Current Engagements

The Seymour and Esther Padnos College of Engineering and Computing is committed to community outreach to introduce the community to the fields of engineering and computing. Several outreach programs have been created to serve this purpose. Please view below our annual outreach efforts in the timeline that they occur.

FIRST Robotics field

FIRST Robotics

FIRST Robotics is a unique varsity sport of the mind designed to help high-school-aged young people discover how interesting and rewarding the life of engineers and scientists can be. It is a sport where the participants play with the pros and learn from them. It involves designing and building a robot which is a fascinating real-world professional experience. In this sport, participants compete on stage and game rules are a surprise every year.

Grand Valley State University hosts the FIRST Robotics West Michigan Regional Competition. More than 1,000 students from 54 high school teams from around the Midwest gather at GVSU to compete each March. The environment of the competition is part robot extravaganza, part rock concert, and part pep rally. 

Complete information, including a detailed schedule and a list of teams, is available at

More information about the FIRST Robotics Competition is available at

Engineering Day

Engineering Day is an engaging event catering to 4th-8th grade students and the wider community, offering interactive exploration of diverse STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) concepts. The School of Engineering and Department of Occupational Safety and Health Management (OSH), alongside PCEC Outreach, provide hands-on activities that allow participants to delve into math, engineering, problem-solving, mechanics, and OSH. In addition to offerings by professionals from various fields, interactive stations presented by community partners showcase expertise in their respective areas. This event is hosted at the Grand Rapids Public Museum

Roger That! Video

Roger That!

Roger That! celebrates space exploration and the life of Roger B. Chaffee through exciting exhibitions and activities. Roger That! has events that take place at both GVSU and the Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM). PCEC Outreach and the School of Engineering provide several hands-on activities exploring space exploration, engineering, and renewable energy throughout the Roger That! multiple day conference. Visit the GVSU Roger That! website for more information.

Science Olympiad

Science Olympiad is the premier team STEM competition in the nation, and Michigan Science Olympiad Region 12 includes students from Kent, Muskegon, and Ottawa County Schools. PCEC Outreach and the School of Engineering assist our colleagues in the Regional Math and Science Center with the Region 12 Competition at GVSU. Visit the GVSU Science Olympiad website for more information.

A duo of students working on a project


MiCareerQuest is not your typical career fair; it's an immersive career exploration experience. Students engage with professionals and hands-on activities across five high-demand industries: agribusiness, advanced manufacturing, construction, health sciences, and information technology. The event helps students understand the link between education, training, and career paths. Originating in 2015 to address future workforce shortages, MiCareerQuest has expanded its impact, with similar events now held nationwide under CareerQuestUSA. PCEC Outreach and the School of Computing have been consist in providing hands-on computing activities in the information technology sector since 2023. In 2024, GVSU will be a leading sponsor showcasing hands-on career exploration in all five sectors in the DeVos Place. 

Learn more about MiCareerQuest here

PCEC Project Day video

PCEC Project Day

PCEC Project Day showcases the work of undergraduate and graduate students in computing, engineering, and occupational safety and health management majors. Projects are a cumulation of what PCEC students learned in the classroom along with soft skills and teamwork. At the conclusion of each fall and winter semester, we invite the Greater Grand Rapids area high schools to the Shape Corp. Innovation Design Center on the PEW campus to interact with our PCEC students, staff, and faculty. We believe in near-peer mentorship. This tradition highlights our students and what they can achieve in a semester, not just their time at Grand Valley State University. We hope you join us so you can see the excellence that is displayed and feel that "the future looks bright"! 

Learn more about PCEC Project Day

STEM & College Fair

PCEC Outreach has been actively involved in promoting STEM education and career pathways by participating in various events and hosting activities. Past engagements include attending STEM Fridays at Kentwood Public Schools, STEAM Along the Lakeshore, North Godwin STEM Night, Hopkins Career Fair, Battle Creek Career and College Fair, West Ottawa STEM Family Night, and CTC Careerline Fair. These initiatives allow PCEC Outreach to interact with students, educators, and the community, fostering interest and awareness in STEM fields and college opportunities.

Invite us to your next STEM or College Fair! Email us at [email protected] for inquires. 

Camps at GVSU


Grand Valley State University hosts a wide variety of camps for students in grades PK-12. All camps take place on the Grand Valley State University Campus! This is a great opportunity for students to get immersed in STEM while making friends and having fun on a college campus. PCEC Outreach hosts STEPS Camp, assists with Advanced Manufacturing Camp, and is hosting Aviation Camp at Kentwood Public Schools. 


A group of campers with an engineer
Tech Week engineers with a robot

Tech Week: Grand Rapids

Tech Week Grand Rapids is a dynamic multi-day series of events highlighting the thriving tech scene in the region. From interactive tech exhibits to panel discussions and networking sessions, the week offers a diverse range of activities catering to various interests. Hosted as an "unconference" by different organizations throughout the community, attendees have the flexibility to curate their own schedule by registering for specific events that align with their preferences.

PCEC Outreach hosts K-12 activities during Tech Week, along with an evening event open to the public that showcases faculty, staff, and student research and development in computing and engineering.

Learn more about Tech Week in Grand Rapids here.  


PCEC Outreach is a primary sponsor and host of the Future Innovators Zone at Confluence. The Future Innovators Zone is a wonderland where kids of all ages can explore high tech drones, robots, rockets, and hands-on STEAM activities of all kinds. Come join the fun! 

Children coloring an activity

Energizing Our Weekend (EOW)

A FREE family fun event that offers learners of all ages an opportunity to engage in interactive renewable energy and sustainability sessions – like solar panels, wind turbines, and nuclear energy. The Regional Math and Science Center invites the community to drop-in for a fun day on GVSU campus to learn about renewable energy and how it can help build a more sustainable environment for everyone! PCEC Outreach provides a hands-on solar and renewable energy activity for the children. Learn more about EOW here

Page last modified February 28, 2024