Engineering Ambassador School Visit

What to expect from an Engineering Ambassador School Visit:

We will send two or more Engineering Ambassadors (EAs) to your school. We cover grades K-12 and tailor the presentation to the grade level. EAs can visit a class or do a larger format presentation with Q&A (and no hands-on activity) for larger audiences or assemblies. They generally present a 10-15 minute engaging TED style talk on an engineering topic (please see list of possible presentations – grade levels are merely guidelines, we may be able to tailor a presentation to your needs).

Presentations are usually followed by a related hands-on activity. Ideally, class sizes of 15-30 students work best for hands-on activities, although we have accommodated as many as 100 (with help from the school). We ask that you provide a computer that is connected to a projector, sound, and internet access. Powerpoint is preferred. We will do the rest.

Time allotment: generally a class period per presentation, but we are flexible. There is no charge for our visits.

In addition to presentations on engineering topics, we offer a presentation called "My College of Engineering Experience," which individual EAs prepare based upon their unique College of Engineering experience.  These presentations give students a glimpse of one engineering student's experience at  the University of Nebraska, College of Engineering.  These are primarily geared for upper middle to high school students interested in college.



Presentation Topics and Descriptions


Aquaponics

In this presentation, students will learn all about aquaponics (the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics) and the engineering behind it. They will discover how this method of growing crops is very beneficial! Finally, they will learn about aquaponics’ future as an agricultural method and how it could be implemented for the benefit of the planet. 

  • Activity:  The activity includes exploring how a bell siphon works.
  • Level: Elementary to Middle school
  • NE Science Standards: 
    SC.K.7.2.A SC.1.6.2.B SC.2.3.1.C SC.3.7.2.C SC.5.8.2.C SC.6.4.1.B SC.7.7.3.B
    SC.K.7.2.B SC.2.3.1.D SC.3.7.2.D SC.5.13.4.E SC.6.9.3.B SC.7.7.3.C
    SC.K.12.3.E SC.2.7.SC.2.C SC.3.7.2.E SC.7.8.4.D
Bridges

For this presentation, students will learn about the basic forces acting on bridges, including compression, tension, torsion, and shear. They will also learn about three main types of bridges: beam, truss, and suspension. The  types of engineers working with bridges and the future of bridges is also discussed. 

  • Activity:  students will design and build their own straw bridges and test them.
  • Level: Upper elementary to high school
  • NE Science Standards: 
    SC.3.1.1.A SC.4.2.1.B SC.5.13.4.E SC.6.4.1.B SC.7.3.1.B SC.8.1.1.B SC.HS.1.1.A SC.HSP.1.1.B
    SC.3.1.1.B. SC.4.4.2.D SC.7.7.3.C SC.8.1.1.C SC.HS.1.1.B SC.HSP.1.1.D
    SC.3.7.2.E SC.4.4.2.E SC.7.7.3.D SC.8.4.3.A SC.HS.5.5.E SC.HSP.16.4.G
    SC.HS. 15.5.D
Buoyancy and Boats

Students are exposed to the physics and history of buoyancy, and how it relates to the flotation of boats. They learn about the evolution of boats over time, why boats float, and different types of boats which exist. 

  • Activity: Students will be challenged to design and build boats out of foil that can hold the most amount of pennies!
  • Level:  Elementary or Middle School
  • NE Science Standards: 
    SC.K.1.1.A SC.1.6.2.B SC.2.3.1.A SC.3.1.1.A SC.4.4.2.D SC.5.13.4.E SC.6.4.1.B SC.7.3.1.B SC.8.1.1.B
    SC.K.1.1.B   SC.2.3.1.B SC.3.1.1.B SC.4.4.2.E SC.7.7.3.C SC.8.1.1.C
      SC.2.3.1.C SC.3.7.2.E SC.7.7.3.D
      SC.2.3.1.D
Clean Water Crisis

Students’ eyes are opened to the availability of clean water in the United States and in other areas of the world, specifically developing countries. Students learn about different methods to solve the clean water crisis and are challenged to think of new ideas. 

