Explore Engineering for High School Girls

Coming Up

July 25–30, 2021
Summer Explore Engineering Design Course

Event Updates

Sign up here to receive updates on our Explore Engineering events!

“This week was amazing and it really cemented what I want to do in the future.”

COVID-19 Update

Due to logistical constraints imposed by the pandemic, we have canceled our Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Explore Engineering events.

At this time, we are planning to offer the 2021 summer course in person and on campus as usual. Registration is now open for that event, and you can find more information about it below. In the event a cancellation becomes necessary, registered families will be notified and issued full refunds, including the non-refundable deposit.

Imagine, design and create things that matter!

Explore Engineering is a series of immersive engineering design courses for high school sophomore, junior and senior girls. Weekend events are offered in the spring and fall, and a weeklong pre-college, for-credit course is offered in the summer.

Working in teams with Sweet Briar engineering faculty and undergraduate engineering students, high schoolers work on creative and fun design projects that are perfect for both experienced students and those completely new to engineering. You’ll learn the design process from brainstorming to testing and revising prototypes, experience problem-solving as an engineer, and make your design a reality! Outside of class, you’ll stay in one of our historic residence halls with engineering student mentors, explore the many amenities of our beautiful campus, and get a taste of life as a college student.

Over the past 10 years, more than 500 students have attended an Explore Engineering event, designing and building such things as:

  • Computer-controlled smart wearables
  • Automated musical devices
  • Sustainable building materials
  • Automatically refilling pet bowls
  • Electromechanical drawing machines
  • Optical bass guitars

Want to learn more about our events? Check out this recent coverage:



Summer Explore Engineering Design Course | July 25–30, 2021

The summer course is offered for college credit.


The $950 course fee includes tuition, room and board, snacks, course supplies and a T-shirt. A non-refundable $200 deposit is due at registration, with the remaining balance due by May 15, 2021.

A limited number of scholarships are available for students interested in participating in the Summer Explore Engineering Design Course but who have significant financial need. Scholarships are awarded at $475. Click here to apply.


Register here by March 1, 2021 for highest priority. Space is limited and registration occurs on a rolling basis until the course fills.

Only fully paid course registrations reserve your student’s seat. Unpaid registrations are put on a waiting list until payment is received.

Cancellations received before June 1, 2021, will be refunded in full minus the deposit. Cancellations received on or after June 1, 2021, will not be refunded.


Please contact:

Erin Geiersbach
P | 434-381-6357
E | egeiersbach@sbc.edu

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Check In
4 – 5:30 p.m.

Campus Tour
4:30 p.m.

Program Begins
5:30 p.m.

Monday-Thursday, July 26-29, 2021

Classes and Group Work
Tour a local engineering company, interact with successful women engineers, and relax at the campus lake and pool. Main project: Design, build and test your own computer-controlled musical instrument. See an example here.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Course Overview and Project Exhibition (families invited)
You’ll show your family and friends your design work.
10:30 a.m. – Noon

Lunch (families invited)
Noon – 1 p.m.

Check Out
1 – 1:30 p.m.

Past Explore Engineering events have been supported by AREVA and the National Science Foundation — through its S-STEM (award #0850092) and STEP (award # 0525388) programs.

Additional Explore Events

Sweet Briar College EXPLORE EventsSweet Briar College’s EXPLORE is a series of immersive pre-college, residential events for high school sophomore, junior and senior girls. Weekend events for various disciplines are offered in the fall and spring, and a weeklong for-credit engineering course is offered in the summer.

The EXPLORE series offers high school girls opportunities to investigate different fields of study in a small-class setting. Working in teams with Sweet Briar faculty and undergraduate students, high-schoolers work on creative and fun projects — whether they’re collecting carbon storage data from the forests on our campus or designing and building a wearable electronic device in one of our engineering labs. No prior experience or knowledge is required — it’s a chance to EXPLORE!

Click here to learn more.