IMAGINE Saturdays for 8th-, 9th- and 10th-graders

In Fall 2023, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering collaborated with the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering Program in The Grainger College of Engineering to offer short courses for 8th to 10th graders on three Saturdays. Over the course of three sessions about Renewable Energy and Smart Cities, students learned about sustainability and how to use renewable energies to shape the future. Here you can find the overview of the short course:

Theme: Renewable Energy and Smart Cities

Objective: To introduce 8th to 10th graders to the concepts of sustainability, renewable energy and the role of smart technologies in shaping the future of cities.

Content Covered:

Renewable Energy Exploration
  • Hands-on experience with solar panels, hydrogen fuel cells and biofuel stations.
  • Data collection exercises to understand the practical applications of renewable energy sources.
  • Basic principles of wind turbine design and the science behind converting wind energy to electricity.
Infrastructure and Smart Systems
  • Examination of the state of America's infrastructure system, including its challenges and opportunities.
  • Introduction to sensors and smart systems used to monitor the health of structures.
  • Exploration of technologies such as drones, radar and immersive VR headsets for infrastructure assessment.


Interactive Learning:

Practical Activities

Students actively engaged with solar panels, hydrogen fuel cells and biofuel stations, gaining hands-on experience in renewable energy technologies. Also, design and testing exercises allowed students to create their own wind turbines using basic materials and understand the science behind wind-to-electricity conversion.

Technology Exploration

Students were exposed to cutting-edge technologies like drones, radar and VR headsets. Also, this short course provided a glimpse into the innovative tools used in civil and environmental engineering.

  • Enhanced understanding of sustainability, renewable energy, and smart technologies.
  • Development of practical skills through hands-on activities and design challenges.
  • Exposure to real-world applications of civil and environmental engineering concepts.
  • Introduction to potential career paths and the role of engineers in shaping a sustainable future.

Thanks to all the faculty members and students who helped us in this program, including professors Rafael Tinoco, Roman Makhnenko and Mohamad Alipour


For more information about outreach programs like this one, please contact Dr. Maryam Ghadiri,

Maryam Ghadiri
Maryam Ghadiri