Visible Light and the Electromagnetic Spectrum
In this lesson, the electromagnetic spectrum is explained and students learn that visible light makes up only a portion of this wide spectrum. Students also learn that engineers use electromagnetic waves for many different applications.
Tools and Equipment, Part I
Through a series of activities, students discover that the concept of mechanical advantage describes reality fairly well. They act as engineers creating a design for a ramp at a construction site by measuring four different inclined planes and calculating the ideal mechanical advantage versus the actual mechanical advantage of each. Then, they use their analysis to make recommendations for the construction site.
Energy Systems Activity
Posters are provided for several different energy conversion systems. The students are provided with cards that give the name and a description of each of the components in the energy system. They have to match these with the figures on the diagram. Since the groups look at different systems, they must also describe their results with the class to share their knowledge.
Students are introduced to the historical motivation for space exploration. They learn about the International Space Station as an example of space travel innovation and are introduced to new and futuristic ideas that space engineers are currently working on to propel space research far into the future!
Cellular Respiration and Bioremediation
Students learn about the basics of cellular respiration. They also learn about the application of cellular respiration to engineering and bioremediation. And, they are introduced to the process of bioremediation and examples of how bioremediation is used during the cleanup of environmental contaminants.
Students culture cells in order to find out which type of surfactant (in this case, soap) is best at removing bacteria. Groups culture cells from unwashed hands and add regular bar soap, regular liquid soap, anti-bacterial soap, dishwasher soap, and hand sanitizer to the cultures. The cultures are allowed to grow for two days and then the students assess which type of soap did the best job of removing bacteria cells from unwashed hands. Students extend their knowledge of engineering and surfacta
Students explore heat transfer and energy efficiency using the context of energy efficient houses. They gain a solid understanding of the three types of heat transfer: radiation, convection and conduction, which are explained in detail and related to the real world. They learn about the many ways solar energy is used as a renewable energy source to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses and operating costs. Students also explore ways in which a device can capitalize on the methods of heat tran
Magnitude of the Richter Scale
In this activity, students will learn about the Richter Scale for measuring earthquakes. The students will make a booklet with drawings that represent each rating of the Richter Scale.
Let’s Move It!
Students explore methods employing simple machines likely used in ancient pyramid building, as well as common modern-day material transportation. They learn about the wheel and axle as a means to transport materials from rock quarry to construction site. They also learn about different types and uses of a lever for purposes of transport. In an open-ended design activity, students choose from everyday materials to engineer a small-scale cart and lever system to convey pyramid-building materials.
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.
Make an Alarm!
After reading the story "Dear Mr. Henshaw" by Beverly Cleary, students will build an alarm system for something in the classroom, as the main character Leigh does to protect his lunchbox from thieves. Students will learn about alarms and use their creativity to create an alarm system to protect their lockers, desk, or classroom door. Note: this activity can also be done without reading "Dear Mr. Henshaw".
Construct and Test Roofs for Different Climates
We design and create objects to make our lives easier and more comfortable. The houses in which we live are excellent examples of this. Depending on your local climate, the features of your house have been designed to satisfy your particular environmental needs: protection from hot, cold, windy and/or rainy weather. In this activity, students design and build model houses, then test them against various climate elements, and then re-design and improve them. Using books, websites and photos, stud
What is the Best Insulator: Air, Styrofoam, Foil, or Cotton?
That heat flows from hot to cold is an unfortunate truth of life. People have put a lot of effort into stopping this fact, however all they have been able to do is slow the process. Working in groups of three to four, students will investigate the properties of insulators in attempts to keep a cup of water from freezing, and once it is frozen, to keep it from melting.
Factors Affecting Friction
Based on what they have already learned about friction, students formulate hypotheses concerning the effects of weight and contact area on the amount of friction between two surfaces. In the Associated Activities (Does Weight Matter? and Does Area Matter?), students design and conduct simple experiments to test their hypotheses, using procedures similar to those used in the previous lesson (Discovering Friction). An analysis of their data will reveal the importance of weight to normal friction (
Conduction, Convection, and Radiation
With the help of simple, teacher-led demonstration activities, students learn the basic concepts of heat transfer by means of conduction, convection, and radiation. Students then apply these concepts as they work in teams to solve two problems. One problem requires that they maintain the warm temperature of one soda can filled with water at approximately body temperature, and the other problem is to cause an identical soda can of warm water to cool as much as possible during the same thirty-minu
Floaters and Sinkers
This curricular unit introduces students to the important concept of density. The focus is on the more easily understood densities of solids, but students can also explore the densities of liquids and gases. Students devise methods to determine the densities of solid objects, including the method of water displacement to determine volumes of irregularly-shaped objects. By comparing densities of various solids to the density of water, and by considering the behavior of different solids when place
Does Contact Area Matter?
Using the same method for measuring friction that was used in the previous lesson (Discovering Friction), students design and conduct an experiment to determine if the amount of area over which an object contacts a surface it is moving across affects the amount of friction encountered.
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.
Balsa Glider Competition
The purpose of this activity is to bring together the students’ knowledge of engineering and airplanes and the creation of a glider model to determine how each modification affects the flight. The students will use a design procedure whereby one variable is changed and all the others are kept constant.
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.