South Dakota Mines Summer Camp Science Of Swords

Science of Swords - Metallurgical Engineering


Science of Swords – An Elite Bladesmithing Experience is an immersive, four-day workshop for high school students to conduct bladesmithing and experience the Science of Swords!

Students will work directly with master blacksmith Mr. Jack Parks (Fire Steel Forge) to create a chef’s knife using traditional forging and heat-treating techniques. In addition to daily hands-on forging and blacksmithing activities, students will also explore the science and engineering principles behind blade-making under the guidance of Metallurgical Engineering Department Head Dr. Michael West. This component will include investigation of the scientific literature (ASM Handbooks, Materials Science and Engineering – An Introduction by Callister & Rethwisch) and laboratory testing. This is an elite workshop limited to 10 students.

Scientific/engineering principles will include:

  • Structure of metals
  • Principles of metalworking and forging
  • Processing and hardening of blades by heat treatment
  • Characterization of metals through advanced microscopy
  • Blade testing and performance


All prospective campers must complete the following items before their summer camp application will be complete

  1. Submit the online registration.
  2. Complete student statement
  3. Submit waivers

Please note that this camp requires acceptance through a faculty review process. The review will take place in April and students will be notified of their admission decision on April 17, 2023. If accepted, payment will be required at this time and a payment link will be included in the notification email.


This is a free camp – For the benefit of other students that may be on the waitlist, please notify Brittani Webb at or 605-394-6144 of camper cancellation.

South Dakota Mines Summer Camp Participants  

THIS CAMP IS FULL - FREE with $100 refundable deposit
2023-2024 Grades: 9th-12th
June 24 - June 28, 2024

  • Day Camp 9 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Lunch is provided
  • Registration 8:45 AM Monday June 24th

For more information

Contact Admissions
(605) 394-2414

Brought to you by —

Mike West METFaculty from the Department of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering which offers both undergraduate and graduate studies. (Learn more about what material scientists and metallurgical engineers do.)

This camp is directed by department head Dr. Mike West, who can find the magic in any material. Students enjoy a fun combination of indoors and outdoors activities and lots of hands-on learning.

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