Students compare and contrast passive and active transport by playing a game to model this phenomenon. Movement through cell membranes is also modeled, as well as the structure and movement typical of the fluid mosaic model of the cell membrane. Concentration gradient, sizes, shapes and polarity of molecules determine the method of movement through cell membranes. This activity is associated with the Test your Mettle phase of the legacy cycle.
Students are introduced to measuring and identifying sources of air pollution, as well as how environmental engineers try to control and limit the amount of air pollution. In Part 1, students are introduced to nitrogen dioxide as an air pollutant and how it is quantified. Major sources are identified, using EPA bar graphs. Students identify major cities and determine their latitudes and longitudes. They estimate NO2 values from color maps showing monthly NO2 averages from two sources: a NASA satellite and the WSU forecast model AIRPACT. In Part 2, students continue to estimate NO2 values from color maps and use Excel to calculate differences and ratios to determine the model's performance. They gain experience working with very large numbers written in scientific notation, as well as spreadsheet application capabilities.
Students learn how nanoparticles can be creatively used for medical diagnostic purposes. They learn about buckminsterfullerenes, more commonly known as buckyballs, and about the potential for these complex carbon molecules to deliver drugs and other treatments into the human body. They brainstorm methods to track buckyballs in the body, then build a buckyball from pipe cleaners with a fluorescent tag to model how nanoparticles might be labeled and detected for use in a living organism. As an extension, students research and select appropriate radioisotopes for different medical applications.
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 traverses without falling out depends on the kinetic energy obtained by the marble.
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.
In this simulation of a doctor's office, students play the roles of physician, nurse, patients, and time-keeper, with the objective to improve the patient waiting time. They collect and graph data as part of their analysis. This serves as a hands-on example of using engineering principles and engineering design approaches (such as models and simulations) to research, analyze, test and improve processes.
Students construct paper recombinant plasmids to simulate the methods genetic engineers use to create modified bacteria. They learn what role enzymes, DNA and genes play in the modification of organisms. For the particular model they work on, they isolate a mammal insulin gene and combine it with a bacteria's gene sequence (plasmid DNA) for production of the protein insulin.
Students use the scientific method to determine the effect of control surfaces on a paper glider. They construct paper airplanes (model gliders) and test their performance to determine the base characteristics of the planes. Then they change one of the control surfaces and compare the results to their base glider in order to determine the cause and effect relationship of the control surfaces.
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 introduced to the roles of the water, carbon and nitrogen cycles. They test the effects of photosynthesis and transpiration. Students are introduced to animal classifications and interactions, including carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, predator and prey. They learn about biomimicry and how engineers often imitate nature in the design of new products. As everyday applications are interwoven into the lessons, students consider why a solid understanding of one's environment and the interdependence within ecosystems can inform the choices we make and the way we engineer our communities.
In this multi-day activity, students explore environments, ecosystems, energy flow and organism interactions by creating a scale model biodome, following the steps of the engineering design process. The Procedure section provides activity instructions for Biodomes unit, lessons 2-6, as students work through Parts 1-6 to develop their model biodome. Subjects include energy flow and food chains, basic needs of plants and animals, and the importance of decomposers. Students consider why a solid understanding of one's environment and the interdependence of an ecosystem can inform the choices we make and the way we engineer our own communities. This activity can be conducted as either a very structured or open-ended design.
Students learn about biomimicry and how engineers often imitate nature in the design of innovative new products. They demonstrate their knowledge of biomimicry by practicing brainstorming and designing a new product based on what they know about animals and nature.
Students investigate the bone structure of a turkey femur and then create their own prototype versions as if they are biomedical engineers designing bone transplants for a bird. The challenge is to mimic the size, shape, structure, mass and density of the real bone. Students begin by watching a TED Talk about printing a human kidney and reading a news article about 3D printing a replacement bone for an eagle. Then teams gather data—using calipers to get the exact turkey femur measurements—and determine the bone’s mass and density. They make to-scale sketches of the bone and then use modeling clay, plastic drinking straws and pipe cleaners to create 3D prototypes of the bone. Next, groups each cut and measure a turkey femur cross-section, which they draw in CAD software and then print on a 3D printer. Students reflect on the design/build process and the challenges encountered when making realistic bone replacements. A pre/post-quiz, worksheet and rubric are included. If no 3D printer, shorten the activity by just making the hand-generated replicate bones.
Students create models of objects of their choice, giving them skills and practice in techniques used by professionals. They make sketches as they build their objects. This activity facilitates a discussion on models and their usefulness.
