Rising high school juniors and seniors thinking about applying to college to study engineering, software engineering or computer science should plan to attend the intensive summer robotics camp offered by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the College of New Jersey (TCNJ). They are running two camp sessions: the fundamental session runs from Sunday to Friday, July 12 to 17, and the advanced session runs from Sunday to Friday, July 19 to 24. Students may participate in both sessions from July 12 to 24.

Director Dr. Orlando Hernandez explains “the idea is to give high school students a taste of what residential college life is like. They have the same food, housing, and activities.” Also the selection process is similar to applying to a college. Applicants need to provide a transcript, ranking, essay, and letters of recommendation — all the parts of a traditional college application.

Camp participants will work with TCNJ electrical and computer engineering students and professors, as well as professional engineers. They will learn about topics not traditionally taught in high schools, including microcontroller programming, sensing systems, digital electronics, wireless communications, and computer vision.

Dr. Hernandez said “each session builds up to a competition. The parents are invited. It gives them something to shoot for, a definite milestone with definite goals.”

During the camp students will build, program, and use their own robot. Each participant will receive a robotics kit, and at the end of the camp they get to take home their own robot.

“Students come from all over the world for this program,” adds Dr. Hernandez. In the past participants have come from Europe, New Zealand, New York, Wisconsin, and other places. Some students return the following year. “We are really proud of our program.”

Eligible camp participants are high school students ranking in the top 30 percent of their class, have an interest in robotics or engineering, and have successfully completed one year of college prep mathematics (preference will be given to those who have completed algebra).

Each week costs $1,859. All students will each receive a $500 scholarship, making the total cost $1,388. If you attend both sessions it costs $4,027, plus each attendee will receive a $1,000 scholarship, for a total cost of $3,056.

Fees include a non-refundable $29 application fee, robot kit, electronic parts, tuition, room and board, and entertainment expenses. Camp participants must provide their own transportation to the campus.

Applications are due by Friday, May 15. Notifications will be sent out by Sunday, May 31. Payments are due by Monday, June 15.

Dr. Orlando Hernandez, Electrical and Computer Engineering, The College of New Jersey, Box 7718, Ewing. 609-771-2470. hernande@tcnj.edu.

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