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Engineering Summer Program Kicks Off 30th Year

June 19, 2017
Spencer Swift (left) and Briley James participate the annual Engineering Summer Program at UW.
Spencer Swift (left) and Briley James participated the annual University of Wyoming College of Engineering and Applied Science Engineering Summer Program in 2016 and got an inside look at the departments in the college.

For one week every June, high school students from across the country get to experience the world of engineering at the University of Wyoming. It’s all made possible by the annual Engineering Summer Program (ESP).
The program is supported by the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS), the Outreach School, the Kennedy Endowment, Kester Funding, Union Wireless and Halliburton.
“We found that lots of students really have no idea what engineers do or what kind of careers and job opportunities exist,” says Jeff Anderson, director of the Engineering Summer Program. “They often do not realize that engineering affects nearly all aspects of our lives, so we try to show them that.”
Established in 1988, the program is open to high school juniors from anywhere in the nation. The state of Wyoming is well-represented, and participants have come from Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota, Arizona, Idaho, Maryland, Virginia, California, Montana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Utah in recent years. While participating in the program, students receive hands-on experiences in various engineering fields, stay in dormitories and eat at UW’s Washakie Dining Center, making for an experience that prepares them for college life.
This year, 36 students will attend the program to learn about a wide range of subjects. Electrical engineering topics include microcontrollers, communications, electric motors, and robotics. Students will conduct experiments with a weather balloon to learn more about atmospheric investigations.
Classes are available in computer electronics and computer science, wherein attendees learn basic programming skills to create movies and simple video games with 3D objects and characters. Classes are also offered in biomaterials, composite materials, solar energy and architectural engineering.
“When they participate in these classes, they see what engineers do,” Anderson says. “They learn about many great career opportunities available for engineers. They enter college with a better focus on their studies and a better perspective of career goals.”
Classes are taught by engineering faculty and graduate students. The attendees decide what they want to focus on and attend morning and afternoon sessions. In the evening, there are campus tours and visits to CEAS labs to talk to researchers.
While ESP doesn’t feature specific petroleum and chemical engineering classes, students still learn about the industry. Thanks to support from Halliburton, a prominent oilfield service company, participants have the opportunity to tour Halliburton’s equipment yard and laboratories.
“We are proud to support the Engineering Summer Program,” said Cindy Bigner, Halliburton’s senior director of Corporate Affairs and Diversity Initiatives. “It is important that we work closely with educators to introduce students to the many potential careers in engineering. Giving these students the opportunity to see engineers at work can only help them and the industry in the future.”
Union Wireless has provided generous support for ESP. The company provides several scholarships for ESP participants, funding for classroom supplies and the closing reception breakfast for participants and their families.
“Quite honestly, the program wouldn’t exist without the sponsors,” Anderson says. “We extend our sincere thanks for the support because we really couldn’t do it if any of the main sponsors pulled out. It would really hurt the program. We appreciate what they do and the sacrifices they make for us.”
Anderson adds the collaboration between public and private entities ensures that students receive tools and resources they need to be successful. He believes the supports offers a head start in student education and their subsequent careers, and most importantly, helps them form relationships.
Program organizers have seen students who participate in the program form study groups that last throughout college and get to know professors and UW.
“One thing we try to do is have them build relationships with faculty so when they’re trying to decide where they want to go study, they already have a connection at the University of Wyoming,” Anderson says.

Hometown - Student
Arlington, Va. - Danny Donate-Perez                     
Burns, Wyo. - Alex Williams                                    
Carlsbad, Calif. - Emy Kiernan
Cody, Wyo. - Cody Edwards, Mac Simpson
Colorado Springs, Colo. - Wiley Neumeyer, Maegan Sowells                                 
Conifer, Colo. - Sydney Walker                                
Diamondville, Wyo. - Louis Failoni                                       
Douglas, Wyo. - Tim Pham                                           
Eagle, Colo. - Collin Jenkins                                    
Evanston, Wyo. - Colton Hatch                                     
Fremont, Calif. - Rohan Niranjan                                
Gillette, Wyo. - Britney Thompson                          
Golden, Colo. - Mia Johnson                                     
Green River, Wyo. - Samuel Bayles                                  
Hanna, Wyo. - David Freeman                                
Highlands Ranch, Colo. - Barak Morris       
Lander, Wyo. - Noah Gans, Connor Wilkinson                          
Laramie, Wyo. - Sarah Holles                                      
Longmont, Colo. - Donovan Dean Whitehead                                       
Meeteetse, Wyo. - Joshua Graybill                                 
Pinedale, Wyo. - Jenna Roadifer                                  
Potter, Neb. - JT Herboldsheimer                         
Powell, Wyo. - Hattie Pimentel, Rhett Pimentel
Ranchester, Wyo. - Skye Bensel                                       
Sedalia, Colo. - Lisa Retzlaff                                       
Sheridan, Wyo. - Katie Bammel, Aeriana Roth     
Sidney, Neb. - Jordan Cook                                      
Sinking Spring, Pa. - Ian Williams                                       
Sterling, Colo. - Becca Miller                                       
Toms River, N.J. - Paige D'Elia                                        
Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. - Christina Webster

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