Engineering for the Future

Ever wonder how robots can explore space, complete complex surgeries, and analyze human behavior? Explore these engineering endeavors in the following videos. Invite your students to discover careers in engineering, explore the engineering design process, and learn how engineers design bridges, create websites, and even build robots that can think and act like humans.

  • What is Structural Engineering? | QUEST

    Why don't buildings fall down on windy days? Using math and physics, structural engineers work to ensure that structures like bridges and rollercoasters are sturdy enough to withstand stress and large amounts of weight. Their job is incredibly importand: the safety of the entire community they work for relies on them. 

    Grades: 6-11
  • The Engineering Design Process: A Taco Party

    When engineers set out to solve a real world problem, they go through an engineering design process in much the same way you would throw an impromptu taco party. In this animated video, learn how engineers design and test different prototypes. This video is part of the Engineering for Good Unit. 

    Grades: 6-12
  • Are Robots Taking Our Jobs?

    From robotic surgeries to driverless cars, robots are able to perform all different kinds of tasks. This means they could put some people out of work as technology continues to advance.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Career Spotlight: Mechatronics Engineer

    Are you intellectually curious and eager to improve the world around you? If so, you might enjoy a career as a mechatronics engineer—a combination of electrical and mechanical engineering. Discover how mechatornics engineer Leila Madrone is engineering a better world at Otherlab, where she leads an engineering team that is dedicated to improving large solar power fields. She changes the size and composition or heliostats to make low-cost and energy-efficient solar systems. Before joining Otherlab, Madrone graduated from MIT with two degrees in electrical engineering and worked at NASA, where she created a device for taking high-resolution panoramic images. 

    Grades: 6-12
  • Career Spotlight: Robotics Engineer

    Ever wanted to travel to space? NASA engineer Maria Bualat might not get to fly to space herself, but she does get to send robots there! As a robotics engineer at the NASA Ames Research Center in California, she develops robotics systems for space exploration. She is currently designing a free-flying robot to help the International Space Station to conduct inspections and check air quality. Bualat knew she wanted to become a robotics engineer in seventh grade after reading an article about NASA women engineers.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Career Spotlight: Software Engineer

    In 2013, Jessica Egoyibo Mong arrived in the Bay Area with $100 in her pocket and a desire to enter the field of software engineering. Fast forward two years, Jessica is now a software engineer with SurveyMonkey, a tech company that creates and designs custom online surveys. Jessica works on the billing side, writing code to ensure that customers can access and pay for surveys. Her favorite part of writing software is problem solving. She's creating solutions where there was nothing before. 

    Grades: 6-12
  • Career Spotlight: Spatial Interaction Engineer

    Alex Okita teaches computers to see like we see. He designs and develops tools and games for the Structure Sensor, an attachment for the iPad that can 3-D scan rooms, objects, and even people. While many in his field have advanced degrees, Alex started working straight out of high school.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Career Spotlight: Civil Engineer

    How do we know that structures we use daily, like bridges, are safe? That's where civil engineers come in. Alishia Ballard graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in civil engineering and has been working with San Francisco Public Works since. There, she does structural engineering, and designs, inspects and analyzes structures like bridges and buildings to make sure that everything is working as they should be and that the community is safe to use them. 

    Grades: 6-12