  • Activity:  Students will  be challenged to design their own water filters.
  • Level: Upper elementary, middle, or high school
  • NE Science Standards: 
    SC.K.7.2.B SC.2.3.1.A SC.3.7.2.D 4.2.1.B SC.5.3.1.A SC.6.4.1.B SC.7.3.1.B SC.8.1.1.B SC.HS.15.5.D SC.HSP.16.4.G
    SC.K.12.3.E SC.2.3.1.B SC.3.7.2.E SC.4.4.2.D SC.5.3.1.C SC.6.13.5.A SC.7.5.2.D SC.HS.15.5.E
    SC.2.3.1.C SC.4.4.2.E SC.5.13.4.C SC.7.7.3.C SC.HS.13.3.D
    SC.2.3.1.D SC.5.13.4.D SC.7.7.3.D
    SC.5.13.4.E SC.7.8.4.E
    SC.7.14.6.C
Earthquakes and Structures

Students explore the various types of earthquake waves and learn about the physics behind earthquakes. 

  • Activity:  Students will discover how to design a structure which can stand up to an earthquake using toothpicks and marshmallows.
  • Level: Upper Elementary, Middle School or High School
  • NE Science Standards: 
    SC.2.3.1.A SC.3.1.1.A SC.4.4.2.C SC.5.13.4.E SC.6.4.1.B SC.7.3.1.B SC.8.1.1.B SC.HS.1.1.A-C SC.HSP.1.1.B
    SC.2.3.1.B SC.3.1.1.B SC.4.4.2.D SC.7.7.3.C SC.8.1.1.C SC.HS.13.3.C SC.HSP.1.1.D
    SC.2.3.1.C SC.3.7.2.E SC.4.4.2.E SC.7.7.3.D SC.8.4.3.A SC.HS.5.5.E
    SC.2.3.1.D SC.4.4.2.F SC.7.14.6.A SC.HS.13.3.A
    SC.2.13.3.A SC.4.13.4.D SC.7.14.6.C SC.HS.15.5.E
Flight

For this presentation, students will understand the four forces involved with flight and how engineers work to harness them, or limit them, in order to have planes fly! Will we discuss the Bernoulli effect as well as the different types of engineering that go into making an airplane.

  • Activity: Students will have the opportunity to engineer their own flying craft in the form of a paper airplane! We will talk about how the forces of flight act on their design and how to improve the force of thrust to improve their planes.
  • Level: Elementary, Middle School, or High School
  • NE Science Standards: 
    SC.K.1.1.A SC.2.3.1.A SC.3.1.1.A SC.4.4.2.A SC.5.13.4.E SC.6.4.1.A SC.7.3.1.B SC.8.1.1.B SC.HS.1.1.A-D SC.HSP.1.1.B
    SC.K.1.1.B SC.2.3.1.B SC.3.1.1.B SC.4.4.2.B SC.6.4.1.B SC.7.7.3.C SC.8.1.1.C SC.HS.5.5.E SC.HSP.1.1.B
    SC.K.12.3.E SC.2.3.1.C SC.3.7.2.E SC.4.4.2.C SC.6.4.1.D SC.7.7.3.D SC.8.1.1.E SC.HS.15.5.E SC.HSP.1.1.C
    SC.2.3.1.D SC.4.4.2.D SC.8.1.1.F SC.HSP.1.1.D
    SC.4.4.2.E SC.8.4.3.A SC.HSP.16.4.G
    SC.4.4.2.F SC.8.4.3.B
Genetic Engineering

This presentation is all about genetic engineering and how chemistry is used to make new food products!  It discusses DNA, gene expression, and genetic engineering applications and the engineers that make it possible.

  • Activity: Experiment to extract DNA from wheat germ
  • Level: Middle and high school
  • NE Science Standards:

SC.7.3.1.B

SC.8.9.4.A

SC.HS.5.5.E

SC.HSP.16.4.G

SC.7.5.2.D

SC.8.9.4.B

SC.HS.3.3.D

SC.HSP.4.2.D

SC.7.7.3.D

SC.8.10.5.C

SC.HS.6.1.A

SC.7.8.4.E

SC.HS.9.4.A

SC.HS.15.5.E

Geodesic Domes

“Into the Thunderdome” is a fun and interactive way to learn and create domes, but beware if its not in equilibrium it might collapse. Students will learn about the history of domes, the physics behind their creation and how engineers play a crucial role in dome creation.

  • Activity:  Students will have the opportunity to create and test their own domes.
  • Level:  Upper elementary to middle school
  • NE Science Standards:

SC.3.1.1.A

4.2.1.B

SC.5.13.4.E

SC.6.4.1.B

SC.7.3.1.B

SC.8.1.1.B

SC.3.1.1.B

SC.4.4.2.D

SC.7.7.3.C

SC.8.1.1.C

SC.3.7.2.E

SC.4.4.2.E

SC.7.7.3.D

SC.8.4.3.A

Hydropower

Students discover hydropower as an alternative source of energy, learning how energy is harnessed from water and how it can be used. Students think creatively about how to design an efficient hydropower system.

