Tag: engineering

Summer Youth Programs now offering Virtual Programs

In our 48-year history of delivering hands-on, engaging, discovery-centric Summer Youth Programs, we have faced and overcome many challenges. The cancellation of 2020 in-person programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic was undoubtedly the most difficult to date. Of course, with challenge comes opportunity, and we are thrilled to announce the launch of virtual Youth Programs (vYP) — the same hands-on, experiential approach we’re known for, delivered in a new way.

We know that learning happens through doing, and our vYP are much more than just screen-time. With a variety of program lengths, learning outcomes, and subject areas, we invite you to explore with us!

Courses include:

  • Calling all Writers!
  • Musical Theater Performance Intensive
  • BEHIND THE SCENES: Technical Training for Professional Theater
  • INTRO TO MUSICAL THEATER: “A day in the life” with U.P. Summer Theater Institute
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering

Additional programs will be added soon. Learn more about our current virtual programs here!


2020 Summer Youth Programs Cancelled

In our 48-year history of delivering hands-on, engaging, discovery-centric Summer Youth Programs, we have faced and overcome many challenges. And yet, the global COVID-19 pandemic has tested us like never before. Alongside you and your families, we have confronted adjustments to new ways of living, working, and learning. With cautious optimism, adapting and adhering to ever-changing guidance from government and health officials, we continued planning for our Summer 2020 programs. 

Unfortunately, in consideration of the totality of circumstances at present, we have ultimately made the difficult decision to cancel all Summer Youth Programs this year. This decision was not made lightly, and arose out of our fundamental, resolute commitment to ensuring the health and safety of our participants while also maintaining the high-quality experiences we have provided for generations. 

Over the next few weeks, we will issue participants a full refund of all money paid to date to Michigan Tech. Your refund will be provided in the same method used to make your payment (credit card, online payment, or check). We are also directing our creative Summer Youth energy toward innovation — embracing possibility and exploring ways to virtually engage with you. Please stay tuned for more information about opportunities to connect and learn with us.


Scholarship Programs Deadline Extended to May 1

The deadline for Michigan Tech’s Competitive Scholarship Programs has been extended until May 1. This is due to the COVID-19 outbreak and K-12 schools across the country moving courses online. The extended deadline applies to the following scholarship programs:

Competitive Scholarships
-Engineering Scholars Program
-Women in Engineering
-Women in Computer Science
-Junior Women in Engineering
Additional Scholarships
-Hemlock Semiconductor – ESP Scholarship
-3M -WIE Scholarship
-David and Thu Brule Scholarship
-McBride Remodeling Scholarship
-SYP Scholarship


Registration for SYP 2020 is now live!

The holidays may be just around the corner, but here at Michigan Technological University, we can’t stop thinking about summer! 

We are excited to announce that our 2020 Summer Youth Programs course catalog is NOW LIVE! We have several NEW courses this year, including:

  • Intro to Machine Learning
  • Transforming Sunlight into Energy
  • Engineering Psychology and Human Factors
  • U.P. Summer Theater Institute 

    Plus, we have over 50 other explorations in a variety of fields. 

    2020 Summer Youth Programs also brings the return of several middle and high school competitive scholarship programs:

  • Women in Engineering
  • Engineering Scholars Program
  • Women in Automotive Engineering
  • Junior Women in Engineering
  • Rail and Intermodal Transportation
  • National Summer Transportation Institute
  • GenCyber


2020 Summer Youth Program launching SOON!

Summer Youth Programs are coming back in 2020 for another great summer of exploring, learning, and making new friends. This year we will have around 50 courses to offer along with our Competitive Scholarship Programs.  Some new courses for 2020 include:

Into to Machine Learning: The amount of data on the internet is projected to reach over 450 GB per day by the year 2025! Manually analyzing and finding trends in this amount of data is impossible, so we rely on computers and machine learning to do the analysis for us. In this course students will learn how to use machine learning tools to allow for automatic data analysis and visualization. Students will get a glimpse of the problems computer engineers and data scientists work on, as well as an idea of the career opportunities available to those who choose this field.

Transforming Sunlight Into Energy: Ever wondered why solar panels are blue or what they are made of? This exploration will take you into Michigan Tech’s microfabrication facility where you will fabricate, test, and even take home your own solar cell. Additional projects will demonstrate how what you learn in the microfab is being used to fabricate smartphones, computers, lab-on-a-chips, and optical devices.

