FULL - Aerospace Engineering Camp [*EAGER]

Camp is FULL for Summer 2024.
Application is OPEN for Summer 2024. Register Now.
Application is CLOSED for Summer 2024.
This is an INVITE-ONLY camp.
Application is TBA for Summer 2024. Check back soon.

Age Group: 10th - 12th


  • Residential: $1,000
  • Commuter: $600
  • Virtual:
  • Day Camp:

Category: 3-D Sessions


  • Jul 7 - 13

Residence Hall:

Scholarships: Yes, see details No

*EAGER camps are mission-driven camp sessions led by Engineers Aiming for Gender Equity & Representation in STEM majors and careers. These camps focus on support and empowerment of traditionally excluded populations in STEM. The absence of their talents is a detriment to the STEM fields. EAGER camps provide a safe environment to build a community of peers and mentors who empower one another to be confident in their exploration of STEM. All are welcome to apply.

NOTE: This camp is an EAGER camp. The Illinois Aerospace Institute (IAI) camps are not designated EAGER camps. Please consider this when applying.

Students standing in front of airplane at the Willard Airport
2023 program participants at Willard Airport with an airplane they rode in.

From tiny airplanes delivering packages to sending humans to Mars, today is an exciting time for everything related to Aerospace Engineering!  The Aerospace EAGER camp provides high school students with the opportunity to explore aerospace engineering through numerous hands-on projects and demonstrations, including a field trip to the local airport where the campers will have the opportunity to take an actual flight in a small aircraft operated by the Institute of Aviation.

Utilizing individual and team activities, participants will investigate various aspects of this discipline comprising flight mechanics, aerodynamics, aerospace structures, orbital mechanics, and propulsion systems, and apply them to aircraft and spacecraft design.  Alumni guest speakers from throughout the aerospace industry will discuss the real-world applications of the topics students explore during the sessions.  Past guest speakers represented NASA, the James Webb Space Telescope, Northrop Grumman, the Boeing Company, SpaceX, and many others.  These activities will help the students answer questions such as: 

  • What is needed to launch people and satellites into space? 
  • How do satellites stay in orbit around the Earth? 
  • What keeps airplanes in the air during a flight? 
  • How are composite materials used to improve aircraft efficiency?

Additionally, each camper will design and build a model boost glider and a model payload rocket throughout the week.  As the camp finale, all of the participants will launch their models and reflect on their design decisions.


2023 students preparing their designs for a launch.
2023 students preparing their designs for a launch.

From previous years: 

"All the resources I was given and activities I participated in were really interesting and helped me to further understand what I am interested in pursuing during college." - 2023 AE Camper


Dr. Brian Woodard serves as one of the Assistant Deans for Undergraduate Programs in the Grainger College of Engineering.  He organizes several summer outreach programs and developed the curriculum for the Aerospace EAGER camp. During the school year, Dr. Woodard teaches classes like Spatial Visualization and Introduction to Aerospace Engineering for first-year students.  He also leads a short-term study abroad program where students complete a design project virtually on teams with students from Brazil and then travel to Brazil to meet the students and the project’s company sponsor.  Dr. Woodard earned his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois. His current research interests include engineering education and aircraft icing aerodynamics.

Frequently Asked Questions