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Engineering Research

Outreach Programs

Education and Outreach Programs

Education and Recruitment

Students: Grades 6-12
Contact: Engineering Recruiter, (402) 472-3181,

The College sponsors a number of opportunities for middle and high school students to learn about various fields in engineering and the engineering programs offered at UNL, including:

  • Engineering Week (E-Week) Open House—An opportunity for students of all ages to learn more about the past, present, and future of UNL Engineering.
  • Women Interested in Engineering Day—An annual program introducing high school females to opportunities in engineering. This program allows prospective students to meet with current female engineering students, faculty, staff, and other females interested in engineering.
  • Engineering Red Letter Day—This high school senior visit day focuses on each engineering discipline.
  • Multicultural Red Letter Day— Multicultural Red letter day provides multicultural junior and senior students with an opportunity to see UNL’s academic, student life, involvement, and leadership possibilities.
  • All Majors Red Letter Day—Ten senior visit day programs open to all students.
  • Discover Engineering Days—The College of Engineering started Discover Engineering Day in 2001 as a way to introduce middle school students and their teachers to the various fields in engineering and the engineering programs offered at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The event is hosted by the college's student organizations and is filled with hands-on activities that apply math, science. and creative thinking skills.
  • TEAMS Competition—TEAMS is a program of the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) and is a day-long competition of engineering challenges illustrating how science and math principles, along with creativity and innovation, are applied to the real world of engineering. Ninety locations across the country host more than 14,000 students for the competition.

PKI Information Science & Technology and Engineering Week

Contact: AlmaRamirez-Rodgers, 402.554.3618,

The Peter Kiewit Institute (PKI), the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, the UNL College of Engineering and the UNO College of Information Science & Technology host activities involving current students, prospective students, faculty, and staff.

Jr. High Engineering Exploration Week (EEW)

Students: Grades 8-9

Contact: AlmaRamirez-Rodgers, 402.554.3618,

Jr. High EEW is a one-week day camp comprised of mini-workshops for students entering grades 8 and 9. The camp is held at The Peter Kiewit Institute (PKI), where participating students have the opportunity to explore engineering programs available on the college's Omaha Campus.

Sr. High Engineering Exploration Week (EEW)

Students: Grades 10-12

Contact: AlmaRamirez-Rodgers, 402.554.3618,

Sr. High EEW is a one-week day camp comprised of mini-workshops for students entering grades 10-12. The camp is held at The Peter Kiewit Institute (PKI), where participating students have the opportunity to explore engineering programs available on the college's Omaha Campus.

Strengthening Transitions into Engineering (S.T.E.P.)

Students: Community College
Contact: 402.472.4940,

The STEP program creates a smooth process for transferring from a participating Nebraska community college to UNL. It’s a great way to take engineering courses at an in-state community college prior to enrolling at UNL to complete a bachelor’s degree. The participating community colleges and UNL work together to establish an effective pathway to UNL for the student.

S.T.E.P. Summer Learning Institute

Students: Community College Instructors
Contact: 402.472.4940,

The Summer Learning Institute is a comprehensive learning and development experience for Nebraska community college instructors who teach S.T.E.P. courses. This experience fosters the exchange of ideas, enhances teaching methods and curriculum, and provides the opportunity to network.

Wind for Schools

Students: Grades K-12
Contact: Jerry Hudgins, 402.472.3771,; Joel Jacobs, 402.472.3771,

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Wind Powering America program sponsors the Wind for Schools (WfS) Project to raise awareness in rural America about the benefits of wind energy, while simultaneously developing a wind energy knowledge base in the U.S. to educate future leaders about the importance of renewable energy. The three primary project goals of the Wind for Schools Project are to:

  • Engage rural school teachers and students in wind energy education.
  • Equip college students in wind energy applications and education to provide interested and equipped engineers for the growing U.S. wind industry.
  • Introduce wind energy to rural communities, initiating a discussion of wind energy’s benefits and challenges.


University of Nebraska-Lincoln Resources

Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experiences (UCARE)

Students: Undergraduates
Contact: Dr. Laura Damuth, 402.472.5024,

Funded by the Pepsi Endowment and Program of Excellence funds, UCARE supports opportunities for undergraduates to work alongside faculty members and directly participate in the campus's research or creative activities. Undergraduates may apply for UCARE awards to incorporate a research or creative experience into their undergraduate education. All full-time UNL undergraduates who have completed at least 30 semester hours, or have at least sophomore standing as of the project start date, are eligible. First year students can apply to participate as sophomores. Students are generally expected to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

NEBRASKA College Preparatory Academy (NCPA)

Students: 8th Grade (see web site for specific eligibility requirements)
Contact: Amber Hunter, 402.472-0671,

The NEBRASKA College Preparatory Academy (NCPA) is a program designed to work with first-generation and low-income students and families at specific schools in Grand Island and Omaha, Neb. NCPA is designed to prepare and graduate qualified students with both a high school and college degree.

