National Engineers Week

National Engineers Week Photo Credit: All images from Clipart.com
National Engineers Week, February 21–27, is held annually during the week of George Washington's birth. Designed to foster interest in the myriad of ways that engineering helps shape the modern world, the event highlights the various ways engineering affects us. From the roads we drive on to our entertainment options and from the wonders of the world to the lure of the unknown, engineering touches our lives daily and holds the promise of discoveries yet to come.

This year's event is designed to raise awareness of all the ways engineering contributes to our daily lives and foster interest in future generations of engineers. “Engineers Make a World of Difference” is the 2016 theme, and it invites participants to encourage young people to explore a career in engineering.

Science NetLinks and AAAS have developed a number of resources that will help encourage the budding engineers amongst your students and interest those in your classroom who aren't sure why engineering is relevant to their lives. We hope you find them useful.
Filter Resources by Grade:


  • Build a Better Pencil

    Build a Better Pencil

    K-2  |  Hands-On
    This investigation uses a pencil to introduce the idea of planning and evaluating designs.
  • Farming 1: Farm Machines

    Farming 1: Farm Machines

    K-2  |  Hands-On
    This lesson is the first of a two-part series on how machines help people grow, package, transport, and store food.
  • Putting It All Together

    Putting It All Together

    K-2  |  Hands-On
    This lesson is devised to enable students to create, design, and evaluate different structures.
  • Buoyant Boats

    Buoyant Boats

    3-5  |  Hands-On
    In this lesson, students will design and construct a boat that takes into account buoyancy, materials, and design constraints.
  • Engineering Solutions

    Engineering Solutions

    3-5  |  Hands-On
    In this lesson, students explore the side effects of technology by designing, implementing, and evaluating solutions related to the problem of waste disposal.
  • Power Up!

    Power Up!

    3-5  |  Interactive
    In this lesson, students compare and contrast different energy sources and the trade-offs of using them.
  • Building a Water Clock

    Building a Water Clock

    6-8  |  Hands-On
    In this lesson, students get to build a feedback-controlled system (a water clock) and research ways to improve the system design.
  • Leonardo's Machines

    Leonardo's Machines

    This lesson will highlight some of Leonardo's futuristic inventions, introducing the elements of machines.
  • Make a Mission

    Make a Mission

    6-8  |  Interactive
    The focus of the lesson is technology, not only how it allows humans to collect scientific data and information on a faraway terrestrial planet, but also the constraints involved in designing the spacecraft to carry this technology.
  • Rocket Launch

    Rocket Launch

    9-12  |  Hands-On
    In this lesson, students will explore design considerations of model rockets.


  • DiscoverE


    K-12  |  Hands-On
    DiscoverE is a way for engineers to help you discover the exciting worlds of engineering and technology.
  • Invention at Play

    Invention at Play

    K-5  |  Interactive
    This site challenges you to explore, question, invent, and collaborate to make your own discoveries.
  • Break It Down

    Break It Down

    3-8  |  Interactive
    This resource is an interactive in which you need to manipulate a system made up of ramps, switches, and gears to roll marbles through the system to eventually hit a lever on a flagpole.
  • Discover Engineering

    Discover Engineering

    3-8  |  Website
    This engaging website is designed to introduce students to engineering.
  • Destroy the Castle

    Destroy the Castle

    3-12  |  Interactive
    Have fun thinking about physics while doing this online interactive. The goal of this activity is to adjust a trebuchet, one of the most devastating weapons of the Middle Ages, in order to crush a castle wall.
  • Try Engineering

    Try Engineering

      |  Website
    Try Engineering is a portal for engineering information, lessons, activities, and careers for students, parents, teachers, and school counselors.
  • Roadmaps and Rampways

    Roadmaps and Rampways

    6-12  |  Website
    This book profiles young people who have overcome disabilities to pursue interests and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
  • The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers

    The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers

    6-12  |  Video
    From the makers of NOVA, every two weeks, Secret Life premieres another set of videos about a new scientist or engineer, who happens to have a secret.
  • eGFI


    6-12  |  Teaching Aid
    This dynamic site invites students to learn more about the various aspects of engineering.

