Summer Textile Exploration Program (STEP)

2018 Summer Textile Exploration Dates
1st Week: June 17-22
2nd Week: June 24-29
3rd Week: July 8-13
4th Week: July 15-20

Apply Online to STEP – 2018 Application will open January 1, 2018

The College of Textiles Summer Textile Exploration Program consists of four one-week sessions for rising high school seniors. Up to 30-35 students per week are chosen based on their academic success, interest in NC State College of Textiles, and extracurricular activities. Participants will live in one of NC State’s residence halls. This past year there were four different sessions with a total of 127 students in attendance.

During the morning students participate in sessions learning about the five degree programs offered in the College of Textiles, applying to NC State University, Centennial Scholarship, future internship and job opportunities, and visit local textile companies.  Each student has the opportunity to choose their top project interest, and will dedicate their afternoon to a project pertaining to one of the following that has been completed in the past.

  • Apparel Design
    • Students use their creative skills and recycle garments into a newly constructed outfit.
  • Textile Engineering
    • Dr. Bradford has lead an engineering group in the study of fiber composite materials.  Fibers are often hidden in everyday objects that help make our life better.  From fiberglass boats to carbon fiber aircraft, fibers make high performance structures possible.  This project group explores how composites are made and the engineering necessary to harness their amazing properties.
    • Textiles electronics, is a rapidly evolving within the textile industry in markets such as sports & fitness, health and medical, and military textiles. Participants will be introduced to this exciting field through hands-on development of textiles electronics systems through the use of state of the art materials and integration strategies. As a participant you will get experience in both cutting-edge electronic design and garment manufacturing.
  • Business Management
    • Students develop a marketing plan and analysis for an apparel company or brand that does not a part of the current target market. Students will develop a new sub-brand or brand in order to successfully target that market.
  • Textile Design
    • Learn how fabrics are designed and created; go home with fabric that you have designed and developed using a weaving, knitting, or digital printing technology.
  • Polymer Chemistry
    • The field of forensics encompasses a wide array of disciplines, each of which is discussed briefly during the week of STEP.  However, the primary goals of this one-week summer program pertain to chemical analytical techniques to identify unknown fibers, polymers, colorless and colored chemicals.  Students have also taken part in a cellulose project to transform insoluble cellulose to cellulose acetate and determine solubility of your polymer, and other commercial cellulose acetate products.

Every afternoon, students finish their project work and enjoy free-time; including visits to NC State’s University Recreation, SkyZone, shopping and movie night at the Streets of Southpoint, and much more.

 Application materials:
  • Online application
  • Unofficial copy of transcript uploaded to your application

The application is due Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 11:59pm.  The cost of the program is $250.  This covers lodging, transportation, materials, and several meals during the program. Students are encouraged to bring approximately $150 in spending money to cover meals and evening activities not covered by the program fee.

Your unofficial transcript is required to be uploaded as a part of your application, it should be uploaded as one complete document. Please do not take a picture of your transcript

If you have any questions please email

Frequently Asked Questions