EPIC-Engineering Possibilities in College shares Cal Poly’s College of Engineering mission “to educate students for careers of service, leadership, and distinction in engineering or other fields by using a Learn by Doing, hands-on approach." As one of the college’s outreach programs, EPIC aims to facilitate a participant’s exploration of engineering fields and build a community of like-minded individuals.
EPIC-Engineering Possibilities in College summer camp began in 2007 with 20 middle/high school female students as a Cal Poly student half-day camp project. Since then, EPIC has expanded to include six annual sessions accommodating over 800 participants each year. Each week/session is offered for either Middle School or High School students respectively. Sessions are offered both residential and virtual giving participants an opportunity to experience campus life and the ability to envision themselves as college students.
At EPIC, participants explore the world of engineering through live virtual and in-person engineering labs. Participants learn about the fields of engineering through hands-on labs taught by university professors and industry professionals. They will have the opportunity to design, build, and test their own engineering project!
Note: Some of these will be offered only in some sessions/weeks. Please check out the EPIC 2024 tab for more information.
|Lab Title||Description||Engineering Disciplines||Weeks|
|3D Printing||3D printing is a fast-growing manufacturing technique and has already been adopted by various industries. Students will learn about the fundamental science of different 3D printing technologies. Students will participate hands-on lab sessions to not only learn how to use software to design their own structures, but also use 3D printers to manufacture their design to obtain tangible prototypes of their own. Mechanical tests on the printed structures will potentially by conducted to teach students about 3D printing quality control and material mechanical properties.||ARCHE, BMED, BMED, CE, GENE, MNFGE, MATE, ME||1|
|Eco Composite materials Surfboard||Students are introduced to the composite wet layup process by being part of a hands-on project. They will design and make their own surfboard design by shaping their foam block to a specific surfboard design. After the foam is sanded to the desired shape, students will then mix up the epoxy and apply it to the dry fibers. The wet fibers will be laid up on the surfboard. Then they will be introduced to the composite vacuum bag process. The surfboards will be placed in a vacuum bag where all the air will be pulled out. Lastly, they will test different kinds of composite box beams to test for the strongest and the lightest||CE, ME||1|
|Fresh Water Percentage on Earth||Fresh Water Percentage on Earth: In this workshop, the students know the different sources of water on Earth, the units for measuring the amount of water, density, salinity, and draw a chart for the percentage of fresh water to saline water on Earth. Each group of students distributes the different percentages of water on Earth by using the following tools:
Container 5 US liquid gallon full of water- 10 transparent cups- salt (seawater salinity = 35 Parts Per Thousand, ppt)- different colors solvable in water- 10 cc and 2 cc syringes- digital balance. Drawing tools like pencil colors, protractor, compass, ruler and eraser for drawing a chart of water distribution on Earth.
After finishing this work, the students realize the great important for keeping the fresh water on Earth especially in California State which is still suffering from freshwater shortage. Finally, the instructor helps students for making a brain storm for how to desalinate the saline water or how to get fresh water from the Ocean water.
|ENVE, GENE, ME||1|
|Python Programming, Fun with Geomatics||Measurement Science applied to measuring the earth and its structures.||CE, CSC, ENVE, Geomatics, Geodesy, Geography||1|
|Shining a light on Solar Energy, Other Hands On lab (I'd like to develop my own lab.)||Design and build a Wind Turbine : Designing and Building a wind turbine and testing it out. Wind energy is the fastest growing source or renewable energy and is critical source of clean energy. This lab will teach the students the principles behind how to capture wind energy by use of a wind turbine. The students will design and build their own turbines and power a small device with wind energy.||BRAE, MATE||1|
|Wind Power||Design a wind turbine! Learn about how we can harness the power of the wind to do work. This source of sustainable energy has been used for centuries, but modern wind turbines are much more efficient. Students will build multiple iterations of a wind turbine that pumps water. They will explore how blade design, gear design and wind speed affect how well they can move a fluid.||ME||1|
|Arduino: Rube Goldberg Machine||Students will go through a variety of hands-on projects to learn about the world of computers, software, and electronics. They will learn about micro controllers, writing software, read sensors and control hardware, and construct a mechanical apparatus.||CSC, CPE, EE, ME, SW||2|
|Scribbler Robots||We introduce students to robotics using the Scribbler II robots. The first phase is to create a customized motion profile. The second phase is to navigate a robotic maze. The final phase is to create a coordinated team robot dance contest.||CSC, CPE, EE, ME, SW||2|
|Shining a light on Solar Energy||Designing and Building a wind turbine and testing it out. Wind energy is the fastest growing source or renewable energy and is critical source of clean energy. This lab will teach the students the principles behind how to capture wind energy by use of a wind turbine. The students will design and build their own turbines and power a small device with wind energy.||BRAE, MATE||2|
|VEX Robotics||In this course students will learn the basics of VEX Robotics.||CSC, CPE, EE, ME, SW||2|
|Shining a light on Solar Energy||Designing and Building a wind turbine and testing it out. Wind energy is the fastest growing source or renewable energy and is critical source of clean energy. This lab will teach the students the principles behind how to capture wind energy by use of a wind turbine. The students will design and build their own turbines and power a small device with wind energy.||BRAE, MATE||3|
