Virtual Programs

K-12 Virtual Summer Camp Options

Virtual Summer Camp Overview

Looking for a fun break this summer? Want to meet new people, be creative, and try solving problems like an engineer? Then come spend a week or two this summer with The Engineering Place at the NC State College of Engineering and learn how engineers make life better for all of us! Campers of all ages will engage in hands-on challenges, collaborating with other campers, in designing successful engineered solutions to problems. Most camps come with an engineering kit with all the supplies needed for a week of fun!

Due to popular demand from the successful 2020 virtual engineering camps last summer, we have brought back several of our most popular camps and have added many more new programs! Now is your chance to attend many of these sold-out camps from last year and explore some new topics! Campers may enroll in as many weeks of camp as are available. Camps will be filled First Come, First Served.

Camp Fees

  • Rising Kindergarten through 5th-grade camps: $225
  • Rising 6th – 8th: $275
  • Rising 9th – 12th: $300 – $425

NOTE: Not all camps require supplies and include a supply kit.

Financial Assistance:  If you are interested in being considered for our limited amount of financial assistance, please complete the form that is part of the registration process and we will be in contact with you. 


Send a Kid to Camp

The NC State Engineering Foundation, Inc. (NCSEF) was chartered in 1944 to secure private financial support critical to the improvement of the College of Engineering (COE). The Foundation continues to raise funds and engage with alumni to support the important work of the people who define the College. All gifts to the College, its departments and programs, make a difference in the ability of engineering students and faculty to fulfill their own dreams and make a positive impact on the world.

We welcome your tax deductible donation to sponsor a child for summer camp. To donate to our rising kindergarten through twelve grade day and residential summer camps, please use this link or make a check payable to NC State Engineering Foundation and send it to:

NC State Engineering Foundation
Campus Box 7901
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7901

In the memo line of the check, please put COE Summer Programs.


Rising Kindergarten – Rising 2nd

Camp Hours

  • Morning session: 9 am – 11 am
  • Afternoon session: 1 pm – 3 pm

Camps 

Amusement Park (June 21-25)

A camp favorite from last summer! Have amusement park fun in your own home! Spend the week creating an amusement park by designing rides with specific engineering requirements! Funhouses, people movers, water slides, roller coasters, and bumper cars! We even have an engineering challenge for your family “nano” pet, as you don’t want to leave him or her behind at home. The challenges have been modified for each grade level. (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


Exploring the Red Planet: Mars! (July 26-30)

NEW! NASA is exploring our solar system and they need you! Join us as we think like NASA Engineers as we explore Mars in designing ways to land and explore the surface of Mars, communicate with Earth by coding a special message, and using robotics to investigate the surface of Mars. Come join us as we travel and explore another planet! (A supply kit is included with this camp.)

Rising 3rd – 5th

Camp Hours

  • Morning session: 9 am – 11 am
  • Afternoon session: 1 pm – 3 pm

Camps 

Island Survival (June 14-18)

A camp favorite from last summer! After being caught in a storm at sea, we have shipwrecked on a deserted island. We need your engineering skills to help us solve the challenges that arise on the island. 3-5 grade campers will use their imaginations to design solutions for exploring the island, gathering food and water, and building a safe shelter.  (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


Amusement Park (June 21-25)

A camp favorite from last summer! Have amusement park fun in your own home! Spend the week creating an amusement park by designing rides with specific engineering requirements! Funhouses, people movers, water slides, roller coasters, and bumper cars! We even have an engineering challenge for your family “nano” pet, as you don’t want to leave him or her behind at home. The challenges have been modified for each grade level. (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


Too Much or Too Little? Engineers Can Make it Just Right! (June 28-July 2)

NEW! Goldilocks struggled with this question when she was deciding which porridge tasted the best. Today engineers are still faced with this challenge as we have to design sustainable solutions to help people manage natural resources. During this week of camp, you will explore how you can help solve one of the world’s biggest challenges; dealing with too much or too few environmental factors such as water, wind, sun, and weather. Join us as ‘virtually’ travel the world in 5 days learning how engineers in the driest deserts, the coldest mountain peaks, and even in your own backyard accept the challenge of making solutions Just Right! (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


Engineering your Body: How do your systems work? (July 12-16)

NEW! Think of your body as an amazing superset of many complex intersecting systems much like a huge Rube Goldberg machine or the Mouse Trap game. To understand the human body, engineers look at the entire body as many individual systems working together and that’s how we will explore the body too, one system at a time.

