Mobile Engineering Education Laboratory

Nevada engineering and elementary school students build a K'NEX bridge

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Should you have questions, please contact Rebecca Fisher at

Our engineering students are ready to bring grade-appropriate, interactive lessons to your classroom. The Mobile Engineering Education Lab, or ME2 L, program hires and trains current Nevada students to present engineering topics to your students.

We begin with an introductory presentation about going to college, engineering majors, careers in engineering and why math and science are important. We then explain the specific lesson you have requested and work with students to complete a hands-on activity.

We can present to one class of students or to a larger group. Our 60-minute presentation can be given to any size group, and then our team works with up to 30 students at a time to complete the hands-on lesson. We bring all the materials we need, and there is no charge for our visits.

Hands-on engineering lessons get students involved

Our engineering students and K-12 outreach coordinator have worked to develop the following lessons that comply with national science standards. Most lessons can be adapted for any grade level.

General engineering

  • Engineering communication and design: An introduction to how engineers communicate and design projects. This lesson uses literacy components as well as STEM. Grades: 4-8

Specific topics in engineering

  • Batteries: Students will learn about material science engineers and the science of batteries and how they work. Grades: 2-8
  • Computer science and cngineering: Students are introduced to the basic motivation for computer science and engineering, some of the field's key domains, and some software programming basics. The Hour of Code activity is used to introduce programming concepts and algorithmic thinking to students.  In order to request this lesson, you must have an internet-connected computer lab for your students to participate in the activity. Grades: 1-8 
  • Environmental engineering: Students learn what environmental engineers do and have a chance to test out a water contamination and treatment system by identifying pH levels and getting blue dye out of water. Grades: 3-8
  • Electric motors: This lesson focuses on these basic science concepts and shows students how they can be applied in the construction of a mini-electric motor. Grades: 3-8
  • Materials science and engineering: Students will learn about strength, workability, conductivity, magnetism, and optical and acoustic properties while seeing how these properties are linked to their atomic arrangement. Grades: 3-8
  • Renewable energy: This unit discusses various renewable energy sources and lets students build a solar-powered energy turbine. Grades: 3-8
  • Shake it up! Earthquakes in the classroom: Students will learn the basic principles and concepts of earthquakes and their impact on structures around them. Students will then test their skills by building a pipe cleaner tower that will be "shaken up" and tested on a miniature shake table. Grades: K - 8
  • Simple machines: We combine some basic physics, including pulleys and gears, with a chance for students to build their own simple machines. Follow-up lessons on additional topics are available. Grades: K-5
  • Structural design: This unit introduces students to civil engineering basics and culminates in an activity where small groups of students build bridges using K'nex. Grades: K-8
  • Unplugged Robotics: Students will create algorithms to solve problems and solve engineering problems. This lesson uses a robot claw controlled by students in an interactive activity. Students will program using magnetic pieces on a board to make the robot accomplish simple tasks. Grades: 3-5

All of our K-12 outreach programs are made possible through the generous support of The Mallory Foundation and HDR Engineering, Inc. We appreciate their continued support.

Scheduling tips

Please take the following into account when scheduling:

  • Lessons may only be scheduled up to 90 days in advance.
  • A second notice will be sent for the spring semester sign-ups in January.
  • We will be limited to teaching lessons primarily in the Reno/Sparks area this year. Lessons for areas outside of Reno/Sparks will be scheduled at a later date.
  • Please note that due to demand and limited lesson availability, we ask that teachers sign up for no more than one lesson each semester. If you surpass one lesson in one semester, we reserve the right to cancel any subsequent lessons.
  • Due to our engineering student-teachers' schedules, all lesson requests are tentative until final confirmation is sent out one month prior to the lesson date.
  • Finally, please keep in mind that we depend on our engineering college students to teach all lessons. Occasionally our students' schedules change, and although we do our best to give as much notice as possible, we ask that you understand if we may need to change or cancel an appointment occasionally.