Courses

Our courses are broken down into three main categories (Exploring, Intro, and Advanced) based on age and ability level. If you have any questions or concerns about which class is appropriate for your child, feel free to contact us to discuss your specific situation and find the best placement. Click the "Learn More" button next to any course for a detailed description. All of our classes are coed — Engineering is for EVERYONE!

 
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Exploring (Grades 2-4)

Exploring Mechanical Engineering

Discover firsthand the exciting world of mechanical engineering! Learn about simple machines, experiment with sound waves, and explore gravity, buoyancy, energy, work, and friction. Design roller coasters, build catapults, and construct a crash-test vehicle. If you like things that move, hurling ping pong balls, and crashing into walls, this class is for you!

Exploring Aerospace Engineering

Discover firsthand the exciting world of aerospace engineering! Learn about Newton and his laws of motion, investigate how airplanes fly, and explore the forces of lift, weight, thrust, and drag. Design parachutes, build gliders, and launch bottle rockets. If you like activities that zoom and fly, this class is for you!

Exploring Civil Engineering

Discover firsthand the exciting world of civil engineering! Learn which shapes are the strongest and how to survive an earthquake. Design and construct towers, bridges, and cantilevers, and explore the forces of tension, compression, torsion, bending, and shear. If you like to build, this class is for you!

Exploring Electrical Engineering

Discover firsthand the exciting world of electrical engineering! Learn how DC motors work, explore insulators and conductors, and investigate static electricity. Create electromagnets, build potato batteries, and design circuits. If you like activities that light up and buzz, this class is for you!

Exploring Chemistry

Discover firsthand the exciting world of chemistry and chemical engineering! Experiment with acids and bases and learn how to make a pH indicator out of simple household ingredients. Make invisible ink, create bubbles, explore the amazing properties of polymers, learn how to identify chemicals, and use the power of science to investigate a crime scene and find the culprit. If you like things that fizz and mixing up colorful concoctions, this class is for you!

Intro (Grades 5-12)

Intro to Electrical Engineering & Boy Scouts Electronics Merit Badge*

Don't wait until college to learn about Electrical Engineering! Design and build an electronic musical instrument that you play without touching! Learn how to use light-emitting diodes, resistors, capacitors, and integrated circuit chips, then solder the entire circuit together permanently just like a real electrical engineer and take it home. Not only will you build it from scratch, we’ll teach you exactly how it works.

Internal Combustion Engines & Boy Scouts Engineering Merit Badge*

Completely take apart a lawn mower engine and put it back together again – the right way. Learn everything from how to use mechanics tools like ratchets, wrenches, and screwdrivers to the engineering theory behind carburetors, magnetos, spark plugs, and compression ratios. By the end of this class you’ll know why octane ratings matter and how to calculate the displacement of any engine.

SolarBots

Design and build your own solar-powered vehicle while learning the engineering theory behind DC motors, solar cells, transistors, capacitors, and more. Then, use your knowledge of the circuit and how it works to compete against other Techsplorers in three different competitions: a tug-of-war tractor pull, a penny-hauling race, and a sumo-style wrestling match. Can your design beat the current grand champion?

Taking Flight into Aerospace Engineering

Watch as your rockets blast off hundreds of feet into the air! Learn the fundamentals of aerospace engineering and use your newfound knowledge to design, build, and launch your own water bottle and model rockets. However, the real challenge comes when you design and construct your own balsa wood gliders from scratch – just like the Aerospace students at NC State. By the end of the week, you’ll feel like a real rocket scientist with creations of your very own to take home.

Line-Following Robots

Design and build a robot from scratch that will navigate a racetrack by itself! Learn about voltage comparators circuits, optical sensors, transistors, pulse-width modulation, and more. Then, when you’re done, compete against other Techsplorers to see whose robot can get the fastest lap time. After completing this course, take our Arduino Line-Following Robots course to learn how to control your robot with a microprocessor and software!

Infrared Music Transmitter

This class is all about communications. Build an AM radio transmitter, intercom system, and infrared music player. Use the AM radio transmitter to speak into the microphone and actually hear your voice coming out of a nearby radio! Hook up your music player to the infrared transmitter circuit and encode the music onto an infrared light signal, which will shoot through the air and play through a speaker across the room. Just think, music riding on an invisible beam of light and you built it!

Advanced (Grades 5-12)

Advanced courses are ideal for students who are looking to take their engineering skills and knowledge to the next level. When offered as a Summer Camp, Advanced courses are open to all students, regardless of experience. However, due to time constraints, when offered as a Weekend Workshop you must have taken at least one of our Intro-level electrical courses previously (click here for a list of approved prerequisites) to register. If you feel that you are already qualified without the prerequisite or if you have any questions, please contact us to discuss your specific situation.

NEW! Arduino Metal Detector

Design and build your very own metal detector from scratch! Wind the search coil using magnet wire, construct a Colpitts oscillator, interface it to the Arduino, and then learn how to code it. The closer the metal object gets to the search coil the higher the pitch of the tone emitted from the speaker so you have an idea of how deeply buried the object is!

Arduino Line-Following Robots

In Intro to LFR, you learned the hardware. In this class, you'll learn the software. The Arduino allows for all kinds of enhancements such as automatic optical sensor calibration, speed control, the ability to accelerate on straight track sections, the ability to tolerate both optical sensors going off the tape yet remembering which way to turn, and many other improvements!

Sonic Rangefinder

Build an electronic circuit that uses sound waves to measure distance! Learn about wavefront propagation, standing wave phenomena, decoupling, and how to use an oscilloscope. After you discover how it works you can even optimize it for long range or ultra-accurate short range or upgrade it to the SuperRangefinder by adding a light burst!

 

 

*Merit Badge® and Scouts® are registered trademarks owned by Boy Scouts of America.
You don't have to be in Scouts to participate in Merit Badge courses.