Household energy audit
Students review the electrical appliances used at home and estimate the energy used for each. The results can help to show the energy hogs that could benefit from conservation or improved efficiency.
You’re the Expert
Student teams learn about and devise technical presentations on four reproductive technology topics — pregnancy ultrasound, amniocentesis, in-vitro fertilization or labor anesthetics. Each team acts as a panel of engineers asked to make a presentation to a group of students unfamiliar with the reproductive technology. Each group incorporates non-lecture elements into its presentation for greater effectiveness. As students learn about the technologies, by creating a presentation and listening t
My Mechanical Ear Can Hear!
Students are introduced to various types of hearing impairments and the types of biomedical devices that engineers have designed to aid people with this physical disability.
Designing a Thermostat
Students investigate circuits and their components by building a basic thermostat. They learn why key parts are necessary for the circuit to function, and alter the circuit to optimize the thermostat temperature range. They also gain an awareness of how electrical engineers design circuits for the countless electronic products in our world.
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.
Students learn about the many types of expenses associated with building a bridge. Working like engineers, they estimate the cost for materials for a bridge member of varying sizes. After making calculations, they graph their results to compare how costs change depending on the use of different materials (steel vs. concrete). They conclude by creating a proposal for a city bridge design based on their findings.
Air Under Pressure
Students are introduced to air masses, with an emphasis on the differences between and characteristics of high- versus low-pressure air systems. Students also hear about weather forecasting instrumentation and how engineers work to improve these instruments for atmospheric measurements on Earth and in space.
Dress for Success
In this design activity, students investigate materials engineering as it applies to weather and clothing. Teams design and analyze different combinations of materials for effectiveness in specific weather conditions. Analysis includes simulation of temperature, wind and wetness elements, as well as the functionality and durability of final prototypes.
Slide Right on By Using an Inclined Plane
Students explore building a pyramid, learning about the simple machine called an inclined plane. They also learn about another simple machine, the screw, and how it is used as a lifting or fastening device. During a hands-on activity, students see how the angle of inclination and pull force can make it easier (or harder) to pull an object up an inclined plane.
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®.
Students learn about the causes, composition and types of volcanoes. They begin with an overview of the Earth’s interior and how volcanoes form. Once students know about how a volcano functions, they learn how engineers predict eruptions. In a class demonstration, students watch and measure a mock volcanic eruption and observe the phases of an eruption, seeing how a volcano gets its shape and provides us with clues to predict a blast.
Rocket Me into Space
One of the exciting challenges for engineers is the idea of exploration. This lesson looks more closely at Spaceman Rohan, Spacewoman Tess, their daughter Maya, and their challenges with getting to space, setting up satellites, and exploring uncharted waters via a canoe. This lesson reinforces rockets as a vehicle that helps us explore outside the Earth’s atmosphere (i.e., to move without air) by using the principles of Newton’s third law of motion. Also, the ideas of thrust, control and wei
Win that Bid! Selling Your Power Solution
A large part of engineering involves presenting products, concepts, and proposals to others in order to gain approval, funding, contracts, etc. The purpose of this activity is to fine-tune students’ presentation skills while allowing them to independently investigate one type of power production to meet the needs of their region of choice. Students also learn problem solving skills in examining the advantages and disadvantages of particular methods of power generation.
Scaling the Map
Students will learn how to determine map distances and map areas using the map scale. They will also get a better feel for how much an area represents on the map in relation to the size they are suggesting for their cavern.
Drum Roll Please
This lesson gives students hands-on experience making a presentation, and allows them to present and defend their final decision to the class. Students commit to a final decision early in the lesson, then justify that decision. After making their decision they prepare their final presentations.
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.
Testing the Caverns (Optional)
This lesson provides a fun, activity-based closure to the Asteroid Impact unit. Students build model caverns using paper mache or clay and bury them in a tray of sand. Next, they test the models by dropping balls onto them to simulate an asteroid hitting the earth. By molding paper mache around a balloon to form a dome, or around a small cardboard box to form a rectangular structure, students will be able to build their caverns.
3.4 References Brandwood, G., Davison, A. and Slaughter, M. (2004) Licensed to Sell: The History and Heritage of the Public House, London, English Heritage. Wilkinson, A. (2001) Enough Has Been Bulldozed! Save Farnborough, the Cradle of British Aviation, London, SAVE Britain's Heritage. World Heritage List (2005) ‘The criteria for selection’ (Accessed 27 May
Brandwood, G., Davison, A. and Slaughter, M. (2004) Licensed to Sell: The History and Heritage of the Public House, London, English Heritage.
Wilkinson, A. (2001) Enough Has Been Bulldozed! Save Farnborough, the Cradle of British Aviation, London, SAVE Britain's Heritage.
World Heritage List (2005) ‘The criteria for selection’ (Accessed 27 May