Mobile Engineering Education Lab

The ME2L program trains University engineering students to provide engaging activities to foster curiosity about STEM topics. Our engineering students visit Washoe County School District classrooms and facilitate 1-hour grade-appropriate, interactive lessons for kindergarten through fifth grade.

Woman in a car marked Mobile Engineering Education Lab.

What ME2L Offers 

  • Introduction to Engineering Presentation: University engineering students talk about what it’s like to be an engineering student and discuss the different types of engineering disciplines. 
  • High-Quality Instruction: Content is developed by University engineering students. 
  • Hands-on Activity: Participants get to conduct an engineering experiment. 

Lessons will be available Jan. 22, 2024 to May 3, 2024. Please contact engrk12@unr.edu to be added to the contact list. 

Lesson reservations will be available on the first Monday of each month. 

In addition to our existing lessons, we are proud to be part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that allows us to expand our solar-water lessons. We are excited to provide this opportunity and bring the College of Engineering into your classrooms!  

We want to thank all of our teachers and students for participating in our Mobile Engineering Education Lab! We hope you had as much fun as we did. We are looking forward to another great semester. 

ME2L sign-ups

Due to limited availability of time slots, schools will be allowed four time slots per semester. Classes are allowed to combine with other classes (for example, a third-grade class with another third-grade class). Our lessons can accommodate groups of up to 40. Teachers may use the ME2L lesson registration link to sign up.

Current Lessons

  1. Forces and Motion (Kindergarten)
    In this lesson, students will learn about forces of motion. They will learn how mass and acceleration impact how much force is applied to an object through the concept of roller coaster ramps. The students will apply the engineering design process to understand the Next Generation Grants System (NGSS) aligned concepts.

  2. Simple Machines (Kindergarten)
    Kindergarteners will become mechanical engineers in this introduction to the basic principles of motion. Students will work together to investigate simple machines including pulleys, wheels, axles, inclined planes and levers in a hands-on activity. This NGSS-aligned lesson will get kids interested in learning about how the world works.

  3. Let’s Talk About Sound (First grade)
    In this lesson, students will learn about sound comes. They will discuss how sound waves can be distorted as they travel across distances and through objects. First-graders will see the sound waves in the form of vibrations and learn about how different vibrations produce different sounds. This NGSS-aligned lesson will include hands (and ears!)-on activities designed to solidify concepts.

  4. Lights, Camera, Engineer! (First grade)
    Students will discover how materials science engineers must understand the way light interacts with various media. Then they'll use mechanical engineering and electrical engineering principles to create their own light-powered vehicles.

  5. Design a Parachute! (Second grade)
    In this lesson, students will put on their materials engineering thinking caps to learn about the types of matter. They will learn why some materials are better suited for certain engineering designs rather than others in a fun and relevant activity that aligns with NGSS standards.

  6. Materials Make it Work! (Second grade)
    In this hands-on lesson, students will investigate the various properties of materials. Working in teams and with specialized tool kits, students will be tasked with saving a town from mischievous monsters, barreling boulders and furious floods.

  7. Destination: Space! (Third grade)
    In this lesson, students will take on the role of engineers to build a rocket that utilizes a reaction between an antacid tablet and water to launch. Students will learn that many factors affect the ability of the rocket to launch, including size, shape, weight and the amount of water in the canister.

  8. May the Magnetic Force Be with You! (Third grade)
    Students will become one with the force – the magnetic force! After investigating the basic properties of magnets and magnetic forces, students will use the engineering design process to create their own electromagnet.

  9. Protecting Cities (Fourth grade)
    Fourth-graders will learn how the earth's topography changes over time and how that affects humans. This NGSS-aligned lesson covers the different kinds of engineering solutions to disasters like earthquakes, landslides and other pattern. Students will interpret data and use the engineering design process to solve problems.

  10. Oils Well That Ends Well (Fifth grade)
    Students will learn about the effects of oil spills on the earth’s environment and how engineers are protecting the earth against those disasters. In the NGSS-aligned lesson, students will get a chance to use the engineering design process to apply what they’ve learned to save a town from an oil spill.

  11. Operation Code Breakers (Fifth grade)
    In this lesson, students will build their own marble-powered computers and use them to solve a series of problems. Students will be introduced to computer logic and the engineering design process as they work together to crack the code they will be tasked to solve. 

  12. Solar S’mores (Third through fifth grades)
    Students will make a solar oven and use it to cook a marshmallow and make a s’more. Students will learn about the position of the sun and the temperature, and how the angle of the sun relates to direct sunlight received -- and therefore, how much energy is received. 

  13. Solar Fan Investigation (Third through fifth grades)
    Learn about the engineering design process through solar power! Students will be introduced to the basics of engineering design: writing a problem statement, brainstorming solutions, testing a model and reflecting on those tests. This lesson involves a hands-on lab where students test a solar panel in a variety of scenarios.

  14. Off-Grid Investigation (Sixth through eighth grades)
    With enough solar panels, entire homes can be run on the sun’s power! That allows houses to be built without access to a traditional power grid. Those houses are called off-grid homes. In this lesson, students will define the criteria/constraints of a solar home design, evaluate design options based on criteria/constraints and identify what features are most important.

  15. Water Scarcity (Ninth through twelfth grades)
    In this lesson, students will identify a real-world problem, list criteria and constraints, prioritize those criteria and constraints, evaluate a possible solution and reflect on the environmental impact.

Support

All of our K-12 outreach programs are made possible through the generous support of The Mallory Foundation and Nevada Gold Mines. We appreciate their continued support.

Interested in supporting Engineering? Please visit the Engineering support page