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D.C. Everest and Engineering Tomorrow Partnership Expands Student Awareness of and Interest in Engineering

March 12, 2024

Pairs Students with Real World Engineers and Diverse Projects

The D.C. Everest Area School District began its partnership with Engineering Tomorrow in 2022. In 2014, William Woodburn and a diverse team of successful engineers created and developed the Engineering Tomorrow program to introduce high school students nationwide to various fields of engineering, and provide them with hands-on instruction, virtual labs, and mentorship. All offerings are available at no cost to students, teachers and schools. In 2022, a local manufacturer, dedicated to enhancing STEM education opportunities for middle and high school students, learned about Engineering Tomorrow, and invested significant resources to implement this amazing STEM program for middle and high school students in our region and the state of Wisconsin.

The partnership began in May 2022, when 800 DCE Middle School students experimented with the engineering design process by engaging in a hands-on learning experience in which they were challenged to address the complex, real-world problem of designing bridges suited for present day use. Over a series of days students completed the Bridges Lab Module designed by engineers and leaders in the field and then worked with local engineering experts who tested the students’ bridges and asked students to reflect on their process and the design. Since then, DCE Middle School students have participated in Electrical Engineering, Machine Learning Engineering, Space Engineering and Water Treatment Engineering labs. The virtual sessions are taught by engineers and college engineering students, and end with students hearing from a renowned engineer in the field — including Milton Davis, OSAM-1 Space Vehicle Manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “These learning opportunities are so engaging that students beg to have another day to explore and troubleshoot their blueprint models,” noted Tammy Bohlman, a 6th grade science teacher at the DCE Middle School. “Our classrooms were absolutely alive with learning. The Engineering Tomorrow staff encourages students to "fail fast" and get right after their next prototype. Their feedback is really positive and encouraging for our students.”

In October 2023, DCE Junior High freshmen participated in a day-long Electric Vehicle engineering challenge. During the first half of the day, students were tasked with building electric vehicles and charging stations with the event structured around what engineers typically call the “engineering process” — learn, design, build, test and deploy. During the second half of the day students worked with local engineers who assessed their designs and spoke with them about the reasoning behind those designs. Throughout the process, students tested their designs and reflected on what could be improved and how — a crucial part of the engineering process. DCE freshman Brodi Satterfield noted, “I had a lot of fun having the freedom to build and that is something I love to do. The help on the Engineering Tomorrow  slideshows was amazing as it gave us good instruction — but not too much — so we still learned how to make the cars ourselves.” 

Most recently, 49 DCE Junior High students visited Northcentral Technical College to engage in Engineering Tomorrow’s Biomechanical Eye Gaze Engineering Lab. DCE students have access to a variety of Engineering Tomorrow’s 3-hour NTC lab sessions that also include Bridge, Robotics, Embedded Systems and Manufacturing Engineering.

At the DCE Senior High, the school launched and Engineering Tomorrow course led by John Glynn, agriculture instructor. The course explores a variety of engineering fields and includes hands-on activities, virtual labs, guest speakers, field trips and real-world engineering design challenges. Dr. Bradley Peck, Engineering Tomorrow Midwest Regional Director, noted Mr. Glynn was “instrumental in working over the summer with engineers at Engineering Tomorrow to develop a new virtual lab entitled, “Hydroponics: Engineering Sustainable Farming Methods for the Future.” The lab is being piloted in his DCE classroom this semester with plans to launch the virtual lab nationally at the start of the 2024-25 school year. Students enrolled in the course will utilize the school’s AgriScience Lab, which features a vertical hydroponic garden where students grow lettuce, kale, herbs, strawberries, peas and more. 

“Engineering Tomorrow has an incredible partnership with the DCE School District,” notes Dr. Peck. “All credit goes to the administration, teachers, staff and students in the district. DCE has a highly focused mission of providing their students with cutting edge STEM learning opportunities and Engineering Tomorrow is proud to assist the teachers by providing them with our free engineering labs and resources to assist them with their focused mission.”

If you are interested in learning more about the Engineering Tomorrow program, please contact

Brad Peck, Ph.D.
Midwest Regional Director
Engineering Tomorrow
Cell: 715-581-3531

Originally published in the Spring 2024 edition of Teaching Today Wisconsin.