Learn the principles of engineering to design, build and test a real-life vehicle
Use engineering design software and materials to construct rovers, planes, Go-Karts or rockets
The Engineering Experience an introduction to engineering design while building teamwork and communication skills and examination of engineering majors offered at UCLA and of engineering careers. Completion of hands-on engineering design projects, preparation of short report describing projects, and presentation of results. Specific project details and relevant majors explored vary with instructor.
Engineering Design Summer Institute Program Overview
Each session offers 4 different tracks to choose from. The following are topics for each track:
Aerospace Engineering – Rockets
With a primary focus on teaching computer aided design, flight dynamics, and systems engineering practices, students will work in groups to build and launch two rockets. The first rockets designed and produced will be computer modeled and 3D printed by teams of two students as they pass through the CAD focused first portion of the course. The high powered rockets will be roughly three feet in height, and constructed using materials chosen by the students. For the body tubes, students may opt to do a carbon fiber composite layup or use a kraft phenolic tube. As for the fins, students may use the Makerspace laser cutter to form fins out of plastic sheeting (ABS) or wood. They will also be allowed to 3D print fins if they wish to explore the benefits of fin air foiling. Nose-cone manufacturing will not have any commercial purchasing options, as students will be able to either print their final nosecones, or print a male/female mold which can then be overlayed with a fiberglass layup. Each team will receive one G or H class solid ammonium perchlorate motor, which will propel a well-built rocket to roughly 2,000 feet from an off-campus launch site reached during a day trip.
Aerospace Engineering – Planes
Students will be introduced to the basics of airplane engineering. Students work in teams to design and construct foam and 3D-printed fixed-wing aircraft to complete two missions. Students learn basic physics of aerodynamics, applications of MATLAB and Solidworks, how to use FOM charts to make design decisions, and manufacturing techniques. Test flights to ascertain flight stability, control properties, and airframe robustness drive design iteration. Planes will be flown on the UCLA campus.
Mechanical Engineering – GoKarts
This practical course aims to teach prospective engineers the thrill of a multi-discipline, end-to-end team-based engineering design. As with most large projects, they are broken into smaller cycles that will be solved independently, then integrated together. This project is constructed in such a way to optimize the student’s time in each step of preliminary design, Computer Aided Design, Finite Element Analysis, machining, detailing electric motor performance, and finally presenting their ideal Go-Kart. Students have creative freedom in the following areas: driver posture, steering and braking mechanisms, chassis layout and driver interface system. Over the course of the project students will learn how to give technical presentations and learn fundamental engineering concepts. At the end of the course, teams will participate in a competition where they will give a design presentation and drive their vehicle through a timed track. The presentation will allow students to consider their design process and consider ways in which they can be more efficient. The kart race provides the source of system goals for their go karts. The program’s design, build, test cycle will mimic working in a real-life, collaborative industry environment. Mentors will define the big picture and assist in removing impediments to progress.
Electrical Engineering – Rovers
Students use concepts and tools in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science to design and build microcontroller controlled rovers under wireless command that are also able to autonomously navigate and respond to environmental cues. Students design and fabricate robot chassis, connect motors and control/sensory electronics, and program rover systems to map its environment and achieve mission objectives. Student team projects culminate in final competition including mapping and navigation through an unknown course and oral presentation.
UCLA Summer Sessions Summer Scholars Support
Qualified students attending grades 8th – 11th in Spring 2023 in the state of California may be eligible for Summer Scholars Support, a need- and merit-based scholarship offered by the UCLA Summer Sessions Office. A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available to support enrollment in SCIP/eSCIP, one Summer Course, or a Precollege Summer Institute.
Summer 2023 deadline to apply: March 15.
Students will receive a letter grade upon completion. See University Credit, Grades and Transcripts for more information about academic credit.
As a commuter program, housing is not available for Engineering Design Summer Institute.
Participants of the Engineering Design Summer Institute must commute to the UCLA campus each day of the program. Specific location information (e.g. classroom) will be provided to enrolled students closer to the start of the program.
Summer Sessions parking permits will be available beginning May 30 on a first-come, first-served basis. Students have the option to purchase a summer term permit or a daily permit.
Please review the Transportation and Parking Services web page and read the “Summer Quarter Parking (All Students)” section for more information on all permit types, including cost.
Session A: June 26 – July 14, 2023
Session B: July 17 – August 4, 2023
Program Type: Open enrollment/ In-person
Program Eligibility: 9th-11th grade in Spring 2023 & Ages 15-17
UCLA Coursework: Engineering 96A; 2 units
Enrollment Deadline: June 15, 2023
The schedule and syllabus are subject to change. Enrolled students will be given updated materials closer to the program start date.
Fees and Payment Info
The program fee includes the unit fees for the UCLA coursework offered as part of the program and thus varies by UC student status. In addition to the program fee, students are assessed other campus and administrative fees during the summer. This is a summary of fees that commonly apply to the selected student type.
Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California. Visit the fees, payment, and financial aid section for important disclaimer, as well as more details on fees, payment instructions, and information on delinquency, refunds, and financial aid.
|Document Fee (for first-time Summer Sessions students)||$50|
Engineering Design Summer Institute FAQs
Yes, the course may be repeated once for credit with topic or instructor change. Thus, students may take a total of two different tracks at any point in time.
Students will need to have a basic knowledge of and some experience in engineering and/or science.
Still have questions? Check out the general Summer Institutes FAQ.