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Innovative engineering program for high school students

Explore computing, robotics, energy technology + more to solve practical problems

Engineers are critical thinkers, problem solvers, and creatives who harness cutting-edge technology to develop solutions to many of the world's most urgent problems. From fusion power to nanotechnology to artificial intelligence, in this engineering program for high school students, you’ll be on the front lines of developing and applying technologies in areas of maximum impact like climate change and medicine. See how far engineering can take you in this immersive engineering summer program.

  • Session 1
    Residential: June 30 - July 19
    Commuter: July 1 - July 18
  • Location:
    Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA
  • Staff to Student Ratio 1:6
  • Tuition
    Residential: $7,895
    Commuter: $3,995

    Tuition + Financial Aid

Find creative solutions to the world's challenges

Lead Instructor


alex trunell

Alex Trunnell 

Your guide through this exciting field is Alex Trunnell. Alex has deep experience in engineering communication and education, everywhere from college-prep schools to MIT to Boston’s Museum of Science. Her primary focuses include astrophysics and astrobiology, and she’s researched exoplanet detection and the habitability of Jupiter's moons at Vassar College and MIT.

Program description

In EXPLO’s engineering program for high school students, challenge yourself to think along the same lines as professionals in the engineering field. Investigate a problem, understand end-user requirements, design a solution, create and test a prototype, collect data to measure effectiveness, and optimize for efficiency. Work side-by-side with the experts across disciplines from robotics and mechanical engineering to software and civil engineering. In our engineering summer program, you can deepen your understanding of the key differences between the various fields engineers can pursue.


What you'll do

Fuel Cell

Fuel Cell

Create a fuel cell capable of cleanly converting hydrogen to usable electric energy.

Biologically Inspired Origami Robot

Biologically Inspired Origami Robot

In this engineering summer program, you’ll design and build a biologically inspired robotic mechanism by combining foldable origami elements with electronic components and code.



Design and build functional electronics using breadboards, servo motors, LED displays, and other electronics hardware while writing and modifying computer code using hardware such as a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino.

Industry Specialists

Industry Specialists

Integrate feedback from professional engineers as part of the iterative design framework in order to perfect your project prototypes in this engineering program for high school students.

Prerequisite for Engineering:

We recommend that students in this course who have no prior experience with text-based coding take this free, self-paced course that starts with the block-based coding language Scratch, then introduces students to text-based coding with CS50: Introduction to Computer Science. Students are only asked to complete weeks 0-3.

Blocks Shape

Get Summer Research Experience

This Concentration offers the option to develop your own formal research project. Develop foundational research skills like experiment design, data collection and analysis, and literature review, culminating in written and oral conference-style presentations. Gain valuable experience and give your college applications a boost.

Experience a Day in the Life with Marc


Engineering Concentration

What Lights Me Up:

“I like building things—and taking them apart. When I was 12 I got in trouble for taking apart my mom’s PC.  She came home when it was in pieces all over the livingroom floor.  She went through the roof, but three hours later I had it back working. Now I’m on my high school’s robotics team. I’m also learning guitar, but honestly spend more time customizing it than playing it.”

Get up close

Go places like Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), meet engineers, and get guidance on designing and completing your final project.
Meet working
engineers like Natalia Guerrero, NASA planet-hunter and MIT research associate; Lauren Lyons, senior systems lead at Blue Origin; and Nick Bria and Connor Walsh from Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

Explore with leaders in the field

Take a look at some of the program faculty and speakers over the years to get a sense of who you’ll be learning with. You get the real deal here at EXPLO.

Brian Hughes
Brian Hughes

Former CEO, American Rocket Company

Chair, HBN Shoe

Conor Walsh
Conor Walsh Ph.D.

Professor of Engineering + Applied Science, Harvard University

George T. Whitesides
George T. Whitesides

Former Chief Space Officer, Virgin Galactic

Marcia Isakson
Marcia Isakson Ph.D.

IR + D Strategic Programs Director, Applied Research Laboratories, University of Texas at Austin

Steven Goldfarb
Steven Goldfarb, Ph.D.

Particle Physicist, ATLAS Experiment, CERN

Earn college credit

All EXPLO Pre-College Career Concentrations offer the opportunity to earn two to three college credits before you even enroll in college. 


Everything you need for a summer to remember

Residential Program

Explore future careers as a residential student...

Live the on-campus life with a roommate, meals in the dining hall, and all the support you need from live-in deans, and residence directors and advisors.

Commuter Program

...or a commuter

Enjoy access to all the same facilities and activities as residential students, with the option to spend three evenings of your choice on campus included in your tuition.

Live the EXPLO life

At EXPLO, we combine mind-expanding discovery with serious summer fun. Join a club, play sports, take in a movie or show, or just relax by beautiful Lake Waban. Or take a quick train into Boston for a foodie tour, cruise, or ball game—all with curious and inclusive new friends.

Get to know your summer home.