The U.S. engineering workforce is not representative of the country’s diverse population. While Blacks and Hispanics account for 13.4% and 18.5% nationwide, they represent only 5% and 7% in the engineering workforce, respectively. The engineering workforce is also underrepresented in gender, with just 14% of engineers identifying as female compared to 50.8% in the general population (US Census Bureau 2019; Funk and Parker 2018). LGBTQ+ populations are also underrepresented in STEM (Cech 2015). The lack of diversity in engineering has been shown to hamper both creativity and productivity (McLeod, Lobel, and Cox 1996; Ely, Padavic, and Thomas 2012; Alesina, Harnoss, and Rapoport 2016; Trenor et al. 2008; Roberge and van Dick 2010). Lack of diversity in engineering starts long before students enter the job market and can be seen numerically in engineering education. Despite numerical increase in enrollment, minorities and women remain significantly underrepresented in engineering in undergraduate and graduate higher education (Anderson et al. 2018; de Brey et al. 2019). With low representation, populations of minorities, female-identified students, and members of the LGBTQ+ community are more likely to drop out and not graduate with a degree in engineering (Hausmann, Schofield, and Woods 2007; de Brey et al. 2019; Trenshaw et al. 2013). As the U.S. population shows increasing racial and ethnic diversity (Craig, Rucker, and Richeson 2018), it is imperative that we take steps as engineering educators to create a more inclusive engineering education environment. Several colleges in the U.S. have introduced diversity initiatives such as faculty/staff diversity training (O’Leary et al. 2020), diversity-focused workshops (Rheingans et al. 2018), and even mentoring programs to women and underrepresented racial and ethnic groups (Young 2018; Ikuma et al. 2019). At the University of Iowa, the College of Engineering recently established the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council, and with their support, we aim to learn about first-year engineering students’ perceptions of diversity. To this end, we developed a hands-on workshop to facilitate conversation about diversity and learn how the students perceive diversity. While other institutions have also adopted diversity training for first-year engineering students, our pilot study is novel because it frames the conversation about diversity from the student’s perspective rather than from the perspective of training, which has been shown to be ineffective (Naff and Kellough 2003; Chang et al. 2019; Dobbin and Kalev 2018). This education-based conversational approach is novel in that it leads to the inclusion, in addition to race and gender, of other dimensions of diversity that are rarely included in diversity training, including, but not limited to, sexual orientation, non-binary gender identity, age, political views, and religious beliefs.