Come join us as we explore human body systems where you, the camper, will examine what goes in to (inputs) and comes out of (outputs) individual body systems. We will investigate human sight, the skin as a barrier to the outside world, the inability to feel pain and what keeps a heart healthy. Through your interaction with these summer camp engineering challenges, you will better understand how your body works as a complete supersystem! (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


Pets Need Our Help! (July 19-23)

NEW! Pets can have problems too! Design solutions to help pets out of sticky situations! Some pets lose the use of their back legs due to illness. Engineers like you can help! What does a dog do when her water bowl is empty? What if they could fill it themselves? Does your hamster like his habitat? Make it even more interactive! Solve these and more problems on behalf of the smallest members of our families. (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


Exploring the Red Planet: Mars! (July 26-30)

NEW!  NASA is exploring our solar system and they need you! Join us as we think like NASA Engineers as we explore Mars in designing ways to land and explore the surface of Mars, communicate with Earth by coding a special message, and using robotics to investigate the surface of Mars. Come join us as we travel and explore another planet! (A supply kit is included with this camp.)

Rising 6th – 8th

Camp Hours

  • Morning session: 9 am – 12 pm
  • Afternoon Session: 1 pm – 4 pm

Camps 

Island Survival (June 14-18)

A camp favorite from last summer! After being caught in a storm at sea, we have shipwrecked on a deserted island. We need your engineering skills to help us solve the challenges that arise on the island. 6-8th grade campers will use their imaginations to design solutions for exploring the island, gathering food and water, and building a safe shelter.  (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


Amusement Park (June 21-25)

A camp favorite from last summer! Have amusement park fun in your own home! Spend the week creating an amusement park by designing rides with specific engineering requirements! Funhouses, people movers, water slides, roller coasters, and bumper cars! We even have an engineering challenge for your family “nano” pet, as you don’t want to leave him or her behind at home. The challenges have been modified for each grade level. (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


Too Much or Too Little? Engineers Can Make it Just Right! (June 28-July 2)

NEW! Goldilocks struggled with this question when she was deciding which porridge tasted the best. Today engineers are still faced with this challenge as we have to design sustainable solutions to help people manage natural resources. During this week of 3-5 camp, you will explore how you can help solve one of the world’s biggest challenges; dealing with too much or too few environmental factors such as water, wind, sun, and weather. Join us as ‘virtually’ travel the world in 5 days learning how engineers in the driest deserts, the coldest mountain peaks, and even in your own back yard accept the challenge of making solutions Just Right! (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


Exploring Sensors (June 28-July 2)

NEW! Have you heard about the Internet of Things? Sensors are the things that make it possible! Experience how sensors help to light up our lives and to bring sound and motion to our everyday experiences! Campers will design, build and test their own creations that use sensors, lights and other fun things to help solve problems in our world. (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


Engineering your Body: How do your systems work? (July 12-16)

NEW! Think of your body as an amazing superset of many complex intersecting systems much like a huge Rube Goldberg machine or the Mouse Trap game. To understand the human body, engineers look at the entire body as many individual systems working together and that’s how we will explore the body too, one system at a time.

