Explore Engineering

Our outreach program for high school students includes a weeklong summer course (for college credit!).  We will also send you engineering projects by mail, free of charge.  Interested?

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Explore Engineering 2023 Explore Engineering 2023

Imagine, design and create things that matter!

Explore Engineering is a series of immersive engineering design experiences for students in grades 9-12.

Working in teams with Sweet Briar engineering faculty and undergraduate engineering students, high schoolers work on creative and fun design projects that are perfect for both experienced students and those completely new to engineering. You’ll learn the design process from brainstorming to testing and revising prototypes. Experience problem-solving as an engineer and make your design a reality!

Over the past 10 years, more than 500 students have attended an Explore Engineering event, designing and building such things as:

  • Computer-controlled smart wearables
  • Automated musical devices
  • Sustainable building materials
  • Automatically refilling pet bowls
  • Electromechanical drawing machines
  • Optical bass guitars
  • Wearable tech

Explore Box:

We’ll send you a unique STEM project kit through the mail.  Demonstrations of some of these kits can be found on our YouTube channel.

Summer Explore Engineering Course:

Our summer Explore Engineering Course is a great opportunity to get a taste of college life and even earn a college credit. Students spend 5 days and nights on Sweet Briar’s campus.  In that time, they

  • brainstorm projects
  • get a crash course in woodworking, 3D printing, computer programming or whatever else they might need for their project
  • design and build a project
  • visit one of our local partners in the technical community
  • eat in the dining hall with engineering students and faculty
  • stay in a Sweet Briar dormitory

All activities are led by engineering faculty with the help of current Sweet Briar engineering students. The week culminates in a design expo, where families are invited to come see the student projects and hear about the engineering program over lunch.

Summer Explore Engineering | July 21–26, 2024



The $950 course fee includes tuition, room and board, snacks, course supplies and a T-shirt. A non-refundable $200 deposit is due at registration, with the remaining balance due by June 1, 2024.

A limited number of scholarships are available for students interested in participating in the Summer Explore Engineering Design course but who have significant financial need. Scholarships are awarded at $475.

Scholarship application


Only fully paid course registrations reserve your student’s seat. Unpaid registrations are placed on a waiting list until payment is received. Space is limited and registration occurs on a rolling basis until the course is full.

Cancellations received before June 1, 2024 will be refunded without the deposit. Cancellations received on or after June 1, 2024 will not be refunded.

Program registration


Sunday, July 21, 2024

Check In
4 – 5:30 p.m.

Campus Tour
4:30 p.m.

Program Begins
5:30 p.m.


Monday–Thursday, July 22–25, 2024

Classes and Group Work
Tour a local engineering company, interact with successful women engineers, and relax at the campus lake. See examples of previous projects here.


Friday, July 26, 2024

Course Overview and Project Exhibition
Invite your friends and family to show off your design work from the week.
10:30 a.m. – Noon

Lunch with Families
Noon – 1 p.m.

Check Out
1 – 1:30 p.m.

Past Explore Engineering events have been supported by AREVA and the National Science Foundation — through its S-STEM (award #0850092) and STEP (award # 0525388) programs.

Sweet Briar College does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status, including sex, for admission or participation in this program.

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