Engineering Exploration Week
Things that make you go EEW
Alma Ramirez-Rodgers enjoys welcoming students to UNL engineering programs at the Omaha campus, and for two weeks each summer she opens the doors more widely. During Engineering Exploration Weeks, she helps junior and senior high school students immerse themselves in all things engineering at The Peter Kiewit Institute.
As the college’s assistant director of college relations and student programs in Omaha, she leads these summer programs that offer prospective students a taste of engineering. Her connections with faculty and alumni ensure tantalizing experiences and, after three years of conducting EEW, she often sees the young attendees return.
This year the junior high week focused one day on architectural engineering and how mechanical, acoustic, electrical, lighting and structural building components come together by design. Another day highlighted civil engineering as the art and science of designing infrastructure such as bridges and airports. A day for construction engineering and construction management featured teamwork and structural learning, followed by a day of computer and electronics engineering that combined art and robotics, with attendees making 3-D designs and animating them in a Pico Crickets workshop.
The 2010 senior high group visited industry partners including Union Pacific and the MUD Florence water treatment facility, as well as a Kiewit construction site—with Kiewit hosting lunch for the EEW students.
The final day went CAPOW! with a science show of pops, bangs and flashes. Local Raytheon engineers shared why it's cool to be a "techie” as parents arrived for lunch and closing ceremonies. EEW sessions are busy times for Ramirez-Rodgers, but providing a career preview to future engineers is a priority she values.