Engineering camp draws high school girls to Sweet Briar

| July 15, 2013

More than 20 high school girls from across the country will flock to Sweet Briar College next week for its 2013 “AREVA Summer Explore Engineering” program, which takes place July 21-26.

High school students work on a project during the 2012 Exploring Engineering Design course at Sweet Briar.

During the weeklong, residential course, participants will earn one college credit hour while exploring the many aspects of engineering. The introductory class focuses on the engineering design process and encourages students to solve problems in a team setting. Emphasis is placed on the creative elements of engineering design, letting students explore the iterative design-test-improve cycle using tools such as three-dimensional computer-aided design and analysis software.

Themes vary from year to year — last summer, participants created a drawing machine and a seed de-sheller; this time, they’re building a “mechatronic lock and dam system,” said engineering instructor Bethany Brinkman, who teaches the course.

“Specific activities will include constructing a water level sensor and automating the gates and water level with simple logic circuits,” she added.

As part of the class, participants collaborate with Sweet Briar engineering majors and expert faculty and have the opportunity to meet with successful women engineers from area companies.

For more information about the course, visit or contact Hank Yochum, director of the Margaret Jones Wyllie ’45 Engineering Program, at [email protected] or (434) 381-6357.

Sweet Briar’s B.S. in engineering science is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. The College offers significant merit- and need-based academic scholarships for qualified engineering students, including awards of $5,000 per year for four years.

AREVA, a world leader in the nuclear energy business, recently gave $35,000 to be the title sponsor of Sweet Briar’s 2013 Summer Explore Engineering program, as well as the fall 2013 and spring 2014 weekend Explore Engineering events. While AREVA has partnered with the College’s Margaret Jones Wyllie ’45 Engineering Program before, it has not previously underwritten the four-year-old Explore Engineering series. Previous and continuing collaborations include AREVA’s representation on the program’s advisory board, as well as internships and opportunities for Sweet Briar students to learn from AREVA engineers through on-campus events.

Janika Carey


Category: A Landscape for Learning, Academics, Engineering Science, Explore Engineering