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Pre-College Outreach

  • Are you a teacher or engineer looking to inspire the next generation of civil engineers? Are you a student who wants to find out why civil engineering is loads of fun?

    Perhaps you are looking for lessons, videos, and activities to do at home? ASCE can help! We are compiling and highlighting materials from a variety of ASCE-supported sources to support parents and teachers experience hands-on engineering at home. Check back frequently as our resource list grows.

  • Everyday Engineering: STEM@Home

    In this series we are adapting some of the support activities developed for the award-winning documentary, Dream Big: Engineering Our World, to showcase how they can be done at home.

    Water Pollution Clean Up--Healthy water is important for humans as well as for the environment. Can you design a water filter to remove pollutants?

    • Water Pollution Clean Up—at home version (PDF)
    • Water Pollution Clean Up—original version (PDF), with more questions and adaptations for younger and older grades.
    • Dream Big - Quenching A Thirsty World: Water Engineering. Learn how engineers are finding innovative ways to provide clean water.
    • Dream Big - Water Wishes: Engineering for Those in Need. Many communities around the world lack clean water. See how humanitarian engineering involving college students brings clean water to a village in Peru.
    • Learn about historic civil engineering icons in the area of water treatment
      • The Lawrence Experimental Station. Completed in 1886, this was a pioneer engineering laboratory dedicated to research on the treatment of water supply, sewage and industrial waste and has been recognized nationally and internationally for contributions to the environmental engineering field.
      • The Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewage Treatment Plant. Completed in 1925. Before 1925, sewage from Milwaukee and its suburbs was released directly into local rivers which flowed through the city of Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage Treatment Plant is America's earliest large-scale activated sludge type municipal sewage treatment plant - a major improvement on contemporary methods.
    • Meet some historic engineers who worked in water treatment
      • Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (1842 - 1911) Ellen Richards was the first woman to graduate from MIT, a pioneer in the fields of sanitary engineering and public health, and the founder of euthenics (the study of human functioning and well being by improvement of living conditions) and home economics.
      • Abel Wolman (1892–1989) Abel Wolman combined engineering with public health and hygiene into the field that came to be known as sanitary engineering. He developed globally implemented procedures for water and sewage chlorination and disinfection, and influenced federal policy concerning water pollution control and management.

    Colorful Chemistry—Red cabbage juice makes a colorful chemical indicator for acids and bases around the home.

    Build an Earthquake Resistant Structure—build structures out of toothpicks and marshmallows then test them on a home-made shake table.

    Foil Boats—this is a fun activity for all ages. How much weight will a piece of foil support? Turn it into a challenge!

    Windy City Tower/Paper Towers—Can you design and build a paper tower that can hold up in the wind?

    More Activities: Our partner, DiscoverE, is another excellent source for lessons adapted for home use. Check out the growing library of materials at

    Looking for help in conducting activities at home? Read:

    What to Watch

    • Dream Big: Engineering Our World is available on Netflix and can also be obtained from Vimeo for $6.99 for a 48-hour period of time or $13.99 to view and download anytime.
    • Check out a variety of short (4-6 minute) videos covering a range of engineering topics. Technical subjects including wind engineering, clean water, earthquakes, and virtual engineering. There are also interviews with female engineers and a Spanish language webisode. Looking for something fun? Check out “How Kids Engineer a Bridge.”
    • What Do Civil Engineers Do? Provides an overview of civil engineering from the perspective of 3 high-interest projects including a sports stadium, deep tunnel, and humanitarian engineering.

    Meet an Engineer

    • New Faces of Civil Engineering—young, diverse civil engineers who are already making a difference. Resources include print articles as well as short videos. Meet current college students as well as working professionals under the age of 30.
    • Historic Civil Engineers—Learn more about the accomplishments of past civil engineering leaders including the builder of the Eiffel Tower (Gustav Eiffel) , Hoover Dam (Stephen Bechtel Sr.), and the woman whose efforts completed the Brooklyn Bridge, Emily Warren Roebling.
    • Chat With a Civil Engineer—contact for more information on how to arrange an email or video chat.

    Notable Civil Engineering Icons

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  • Infrastructure Resources

    2017 Infrastructure Report Card Infographics

    2017 Infrastructure Report Card Americas Infrastructure Grade

    America’s Infrastructure Grade

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    2017 Infrastructure Report Card Wastewater

    Water & Wastewater Investment

    Download PDF

    2017 Infrastructure Report Card Surface Transportation

    Surface Transportation Infrastructure

    Download PDF