High School VIRTUAL Summer Camps

Summer 2020 Virtual Camp Offering

Summer 2021 applications will open in mid-late January 2021.

Camper sitting down and holding up a paper with copper tape and LED circuitry

As of Friday, May 1, 2020, all University-led, in-person summer camps have been cancelled for the full summer. However, we are taking this opportunity to introduce a new virtual camp for applicants who applied to one of our in-person summer 2020 camps:

The Grainger Engineering “What It Takes” Virtual Summer Camp

  • June 21 – July 2, 2020
  • July 5 – 16, 2020

A few highlights of “What It Takes”:

  • 2-week experience of exploring the various engineering fields through presentations, speakers, demonstrations, and hands-on labs and projects.
  • Virtual field trips to working research labs on campus and related industries.
  • Unique breakout sessions around special interests such as women and minorities in engineering, college essay writing, and more.
  • Hands-on labs and projects using materials from the Lab Kit that will be mailed to your home.
  • Meet new people and engage socially as well as academically in your daily small group sessions via web conference, facilitated by a University of Illinois student who will be your guide for the week.

Camp Activities & Schedule (all times Central Time (CT))

Camp activities will occur using two primary processes:

  1. LIVE sessions using video conferencing or webinar tools,
  2. AYC sessions or “at your convenience” which will include videos, articles, and labs that you’ll have access to through a password protected website.

Week 1 Engineering Exploration

Day Time (Central Timezone) Activity
Sunday 4:00-5:30pm LIVE Welcome and Orientation
Monday-Thursday “At your convenience” (AYC) Engineering Major Exploration (videos, articles, and labs)
4:00pm-6:30pm LIVE Small Group Meetings (1 hour) with Your Counselor. On Thursday, campers will indicate their preferences for the Week 2 Deeper Dive Sessions
Friday AYC AYC Engineering Major Exploration (continued)
2:30pm-4:00pm LIVE Small Group Meetings (30 minutes) for an Overview of Week 2

Week 2 Deeper Dive

Day Time (Central Timezone) Activity
Monday-Thursday 9:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm Attend three mini-courses that will consist of 3-5 hours of content. These sessions will be LIVE with opportunities to interact with the experts from these fields. Schedules will vary dependent on topic selections made in Week 1.
4:00-6:30pm LIVE Small Group Meetings (1 hour) with your Counselor.
Thursday 4:00-5:30pm LIVE Closing Ceremonies with a Guest Speaker and Celebration of Accomplishments


Here is a list of the engineering majors you will get to explore during the What It Takes Virtual Summer Camp:

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Agricultural and Biological Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering
  • Materials, Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Science and Engineering
  • Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering

Additionally, there will be several breakout sessions that will be available by choice during the lunch hours and during the evening small group meeting block. These sessions will cover a number of topics related to college application processes, college life, and tools or supports for college and career success.