Summer Program for Automation, Robotics, and Coding (SPARC) | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Summer Program for Automation, Robotics, and Coding (SPARC)

A hands-on intro to the basics of robotics, mechatronics, and programming the machines of the future.

students working on robotics


Automation, Robotics, and Coding will be offered in-person for Summer 2022. We will remain flexible in our response to developments related to COVID-19 and plans can of course change. The health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and our visitors is NYU's first priority, and you can read about the University's responses and reopening. If we are unable to conduct this program on campus as planned, changes to program format will be communicated promptly.

The total cost for tuition is $2,100.00 USD for approximately 50 instructional hours (scholarships and financial aid are not available.)

Summer 2022 Applications Coming Soon!


NYU Tandon's Summer Program for Automation Robotics and Coding (SPARC) is a two-week, full-day summer program for introducing rising 9th through 12th high school students to the basics of robotics, mechatronics and programming on the NYU Tandon Downtown Brooklyn campus. SPARC is best suited for academically strong students with an interest, but not necessarily experience in robotics.

SPARC has been designed keeping in mind that learning by doing is the best way to teach newtext on a screen display concepts. Throughout the program, our focus will be on providing extensive hands-on experience to students through a series of activities, tailored especially for challenging young minds and encouraging ‘Out of the Box’ thinking.

Curriculum Overview

After creating and jumpstarting numerous successful STEM programs for students and teachers, NYU Center for K12 STEM Education has used its experience to develop an extensive program in exploration in the field of Mechatronics. The workshops will be conducted by experts in the field who have been teaching extensively and addressing audiences worldwide.

wheeled robots line Students will learn how to use micro-controllers, interface sensors and actuators through the components provided in the robotic kit. Along with practical implementation, they will be given an insight into the history of robotics, and a glimpse of what the future holds for the automation industry and those who are a part of it.

In the first week, SPARC attendees learn about building blocks of robotics through short introductory instructional modules followed by hands-on activities. 

Day 1 - Is devoted to learning about basic electrical components, circuits, and circuit configurations. 

Day 2 - Continues with basic electrical circuits and introduces a microcontroller’s anatomy, features, and programming environment. 

Day 3- Focuses on building skills in microcontroller programing, including learning about key programming constructs, e.g., variables, conditionals, loops, data representations, etc. Moreover, attendees learn and practice how to interface various electrical and electronic components with the microcontroller and how to perform serial and parallel communication. 

Days 4 and 5 -  Are devoted to learning about how to interface various analog and digital sensors and actuators with the microcontroller and how to acquire measurements from sensors and how to command the actuators under program control. Having learned the basic building blocks of robotics, in the second week, attendees begin to assemble their robotic vehicles. Moreover, they endow them with appropriate sensors and actuators, and program them to perform various tasks—all while applying their learning from week one. 

Day 6 - SPARC program, attendees learn about the theory and applications of motor drivers and assemble a “Car Robot” to perform infrared remote control.

 Day 7 - Continues with the car robot for which attendees learn to perform remote control with Bluetooth as well as line tracking and obstacle avoidance, and they complete an assigned robot challenge. 

Day 8-  The attendees build and assemble a “Mobile Manipulator”, i.e., a differential drive robot with a manipulator arm, and program it to operate under infrared control. 

Day 9 -  The mobile manipulator is instrumented and programmed to be commanded through Bluetooth and perform line following and obstacle avoidance tasks. 

Finally, Day 10 is devoted to a mobile manipulator challenge.

Who Can Apply?

  • Rising 9th through 12th grade students 
  • Academically prepared, highly motivated students who are willing to take initiative
  • Applicants with a passion for science, technology, engineering, and math

*International students are welcome to apply but should be aware they are required to submit proof of English language proficiency. For more information, check our Informational Page.  


Program Details

Program Sessions

Choose one of the following sessions when you apply *

  • Session 1: June 21, 2022 - July 1, 2022
  • Session 2: July 11, 2022 - July 22, 2022
  • Session 3: August 1, 2022 - August 12, 2022

*Orientation for all sessions will be the Thursday before at 3pm.

Applications accepted on rolling basis, preferred May 16th deadline. 


students working on a robot

Program Costs

  • Tuition: $2,000 + $100.00 activity fee (special events and activities) per two-week session 
  • Additionally, there is a $25.00 non-refundable application fee for each application.
  • Housing is available at an additional cost of $608.00 for 2 weeks ($304.00 per week)
    • You will need to complete a separate application for housing after you apply to the program. This will be sent to you in an email.
    • Note: A $500 deposit is required to hold your placement in housing.
  • A meal plan is available at an additional cost of $360 (10 meals/week for two weeks) and is required with housing.

Questions? Check our our FAQ below, our Tandon Summer Program Blog or Contact us at or 646.997.3524 


Program Questions

Robotics can be considered a “mashup” of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science concepts that can be used to solve real world problems through automation and technology.

Nope! No past experience is necessary!

Yes! Our talented instructors are working on a curriculum that allows for differentiation of skill level, so that everyone will be participating and learning something new.

No, there is no minimum GPA! 

There is not official due date for applications. However students are accepted on a rolling basis so the sooner you apply the more chance you have of obtaining a spot!

Our programs are overseen by Tandon faculty, and we recruit current engineering and computer science students to serve alongside these experts as teachers and mentors.  Every classroom will have a minimum of one graduate student instructor, and at least one additional instructor will be assigned to each class of (maximum) 24 students.   

For Additional Information:

For additional information including tips and tricks on navigating NYC and more details about on-campus facilities and services, check out our Tandon Summer Programs Informational Page.

Summer 2022 Application Coming Soon!