Through the Samueli School of Engineering, FABcamp students will:

• be exposed to computer aided design, rapid prototyping and fabrication technologies
• learn how complex systems work
• apply the math and science they are learning in school to real physical systems
• interact and engage with University faculty, professional engineers and college students
from a variety of Engineering disciplines
• explore career pathways in Engineering fields

Projects will emphasize Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) concepts and be correlated with Common Core Standards and the Framework for Next Generation Science Standards. Activities will emphasize ‘21 Century Skills’ such as critical thinking, communication and problem solving.

Age Range & Expectations

FABcamp is intended for students who will be entering 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th grade in the fall of 2020. The average age range of our participants is between 11 and 14. All campers will be expected to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Ability to listen and follow instructions
  • Willing to work in teams of 2 or more and be outside of your comfort zone
  • Open to sharing your own ideas and respecting those of your peers
  • Desire to think outside the box to identify solutions and solve problems
  • Be prepared to F.A.I.L: “First Attempt In Learning”. Failure is OK in this camp. It is NOT OK to give up.

Camp Descriptions:

Students are no longer required to complete lower level camps before moving to the higher level ones (i.e. completing 1.0 before going to 2.0 or completing 2.0 before going to 3.0). Instead, we have indicated what the recommended skill set your student should have in order to be adequately prepared for each level. We encourage they begin with FABcamp 1.0 and then progress to the higher levels. However, you may register your student directly into 2.0 or 3.0 if you feel she/he meets the recommended criteria. Please make an honest assessment, keeping in mind that refunds will not be given within 14 days of the first day of camp.

FABcamp 1.0
Each day of this intro camp will focus on a different engineering discipline that is offered as a major in the School of Engineering. Students will also work in teams on discipline specific engineering design challenges. Finally, students will explore computer-aided design (CAD) software and learn about rapid prototyping and fabrication technologies.
Recommendations for students to enroll in this camp:

  • No prior engineering knowledge is necessary
  • Willing to learn about engineering disciplines through hands-on projects
  • No experience with computer-aided design (CAD) is necessary
  • Comfortable working on a computer to learn computer-aided design (CAD); students will be encouraged to create a free educational account with Onshape prior to camp
  • Comfortable using small hand tools such as screwdrivers, scissors, etc.

FABcamp 2.0
This camp builds on the content introduced in FABcamp 1.0. Students will focus on a specific project that incorporates computer-aided design (CAD), rapid prototyping and fabrication technologies such as 3D printing and laser cutting. Additionally, students will learn engage in some basic physical computing, which combines building simple circuits and using a microcontroller like Raspberry Pi or Arduino to control the circuits.
Recommendations for students to enroll in this camp:

  • Basic knowledge of the web-based software Onshape or similar CAD platform; students are encouraged to create their own free educational Onshape account prior to camp
  • Some understanding of fabrication technologies such as 3D printing and laser cutting
  • Open to learning with the Raspberry Pi microcomputer, including wiring and coding simple circuits
  • Prior experience with coding, either block or text, is helpful but not necessary
  • Willing to learn basic soldering skills for creating circuits on printed circuit boards (PCB)
  • Comfortable using small hand tools such as screwdrivers, scissors, etc.

FABcamp 3.0
FABcamp 3.0 builds on the content from 1.0 and 2.0, where participants will put their newly gained fabrication and coding skills to the test in an open-ended challenge. Students will dive deeper into the power of the Raspberry Pi by learning how to wire and utilize a variety of hardware, including Sense Hat, Explorer Hat, motor control, light/motion/sound sensors, etc. They will team up to design and build an original idea using 3D printing, laser cutting, and Raspberry Pi systems and will culminate in a showcase at the end of the week. This summer, for the first time, FABcampers will be teamed with our sister APPcamp program on a design challenge in teams of 3-4, combining their respective software and hardware skills.
Recommendations for students to enroll in this camp:

  • Experience designing with Onshape or similar CAD software is necessary; Onshape is the platform used in this camp
  • Some fabrication and prototyping with 3D printing and/or laser cutting is helpful
  • Prior experience with the Raspberry Pi, including knowledge about using the GPIO pins and coding platforms Scratch and Python is encouraged
  • Good understanding about how to build circuits on breadboards
  • Ability to solder and comfortable using small hand tools
  • Comfortable with ambiguity, meaning that the final project is open-ended and completely up to the teams to create; scripted projects will not be provided

When: Summer 2020

FABcamp 1.0: June 22-26, July 6-10
FABcamp 2.0: July 27-31
FABcamp 3.0: Aug 3-7


FABcamp will be held in state-of-the-art laboratories at the University of California, Irvine and run from 9:00am to 4:00pm. Only lunch will be provided. Space is limited to 30 students per session.


Each one-week session is $700 and includes all materials, lunch, and snacks. Current UCI faculty and staff ware eligible for a $75.00 discount. A limited number of full and partial scholarships will be available to families with significant financial need. Please visit the scholarship page for additional details.

REGISTRATION will open soon! To enroll, please proceed to the REGISTRATION page.

What parents had to say about FABcamp

“I am very grateful for the opportunity that my son was given to attend FABcamp. He was so excited and enthusiastic every day he went to camp. He was very sad when it ended but thankful. He came home every day and told us all about his day and the interesting things that he did. This has given him a new view of the different fields of engineering.”

“Please have the camp next summer for returning participants… My son loved every day of it, it was fun, interesting, educational and the counselors were amazing!!”

“Longer…camp were my son’s wishes.”

“My son had a fabulous time and came home every day eager to tell us what he did. He especially loved the lab tours and also eating in the dining hall. He is really looking forward to next year!”

“My daughter had a great time and learned a lot. I appreciate how nice the staff was and that they made it very enjoyable.”

What participants had to say about FABcamp

“At FABcamp I learned how to develop solutions to problems and to work with other people.”

“I learned a lot at FABcamp. I learned about the different types of engineers and what they do every day. “

“The best part of my FABcamp experience was doing the group competitions near the end of the day. I loved having to work with different people to accomplish the goal each day.”

“There were a lot of fun things here at FABcamp but I think the best was designing, building and riding the hovercraft.”