Come join us as we explore human body systems where you, the camper, will examine what goes in to (inputs) and comes out of (outputs) individual body systems. We will investigate human sight, the skin as a barrier to the outside world, the inability to feel pain and what keeps a heart healthy. Through your interaction with these summer camp engineering challenges, you will better understand how your body works as a complete supersystem! (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


Pets Need Our Help! (July 19-23)

NEW! Pets can have problems too! Design solutions to help pets out of sticky situations! Some pets lose the use of their back legs due to illness. Engineers like you can help! What does a dog do when her water bowl is empty? What if they could fill it themselves? Does your hamster like his habitat? Make it even more interactive! Solve these and more problems on behalf of the smallest members of our families. (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


Expressing the Big Picture Through Code (July 19-23)

CAMP FAVORITE! We are bringing this favorite back from last year. Are you interested in seeing the bigger picture when it comes to scientific phenomena and scenarios? Do you like to tinker and ask ‘What If?’ Simulations and modeling are often used by scientists to show the effects of complex interactions within a system and explore how small changes can produce huge effects. In this camp, you will learn how to program in block-based environments to create interactive, visually delightful, and emoji-inspired simulations of complex systems representing fields including Energy, Ecology, Epidemiology, and beyond. (A supply kit is NOT needed with this camp.)


Exploring the Red Planet: Mars! (July 26-30)

NEW!  NASA is exploring our solar system and they need you! Join us as we think like NASA Engineers as we explore Mars in designing ways to land and explore the surface of Mars, communicate with Earth by coding a special message, and using robotics to investigate the surface of Mars. Come join us as we travel and explore another planet! (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


Technology Adventure Camp (July 26-30) or (August 2-8)

NEW! Technology Adventure Camp transports participants to the magical world of Osburn to explore a land of magic, mystery, and adventure. Using an online platform, campers will engage with a standards-based, tabletop role-playing storyline that addresses higher-order technology and engineering concepts while activating their imaginations from the safety of their own home. Campers will create their own characters, explore the land, battle monsters, and learn about the interplay between technology, engineering, and society. (A supply kit is NOT needed with this camp.)


How Do Things Work? The Power of Energy! (August 2-8)

NEW! Electricity fuels our daily lives. Engineers study different forms of energy to solve problems in order to make our lives easier. Campers will learn about and use different forms of energy as they create devices useful for everyday life; from solar ovens to flashlights. Come investigate how these devices work. It will be “electrical”! (A supply kit is included with this camp.)

Rising 9th – 12th

Camp Hours

9 am – 4 pm (Breaks for lunch and snacks are factored into the camp day schedule)

*Some departments are offering half day high school camps (e.g. 9 am – 12 pm) or have unique beginning and end times, so please pay close attention to the specific times of each camp*

Camps 

BME – Assistive Devices (June 14-18)

A camp favorite from last summer! A camp favorite from last summer! Biomedical engineering (BME) is hosting another “Assistive Devices” summer camp this year! BME integrates many different areas of engineering. We are mechanical, electrical, chemical, textile, and tissue engineers that focus on medical applications of engineering. Through this summer camp experience, you will discover the engineering process and how it can be applied to all forms of problems you may face. This camp is unique; you have endless creative potential to work independently in a virtual setting. Through short teaching lessons and creative working, you will learn how to identify engineering problems and will be equipped with a framework for solving those challenges. Your interest in medicine and engineering could lead to the design of a new assistive device that helps patients regain mobility at home. We will combine biomedical engineering, business basics, and real product development skills for you to learn what it is truly like to innovate new medical technologies.

Camp Session: 9 am – 4 pm Breaks for lunch and snacks are factored into the camp day schedule (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


BME – Global World Health (June 28 – July 2)

NEW! Biomedical engineering (BME) integrates many different areas of engineering. We are mechanical, electrical, chemical, textile, and tissue engineers that focus on medical applications of engineering. Through this summer camp experience, you will discover the engineering process and how it can be applied to all forms of problems you may face. This camp is unique; you have endless creative potential to work independently in a virtual setting. Through short teaching lessons and creative working, you will learn how to identify engineering problems and will be equipped with a framework for solving those challenges. Your interest in medicine and engineering could lead to the design of a new tool to solve a problem in global health. We will combine biomedical engineering, business basics, and real product development skills for you to learn what it is truly like to innovate new medical technologies.

