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Biomimicry: Echolocation in Robotics
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Educational Use
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Students use ultrasonic sensors and LEGO© MINDSTORMS© NXT robots to emulate how bats use echolocation to detect obstacles. They measure the robot's reaction times as it senses objects at two distances and with different sensor threshold values, and again after making adjustments to optimize its effectiveness. Like engineers, they gather and graph data to analyze a given design (from the tutorial) and make modifications to the sensor placement and/or threshold values in order to improve the robot's performance (iterative design). Students see how problem solving with biomimicry design is directly related to understanding and making observations of nature.

Subject:
Engineering
Electronic Technology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
James Muldoon
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Design Step 1: Identify the Need
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Educational Use
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Students practice the initial steps involved in an engineering design challenge. They begin by reviewing the steps of the engineering design loop and discussing the client need for the project. Next, they identify a relevant context, define the problem within their design teams, and examine the project's requirements and constraints. (Note: Conduct this activity in the context of a design project that students are working on, which could be a challenge determined by the teacher, brainstormed with the class, or the example project challenge provided [to design a prosthetic arm that can perform a mechanical function].)

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Elementary School Engineering Design Field Day
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Educational Use
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This unit provides the framework for conducting an “engineering design field day” that combines 6 hands-on engineering activities into a culminating school (or multi-school) competition. The activities are a mix of design and problem-solving projects inspired by real-world engineering challenges: kite making, sail cars, tall towers, strong towers and a ball and tools obstacle course. The assortment of events engage children who have varied interests and cover a range of disciplines such as aerospace, mechanical and civil engineering. An optional math test—for each of grades 1-6—is provided as an alternative activity to incorporate into the field day event. Of course, the 6 activities in this unit also are suitable to conduct as standalone activities that are unaffiliated with a big event.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Units
Author:
Alexander Kon
Alisa Lee
Andrew Palermo
Christopher Langel
Destiny Garcia
Duff Harold
Eric Anderson
Jean Vandergheynst
Jeff Kessler
Josh Claypool
Kelley Hestmark
Lauren Jabusch
Nadia Richards
Sara Pace
Tiffany Tu
Travis Smith
Date Added:
02/17/2017
Engineering Derby: Tool Ingenuity
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Educational Use
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Student teams are challenged to navigate a table tennis ball through a timed obstacle course using only the provided unconventional “tools.” Teams act as engineers by working through the steps of the engineering design process to complete the overall task with each group member responsible to accomplish one of the obstacle course challenges. Inspired by the engineers who helped the Apollo 13 astronauts through critical problems in space, students must be innovative with the provided supplies to use them as tools to move the ball through the obstacles as swiftly as possible. Groups are encouraged to communicate with each other to share vital information. The course and tool choices are easily customizable for varied age groups and/or difficulty levels. Pre/post assessment handouts, competition rules and judging rubric are provided.

Subject:
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Andrew Palermo
Date Added:
02/07/2017
Lending a Hand: Teaching Forces through Assistive Device Design
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Educational Use
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Students learn about how biomedical engineers create assistive devices for persons with fine motor skill disabilities. They learn about types of forces, balanced and unbalanced forces, and the relationship between form and function, as well as the structure of the hand. They do this by designing, building and testing their own hand "gripper" prototypes that are able to grasp and lift a 200 ml cup of sand.

Subject:
Engineering
Health, Medicine and Nursing
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Jeanne Hubelbank
Kelly Cox
Kristen Billiar
Terri Camesano
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Remix
Mini Car Design Challenge
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC
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This engineering design challenge is a great hands-on activity that utilizes the engineering design process, 3D modeling, and 3D printing technology. The challenge can be completed individually or in groups of 2 to 3. Students will work to complete the following challenge: Using the design process, design, document, model, and produce a toy car with interchangeable parts.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Author:
STEMToolkit Administrator
Date Added:
05/09/2021