  • Activity:  students will have the opportunity to see mechanical energy changed to electrical by creating wind turbines (somewhat related)
  • Level: High School
  • NE Science Standards: 
    SC.7.3.1.B SC.8.1.1 SC.HS.1.1.A-E SC.HSP.1.1.B SC.HSP4.3.D
    SC.7.7.3.C SC.8.2.2.C SC.HS.4.4.C SC.HSP.1.1.B SC.HSP.16.4.C
    SC.7.7.3.D SC.8.4.3.B SC.HS.5.5.E SC.HSP.1.1.C SC.HSP16.4.D
    SC.7.8.4.E   SC.HS.15.5.D SC.HSP.1.1.D SC.HSP.16.4.G
    SC.7.13.5.C SC.HS.15.5.E SC.HSP.4.3.B
    SC.HSP4.3.C
My College of Engineering Experience

These short presentations are created by individual Engineering Ambassadors based upon their unique College of Engineering experience.  These presentations give a glimpse of one engineering student's experience at  the University of Nebraska, College of Engineering.  They generally cover why the ambassador chose engineering, their schedule, activities, and life as an engineering college student.  This is a good presentation for students particularly interested in engineering and/or have questions about college and college life.

  • Level: Middle to High School
Nanobots

During this presentation, students will learn about robots on the nanoscopic scale and their applications in the modern world.

Activity: an activity is currently being developed for this topic

Level: Middle, or High School

Prosthetics

Students are exposed to prosthetic limbs, the science behind their movement, and the materials which compose them. Students also learn about applications of prosthetics and the engineering that goes into using them. 

  • Activity:  Students will design and create their own prosthetic leg or hand.
  • Level: Upper Elementary or Middle School 
  • NE Science Standards: 
    SC.3.1.1.A SC.4.4.2.E SC.5.13.4.E SC.6.4.1.B SC.7.3.1.B SC.8.1.1.B SC.HS.1.1.A SC.HSP.17.1.B
    SC.3.1.1.B. SC.4.6.3.B SC.6.6.2.A SC.7.7.3.C SC.8.1.1.C SC.HS.1.1.B SC.HSP.6.4.F
    SC.3.7.2.E SC.4.6.3.C SC.6.6.2.B SC.7.7.3.D SC.8.4.3.A SC.HS.5.5.E SC.HSP.6.5.F
    SC.6.6.2.D SC.8.4.3.B SC.HS.15.5.D
    SC.HS.15.5.E
Rocket Propulsion

During this presentation, students will discover the impact rockets have had on our lives today. They will also learn about how a rocket works: how all of its components function together to its advantage and allow it to rise up into the sky. Finally, students can see how engineers are planning to use rockets in future! 

  • Activity:  Students will have the opportunity to design and fly their own straw rockets using our rocket launcher.
  • Level: Upper Elementary, Middle or High School
  • NE Science Standards: 
    SC.K.1.1.A SC.1.6.2.B SC.2.3.1.A SC.3.1.1.A SC.4.4.2.A SC.5.11.3.A SC.6.4.1.A SC.7.3.1.B SC.8.1.1.B SC.HS.1.1.A-D SC.HSP.1.1.B
    SC.K.1.1.B SC.2.3.1.B SC.3.1.1.B SC.4.4.2.B SC.5.13.4.E SC.6.4.1.B SC.7.7.3.C SC.8.1.1.C SC.HS.4.4.C SC.HSP.1.1.B
    SC.K.12.3.E SC.2.3.1.C SC.3.7.2.E SC.4.4.2.C SC.6.4.1.D SC.7.7.3.D SC.8.1.1.E SC.HS.5.5.E SC.HSP.1.1.C
    SC.2.3.1.D SC.4.4.2.D SC.8.1.1.F SC.HS.15.5.E SC.HSP.1.1.D
    SC.4.4.2.E SC.8.4.3.A SC.HSP.16.4.G
    SC.4.4.2.F SC.8.4.3.B
Roller Coaster Engineering

Students learn the ups and downs of roller coaster design and the physics and engineering behind roller coasters. 

