The Engineering Place offers a number of different programs, as well as participates in community programs, that generate interest in and excitement about engineering.

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Program Descriptions

If you are interested in becoming involved with any of the programs listed below or just would like some more information, please complete The Engineering Place STEM Programs Information Request Form and someone will get back to you or email We would be happy to try to accommodate your needs and would love the opportunity to share our passion for changing the world with you.

Summer Programs

Middle school students participate in Girls Game Design camp.

Middle school students participate in Girls Game Design camp.

Each summer the College of Engineering plans and executes multiple summer programs for rising 3rd to 12th grade students. From day camps to week-long stays, these programs introduce students to engineering through hands-on activities and problem-solving. Students spend the week with other like-minded students and gain exposure to NC State and university life.

The Solar House

The NC State Solar House

The NC State Solar House

The NC State Solar House will open for the fall semester on September 9th.  If you would like to request a tour or an engineering activity, please use our REQUEST FORM.

The NCSU Solar House, built-in 1981 by NC State’s Professor Herbert Eckerlin of the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department, was created to promote and demonstrate renewable energy technologies to the community.  The house features 5 kW solar PV panels, solar water heating, a ground loop geothermal heat pump, efficient construction, and insulation, LED lighting, and designed with several passive solar features that further reduce energy costs.  The site was used to conduct numerous renewable energy research projects, educating undergraduate students, and enabling graduate students to write research papers, theses, and dissertations.

Today, the primary purpose of the Solar House is STEM education and outreach as well as renewable energy research. Anyone looking for information on solar home construction or personal home improvements should contact the NC Clean Energy Technology Center.

Tours of the Solar House are managed through The Engineering Place at NC State University.  Free educational tours of the house or hands-on STEM activities for groups of all ages are available during fall and spring semesters of each academic year.

Check out this video on the construction of the Solar House in 1981!

The address of the Solar House is 1201 Gorman Street, Raleigh, NC 27606 and is located just to the right of the McKimmon Center.

NC State Family STEM Nights

The 2019-2020 Family STEM Night request form is CLOSED!  Family STEM Nights are full!

Hosting a Family STEM Night with NC State Engineering Ambassadors at your location remains a top priority for The Engineering Place. We want to help you incorporate fun, engaging, hands-on activities that involve families.

We have a team of NC State students and faculty who can come to your location and run an evening session of hands-on STEM activities for families to complete together.

If we are unable to accommodate your request, but you would like to learn how to hold your own DIY STEM Night, please complete the DIY STEM Night Interest Form. We will provide you with loaner activity kits, activities instructions and helpful hints on having a successful DIY STEM Night.

Engineering on the Road

The Engineering on the Road program brings engineering to life in K-12 schools all over the state of North Carolina. Through interactive demonstrations and hands-on activities linked to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, we illustrate the true nature of engineering — not just the stereotypical view that many people have — to students, teachers and staff. Programs are customized to meet the needs of the school or organization and for small- and large-group events. We even have an engineering road show!

We also participate in other community organizers’ programs, such as math and science nights, career fairs and workshops.

To request an Engineering on the Road visit, you will need to complete the Engineering on the Road Request Form.

Please note: We are not generally able to provide science fair judges.

Future City

Future City is an NC State University sponsored STEM program for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders attending North Carolina Middle Schools.  An annual competition in January provides participating student teams with an opportunity to present their semester-long Future City project to industry engineers.

There are five deliverables that student teams must complete to participate in the competition including a 3D model, a skit-like presentation, a 1500 word essay, snapshots of their city built in SimCity gaming program and a project plan.

The 2020 Future City competition will be held at the McKimmon Center located at 1101 Gorman Street, Raleigh, NC 27606 on Saturday, January 25th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Complete this form to attend and come join us to learn more about the program.

Click here for the official NC Future City website:

Future City Competition

Future City NC is a vibrant, authentic, and engineering-aligned real-world experience for middle school students across the state. The Future City program, a national organization and program from DiscoverE, teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade students problem-solving techniques through hands-on, project- and problem-based learning. Middle school students learn a problem-solving process called the Engineering Design Process (EDP) as they imagine, plan, and create cities of the future. Working as a team, students, along with an educator and an engineering mentor, plan a city using SimCity™ software. Next, they create a project plan, including goals, schedules, and reflections. They describe their research and implement solutions to engineering problems via their city essays. In addition, they plan and create tabletop scale models of their cities using recycled materials, and finally, present their ideas before industry engineering judges at the NC Regional Future City Competition held at the NC State McKimmon Center in late January each year. The Engineering Place and the College of Engineering are proud to be sponsors of the regional competitions and to support both the state and national Future City Middle School Programs

Engineering Bits & Bytes Days

Engineering Bits & Bytes Days are STEM curriculum enrichment experiences held on the NC State Centennial campus for students in elementary, middle and high school — grades 3 – 12. These are half-day events held once a semester and include age- and grade-appropriate hands-on engineering activities and often a tour of Hunt Library. For high school and older middle school groups, NC State undergraduate engineering students are available for a Q & A session about admission requirements, scholarships, college life, and suggestions on how best to prepare now for the college experience you want. Engineering Bits & Bytes Day events are differentiated by grade bands (grades 3-5, grades 6-8, grades 9-12). Please click here for a sample agenda. Registration is required.  Please see the appropriate registration form below:

2019 Fall Engineering Bits & Bytes Dates: Centennial Campus, Engineering Building 3, Room 2207

  • Elementary Student Event (grades 3-5): Friday, October 25th, ELE School Registration Form (Elementary EB&B is full)
  • Middle School Student Event (grades 6-8): Friday, October 18th, MS Registration Form
  • High School Student Event (grades 1-12): Friday, November 1st, HS Registration Form

Project Lead the Way

PLTW is a program providing activity-, project- and problem-based (APB) instructional design and centers on hands-on, real-world activities, projects and problems that help students understand how the knowledge and skills they develop in the classroom may be applied in everyday life. The APB approach scaffolds student learning through structured activities and projects that empower students to become independent in the classroom and helps them build skill sets to apply to an open-ended design problem. This approach provides students with unique opportunities to work collaboratively, identify problems, apply what they know, persevere through challenges, find unique solutions and lead their own learning.

Through Project Lead The Way (PLTW) programs, students develop in-demand, transportable skills – such as problem-solving, critical and creative thinking, collaboration and communication – that they will use both in school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take.

Students of PLTW participating schools are eligible to apply for one-time scholarships that are available to engineering first-year students enrolled in the College of Engineering. Please encourage your students to apply.

The deadline for the PLTW scholarship application is April 30, 2019.

At this time, NC State University will not be hosting 2019 summer training for teachers.

Apply today


The Engineering Place can develop a specific program to meet the needs of many organizations, including K-12 school districts, individual schools, engineering professional organizations and university departments. Below is  a sampling of some of the workshops that we have offered. Contact us at for workshop information.

  • Engineering is Elementary Professional Development
  • Engineering as Part of Integrated STEM Professional Development
  • Encouraging Girls to Pursue STEM* Careers
  • Developing Non-traditional K-12 Engineering Activities
  • Integrating Engineering into the K-12 Curriculum
  • Training in Outreach for Working Engineers
  • Designing a STEM School
  • Using the Grand Challenges for Engineering as a Basis for Instruction
  • Project Lead the Way
    *Science, technology, engineering and mathematics

Consulting Services

  • Faculty Grant Writing Assistance
  • Unique Program Development to Support Grants
  • K-12 Engineering Curriculum Development
  • Developing Non-traditional K-12 Engineering Activities
  • Engineer Outreach Training