Aerospace Engineering Camp

The 2020 Camp Application is Currently Closed.
Please contact us with any questions.

For rising 9th – 12th graders
July 19th – 25th, 2020 [EAGER]

2018 Aerospace campers and staff

From tiny airplanes delivering packages on Earth to powerful rockets sending humans to Mars, today is an exciting time for everything related to Aerospace Engineering!  This camp provides campers with the opportunity to explore aerospace engineering through numerous hands-on projects and demonstrations.

Campers preparing for flight.

Utilizing individual and team activities, participants will investigate various aspects of this discipline including flight mechanics, aerodynamics, aerospace structures, orbital mechanics, and propulsion systems and then apply them to aircraft and spacecraft design.  These topics will help the students answer questions such as:

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

Rockets & gliders on launch pads

Camp activities include:

• Design, construct, and launch model boost gliders and rockets.
• Attend classes and laboratory sessions led by graduate students and faculty working on cutting-edge research projects.
• Meet with guest speakers from the Aerospace industry. Past guest speakers included representatives of NASA, Northrop-Grumman, Orbital ATK, and JPL.
• Travel to the local airport where participants have the opportunity to take an actual flight in a small aircraft operated by the Institute of Aviation.


Aerospace participants running a wind-tunnel experiment.

Camp Coordinator: Dr. Brian Woodard serves as the Director of Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Grainger College of Engineering.  He organizes several summer outreach programs and developed the curriculum for this Aerospace Engineering 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:

*NOTE: EAGER camps aim to increase the number of women and gender non-binary students pursuing STEM majors and careers. These groups have been traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields, and the absence of their talents is a detriment to the field overall. 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 individuals are welcome to apply.