  • Activity:  Students will have an opportunity to put on their engineering caps and design and create their own roller coasters using household supplies.
  • Level: any age
  • NE Science Standards: 
    SC.K.1.1.A SC.1.6.2.B SC.2.3.1.A SC.3.1.1.A SC.4.4.2.A SC.5.13.4.E SC.6.4.1.A SC.7.3.1.B SC.8.1.1.B SC.HS.1.1.A-D SC.HSP.1.1.B
    SC.K.1.1.B SC.2.3.1.B SC.3.1.1.B SC.4.4.2.B SC.6.4.1.B SC.7.7.3.C SC.8.1.1.C SC.HS.5.5.E SC.HSP.1.1.B
    SC.K.12.3.E SC.2.3.1.C SC.3.7.2.E SC.4.4.2.C SC.6.4.1.D SC.7.7.3.D SC.8.1.1.E SC.HSP.1.1.C
    SC.2.3.1.D   SC.4.4.2.D SC.8.1.1.F SC.HSP.1.1.D
    SC.4.4.2.E SC.8.4.3.A SC.HSP.16.4.G
    SC.4.4.2.F SC.8.4.3.B
Recycling

Students get an inside view on recycling! This presentation shares how different materials get recycled, the engineering behind recycling, as well as the benefits of recycling.

  • Activity: Students will build a recycling sorting machine that separates plastic, paper, and metals
  • Level: Upper Elementary School or Middle School
  • NE Science Standards:

SC.2.3.1.A SC.5.3.1.C SC.7.7.3.D SC.HS.5.5.E SC.HSP.4.3.D
SC.2.3.1.B SC.5.3.1.D SC.HS.15.5.E SC.HSP.16.4.G
SC.2.3.1.D SC.5.13.4.E

Rube Goldberg Machines

This presentation teaches students about the history of Rube Goldberg Machines and how they work. The presentation discusses conservation of energy, conservation of momentum, simple machines, and the importance of creativity in engineering.

  • Activity:  Students will have the opportunity to create and test simple Rube Goldberg machines.
  • Level:  Middle school and up for two hours.
  • NE Science Standards:

SC.3.1.1.A

4.2.1.B

SC.5.13.4.E

SC.6.4.1.A

SC.7.3.1.B

SC.8.1.1.B

SC.HS.1.1.A-D

SC.HSP.1.1.A

SC.3.1.1.B

SC.4.4.2

SC.6.4.1.B

SC.7.7.3.C

SC.8.1.1.C

SC.HSP.1.1.B

SC.3.7.2.E

SC.6.4.1.D

SC.7.7.3.D

SC.8.1.1.E

SC.HSP.1.1.C

SC.8.1.1.F

SC.HSP.1.1.D

SC.8.4.3.A

SC.8.4.3.B

Submarines

Extreme pressure, no air, no light, and unimaginable depths - under the surface, the ocean can be a scary place. Learn about how submarines were designed to tackle these challenges and more, through the careful design of a diverse group of engineers.

  • Activity: Students will have the opportunity to build and manuever a submarine using a water bottle
  • Level: Upper elementary, Middle, or High School
  • NE Science Standards:
    SC.3.1.1.A SC.4.4.2.A SC.5.13.4.E SC.6.4.1.A SC.7.3.1.B SC.8.1.1.B SC.HS.1.1.A-D SC.HSP.1.1.B
    SC.3.1.1.B SC.4.4.2.B SC.6.4.1.B SC.7.7.3.C SC.8.1.1.C SC.HS.5.5.E SC.HSP.1.1.B
    SC.4.4.2.C SC.6.4.1.D SC.7.7.3.D SC.8.1.1.E SC.HS.15.5.E SC.HSP.1.1.C
    SC.4.4.2.D SC.8.1.1.F SC.HSP.1.1.D
    SC.4.4.2.E SC.8.4.3.A
    SC.4.4.2.F SC.8.4.3.B
Surgical Robotics

This presentation will introduce students to modern day robots designed to assist with surgical procedures. Students will learn about how engineers work together to create the robots, and how each part of the robot serves a purpose to make the process more safe and effective. 

  • Activity:  students will have an opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of a surgeon designing tools for a laproscoptic surgery activity!
  • Level: Middle School and High School
  • NE Science Standards: 
    SC.3.1.1.A SC.4.4.2.D SC.5.13.4.E SC.6.4.1.B SC.7.3.1.B SC.8.1.1 SC.HS.1.1.A-D SC.HSP.1.1.B SC.HSP.16.4.C
    SC.3.1.1.B SC.4.4.2.E SC.7.7.3.C SC.8.2.2.C SC.HS.5.5.E SC.HSP.1.1.B SC.HSP16.4.D
    SC.3.7.2.E SC.7.7.3.D SC.8.4.3.A SC.HS.7.2.F SC.HSP.1.1.C SC.HSP.16.4.G
    SC.8.4.3.B SC.HS.15.5.D SC.HSP.1.1.D
    SC.HS.15.5.E
The Engineering of Music

Students explore how musical instruments produce sound and learn about the mechanics of sound waves. They discover the importance of engineers to the music industry!