Students build their own small-scale model roller coasters using pipe insulation and marbles, and then analyze them using physics principles learned in the associated lesson. They examine conversions between kinetic and potential energy and frictional effects to design roller coasters that are completely driven by gravity. A class competition using different marbles types to represent different passenger loads determines the most innovative and successful roller coasters.
Students investigate the weather from a systems approach, learning how individual parts of a system work together to create a final product. Students learn how a barometer works to measure the Earth's air pressure by building a model using simple materials. Students analyze the changes in barometer measurements over time and compare those to actual weather conditions. They learn how to use a barometer to understand air pressure and predict actual weather changes.
What does the brain look like? As engineers, how can we look at neural networks without invasive surgery? In this activity, students design and build neuron models based on observations made while viewing neurons through a microscope. The models are used to explain how each structure of the neuron contributes to the overall function. Students share their models with younger students and explain what a neuron is, its function, and how engineers use their understanding of the neuron to make devices to activate neurons.
Students construct three-dimensional models of water catchment basins using everyday objects to form hills, mountains, valleys and water sources. They experiment to see where rain travels and collects, and survey water pathways to see how they can be altered by natural and human activities. Students discuss how engineers design structures that impact water collection, as well as systems that clean and distribute water.
Students consider the Earth's major types of landforms such as mountains, rivers, plains, hills, canyons, oceans and plateaus. Student teams build three-dimensional models of landscapes, depicting several of these landforms. Once the models are built, they act as civil and transportation engineers to design and build roads through the landscapes they have created. The worksheet is provided in English and Spanish.
We help students see the connection between college level chemistry course work and their differential equations coursework. We do this through modeling kinetics, or rates of chemical reaction. We offer many opportunities to model these chemical reactions with data, some of which comes from traditional introductory chemistry textbooks. We ask students to verify their model through parameter estimation. We use Excel’s Trendline addition to graphs/charts to select the models for the data and transformed data to take advantage of Trendline’s set function choices and we also use Mathematica’s direct nonlinear fitting capabilities.
Following the steps of the engineering design process and acting as biomedical engineers, student teams use everyday materials to design and develop devices and approaches to unclog blood vessels. Through this open-ended design project, they learn about the circulatory system, biomedical engineering, and conditions that lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Students explore the concept of biodegradability by building and observing model landfills to test the decomposition of samples of everyday garbage items. They collect and record experiment observations over five days, seeing for themselves what happens to trash when it is thrown "away" in a landfill environment. This shows them the difference between biodegradable and non-biodegradable and serves to introduce them to the idea of composting. Students also learn about the role of engineering in solid waste management.
Students use simple household materials, such as PVC piping and compact mirrors, to construct models of laser-based security systems. The protected object (a "mummified troll" or another treasure of your choosing) is placed "on display" in the center of the modeled room and protected by a laser system that utilizes a laser beam reflected off mirrors to trigger a light trip sensor with alarm.
We design and create objects to make our lives easier and more comfortable. The houses in which we live are excellent examples of this. Depending on your local climate, the features of your house have been designed to satisfy your particular environmental needs: protection from hot, cold, windy and/or rainy weather. In this activity, students design and build model houses, then test them against various climate elements, and then re-design and improve them. Using books, websites and photos, students learn about the different types of roofs found on various houses in different environments throughout the world.
A demonstration of the distributive property of multiplication using models. This video is less than 15 minutes.
Students explore the science of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) by using a molecular modeling set to model the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration—building on the concept of MFCs that they learned in the associated lesson, “Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration at the Atomic Level.” Students demonstrate the law of conservation of matter by counting atoms in the molecular modeling set. They also re-engineer a new molecular model from which to further gain an understanding of these concepts.
Student teams design and then create small-size models of working filter systems to simulate multi-stage wastewater treatment plants. Drawing from assorted provided materials (gravel, pebbles, sand, activated charcoal, algae, coffee filters, cloth) and staying within a (hypothetical) budget, teams create filter systems within 2-liter plastic bottles to clean the teacher-made simulated wastewater (soap, oil, sand, fertilizer, coffee grounds, beads). They aim to remove the water contaminants while reclaiming the waste material as valuable resources. They design and build the filtering systems, redesigning for improvement, and then measuring and comparing results (across teams): reclaimed quantities, water quality tests, costs, experiences and best practices. They conduct common water quality tests (such as turbidity, pH, etc., as determined by the teacher) to check the water quality before and after treatment.
Using a website simulation tool, students build on their understanding of random processes on networks to interact with the graph of a social network of individuals and simulate the spread of a disease. They decide which two individuals on the network are the best to vaccinate in an attempt to minimize the number of people infected and "curb the epidemic." Since the results are random, they run multiple simulations and compute the average number of infected individuals before analyzing the results and assessing the effectiveness of their vaccination strategies.