|How long will your helicopter stay in the air?||Design a paper helicopter and collect data about its flight time. You'll be able to modify your design (rotor length, weight) to see if you can improve the helicopter performance. You'll use data to predict and improve the performance of your helicopter.||IE||1, 2|
|Activities to Understand and Feel the Measuring Units||Activities to Understand and Feel the Measuring Units: In this workshop, the students can recognize the different systems of measuring units like Standard International System of Units (SISU) and British System of Units (BSU). The main objective of this workshop is the enrichment and fostering the feeling skill for measuring units like Length, Mass, Force, Energy, Power, Properties of the Beam Cross-Section, and Properties of the Rigid Body and of course all of that will reflect on understanding the numerical results at the end of mathematical calculations of their assignments. For example, if the students can expect the average value of normal human force for operating a manual machine and they can calculate the required power for this device then they will be able to choose the appropriate power motor and convert this machine from manual to automatic operating. In addition, the students will realize the difference between Joule & Watt unit and why we always compare between various machines by using Watt instead of Joule.
||AERO, ARCH, BMED, BRAE, CE, EE, ENVE, GENE, IE, MNFGE, ME||2, 3|
|Design of a Green City||Design of a Green City: In this workshop, Each group of students imagine that they have a space area of 50 square km close to the sea or the ocean and they will use the suitable drawing scale to plan, sketch and design (by drawing only) an environmentally friendly city on this area and using the various clean energy resources to provide the city with the required clean power for living in it also using some method of water desalination to obtain the fresh water.
After finishing this work the students will gain experience in the different methods of clean energy resources (like wind turbine, water waves energy, solar panels,……etc.), the drawing and design skills, the design of the traffic roads which save money and time, the design of the different transportation methods which use the clean energy, choosing the appropriate areas for growing the plants and fruit trees, and students also specify areas in the city to raise animals and poultry, which supply the city with the necessary meat, milk and organic fertilizer. Finally the instructor makes a competition among students groups for the best drawing design which satisfy the main requirements for the green city.
|AERO, CE, EE, ENVE, GENE, IE, MNFGE, ME||2, 3|
|Design of Heavy Equipment (Cranes)||Design of Heavy Equipment (Cranes): In this workshop, the students know the different types of cranes, how to get the center of gravity of the crane and the condition of equilibrium of the crane. Each group of students will design and build a crane with maximum dimensions of (20x5x20 in) by using the following tools:
40 coffee stirrer sticks of certain dimensions - Carton sheets- 2 small pulleys- String - Small wax gun - Digital balance – One liter plastic bottle full of water as a balance weight – different masses start from 100g - cutting tools like a pair of scissors and cutter –Drawing tools like pencil colors, protractor, compass, ruler, and eraser.
After finishing this work, the students know the different types of cranes and understand the equilibrium conditions of the crane and how to determine the center of mass. Finally, the instructor makes a competition among student's groups for the best crane design which is stable and can lift the maximum weight when the crane is put on a table of one meter height from the ground.
|AERO, ARCH, BMED, BRAE, CE, EE, ENVE, GENE, IE, MNFGE, ME||2, 3|
|Engine Dissection and Reassembly||The purpose of this lab is to learn about the components of a four-stroke gasoline engine, and how they work together to form a functioning machine. The lab is comprised of two stages, disassembly and identification of parts, and reassembly with an eye toward how the function of one part affects the function of another. The primary areas of interest are the cylinder, connecting rods, and crankshaft, as well as the valves with associated cams, lifters, and camshaft. Students will also learn the overall operation of an engine, following the progression of the four strokes (intake, compression, combustion, exhaust). Once completed, students should consider why certain design decisions were made (the shape of the cams, etc) to further explore the concept of the design process.||CSC, CPE, ME, SW||2, 3|
|Exploring the World of Nanotechnology||Through simple hands-on lab exercises, the students will learn about the fundamental of nanotechnology. The students will explore the nano scale, the types of nano-structures and their unique properties, and the tools for seeing and characterizing materials at the nano scale.||ENVE, MATE, Nanotechnology||2, 3|
|Fun with rockets!||Let's get fired up about Aerospace Engineering. Learn how engineers design, build and fly airplanes, rockets, and spaceships. Build your own model rocket, predict the altitude it will reach and then launch it yourself to verify your prediction.||AERO, ME||2, 3|
|Python Programming, Fun with Geomatics||Measurement Science applied to measuring the earth and its structures.||CE, CSC, ENVE, SE, Geomatics, Geodesy, Geography||2, 3|
|Wind Power||Repurpose of Freshman ME lab to design and build a simple wind turbine to pump water. Introduction to renewable energy.||ME||2, 3|
|Other Programming||Engineering Programming With Excel||AERO, ARCH, BMED, BRAE, CE, CSC, CPE, EE, ENVE, GENE, IE, MNFGE, MATE, ME||1, 2, 3|
|Solidworks||SOLIDWORKS is one of the widely used computer-aided software (CAD) used to design various structures and products. These structures and products can be subjected to stress analysis using the SOLIDWORKS simulation tools to determine whether the structure will withstand the required loads. For example, how much weight a typical steel table can carry? I can demonstrate this by modeling such a table in SOLIDWORKS and applying the required loads.||ME||1, 2, 3|
EPIC isn’t all work and no play. Participants will have the opportunity to make new friends go bowling, swimming, rock wall climbing, and using the university recreation center.
EPIC 2024 DATES
- Session 1 June 30 -July 5 Rising 6th-8th Grade (Residential)
- Session 2 July 7-12 Rising 9th-12th Grade (Residential)
- Session 3 July 14-19 Rising 9th-12th Grade (Residential)
- Session 4 July 21-26 Rising 9th-12th Grade (Residential)
Grades are based on Fall 2024 enrollment. Students who have graduated H.S. are not eligible to apply.
Acceptance into EPIC is based on the essay written, interest to learn about engineering, and indication student has applied themselves to their studies based on g.p.a, classes taken, and extracurricular activities. The EPIC program does its best to determine which students will gain the most from the program.
To apply, click on the APPLY button on the Home page. The application will require general family and student information along with a no longer than 250 words (1 page) essay answering why they would like to attend EPIC. Students must have a non-school issues email address listed on the application. A parent email address may be used for students as long as the students will have access to the emails sent from EPIC. Although the program is not first-come-first-serve, we strongly encourage you to apply early and submit before the deadline if you are applying for a need-based scholarship.
Applicants do not need to submit a letter of recommendation or send in transcripts. There is also no fee to apply. Payment is submitted once the applicant is admitted to the program.
2024 Registration Fee $1,975
Fee covers the following:
- Housing (Sunday evening - Friday afternoon)
- All meals and snacks
- Engineering Classes
- All activities
- Engineering week group project
- Speaker Series: Cal Poly Admissions, Industry Speaker, College Life, Engineering Majors, Engineering Student Panels
- Social Events: Scavenger hunt, talent show, recreation center, pool, movie night, bowling
- Tours: Cal Poly, College of Engineering, and Housing
- EPIC camp t-shirt, cinch bag, lanyard
EPIC offers partial scholarships to campers based on financial need. We strongly encourage participants to apply for a need-based scholarship as soon as possible as funds are very limited.
ONLY AVAILABLE FOR THE RESIDENTIAL PROGRAM to and from the San Luis Obispo airport. Transportation must be scheduled no later than a week before the start of the session. Pick up can only be arranged for Sunday of check-in at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm. On Friday, drop off can be arranged for 10am, 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm. Once admitted please email EPIC if you plan to fly into the San Luis Obispo airport.
Decisions are made based on the essay written, interest to learn about engineering, and indication student has applied themselves to their studies based on g.p.a., classes taken, and extracurricular activities. The EPIC program does its best to determine which students will gain the most from the program.
Deadline to Confirm Attendance
Attendance will be confirmed by submitting payment. Please submit payment by the deadline provided in the admission email.
Participants who are admitted from the waitlist will have a week from the admitted date to accept, complete registration, and finalize payment.
The payment deadline will be stated in the admission email along with the scholarship code if one has been awarded. The discount will be applied to the registration fee. All payments must be made online using a credit card. Checks are not accepted. Participants who fail to pay by the deadline will be dropped.
Conference and Event Planning must receive registration and full payment to allow event participation. Registrations will not be processed with incomplete or missing payment.
Please note that the registration fee does include a $100.00 non-refundable deposit and an additional $150.00 non-refundable “materials” fee. Conference and Event Planning must receive cancelation requests in writing 15 days prior to event start in order to receive a full refund less the $250.00 non-refundable deposit and a 3% payment handling fee. Refunds will not be given for cancelations received within 15 days prior to the start of the Epic session.
- Registration fees cannot be transferred.
- No refund will be given in the event of dismissal or voluntary departure from the program at any time.
Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page for more information. If you still have questions, email us at email@example.com.