Camp Session: 9 am – 4 pm Breaks for lunch and snacks are factored into the camp day schedule (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


CBE – Chemical Engineers: We’ve Got the Solutions (June 21-25)

NEW! This workshop is designed to expose you to the variety of careers and technologies that chemical engineers might pursue. We will focus on different areas of chemical engineering – biotechnology, nanotechnology/polymers, sustainability, and entrepreneurship. Through a combination of hands-on activities, virtual lab tours, and interactions with our professors, campers, and alumni, you will leave with a much better idea of the wide variety of doors that chemical engineering can open for you. Come ready to learn and explore!

Camp Session: 9 am – 4 pm Breaks for lunch and snacks are factored into the camp day schedule (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


CSC – CS Frontiers: Harnessing the Internet (July 12-16)

NEW! Join us this summer for an adventure in Computer Science! Learn about how the Internet works and how we can use its data and services to make a positive impact. In the last decade, the number of services connecting people across the Internet has skyrocketed. In this one-week camp, you will learn how to access these online services to gather societal relevant data. Working collaboratively, participants will use online sources to explore, visualize, and gamify data concerning climate change, the arts, social networks, public health and more. No prior programming experience is necessary. 

Camp Session: 12 pm – 4 pm (One week – half day camp) (A supply kit is NOT needed with this camp.)


CSC – CS Frontiers: Internet of Things (June 21-July 2)

NEW! Join us this summer for an adventure in Computer Science! Learn about the Internet of Things (IoTs), what are IoT devices, how they are used today and let’s imagine together the IoT applications of the future! Technology is impacting every aspect of our lives from the way we live, to the way we work, learn and communicate. Behind this innovation are the billions of devices connected to the internet, which we call the Internet of Things ( IoT), various types of devices connected to each other and the Cloud. IoTs have become a pervasive trend in healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, energy generation, safety, entertainment and home life. Participants in this camp will be able to remotely control virtual IoT robots and their sensors in a collaborative virtual environment. Within this environment, participants will first learn the basics of coding their robot and then explore a variety of cybersecurity concepts to protect their robots. Cybersecurity concepts covered include encryption, replay attacks, and spoofing sensor data. Through this camp, participants will gain hands-on experience with the importance of security in a massively networked society of smart things. No prior programming experience is necessary. 

Camp Session: 9 am – 12 pm (two-week half day camps) (A supply kit is NOT needed with this camp.)


CSC – CS Frontiers: Machine Learning and Data Biases (June 21-July 2)

NEW! Join us this summer for an adventure in Computer Science! Learn about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) and their applications today and let’s imagine together how they will be used in the future! Artificial Intelligence and machine learning decisions impact the daily life of millions of people. We use ML algorithms for speech and image recognition, traffic predictions, shopping recommendations, medical diagnosis and much more. Machine Learning algorithms have the capacity to learn patterns and make decisions based on observed data. Therefore, it’s important to recognize areas for potential biases of Machine Learning applications and to understand the fallibility of the algorithms and their programmers. In this camp, participants will explore ethical dilemmas in Machine Learning and learn the skills needed to make sense of big data. This camp will utilize both block and text-based languages. No prior programming experience is necessary.  This camp runs half days for two weeks.

Camp Session: 9 am – 12 pm (two-week half day camps) (A supply kit is NOT needed with this camp.)


CSC – Possibilities of Python (July 26-30 or August 2-6)

A camp favorite from last summer! It is no secret that programming makes the world go round these days. We will be learning Python in this camp. Python has become one of the most popular and powerful programming languages in addition to being one of the most approachable languages. Throughout this camp, we will discuss how data is stored and how code flows. We will study the principles of software engineering and how to effectively design, analyze, and debug code. This camp will allow you to learn programming concepts by doing in an interactive, project-based environment. Coupling these fundamental concepts with existing libraries will allow us to create compelling projects that creatively solve problems and create something beautiful. This session covers introductory Python concepts and requires no prior knowledge, just a willingness to learn and an enthusiasm to create.

