The North Carolina Center for Engineering Technologies provides facilities for applied research in engineering related fields and serves as a conduit to baccalaureate education delivered by the University of North Carolina system schools.

Conceived as a community supported higher education effort in technical and engineering disciplines, this Center was established through a collaboration of business, government and higher education organized as the Future Forward Economic Alliance. The Center may collaborate with other schools in bringing the best programs to the region to meet the employment needs.

Innovation Camps - *Coronavirus Response*

**UPDATE 6/2/2020**

As Appalachian State University continues to monitor the situation with COVID-19 closely, University Administration has made the decision to cancel all in-person camps through the first day of the Fall Semester 2020. Anyone who registered, and paid, for camp will be issued a full refund of your payment.

We look forward to welcoming back our Innovation Camp participants in summer 2021.

If you have any questions, you may reach out to Appalachian State University Camps and Conference Services at (828) 262-3045.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.  


NCCET Innovation Camps 2020


Are you ready for the 2020 Innovation Camps? We are getting ready and we are excited to offer 5 different camps this year. We have made some changes to some of the camps offered in the past, and we are offering a new camp, the Engineering Pioneers Camp. This introductory camp, for rising 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders, is geared to give students a variety of hands-on challenges to keep young minds engaged. Students will imagine, collaborate, explore, and create as they learn STEM skills in camp. Each camp will have a separate application this year. The camps are held at the NC Center for Engineering Technologies, in Hickory, NC.


Future Engineers Camp


This camp teaches students to imagine, collaborate, explore, and create, all while learning basic STEM skills, that will help them in school and life. Campers work in groups and individually to design and create solutions to various problems.The camp is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders.

Coding Camp


The camp will take the students on a journey of creativity and imagination. Teaching basic coding principles used to create web pages, games, and multiple other computer programs. This camp is for rising 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.

Engineering Pioneers **NEW**


Engineering Pioneers Camp is a new camp for younger children. It's mission is to introduce STEM in the formative years of their educational journey. This introductory camp is geared to give students a variety of hands-on challenges to keep young minds engaged. Students will imagine, collaborate, explore, and create as they learn STEM skills in camp. The camp is for rising 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders.

Robotics Camp


This camp brings student imagination and creativity to life, as they learn how to build and program a LEGO® EV3 robot, by utilizing award-winning software.This camp is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders.

Builders Boot Camp


This camp will teach students “the tricks of the trade” in building and construction. Students will work on individual. and team projects; while learning about appropriate tool usage and safety. This camp is for rising 7th, 8th, and 9th graders.

Future Engineer Camps 2017 Summary


Approximately 160 students explored engineering related studies through hands-on programs and activities by attending the Future Engineers’ Camps held this summer at the North Carolina Center for Engineering Technologies (NCCET) in Hickory. The four, week-long day camps were held in collaboration with Appalachian State University and North Carolina State University and were led by teachers from throughout the region.

This summer’s camps attracted students from Alexander, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Rutherford, Watauga, and Wilkes counties in North Carolina. Students ranging from rising 3rd graders to rising 10th graders were selected to participate in the camps and complete activities to gain understanding of various STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering and math.

The program is supported, in part, by a $6,000 gift from the Duke Energy Foundation, a $5,000 gift from USConec, a telecommunications company in Hickory, in addition to other small contributions from local businesses. “Thanks to their generous contributions, we are able to provide scholarships to students who couldn’t otherwise afford the opportunity. They continue to help us make a difference in promoting STEM education for students from public, private, and home schools,” said Gina Houston, Future Engineers Camp Manager.

“In addition to providing access to university degree programs in engineering related disciplines, a goal of the NCCET is to encourage the math and science interests of children. We hope that these camps help students realize that fun and rewarding careers are available to them if they continue to pursue educational opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). I think that the growth and success of these camps shows that we are on the right track and that our region will be able to meet the long-term workforce needs of our business community,” said Michael McNally, Director for N.C. Center for Engineering Technologies.

Students in the 2017 Future Engineers’ Campus engaged in activities related to multiple disciplines in engineering including: chemical engineering, structural engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and mechatronics. The latest Lego EV3 robots are built and programmed during the middle grades and Robotics camps. During the week, students programmed the robots for “Wizard of Oz”, “Emergency Department”, and “Farm to Fork” competitions.

These camps have provided many young men and women with insights into the field of engineering. It is our hope that they begin thinking and preparing early on for the educational requirements to pursue a career in a related field.

The North Carolina Center for Engineering Technologies has been partnering with Appalachian State University, N.C. State University’s College of Engineering and Catawba Valley Community College to offer the week-long day camps since June 2010. 

About the Innovation Camps

Started in 2010, the Innovation Camps (formerly Future Engineers Camps) are a program of the North Carolina Center for Engineering Technologies (NCCET) and Appalachian State University. The camp curriculum is supported by North Carolina State University and is led by teachers from multiple school districts from across the Greater Hickory Metro Area. The primary areas of focus for the camps are to 1) introduce engineering concepts and activities to students in elementary, middle and high school in an effort to encourage future training and educational opportunities in related fields and 2) to provide local teachers with activities and programs that they can incorporate in their classrooms to engage their students in engineering and other STEM related concepts and activities.

For more information on the Innovation Camps, contact Camp Manager Gina Houston at 828-328-6183 or nccetcamp@appstate.edu.

View pictures from previous camps.