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 Explorations in Engineering (Full Day Intensive)

Residential only  |  11th & 12th graders  |  July 10 – 28, 2023

Students can develop their independence, eye for invention, and advanced research and problem-solving skills in the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. This hands-on engineering series of courses allows students to investigate a topic area each week including biomedical, data science, and electrical and computer engineering, using the vast resources of the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.


Optics isn’t just fascinating, it’s essential to modern science and technology.  You’re already aware of some optics applications, but there is a whole lot more to learn.  Making images with a lens is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ll take the mystery – but not the magic – out of some fundamental concepts! How lenses form images or how light really does act like a wave and how lasers work.

Together we’ll explore applications of these concepts. We will demonstrate building an interferometer that uses light to measure distances on the order of nanometers. We will also investigate polarization to see how 3-D movies are projected.

Biomedical Engineering

In the biomedical engineering experience of the Hajim School of Engineering, participants will explore aspects of biomedical instrumentation and measurements, design, and the use of microcontrollers in biomedical devices.  The week will end with the construction and testing of an ultrasound aid for people with visual impairments.

Data Science

In this week-long module, students will have a hands-on opportunity to experience the growing field of data science. After a brief introduction and appreciation on why data science is the most sought-after profession in the 21st century, the students will immerse in analyzing and visualizing a large data set to discover insights using state-of-the-art data science tools.

By means of a series of interactive examples in various domain/subject areas, they will gain experience in data science techniques such as data preparation and exploration, data visualization, and an introduction to predictive modeling. The hands-on working sessions will be complemented by tours of university research laboratories engaged in the exciting area of data science.

  • Outline and structure are subject to change at the discretion of the professors
  • Enrollment is limited to 20 students; selection for this program is competitive

Instructors: Veena Ganeshan, Ajay Anand, and Doran Teverovsky.

XR: Content Creation and World Building

9-12th graders  |  Session A  | TBD

Learn how XR (the umbrella term for Augmented and Virtual Reality) experiences are created! Students will study the history of immersive technologies and gain technical skills by exploring both the basics of 3D graphics for asset creation and how to develop XR environments with Unity, a popular game engine. We will also discuss the applications and impact of XR across humanities, social science, and STEM fields. All learning levels welcome.

Instructor: Emily Sherwood, PhD and Digital Scholarship Staff, Studio X.

Introduction to Engineering

9-12th graders  |  Session A  |  8:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Through stimulating lectures, interactive labs, and informative field trips, this class introduces you to the many disciplines of engineering. You will get an overview of the necessary tools for analysis and problem solving and will use your creativity, energy, and interpersonal skills while participating in several in-class design projects. Additionally, you will learn the importance of mathematics, science, and technology in everyday engineering situations.

By the end of the course, you will have a better-defined idea of engineering, its requirements, and your options for a future within this field.

Instructor: Debamitra Chakraborty, PhD student and Siladitya Khan, PhD student, Hajim School of Engineering

Nanotechnology: How small things make a BIG Impact

9-12th graders  |  Session B  | 8:30 – 11:30 a.m.

If you are curious to understand how and why “nanotechnology” allows precise and effective tumor treatment and can shrink big devices onto a single chip, then this course is just for you!

In this course, you will:

  • Learn the fundamentals of nanotechnology via hands-on activities
  • Design and make different types of nanomaterials, including:
    • Nanoparticles for drug delivery
    • Hydrophobic and hydrophilic thin films
    • Anti-microbial nano-solutions
  • Use the fundamentals of microfluidics, to engineer min-portable devices for multiple simultaneous analyses
  • Visit UR-Nano facility
  • Learn the workings of a ‘clean room’ and microscopes, which allow you to visualize atoms and molecules

Instructor: Kanika Vats, assistant professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical Technology: Engineer, Doctor, or Both?

9-12th graders  |  Session B  | 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. 

This course teaches you the underlying physiology of crucial human organ systems and the process of recording the biological signals that dictate how they perform. You will learn about vital signs like blood pressure, heart rate, and electrical signals produced by the muscles and heart. You will also learn to interpret and integrate these signals with biological processes and diseases.

Instructor: Kanika Vats, assistant professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

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