EPIC Engineering Camp at Cal Poly
July 17, 2012
A total of 180 teens and pre-teens converged on the Cal Poly campus July 16-20 to build bridges, launch rockets, design and race solar cars, program robots and much, much more.
It was all part of EPIC (Engineering Possibilities in College), an annual summer program that immerses young campers - from seventh to twelfth grade - in a wide array of labs and activities that include software design, spaceships and cities of the future. Now in its fifth year, the event targets underrepresented students, as well as those who may not have considered a career in engineering.
Previously limited to high school students, the EPIC program grew this year to include 40 middle school students. The expansion was made possible by a $15,000 grant from the Goodrich Foundation.
"EPIC is strongly aligned with the Goodrich Foundation's commitment to start early to connect students with science and engineering," said Marc Duvall, president of Goodrich Aerostructures in Chula Vista, Calif.
Said Deb Larson, dean of Cal Poly Engineering: "The camp is all about making the world of engineering and technology come alive for these students - catching them at that critical age when they're forming their sense of possibility.
"Studies show that students are more likely to consider a career in engineering after learning about the breadth of what engineers actually do. And that's where EPIC excels."
The camp's 27 hands-on labs spanned aerospace, architectural, biomedical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental, industrial, manufacturing and materials engineering. Labs offered through Cisco, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon were also among the lineup this year.
In addition to faculty-led labs, four labs were taught by Cal Poly American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) students.
Concurrent with EPIC, there was something for educators, too. Cal Poly Computer Science hosted a free Google-sponsored computing education workshop for grade 5-12 educators. The two-day "CSEverywhere" workshop was held on campus July 18-19. For more information, go to http://cseverywhere.org/.
For more about EPIC, go to https://epic.calpoly.edu.