Sweet Briar invites high school girls to explore engineering for college credit

Explore Engineering
Explore Engineering participants work on a project during the summer 2017 design course at Sweet Briar.

Sweet Briar College is again inviting high school girls from across the country to participate in its popular Summer Explore Engineering Design Course, which takes place July 29-Aug. 3. Sweet Briar is one of just two women’s colleges in the country to offer an ABET-accredited engineering degree.

In addition to designing and building creative engineering projects, students will meet with engineering professionals and find out what it’s like to work in various industry sectors.

First launched in 2008, Explore Engineering is a series of immersive engineering design courses for high school sophomore, junior and senior girls. In addition to the weeklong pre-college, for-credit course offered in the summer, Sweet Briar’s Margaret Jones Wyllie ’45 Engineering Program also holds weekend events in the spring and fall. No experience is needed, as Sweet Briar faculty and engineering majors teach participants all relevant skills, including brainstorming and prototyping; circuits, sensor and motor basics; machine shop and hand-tool basics; Arduino programming basics; and how to work effectively as a team.

Throughout the summer course, students collaborate on engineering projects and solve problems creatively in a team setting. Highlights this year include designing and building interactive, computer-controlled sound-making systems and testing sustainably sourced concrete mixes for use in water filtration. At the end of the week, participants will demonstrate the results of their hard work at a special exhibition.

Explore Engineering Arduino
Computer programming is among the skills students will learn during the weeklong course.

Participants stay in residence halls with Sweet Briar engineering students and have the chance to experience the College’s 3,250-acre campus through various indoor and outdoor activities, such as swimming in the lake or pool. They’ll also tour a local engineering company and take part in a panel session with Sweet Briar College engineering alumnae.

An optional campus tour will be offered at the beginning of the program.

Registrations are accepted on a rolling basis; however, priority will be given to applications received by April 1. A non-refundable $200 deposit is due with registration. Total participant cost is $950, which includes all meals, lodging, supplies and tuition (due May 15). A limited number of need-based, half-tuition scholarships are available.

For more information or to register, visit the Explore Engineering website.

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