Students and camp counselor building and programming a CubeSat.

Summer Engineering Camp

The K-12 STEM Center follows all University guidelines for protecting students, families, teachers, and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Northrop Grumman Summer Engineering Camp at USC is a camp in which current 5th, 6th, and 7th grade students explore aerospace, civil, electrical, environmental and mechanical engineering with hands-on activities such as rockets, circuits, bridges and robots. Students also explore computer science by learning to code and write apps. The Northrop Grumman Summer Engineering Camp (previously Viterbi Summer Engineering Camp and the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp) serves 32 students each year and has been a part of USC Viterbi for over 10 years.

For questions about this camp, please contact

The K-12 STEM Center develops strategies and builds initiatives to meet the needs of a diverse population, specifically in efforts to increase the representation of female students and African American/Black, Hispanic/LatinX/Latine, Native/Indigenous students in its STEM programs, such as Summer Engineering Camp. Some of those efforts include outreach, mentorship, and scholarships. However, all STEM Center programs are open to all students in compliance with Federal and State law, as well as University policy.


The camp is FREE.

Time and Dates

The dates and time for 2024 camp is July 15 to July 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, Monday through Friday each week. In 2024, the camp is planned for in-person.

Application Details

The two parts of the application process is coming soon. Kindly apply by April 30, 2024 for your application to be considered. Please note acceptance notifications will be sent in June.

Application Requirements

  • Submit a complete application, including the online application form with school transcripts and teacher recommendation.
  • Currently enrolled in the 5th, 6th or 7th grade.
  • Have at least a B average in science and math classes.
  • Must attend both weeks of camp.
  • Priority will be given to students from under-resourced schools (e.g., low income, first generation college, underrepresented in STEM backgrounds).
  • Priority will be given to active MESA, Mission Science and Viterbi STEM School students and students at schools affiliated with the K-12 STEM Center.

2024 Camp Information

July 15 to July 26, 2024

Application Deadline:
April 30, 2024 

Part 1: Student Application

Part 2: Teacher Recommendation

: Middle School Students that are applying for Summer Engineering Camp & Project Payload are automatically considered for Energy of STEM as their second backup option.

  • Student creating a structural activity
  • Student showing her finalized windmill project

  • Student working on an electronics project.
  • Student using computer aided design (CAD) software

  • Student doing some final touches to a cardstock roller coaster.

  • Student testing their cardstock roller coaster with a marble.

  • Student building on their initial idea

  • Northrop Grumman engineering helping students program Arduino using a CubeSat.
  • Students testing the stability of their spaghetti tower challenge

  • students reviewing rules of their mini-racer activity
  •  Students showing their parachute design

  • Students creating their Mars settlement

  • Students testing their bridge.

  • Students on finalizing their design for an egg-drop challenge.
  • Students on finalizing their cardstock rocket design.
  • Camp participants, camp counselors, and staff in front of Tommy Trojan.

  • Students exploring the concept of pressure by inflating a balloon
  • Students showing their project

  • Students showcasing their car design
  • Students launching and testing their water bottle rocket
  • Students showcasing their egg-transporter design

  • Dr. Bernard Harris, ExxonMobil volunteers, and camp staff testing a group’s Mars Lander that they made from simple materials.

The Summer Engineering Camp has been generously sponsored and supported by Northrop Grumman since 2017.

Published on January 11th, 2017

Last updated on January 25th, 2024