A quantitative illustration of how non-renewable resources are depleted while renewable resources continue to provide energy. The activity requires students to remove beads (units of energy) from a bag (representing a country). A certain number of beads are removed from the bag each “year.” At some point, no non-renewable beads remain. Groups of students have different ratios of renewable and non-renewable energy beads. A comparison of the remaining beads and time when they ran out of energy
Household Energy Conservation and Efficiency
Students complete three different activities to evaluate the energy consumption in a household and explore potential ways to reduce that consumption. The focus is on conservation and energy efficient electrical devices and appliances. The lesson reinforces the relationship between power and energy and associated measurements and calculations required to evaluate energy consumption. The lesson provides the students with more concrete information for completing their culminating unit assignment.
Students do work by lifting a known mass over a period of time. The mass and measured distance and time is used to calculate force, work, energy and power in metric units. The students’ power is then compared to horse power and the power required to light a 60 W light bulb.
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.
We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!
Students discuss several human reproductive technologies available today — pregnancy ultrasound, amniocentesis, in-vitro fertilization and labor anesthetics. They learn how each technology works, and that these are ways engineers have worked to improve the health of expecting mothers and babies.
Biomedical Engineering and the Human Body
Human beings are fascinating and complex living organisms — a symphony of different functional systems working in concert. Through a ten-lesson series with hands-on activities students are introduced to seven systems of the human body — skeletal, muscular, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, sensory, and reproductive — as well as genetics. At every stage, they are also introduced to engineers’ creative, real-world involvement in caring for the human body.
Muscles, Oh My!
Students are introduced to how engineering closely relates to the field of biomechanics and how the muscular system produces human movement. They learn the importance of the muscular system in our daily lives, why it is important to be able to repair muscular injuries and how engineering helps us by creating things to benefit our muscular health, movement and repair.
Cutting Through Soil
Students pretend they are agricultural engineers during the colonial period and design a miniature plow that cuts through a “field” of soil. They are introduced to the engineering design process and learn of several famous historical figures who contributed to plow design.
In this unit, students first are introduced to the historical motivation for space exploration. They learn about the International Space Station and are introduced to new and futuristic ideas that space engineers are currently working on to propel space research. Next, students learn about the physical properties of the Moon. They are asked to think about what types of products engineers would need to design for us to live comfortably on the Moon. Lastly, students learn some basic facts about as
Students are introduced to the concept of the image of music. After listening to a song, they draw images of a it by deciding where different musical instruments were placed during recording. They further investigate audio engineering by modeling the position of microphones over a drum set to create a desired musical image.
How Good Is Your Hearing?
Students learn about the frequency range of human hearing by collecting data from a website simulation. They analyze the data to determine the typical range for students in their classroom. Students participate in a collaborative effort to gather scientific data on humans for use in designing an engineering product.
Students are introduced to several key concepts of electronic circuits. They learn about some of the physics behind circuits, the key components in a circuit and their pervasiveness in our homes and everyday lives. Students learn about Ohm’s Law and how it is used to analyze circuits.
Floating and Falling Flows
Students discover fluid dynamics related to buoyancy through experimentation and optional photography. Using one set of fluids, they make light fluids rise through denser fluids. Using another set, they make dense fluids sink through a lighter fluid. In both cases, they see and record beautiful fluid motion. Activities are also suitable as class demonstrations. The natural beauty of fluid flow opens the door to seeing the beauty of physics in general.
Design a Recycling Game!
Students will design a game where players try to come up with alternative uses for used products. Students will brainstorm ideas for an effective board game format.
Students will learn about the importance of water and the role it plays in our lives. Students will be exposed to what must occur each day so that they can have clean water.
As Charlotte uses her web to communicate, the students will also create a web to send a small message. The students will learn how a spider creates its web, and about the different types of webs spiders make. With this knowledge, the students will design and create their own web and incorporate a message.
Who Needs What?
The teacher leads a discussion in which students identify the physical needs of animals, and then speculate on the needs of plants. With guidance from the teacher, the students then help design an experiment that can take place in the classroom to test whether or not plants need light and water in order to grow. Sunflower seeds are planted in plastic cups, and once germinated, are exposed to different conditions. In particular, within the classroom setting it is easy to test for the effects of l
Sliding and Stuttering
Students use a spring scale to drag an object such as a ceramic coffee cup along a table top or the floor. The spring scale allows them to measure the frictional force that exists between the moving cup and the surface it slides on. By modifying the bottom surface of the cup, students can find out what kinds of surfaces generate more or less friction.
Ranking the Rocks
This activity develops the real-world connections and relationships between the rock properties found in Lesson 5 and the important engineering properties for designing and building caverns (or tunnels, mines, building foundations, etc.). The student teams will use importance factors called “desirability points” to mathematically determine the overall best rocks to build caverns within.
The Need for Shelter
In this lesson, the students will build a shelter in order to protect themselves from the rain. After the shelters are built, the class will perform durability and water proof testing on the shelters.