Engineering Psychology and Human Factors: Human Factors (also referred to as Engineering Psychology) is a scientific discipline which examines human behavior and capabilities in order to find the best ways to design products, equipment and systems for maximum safe, effective, satisfying use by humans. It is a multidisciplinary field that focuses on a range of unique topics of interest in psychology and engineering. Unique concentrations include cognitive ergonomics, which is the scientific discipline of making technology systems compatible with human cognitive abilities and limitations at work. On the other hand, user experience engineering carefully studies how workers interact with tools, technology and systems in order to improve functionality and efficiency. Finally, error prevention is one of the most important specializations because it plays an active role in reducing quality and safety concerns. In sum, Human Factors specialists seek to improve society by saving money, saving time, or saving lives! In this class you will get hands on experience with a driving simulator, eye trackers, robotic motor behavior system, and other commonly used techniques used in the field.

U.P. Summer Theater Institute (Choose from Performers focus or Tech/Design): Do you have dreams of singing and dancing on Broadway? This immersive program will lead aspiring performers through a three week rehearsal period, culminating in performances of a full scale musical for a public audience on the stages of Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts! The UP Summer Theater Institute has created a program that mirrors the professional rehearsal and performance process that industry professionals are accustomed to when hired at an Equity theater.   For the Tech/Design focus: If you love the theater, but would rather run the soundboard, call the curtain cues, build the set, or run the followspot than perform onstage, this program is for you! This program will give aspiring young designers and theater technicians the chance to hone their understanding of lighting, audio/sound design, set design/construction, costume design/construction, and stage management as the mount a full-scale musical on the stages of Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.


New weeks of programs added!

The school year is coming to an end rapidly, which means that it’s time to think summer! Although some of our SYP explorations have filled up already, we have a few exciting last-minute opportunities that you may want to take advantage of.

  1. Additional week of Electrical & Computer Engineering. The department has added another section of this popular course during the week of June 23-29!
  2. New cybersecurity program. The GenCyber program will run during the week of June 16-22 and provides a full scholarship for those who participate. This program is limited to commuter students and is based on grant funding, which means local or staying-local participants only!
  3.  Space still remaining! We still have plenty of seats remaining, particularly in our June courses! Check out the full catalog to see all the great options that remain.

If you have any questions, please feel welcome to contact our office. We are so excited to see everyone in just a couple of weeks! Our offices can be reached at 906-487-2219 or syp@mtu.edu


Introducing our 2019 SYP Head Staff Team!

SYP Head Staff
L to R Front: Grace Kluchka, Mallory Benkert, Skylar Callis  | Back Row: Zachary Smith and Rob Lambert

As the start of Summer Youth Programs quickly approaches, we are very excited to introduce you to our 2019 SYP Head Staff team. This amazing group of Michigan Tech students take on additional leadership in the summer, including training during orientation, coordinating staff schedules, and problem-solving when the unexpected arises.

During the first few head staff meetings, they shared what they are most looking forward to this year. Here are a few of their thoughts:

I have been a counselor in the past and really enjoyed igniting students’ passion for STEM and asking them questions.  I am looking forward to using my past experiences as an activity and day counselor to solve any issues and develop some new campus activities that are free/low cost for participants to try.

Grace Kluchka, Head Activities Counselor

Returning Head Operations Counselor Robert Lambert shared the value of being a second-year as a Head Counselor and third year member of the SYP staff.

I really enjoyed last summer as a head counselor and grew a lot as a leader and a person. This year I am starting with a better understanding of my role and bringing more experience and attention to details.

Mallory Benkert worked with SYP last year as a Student Coordinator; this year, she will bring those strong organizational skills to the leadership team as as Head Counselors’ Counselor. And, no, you didn’t read that wrong—although it is an odd job title! The HCC is in charge of scheduling, general check-ins, and any concerns from the staff members themselves.

I was motivated to apply to be on the leadership team so I can be more “in” the scenes than “behind” the scenes.

Zachary Smith and Skylar Callis also bring a summer of experience to their roles, and will both be taking on new perspectives within SYP. Zach worked at the front desk last year and will move into the Head Residence Counselor Role. Skylar, meanwhile, is taking on Head Operations with Rob after spending last year as a Residence Counselors.

As June approaches and final plans fall into place, we are very excited to work with this Head Staff and our full SYP team to bring another great summer of programs to you. We come back year after year, too, because as it turns out, we love this opportunity just as much as our students do. It’s so much more than a camp or class—it’s an experience. And for many, it’s life changing.


Devin’s Story from SYP!

At the end of each summer we ask students to share with us what attending Summer Youth Programs meant to them in the form of a story contest, these stories never disappoint! Our 2018 middle school level winner shares her story below.

