Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Does BlueStamp have any new policies in place for refunds due to COVID-19?
BlueStamp COVID-19 policies:
- At this time we have no plans to cancel the in-person program.
- Typically $1,000 of tuition is non-refundable in order to secure a spot with BlueStamp. Because of COVID-19, we have added extra measure of financial protection for our families. All tuition payments are fully refundable through May 1 (including the non-refundable portion) for families who need to cancel their enrollment due to COVID-19 concerns. This will allow families to secure their BSE spot without worry of losing their deposit due to the uncertainty of the virus. Depending on how the situation unfolds, we may extend this date and you will be notified in writing.
Q. Do I need prior engineering experience to apply? Are there any prerequisite science or technology classes?
No! BlueStamp Engineering does not require prior engineering experience or prerequisite science classes. Most students who come to BSE have no previous experience. Since projects are built individually, the difficulty level can be personalized from student to student and scaled up as students progress. An interview and reference check helps us determine whether students are a good fit for our program. We are most interested in students who’s past experience showcases high character, strong work ethic and perseverance.
Q. What age or grade level does BSE consider?
BSE is open to all current (freshman through senior) or incoming (current eighth graders) high school students. Past being in or about to enter high school, BSE does not consider age when making admissions decisions. However, admissions standards are the same across the board. Typically, there is an even distribution of age at BSE.
Q. I do not know what I want to make or what I want my project to focus on. Should I still apply to BlueStamp Engineering?
Absolutely! You will work with your lead instructor before the program begins to pick a project you are passionate about. Your projects are ready on day 1 and you will start building within the first hour! BSE offers a project book with over 100+ curated projects to choose from broken down by difficulty and type (i.e. robotics, coding, hardware, electronics, mechanical, 3d printing, internet of things, etc.). If none of those 100 projects catch your eye, then you are free to propose your own “student defined project” (SDP). Our goal is simply for you to build something you love!
Q. I am stuck between BlueStamp Engineering and another summer program, how do I decide?
While it is certainly a tricky choice, BSE’s is unique in that is a focused solely to be hands on, project building. We don’t have homework or tests, and there is no textbook. We do have in class discussions where we gives students a starter guide to specific engineering tasks they will face (i.e. how to build a circuit, coding, etc.) but we are not here to lecture! BSE provides you with an independent, self-driven work environment where you get to build, create, and keep a project you are passionate about. Typically BSE style projects offer the greatest challenge and have no predetermined stopping point. We encourage our students to continue building, modifying, and improving their project to their liking all the way until the last day.
Q. I have completed BlueStamp Engineering, got to complete two awesome projects and am headed off to do great things. What now?
That’s fantastic! Once you’ve attended BSE, you are always part of our family. Let us put you in contact with the guest speakers so you can inquire about internships/advice, write letters of recommendation for colleges, or keep us updated with your awesome accomplishments!
Q. When are applications due? Is there a deadline?
BlueStamp accepts applications under rolling admissions until all seats are filled. Please note that applicants are interviewed prior to receiving an admission decision. Since applicants are interviewed as their applications are received, we recommend that students apply as early as possible.
Q. Is BlueStamp Engineering a residential program
Unfortunately, BlueStamp Engineering does not offer housing. Students select to attend either the morning session (8:30am -1:00pm) or afternoon session (12:30pm – 5:00pm). Past students who didn’t live near a BlueStamp location have stayed with relatives, or rented a dorm or an apartment for the summer.
Q. I cannot attend the whole 6-week program. What options do I have?
No Problem! You have a few options. With prior approval, you can attend a portion of the program (i.e. 2-5 weeks) or do full days to make up any missed time (staying for both am and pm section). For shorter programs, tuition is typically prorated. Please note on your application if you would like to do a modified schedule and we will work with you to make it happen.
Q. How much does BlueStamp Engineering cost?
Tuition amounts vary by location. To see the rates for each program check out the pages for Palo Alto, San Francisco, or New York City. Tuition is all inclusive and pays for all student project, parts, tools, equipment, space, and instruction. All projects students make are theirs to keep forever. Click on each location to find out more. BlueStamp Engineering offers financial aid to those who need it. Check out the simple(!) financial aid app here.
Q. Are there employment opportunities with BSE while I’m in high school or later?
Yes! We have a paid Jr. TA position that is an excellent transition from student to staff. The position is filled by a former BSE student while still in high school. Upon entering college, BSE will invite previous students to apply to be full instructors.
Q. Can I go through BSE more than once?
Yes, if accepted. Second year students build even more challenging projects in their second year. They also have the option of forming a group and focusing their project on competitions and showcases.
Q. Who teaches the program and what is the ratio?
Each BSE section is led by an electrical engineer, computer engineer, mechanical engineer, and Junior Instructor (previous BSE student). The student to staff ratio is roughly 3:1.