Energy and the Pogo Stick
This activity utilizes hands on learning with the conservation of energy with the inclusion of elastic potential energy. Students use pogo sticks to experience the elastic potential energy and its conversion to gravitational potential energy.
Exploring Bone Mineral Density
In this activity, students will explore two given websites to gather information on Bone Mineral Density and how it is measured. They will also learn about X-rays in general, how they work and their different uses, along with other imaging modalities. They will answer guiding questions as they explore the websites and take a short quiz after to test the knowledge they gained while reading the articles.
In Lesson 3, as part of the Research and Revise step students investigate potential energy held within springs (elastic potential energy). Class begins with a video of either spring shoes or bungee jumping. Students then move on into notes and problems as a group. A few questions are given as homework. The Test Your Mettle section concludes lesson includes a dry lab that involves pogo sticks solidifies the concepts of spring potential energy, kinetic energy, and gravitational energy, as well as
What Makes Up A Color?
As a part of the research and revise step of the Legacy Cycle, this lesson provides students with information they will need later on to be able to average pixels to simulate blurring in the peripheral plane of vision. Students learn why image color becomes important as we distort the outer boundaries of an image and have to interpolate pixels to fill in gaps created from our algorithm. Students learn what a digital image is, what pixels are, and learn to convert between RGB and hexadecimal valu
Students act as an engineering consulting firm that is to design and sell their idea for a new vehicle power system. During the brainstorming activity (Generate Ideas), students should determine and comprehend what type of information is required for them to learn in order to accomplish the task. Then students will watch several video clips as part of Multiple Perspectives. These will change and focus their original ideas.
Hybrid Vehicle Design Challenge
This module is written for a first year algebra-based Physics class, though could easily be modified for Conceptual Physics. It is intended to provide hands on activities to teach the overarching concept of energy, as it relates to both kinetic and potential energy. Within these topics, the students are exposed to gravitational potential, spring potential, the Carnot engine, temperature scales, and simple magnets. During the module, students utilize these scientific concepts to solve the followi
Robotics Peripheral Vision
This unit was written with an advanced programming class in mind. It leads students through a study of human vision and computer programming simulation. Students will take their previous knowledge of arrays and looping structures and implement the new concept of linked lists and RGB decomposition in order to solve the Grand Challenge: writing a program to simulate peripheral vision by merging two images.
Feel the Stress
Working individually or in groups, students explore the concept of stress (compression) through physical experience and math. They discover why it hurts more to poke themselves with mechanical pencil lead than with an eraser. Then they prove why this is so by using the basic equation for stress and applying the concepts to real engineering problems.
Kanban Paper Airplanes
Student groups act as assembly lines producing paper airplanes, and learn to apply engineering principles to manufacturing. Their objective is to create as many quality paper airplanes as possible at low cost. The teams see their production numbers increase by applying pull manufacturing and other techniques to increase efficiency, and optimize the production process. Ultimately, hypothetical profit is calculated for each group, to emphasize important aspects of the manufacturing process.
Design Step 2: Research the Problem
Through Internet research, patent research, standards and codes research, user interviews (if possible) and other techniques (idea web, reverse engineering), students further develop the context for their design challenge. In subsequent activities, the design teams use this body of knowledge about the problem to generate product design ideas. (Note: Conduct this activity in the context of a design project that students are working on, which could be a challenge determined by the teacher, brainst
Design Step 4: Engineering Analysis
Engineering analysis distinguishes true engineering design from “tinkering.” In this activity, students are guided through an example engineering analysis scenario for a scooter. Then they perform a similar analysis on the design solutions they brainstormed in the previous activity in this unit. At activity conclusion, students should be able to defend one most-promising possible solution to their design challenge. (Note: Conduct this activity in the context of a design project that students
Design Step 5: Construct a Prototype
Students learn about the manufacturing phase of the engineering design process. They start by building prototypes, which is a special type of model used to test new design ideas. Students gain experience using a variety of simple building materials, such as foam core board, balsa wood, cardstock and hot glue. They present their prototypes to the class for user testing and create prototype iterations based on feedback. (Note: Conduct this activity in the context of a design project that students
Design Step 6: Evaluate/Manufacture a Final Product
As students learn more about the manufacturing process, they use the final prototypes created in the previous activity to evaluate, design and manufacture final products. Teams work with more advanced materials and tools, such as plywood, Plexiglas, metals, epoxies, welding materials and machining tools. (Note: Conduct this activity in the context of a design project that students are working on; this activity is Step 6 in a series of six that guide students through the engineering design loop.)
Students design, build and test model race cars made from simple materials (lifesaver-shaped candies, plastic drinking straws, Popsicle sticks, index cards, tape) as a way to explore independent, dependent and control variables. They measure the changes in distance travelled with the addition of mass to the vehicles. Students also practice the steps of the engineering design process by brainstorming, planning, building, testing, and improving their “mint-mobiles.”
Repairing Broken Bones
Students learn about how biomedical engineers aid doctors in repairing severely broken bones. They learn about using pins, plates, rods and screws to repair fractures. They do this by designing, creating and testing their own prototype devices to repair broken turkey bones.
Through eight lessons, students are introduced to many facets of dams, including their basic components, the common types (all designed to resist strong forces), their primary benefits (electricity generation, water supply, flood control, irrigation, recreation), and their importance (historically, currently and globally). Through an introduction to kinetic and potential energy, students come to understand how dams generate electricity. They learn about the structure, function and purpose of loc
Building an Electromagnet
Student teams investigate the properties of electromagnets. They create their own small electromagnet and experiment with ways to change its strength to pick up more paper clips. Students learn about ways that engineers use electromagnets in everyday applications.
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.
Sliders (for High School)
In this hands-on activity, students learn about two types of friction — static and kinetic — and the equation that governs them. They also measure the coefficient of static friction and the coefficient of kinetic friction experimentally.