Through eight lessons, students are introduced to many facets of dams, including their basic components, the common types (all designed to resist strong forces), their primary benefits (electricity generation, water supply, flood control, irrigation, recreation), and their importance (historically, currently and globally). Through an introduction to kinetic and potential energy, students come to understand how dams generate electricity. They learn about the structure, function and purpose of loc
This lesson focuses on how food packages are designed and made. Students will learn three of the main functions of a food package. They will learn what is necessary of the design and materials of a package to keep food clean, protect or aid in the physical and chemical changes that can take place in a food, and identify a food appealingly. Then, in the associated activity, the students will have the opportunity to become packaging engineers by designing and building their own food package for a
Students will discover the scientific basis for the use of inclined planes. They will explore, using a spring scale, a bag of rocks and an inclined plane, how dragging objects up a slope is easier than lifting them straight up into the air. Also, students are introduced to the scientific method and basic principles of experimentation. Finally, students design their own use for an inclined plane.
Solving Energy Problems
The culminating energy project is introduced and the technical problem solving process is applied to get the students started on the project. By the end of the class, the students should have a good perspective on what they have already learned and what they still need to learn to complete the project.
Light vs. Heat Bulbs
Students measure the light output and temperature (as a measure of heat output) for three types of light bulbs to identify why some light bulbs are more efficient (more light with less energy) than others.
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 are introduced to the circulatory system, the heart, and blood flow in the human body. Through guided pre-reading, during-reading and post-reading activities, students learn about the circulatory system’s parts, functions and disorders, as well as engineering medical solutions. By cultivating literacy practices as presented in this lesson, students can improve their scientific and technological literacy.
Form vs. Function
Students model and design the sound environment for a room. They analyze the sound performance of different materials that represent wallpaper, thick curtains, and sound-absorbing panels. Then, referring to the results of their analysis, they design another room based on certain specifications, and test their designs.
Through five lessons, students are introduced to all facets of the rock cycle. Topics include rock and mineral types, material stresses and weathering, geologic time and fossil formation, the Earth’s crust and tectonic plates, and soil formation and composition. Lessons are in the context of the related impact on humans in the form of roadway and tunnel design and construction, natural disasters, environmental site assessment for building structures, and measurement instrumentation and tools.
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.
Sound Environment Shapers
Students are introduced to the sound environment as an important aspect of a room or building. Several examples of acoustical engineering design for varied environments are presented. Students learn the connections between the science of sound waves and engineering design for sound environments.
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®.