Explorers in Engineering After-School Program

The College of Engineering is now offering the most fun and interactive engineering lessons during after-school hours! Our engineering sessions are designed to give students the knowledge, skills, and confidence to thrive in the math and science fields. Hang out with University of Nevada, Reno Engineering students and participate in exciting activities. Following the activities, students will be provided with an opportunity to receive math and science support. 

Our program features fun and exciting engineering lessons from UNR students. We offer an immersive hands-on curriculum where students can participate in activities in a small group setting. Our comprehensive approach to engineering and the design process takes kids from asking questions to creating their own models. 

Are you an after-school program coordinator or teacher who is looking for a community resource to keep your students engaged in math and science? Explorers in Engineering has what you need! We aim to help Nevada students stay focused on math and science, learn about the wide range of career possibilities engineering offers, and see how engineers can change the world.  

Introduction to Engineering PresentationUNR 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 of Nevada, Reno engineering students. 

Hands-on ActivityParticipants get the opportunity to be engineers and conduct an engineering experiment. 

Math and Science Support: Participants will have the opportunity to ask for math and science help from UNR students. 

Social Interaction: Participants will engage in discussions and icebreaker activities. 

We are happy to announce that we are expanding this program to all ages! Lessons will be available September 7th-December 4th. Our sign-up link is now live! 

 Explorers in Engineering Sign-Ups

Current Lessons

Bioengineering a Fish (Biomedical)

Students become a bioengineer, designing a new species of fish! They will create a double helix for its physical characteristics. Students will discuss how biology and engineering can be combined, as well as how radiation pollution can change the DNA of living things.

Save the Truckee River! (Chemical)

Students must build barriers to protect the Truckee River from the leaching chemicals from the Asian Union Electronic Chemical Corp explosion! They will discuss the effects of the chemicals on water, and how the contaminated water will affect living things in the local environment. Students will discuss what humans can do to prevent contamination and protect their local habitat. They will discuss solutions with their classmates and draw their ideas.

Programming Spongebob (Computer Science)

Even Spongebob likes a hot bath, but he doesn’t know how to heat his water! Students learn how computers understand instructions by writing a series of steps for Spongebob to follow so that he can heat his bathwater. Spongebob will follow the series of instructions that will lead him to his bathtub. He needs to charge his solar panels in the light of the flashlight, then plug the solar panels into his bathwater heater. Students will discuss which flashlight will produce more energy. The dim flashlight or the bright flashlight? Students will also discuss what time of year his bathwater will be the warmest. They will discuss the differences between the amount of daylight in the summer versus the amount of daylight in winter.

Solar S'Mores (Mechanical)

Students make a solar oven and use solar energy to cook a marshmallow and make a s’more. Have the students think about the position of the sun during the day and the temperature. Is it constant or does it change? The angle of the sun relates to how much direct sunlight we receive, and, therefore, how much energy we receive. Earth rotates on an axis. The rotation causes us to have day and night. It is daytime when your location on earth is facing away from the sun. At midday, the sun’s light is direct and very strong. In the morning and at night, the sun’s light is indirect and not as strong. So, we receive sunlight at different angles and that affects how much energy we obtain from the sun.

Aliens Steal the Sun! (Environmental)

What would happen if, hypothetically speaking, aliens stole the sun from our galaxy? Students learn all the ways that the sun provides for life and earth. Our energy source is the sun. The sun provides energy as light and radiation. Plants need light to grow and we eat the plants as food, which gives us energy. Also, we need radiation to stay warm. The wind is due to temperature differences caused by the sun heating the earth. The sun’s energy also gets stored as coal, petroleum, and natural gas. All these forms of energy are traced back to the sun. The students must brainstorm ideas for harnessing the energy from geothermal vents in order to replace the energy from the sun and discuss their ideas in groups.

Mining for Treasure (Environmental)

Across the world, mining contributes to wastewater disposal issues, ground service water, and acid mine drainage, and contamination in soil. In this lesson, students will be mining for treasure! By doing so, they will see how the impact of mining can contaminate the soil. Students will discuss ways they can reduce the impact of mining on the environment. They will learn that there are ways to make mining sustainable. For example, using lower-impact mining techniques like in-situ leaching.

Solar Fan Investigation

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.

Recommended for 3rd-5th grades.

Off Grid Living Investigation

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.

Recommended for 3rd-5th grades.