FULL - GEMS: Material Science and 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 14 - 20

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. 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.

Campers sitting around a table looking and interacting with different materials
2022 campers learning about different materials

Everything is made of materials. From buildings to batteries, clothing to cars, we depend on materials for many things in our everyday life. Materials science and engineering (MatSE) is all about understanding the structure and properties of materials ranging from the atomic scale to the macro-scale.  Then we learn how to process them to get the desired performance in new and existing technologies.  Advancements in our understanding of materials will enable next-generation technologies for power generation and storage, transportation, sustainable packaging of foods and consumer goods, biomedical applications, and many, many others!

Materials science and engineering is a highly collaborative, interdisciplinary field.  If you like math, physics, chemistry, engineering, or computer science but can’t choose between them—MatSE is the perfect place for you to explore all of these fields under one umbrella.  Campers will explore this diversity through hands-on activities including guided lab activities aimed at introducing key concepts in MatSE and the opportunity to design a prototype based on materials properties that your team discovers.

In GEMS Camp (Gender Equity in Materials Science), you may discover:

  • The Materials Science of Chocolate and Superheros
  • Advanced manufacturing methods ranging from composite fabrication to casting to 3D printing of structural and functional materials
  • Biomaterials including prosthetics, bone scaffolding, and cell mechanics
  • Crystallography via state-of-the-art characterization tools and modeling methods
  • and Materials for sustainable energy solutions including material life cycles, batteries, and photovoltaics


Camper smiling at camera wearing protective goggles and gloves, holding some material
Camper working with materials

“3-D printing is always a blast to do, especially when you the student/camper gets to pick and choose what you want to make. Another activity I enjoyed was the ceramic brick project. I felt like the MATSE professors and students did a great job of giving a project that had to do with other engineering majors, such as civil and structural for the bricks.” ~2019 MatSE camper


Professor Jessica Krogstad received her PhD in Materials at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2012. Her research focuses on material performance in extreme environments (like gas turbine engines and nuclear reactors). Professor Krogstad joined the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Fall of 2014 as an Assistant Professor, but she’s no stranger, having received her BS from the department in 2007. Fun fact: she worked as a Counselor when she was an undergraduate at the University of Illinois!

Frequently Asked Questions