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

UPDATE: While our face-to-face programming due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is still suspended, we are offering virtual programming this spring for both families and schools. Check out the information about the Spring 2021 Virtual Family STEM nights and Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know of these and other online opportunities. 

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. Information about the 2021 Summer Camps coming soon!

The Solar House

The NC State Solar House

The NC State Solar House

Tours are available for third through twelfth-grade students and the public. If you would like to request a tour and/or a hands-on engineering activity, please use our REQUEST FORM.

All tours include an informational component about the passive solar technology used in the Solar House AND an age- and grade-appropriate, hands-on, engineering activity.  We are happy to work with you to help meet the needs of your students and the educational outcomes you hope to achieve as a part of your experience. Tours generally last approximately 30 minutes, depending on questions, and the engineering activity takes another 60 minutes.  Please note: A staff member from the Solar House will be in touch to discuss your request.

Information on Tour Group Size:
The Solar House has limited space and can accommodate a maximum of 40 students in a single tour. If you have more than 40 students in your group, we will schedule multiple tour times to accommodate the entire group.

Solar House Location:
The NC State Solar House’s address is 1201 Gorman St, Raleigh, NC 27606 and is located at the corner of Gorman St. and Western Blvd.  Parking is available in the McKimmon Center main parking lot and is free for student groups and participants. For student groups arriving in school activity buses, please drop off students in front of the Solar House and park your bus in the overflow parking lot located on Varsity Drive.

Solar House History:
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.

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

We look forward to seeing you!

Virtual Family STEM Nights

The Engineering Place is offering virtual Family STEM Nights again this spring! If you have children in grades K-5, we hope you will join us for an evening of fun engineering challenges. We are also partnering with schools this spring in hosting these events!

Families are invited to join the Engineering Ambassadors and The Engineering Place as we work together in solving two exciting Engineering Design Challenges! Learn more about NCSU engineering and engineering thinking by using The Engineering Design Process and participating in fun challenges!

2021 Spring Schedule

All events run from 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Date Cost Title Registration Link
Feb. 25 Free, families provide own supplies Engineered to Move: Olympic Opticals & Busy Bees Thanks for attending!
March 25 School Collaboration Buzzing Around the Garden Green Hope Elementary School
April 22 School Collaboration Engineering is Everywhere! Bugg Magnet Elementary School: Center for Design & Computer Sciences
May 19

(Limited to 12 families)

$25 (includes Engineering Kit) Lighting up Our World with Circuits. A collaboration with the ASSIST Program. Session Full!

Family STEM Night Pop-Up

Last family event of the spring semester!


Lighting Up Our World: Conductive Ink and Sewable Electronics
May 19, 2021 
Registration Deadline: May 9, 2021
$25 Fee (Nonrefundable)
6:30 – 8:00 PM
Families will collaborate together in using conductive ink to engineer the components for a flashing greeting card and create a lighted fabric patch to wear on their sleeves! Come explore electrical circuits in fun ways! One Engineering Kit per family will contain all supplies needed to engineer solutions to these challenges. Kits will be mailed directly to your home!  The deadline to register is May 8th to allow time for kits to arrive in time for the event! 
Contact with questions.

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 roadshow!

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

Note: This program has moved to virtual programming this year.  We no longer have availability in Spring 2021. We anticipate returning to limited in-person events in Fall 2021, 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 Program

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

The competition consists of five deliverables that document the team’s progress through the engineering design process and showcase the team’s city of the future.  The deliverables include a 3-D city model, a city presentation, a 1500 word city essay, a 10-minute live city Q&A session with judges (experts in engineering, technical, and city design fields), and a city project plan.  Teams are judged and scored on all deliverables.


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.

Engineering Bits & Bytes Day programs are full for the spring semester.  Please bookmark our page and check back with us over the summer for The Engineering Place Programming Fall schedule!

Project Lead the Way

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 skillsets 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.

The College of Engineering encourages students applying for undergraduate admission to the College of Engineering to complete the PLTW scholarship application. PLTW scholarship awards are non-renewable, available for one year only with an award amount of $1,000. An applicant must be a freshman enrolled in the College of Engineering who has participated in a Project Lead The Way engineering program. The deadline for the PLTW scholarship application is April 15.

At this time, NC State University will not be hosting 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

Solar House Day

NC State Solar House Day is a monthly event for K-16 students and the public to visit us at the NC State Solar House.  Guests will see passive solar energy technology at work in the house and K-16 students can experience a hands-on, age- and grade-appropriate engineering activity.  Beginning in the spring semester 2020, Solar House Day is scheduled for the first Friday of each month from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

The NC State Solar House is located beside the McKimmon Center and our address is 1201 Gorman Street, Raleigh, NC 27606.  Free parking for cars is available in the McKimmon Center parking lot.  Bus parking is free as well and available in the gravel lot on Varsity Drive just behind the McKimmon Center.  Email:, Phone: 919-515-0314.

Complete the SHD registration form and select your Friday!