William H. Calvin Books and Articles
The full-text of several books authored by University of Washington professor William H. Calvin are available online. His newest book A Brain for All Seasons (A Scientific American book of the month) is about "what sudden climate flips did to human evolution over the last 2.5 million years." Most of his other books also focus on the subjects of the brain and human evolution. The hyperlinked table of contents makes browsing these texts more manageable. This Web page also includes other informatio
People with disabilities represent a significant portion of the US population, and accessible technology (AT) helps make their lives easier. Further development of AT is an important objective in today's world.To learn about the fundamental concepts of AT and browse related reports, the National Assistive Technology Research Institute at the University of Kentucky (1) is an excellent place to start. It explains the six types of AT and considers legal mandates, with plenty of other features, too.
Working as engineering teams, students design and create model beam bridges using plastic drinking straws and tape as their construction materials. Their goal is to build the strongest bridge with a truss pattern of their own design, while meeting the design criteria and constraints. They experiment with different geometric shapes and determine how shapes affect the strength of materials.
Building Tetrahedral Kites
Working in teams of four, students build tetrahedral kites following specific instructions and using specific materials. They use the basic processes of manufacturing systems – cutting, shaping, forming, conditioning, assembling, joining, finishing, and quality control – to manufacture complete tetrahedral kites within a given time frame. Project evaluation takes into account team efficiency and the quality of the finished product.
Make an Alarm!
After reading the story "Dear Mr. Henshaw" by Beverly Cleary, students create an alarm system for something in the classroom, just as the main character Leigh does to protect his lunchbox from thieves. Students learn about alarms and use their creativity to devise an alarm system to protect their lockers, desk, or classroom door. Note: this activity can also be done without reading "Dear Mr. Henshaw."
Go with the Flow
Students gain an understanding of the difference between electrical conductors and insulators, and experience recognizing a conductor by its material properties. In a hands-on activity, students build a conductivity tester to determine whether different objects are conductors or insulators. In another activity, students use their understanding of electrical properties to choose appropriate materials to design and build their own basic circuit switch.
Physics of Roller Coasters
Students explore the physics utilized by engineers in designing today’s roller coasters, including potential and kinetic energy, friction, and gravity. First, students learn that all true roller coasters are completely driven by the force of gravity and that the conversion between potential and kinetic energy is essential to all roller coasters. Second, they also consider the role of friction in slowing down cars in roller coasters. Finally, they examine the acceleration of roller coaster cars
Six Minutes of Terror
This lesson discusses how each component of a spacecraft is specifically designed so that a rover can land safely in six minutes. Also, students will learn how common, everyday materials and technology, like nylon, polyester and airbags, are used in space-age technology.
Music and sound are two different concepts that share much in common. Determining the difference between the two can sometimes be difficult due to the subjective nature of deciding what is or is not music. The goal of this activity is to take something constructed by students, that would be normally classified as just sound and have the class work together to make what can be perceived to be music. Students will construct a basic stringed instrument made of a shoebox and rubber bands. This activ
Ocean Water Desalination
Students learn about the techniques engineers have developed for changing ocean water into drinking water, including thermal and membrane desalination. They begin by reviewing the components of the natural water cycle. They see how filters, evaporation and/or condensation can be components of engineering desalination processes. They learn how processes can be viewed as systems, with unique objects, inputs, components and outputs, and sketch their own system diagrams to describe their own desalin
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.
River Flow Rate
In this activity, students utilize their understanding and feel for flow rate from the Faucet Flow Rate activity to estimate the flow rate in a local river. The objective is for students to relate laboratory experiment results to the environment. Students will then use the Engineering Our Water Living Lab (accessible through TeachEngineering.com) to determine the actual flow rate data for their chosen river. They will compare their estimate with the actual flow rate. Note: for this activity to b
Pointing at Maximum Power for PV
Student teams measure voltage and current in order to determine the power output of a photovoltaic (PV) panel. They vary the resistance in a simple circuit connected to the panel to demonstrate the effects on voltage, current, and power output. After collecting data, they calculate power for each resistance setting, creating a graph of current vs. voltage, and indentifying the maximum power point.
We've Got the Power
In this lesson, students will research various sources of renewable energy. They will discover how each source can be used to generate electricity, the potential benefits and drawbacks of each and which source might best power their home or school. This lesson can be completed in 1-2 class periods.
This informational piece, part of a series about the future of energy, describes the structure of the sun and the reactions taking place there. Students view a diagram of the four layers that make up the sun and review their characteristics. The energy of the sun results from fusion, which is described in a three-step process. The sun's role in the food chain explains the tremendous need for light and heat from the sun. Other information includes the age of the sun and an estimation of its lifes
Are You An Energy Efficient Consumer?
This activity engages students in learning about ways to become energy efficient consumers. Students examine how different countries and regions around the world use energy over time as reflected in night light levels. They then track their own energy use, identify ways to reduce their individual energy consumption, and explore how community choices impact the carbon footprint.
The 13 Clocks
This video version of The 13 Clocks by James Thurber includes text, narration, and pictures. It is listed on the CoreStandards.org website as part of the suggested reading material for grades 2-3. (10:00)
First African-American ASB President Gives Keynote Address for Black History Month
Nic Lott, the first African-American Associated Student Body President opened the University's Black History Month's events with a keynote address to students, faculty, staff and community members in the Union recently. For more Black History Month events visit - http://events.olemiss.edu/events/index.php?com=searchresult. Video by Mary Stanton.
Evaluating Expressions 1
This is a very brief video clip about Evaluating Expressions, Part 1. (01:40)
Big Ideas for Geograph
ideas for projects involving either the Geograph Website, or the Geograph Image Archive