Water, Water Everywhere
Students learn about floods, discovering that different types of floods occur from different water sources, but primarily from heavy rainfall. While floods occur naturally and have benefits such as creating fertile farmland, students learn that with the increase in human population in flood-prone areas, floods are become increasingly problematic. Both natural and manmade factors contribute to floods. Students learn what makes floods dangerous and what engineers design to predict, control and sur
Binary and Communication Systems
Through this activity, students are introduced to the concept of binary coding as a language and its practical applications in digital and communication systems.This project is intended to give students a deeper appreciation for communication systems and an understanding of how binary symbols are used to transmit information.
Design a Recycling Game!
Students will design a game where players try to come up with alternative uses for used products. Students will brainstorm ideas for an effective board game format.
Touch and Discover
Students work in pairs or small groups to identify and categorize various objects. One student is blindfolded and the other student chooses five objects for their partner to identify. The blindfolded student has to describe and try to identify the object based solely on touch. Both students then record their data, describing the objects first as human-made or natural, then living or non-living, and finally physical characteristics.
Sound for Sight
Echolocation is the ability to orient by transmitting sound and receiving echoes from objects in the environment. As a result of a Marco-Polo type activity and subsequent lesson, students learn basic concepts of echolocation. They use these concepts to understand how dolphins use echolocation to locate prey, escape predators, navigate their environment, such as avoiding gillnets set by commercial fishing vessels. Students will also learn that dolphin sounds are vibrations created by vocal organs
Do Different Colors Absorb Heat Better?
Students test whether the color of a material affects how much heat it absorbs. Students will place an ice cube in a box made of colored paper (one box per color; white, yellow, red and black), which they will place in the sun. The students will make prediction as to which color will melt the ice cube first. They will record the order and time required for the ice cubes to melt.
As Charlotte uses her web to communicate, the students will also create a web to send a small message. The students will learn how a spider creates its web, and about the different types of webs spiders make. With this knowledge, the students will design and create their own web and incorporate a message.
Building Towards the Future
This curricular unit introduces students to basic Civil Engineering concepts in an exciting and interactive manner. Bridges and skyscrapers, the two most visible products of Civil Engineers, will be discussed in depth. Students will have a chance to design and build balsa wood structures, as well as understand the design principles behind these structures that allow them to withstand vertical and lateral forces. There is also an emphasis on how materials absorb different types of forces. Since t
Surgical Device Engineering
This unit focuses on teaching students about the many aspects of biomedical engineering (BME). Students will see that it is a broad field that relies on concepts from each of the other disciplines of engineering. They will also begin to understand some of the special considerations which must be made when dealing with the human body. Activities and class discussions will encourage students to think as engineers to come up with their own solutions to some of the basic medical problems that have b
Boxed In and Wrapped Up
Students find the volume and surface area of a rectangular box (e.g., a cereal box), and then figure out how to convert that box into a new, cubical box having the same volume as the original. As they construct the new, cube-shaped box from the original box material, students discover that the cubical box has less surface area than the original, and thus, a cube is a more efficient way to package things. Students then consider why consumer goods generally aren’t packaged in cube-shaped boxes,
Energetic Musical Instruments
Students will learn to apply the principles and concepts associated with energy and the transfer of energy in an engineering context through the designing and making of a musical instrument. The students must choose from a variety of supplies presented to them to make an instrument capable of producing three different tones. After the accomplishment of the design, students must explain the energy transfer mechanism in sufficient detail and describe how they could make their instruments better.
What's the Problem
Lesson 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.
Analyze the Data
Students go through the logical process of quantitatively analyzing data from the FasTracks system. They gain experience identifying problems with the current design based upon their earlier observations and experiences in activities 1 and 2. Students discuss the flaws that they find in the system. This activity requires the use of the FasTracks Living Lab, a web portal to interactive train (transit) traffic data for a major metropolitan city.
Improve the System
This activity will lead your class through identifying possible solutions to the design problems that the current west corridor of FasTracks faces. The students will combine what they have learned from all three previous activities to come up with possible solutions to the design problems faced by the system. This activity requires the use of the FasTracks Living Lab.
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.
Bulbs & Batteries in a Row
Everyday we are surrounded by circuits that use “in parallel” and “in series” circuitry. Complicated circuits designed by engineers are composed of many simpler parallel and series circuits. During this activity, students build a simple series circuit and discover the properties associated with series circuits.
Design a Flying Machine
The purpose of this activity is for the students to draw a design for their own flying machine. They will apply their knowledge of aircraft design and the forces acting on them. The students will start with a brainstorming activity where they come up with creative uses for every day objects. They will then use their creativity and knowledge of airplanes to design their own flying machine.
Students learn the decibel reading of various noises and why high-level readings damage hearing. Sound types and decibel readings are written on sheets of paper, and students arrange the sounds from the lowest to highest decibel levels. If available, a decibel meter can be used to measure sounds by students.
Leaning Tower of Pasta
Using spaghetti and marshmallows, students experiment with different structures to determine which ones are able to handle the greatest amount of load. Their experiments help them to further understand the effects that compression and tension forces have with respect to the strength of structures. Spaghetti cannot hold much tension or compression; therefore, it breaks very easily. Marshmallows handle compression well, but do not hold up to tension.
How Tall Are We?
Kindergartners measure each other's height using large building blocks, then visit a 2nd and a 4th grade class to measure those students. They can also measure adults in the school community. Results are displayed in age-appropriate bar graphs (paper cut-outs of miniature building blocks glued on paper to form a bar graph) comparing the different age groups. The activities that comprise this lesson help students develop the concepts and vocabulary to describe, in a non-ambiguous way, how height