To attract more students to a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) related education and career, the College of Science and Engineering has implemented more than 80 K-12 outreach programs and events that have engaged more than 60,000 Minnesota students. Below are many of these initiatives:

Math and Science Family Fun Fair

Each year, dozens of campus departments, research centers, student groups, and community partners host exhibits and shows for the public. Attendees experience hands-on projects, demonstrations, and shows representing areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. Targeted to families of K-6 graders, the free event is open to the public.

Project Lead the Way (PLTW)

Over the past five years, 122 middle school teachers and 277 high school teachers have participated in a 1-2 week-long residential teacher training on campus. PLTW is helping students develop the skills needed to succeed in the global economy. Training focuses on pre-engineering, and project-based curricula.

CSE Expo

Targeted toward students in the 6-8th grades, the first annual CSE Expo was held in 2014. More than 500 CSE undergraduates produced and showcased a total of 60 interactive exhibits. Through a donor grant and 200+ faculty, staff, and student volunteers, the CSE Expo student group offers this event to invited schools completely free of charge, including transportation.

Energy and U

The Energy and U Show has developed into a semi-annual event bringing more than 10,000 students to the University of Minnesota campus. Each show is performed by two CSE faculty members with the purpose of getting elementary students excited about science and engineering. More than 10,000 students see the show each year.

Exploring Careers in Engineering and Physical Sciences (ECEPS)

Week-long summer day camps are available for high school students interested in exploring science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Students participate in demonstrations, lectures, tours, and lab experiences. This camp is primarily targeted toward underrepresented groups, including women. ECEPS has been extremely affordable thanks to corporate sponsorship. In 2014, the cost to attend was $50.

First Robotics Competition (FRC)

FIRST Robotics Competition is an international high school robotics competition. Teams of high school students and mentors work during a six-week period to build game-playing robots that complete tasks such as scoring balls into goals, frisbees into goals, inner tubes onto racks, hanging on bars, and balancing robots on balance beams.  Targeted toward 9-12th grade students, CSE’s GOFIRST student group mentors a number of Minnesota high school students.

Physics Force

Supported by the School of Physics and Astronomy, the Physics Force is a K-12 outreach program that generates an interest in science in K-12 students. Going above and beyond to educate and entertain, the Physics Force does things on a grand scale to bring excitement and wonder to the thousands of students who attend our shows every year.

LeaderShape and Catalyst

Designed as a means of improving campus leadership through undergraduate students, the mission of LeaderShape and Catalyst is to develop young adults to lead with integrity. In 2015, the LeaderShape Institute will serve 30 CSE students alongside 30 Carlson School of Management students. The cost for the entire week (room and board) is approximately $75 thanks to corporate sponsorships totaling $40,000 for 60 U of M students and six professional staff.

MnDRIVE Robotics, Sensors and Advanced Manufacturing Scholars

The Minnesota State Legislature has invested in four key University of Minnesota research areas. CSE leads the robotics, sensors, and advanced manufacturing area. CSE has provided resources for K-12 outreach through its MnDRIVE scholars. The MnDRIVE Scholars exhibit at events, teach a local high school manufacturing class, provide campus visits and interactive activities, and lead summer camps for underrepresented groups at the middle school level.