Science Updates

  • Brain to Brain Interface

    Brain to Brain Interface

    6-12  |  Audio
    This Science Update examines how scientists have successfully transmitted information from one brain to another.
  • Gecko Feet

    Gecko Feet

    6-12  |  Audio
    This Science Update explains how scientists are trying to create artificial microfibers that act like gecko feet.
  • Resilient Robots

    Resilient Robots

    6-12  |  Audio
    In this Science Update, learn why scientists have taught a robot to limp—and why that's actually a big step forward.
  • Stonehenge Engineering

    Stonehenge Engineering

    6-12  |  Audio
    A new hypothesis explaining how prehistoric people transported the huge slabs of rock to create Stonehenge.
  • Super Water Repellent

    Super Water Repellent

    6-12  |  Audio
    Engineers studied the hairs on spider legs to develop the ultimate water-repellent surface.
  • Fuel-Saving Speed

    Fuel-Saving Speed

    6-12  |  Audio
    This Science Update discusses the best speed for fuel efficiency.
  • Ultra-White Beetle

    Ultra-White Beetle

    6-12  |  Audio
    In this Science Update, studying a ghostly beetle could help engineers create brilliantly white materials.
  • Cold Car Start

    Cold Car Start

    6-12  |  Audio
    In places where it gets below freezing in the wintertime, weather reports always include both the air temperature and the wind chill—that is, how cold it feels with the wind blowing. Wind makes the temperature feel colder because it carries heat away from our bodies. In this Science Update, you'll hear how the wind affects car engines in a similar way.
  • Cooling from Nature

    Cooling from Nature

    6-12  |  Audio
    Engineers are designing more efficient cooling systems inspired by physical processes in nature.


  • Material Marvels

    Material Marvels

    9-12  |  Video
    Material Marvels is a collection of video podcasts hosted by science evangelist Ainissa Ramirez covering an assortment of fascinating materials.

AAAS Resources

5 Questions for a Scientist: Materials Engineer Jake Hochhalter
Description: Learn what it's like to work in science with our series of blog interviews with STEM professionals. Today's subject: Jake Hochhalter, materials engineer at NASA.

5 Questions for a Scientist: Materials Scientist Linda Schadler
Description: Learn what it's like to work in science with our series of blog interviews with STEM professionals. Today's subject: Linda Schadler, professor and executive producer of The Molecularium Project.

5 Questions for a Scientist: Civil Engineer Peter Procaccio
Description: Learn what it's like to work in science with our series of blog interviews with STEM professionals. Today's subject: Civil engineer Peter Procaccio

5 Questions for a Scientist: Science Education Specialist Shaila Kotadia
Description: Learn what it's like to work in science with our series of blog interviews with STEM professionals. Today's subject: Shaila Kotadia, education and outreach manager for the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center.

5 Questions for a Scientist: Materials Scientist David Kok
Description: Learn what it's like to work in science with our series of blog interviews with STEM professionals. Today's subject: David Kok, graduate student in materials science at the department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at University of California—Irvine.

Other Resources

National Engineers Week Future City Competition
Grade Band: 6-8
Description: This competition for seventh- and eighth-grade students combines a stimulating, team-based engineering challenge with a "hands-on" application to present their vision of a city of the future.

Engineering Crossroads
Grade Band: 9-12
Description: This MySciNet piece talks about Guillermo Ameer's engineering career.

Engineer's Corner
Grade Band: 9-12
Description: This MySciNet page for engineering students and professional engineers includes links to engineering societies, funding opportunities, and engineering articles.

Engineer Your Life
Grade Band: 9-12
Description: This site encourages high school girls to further explore engineering as a career choice.

Student-Veterans Come Marching Home: Their Return to Studies
Grade Band: 9-12
Description: This article, which focuses on student-veterans returning to school, from Science Careers includes a focus on Sgt. Sarah Neyer, who is now a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

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