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Future engineers full STEAM ahead!

STEAM summer camp enrollment is open for middle and high schoolers looking to unleash their inner engineer


Hands holding a robotic bird with flapping wings.

A student in the STEAMpunk Machines in Motion Camp designed and built a robotic bird with flapping wings. Photo courtesy Shawn Jordan

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March 27, 2023

Middle and high schoolers interested in becoming future engineers are invited to tinker, explore, invent and dream big at Arizona State University’s engineering-oriented summer camps hosted by the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Camps are taught by local, STEM-focused schoolteachers and faculty and staff across the Fulton Schools.

Keep reading to learn about three of these camps taught by faculty in The Polytechnic School and School of Manufacturing Systems and Networks, two of the seven Fulton Schools.

Foldable Robotics Day Camp

The Foldable Robotics Day Camp provides participating students the opportunity to work in groups of two or four to prototype, ideate, build and synthesize a bio-inspired mobile robot using the principles of origami. Students will learn to program a microcontroller using Python and gain skills in programmable cutting using a 2D plotting cutter. This weeklong, project-based camp will emphasize problem identification, problem-solving, brainstorming, rapid prototyping, teamwork and communication skills.

On the last day of camp, students will present their work to their classmates and families during a showcase.

All camp participants will receive a toolkit for continued learning after camp concludes that includes a programmable microcontroller, breadboard, wire, scissors, tape, stapler, cardboard and other materials.

Students working on an origami device at an engineering camp.

The Foldable Robotics Day Camp teaching team explored the motion of and created a six-degrees-of-freedom origami device as a prop to teach students. Photo courtesy Daniel Aukes

  • Target ages and grades: 12- to 17-year-olds in seventh through 11th grades.
  • Camp dates and times: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, June 12, to Friday, June 16.
  • Location: ASU’s Polytechnic campus.
  • Camp fee: $275 per student if enrolled before Monday, May 15; $300 per student if enrolled after Monday, May 15.

Enroll your student today!

The Foldable Robotics Day Camp was designed by Daniel Aukes, an assistant professor of engineering who teaches in the School of Manufacturing Systems and Networks. Aukes’ research investigates the nexus of design, manufacturing and data-driven decision-making to develop robots that can operate in niche environments, with a focus on affordability and accessibility. The camp will be taught by Aukes and STEM teachers from local school districts.

STEAMpunk Machines in Motion Camp

Prototype for a flying steampunk bicycle automata made of wood and cardboard.

A student in the STEAMpunk Machines in Motion Camp created a prototype for a flying steampunk bicycle automata. Photo courtesy Shawn Jordan

The weeklong STEAMpunk Machines in Motion Camp is a project-based camp that offers students the opportunity to design steampunk-themed machines and costumes with help from expert instructors. Steampunk is a design form that incorporates technology inspired by science fiction.

Students will be introduced to the engineering design process using basic science, technology, engineering, arts and math, or STEAM, concepts. The programming promotes the application of problem identification, problem-solving, brainstorming, rapid prototyping, teamwork and communication skills. Instructional content will consist of mechanical movement design, electric circuits, genre-specific aesthetics, retro-futuristic storytelling, programming and computational thinking. Students will gain experience working in both an engineering design studio and an on-campus makerspace.

At the camp’s conclusion, participants will present their project to their families and take home their finished machines.

  • Target ages and grades: 14- to 18-year-olds in eighth through 12th grades.
  • Camp dates and times: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, June 12, to Friday, June 16.
  • Location: ASU’s Polytechnic campus.
  • Camp fee: $100 per student.

Enroll your student today!

Chain-Reaction STEAM Machines + Storytelling Camp

Chain-Reaction STEAM Machines™ + Storytelling Camp

Camp Assistant, Fulbright Scholar and Research Assistant Imane Aboutajedyne helps a student modify her robotic design inspired by how fish swim. Photo courtesy Shawn Jordan

The Chain-Reaction STEAM Machines + Storytelling Camp is a project-based camp that offers an introduction to the engineering design process through STEAM concepts via simple machines, electric circuits, programming and computational thinking, music and storytelling. The curriculum will emphasize problem identification, problem-solving, brainstorming, rapid prototyping, teamwork and communication.

At the camp’s conclusion, students will be able to construct a giant, thematic chain-reaction machine and perform an oral story describing the machine.

  • Target ages and grades: 12- to 15-year-olds in seventh through ninth grades.
  • Camp dates and times: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, June 12, to Thursday, June 15.
  • Location: South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute Guadalupe Center in the town of Guadalupe, Arizona.
  • Camp fee: $20 per student.

Enroll your student today!

The STEAMpunk Machines in Motion Camp and Chain-Reaction STEAM Machines + Storytelling Camp were designed by Shawn Jordan, an associate professor who teaches in the engineering education systems and design graduate program at The Polytechnic School and is also a professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at ASU. His lab, the STEAM Labs Center for K–12 Research and Engagement, centers its work around innovating engineering design education, K–12 engineering education, human-centered design, STEM storytelling and culturally relevant curricula.

Visit the Fulton Academy for information about all 2023 Fulton Schools summer camps.

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