  These activities will help the students answer questions such as: 


2022 Campers building wooden airplanes
2022 Campers building wooden airplanes
  • What is needed to launch people and satellites into space? 
  • How do satellites stay in orbit around the Earth? 
  • What keeps airplanes in the air during a flight? 
  • How are composite materials used to improve aircraft efficiency?

Additionally, each camper will design and build a model boost glider and a model payload rocket throughout the week.  As the camp finale, all of the participants will launch their models and reflect on which designs performed the best. 

Camp Coordinator(s):

Dr. Brian Woodard serves as one of the Assistant Deans for Undergraduate Programs in the Grainger College of Engineering.  He organizes several summer outreach programs and developed the curriculum for the Aerospace EAGER camp. Dr. Woodard earned his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois where he studied high-energy chemical lasers.  His current research interests include engineering education and aircraft icing aerodynamics. 

From previous years:

Camp Schedule(s):