NEWBERG, Ore. — High school students are getting real-world engineering experience at George Fox University's High School Maker Camp in Newberg.
The goal is to get students interested in STEM careers — science, technology, engineering and math — as they build connections, collaborate and problem solve on engineering projects.
There are three different sessions, each about a week long.
Drew Harris, 17, told KGW he wants to be an engineer when he gets older, and the program offers him industry tools that he normally wouldn't have access to.
"I don't have all this equipment at home. I can't do this by myself," Harris said. "It's great that they let all these high school students use this magnificent equipment. Great teachers to help us get started on engineering."
The high schoolers work alongside George Fox University engineering students and faculty to create their own custom projects. They get the full college experience and even live in dorms on campus.
Associate professor Todd Curtis said even if kids are not interested in engineering, it's still a good experience.
"Students come in and it's just a crash course where students learn about what engineering is by doing it," Curtis said. "They are making things and taking stuff home with them at the end of their time."
Each week of the camp starts with a hands-on introduction to all the equipment and engineering concepts.
Camper Joice Cheng, 16, said she does not want to be an engineer, but she's happy she got the experience.
"It was mainly my dad that pushed me into this experience," Cheng said. "It helped me figure out that this is a really interesting job but not something I'm interested in."
The camp is not free, but there are scholarships available for students who cannot afford to go.