Camp Hours: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Breaks for lunch and snacks are factored into the camp day schedule. (A supply kit is NOT needed with this camp.)


ECE – Problem Solving with Arduino (June 28 – July 2 or July 12-16)

A camp favorite from last summer!  This camp utilizes Arduino, an open-source, educational microcontroller platform with microcontrollers, the perfect blend of engineering disciplines. They require a knowledge of hardware and mechanics to interact with the surrounding environment and an understanding of software to control the hardware. In this camp, we will learn the fundamentals of circuitry and the basics of programming. This camp will provide you with the tools to construct complex systems using the Arduino platform as you see these concepts come to life in a hands-on way. You will also gain experience with design thinking as we identify problems around us and find creative ways to tackle them. This session covers introductory circuits and programming concepts and requires no prior knowledge, just a willingness to learn and an enthusiasm to create. This camp will cover similar topics to the camp offered last summer.

Camp Session: 9 am – 4 pm Breaks for lunch and snacks are factored into the camp day schedule (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


ISE – Humans in the System (June 28 – July 2 or July 26-30)

A camp favorite from last summer!  ISE’s summer camp is back this year by popular request! Each day participants will spend 4.5 hours performing engaging activities with real-world challenges of industrial and systems engineering and generating a variety of user-centered problem-solving solutions. Days will include opportunities to personally hear from engineering professionals about their work experiences, as well as having virtual lunch with current engineering students. By week’s end, participants will have created solutions in the areas of the supply chain, advanced manufacturing, and health care.

Camp Session: 9 am – 2 pm Breaks for lunch and snacks are factored into the camp day schedule (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


MAE – Spread Your Wings and Fly (June 14-18 or June 21 – 25 or June 28 – July 2)

NEW! “Humanity must rise above the Earth, to the top of the atmosphere and beyond, for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.” Much of the technology available today is a derivative of humanity’s need to explore flight within sensible atmosphere and outer space. Aerospace engineers study the dynamics of flight and the rudiments of how to design and build an aerospace vehicle. The program presents campers an opportunity to learn about aeronautics and aeromechanical systems. Activities during the week will expose participants to the fundamental principles of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Topic will include airfoil and aircraft performance to structures and rockets. Hands-on activities will include activities in a custom-built wind tunnel that will reinforce concepts introduced during lectures. Campers will work with faculty and current engineering students to build a wind tunnel and construct a model airplane. They will conduct wind tunnel tests on aerodynamic structures to understand simple concepts of aeroelasticity. They will also use simulators to design their own space and rocket mission. Visit the website for more information about the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Camp Session: 9 am – 4 pm Breaks for lunch and snacks are factored into the camp day schedule (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


MSE – Building Better Blocks  (June 28 – July 2 or July 26-30)

A camp favorite from last summer!  Since this camp was such a hit last summer, we are bringing it back! Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) is everywhere and in everything that you touch, taste, feel, see, and hear. We make every engineer’s building blocks and then some! Learn how everyday items work and how to make them better. At the end of the day, everyone needs materials. If you want to be another type of engineer, it all starts with materials and those building blocks. We explore how the sciences, chemistry, physics, and all disciplines of engineering come together through a hands-on, interactive, engineering design process. Beware: We may get a little dirty, sticky, and messy but it’s all for a jolt of fun as we learn! So safety glasses and nitrile gloves are required and provided. Table clothes too, we don’t want upset parental units! As a workshop participant, you will learn about what MSE is all about and how MSE is all around us, while performing hands-on experiments simulating an analytical laboratory. Daily activities will include interacting with microscopes, supercooling fluids, manipulating liquids through filtration and electricity, gaseous (but not stinky) creations, and solidifying liquids! We will also tour a few research facilities and speak to other real world engineers! This camp includes a brief Sunday afternoon session for introductions and instructions. 

