Engineering Expectations

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Engineering Expectations is designed to hook kids on engineering by engaging them in creative thinking and out-of-the-box problem solving. We use a project based learning philosophy and have students complete hands-on engineering challenges through the use of the engineering design cycle. We help students learn and grow by integrating their knowledge from their math and science classes and help them apply it to an engineering problem. In addition to engineering, our students will learn and apply 21st century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, and cross-disciplinary thinking.

Our Weekend Programs have a different topic each month and serve to be an introduction to the engineering design process and what problems engineers might work to solve. Our Summer Enrichment programs tackle different types of projects depending on the theme of the camp. We hope that by the time students have completed our programs, they will feel confident in their engineering abilities, understand what engineers really do, and want to come back to learn more!

For more information about what Engineering is, click here (PDF).

Meet Our Staff heading banner

Dr. Sue KeziosDr. Sue Kezios, Director of the STEM Learning Cooperative & Youth Programs, grew up in rural Maryland surrounded by history, music and the Chesapeake Bay. She earned her Ph.D. in biology from Princeton University. After spending the first half of her career conducting research on cell differentiation, Dr. K became concerned about the state of science education in America. This led to collaboration with the National Institutes of Health to create KinderScience, a hands-on science education program for young children. In 1999 Dr. K obtained her North Carolina teaching certification and began working at UNCW. In 2006 she was named Director of Youth Programs.


Kathy IbbotsonKathy Ibbotson, UNCW’s PreK-12 Engineering Program Director, is delighted to be a North Carolina transplant after graduating from the University of Dayton with a degree in Chemical Engineering. She gained theoretical and practical engineering experience through internships at The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and The J.M. Smucker Company. After graduation, Kathy moved to Wilmington take a job with a Fortune 500 company as a chemical process engineer. Other influential experience for Kathy include traveling to China to bring sustainable water purification systems to villages and participating in an all engineering sorority, Phi Sigma Rho. She is very passionate about encouraging youth to realize their potential as future engineers and has made the transition from industry to education as the PreK-12 Engineering Program Director for UNCW's Youth Programs.


Jasmine GastonJasmine Gaston, K-12 Engineering Associate, is a proud Army Brat who has lived in ten states and two countries. She decided to take her talents to North Carolina State University and studied Mechanical Engineering. She proceeded to work for Avery Dennison Corporation, a global leader in adhesive technologies and packaging materials, as a Project Engineer. The lack of diversity in the professional engineering field challenged Jasmine to transition into the education industry. With the goal of increasing minority representation in engineering and improving student comprehension within STEM, Jasmine aspires to positively impact students as a professor and role model. Now in a permanent role with UNCW's Youth Programs, Jasmine is excited to provide PreK-12 students productive engineering engagement. In addition to creating and facilitating engineering programs, Jasmine in pursuing a M.S. degree in Mathematics at UNCW.


Kimberly CockrellKimberly Cockrell, Budget Coordinator, spent most of her youth in Ohio and North Carolina. She is a UNCW alumnus with a Communication Studies degree and has been active in the UNCW Alumni Association. Her office duties include the fiscal and administrative aspects of Youth Programs. Kimberly brings with her experience in marketing, office management, budget management and youth leadership. She enjoys the adventure of two teenage boys, quiet time reading a good book and spending quality time with family.


Deirdre ScanlonDeirdre Scanlon, Registration, Marketing & Communications Associate, grew up in northern Virginia, just outside D.C. After receiving her B.A. in English with an environmental studies minor from Lynchburg College, she went on to earn her M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from UNCW. Through her work and educational pursuits, she realized a passion for marketing, graphic design, and website development, which she is excited to use in promoting UNCW's Youth Programs. Deirdre seizes every opportunity she gets to travel abroad, but enjoys reading a good book or watching a captivating TV show when she's living life state-side.