Energy Forms, States and Conversions
The students participate in many demonstrations during the first day of this lesson to learn basic concepts related to the forms and states of energy. This knowledge is then applied the second day as they assess various everyday objects to determine what forms of energy are transformed to accomplish the object’s intended task. The students use block diagrams to illustrate the form and state of energy flowing into and out of the process.
Sound Booth Construction
Students explore the sound dampening ability of numerous materials by designing and prototyping model sound booths. As a result, students learn about how sound is reflected, absorbed and travels through various materials, thus giving them an overview of sound dampening, energy absorption and sound propagation in the context of engineering. Students also create blueprints and document their findings in a formal lab report.
Power Your House with Wind
Students learn how engineers harness the energy of the wind to produce power by following the engineering design process as they prototype two types of wind turbines and test to see which works best. Students also learn how engineers decide where to place a wind turbine, and the advantages and disadvantages to using wind power compared to other non-renewable energy sources.
Students use simple household materials, such as PVC piping and compact mirrors, to construct models of laser-based security systems. The protected object (a “mummified troll” or another treasure of your choosing) is placed “on display” in the center of the modeled room and protected by a laser system that utilizes a laser beam reflected off mirrors to trigger a light trip sensor with alarm.
DNA: The Human Body Recipe
As a class, students work through an example showing how DNA provides the “recipe” for making our body proteins. They see how the pattern of nucleotide bases (adenine, thymine, guanine, cytosine) forms the double helix ladder shape of DNA, and serves as the code for the steps required to make genes. They also learn some ways that engineers and scientists are applying their understanding of DNA in our world.
Security System Design
Students apply everything they have learned about light properties and laser technologies to designing, constructing and presenting laser-based security systems that protect the school’s mummified troll. In the associated activity, students “test their mettle” by constructing their security system using a PVC pipe frame, lasers and mirrors. In the lesson, students “go public” by creating informational presentations that explain their systems, and serve as embedded assessment, testing e
Students learn the basics about soil, including its formation, characteristics and importance. They are also introduced to soil profiles and how engineers conduct site investigations to learn about soil quality for development, contamination transport, and assessing the general environmental health of an area.
Scale Model of the Earth
In this activity, students gain an understanding of the layers of the Earth by designing and building a clay model.
Mercalli Scale Illustrated
In this activity, students will learn about the Mercalli Scale for rating earthquakes. Also, students will make a booklet with drawings that represent each rating of the scale.
Seismology in the Classroom
Students learn about seismology by using a sample seismograph constructed out of common classroom materials. The seismograph creates a seismogram based on vibrations caused by moving a ruler. The students work in groups to represent an engineering firm that must analyze the seismograph for how it works and how to read the seismogram it creates.
Earthquake in the Classroom
Students will learn how engineers construct buildings to withstand damage from earthquakes by building their own structure with toothpicks and marshmallows. Students will test how earthquake-proof their buildings are by testing them on an earthquake simulated in a pan of Jell-O®.
Where Am I: Navigation and Satellites
How do we know where we are? What happens if you are completely lost in the middle of nowhere? Does technology provide tools for people lost in their travels? A person cannot usually determine an accurate position just by looking out a window in the middle of the ocean or vast area of land, particularly if it has not been charted before. In this lesson, students explore the concept of triangulation that is used in navigation satellites and global positioning systems designed by engineers. Also,
Getting to the Point
In this lesson, students learn how to determine location by triangulation. We describe the process of triangulation and practice finding your location on a worksheet, in the classroom, and outdoors.
The Boxes Go Mobile
To display the results from the previous activity, each student designs and constructs a mobile that contains a duplicate of his or her original box, the new cube-shaped box of the same volume, the scraps that are left over from the original box, and pertinent calculations of the volumes and surface areas involved.
Heredity Mix ’n Match
Students randomly select jelly beans (or other candy) that represent genes for several human traits such as tongue-rolling ability and eye color. Then, working in pairs (preferably of mixed gender), students randomly choose new pairs of jelly beans from those corresponding to their own genotypes. The new pairs are placed on toothpicks to represent the chromosomes of the couple’s offspring. Finally, students compare genotypes and phenotypes of parents and offspring for all the “couples” in
Map that Habitat
Historically, sea floor mapping occurred with a more simple data collection method: soundings. Soundings are taken by dropping a weight with a pre-measured rope off the side of the boat and noting the measurement on the rope when the weight hits the bottom. This activity will replicate the creation of sea floor bathymetry by taking a simplified form of soundings in the classroom.
Rocks, Rocks, Rocks
Student teams will test rocks to identify and record rock properties such as luster, hardness, color, etc., and classify rocks as igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary. They will complete a worksheet table with all of their rock properties, and then answer some worksheet questions to deepen their understanding of rock properties and relate them to the cavern design problem.
Testing the Caverns - Optional
This activity provides a fun, activity-based closure to the Asteroid Impact unit. Students build model caverns using paper mache or clay and bury them in a tray of sand. Next, they test the models by dropping balls onto them to simulate an asteroid hitting the earth. By molding paper mache around a balloon to form a dome, or around a small cardboard box to form a rectangular structure, students will be able to build their caverns.
What's the Problem?
Lesson 1, Activity 1 introduces the Asteroid Impact unit. Students will read the President’s memo to receive their ‘marching orders’. Student teams are then formed and are given the student packet that includes worksheets and maps. Each team should become familiar with the maps and complete Worksheet One as a group.
Mahara Tutorial 5: Groups (en)
Screencast tutorial for the usage of the e-portfolio software Mahara in the context of the EU-project MOSEP - More self-esteem with my e-portfolio (www.mosep.org). Part 5: Groups.