EnQuest

EnQuest is an engineering camp for high school girls. Camp-goers live on campus for a week, explore engineering careers, build skills, learn scientific theory and apply knowledge to a real-world project. Campers meet professional women engineers and tour local companies looking for future engineers. For information about next year’s program, please contact Christine Beimborn.

Take a look at the slideshow below to view the journey this year’s campers embarked on.

  • Welcome to EnQuest, where high school girls take on real-world engineering projects.
  • The camp is open exclusively to girls who have completed 9th, 10th or 11th grade. Why? During these years many girls make crucial decisions about their futures.
  • EnQuest is a week-long, hands-on engineering camp, in which high school girls explore careers in engineering. It is held at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in late July/early August.
  • The National Science Foundation provided UWM with initial funding for EnQuest. Now approaching its 7th successful year, it is a project of the dean’s office in the UWM College of Engineering & Applied Science and made possible through generous sponsors and community partners.
  • EnQuest campers learn first-hand about opportunities in the field of engineering. They also learn engineering skills.
  • The heart of the week is a final project. Over the week, the girls collaborate to carry out a real-world sustainable technology project.
  • This year, the teams designed and created easily replicable solar-powered lamps for 34 Guatemalan households living off the grid. The UWM chapter of Engineers Without Borders will deliver the lamps in January.
  • To help them through the year’s project, the girls visit engineering offices and labs in the Milwaukee area. At each location, working engineers give the campers a view of the diverse roles played by engineers.
  • In 2016, campers visited UWM’s Innovation Campus, where they learned about UWM’s role in biomedical engineering research.
  • During another field trip to Eaton Corporation, they toured labs and ate lunch with professional engineers and scientists.
  • The group also visited Johnson Controls, where the company’s diverse women engineers and scientist shared encouragement, inspiration and their stories.
  • Campers stay busy, and have a lot of fun. Structured evening and daytime activities combine recreation with exploration. Discovery World is always a popular field trip for EnQuest campers.
  • One evening each year, the girls share dinner with EnQuest alumni who are now college engineering students and student members of the Society of Women Engineers. Campers hear about the paths these young women followed and the challenges they face.
  • Campers kick back with the traditional evening canoe trip down the Milwaukee River.
  • EnQuest is led by led by Chris Beimborn, STEM Outreach Specialist, and made possible with the help of many faculty members and engineering students.
  • Camp counselors are all UWM women engineering students.
  • Campers lodge in the UWM residence halls for the week, with female engineering supervisors. They get to experience life on a college campus.
  • Remember that group project—engineering lamps for Guatemalan families living off the grid? The week ends with the teams presenting their final projects to their families and the many faculty, staff and students who have mentored the girls through the week.
  • The confidence they have gained during the week is on full display.
  • College of Engineering & Applied Science Dean Brett Peters notes that girls who successfully complete EnQuest are prepared to succeed in college as engineering students.
  • Girls learn about EnQuest from parents, high school counselors, and others. “My counselor said there were lots of good engineering positions for women who enjoy math and science,” says camper Madeline Moran. “But I never knew what engineering was. This week, I learned, and I learned what type of engineering I like best."
  • Campers form supportive friendships during the week with like-minded girls.
  • Friendships among peers who share goals and challenges can be a source of encouragement that keeps girls motivated toward an engineering career.
  • For more information, visit enquest.uwm.edu.