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2022 ENGage Event

Monday, March 14 - In-Person

Register to Attend

What does an engineer do? Come get your passport to engineering careers by going around the lab in 180 minutes. Students will tour research labs at LSU in the renovated engineering building (Patrick F. Taylor Hall) and participate in hands-on demonstrations led by professors and undergraduate students.

Topics include:

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Nanomaterials
  • Electrochemistry
  • Clean Energy
  • Waste Water Treatment

This event is FREE and open to 6th-8th grade classes on a first come, first serve basis. One teacher/chaperone for every 10 students is required; maximum of 40 students per school.

Teachers will receive confirmation e-mail with more information and school agreement form. Must reply to confirm your spot. There will be a waiting list once max capacity is reached.


Discipline Description
Biological Engineering From Diapers to Drug Delivery - How Hydrogels Help Us: In this activity, students will learn about biocompatibility, biologically engineered materials, hydrogen bonds, and hydrogels. We will observe the change in hydrogen bonds when soap is added to water, then create a hydrogel from the material found in diapers.
Biological Engineering Decoding the Code - From DNA to Proteins: All living creatures on Earth share the same building blocks of life – DNA. But what does it do? In this demonstration, students will learn how DNA sequences are translated into proteins to discover the hidden messages coded into our DNA.
Biological Engineering The Battle between Tumors and Drug Resistance: In this action-packed activity, students will gain an understanding of how individual components of cancer can increase the severity of this disease.
Biological Engineering Building your Best Matrix: Human and animal tissues are composed of cells and several types of proteins. Such proteins are organized in a specific manner to interact with cells. We will show a model cell-matrix structure, and students will construct their own models of a matrix.
Chemical Engineering Geaux for the Gold: Making Metal Nanoparticles for Chemical Reactions: What is a nanoparticle and how small are they? Students will see a how gold and silver nanoparticles are made and how they can be used in chemical reactions.
Chemical Engineering Crazy Colloids & Mad Magnetic Materials: The activity will unravel the world of "small" colloidal particles, and how they exist in nature, hidden from our eyesight. Students will see how properties of liquid containing these particles change when magnetic fields are applied.
Chemical Engineering Waterproof Plants: Hydrophobicity in Nature: Plants have developed unique coatings to keep their leaves clean. This helps plants to convert light into energy through photosynthesis. In this activity, students will see how plants are able to affect the motion of water in order to clean their leaves and  will learn how scientists are using this idea to develop stain resistant clothing.
Chemical Engineering The Art of Connecting Small Molecules into "Super Strong" Polymers: What are polymers and how are they used? Students will observe and have hands-on experience on the preparation of standard and advanced polymers with remarkable mechanical properties.
Chemical Engineering Constructing Cancer Catchers: In this activity, students will learn how researchers can use chemical engineering principles to build new devices that help doctors treat and diagnose cancer. Blood cells and cancer cells will be represented by a mixture of rice and pasta. Students will create their own designs with the goal of separating the different "cells" from each other.
Construction Management LSU's BIM Cave: Using 3D Visual Models to Manage Information: 3D models help us to better understand how the different components of a building work together and help researchers design smart cities. Students will see LSU's BIM Cave and learn how construction managers design models to help designers, constructors, and facility managers more easily manage information about buildings by automating complicated processes.
Electrical Engineering Helping Surgeons Find and Remove "Tiny Tumors": Cancerous tumors can be hard to find and can be hard to remove completely through surgery. In the US, 40% of cancer patients who have surgery end up having the cancer come back within 5 years. Learn how spectroscopic near-infrared imaging devices help surgeons to better identify and remove these tiny tumors.
Environmental Engineering Photo-bleaching: Using the Sun to Purify Water: Sunlight causes many chemical reactions in the environment. Environmental Engineers often use the same types of chemistry for water treatment to produce clean water. We will perform a simple experiment to show how we can use photochemistry  to destroy chemicals in water. We will use food coloring so we can see it happen in real time.
Environmental Engineering Making Currents with Currents: Producing Electricity Using Water: Seawater and river water have different salt concentrations, and we can use them to produce electricity. We will show students how to produce electricity using seawater and river water with battery systems.
Mechanical Engineering Lab on a Piece of Paper: Using Microfluidics to Test Properties of Liquids: Our lab makes devices out of patterned paper to conduct chemical tests that use only small drops of liquid--this is called microfluidics. Students will do their own titration experiment using these small pieces of paper.
Petroleum Engineering How Do We Produce Heavy Oil? Heavy oils differ from light oils (such as gasoline we put in our cars, or oil we use for cooking) by their weight and stickiness. They do not flow in their original reservoir conditions underground. In this demonstration, we will see how we produce these oils by heating them. We will also see how we differentiate light oils from heavy, by viewing them under UV light—they glow!

