More than 40 high school students participating in the Lyles College of Engineering’s Summer Engineering Experience Camp traveled to the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View on June 30.

The five-day camp focused on high-speed rail and included hands-on projects combined with expert lectures. One of the highlights of the week was the NASA trip when students toured the center the learned how engineering disciplines are applied through aerodynamics and space exploration.

“We saw all of the different simulations of all the previous projects that they’ve completed at NASA,” said Trevor Amarante, a Fowler High School sophomore. “It was especially cool to see the one they used for the moon landing.”

Campers also learned about a high-speed, low-cost, elevated Personal Rapid Transportation system called skyTran. The futuristic looking system uses magnetic levitation, rather than wheels. Karol Joseph “Bo” Bobko talked to students about his three adventures into space. Bobko is an aerospace engineer, retired U.S. Air Force officer and former astronaut.

“It was really interesting because he had gone in the simulators and described how it feels to actually be in space,” Amarante said. “While in the simulators, all of the motions and the screens show what you would be seeing if you were really out there. Bobko said it was pretty much the same as being in space.”

An up-close look at a Black Hawk helicopter was another feature of the tour.

“The Black Hawk was a lot bigger than I thought it would be,” Amarante said.

Students continued the last day of their camp with academic lectures from Lyles College faculty Dr. The Nguyen on “dynamic modeling and design” and Dr. Defy Law with aerodynamics – all pertaining to high-speed rail. The afternoon concluded with a car and track design competition led by Walter Mizuno, professor of mechanical engineering at Fresno State.

“This is one of the best camps that I’ve been to,” Amarante said. “I think it’s really helped me decide on what career I want to go into and how I can go about doing that and, as of right now, I’m very interested in mechanical and electrical engineering.”

For more information, contact Rebecca Wass at 530.208.7445 or


Ellery Alkoto, Edison High School
Trevor Amarante, Fowler High
Hasan Amjad, Central High
Jared Badertscher, University High
Rajnee Bains, University High
Katherine Bodine, University High
Justin Byers, Edison High
Justin Cuevas, Clovis West High
Victoria Escandon, Central West High
Caleb Evans, Clovis High
Flavio Florez III, Lemoore High
Joshua Friesen, University High
Matthew ilagan , University High
Gabriel Jorquera, University High
Kyle Khus-Linao, Clovis East High
Zoe Lark, Central West High
Aden Lee, Central East High
McKenna Lewis, Clovis High
Jorge Lopez, Hoover High
David Macias, University High
Phillip Magnuson, University High
Tim Marquez, University High
Liane Matsunaga, Clovis High
Alexis Monreal, Central High
Ben Mosemann, Fresno Home School
Jonah Pascual, Harmony School of Advancement (Houston)
Dominic Patino, Frontier High (Bakersfield)
Lillian Perez, Sanger High
Diego Pineda-Fernandez, Edison High
Anthony Ramirez, Bullard High
John Rogers, Logos Christian Conservatory Home School (Sanger)
Theodore “Sparky” Shore, North Hollywood High
Brenden Simpkins, Lemoore Middle College High
Ashlynne Smith, John H. Pitman High (Turlock)
Jershon Standing, Clovis West High
Alejandro Trujillo, Bullard High
Gabriel Trujillo, Bullard High
Lovepreet Uppal, Bullard High
John Vang, University High
Ricky Yang, South Iredell High (Statesville, North Carolina)
Felicia Zhornitsky, University High

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