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

    Structural engineering is a specialized branch of civil engineering that entails analyzing and designing structures, like buildings, bridges, concert stages, and even roller coasters. 

    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

    In this video from KQED meet Leila Madrone, a mechatronics engineer — a combination of electrical and mechanical engineering — who works at Otherlab. She leads an engineering team that is trying to improve large solar power fields. By changing the size and materials of heliostats, structures that include large mirrors to reflect sunlight, she can make high-concentration solar systems more energy efficient and less costly. Madrone has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from MIT. Before she joined Otherlab she was part of the Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA, where she created a device for taking high-resolution panoramic images. She chose to become an engineer because she wanted to help create a better world. She says that if you’re curious and have a desire to improve the world around you, you may enjoy a career as an engineer.

    This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Career Spotlight: Robotics Engineer

    Maria Bualat is a robotics engineer at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA where she develops robotics systems for space exploration.

    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, and 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.

    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

    Alishia Ballard graduated in 2015 with a degree in civil engineering from San Diego State University. After graduating, she has been interning with San Francisco Public Works in their structural engineering section. Structural engineering is a subcategory of civil engineering, and it often involves designing, inspecting and analyzing structures like bridges and buildings.

    Grades: 6-12