The manufacture of products requires massive amounts of energy. This informational piece, part of a series about the future of energy, introduces students to the energy needs of the manufacturing community. Students explore three ways that manufacturing uses energy and the importance of fossil fuels to the manufacturing sector. A replacement for fossil fuels is suggested. An article on manufacturing soft drink cans is accessible from a sidebar. A link to a PBS NewsHour article on communities tha
Groups of students make a polymer out of household items. They then experiment with the polymer to determine its various properties.
Manufacturing Technologies: Making a Picture Frame
The basic processes involved in manufacturing systems are demonstrated while students produce their own picture frames. They learn about cutting, shaping, assembly, joining and finishing, as well as attention to quality, safety and production quantity.
Make Your Own Recycled Paper
Students will learn about how paper is made. Working together, students will make their own paper. This activity introduces students to recycling; what it is, its importance, and how it affects their lives.
Journey to the Afterlife
In groups of four, have students design an Egyptian funerary barge to transport the mummy through the underworld to the afterlife. The design of the boat is extremely critical in order for the mummy to have a chance to reach and enter the afterlife. In planning the design of the boats, students should be aware of the perils of the underworld. The student will be given the materials and tools the ancient Egyptians had at their disposal in constructing the boats. Once the students have determined
Once in a million years : teaching geologic time
This article outlines effective pedagogical approaches to teaching geologic time and describes common student preconceptions and misconceptions as well as several student centered activities that assist students in conceptual change.
The Economic Outlook and Financial Industry Challenges
Thomas M Hoenig is president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He assumed the role of president on October 1, 1991, making him the longest serving of the 12 current regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents. He is senior member of the Federal Reserve System's Federal Open Market Committee, the key body with authority over national monetary policy in the United States.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
This activity serves to introduce the concept of tracking and spatial movements of animals in relation to the environment in which they live. The following activity will aid student understanding of animal tracking and how technology used in this process.
Cooking with the Sun
Students learn about using renewable energy from the Sun for heating and cooking as they build and compare the performance of four solar cooker designs. They explore the concepts of insulation, reflection, absorption, conduction and convection.
Ball Bounce Experiment
Many of today’s popular sports are based around the use of a ball, yet none are completely alike. In fact they are all designed with specific characteristics in mind. Students will investigate different balls' abilities to bounce and represent the data they collect graphically.
Build an Approximate Scale Model of an Object
Students will create a model of an object of their choice, giving them skills and practice in techniques used by professionals. The students will use sketches as they build their objects. This activity will facilitate a discussion on models and their usefulness.
Design an Egyptian Playground
Students are broken up into four groups. Each group will use their knowledge about Egypt to originate a playground for Egyptian children. This will involve brainstorming ideas on paper, building a prototype with Legos or other material, and explaining their ideas to the class in a five-minute presentation.