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Q&A with Brian Cieslewicz: Materials Camp Student

Brian Cieslewicz Materials Camp student

ASM International Materials Camp is one of Drexel Engineering’s many summer programs and is run almost entirely by graduate students. The camp is comprised of a series of short lectures together with hands-on, interactive laboratory sessions, an industry visit and a small "project activity" that runs throughout the week. In the laboratory sessions, camp participants, including high school juniors and seniors from across the Delaware Valley, Delaware, and South Jersey, learn about metals, polymers, ceramics, composites and nanomaterials, how these materials are processed, how their structure determines their properties, and how and where they are used. Brian Cieslewicz, a student who his will begin his senior year in September at Cherry Hill West High School in Cherry Hill, NJ took time to discuss his experience at Materials Camp.

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How did you hear about Drexel Engineering’s Materials Camp and what made you interested in attending?

I received an email about Drexel’s summer programs and the Materials Camp seemed the most interesting to me out of all of the summer programs offered. How has your experience been with the Materials Camp and would you attend again if you could? Oh yeah! Awesome and entertaining. The counselors were fun and the activities were something I’d never be able to do in high school where we don’t have the equipment or space.

What was your favorite project that you worked on during Materials Camp?

“Composites for a buck” a hands-on experiment by Richard Knight, teaching professor, associate department head and undergraduate advisor for the materials science and engineering department. Students were able to create a beam to support weight using a composite material that they created with given- bamboo skewers, popsicle sticks, carbon fiber, fiberglass, copper wire, steel wire and epoxy. Whoever build the material with the best strength to weight combo won a prize.

What was the most valuable thing that you learned during Materials Camp?

Everything that we make is made of something and is usually a lot more complicated than you think- Even this table. You never think about things like the cost, the lifespan and the materials.

After attending Materials Camp, are you considering pursuing further education in Drexel Materials Engineering or Drexel Engineering in general?

I was already looking at applying to Drexel before coming to Materials Camp. Their co-op program is amazing, the professors seem really helpful and the counselors are very fun and educational. Initially, I considered becoming a chemical engineering major, but after this camp I might look into materials science.

What’s the coolest thing you learned about Drexel Engineering while attending?

I really like the labs and how up-to-date they are. They are so modern and the possibilities doing research are incredible.