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Budding engineers from as far away as Massachusetts will soon gather at UT as the College of Engineering hosts its annual summer enrichment programs.

The programs are arranged according to grade level—beginning with seventh grade and running through high school—with the middle school courses serving as an introduction to engineering while the high school students deal with more in-depth engineering topics.

“For the younger students, the idea is to take students who might have somewhat of an interest in engineering and engage them through hands-on learning,” said Travis Griffin, director of the Engineering Diversity Programs Office, which coordinates the camps. “For the older students, it’s about providing a great campus experience, discovering engineering careers, and working with UT faculty within research labs.”

Related: More on the College of Engineering and on the pre-college programs it offers

As an example, when the Engineering Volunteers for Tenth Graders, or eVOL10, begins next week, students will be working with Gabriel Goenaga, senior research associate in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and his ChemE Car team. The team enters competitions based around chemically powered cars that must be no bigger than a shoe box.

Highlighting the theme for the week, Michael Best and Brian Long of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Chemistry will help students with the basics of chemical studies and lab applications.

“These aren’t just courses for show, but teach how science and math are applied within the engineering curriculum,” said Griffin. “Without the support of the College of Engineering, faculty and staff across UT, and our corporate partners, these experiences would not been possible.”

Middle School Introduction to Engineering Systems, or MITES, camps for seventh and eighth graders will enjoy field trips to supplement the classroom instruction.

High school students will receive lessons in ACT preparation and will have the chance to take various field trips to companies or places that will give them real-world examples of engineering.

For the eVOL10 students, this means a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at DENSO Manufacturing’s location in Blount County.

“It’s important for the participants to see all of the things they study put into practice within industry,” said Griffin. “It’s one thing to learn about them in a class, but when you see them in action, it leaves a lasting impression.”

C O N T A C T :

David Goddard (865-974-0683,