Where are the Plastics Near Me? (Field Trip)
An adult-led field trip allows students to be organized into investigation teams that catalogue the incidence of plastic debris in different environments. These plastics are being investigated according to their type, age, location and other characteristics that might indicate what potential they have for becoming part of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). Students will collect qualitative and quantitative data that may be used to create a Google Earth layer as part of a separate activity t
Who Can Make the Best Coordinate System?
Students will learn about coordinate systems in general by considering questions concerning what it is that the systems should do, and who decided they would look the way that they look. They will attempt to try and make their own coordinate system using a common area across all groups and compete to see who can make the best one. Students then analyze why it is that some systems work better than others and consider what those observations mean for evaluating and choosing geographic coordinate s
High Arches, Low Arches
A main concern of shoe engineers is creating shoes that provide the right amount of arch support to prevent (or fix) common gait misalignments that lead to injury. During this activity, students look at their own footprints and determine whether they have either of the two most prominent gait misalignments: overpronation (collapsing arches) or supination (high arches). Knowing the shape of a person’s foot, and their natural arch movement is necessary to design shoes to fix these gain alignment
Convertible Shoes: Function, Fashion and Design
Students teams design and build shoe prototypes that convert between high heels and athletic shoes. They apply their knowledge about the mechanics of walking and running as well as shoe design (as learned in the associated lesson) to design a multifunctional shoe that is both fashionable and functional.
Watch Out for the Blind Spots
In this service-learning engineering project, students follow the steps of the engineering design process to design a hearing testing device. More specifically, they design a prototype machine that can be used to test the peripheral vision of partially-blind, pre-verbal children. Students learn about the basics of vision and vision loss. They also learn how a peripheral vision tester for adults works (by testing the static peripheral vision in the four quadrants of the visual field with four con
Obi-Wan Adobe: Engineering for Strength
Students conduct an experiment to determine how varying the composition of a construction material affects its strength. They make several adobe bricks with differing percentages of sand, soil, fibrous material and water. They test the bricks for strength by dropping them onto a concrete surface from progressively greater heights. Students graph the experiment results and use what they learn to design their own special mix that maximizes the bricks’ strength. During the course of the experimen
Shoes Under Pressure
Students explore the basic physics behind walking, and the design and engineering of shoes to accommodate different gaits. They are introduced to pressure, force and impulse as they relate to shoes, walking and running. Students learn about the mechanics of walking, shoe design and common gait misalignments that often lead to injury.
Service-Based Engineering Design Projects
This unit describes a general approach to guiding students to complete service-based engineering design projects, with specific examples provided in detail as associated activities. With your class, brainstorm ideas for engineering designs that benefit your community or a specific person in your community. Then, guided by the steps of the engineering design process, have students research to understand background science and math, meet their client to understand the problem, and create, test and
Build Your Own Insect Trap
Students design and construct a device to trap insects that are present in the area around their school. The objective of the exercise is to ask the right design questions and to conduct the right tests to determine if the trap works properly.
Designing a Medical Device to Extract Foreign Bodies from the Ear
Students learn the engineering design process by actually utilizing the steps, from identification of the problem to designing a device and evaluating its efficacy and areas for improvement. A quick story at the beginning of the activity reveals the problem: a small child put a pebble in his ear and we don’t know how to get it out! As biomedical engineers, the students are asked to design a device to remove it. Each student pair is provided with a model ear canal and a wide variety of classroo
A New Angle on PV Efficiency
Students examine how the orientation of a photovoltaic (PV) panel relative to the sun affects the efficiency of the panel. Using sunshine (or a lamp) and a small PV panel connected to a digital multimeter, students vary the angle of the solar panel, record the resulting current output on a worksheet, and plot their experimental results.
Design a Solar City
Students design and build a model city powered by the sun! They learn about the benefits of solar power, and how architectural and building engineers integrate photovoltaic panels into the design of buildings.
Putting It All Together: Peripheral Vision
This activity will finally bring students to the point of writing the code to solve the Grand Challenge. Students will write their code in a derivative of C++ called QT. All code is listed in this lesson. This code will take the two images captured by the robots and combine them to create an image that can be focused at different distances, similar to the way that a human can focus either near or far.
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.