ENGage LSU Program Statistics: 2017-2019

  • ENGage LSU was founded in 2017 and is held every year in March or April during LSU’s spring break. 350 middle school students have attended over the past 3 years.
  • All students are given a pre-survey before the event and a post-survey afterward to see what they learned and if their opinions changed about engineering. Results from the past 3 years show:

22% of students increased their level of interest in engineering 

48% of students increased confidence in their ability to become an engineer

42% of students increased their desire to work as an engineer

All students learn at least one new field of engineering (Table 1)

Students broaden their knowledge of what engineers do (Table 2)


Table 1. Participants were asked to list all types of engineering they could on the surveys. The percent increase between pre- and post-survey is included for each field below. The most common answers in the pre-survey were mechanical and chemical engineering, but the biggest increase in responses was in biomedical/biological engineering.

Type of Engineering Pre % Post % Difference
Biomedical/Biological 19% 56% 27%
Mechanical/Aerospace 45% 52% 7%
Civil 11% 18% 7%
Environmental 3% 9% 7%
Chemical 34% 38% 4%
Industrial 4% 6% 2%
Petroleum 4% 5% 1%
Computer 13% 12% -1%
Electrical 20% 17% -3%


Table 2. The surveys also include a list of activities, where students are instructed to check each item they think engineers do. The largest increases in responses are directly tied to specific demonstrations occurring during ENGage LSU in different years, such as helping doctors diagnose and treat patients with cancer and working with things smaller than a human hair.

Activity Pre% Post% Difference
Help doctors diagnose and treat patients with cancer 31% 85% 54%
Work with things smaller than a human hair 35% 83% 48%
Study the properties of plastic 32% 72% 40%
Develop processes to make chemicals 50% 89% 38%
Build new internal organs for people 35% 73% 38%
Clean up oil spills 24% 61% 37%
Drill for oil underground 39% 74% 34%
Design systems to treat drinking water 55% 88% 33%
Study DNA, proteins, and cells from plants and animals 59% 92% 33%
Develop processes to make new chemicals and polymers 64% 92% 28%
Build roads and bridges 65% 88% 23%
Ensure that packages from Amazon and other places arrive on time 20% 43% 23%
Invent machines to do things in new ways 71% 91% 20%
Develop 3D models of objects 80% 95% 15%
Improve the function of batteries and electronics 71% 84% 14%
Design cars and airplanes 82% 94% 13%
Make devices and materials to learn more about the human body 82% 93% 11%
Build devices to produce electricity from water 86% 97% 10%


Group photo of 2019 ENGage volunteers from Society of Peer MentorsTumor and drug resistance tug-of-war led by Dr. Elizabeth Martin (BE)Cars powered by fuel cells in Dr. Chris Arges’s lab (CHE)Students building cell-tissue matrices with Dr. Philip Jung (BE)

Students learning about self-cleaning surfaces in Dr. James Dorman’s lab (CHE)Students learning about water treatment technology with Dr. Samuel Snow (EVEG)Students learning about self-cleaning surfaces in Dr. James Dorman’s lab (CHE)Students learning about paper microfluidics in Dr. Manas Gartia’s lab (ME)

Students learning about heavy oil in Dr. Jyotsna Sharma’s lab (PETE)Students exploring the BIM Cave with Dr. Yongcheol Lee (CM)Students learning about paper microfluidics in Dr. Manas Gartia’s lab (ME)Students learning about producing electricity using seawater in Dr. Xiuping Zhu’s lab (EVEG)

Students racing fuel cell cars with Dr. Arges (CHE).Students constructing cancer cell catchers in Dr. Adam Melvin’s lab (CHE)Students making gold nanoparticles in Dr. Kunlun Ding’s lab (CHE)Students constructing cancer cell catchers in Dr. Adam Melvin’s lab (CHE)


For more information, contact:

Adrienne Steele

LSU College of Engineering