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Engineering is Everywhere: Learning and Solving Problems with Design Process Models (Teacher/Student Teams)

Ongoing | Ages 9-14 | $195/team (1 Adult/5 Students)


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The Engineering is Everywhere STEM Workshop blends science and engineering practices with hands-on inquiry, cutting-edge technology and 21st century materials. Grounded in Colorado Content Standards for the 4th-8th grade and the Next Generation Science Standards, this workshop uses the engineering design process as an integrating theme for STEM learning in earth, life and physical science in three engaging modules:

Photo-Origami: Energy, Design and Change 

Inspired by the Photo Origami project at CU’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, this module uses design opportunities to help learners develop understandings of electromagnetic energy, change in physical systems, and the relationships between scientific and engineering inquiry practices. Using these practices, teams will explore the nature of photo-active polymers and conduct a series of experiments to discover how and why they work. Using this new knowledge and their visual/spatial skills learners will design, build, test and refine a model of light-activated, self-assembling structures.

Key Concepts: Electromagnetic Energy, Energy Transformations, Absorption, Physical Change, Design, Engineering and Science Inquiry Processes and Polymers

Bioengineering and Biodesign


Many of today’s most pressing problems require engineers who have a solid foundation in life sciences and the engineering process. This module immerses participants in two projects that address design challenges and solutions to biomedical and environmental issues. Learners will design custom bacteria while exploring genetic engineering and the relationships between organisms, their environments and bioremediation. Teams will design solutions to a common biomedical problem while learning about human body systems, biomedical research at CU and the application of nanotechnology

Key Concepts: Genes, Traits, Genetic Engineering, Cell Structures, Adaptation, Environments, The Digestive Systems, Nanotechnology, Measuring and Fractions

21st Century Materials 

Can you paint a circuit on your desk? Can you print a
prototype or new toy? Designed to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and STEM professionals, this station-based module provides learners with the opportunity to explore the materials of the future in a fun and hands-on way! Learners will experiment with conductive paints, fabrics, materials and circuits; play with shape-memory polymers and thermoplastics; design and build mechanical systems with memory metal alloys; and see 3-D printing in action.

Key Concepts: Plastics, Materials Science, Conduction, Circuits, Thermal Energy, Design, Nanotechnology, Atoms and Molecules, Atomic Structure and Alloys

Participating teachers will receive lesson plans and facilitation guide, digital resources and a letter or certificate documenting 4.5 hours of teacher professional development for district and CDE teacher licensing.


  • Teams pre-register online or by phone
  • Teams arrive at the site at 8:45am and depart between 2:30 and 3pm
  • Each team (of up to 5 learners) will need either a teacher or an adult chaperone.
  • Participants bring lunches and water bottles
  • Sample Schedule (75-minute classes):
    • 9-9:30am: Introduction
    • 9:45-11am: Class One
    • 11-11:45am: Lunch
    • 11:45am-1pm: Class Two
    • 1-1:15pm: Break
    • 1:15-2:30pm: Class Three
    • 2:30-3pm: Wrap-Up

For additional information or to begin planning your CU Science Discovery program, please contact Hester Nadel via email or by calling 303.492.8640.