NCPA Summer Science Camps

Students: 8th Grade (see web site for specific eligibility requirements)
Contact: Amber Hunter, 402.472-0671,

  • NCPA 10th and 11th Grade Camps—At these camps, students indulge in a rich curriculum created by the NEBRASKA EPSCoR team. Students have worked with DNA, water science, food science, physics, and engineering. Possible future topics include robotics and solar energy, plant science, and nano science. In addition, students experience college student life. They live and dine in UNL's residence halls, have a fellow NCPA roommate, participate in extracurricular activities around campus, and connect with NCPA mentors and other UNL student leaders.
  • NCPA Senior Camp—All NCPA students are required to complete a capstone research project on the topic of their choosing during their senior year in high school. This camp is designed to help create a foundation for the capstone project. The goal is for the student to walk away from this camp with a capstone research topic and a basic understanding of research. In addition, seniors spend the last couple of days participating in the Ultimate Husker Weekend, a full campus open house program.

Center for Science, Mathematics, and Computer Education

Students: Grades K-12
Contact: W. James Lewis, 402.472.7343,

The mission of the Center for Science, Mathematics & Computer Education (CSMCE) is to support UNL faculty engaged in educational activities focused on improving the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at both the K-12 and collegiate level. With support from UNL's Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education and Human Sciences, and Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the CSMCE works to build partnerships among leaders in higher education and K-12 education that further the basic mission. CSMCE supports a broad range of activities from outreach programs for K-12 students to professional development opportunities for graduate students, including:

4H Programs

Students: PreK through Grade 12
Contact: Elizabeth Birnstihl, 402.472.2966,

Contact Elizabeth Birnstihl, Associate Dean and Associate Director, State 4-H Administrator, regarding the creation of educational/outreach programs.

Independent Study High School

Students: High School
Contact: Tim Ernst, 402.472.4424;

The Independent Study High School (ISHS) has been delivering high school courses to students around the world since 1929. It was the first university-based program to offer independent study at a distance to high school students and continues to be internationally recognized as a leader in the field of distance education. The Independent Study High School is a true, accredited high school, offering courses, credit, and a high school diploma that is recognized essentially everywhere. It offers 80 different courses to approximately 2,500 students in over 135 countries. Because the Independent Study High School has a global student body, the rigorous curriculum reflects the realization that students come from many different countries, states, ethnic backgrounds, and cultures. Instructional materials emphasize a global approach to content and activities.

Institute for Ethnic Studies

Students: All Levels
Contact: Amelia Montes, 402.472.8291,

The Institute for Ethnic Studies at UNL is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary unit with three programs: African American and African studies, Latino and Latin American Studies, and Native American Studies.

Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools (CYFS)

Students: All Levels
Contact: Susan M. Sheridan, 402.472.6941,

The Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools (CYFS), housed within the College of Education and Human Sciences, is a dynamic interdisciplinary entity with a specific mission, background, goal, and related objectives. The Center serves as a catalyst for cutting edge, interdisciplinary research that achieves its objectives by facilitating the development of interdisciplinary collaborative research teams that can author joint publications and compete for large scale grants; increasing competitiveness by providing support in proposal development, research methodology, and grant administration; and expanding research networks, disseminating research findings, and increasing visibility.


Students: All Levels
Contact: William (Terry) Dugas, 402.472.9333, x-757,

Learning services provided by NET include the following:

  • Educational Services—The mission of Educational Services is to provide a wide range of services to the preK-20 community. Among the services provided are “Ready to Learn’ workshops throughout the state, high speed delivery of data and learning objects to the K-20 community using the digital broadcasting and satellite capabilities of NET, and the creation of learning objects for Nebraska teachers in partnership with nonprofit and educational institutions.
  • Interactive Media—The mission of the Interactive Media unit is to provide educational multimedia support for nonprofit educational institutions, state, and federal agencies. Interactive Media produces web sites, CDs, DVDs, and videos for clients such as the National Guard Bureau, the Nebraska State Patrol, the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center, the Nebraska State Museum, the University of Nebraska Medical College, and PBS.
  • Video Production—NET provides state-of-the-art video production facilities, including studio rental, audio editing and sweetening, video editing and post-production in both standard definition and HD and a fully equipped HD remote truck.

University of Nebraska Extension

Students: Grades PreK-12
Contact: Brook Levey, 402.472.1478,

Offerings: Educator workshops: Project Learning Tree, Project WET, Healthy Water, Healthy People, and others. Nature clubs. Healthy families play outside—network encouraging families to play outside.

University of Nebraska State Museum

Students: Pre K through Grade 12
Contact: Kathy French, 402.472.6647,

The University of Nebraska State Museum (also known as Morrill or Elephant Hall) offers a number of educational programs. Contact the Education Office regarding the creation of special educational exhibits/programs.

Sunday with a Scientist is a series of presentations that highlight the work of museum scientists and those from other institutions, while educating kids and families on a variety of topics related to science and natural history. Presenters share scientific information in a fun and informal way through talks, demonstrations, activities or by conducting their science on site. Sundays with a Scientist takes place from 1:30-4:30 p.m. at Morrill Hall on the third Sunday of each month.

