The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the basic elements of our Earth’s crust: rocks, soils and minerals. They learn how we categorize rocks, soils and minerals and how they are literally the foundation for our civilization. Students also explore how engineers use rocks, soils and minerals to create the buildings, roads, vehicles, electronics, chemicals, and other objects we use to enhance our lives.
Solid, Liquid or Gas?
Students are given a variety of materials and asked to identify if each material as a solid, liquid or gas. They use their five senses — sight, sound, smell, texture and taste — to identify the other characteristics of each item.
In this activity, students explore the effect of chemical erosion on statues and monuments. They use chalk to see what happens when limestone is placed in liquids with different pH values. They also learn several things that engineers are doing to reduce the effects of acid rain.
Can You Catch the Water?
Students construct a three-dimensional model of a water catchment basin using everyday objects to create hills, mountains, valleys and water sources. They experiment to see where rain travels and collects, and survey water pathways to see how they can be altered by natural and human-made activities. Students discuss how engineers design structures that impact water collection, and systems that clean and distribute water.
Engineering for the Three Little Pigs
The purpose of this activity is to demonstrate the importance of rocks, soils and minerals in engineering and how using the right material for the right job is important. The students build three different sand castles and test them for strength and resistance to weathering. Then, they discuss how the buildings are different and what engineers need to think about when using rocks, soils and minerals for construction.
Make Some Waves
In this activity, students use their own creativity (and their bodies) to make longitudinal and transverse waves. Through the use of common items, they will investigate the different between longitudinal and transverse waves.
Edible Rovers – High School
Students act as Mars exploratory rover engineers, designing, building and displaying their edible rovers to a design review. To begin, they evaluate rover equipment and material options to determine which parts might fit in their given NASA budget. With provided parts and material lists, teams analyze their design options and use their findings to design their rovers.
Get Your Motor Running
Students investigate motors and electromagnets as they construct their own simple electric motors using batteries, magnets, paper clips and wire.
Sound and Light
The Sound and Light unit provides students with an understanding of sound and light waves through the theme of the “Sunken Treasure,” a continuous story line throughout the lessons. In Lessons 1-5, students learn about sound, and in Lessons 6-10, they explore the concepts of light. The first lesson introduces the concepts of longitudinal and transverse waves. Students then move on to the concepts of wavelength and amplitude in transverse waves. In the third lesson, students learn about sound
An introduction to our solar system: the planets, our Sun and our Moon. Students begin by learning the history and engineering of space travel. They make simple rockets to acquire a basic understanding Newton’s third law of motion. They explore energy transfer concepts and use renewable solar energy for cooking. They see how engineers design tools, equipment and spacecraft to go where it is too far and too dangerous for humans. They explore the Earth’s water cycle, and gravity as applied to
The Strongest Pump of All
In this lesson the students will learn how the heart functions. Students will be introduced to the concept of action potential generation. The lesson will explain how action potential generation causes the electrical current that causes muscle contraction in the heart. Students will be introduced to the basic electrical signal generated by the heart; P, QRS, and T waves. The lesson will approach the heart from an engineering standpoint and encourage students to design ways to improve heart funct
Students are introduced to a systematic procedure for solving problems through a demonstration and then the application of the method to an everyday activity. The unit project is introduced to provide relevance to subsequent lessons.
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.
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.
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
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
This lesson ties the preceding lessons together and brings students back to the grand challenge question on MRI safety. During this lesson, students focus on the logistics of magnetic resonance imaging as well as the MRI hardware. Students can then integrate this knowledge with their acquired knowledge on magnetic fields to solve the challenge question.
To reinforce students’ understanding of the human digestion process, the functions of several stomach and small intestine fluids are analyzed, and the concept of simulation is introduced through a short, introductory demonstration of how these fluids work. Students learn what simulation means and how it relates to the engineering process, particularly in biomedical engineering. The teacher demo requires vinegar, baking soda, water and aspirin.
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.
Clearing a Path to the Heart
Following the engineering design process and acting as biomedical engineers, student teams use everyday materials to design and develop devices and approaches to unclog blood vessels. They learn about the circulatory system, biomedical engineering, and conditions that lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Students learn the connections between the science of sound waves and engineering design for sound environments. Through three lessons, students come to better understand sound waves, including how they change with distance, travel through different mediums, and are enhanced or mitigated in designed sound environments. Students are introduced to audio engineers who use their expert scientific knowledge to manipulate sound for the production of music and film. They learn how the invention of the