Project Engineer summer camp inspires interest in robotics

The Lamar University College of Engineering recently hosted its Project Engineer camp for high schoolers.

The summer camp has been held for many years, said Director of Outreach and Student Services Haley Strahan, though in 2019, it was reimagined as a robotics competition-based experience and renamed Project Engineer.

“Our campers spend the week designing VEX robot builds to compete in various challenges,” Strahan said. “For instance, they had to design, program and build a robot that could complete an obstacle course one day and a robot that could bowl another.”

A student organization is also instrumental in planning and running Project Engineer. The LU Robotic Cardinals student organization creates the challenges and work with the campers to learn and build and code their robots. Project Engineer

At the end of the week, campers compete in a tournament-style competition with multiple challenges that require quick design and build modifications.

All of these highlights of the camp serve to benefit high school students who are interested in engineering.

“Campers learn design, coding and mechanics through robotics and work in teams to problem solve, test and troubleshoot their builds,” Strahan said. “As automation is becoming more prevalent in all aspects of society, having a basic understanding of robotics is an important skill. We also give campers the ability to tour LU and get a taste of what life on a college campus is like.”

Funded by Chevron Phillips Chemical, the camp is free to students. Representatives even participate in the camp’s final tournament as judges.

“Without corporate sponsorships, Lamar University College of Engineering would not be able to offer our summer camps free of charge to our campers,” she said. “Camps such as Project Engineer hopefully get future college students interested in pursuing an engineering degree. This benefits the College of Engineering by increasing enrollment, which in turn will help us meet the looming challenge that is a shortage of talented engineering graduates currently being faced by the industry.”

For more information about Project Engineer, visit the College of Engineering’s website.