Skip to main content
SWE ETC ME faculty with students
August 18, 2023

Engineering Tomorrow’s Careers camp hosts 60 potential badger engineers

Written By: Caitlin Scott


This summer, 60 high school students attended the annual Engineering Tomorrow’s Careers (ETC) camp program for aspiring people in STEM run by the UW Engineering Society of Women Engineers.

During the week-long session, participants learn through talks with professors and current engineering students, activities with leaders in the industry, and other team-based and hands-on programming that is intentionally designed to expose and encourage young people to pursue an interest in STEM fields.

William A. and Irene Ouweneel-Bascom Professor of Mechanical Engineering Greg Nellis shared:

Greg Nellis with SWE ETC campers

“The first day, campers learned enough about Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to build a CAD model of a bridge truss. They worked in groups of four and their trusses each had a different independent parameter – for example, some had large holes placed far apart vs small holes placed closer together and every combination of these parameters. On the second day, we talked through how to run an experiment and interpret data where independent parameters are varied in a controlled way. The campers practiced this using small wind turbines where they varied electrical resistance and wind speed and measured power produced. On the third day, campers watched their trusses being laser cut and tested them in a mechanical testing system to determine their strength. They used the concepts they learned in the camp to interpret these measurements.”

SWE ETC camp 2023
SWE ETC camp 2023
SWE ETC camp 2023
SWE ETC camp 2023
SWE ETC camp 2023

SWE ETC camp 2023

Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Corinne Henak shared:

“As part of SWE ETC, the mechanical engineering department took future high school campers sailing at Hoofer. Four campers, one Hoofer’s skipper, and one faculty member set out on each Badger Sloop. Campers raised the sails to get out on the water.  Once on the water, campers ran the main sheet and jib, and took control of the tiller.  While under sail, each boat discussed how mechanical engineering concepts, such as fluid dynamics, materials selection, and design, enable sailing. It was a beautiful day on the water!” Special thanks to other involved mechanical engineering faculty members: Jen Franck, Luca Mastropasqua, and Allison Mahvi.

SWE ETC camp 2023

2022-23 ETC camp Co-Chair, Society of Women Engineers officer, and Materials Science student Grace Rogers shared:

Grace Rogers

“I loved being a part of the planning and executing process of ETC Camp. Every one of the students who attended camp brought their own unique, curious, and bright personalities that when all brought together created an amazing environmental emitting with energy. My co-coordinator Rachel and I made it our goal to attempt to show them how versatile the world of engineering can be, since majority of kids were slowly beginning their journey towards college. By the end of the week, counselors and campers alike were not ready to go and it filled me with joy to see how truly enjoyable the camp was for all.  We also did a wonderful job in showing off our beautiful campus, so hopefully we’ve inspired at least a few of them to become future Badgers.”

Featured image caption: ME faculty Corinne Henak and Eric Kazyak work with campers during an Engineering Tomorrow’s Careers camp session.
All photos provided by Grace Rogers.