“My name is Devin and SYP has taught me so much. I learned how to be a strong and independent person, how to make the world a better place. I got to experience college living firsthand, and have fun while doing it all. In Engineering 101 we learned about so many different things that come into play in everyday lives without people even realizing. Everything was hands on and taught us how to think creatively, like the time we designed prosthetic legs out of recycled materials in the Bio-Medical lesson. SYP was nothing close to a regular summer camp, but that’s what made it so special. It was days packed full of learning, amazing food, new friends, and a few Walmart runs all mixed into one unforgettable experience. Michigan Tech has always been my dream college. It was so inspiring to learn about science and engineering from instructors of this amazing school. I learned so much about future career paths and can’t wait to learn even more. I hope in the future there will be more and more female engineers that I will grow to work with and learn from. My experience at camp was absolutely amazing, and I hope I can come back next year.” – Devin O., 2018 SYP participant

We love reading stories like Devin’s and hearing that students are not only learning about careers, but building confidence and independence in themselves and their ability to succeed in college. We also hope that Devin comes back this summer to learn even more and work on her own path to becoming a successful engineer.


Application Deadlines for Scholarship Programs!

As April gets underway, we are fast approaching the application deadline for many of our competitive scholarship programs! The following programs are included in this pool:

  • Women in Engineering (WIE)
  • Engineering Scholars Program (ESP)
  • Junior Women in Engineering (JWIE)
  • Women in Computer Science (WICS)
  • Women in Automotive Engineering (WIAE)

Applicants to WIE, ESP, JWIE, WICS, and WIAE who submit a complete set of materials by 5:00 p.m. EDT, April 10, will be considered for acceptance. We do honor postmark, so get everything together and in the mail on that date!

Why apply for one of these intensive STEM programs? The opportunities students will have are so vast: work in teams to test bridge models; solder circuit boards; find out about the human factors in automotive design; explore cybersecurity and virtual reality. In addition, a week on campus has so many experiences to offer, from living with a roommate to eating in the dining hall, managing your own time in the evening to seeing the beauty of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

My experience in the Engineering Scholars Program has been a mix of both meaningful and enjoyable. This unforgettable week has taught me about various fields in engineering and has provided me with the hands-on experience to think and solve crucial problems like an engineer. One of my favorite parts was the first-hand feel for what it is like to live on campus and stepping into the shoes of a college student.

Aarush G., 2018 ESP Participant

More details about the scholarship programs, including required application materials, can be found on our website. If you have any questions, you can always reach us at syp@mtu.edu or by phone at 906-487-2219.


Benefits of A Summer Program

Why Is It Important To Send My Child To Camp?

Developed from an article shared by the American Camp Association

Youth development experts agree that children need a variety of experiences in their lives to help them grow into healthy adolescents and adults. For children to develop positive behaviors, their experiences must produce:

  • A sense of industry and competency
    • Do they develop skills? Do they learn to work for what is important? Are they successful at what they do?
  • A feeling they are connected to others and to society
    • Do they feel like they “fit”? Do they see a role they can play in their group, family, or community? Do they have friends?
  • A belief in their ability to make decisions
    • Do they learn to make good choices? Do they see the results of their decisions?
  • A stable identity
    • Are they learning what their skills are? Are they receiving positive feedback about themselves?

The mission of Summer Youth Programs to provide quality, innovative teaching and learning experiences that promote academic studies, college life, and career  awareness. Through hands-on, discovery based programs, students break out of their comfort zone and stretch their imaginations-without the pressure of grades, exams, or assignments. Our facilities, along with research and teaching faculty, deans, and advisers, help students develop college and career goals. Current Michigan Tech students serve as role models, providing inspiration, encouragement and guidance.

We survey students each year to determine the impact of our programs on this mission. Here is information gathered from the 2017 Summer Youth Programs student surveys.

  • 96% of students would recommend their exploration to others
  • 92% of students felt their exploration differed from their classrooms back home
  • 88% of students gained confidence in their ability to be successful in a college atmosphere
  • 86% of students showed interest in coming back for another summer
  • 66% of students felt more likely to attend college

Camp and summer programs provide an excellent experience for your child to learn and develop and is uniquely positioned to provide many key developmental needs for children. Consider camp as the perfect partner to family, school, and community youth activities in helping your child learn independence, decision-making, social and emotional skills, character building and values – all in an atmosphere of creativity and enrichment under the supervision of positive adult role models.

“I found my passion. Thank you for the best experience of my life. Everyone should attend a camp like this before college.” – 2018 Women in Engineering attendee

In today’s pressure-oriented society, camp provides a non-threatening environment for youth to be active, to develop competence in life skills, to learn about and enhance their own abilities and to benefit from meaningful participation in a community designed just for them. In addition, our programs invite students to dive into STEM and learning intentionally and purposefully. Students gain valuable insight into what their future career could look like before they even begin college.