Camp Session: Sunday: 4 pm – 5 pm   Monday: 9 am – 11:30 am; 1 pm – 3:30 pm  Tuesday: 1 pm – 3:30 pm  Wednesday: 9 am – 11:30 am; 1 pm – 3:30 pm  Thursday: 9 am – 11:30 am; 1 pm – 3:30 pm  Friday: 9 am – 12 pm  Breaks for lunch and snacks are factored into the camp day schedule (A supply kit is included with this camp.)


PSE – Engineering a Sustainable Future With Biomass (June 21-June 25 or July 19-23)

NEW! Come experience the sustainable and renewable future! In the emerging “green economy,” materials are being made out of renewable biomass instead of petrochemicals and minerals, water is being reused and conserved efficiently and energy is being generated from renewable biofuels. The paper industry is leading the way to the green economy. Cellulose, the most predominant biomaterial, is completely renewable, sustainable and recyclable. This workshop combines engaging presentations with exciting hands-on activities involving the creation, evaluation and life cycle of sustainable and renewable products. Campers will be asked to think critically and creatively to find solutions to the challenges facing a sustainable future. You may think of the pulp, paper and packaging industry as ordinary, but the industry is ready to do some extraordinary things in changing the economy of the future! Come and learn what your future will hold in the new bio-economy! Visit the website.

Camp Session: Monday – Thursday (9 am – 4 pm); Friday (9am – 1pm) Breaks for lunch and snacks are factored into the camp day schedule (A supply kit is included with this camp.)

What To Expect

A Typical Day at Camp

Monday welcomes the campers with introductions and a brief overview of the week. Campers begin each morning/afternoon with a new engineering challenge they must solve. Campers are split into small teams (via Zoom’s breakout rooms function) and explore solutions to the given problem to find solutions. Using the Engineering Design Process, prototype designs are created, tested and improved. The session ends with sharing their design triumphs and challenges, what worked and what failed. Discussions about ways to further improve their design lead to a creative exchange of ideas and concepts in which many campers continue working on their designs long after camp is over. We strive for our virtual camps to begin on time. Please log on to Zoom 15 minutes early to ensure you are on time for camp.

Camp Logistics

Camps this year will be held virtually using Zoom Video and Web Conferencing. There will be a variety of week-long camp offerings  held throughout the summer based on a variety of interests. Campers may enroll in as many weeks of camp as are available.

Technical Requirements: Internet Browser on a Computer, Tablet, or Laptop (Mac, PC, Chromebook compatible) In order to participate in these camps you should:

  1. Be able to download and use Zoom to participate in camp activities.
  2. Have a webcam.
  3. Have a device with the ability to connect to the internet and stream video.
  4. Limit distractions while on the LIVE Zoom Video conference interaction.
  5. Not use the internet as a resource when completing the engineering challenge. Remember to be creative and use your own ideas.
  6. Accept that failure is a natural and necessary part of learning. If you are unable to complete a challenge, don’t give up and keep improving.

Eligibility

Any student from any location in the world that is entering kindergarten through twelfth grade in Fall 2021 is welcome to apply. Public school, private school and home-schooled students are ALL encouraged to register.

Registering for Camp Can Only Be Done Online

Camper registrations are handled on a First Come, First Served basis. Apply via our Summer Programs Portal. We recommend that you bookmark the site so you can return to complete your application or add additional camps. Note: Campers may enroll in as many weeks of camp as are available.

If you are applying for a high school camp, please be sure to provide an updated cell phone number for the camper so that we can reach them directly, for immediate communication purposes related to each camp.

Registration Timeline

Camp registrations will end either 3 weeks prior to the beginning of camp or when the camp is filled, whichever comes first.

Financial Aid

Filling out an optional online form allows for applicants to apply for our limited amount of funds that will assist in the payment of camp fees.