Energizing High School Students Toward Building Design: A Summer Camp Experience

Moses Ling, Maureen Kelliher, Jonathan Michael Broyles, Ryan L. Solnosky, Heui Young Park, Lily X. Li, Baraa J. Alkhatatbeh, Lorine Awuor Ouma

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Architectural Engineering (AE) is a critical engineering major for the future of building design given how important buildings impact our everyday lives as well as our environment. However, the major of AE is comparatively small and relatively unknown as compared to other majors like civil engineering and mechanical engineering. It has been shown in the pre-college literature that the most impactful time to energize students about careers in STEM is in K-12 settings. To emphasize and spotlight the importance of buildings on humans, along with providing an interactive learning experience for potential future STEM students, a five-day summer camp focused on multi-disciplinary building design was held at (insert university name). The camp curriculum included hands-on, design-oriented projects from several disciplines: architecture, mechanical, structural, construction, sustainability, acoustics, and lighting. In addition, tours of several buildings on campus were conducted along with after-hours relaxation time for campers. The implementation of activities and the well-designed hands-on projects not only increased the students' satisfaction, but also improved their self-confidence and their interest toward engineering buildings. This paper will focus on various core attributes of the development and rationale behind the summer camp such as core topics, schedules, recruitment, etc. Additionally, survey results designed to assess the campers' satisfaction were deployed. Survey results clearly indicated students enjoyed the topics and activities central to building design to the extent where they hope for more in-depth topics in the future. From an energizing perspective, results indicated that students felt stronger towards engineering and buildings, while better appreciating the buildings they are typically around. Faculty and programs similarly concerned with motivating high school students towards building design should find the paper meaningful in their efforts to create similar experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 25 2023
Event2023 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - The Harbor of Engineering: Education for 130 Years, ASEE 2023 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2023Jun 28 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering

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