NASA Nebraska Space Grant
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Derrick A. Nero is the Assistant Professor of Engineering Education in the University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Education (UNO COE). Derrick has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and has worked as an engineer and project manager for Raytheon Services Nevada and Bechtel Nevada. He earned a Master’s degree in Special Education and worked in alternative, general, and STEM education for 11 years at Lewis & Clark Middle School in Omaha Public Schools. During those years, he created and taught a STEM elective course for nine years. He worked collaboratively with UNO COE and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to develop and implement the use of robotics as an educational platform. Derrick attained his Doctorate in Educational Leadership with a focus on Engineering Education from UNO.
Derrick teaches and develops teacher education courses for undergraduate teacher candidates and engineering education courses for graduate candidates. In addition to being a Nebraska Space Ambassador, he serves as a Nebraska Department of Education STEM Fellow, co-facilitator for the UNL Engineering Readiness Academy and the Nebraska NASA Space Grant Project HALON, co-developer for the Nebraska Robotics Expo, and faculty advisor for various STEM outreach initiatives such as Space Celebration Night, Family Engineering Night, STEM Days, and student groups such as Latin@s in STEM, National Society of Black Engineers, and Noyce Scholars. With support from Nebraska NASA Space Grant, Derrick has served as a faculty advisor for undergraduate research and founded a general education science course at UNO that develops near space experiments using high-altitude balloons. Derrick’s research interests include K-12 Engineering Education, authentic learning experiences, and engaging underrepresented groups.