Exploring Nuclear, Plasma, & Radiological Engineering Camp

For rising 10th-12th graders
July 25th – 29th, 2021

Summer 2021 Applications are closed.

Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering(NPRE) is a branch of engineering with diverse and broad applications –among them: the continued safe and reliable use of fission reactors for energy production, risk assessment and analysis, plasma science and engineering for materials processing, development of fusion reactors for longer-term power generation, and radiological sciences use of radiation sources in areas such as national security and medical imaging and treatment.

NPRE fields are for those who:

• Are passionate about impacting climate change and exploring clean, renewable energy sources
• Want to innovate the plasma technologies of the future
• Are interested in developing fusion reactors
• Want to apply radiological science to advancing security, medicine, and human health
• Enjoy experimental hands-on and/or computational research using math, physics, and computer skills

Our virtual campers will explore NPRE through at-home hands-on projects and virtual demonstrations and lab tours.

Virtual camp activities will occur through these 3 processes:

  • LIVE sessions using video conferencing or webinar tools (e.g. Zoom).
  • AYC sessions or “at your convenience” will include videos, articles, and labs that will be accessed through a password-protected website.
  • Community Chat (e.g. GroupMe, Discord, Slack) will be accessible for any-time communication between campers, counselors, and course instructors.

Camp activities:

Exploring questions such as:

  • How does a nuclear reactor work, and how does it impact the nation’s energy production?
  • What are the issues regarding nuclear reactor safety?
  • What is radiation and how is it controlled?
  • What is plasma and what are its uses?
  • How do plasmas contribute to the fields of medicine and materials processing?
  • What is a fission vs. a fusion reaction?
  • What are current developments in fusion reactors?
  • How does a radiation detector work?
  • What are some of the beneficial uses of radiation?
2018 NPRE Campers
2018 NPRE Campers

See NPRE in-practice through laboratory demonstrations such as:

  • Using virtual and lab simulations to learn about radiation dosages, half-life, and shielding
  • Observing confined plasma and interacting with a plasma ball
  • Understanding magnetic pressure in plasmas through a can-crushing experiment

Virtual tours may include:

  • HIDRA, NPRE’s unique plasma/fusion facility
  • A plasma nanotechnology facility and labs that make the machines that make the semi-conductor chips that go into your electronic devices
  • A radiological instrumentation lab
  • The soft robotics lab

Camp Coordinators(s):

Becky Meline, Coordinator of Academic Programs, NPRE

From previous years

I-STEM NPRE camp story from 2018

“I enjoyed visiting the nuclear fusion reactor visit because it was something that I have always wanted to see up close and I finally was able to and get explanations on how it worked and why it is used. I also enjoyed going to the control room simulation at the Clinton Power Station. It was absolutely fascinating to me.” ~2019 ExplNPRE camper