Students reinforce their knowledge that DNA is the genetic material for all living things by modeling it using toothpicks and gumdrops that represent the four biochemicals (adenine, thiamine, guanine, and cytosine) that pair with each other in a specific pattern, making a double helix. They investigate specific DNA sequences that code for certain physical characteristics such as eye and hair color. Student teams trade DNA "strands" and de-code the genetic sequences to determine the physical characteristics (phenotype) displayed by the strands (genotype) from other groups. Students extend their knowledge to learn about DNA fingerprinting and recognizing DNA alterations that may result in genetic disorders.
DNA Model Grade Level: 10thSubject: ALS:AnimalsDuration: 100 minutesDOK Level:4SAMR Level: Substitution Indiana Standard: ALSA-2.23 Explain the importance of DNA and differentiate the following terms, genome, gene, chromatin, chromosome, and chromatids.Objective: Students will be able to design and construct a DNA model with 100% accuracy.Essential Question: What is DNA?Procedure: Have students write down everything they know about DNAShow the video DNA Chalk Talk Present the lecture DNA BasicsDivide the students into pairsExplain the expectations of the DNA modelBrainstorming sheetWritten out planParagraph explaining the model and relating it the real DNA. The paragraph also needs to explain why the pieces of the model were used.Allow the students the rest of the time to create a brainstorming sheet and plan for building the next class timeAllow one class period for building and presentingProduct or Assessment: Students will be evaluated on their models and written paragraph.
Students learn how the force of water helps determine the size and shape of dams. They use clay to build models of four types of dams, and observe the force of the water against each type. They conclude by deciding which type of dam they, as Splash Engineering engineers, will design for Thirsty County.
Students explore the many different ways that engineers provide natural lighting to interior spaces. They analyze various methods of daylighting by constructing model houses from foam core board and simulating the sun with a desk lamp. Teams design a daylighting system for their model houses based on their observations and calculations of the optimal use of available sunlight to their structure.
Students design and build model landfills using materials similar to those used by engineers for full-scale landfills. Their completed small-size landfills are "rained" on and subjected to other erosion processes. The goal is to create landfills that hold the most garbage, minimize the cost to build and keep trash and contaminated water inside the landfill to prevent it from causing environmental damage. Teams create designs within given budgets, test the landfills' performance, and graph and compare designs for capacity, cost and performance.
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 are working on; this activity is Step 5 in a series of six that guide students through the engineering design loop.)
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.
Student teams use their knowledge about ancient Egypt to design playgrounds for Egyptian children. This involves brainstorming ideas on paper, building models with LEGO® bricks or other materials, and explaining their ideas to the class in five-minute presentations.
Emphasizing the design, build, and test steps of the engineering design process, groups create a ping-pong paddle. After building their paddle, students conduct tests and compare their design to a store-bought paddle and use a Venn diagram to organize their information. Based on their results, students write product reviews for their paddle. This project allows students to build and test a design, iterate upon that design as well as explore how data analysis of a product works.
Students create model elevator carriages and calibrate them, similar to the work of design and quality control engineers. Students use measurements from rotary encoders to recreate the task of calibrating elevators for a high-rise building. They translate the rotations from an encoder to correspond to the heights of different floors in a hypothetical multi-story building. Students also determine the accuracy of their model elevators in getting passengers to their correct destinations.
Students demonstrate the erythrocyte sedimentation rate test (ESR test) using a blood model composed of tomato juice, petroleum jelly and olive oil. They simulate different disease conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, anemia, leukocytosis and sickle-cell anemia, by making appropriate variations in the particle as well as in the fluid matrix. Students measure the ESR for each sample blood model, correlate the ESR values with disease conditions and confirm that diseases alter blood composition and properties. During the activity, students learn that when non-coagulated blood is let to stand in a tube, the red blood cells separate and fall to the bottom of the tube, resulting in a sediment and a clear liquid called serum. The height in millimeters of the clear liquid on top of the sediment in a time period of one hour is taken as the sedimentation rate. If a disease is present, this ESR value deviates from the normal, disease-free value. Different diseases cause different ESR values because blood composition and properties, such as density and viscosity, are altered differently by different diseases. Thus, the ESR test serves as a real-world diagnostic screening test to identify indications of the presence of any diseases in people.
Students learn about the amazing adaptations of the ptarmigan to the alpine tundra. They focus one adaptation, the feathered feet of the ptarmigan, and ask whether the feathers serve to only keep the feet warm or to also provide the bird with floatation capability. They create model ptarmigan feet, with and without feathers, and test the hypothesis on the function of the feathers. Ultimately, students make a claim about whether the feathers provide floatation and support this claim with their testing evidence.