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Introduction To Engineering Program: A Three Week Summer Camp For Rising Seniors In High School

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Engineering in High Schools

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.986.1 - 12.986.15



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Paper Authors


Ramzi Bualuan University of Notre Dame

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Ramzi Bualuan is the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, and is the Director of the Introduction to Engineering Program.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Introduction to Engineering Program: a Three-Week Summer Camp for Rising Seniors in High School


The Introduction to Engineering Program (IEP) is a three-week summer camp for high school students who have just completed their junior year. Students come from all around the country, and in some cases from abroad. IEP’s purpose is to provide participants with an overview of all fields in engineering, while giving the students a taste of college life, a look at career opportunities, and a chance to meet professional engineers as well as engineering faculty. Students work on several projects, attend lectures, write reports, code programs, give presentations, do problem solving and design, go on field trips, and interact with a very diverse group of peers.

In this paper we describe the IEP program, and provide an overview of its selection process and its structure and content. We examine how effective the program has been, and describe some of the changes that have been implemented recently. We present, for the very first time, some valuable statistics gathered over eight years. We discuss whether the program is an effective recruiting tool, be it into engineering in general or into our institution in particular. We conclude with some recommendations.


There are a number of programs around the country that offer a summer program for high school students interested in engineering. Institutions such as Michigan State University1, Virginia Tech2, University of Virginia3,4, University of Alabama5, and others offer a wide variety of such programs.

The University of Notre Dame’s IEP program has a number of features that make it stand out. Its cost ($1,400 for this coming summer, plus transportation and incidental costs) is relatively low, considering the program’s length. Furthermore, the people involved in providing lectures and instructions to the students are all faculty at the university’s School of Engineering, giving the students a direct contact with university engineering faculty, an experience they all cherish. The length of the program, just shy of three weeks, is ideal, allowing it to cover a very wide range of engineering topics and giving students the time to work on meaningful hands-on projects. A number of scholarships are also available, some full and some partial, and are merit-based as well as need-based. Furthermore, IEP does not only draw from the state, but rather from the whole country, as well as some foreign countries, giving its students a chance to meet peers from all over the world, and providing them with a rich sense of culture and diversity. IEP has seen a very large increase in the number of applications in the past nine years, prompting a forced enrollment cap, and its success is confirmed by the feedback from the students, their survey responses, their comments to their parents and guidance counselors, and by the academic accomplishments of its alumni, as demonstrated by those former IEP students who end up enrolling at Notre Dame.

Bualuan, R. (2007, June), Introduction To Engineering Program: A Three Week Summer Camp For Rising Seniors In High School Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2869

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