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Animals and Engineering
Students are introduced to the classification of animals and animal interactions. Students also learn why engineers need to know about animals and how they use that knowledge to design technologies that help other animals and/or humans. This lesson is part of a series of six lessons in which students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process, to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems.
Author(s): Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,

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Copyright 2009 - Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder,http://www.teachengineering.org/policy_ipp.php

Go with the Energy Flow
Students learn about energy and nutrient flow in various biosphere climates and environments. They learn about herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, food chains and food webs, seeing the interdependence between producers, consumers and decomposers. Students are introduced to the roles of the hydrologic (water), carbon, and nitrogen cycles in sustaining the worlds’ ecosystems so living organisms survive. This lesson is part of a series of six lessons in which students use their growing understandi
Author(s): Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,

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Population Density: How Much Space Do You Have?
Students learn about population density within environments and ecosystems. They determine the density of a population and think about why population density and distribution information is useful to engineers for city planning and design as well as for resource allocation.
Author(s): Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,

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Biodomes
Students explore the biosphere's environments and ecosystems, learning along the way about the plants, animals, resources and natural cycles of our planet. Over the course of lessons 2-6, students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems - exploring energy and nutrient flows, basic needs of plants and animals, and decomposers. Students learn about food chains and food webs. They are introduc
Author(s): Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,

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The Fundamental Building Blocks of Matter
This lesson plan explores the fundamentals of atoms and their structure. The building blocks of matter (protons, electrons, neutrons) are covered in detail. Students think about how atoms and molecules can influence new technologies developed by engineers.
Author(s): Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,

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Beyond the Milky Way
When we look at the night sky, we see stars and the nearby planets of our own solar system. Many of those stars are actually distant galaxies and glowing clouds of dust and gases called nebulae. The universe is an immense space with distances measured in light years. The more we learn about the universe beyond our solar system, the more we realize we do not know. Students are introduced to the basic known facts about the universe, and how engineers help us explore the many mysteries of space.
Author(s): Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,

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Amusement Park Ride: Ups and Downs in Design
Students design, build and test model roller coasters using foam tubing. The design process integrates energy concepts as they test and evaluate designs that address the task as an engineer would. The goal is for students to understand the basics of engineering design associated with kinetic and potential energy to build an optimal roller coaster. The marble starts with potential energy that is converted to kinetic energy as it moves along the track. The diameter of the loops that the marble tra
Author(s): Making the Connection,

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Copyright 2011 - Making the Connection, Women in Engineering Programs and Advocates Network (WEPAN),http://www.teachengineering.org/policy_ipp.php

Life in Space: The International Space Station
Students are introduced to the International Space Station (ISS) with information about its structure, operation and key experiments. The ISS itself is an experiment in international cooperation to explore the potential for humans to live in space. The space station features state-of-the-art science and engineering laboratories to conduct research in medicine, materials and fundamental science to benefit people on Earth as well as people who will live in space in the future.
Author(s): Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,

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Building Roller Coasters
Students build their own roller coasters using pipe insulation and marbles, and then analyze them using principles of physics. They examine conversions between kinetic and potential energy and frictional effects to design roller coasters that are completely driven by gravity. A class competition is then held to determine the most innovative and successful roller coasters.
Author(s): Engineering K-Ph.D. Program,

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Copyright 2011 - Engineering K-Ph.D. Program, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University,http://www.teachengineering.org/policy_ipp.php

Rolling Blackouts & Environmental Impact – What are our Electricity Options?
The goal is for the students to understand the environmental design considerations required when generating electricity. The electric power that we use every day at home and work is generated by a variety of power plants. Power plants are engineered to utilize the conversion of one form of energy to another. The main components of a power plant are an input source of energy that is used to turn large turbines, and a method to convert the turbine rotation into electricity. The input sources of en
Author(s): K-12 Outreach Office,

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Copyright 2009 - K-12 Outreach Office, Worcester Polytechnic Institute,http://www.teachengineering.org/policy_ipp.php

Designing a Package that Works
The goal is for students to understand the basics of engineering associated with the packaging of items to preserve, market, and safely deliver products. The packaging for each type of use varies. While observing and thinking about all packaging is encouraged, this activity focuses on packaging for transporting goods (shipping).
Author(s): K-12 Outreach Office,

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Mars and Jupiter
Students explore Mars and Jupiter, the fourth and fifth planets from the Sun. They learn some of the unique characteristics of these planets. They also learn how engineers help us learn about these planets with the design and development of telescopes, deep space antennas, spacecraft and planetary rovers.
Author(s): Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,

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Spectroscopy
Students learn how using a spectrograph helps us understand the composition of light sources. Using simple materials and holographic diffraction gratings (available online at a variety of sites, including Edmund Scientifics and the Rainbow Symphony Store for ~50 cents each), students create and customize their own spectrographs - just like engineers. They gather data about different light sources, make comparisons between sources, and theorize about their composition. Before building spectrograp
Author(s): Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP

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Pictures Please – Traveling Light
In this lesson, students learn that light travels in a straight line from a light source and that ray diagrams help us understand how an image will be created by a lens. In the accompanying activity, students explore the concepts behind the workings of a pinhole camera.
Author(s): Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,

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Simple Machines
Through a five-lesson series with five hands-on activities, students are introduced to six simple machines - inclined plane, wedge, screw, lever, pulley, wheel-and-axle - as well as compound machines, which are combinations of two or more simple machines. Once students understand about work (work = force x distance), they become familiar with the machines' mechanical advantages, and see how they make work easier. Through an introduction to compound machines, students begin to think critically ab
Author(s): Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,

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Rube Goldberg and the Meaning of Machines
Simple and compound machines are designed to make work easier. When we encounter a machine that does not fit this understanding, the so-called machine seems absurd. In this lesson, the cartoons of Rube Goldberg are introduced and engage the students in critical thinking about the way his inventions make a simple task even harder to complete. As the final lesson in the simple machines unit, the study of Rube Goldberg machines can help students evaluate the importance and usefulness of the many ma
Author(s): Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,

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A Simple Solution for the Circus
In this activity, students are challenged to design a contraption using simple machines to move a circus elephant into a rail car. After students consider their audience and constraints, they work in groups to brainstorm ideas and select one concept to communicate to the class.
Author(s): Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,

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Design and Build a Rube Goldberg
In this two-part activity, students design and build a Rube Goldberg machine. The open ended problem uses the engineering design process and can have a preset purpose, such as rolling a marble into a cup from a distance, or can be left for the students to decide.
Author(s): Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,

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Not So Simple
Students expand upon their understanding of simple machines with an introduction to compound machines. A compound machine — a combination of two or more simple machines — can affect work more than its individual components. Engineers who design compound machines aim to benefit society by lessening the amount of work that people exert for even common household tasks. This lesson encourages students to critically think about machine inventions and their role in our lives.
Author(s): Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,

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Machines and Tools, Part II
In this activity, students gain first-hand experience with the mechanical advantage of pulleys. Students are given the challenge of helping save a whale by moving it from an aquarium back to its natural habitat into the ocean. They set up different pulley systems, compare the theoretical and actual mechanical advantage of each and discuss their recommendations as a class.
Author(s): Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,

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