K-12 Programs

Engineering students Bryce Jensen, Jason Knight-Han, and Jesus Perez giving a demonstration of the Lunabotics Rover to a group of middle school students

SSU Engineering is committed to partnerships with local and regional schools in our common goal of growing future inventors and innovators. We welcome K-12 students in our labs and classroom for activities, workshops, tours, or demos; we invite high school students for research experience; and partner with teachers or clubs and help with various class or other school projects. Our students, alumni, and faculty love working with K-12 students and are eager to support them in any way possible. Please email us at engineering@sonoma.edu with your ideas or if you have any questions.

2022 Tech Trek students trying out Lunabotics Rover in the engineering department hallway

Engineering Project Experience for High School Students

We invite high school students in 10th and 11th grades to submit applications for an opportunity to work with the engineering students and professors in various projects. These projects can run from a few months to a year. Time commitment and other requirements vary from project to project. This is a non-residential program and students must arrange their own transportation. Occasionally we have projects where students can participate remotely. Please refer to the application form below for currently available projects, application window, and other information.

Application Form for Engineering Project Experience at SSU

Engineering student Natalie Liang taking a group of middle school students on a tour of engineering research labs dolor

Tours and Demonstrations

We are happy to host K-12 students, families, teachers, or counselors for tours and demonstrations any time of the year. The tours can be half an hour to a few hours. Please send us an email at engineering@sonoma.edu with your request. Please provide as much information as possible so that we can plan accordingly. Information about grade level, group size, interests, possible days and times, and available time duration would be appreciated. We can host you for a tour or demonstration with as little as two weeks of notice.

A group of high school students watching an amateur radio demonstration from engineering professor Dr. Mohamed Salem

Hands-On Activities and Workshops

We love working with K-12 students on hands-on projects or teaching them cool skills through workshops. The activities and workshop can be an hour to a few hours. We can host you at SSU or we will also be happy to visit your school or classroom. Please send your ideas to engineering@sonoma.edu. Please provide as much information as possible so that we can plan accordingly. Information about grade level, group size, interests, possible days and times, and available time duration would be appreciated. Please send in your request at least a month in advance.

Engineering faculty Mr. Shahram Marivani helps a Tech Trek student group build a robot out of paper cups, popsicle sticks, and a motor

One of the paper cup robots built by a student

Classroom Visitation and Other Partnerships

We are happy to come to your classroom for any ideas you may have. Our students, alumni, and faculty love to talk to students at all grade levels. We are also eager to work with you or your student teams or clubs on projects or competitions.

Example K-12 Programs and Partnerships

Tours, Demos, and Information Sessions

50 Calistoga High students are visiting us for a tour and demos in March 2023. In November 2022, Calistoga Junior High students visited us for an information session about engineering, a tour, and demos. In September 2022, two engineering professors visited Santa Rosa Junior College physics class for an information session about studying electrical engineering.

High school students presenting their research work at a Research Symposium

School Visitation and Project Support

Two engineering students visited third and fourth grade class at University Elementary at La Fiesta in March 2023 to answer questions on engineering subjects such as robotics, magnets, and energy. An engineering alumni advised a Rancho Cotate High School robotics team working towards a competition.

Hands-on Projects

Four AAUW Tech Trek groups are coming to the engineering department in June and July 2023 for a morning of hands-on projects, tours, and demos. We also hosted two Tech Trek groups last year.

Engineering alumni Scott Parmley talks to a group of high school students about his rover project and engineering career

Research and Project Experience Opportunities

Engineering research labs routinely accept students to work in various projects. As a commitment to mentoring the next generation of engineers and encouraging a diverse STEM workforce the engineering department continues to host many high school students both during summer and academic year. Mentored by the engineering faculty and students, hundreds of participants have been given the opportunity to work in one of the research laboratories and learn about exciting projects.

Engineering department hosting a workshop at Santa Rosa Junior College

Summer Camps

We hosted week-long summer camps for high school students in 2019, 2020, and 2021. The summer camp provided an opportunity to build their own projects around robotics, automation, sensors, computer vision, and apps. All participants receive their own electronic kits. The participating students are also introduced to young engineers who are currently working in the local high-tech companies.

A high school student learning to solder in an engineering lab

As part of the program students learned basic electronics, electronics circuits and electronic components such as batteries, motors, LEDs, buzzers, and resistors; Arduino programming and basic concepts of signal processing; troubleshooting skills; internet-of-things; app development. Upon completion of the course, all students received a certificate of accomplishment. The program was a partnership between the Electrical Engineering Department at Sonoma State University, the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE), The Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation, IEEE and Keysight Technologies. The funding for this program has been provided by Keysight Technologies.

A high school student working with an Arduino microcontroller in an engineering lab

Below are the testimonials from the participants:

"It has been an amazing experience. Building and programming the car on my own with clear precise instructions was awesome."

"I think that this camp was a very fun and exciting experience. I think that all of the mentors were very nice and were also very helpful. I have learned so much from this camp and am very interested in the electrical engineering program at Sonoma state."

High school students building a robotic car during a summer camp program

"It was a very fun and interesting camp, I learned a lot about circuitry and how to use breadboards to do things with buttons, LED, buzzer, and wires. I also learned how to program my Arduino, which was interesting and I enjoyed the problem solving experiences."

"I had a great experience attending this camp.I learned many new things. I really appreciate the mentors helping me through the things I didn't quite understand."

High school summer camp students building a mobile app in an engineering computer lab

"This camp is a fun week at SSU. You will get a look into what electrical engineering is about and what you can learn at the department. In a way it gives you insight into how it would be to attend SSU as well. The introduction to coding was the best part for me and especially as I have no experience at all."

The very first group of summer camp participants with their mentors and engineering faculty in 2019

"It was very fun. I loved everything including the warmups on the first day. …. I had no problems with the program. I highly recommend anyone who is at least a little interested in electrical engineering to join this program during the future years."