Past workshops

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Open Workshop
4-Hour Lesson 2019

At the end of March, the RPI Engineering Ambassadors hosted an open course for students, professors, organizations, and community groups who wanted to learn to create their own videos. 

Although the group was small, the energy was high. With the large variety in topics and interests,  Lauren covered many aspects of making videos, urging the students to stretch their creativity through presentation, brainstorming, hands-on exercises, and demonstrations.

After spending the afternoon working with Lauren, participants were ready to create videos to meet their individual needs, be it convincing students to join their organization, attracting students to their major, or even finding funders for their community group.

Simula Research Laboratory
Communicating Scientific Research National Course
Annual 3-Day Workshop 2016-Present

Each fall, around 60 PhD students gather at Simula Research Laboratory to continue on with the second week of study for advanced principles of the course Communicating Scientific Research.


While the students leave the course with new confidence in their presentation and writing skills, Lauren works with the students over three days to further their communication into a new realm: movies. The students collaborate in groups of 2-5 to create a short film that showcases their research to the public in an engaging and entertaining way.


During the week long course, students are given interactive instruction on how proper design can elevate a movie from amateur to inspiring. Through peer-to-peer group critique sessions and individual assistance, Lauren helps each team fine tune their projects. The workshop concludes with a screening night with pizza, awards, and movies participants are proud to share long after the workshop concludes.

Pennsylvania State University
Mechanical Engineering First Year Seminar
50 Minute Lesson 2015, 2017, 2018

Each year, Lauren returns to the course ME 109S: Explore Mechanical Engineering Research to work with first year students as part of a semester long project. Throughout the course of the semester, students work in pairs to create a video for the research lab of their choice.

In one class period, just 50 minutes, Lauren covers the topics of planning, shooting, and editing that the students will employ throughout the 2 month span of the project. From completion of a preparation assignment, to discussions with professors, all the way through a draft , students implement the teachings from Lauren's lesson.

With the completion of their final videos, each of the labs gain valuable content to showcase their work. Throughout the students' journey in movie making, they gain insight into the world of engineering research.

Pennsylvania State University
Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering
3-Hour Lesson 2017, 2018

Each year the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering hosts a course open to all graduate and undergraduate students from the department as well as engineering communication organizations UTree and Engineering Ambassadors.

The department, labs, and organizations gain valuable content to showcase their work, and the students expand their communication skills into a new realm–through video. 

Students spend a total of three hours with Lauren preparing to create their video. Lauren leads an interactive presentation that allows students to collaborate with their peers and gain the necessary movie-making skills. At the end of the session, the students leave with the confidence to create a movie on their own time. 

Engineering Ambassadors Network Conference
3-Day Workshop 2016

During the second weekend in September, undergraduate Ambassadors from across the country gathered at Penn State University for the Engineering Ambassadors Network conference. Engineering Ambassadors Network addresses the need for strong future leaders in engineering and supports the recruitment of a diverse future generation of engineers. The conference focused on Engineering Ambassadors, but science and other STEM majors were also welcome.  

Students spent the weekend developing better communication skills to improve their outreach to middle and high school students. The new ambassadors learned the assertion-evidence approach to presentations while the senior ambassadors spent their time mentoring and learning new skills to create a short film.  

The 40 senior ambassadors split into groups to create a movie from scratch in just three days. Even though the timeframe was short, the students created impactful videos. Not only did the senior ambassadors leave the conference with amazing short films, they will return to their universities and continue to use movies as a means of communication to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists.

Pennsylvania State University
Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering
Extended Lesson 2014

This course, run with graduate and PhD mechanical engineering students, focused on expanding students' communication skills in order to showcase their lab. Keeping with their trend—the forefront of technology—the students learned to present their work in a new way with video.

Students spent a total of four hours with Lauren preparing to create the video. Lauren lead an interactive presentation that allowed students to collaborate with their peers and gain the necessary movie-making skills of planning, shooting, and editing. At the end of the session, the students left with the confidence to create their own movie over the course of the semester. 

The students then spent several weeks shooting and editing their own movies. Lauren returned to campus for individual follow-up and critique sessions with each group. After gaining valuable feedback from Lauren each group fine-tuned their movie into a polished piece in which they can share their story with the world.