What is GIS?
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are an important technology that allows rapid study and use of spatial information. They have become increasingly prevalent in both industry and in the consumer/internet world in the last 20 years. The basis of GIS historically was often in mapping, and so it is important to understand the basis of maps and how to use them as well as why they are different from GIS. Students will learn the value of maps, how to use maps, and the basic components of a GIS. The
Watch Out for the Blind Spots
In this service-learning engineering project, students follow the steps of the engineering design process to design a hearing testing device. More specifically, they design a prototype machine that can be used to test the peripheral vision of partially-blind, pre-verbal children. Students learn about the basics of vision and vision loss. They also learn how a peripheral vision tester for adults works (by testing the static peripheral vision in the four quadrants of the visual field with four con
Bone Mineral Density Math and Beer's Law
In this lesson students revisit the mathematics required to find bone mineral density, to which they were introduced in Lesson 2. They will learn the equation to find intensity and how to use it. There is a sheet of practice problems included which has students practice using this equation.
How Do You Store All This Data?
This lesson allows students to start seeing the data structure they will use to store their images. Students will be introduced to two dimensional arrays and vector classes. Students will be guided to see that a vector class will be the most efficient way of storing the data for their images.
Feel the Stress
Working individually or in groups, students explore the concept of stress (compression) through physical experience and math. They discover why it hurts more to poke themselves with mechanical pencil lead than with an eraser. Then they prove why this is so by using the basic equation for stress and applying the concepts to real engineering problems.
Solar Angles and Tracking Systems
Students learn about the daily and annual cycles of solar angles used in power calculations to maximize photovoltaic power generation. They gain an overview of solar tracking systems that improve PV panel efficiency by following the sun through the sky.
Forms of Linear Equations
The lesson summarizes four forms of equations with which students should be familiar. These include: direct variation, slope-intercept form, standard form, and point-slope form. Students will learn the benefits and uses of each.
Walk the Line: A Module on Linear Functions
This module was written for a Pre-Algebra or Algebra I class in mind. It will lead students through the process of graphing data and finding a line of best fit while simultaneously exploring the characteristics of linear equations in algebraic and graphic formats. These topics are then tied back into real-world experiences in which people use linear functions. During the module, students utilize these scientific concepts to solve the following problem: You’re a new researcher in a lab, and you
Mixtures and Solutions
This unit covers introductory concepts of mixtures and solutions. Students think about how mixtures and solutions, and atoms and molecules can influence new technologies developed by engineers. The first lesson explores the fundamentals of atoms and their structure. The building blocks of matter (protons, electrons, neutrons) are covered in detail. The next lesson examines the properties of elements and the periodic table — one method of organization for the elements. The concepts of physical
In this activity, students use a variety of materials to design and create headphones that absorb sound.
Save Our City!
Students learn about various natural hazards and specific methods engineers use to prevent these hazards from becoming natural disasters. They study a hypothetical map of an area covered with natural hazards and decide where to place natural disaster prevention devices by applying their critical thinking skills and an understanding of the causes of natural disasters.
Sneaking Up On Sneakers
This activity explores why different types of sneakers are used in a variety of common sports. It connects how engineers analyze design needs in sneakers and everyday items. The goal is for students to understand the basics of engineering associated with the design of different types of athletic shoes. Sneakers are one of the most commonly worn shoes in our American culture. They provide comfortable support for our feet as we go about our active lives as students, athletes, educators, and engine
The Fundamental Building Blocks of Matter
This lesson plan explores the fundamentals of atoms and their structure. The building blocks of matter (protons, electrons, neutrons) are covered in detail. Students think about how atoms and molecules can influence new technologies developed by engineers.
Life in Space: The International Space Station
Students are introduced to the International Space Station (ISS) with information about its structure, operation and key experiments. The ISS itself is an experiment in international cooperation to explore the potential for humans to live in space. The space station features state-of-the-art science and engineering laboratories to conduct research in medicine, materials and fundamental science to benefit people on Earth as well as people who will live in space in the future.
Mars and Jupiter
Students explore Mars and Jupiter, the fourth and fifth planets from the Sun. They learn some of the unique characteristics of these planets. They also learn how engineers help us learn about these planets with the design and development of telescopes, deep space antennas, spacecraft and planetary rovers.
Not So Simple
Students expand upon their understanding of simple machines with an introduction to compound machines. A compound machine — a combination of two or more simple machines — can affect work more than its individual components. Engineers who design compound machines aim to benefit society by lessening the amount of work that people exert for even common household tasks. This lesson encourages students to critically think about machine inventions and their role in our lives.
Watt meters to measure energy consumption
Students use watt meters to measure the power required and calculate energy used from various electrical devices and household appliances.
A process for technical problem solving is introduced and applied to a fun demonstration. Given the success with the demo, the iterative nature of the process can be illustrated.
Students evaluate various everyday energy conversion devices and draw block flow diagrams to show the forms and states of energy into and out of the device. They also identify the forms of energy that are useful and the desired output of the device as well as the forms that are not useful for the intended use of the item. This can be used to lead into the law of conservation of energy and efficiency. The student activity is preceded by a demonstration of a more complicated system to convert chem
Corn for Fuel?!
In this activity, students examine how to grow plants the most efficiently. They imagine that they are designing a biofuels production facility and need to know how to efficiently grow plants to use in this facility. As a means of solving this design problem, they plan a scientific experiment in which they investigate how a given variable (of their choice) affects plant growth. They then make predictions about the outcomes and record their observations after two weeks regarding the condition of