Appetizers and Lessons for Mathematics and Reason: Linear Equations
This section of the website, Appetizers and Lessons for Mathematics and Reason, written by Alan Selby, PD. (see also Scout Report for Math, Engineering, and Technology, May 24, 2002) offers lesson ideas for teaching linear equations in high school or college. The approach uses stick diagrams to solve linear equations because they "provide a concrete or visual context for many of the rules or patterns for solving equations, a context that may develop equation solving skills and confidence." The i
As part of the Australian Antarctic Division, Classroom Antarctica gives dozens of downloadable Adobe Acrobat files that allow students to discover this unique continent. Subjects include the history of the scientific research undertaken on Antarctica, surviving its climate, its biological ecosystem, the lands physical characteristics and affects on climate, and much more.
JGOFS: Joint Global Ocean Flux Study
The Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) examines the carbon exchange between the atmosphere and the ocean in order to understand the processes influencing the fluxes of carbon and associated biogenic elements and the exchanges among the atmosphere, sea floor and continental boundaries. The website discusses JGOFS's aim to achieve the ability to predict human impacts on climate change on a global scale. Visitors can find numerous datasets associated with JGOFS's core parameters and cruises for
Science in Your Watershed
Provided by the US Geological Survey, this Web site is intended to help users "find scientific information organized on a watershed basis" for use in "characterizing, assessing, analyzing, and maintaining the status and health of a watershed." More specifically, Science in Your Watershed "provides rudiments of a decision-support process by making accessible recent case studies of projects that have occurred, publications produced, databases and information assembled, and providing access to free
MIT Space Systems Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created the Space Systems Laboratory (SSL) in 1995 to engage in "cutting edge research projects with the goal of directly contributing to the present and future exploration and development of space." Users can find materials on current and past flight projects such as the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) and the Interferometry Program Experiment (IPEX). The website also features SSL's ground programs and re
TRW: Next Generation Broadband Satellite Communication Systems
An aerospace and automotive company produced this report, which was made available by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The paper "discusses the various technologies that are being developed and utilized for increasing the network capacity, improving service performance and reducing the cost of satellite systems." The main points are new antenna designs, communication payloads, capacity enhancements, and other technological changes for next generation satellites. Several sp
How Space Shuttles Work
This site explains the complexity of the entire mission of a space shuttle launch, orbit, activities, and return to Earth. Students and teachers can learn about the precise nature of space science including extensive preparations and examine the monumental technology behind Americas shuttle program, as well as the extraordinarily difficult mission it was designed to carry out. Information is also provided on the background and history of the space shuttle. Diagrams, full-color photos, highlighte
Indirect measurement and trigonometry
This online workshop session offers practical experience in the use of trigonometry. Teachers work together on examples of measuring impossible distances and inaccessible heights as they explore a number of methods for indirect measuring. They learn about right triangle trigonometry and use trig ratios to solve problems. This is one session from Measurement, a free online course developed for elementary and middle school teachers.
Plot Your Course - Navigation
In this unit, students learn the very basics of navigation, including the different kinds of navigation and their purpose. The concepts of relative and absolute location, latitude, longitude and cardinal directions are discussed, as well as the use and principles of a map and compass. Students discover the history of navigation and learn the importance of math and how it ties into navigational techniques. Understanding how trilateration can determine one's location leads to a lesson on the globa
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.
In this activity, students will use vector analysis to understand the concept of dead reckoning. Students will use vectors to plot their course based on a time and speed. They will then correct the positions with vectors representing winds and currents.
Evolutionary Engineering: Simple Machines from Pyramids to Skyscrapers
Simple machines are devices with few or no moving parts that make work easier, and which people have used to provide mechanical advantage for thousands of years. Students learn about the wedge, wheel and axle, lever, inclined plane, screw and pulley in the context of the construction of a pyramid, gaining insights into tools that have been used since ancient times and are still important today. Through numerous hands-on activities, students imagine themselves as ancient engineers building a pyra
In this unit, students explore the various roles of environmental engineers, including: environmental cleanup, water quality, groundwater resources, surface water and groundwater flow, water contamination, waste disposal and air pollution. Specifically, students learn about the factors that affect water quality and the conditions that allow for different animals and plants to survive in their environment. Next, students learn about groundwater and how environmental engineers study groundwater to
The Trouble with Topos
Students learn how to identify the major features in a topographical map. They learn that maps come in a variety of forms: city maps, road maps, nautical maps, topographical maps, and many others. Map features reflect the intended use. For example, a state map shows cities, major roads, national parks, county lines, etc. A city map shows streets and major landmarks for that city, such as hospitals and parks. Topographical maps help navigate the wilderness by showing the elevation, mountains, pea
Through 10 lessons and more than 20 hands-on activities, students are introduced to the concept of an environment and the many interactions within it. As they learn about natural and human-made environments, as well as renewable and non-renewable natural resources, they see how people use our planet’s natural resources and the many resulting environmental issues that exist in our world today. Topics include: solid waste disposal; the concepts of reduce, reuse, recycle and compost; the causes a
Students learn about and use a right triangle to determine the width of a "pretend" river. Working in teams, they estimate of the width of the river, measure it and compare their results with classmates.
In this activity students will learn the basic concept of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) using triangulation and measurement on a small scale in the classroom. Students discover how GPS and navigation integrate mathematic and scientific concepts to create a standard for locating people and objects. This activity helps students understand both the need for and methods of navigation.
Energy of Motion
By taking a look at the energy of motion all around us, students learn about the types of energy and their characteristics. They first learn about the two simplest forms of mechanical energy: kinetic and potential energy, as illustrated by pendulums and roller coasters. They come to understand that energy can change from one form into another, and be described and determined by equations. Through the example of a waterwheel, the concepts of and differences between work and power are explained an
This unit teaches students how and why engineers design satellites to benefit life on Earth as well as allows students an opportunity to explore motion, rockets and rocket motion. Students discover that the motion of all objects including the flight of a rocket and even the movement of a canoe is governed by Newton's three laws of motion. Space exploration is a huge consideration for aerospace engineers, and this unit introduces students to the challenges of getting into space for the purpose of
Normally we find things using landmark navigation. When you move to a new place, it may take you awhile to explore the new streets and buildings, but eventually you recognize enough landmarks and remember where they are in relation to each other. However, another accurate method for locating places and things is using grids and coordinates. In this activity, students will come up with their own system of a grid and coordinates for their classroom and understand why it is important to have one co