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Space Shelter
The invasion has taken place and we need to find a new home. To ensure your survival beyond earth's occupation you must design a shelter that can be built on another planet. Students will research the characteristics of a planet of their choice. They will design a shelter that will allow them to survive on a new planet, and explain it in words.
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Stop the Stretching
Students will learn about composite materials, tension as a force and how they act on structural components through the design and testing a strip of plastic chair webbing.
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Population Growth in Yeasts
This lesson is the second of two that explore cellular respiration and population growth in yeasts. In the first lesson, students set up a simple way to indirectly observe and quantify the amount of respiration occurring in yeast-molasses cultures. Based on questions that arose during the first lesson and its associated activity, in this lesson students work in small groups to design experiments that will determine how environmental factors affect yeast population growth.
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Cleaning Up with Decomposers
Students investigate decomposers and the role of decomposers in maintaining the flow of nutrients in an environment. Students also learn how engineers use decomposers to help clean up wastes in a process known as bioremediation. This lesson concludes a series of six lessons in which students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process, to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems.
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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.
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Environment
Through numerous lessons and hands-on activities, students are introduced to the concept of an environment and the interactions within it. As they learn about natural and manmade environments, and renewable and non-renewable natural resources, they see how people use our natural resources and the many environmental issues in our world today. Students learn about solid waste and disposal, and its effects on our environment. They learn the importance of the concepts of reduce, reuse, recycle and c
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Which Roof is Tops?
When you walk or drive around your neighborhood what do the roofs look like? What if you lived in an area with a different climate, how would that effect the style of roof that you might find. This is an introductory activity to explore the advantages of different roof shapes for different climates or situations.
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Make Your Own Recycled Paper
Students will learn about how paper is made. Working together, students will make their own paper. This activity introduces students to recycling; what it is, its importance, and how it affects their lives.
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Magnetic Fields Matter
This lesson introduces students to the effects of magnetic fields in matter addressing permanent magnets, diamagnetism, paramagnetism, ferromagnetism, and magnetization. First students must compare the magnetic field of a solenoid to the magnetic field of a permanent magnet. Students then learn the response of diamagnetic, paramagnetic, and ferromagnetic material to a magnetic field. Now aware of the mechanism causing a solid to respond to a field, students learn how to measure the response by l
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Classroom Triangles
In this activity, students will use bearing measurements to triangulate and determine objects' locations. Working in teams of two or three, students must put on their investigative hats as they take bearing measurements to specified landmarks in their classroom (or other rooms in the school) from a "mystery location." With the extension activity, students are challenged with creating their own map of the classroom or other school location and comparing it with their classmates' efforts.
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Food Packaging
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
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Form vs. Function
Students model and design the sound environment for a room. They analyze the sound performance of different materials that symbolize wallpaper, thick curtains, and sound-absorbing panels. Referring to the results of this analysis, they then design another room based on certain specifications and test their design.
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How Much Sugar is in Bubble Gum?
Most of the flavoring in gum is due to the sugar or other sweetener it contains. As gum is chewed, the sugar dissolves and is swallowed. After a piece of gum loses its flavor, it can be left to dry at room temperature and then the difference between its initial (unchewed) mass and its chewed mass can be used to calculate the percentage of sugar in the gum. This demonstration experiment is used to generate new questions about gums and their ingredients, and students can then design and execute ne
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Engineering for the Earth
Young students are introduced to the complex systems of the Earth through numerous lessons on the Earth's natural resources, processes, weather, climate and landforms. Key earth science topics include rocks, soils and minerals, water and natural resources, weather patterns and climatic regions, wind, erosion, landforms, and the harvesting of fossil fuels all presented from an engineering point-of-view. (See the Unit Overview section for a list of topics by lesson.) Through many hands-on activiti
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Earthquake Formation
Students learn about the structure of the earth and how an earthquake happens. In one activity, students make a model of the earth including all of its layers. In a teacher-led demonstration, students learn about continental drift. In another activity, students create models demonstrating the different types of faults.
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Powerful Pulleys
Students continue to explore the story of building a pyramid, learning about the simple machine called a pulley. They learn how a pulley can be used to change the direction of applied forces and move/lift extremely heavy objects, and the powerful mechanical advantages of using a multiple-pulley system. Students perform a simple demonstration to see the mechanical advantage of using a pulley, and they identify modern day engineering applications of pulleys. In a hands-on activity, they see how a
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Sneaking Up On Sneakers
This activity explores why different types of sneakers are used in a variety of common sports. It connects how engineers analyze design needs in sneakers and everyday items. The goal is for students to understand the basics of engineering associated with the design of different types of athletic shoes. Sneakers are one of the most commonly worn shoes in our American culture. They provide comfortable support for our feet as we go about our active lives as students, athletes, educators, and engine
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Engineering in Sports
Imagining themselves arriving at the Olympic gold medal soccer game in Beijing, students begin to think about how engineering is involved in sports. After a discussion of kinetic and potential energy, an associated hands-on activity gives students an opportunity to explore energy absorbing materials as they try to protect an egg from being crushed.
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Possible Locations: Activity
Students will use their knowledge of scales and areas to cut out rectangular paper pieces to represent caverns to scale with the maps. These paper cutouts can then be placed on the maps to help students decide where the best locations
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Learning outcomes

By the time you have completed studying this unit, you should:

  • have greater insight into your own decision-making processes and those of others;

  • be able to use that insight to make more effective decisions;

  • possess a range of different perspectives on what counts as an ‘effective’ decision;

  • be better equipped to understand and influence the decision-making processes of other individuals and groups;

  • understand b
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    Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence - see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/ - Original copyright The Open University

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