ASM International Materials Camp
June 24 – June 28, 2024 (in person)
Materials science and engineering lies at the very heart of all engineering... everything is made of something, right?
Our future increasingly depends on the development of new materials and innovative combinations of materials – think about the various different materials used to make cell phones, tablets or flat-screen TVs, or to power a hybrid or all-electric automobile. Energy is a growing research area in science and engineering—through fuel cells, electric vehicles, wind and solar power, "smart" structures, and even nuclear power. Advanced materials are playing a crucial role in all of these areas.
The Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) at Drexel University, in conjunction with the ASM International Philadelphia Chapter, hosts Materials Camp®, a week-long, hands-on academic day camp designed to introduce rising high school juniors and seniors to the exciting and essential field of materials science and engineering.
Run almost entirely by graduate students from the MSE department at Drexel, Materials Camp® comprises a series of short lectures together with hands-on, interactive laboratory sessions and demonstrations; an industry visit (in 2019 the students visited the Boeing Helicopter plant in Ridley Park, PA to see the Chinook helicopter assembly line); and a week-long team design and build project activity. Students, faculty, and staff initially get acquainted at a “welcome breakfast’ and the students are then immediately immersed in the fascinating world of materials.
In the laboratory sessions, participants learn about metals, polymers, ceramics, composites, and nanomaterials, how these materials are processed, how their atomic and molecular structure determines their properties, and how and where they are used. Activities include electron microscopy, heat treating, tensile testing of metals, synthesis of slime and foam polymers, composites, and liquid crystal thermometers. Student teams will also carry out an engineering design project over the course of the week with awards for the top teams.
The Camp wraps up with a college admissions presentation, final testing of the students’ projects, and a Jeopardy style quiz, followed by barbeque luncheon attended by students’ family members, MSE graduate students and faculty, ASM chapter members, and business leaders. Camp attendees have the opportunity to network with professionals and to explore college and career options.
High School students entering their junior or senior year.
- Highly motivated, inquisitive learners with math and science aptitude.
Camp attendance is free of charge, and a light breakfast and lunch will be provided daily. Students are only responsible for their own transportation to and from Drexel University, conveniently located next to Philadelphia's 30th Street Station.
Download the application form. [PDF]
Applications must be received by Sunday, March 31, 2024. Required information includes school transcript, report card, a maximum of two letters of recommendation, plus a personal statement (250 words or more).
E-mail Application to
Spencer Freund (firstname.lastname@example.org), Materials Camp Chairperson
NOTE: If you are unable to send an electronic version of your application documents, please email for mailing address information.
Selection of Finalists
This is a competitive application process. Students must have a basic knowledge of algebra, chemistry, and physics and describe why they want to learn more about engineering and materials science and engineering as a possible college major and career.
- Experienced practicing engineers review each application to select the "best and brightest," highly motivated students who have not yet made a firm decision about their college major or career.
- Students must have a strong interest in applied science.
- Prior participation in science fairs is helpful, but not required.
For more information, contact Spencer Freund (email@example.com).