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Students Get Engineering Preview Participants at the 8th annual Academy of Excellence work together to build a bridge. Each team competed to build the strongest bridge using the least amount of labor, time and cost. Forty students attended this year's program, held at the Peter Kiewit Institute in Omaha. The program is led by College of Engineering faculty, who use hands-on activities to teach basic concepts of information science, technology and engineering.
High schools in Nebraska and southwest Iowa nominate sophomores for the program. The selected students also bring their math, science or computer teacher to the weeklong workshop. Douglas McGee, a teacher at East Butler High School in Brainard, said the workshop's cooperative learning and problem-solving activities were valuable to teachers and students. "It's a wonderful, wonderful experience that carries over to when they go back and work together in their own classrooms," McGee said.
Participants also took behind-the-scenes tours of Union Pacific Railroad Corp. headquarters, Lozier IMAX Theater, Henry Doorly Zoo, Durham Western Heritage Museum and the Strategic Air and Space Museum.
The Academy of Excellence is funded with support from the Dick and Mary Holland Foundation.