Pre-College Programs to enrich participants’ summer experience

Building construction has been added to the abounding schedule of pre-college initiatives offered at Pennsylvania College of Technology, hands-on summer activities that mirror the nationally renowned opportunities afforded postsecondary students.

“Our Pre-College Programs offers living and learning experiences in which students have opportunities to explore unique academic interests in a state-of-the-art environment,” said Deborah Wescott, manager of conference and guest relations. “It’s a chance to work and make connections with industry leaders, meet and mingle with your peers, and establish a path that could lead to all sorts of future possibilities.”

The sign up deadline is May 31 for the institution’s 12 residential programs and its one day camp.

Costs vary per program and include on-campus housing and meals. The 2019 overnight camps are:

Architecture odyssey

Participants will exercise their curiosity and creativity as they learn about the built environment and develop an appreciation for — and the skills necessary to produce — a sustainable future. Activities include design studio, workshops, seminars, field trips to building sites and visits with local architects. Held from June 16 to 20 for students entering grades ninth to 12.

Autism Spectrum postsecondary

interest experience

Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their parents will obtain valuable information about higher education and career exploration. Held from June 17 to 18 for students entering 10th to 12th grade.

Automotive restoration

Students will discover what it takes to return vintage cars and trucks to their former glory while they immerse themselves in the world of automotive restoration. Workshops include sheet-metal forming, upholstery, pinstriping and paint simulation. Also included is a field trip to the Eagles Mere Auto Museum, where more than 75 cars from the 1950s and ’60s are on display. Held June 16 to 19 for students entering 10th to 12th grade.


High-schoolers can learn about composite and sheet-metal materials used in the fabrication and repair of many aircraft structures, then try their hand at common repairs tackled by professional aviation mechanics. They also will perform preoperational inspections, learn safety essentials of a gas turbine engine via the college’s Boeing 727 and test their aviation skills on a flight simulator. The program includes a trip to the Eagles Mere Air Museum to check out its impressive collection from the golden age of flying. Held June 16 to 19 for students entering grades 10 to 12.

Building construction

This program — the newest among Penn College’s summer offerings — will introduce young women and men to the construction industry through a host of hands-on experiences alongside faculty from the Building Construction Technology program. From technique to hands-on learning, students will learn everything they need to build their own timber-framed pavilions. They’ll also take a field trip to a sawmill and harvest mountain stone. Held from June 16 to 20 for students entering grades nine to 12.


This engaging two-day program highlights the various ways engineers and engineering influence daily life, from building bridges and designing skateboards to manufacturing high-tech equipment and building robots. Through hands-on workshops in the college’s state-of-the-art labs and classrooms, students will explore such engineering concepts and careers as robotics and electronics, plastics and polymer engineering, machining, and welding. Held from June 19 to 20 for students entering grades 10 to 12.

Future restaurateurs

Registrants will join chefs from the college’s hospitality department for an introduction to baking and pastry arts, culinary arts, and hospitality management. Among the experiences: field trips and hands-on workshops centered on developing kitchen and culinary/baking skills, menu planning, and an etiquette workshop. At the conclusion of the program, parents are invited to a European-themed dinner to taste the delicious foods their children have created using skills learned during the week. Held from June 16 to 20 for students entering grades nine to 12.

Graphic design summer studio

High school students interested in a career in graphic design will have an opportunity to work with faculty and students in the development of real-world visual design solutions. Workshops will take place in cutting-edge labs and studios with industry-standard hardware and software. The workshop culminates in an exhibition for parents and families. Held from June 16 to 19 for students entering grades 10 to 12.

Grow and design horticulture

Through workshops at the college’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center, students will delve into the world of this “green” career that combines art and science — learning about such topics as greenhouse techniques, plant identification and production, floral design and entomology. Held from June 16 to 19 for students entering grades 10 to 12.

Health careers

Students will travel a number of potential career paths including dental hygiene, health information technology, medical imaging, nursing, occupational therapy assistant, paramedic technology, physical therapist assistant, physician assistant and surgical technology. They will also tour various departments at UPMC Susquehanna and see health care professionals in the workplace. Held from June 16 to 18 for students entering grades nine to 12.

Information technology

Participants will immerse themselves in hands-on activities with current Penn College students and faculty, sampling a variety of information technology fields including gaming, networking and cybersecurity. Workshops will guide participants in developing their own personal games, learning about hacking and discovering how computers communicate with one another. Held from June 16 to 18 for students entering grades 10 to 12.

SMART girls

Penn College developed Science and Math Applications in Real-World Technologies (SMART) Girls to counter an alarming academic and social trend: Young women tend to shy away from math and sciences as they enter adolescence and their important high school years. SMART Girls provides the opportunity to experience math and science as a foundation for careers in technology. This year’s participants will have a service-oriented opportunity to “MAKE a difference” in Penn College’s makerspace, as well as hone their skills in a variety of other activities. Held from June 16 to 21 for girls entering grades nine to 11.

Offered as a day camp (fee includes all activities and art supplies):

Creative Art

Creative Art students will learn from two experienced art educators during this two-day camp: Andrea McDonough Varner, an instructor at Williamsport Area High School, will guide students as they explore drawing, collage and Akua ink printmaking techniques; Chelsea Cramer, a Cochran Primary School faculty member, will work with them to transform sketches into wearable art (from hats to accessories). Students will craft artwork using nontraditional materials, then celebrate their creations at a photo shoot. Held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 17 to 18 for students entering grades four to seven.

In addition to exploring their wide-open career options, campers entering grades nine to 12 are eligible for up to $2,000 in financial aid should they enroll at Penn College. For more information — including scholarship and registration details — visit www.pct.edu/precollege.