Summer School With a Twist
Each summer, several hundred students bypass the lazy days at the Jersey shore and head to Penn’s campus where students create robots and design digital models, debate technology in democracy and much more. Penn Engineering’s summer programs welcome students from middle schools, high schools and colleges around the U.S. and abroad for a summer of discovery. Some programs, like the highly popular Summer Academy in Applied Science and Technology (SAAST), offer the bonus of academic credit and the experience of collegiate life.
While an SAAST lunch-table conversation turned easily from Harry Potter to computer games to dorm life, high school students were serious about gaining college-level experience in engineering. Being in Philadelphia is an added bonus. During their stay at Penn Engineering, students design in the mechanical engineering labs, create animated figures in the digital media deisgn lab, and learn the latest in bioengineering laboratory technologies.
In addition to significant lab experience, students also participate in professional development workshops and seminars led by experts across the Penn campus. The hope is that an early introduction to university academics and research will entice more students on a career path in the sciences. In fact, the summer program is part of a larger Penn Engineering effort to strengthen the pipeline in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
As students left the Penn Engineering campus at the end of their programs, they carried with them unique replies to the big September question: “What did you do over the summer?” Perhaps they even left knowing how they want to spend their lives.
Credit: Penn Engineering Magazine, “Summer School With a Twist,” by Jennifer Baldino Bonett.
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