WYSE Summer Camps encourage youth to pursue STEM majors
This past summer, WYSE (Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering) camps were held at Engineering Illinois to inspire young students to pursue STEM majors, to understand the differences and unique qualities of each individual major, and to pursue their academic careers at the University of Illinois. Through demonstrations, classroom presentations, and hands-on activities such as soldering circuits, passing computer data information, and exploring bio robots, the students were able to see themselves as future engineers, programmers, mathematicians, and scientists.
A variety of camps were held, including age specific, all-gender, and all-female. Although each camp had their own curriculum, their overarching goal was to educate the youth on the different branches of engineering and the different majors available when applying to college. Through the program's limited enrollment (to assure quality), merit-based admissions, and financial aid, students were able to receive an academic experience like no other.
The WYSE summer camps provided these young students a various amount of opportunities, such as experiencing life on a college campus, imagining how it feels to attend a university, gaining independence while being away from home, and developing new relationships. By the end of the program, about 80-90% of the students stated that there was an increased interest in engineering across all of the different camps, and many were able to learn what it means to be an 'engineer' while considering their future plans.