Students construct rockets from balloons propelled along a guide string. They use this model to learn about Newton's three laws of motion, examining the effect of different forces on the motion of the rocket.
Students follow the steps of the engineering design process as they design and construct balloons for aerial surveillance. After their first attempts to create balloons, they are given the associated Estimating Buoyancy lesson to learn about volume, buoyancy and density to help them iterate more successful balloon designs.Applying their newfound knowledge, the young engineers build and test balloons that fly carrying small flip cameras that capture aerial images of their school. Students use the aerial footage to draw maps and estimate areas.
Students learn that buoyancy is responsible for making boats, hot air balloons and weather balloons float. They calculate whether or not a boat or balloon will float, and calculate the volume needed to make a balloon or boat of a certain mass float. Conduct the first day of the associated activity before conducting this lesson.
Students gain first-hand experience on how friction affects motion. They build a hovercraft using air from a balloon to levitate a craft made from a compact disc (CD), learning that a bed of air under an object significantly reduces the friction as it slides over a surface.
In this activity, learners will explore globes of frozen water to learn how to ask and then answer 'investigable' questions. The activity includes four short online videos: Introduction, Step-by-Step Demonstration, Going Deeper, and What's Going On. Also available are a concept map and a "Going Further" web page that suggests variations and extensions on this activity.
To gain a better understanding of the roles and functions of components of the human respiratory system and our need for clean air, students construct model lungs that include a diaphragm and chest cavity. They see how air moving in and out of the lungs coincides with diaphragm movement. Then student teams design and build a prototype face mask pollution filter. They use their model lungs to evaluate their prototypes to design requirements.
Students use balloons (a polymer) to explore preconditioning a viscoelastic material behavior that is important to understand when designing biomedical devices. They improve their understanding of preconditioning by measuring the force needed to stretch a balloon to the same displacement multiple times. Students gain experience in data collection and graph interpretation.