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Spring 2024 Semester

Access Engineering is currently offering its in person program this semester, teaching on the University of Pennsylvania campus. Email us at acceng@seas.upenn.edu if you have any further questions.

About Us

Access Engineering is a free student run hands-on engineering enrichment program at the University of Pennsylvania for talented Philadelphia high school students. Our team of passionate undergraduate volunteers makes engineering exciting for a diverse group of students in a fast-paced year long weekend program. We provide students a challenging and fun environment to explore what engineering is. Since 2014, Access Engineering has worked with over 250 students to nurture their interest in STEM and develop the Philadelphia Public Schools’ pipeline of future engineers.

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Access by the Numbers

Rahul Gupta and Will Manherz started Access Engineering with a small pilot program in 2014. Since then, we have grown into the largest community service organization in Penn Engineering.


Cost to students

Our program is accessible to students of all backgrounds.


Intent to pursue STEM education

Our program is proven to lead to greater interest and readiness for college STEM.


High schools represented

We serve schools across the School District of Philadelphia.


6 engineering disciplines in 8 weeks

Students explore Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Materials Science Engineering.


Students in 2023 alone.

We are dedicated to expanding the STEM pipeline in Philadelphia.


Penn undergrad volunteers

Dedicated students from a broad engineering background make our program fun and technically rigorous.


Inside Access

In Access Engineering we make engineering fun and exciting to encourage students to pursue a future in engineering. We expose our students to unique experiences that are simply not available in the standard high school curriculum. Students learn directly from young and excited Penn Engineers in several of our world class laboratories. Our fast paced, self contained lessons do not require any previous experience.

Access Engineering has given me the outlet to share my passion for engineering while enhancing my interpersonal and teaching skills. Through my time with Access, I’ve seen the organization serve as a bridge between Penn’s resources and the surrounding community, fostering a judgement-free space where students can explore engineering as a possible career.

– Evan Grove, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering ’26


Computer Science

Throughout six introductory labs, students learn fundamental computer science concepts including arrays, loops, and objects. In the advanced labs, students branch into other programming languages including HTML/CSS and Processing.

Electrical Engineering

Our electrical engineering lab engages students by showing the direct connection between physics and engineering. They use an Arduino micro-controller to combine concepts in programming with circuit design.

Mechanical Engineering

Students learn how to use professional 3D modeling software and rapid prototyping tools like laser cutters and 3D printers. The tangible products of their works show the possibilities of engineering and their own creativity.

I’m really glad to be able to give this opportunity to the Philadelphia public high school students through Access Engineering. I’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative impact we can have sparking their interest in diverse engineering fields. It’s incredibly rewarding to know that we are inspiring the next generation of engineering students.

– Sofia Wissert, Bioengineering ’26

Chemical Engineering

Through one lab this semester, Chemical Engineering designs their own soda/popping boba drink, selecting optimal ingredients for taste and chemical processes, and exploring chemical engineering solutions to food deserts and food safety.


Bioengineering’s lessons combine practical wet lab techniques with innovaiton projects like temperature sensors, precision, interdisciplinary collaboration, and the importance of bioethics in engineering, equipping students with critical thinking skills!

Materials Science and Engineering

Students learn about material properties, synthesizing everything from ferrofluids to milk plastics. Last semester, students also made OLEDs and concrete, testing the tensile strength of their individual concrete composites!