Introducing girls to engineering

School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science to host two summer camps


4/21/2020: The computer science and engineering set for June 22-26 has been cancelled. At this time, the electrical engineering camp set for July 20-24 will still be held as scheduled. We are closely monitoring the situation with the community’s best interest in mind, as part of Penn State’s efforts to maintain public health and safety in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. If the camps are canceled, we will notify you as soon as possible. For the latest Penn State updates and information, visit

By Sarah Small

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Building on the success of previous years, the Penn State School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) will host two week-long summer camps geared toward girls in middle and high school.

The computer science and engineering camp, Building Blocks for Our Future: Using Computer Science to Design a Better Tomorrow, will be held June 22-26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Westgate Building on the University Park campus. Participants will experience how computer science designs are constructed as building blocks in both virtual and physical worlds. They also will learn how to build and program virtual worlds and automatic devices.

“The camp is amazing,” said Zoey Steiner, a 2019 computer science and engineering camp participant. “I love how hands-on it is, how instead of them showing you how something works and then doing things for you, they show you how it works, and then they let you figure it out on your own.”

The camp is open to anyone entering 7th through 9th grades. 

The electrical engineering camp, Anything is POssible for Girls in Electrical Engineering (APOGEE): Wearable Technology, will be held July 20-24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Electrical Engineering West Building on the University Park campus. The participants will learn about the electronics and signals that surround us every day, get the chance to interact and work with female electrical engineers and students and be introduced to the hands-on, do-it-yourself culture by actually building and creating.

“Electrical engineering is different from what I thought it’d be,” said Adalynn McKeague, a 2019 electrical engineering camp participant. “I thought it’d just be on the computer, but it’s been creating and solving problems.”

The camp is open to anyone entering 7th through 12th grades, and it will be tiered so that new and returning campers alike will find fun, challenging activities as they build wearable technology. Registration is now open.

“Our summer camps provide an excellent opportunity for curious students to learn about electrical engineering, computer science and technology in general, in a fun, high energy environment,” said Tom La Porta, director of the School of EECS, Evan Pugh Professor and William E. Leonhard Endowed Chair. “We have had several students return to our camps who are now pursuing these topics in high school.”


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Megan Lakatos

A woman helps a girl with a circuit board.

A participant in the 2019 electrical engineering camp learns how to work with circuits. IMAGE: PENN STATE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING