About EPIC

Our Mission

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.

Our History

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 five annual sessions accommodating over 700 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.

Due to COVID-19 EPIC will be offered in a virtual format only for 2021.

Hands-On Labs

At EPIC, participants explore the world of engineering through live virtual engineering labs.


TOPIC 1: Arduino Rube-Goldberg Machine covering Computer, 
Software, Computer Science, Electrical, Mechanical, and General Engineering 

DescriptionStudents 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.


TOPIC 2: Designing Structures for Earthquakes covering Civil, Structural, Computer Science, and General Engineering

Description: Students will participate in hands-on activities to learn how earthquakes impact buildings as well as the design methods and technologies that ensure greater seismic safety. They will learn about shake-table testing of small structures, applying sensors, writing software to analyze data, as well as constructing earthquake force resisting systems. Engineering fields that will be covered include Civil/Structural Engineering, Computer Science, and General Engineering.


TOPIC 3: Automated plant care covering Engineering and Agriculture

Description: Sensors and controls are used in many aspects of Agriculture today, whether crops are grown in the field or in a factory. This lab will explore the use of various sensors to monitor weather and soil conditions around a single plant. Collected data will be used with a controller to help provide for the plant's wellbeing in various ways.

Participants also learn a lot from their counselors. All counselors are Cal Poly Engineering students! 

Virtual Social Activities

EPIC isn’t all work and no play. Participants will have the opportunity to make new friends during virtual activities that may include home scavenger hunts, talent show, Kahoot games, and spirit competitions. 


  • Session 1 June 21-25          Grades 7-8
  • Session 2 June 28-July 2    Grades 9-12
  • Session 3 July 5-9                Grades 9-12
  • Session 4 July 12-16            Grades 9-12
  • Session 5 July 19-23            Grades 9-12

Grades are based on Fall 2021 enrollment. Students who have graduated H.S. are not eligible to apply.

Eligibility Criteria

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. 

Requirements for virtual program: Students must have access to a computer, reliable internet, and a non-school district issued email address.

Application Process

To apply, you will need to sign up for a login on the Home page. Once logged in, you will be able to add a camper and apply. Although the application requires an adult to log in, the participant will need to complete a portion of the application. This will include submitting an 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. 

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.

2021 Registration Fee

Virtual Program

  • $450: Fee includes all programming and engineering kit.
  • Live two-hour Monday-Friday Virtual Engineering class 
  • Daily live virtual office hours to help with engineering project 
  • Live virtual speakers: Cal Poly Admissions, Industry Speaker, College Life, Engineering Majors, Engineering Student Panels 
  • Live virtual Social Events: Scavenger hunt, talent show, and more 
  • Virtual Tours: Cal Poly, College of Engineering, and Housing 



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.



If needed, transportation to and from the San Luis Obispo airport can be arranged only on Sunday of check in and Friday after check out.

A charter bus is also available for pick up and drop off from pre-designated areas in El Segundo, San Jose, and Oakland, CA.  Check again later for specific times and locations and information on how to sign up.

Admission Criteria

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.

Requirements: Students must have access to a computer, reliable internet, and a non-school district issued email address. Only for students who apply for the virtual 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. 

Payment Deadline

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. 

Participants who wish to cancel their registration must follow the cancellation policy. Cancellations must be made in writing at least 15 days prior to the event start date in order to receive a refund. $100 minimum registration fee and 3% credit processing fee is non-refundable.

More Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page for more information. If you still have questions, email us at epic@calpoly.edu.

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