10 Reasons to Go to an Engineering Summer School

14 May, 2024 | Blog Articles, Engineering Articles, Get the Edge

Thanks to new and burgeoning industries like green technology, Engineering graduates have never been more in-demand. 

If you’ve got an interest in technology and innovation, and a knack for problem-solving and analytical thinking, then an Engineering summer school is the perfect way to gain experience in the field, and boost your university applications.

What Is an Engineering Summer School?

Engineering summer schools are short, intensive academic programmes hosted by educational institutions around the world, with the aim of introducing younger students to the world of engineering. 

You’ll have the chance to learn a wide range of topics in a short period of time – from hydraulics to pneumatics – as well as getting stuck in with practical group tasks and tutoring sessions with industry experts!

Who Can Attend an Engineering Summer School?

There are a wide range of Engineering summer schools geared towards different age groups – you’re never too young or too old to gain new and valuable skills, after all. In particular, our Engineering summer programme is open to bright 15 to 18 year-olds, while 12 to 14 year olds can gain insight into Engineering via our Technology summer school

Our Engineering summer courses welcome students from countless different backgrounds and countries from all over the world. Our student body is made up of like-minded individuals sharing a passion and desire to explore the field of engineering!

Why Should You Attend an Engineering Summer School?

There’s never a bad time to develop new skills, discover new ways of thinking, and challenge yourself in exciting, productive ways.

With that in mind, here are our top ten reasons to attend an Engineering summer school:

1. Experience hands-on learning

Engineering is a field with many opportunities for practical, hands-on work, and Engineering summer schools are designed to recreate this way of working. 

Workshops, specialised challenges like our Bridge Building Challenge, and an array of practical projects are all designed to teach you the fundamentals of engineering, and are a great way of applying what you’ve learnt in class!

2. Exploring diverse engineering disciplines

Engineering is an endlessly diverse field of work. An engineer’s skills can be applied to everything from biomedical science to the environment and new technologies; the possibilities are endless! 

Engineering summer schools can expose you to many different areas of engineering and dozens of potential career paths. As there are so many branches to engineering, choosing the area you’d like to focus on can inevitably be a bit overwhelming, but a summer school can be a great way to make informed decisions about your future academic and professional pursuits.

3. Developing problem-solving and teamwork skills

Problem-solving and analytical skills are essential for any budding engineer, and summer schools are a perfect way of developing, refining and sharpening these much-needed qualities. 

Through practical tasks and teamwork with your peers, you’ll develop these skills naturally in a way that’s both challenging and fun. Sometimes you might not realise just how sharp your problem-solving skills are until they’re put to the test, so Engineering summer schools are a great way of building your confidence and preparing for a successful future in the field!

4. Engaging with engineering professionals

There’s no better way to learn the ropes of engineering than learning from experts in the field. 

An Oxford Scholastica Engineering summer school provides the invaluable opportunity to engage with our expert tutors, who have studied at some of the world’s leading institutions. 

You’ll also be able to meet successful young engineers, and they’ll share the tips and tricks that have helped aid their own success. 

Not only that but summer schools offer networking sessions and career talks, and are a great way of finding mentoring opportunities to support you in the years ahead.

Two Oxford Scholastica tutors sitting at a table, smiling

5. Understanding sustainable engineering practices

Using resources effectively and eliminating excess waste  is essential in protecting our global environment. 

By learning sustainable practices, aspiring engineers can help make the world a greater, greener place. Sustainable engineering can have a profound impact on the world by finding alternate materials (often reused and recycled), and using non-renewable resources sparingly. 

Sustainable engineering is addressed in Engineering summer schools, giving you a solid understanding of how you, as an engineer, can make the world a better place. It doesn’t get much more inspiring than that!

6. Exploring emerging technologies

Engineering summer schools also provide insights into exciting emerging technologies such as robotics and artificial intelligence. 

For centuries, engineers have been responsible for huge, ground-breaking developments, from the early machines of the industrial revolution to the first home computer. 

In the 21st century, it’s still the job of engineers to develop and create new products, so it’s essential for any budding engineer to stay up-to-date with the latest technological advancements –  you could be working on technology that has the power to change the world before you know it!

7. Enhancing communication and presentation skills

A skill that every engineer needs, but which may be a little less obvious, is effective communication and presentation skills. 

In the world of engineering, clear communication is essential for collaborating within a team, and communicating ideas to clients and stakeholders. 

An Engineering summer school offers the rare opportunity to present your projects and ideas to your peers and tutors, a highly-valuable skill to take with you to university and beyond.

8. Access to state-of-the-art facilities

Much like a writer needs a pen, paper and desk, an engineer needs a laboratory with cutting-edge equipment and facilities.

The modern, up-to-date facilities at an Engineering summer school will foster experimentation, enhance learning, and offer an inspiring glimpse into the general day-to-day workspace of a leading engineer.

9. Building a strong portfolio

For anyone looking to apply to university, building a strong portfolio or CV is essential.

Completed projects, demonstrable technical skills, real-world experience, and letters of recommendation can be the difference between getting a place at a top university, or just missing out. University admissions teams sort through hundreds and hundreds of applications every year, so standing out is essential.

A well-structured portfolio, with the kind of unique experience gained at an Engineering summer school, will be sure to catch the eye of any university admissions officer!

10. Developing skills and making friends beyond engineering

Our summer school students frequently mention how enjoyable it is to connect with like-minded peers from around the world. 

Meeting people from different backgrounds, and with different perspectives to your own, can be incredibly rewarding, and hard work is always more fun when it’s done alongside new friends. These new connections can stay with you for years to come, leading to future workplace collaborations and global opportunities in the field of engineering! 

Not only that, but the time you spend at an Engineering summer school will help you develop a range of other skills that will come in handy in your personal and academic life, including organisational skills and independence, which will become increasingly more useful as you enter into the world of university and full-time work.

Group of Oxford Scholastica students graduating at the end of the summer school

As we’ve demonstrated, the benefits of attending an Engineering summer school are many and varied. From engaging with experts in the field to learning about new and exciting developments in the world of engineering, it’s without a doubt an invaluable experience for any young aspiring engineer who is hungry to learn more.


By Sam Cox

Sam is a recent English graduate from the University of Bristol whose interests include twentieth-century fiction, film, and cultural criticism.

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