Activity: an activity is currently being developed for this topic

Level: Upper Elementary, Middle, or High School

Tissue Engineering

Students learn about the building blocks of life and how an understanding of biology can be used to engineer stem cells for use in the human body. They discover where stem cells come from and how engineered tissue can be used in medical applications. 

  • Activity: Students will do a somewhat related activity designing a heart valve.
  • Level: Middle or High School
  • NE Science Standards: 
    SC.3.1.1.A SC.4.4.2.E SC.5.13.4.E SC.6.4.1.B SC.7.3.1.B SC.8.1.1.B SC.HS.1.1.A SC.HSP.17.1.B
    SC.3.1.1.B. SC.4.6.3.B SC.6.SC.6.2.A SC.7.7.3.C SC.8.9.4.B SC.HS.1.1.B SC.HSP.16.4.G
    SC.3.7.2.E SC.4.6.3.A SC.6.SC.6.2.B SC.7.7.3.D SC.HS.5.5.E SC.HSP.7.2.D
    SC.HS.15.5.E SC.HSP.7.2.E
Video Games and Coding

In this presentation, students will learn about some of the basic coding concepts behind video games! Specifically, students will learn about conditional statements and object-oriented programming and their applications in video games. In addition, they will learn about the different types of engineers working on the many video games being created today!

  • Activity:  An activity is currently under development
  • Level:  Upper elementary to middle school
  • NE Science Standards:

SC.3.7.2.E

SC.4.2.1.B

SC.5.13.4.E

SC.7.7.3.C

SC.8.1.1.B

SC.4.4.2.E

SC.8.2.2.C

Virtual Reality

In this presentation, students learn the basics of virtual reality. Specifically, they will learn about how the brain processes images and how virtual reality headsets use that information to make 3D images. They will also learn about how virtual reality is used in real world settings.

Activity: an activity is currently being developed for this topic

Level: Middle, or High School

Wind Turbines

This presentation teaches students about a new type of farming on the rise, but one that has nothing to do with growing food! Students will focus on the importance of wind farms, specifically wind turbines, as well as explore the science behind how they work. Students will learn how they can make a future impact on wind turbine technology in a multitude of different engineering career paths. 

  • Activity:  Students will  have the opportunity to apply the engineering design process by designing and testing their own wind turbines.
  • Level: middle or high school
  • NE Science Standards: 
    SC.3.1.1.A SC.4.4.2.(A-F) SC.5.13.4.E SC.6.4.1.A SC.7.3.1.B SC.8.1.1 SC.HS.1.1.A-E SC.HSP.1.1.B SC.HSP4.3.D
    SC.3.1.1.B SC.6.4.1.B SC.7.7.3.C SC.8.2.2.C SC.HS.4.4.C SC.HSP.1.1.B SC.HSP.16.4.C
    SC.3.1.1.C SC.6.4.1.C SC.7.7.3.D SC.8.4.3 SC.HS.5.5.E SC.HSP.1.1.C SC.HSP16.4.D
    SC.3.7.2.E SC.6.4.1.D SC.7.8.4.E SC.HS.15.5.D SC.HSP.1.1.D SC.HSP.16.4.G
    SC.7.13.5.C SC.HS.15.5.E SC.HSP.4.3.B
    SC.HSP4.3.C
Ziplines

Students will learn about the design and the physics and engineering behind zip lines.

  • Activity:  Students will have an opportunity to create and test their own zip line vehicles.
  • Level: Elementary, middle school
  • NE Science Standards: 
    SC.K.1.A SC.1.6.2.B SC.2.3.1.A SC.3.1.1.A SC.4.4.2 SC.5.13.4.E SC.6.4.1.A SC.7.3.1.B SC.8.1.1.B
    SC.K.1.B SC.2.3.1.B SC.3.1.1.B SC.6.4.1.B SC.7.7.3.C SC.8.1.1.C
    SC.K.12.3.E SC.2.3.1.C SC.3.7.2.E SC.6.4.1.D SC.7.7.3.D SC.8.1.1.E
    SC.2.3.1.D SC.8.1.1.F
    SC.8.4.3.A
    SC.8.4.3.B




Contact
Jeff Beavers
(402) 472-0434
jbeavers2@unl.edu