Local Resources

Bright Lights

Students: Grades K-9
Contact: Kathy Hanrath, 402.420.1115,

Bright Lights is a nonprofit organization that takes learning beyond the classroom by providing elementary and middle school youth with unique motivating, hands-on learning opportunities during the summer. About 50% of Bright Lights teachers have a Lincoln Public Schools background. The remaining come from other school districts, universities, or the community. Each has a proven record working with children and a focused curriculum that fits the program. The program provides nine career day camps where students “try on” careers. Five involve STEM-related professions. Approximately 44 STEM-related one-week long, half-day classes are offered during three different weeks.

Strategic Air and Space Museum

Students: Grades 1-12
Contact: Zach Willet, 402.944.3100 x-211,

Strategic Air and Space Museum has one of the top education programs in the country and serves over 25,000 kids every year through hands-on field trips, summer camps, and overnight programs.

  • Overnight at the Museum—Participants take a tour of the Museum, and learn about aviation and the principles of flight. They perform missions together side by side as teammates including hands-on projects in the areas of math and science. Overnight Programs are an exciting way for kids to have fun and learn about aviation, space exploration, or astronomy. Participants tour the exhibit, experience hands-on activities, watch a movie, and maybe even sleep in a C-119 aircraft! Overnights have been built just for Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Girl Scouts; and customized Overnights can be created.
  • Mad Scientist CampLevel 1—Includes hands-on experiments and projects centered on the most exciting facets of engineering, science, technology, math, aviation, and space! For three days, Level 1 Scientists get a good taste of the basic concepts and ideas surrounding what we know about our world today.
  • Mad Scientist CampLevel 2—More in-depth, Level 2 Scientists feed their curiosity for five days and stretch their minds and hands to create, design, and test out ideas through engineering challenges Weekend Flight Camp—Campers experience two nights “checking for light leaks” (sleeping) underneath the SR-71 Blackbird and three action-packed days having a blast and flying side by side with their friends at the Museum. Campers soar in the computer-simulated Flight School.
  • Resident Flight Camp—Campers experience a breathtaking adventure in a high-flying private jet, receive top-notch instruction from an experienced pilot, sleep in a cabin, and go on star-gazing night hikes! This exhilarating camp combines high-flying, exciting, hands-on activities with knowledge and understanding of the world of aviation.
  • Astronaut Academy—Museum campers are challenged to sharpen their analytical skills, problem-solving techniques, teamwork, and knowledge of space and aeronautics through hands-on activities in an inspiring atmosphere! SCUBA diving and underwater missions, survival training on a ropes course, and tours of Nebraska’s largest observatory and the University of Nebraska’s robotics lab are just a few of the exciting events that make up this thrilling week of space exploration!
  • Top Gun Weekends—Participants explore a variety of exciting topics, such as aviation, piloting, forces of flight, and more. Campers get the opportunity to use the computer flight simulators to practice their piloting skills and then put their newfound moves to the test on 360-degree full motion flight simulators.

Lincoln Children’s Museum

Students: Toddler-5th grade
Contact: Darren Macfee, 402.477.4000 x-109,

Offerings: build, dance, play, climb, create, sing, and laugh, you can be whatever and wherever your imagination takes you. School field trips, camps for kids in kindergarten through 5th grade, toddler, and preschool programs.

Lincoln Children’s Zoo

Students: All Ages
Contact: Linda Fisher, 402.475.6741 x-129,

Offerings: Field trips and tours, web resources for animal studies, special programs and events on site, summer classes, weeklong Zoo Camps when LPS is on breaks, volunteer program for young people in Grades 7-12.

Lincoln Public Schools

Students: Grades K-12
Educators: Grades K-12
Contact: Barb Jacobson, 402.436.1634,

For discussions regarding specific subjects:

Science Curriculum: Kirsten Smith, 402.436.1802,
Industrial Technology Curriculum: Eric Knoll, 402.436.1857,

Lower Platte South NRD

Students: PreK-College
Contact: McKenzie Barry, 402.476.2729,

Offerings: Classroom presentations: soil conservation, mammals of Nebraska. Field trips: wetlands. Outdoor classroom grants. Teacher workshops.

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Project Wild

Students: Grades K-12
Contact: Lindsay Rogers, 402.471.5581,

Offerings: Project WILD, Flying WILD, Science and Civics, and Wildlife Education Trunks. The materials are scientifically sound and emphasize hands-on inquiry-based and cooperative learning strategies with demonstrated classroom effectiveness.

Pioneer Park Nature Center

Students: Preschool-Grade 6
Contact: Nancy Furman, 402.441.8709,
Web:, keyword: nature

Selection of hands-on outdoor and outreach experiences designed to enhance the classroom curriculum and support Nebraska science standards. Nature-themed hikes on site.

Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center

Students: Grades K-12
Contact: Deb Hauswald, 402.797.2301,

On-site field trips specializing in tall grass prairie, wetlands, burr oak woodlands. Programs are inquiry-based and facilitated by trained teacher/naturalists and designed with teacher input. Programs meet specific LPS science objectives and 4th grade history objectives.