FULL - Exploring Mechanical Science and Engineering Camp [*IDEA]

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 21 - 27

Residence Hall:

Scholarships: Yes, see details No

*IDEA camps are mission-driven camp sessions aimed at Increasing Diversity, Equity, & Access in STEM majors and careers. These camps focus on support and empowerment of traditionally excluded populations in STEM including (but not limited to) the areas of gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and ability. All are welcome to apply.


Campers dressed in protective suits, working in a clean room
2022 Campers working on a lab activity

Mechanical Engineering is all about building things! Mechanical engineers understand how machines work and how to design and construct new ones to solve challenging problems in the world. This camp will explore many exciting new topics in mechanical engineering, such as:

  • constructing 3D printers to make things
  •  building robots to explore and clean up hazardous waste
  • creating prosthetics to help injured people walk again
  • making water treatment systems that run on sunlight for the developing world.

Campers will get hands-on experience building and designing machines that make the world a better place, using all their creativity and problem-solving skills. The camp will also include field trips to on-site labs and nearby research and manufacturing companies.


Campers sitting around a table, wearing gloves and working on a lab activity
2022 Campers workin on a lab activity

I-STEM Girls Building Awesome Machines camp story


Stephanie Ott-Monsivais is the Director of Undergraduate Programs for the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering. She is an accomplished instructor and mentor with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and a passion for curriculum development, outreach, and implementation of engineering pedagogy. She has been included on the Incomplete List of Instructors Ranked as Excellent eleven times, has been listed on the Engineering Councils Outstanding Advisors List four times, and named a Kay Kappes Golden Shamrock in 2022.

Elif Ertekin is an Associate Professor, Andersen Faculty Scholar, and Director of Mechanics Programs for the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering. She focuses on using computation, modeling, and simulation to develop a microscopic understanding of atomic and electronic scale processes in materials, with applications in thermal transport, energy conversion, and defect chemistry in solid state materials. She has received the NSF CAREER Award, the TMS Early Career Faculty Fellow Award, the Emerging Leader Award from the Society of Women Engineers, the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research, and the Rose Award for Teaching Excellence at Illinois. She currently serves as the Director of the Network for Computational Nanotechnology Nanomanufacturing Node, Co-Director of the HDR Institute for Data-Driven Dynamical Design and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Physics.

Matt West is a Professor and William H. Severns Faculty Scholar for the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering. Professor West’s research interests include asynchronous and structure-preserving integrators, stochastic simulation and uncertainty quantification, and multi-scale and multi-physics simulations. He has investigated the use of computers to simulate problems with fluids and boundaries, such as droplets in an engine injector system or the inflation of gas inside an airbag. His work has the potential to make a significant impact on both energy efficiency and clean combustion in automobiles, as well as transportation safety.

Frequently Asked Questions