UW Electrical & Computer Engineering



What do we do?

Energy and Electronics have become a major part of our world and everyday life. Understanding how to produce energy and design electronics for generations to come not only requires engineers to have insight into what society expects from technology but also to adopt a wider, bigger view of the many impacts that energy and electronics have on our growing world.  In reaching out to the community, our goal is to bring topics of electricity and energy and their impacts to learners of all ages in ways that are understandable, appealing, and fun!


We offer 30-75 minute workshops on each of nine topics in the world of energy and electronics.   If you are a teacher, a parent, or other adult interested in bringing your group to one or more of these workshops on the UW Seattle campus, please contact us at denisew@uw.edu.

The Impacts (Three Workshops):

Consuming Electricity:  From iPhones to Refrigerators

If you were to take a look around your living room, would you be able to identify that which consumes the most energy?  In your kitchen?  In your bedroom?   Do you see energy saver labels on any of your appliances at home?  What does the label really mean?  Here, we’ll look at how electricity is consumed in the United States with a particular eye toward where electricity demand can be best reduced.    Does the United States consume more than any other country in the world?  Does it matter?  (40-50 minutes)

Disposing of Electronics:  From iPhones to Refrigerators

Americans love their electronics and appliances.  From TV sets to refrigerators.  From video games to washing machines.  From mobile phones to laptop computers.  From clothes dryers to home heating.   While the use of these electronics and appliances have improved the quality of our lives, where do they go when they expire?  Is electronic waste any better or worse than other forms of waste?  Here, we’ll explore what happens to the many different types of electronics we buy, use, and eventually stop using.  (60-75 minutes)

Repurposing Electronic Waste:  Arts and Crafts 

Find new ways to repurpose electronic waste, giving it a second life. Refashion safe, non-toxic computer and electrical components into jewelry like earrings or bracelets, take old hard drives and make them into handy clocks, and many other hands-on activities that allow you to learn about the internal workings of your daily electronic devices and how to reuse them once they’re at the end of their life. (45-60 minutes, Ages 8+)

For more workshops that cover the science behind electronics and the opportunities of a career as an electrical engineer, visit the Distributed Microsystems Lab Outreach webpage.