Discover “E” — Questions & Answers for Engineers
  1. When will the Discover “E” program be held? Do I have to make the visit on Engineers Week?
    Visits start in February and continue until all the teachers have a match. Most visits occur in March. Most schools in the Silicon Valley are closed on Engineers Week. No problem, schedule the visit to your work schedule and the teachers curiculm.
  2. Which engineers should participate in this program?
    The Discover “E” program is suitable for all engineers All sorts of requests are received. You can find something that will work for you. Review all the open requests on the Discover “E” Classroom Signup Form. You don’t need to have an engineering or technical background, but you DO need a passion to inspire kids to seek careers in science.
  3. How can I contact the teacher to schedule my visit with the students?
    From the Discover “E” Classroom Sign-up Form. Once you select the class that looks best to you. Press the button Email Teacher. That will change the form status to in progress to others know the class has been selected. It will give you an email page. Let the teacher know you are interested and if you can provide a couple of dates and time that work for you that will help to get the visit scheduled. Questions? Email Lynn Guest at
  4. What does a typical presentation look like?
    Most volunteers visit a classroom for 1 hour or less. The following format works well (although the teacher and engineer may negotiate a format which meets the teacher’s specific needs or class objectives):
    • Introduction of engineer by teacher
    • Discussion or presentation slides by the engineer about different types of engineers, what engineers do, how do you become an engineer and your personal engineering background.
    • Plan 10-15 minutes for grades K thru 8 and the full 60 minutes for high school students.
    • Optional activities related to engineering, such as hands-on demonstrations, informational videos, etc. Plan on 20-30 minutes for K thru 8. Omit for high school unless you have a special request.
    • Question-and-answer period
    • Clean up
    • Engineer hands out brochures, bookmarks, posters, etc.
    • A great website with all this information is a Community Resource for Science

  5. Where can I find a presentation or material to use for my talk?
    Try these web sites:
  6. What Discover “E” materials are available to give to the students?
    Some items are available for free at the E-Week Web site.
    Some companies will provide them for their employees to hand out or you can purchase them. Some examples are:
    • Engineering and You, a brochure which provides information for students on how to become an engineer.
    • Bookmarks: Students can mark their books with these colorful and fun mementos of the Discover “E” program.

  7. What should I discuss with the teacher in preparation for the visit?
    • Date and time of my presentation
    • Location of the school and classroom, and instructions for finding them
    • Grade level and number of students
    • Format and content of presentation most applicable to the class and the teacher’s objectives. What will the class find most interesting?
    • Does the teacher have any specific topics they would like the engineer to discuss that fit with the lesson plan
    • Whether a “hands-on” project or a video would be desirable
    • Materials and equipment requirements (copies of handouts, overhead projector, LCD projector, video monitor, etc.)
    • How the teacher will prepare the students for the visit
    • Materials you plan to leave for the students (brochures, bookmarks, etc.)

  8. Any ideas for Videos or interactive websites I can use?
    Try the following:

  9. Where can I find ideas for a Demonstration?
    There are lots of great ideas. Some engineers take their work to the classroom. Others use experiments from the following web sites. This work well for K-8 grades.

  10. It has been a long time since I was in a class, how can I get some survival tips for my visit?
    The teacher will always remain in the class with you. They are responsible for class discipline.
    This brochure has great information about what to expect and what to prepare for.
    Engineers are strongly encouraged to read this brochure before the visit.
    Another great resource is the ABCs of Classroom Science. One page has it all.

  11. I would like to visit my child’s class. How do we set that up?
    You can set up the visit yourself by working directly with the teacher. Or have the teacher visit this website to sign up. They can request you in the comments section. Then you need to find the form they filled out and sign up for it.

Also see: