How can you use the Engineering Design Process to access a geographically inaccessible location to deliver supplies?
Our brains control every movement we make. Most of us take for granted our ability to pick up a cup or change the television station. However, for people who have lost a limb or become paralyzed, the inability to do these things means a loss of freedom and independence. This video segment from Greater Boston describes how neuroscientists and bioengineers have teamed up to create a system that allows people who have lost motor functions to control electronic devices through their thoughts alone. Grades 6-12
- Material Type:
- PBS LearningMedia
- Provider Set:
- PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
- Teachers' Domain
- Argosy Foundation
- WGBH Educational Foundation
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Do you need proof that driving is a dangerous activity? More Americans have died in car crashes over the past 100 years than in all the wars the U.S. has ever fought combined. More than 40,000 Americans die each year on the nation's highways, most as the result of high-speed collisions. In this video segment adapted from NOVA, learn how engineers developed the air bag, an important automobile-safety device now found in most cars.
Recommended for: Grades 3-12
In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, cast members make their own hovercraft and demonstrate how the air leaking out of a balloon can make a plastic plate hover above a table.
Explore some of the wonders of modern engineering in this video from the Sciencenter in Ithaca, New York. Hear a diverse selection of engineers explain how things work.
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.
The engineering design process involves many steps. Not only must an engineer be able to devise a solution to a problem, he or she must also be ready to test and evaluate that solution to reach the best result. To successfully complete the design process, an engineer must be able to identify design flaws and learn from his or her mistakes. In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, learn about the design process as cast members create automatic door openers that enable them to open their bedroom doors while lying on their beds. For grades 3-8.
This animated essay from the NOVA Web site examines the design of Galileo's refracting telescope and Sir Isaac Newton's reflecting telescope.
In this video segment adapted from NOVA scienceNOW, scientists discuss their attempts to grow human body parts in a jar.
In this video adapted from NASA, two members of a NASA research team working to produce carbon nanotubes share some background behind this new technology, show examples of how it will be useful, and explain the various tests being performed to ensure readiness for spaceflight.
Find out how serious head concussions can be in this video segment adapted from NOVA scienceNOW.
In this interactive activity from the Building Big Web site, use your knowledge of bridge design to match the right bridge to the right location in a fictitious city.
Bridges come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and lengths and are found all over the world. It is important that bridges are strong so they are safe to cross. Design and build a your own model bridge. Test your bridge for strength using a force sensor that measures how hard you pull on your bridge. By observing a graph of the force, determine the amount of force needed to make your bridge collapse.
Construct and measure the energy efficiency and solar heat gain of a cardboard model house. Use a light bulb heater to imitate a real furnace and a temperature sensor to monitor and regulate the internal temperature of the house. Use a bright bulb in a gooseneck lamp to model sunlight at different times of the year, and test the effectiveness of windows for passive solar heating.
Students will design, build, and test a spring-powered pontoon boat using common materials that must travel at least 20cm. Students will then use video software to analyze the motion of their craft.
In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, the cast shows how the 34 steps in their Rube Goldberg invention use everything from gravity to carbon dioxide gas in order to accomplish one simple task: pouring a glass of milk.
In this video segment from ZOOM, Jillian explains how her simple machine uses marbles, levers, flowing sand, and a spinning wheel to water a plant.
A bungee jump involves jumping from a tall structure while connected to a large elastic cord. Design a bungee jump that is "safe" for a hard-boiled egg. Create a safety egg harness and connect it to a rubber band, which is your the "bungee cord." Finally, attach your bungee cord to a force sensor to measures the forces that push or pull your egg.
This video excerpt from NOVA’s Making Stuff: Cleaner and accompanying activity guide for grades K–8 introduce students to the design and use of batteries and the rapidly developing science of clean energy and clean materials.
In this video segment from PEEP and the Big Wide World, children make a dam with dirt, sticks, and stones to try to stop the flow of water.