Automation, Robotics and Coding | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Automation, Robotics and Coding

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

students working on robotics


Apply now for summer 2020!

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?

  • Students entering 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade in September 2020
  • 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 and apply for a student visa.  For more information check out the FAQ below. 


Program Details

Program Sessions

Choose one of the following sessions when you apply *

  • Session 1: June 22, 2020 - July 3rd, 2020 
  • Session 2: July 13, 2020 - July 24, 2020  
  • Session 3: August 3rd, 2020 - August 14, 2020

*Orientation for all sessions will be the Sunday before beginning at 4pm.

Final Application Deadline: April 13th, 2020

students working on a robot

Program Costs

  • Tuition: $2,000 + $100 Program Fee (special events and activities) per two-week session
  • Housing is available at an additional cost of $558 for 2 weeks (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.)
  • Meal plan is available at additional cost of $340 (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 helpful blog below:

Summer 2020 Application


The University is responding swiftly to the news of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in order to ensure the safety of our community. 

We have every reason to assume at present that summer programs will continue as planned. At the same time, we are working to ensure coordinated planning in the event we are directed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state, and/or city officials to curb our in-person offerings. Additionally, there may be travel restrictions placed on accepted students that could impact participation. NYU’s senior leadership response team continues to monitor the situation and provide guidance to schools and operational departments here. Program-specific information will be communicated directly to students and on the NYU High School Programs site.

We thank you for your questions and patience at this time.


Our general policy is that if a student cancels their housing before May 1, there is a $125 fee, and after May 1, a $500 fee. While we are not currently updating our cancellation policies given the fluidity of the impact of the coronavirus on our summer operations, we will endeavor to be fair and reasonable with the fees we impose and are certainly amenable to providing dispensation in those situations where the individual student or program is making adjustments due to circumstances beyond their reasonable control.