Students act as if they are biological engineers following the steps of the engineering design process to design and create protein models to replace the defective proteins in a child’s body. Jumping off from a basic understanding of DNA and its transcription and translation processes, students learn about the many different proteins types and what happens if protein mutations occur. Then they focus on structural, transport and defense proteins during three challenges posed by the R&D; bio-engineering hypothetical scenario. Using common classroom supplies such as paper, tape and craft sticks, student pairs design, sketch, build, test and improve their own protein models to meet specific functional requirements: to strengthen bones (collagen), to capture oxygen molecules (hemoglobin) and to capture bacteria (antibody). By designing and testing physical models to accomplish certain functional requirements, students come to understand the relationship between protein structure and function. They graph and analyze the class data, then share and compare results across all teams to determine which models were the most successful. Includes a quiz, three worksheets and a reference sheet.
In the world in which we live, individuals are faced with technological challenges that were perhaps never anticipated or envisioned. Forty years ago, no one could have anticipated the challenges and opportunities that cell phones bring, let alone text messaging. At times, we are faced with design challenges that require us to think “outside the box” and use creative design processes rather than relying on just one possible solution. Specifically, structures are designed with a particular purpose, environment, life span, and culture in mind. Engineers must weigh these factors to produce optimal designs.
Engineering and designers regularly keep a design journal. Documentation of design thinking strategies, through sketches, notes, and diagrams, is an important aspect of the creation of an engineering design journal.
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 miniature model cities using sugar, bouillon and gelatin cubes. The cities are put through simulated earthquakes to see which cube structures withstand the shaking movements the best.
Similar to how Charlotte uses her web to communicate, students create webs for short messages. They learn how spiders create their webs, and about the different types of webs they make. With this knowledge, students design and create their own webs and incorporate messages.
Students begin by following instructions to connect a Sunfounder Ultrasonic Sensor and an Arduino Microcontroller. Once they have them set up, students calibrate the sensor and practice using it. Students are then given an engineering design problem: to build a product that will use the ultrasonic sensors for a purpose that they all specify. Students will have to work together to design and test their product, and ultimately present it to their classmates.
Students are introduced to detail drawings and the importance of clearly documenting and communicating their designs. They are introduced to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Y14.5 standard, which controls how engineers communicate and archive design information. They are introduced to standard paper sizes and drawing view conventions, which are major components of the Y14.5 standard.
Students practice creating rudimentary detail drawings. They learn how engineers communicate the technical information about their designs using the basic components of detail drawings. They practice creating their own drawings of a three-dimensional block and a special LEGO piece, and then make 3D sketches of an unknown object using only the information provided in its detail drawing.
From da Vinci's flying machine sketched out in his notebook to the sketch, model and final fruition of the Atlantis Space Shuttle, these resources show mankind's innovative drive and fascination with air and space flight.
Being able to recognize a problem and design a potential solution is the first step in the development of new and useful products. In this activity, students create devices to get "that pesky itch in the center of your back." Once the idea is thought through, students produce design schematics (sketches). They are given a variety of everyday materials and recyclables, from which they prototype their back-scratching devices.
Student pairs reverse engineer objects of their choice, learning what it takes to be an engineer. Groups each make a proposal, create a team work contract, use tools to disassemble a device, and sketch and document their full understanding of how it works. They compile what they learned into a manual and write-up that summarizes the object's purpose, bill of materials and operation procedure with orthographic and isometric sketches. Then they apply some of the steps of the engineering design process to come up with ideas for how the product or device could be improved for the benefit of the end user, manufacturer and/or environment. They describe and sketch their ideas for re-imagined designs (no prototyping or testing is done). To conclude, teams compile full reports and then recap their reverse engineering projects and investigation discoveries in brief class presentations. A PowerPoint(TM) presentation, written report and oral presentation rubrics, and peer evaluation form are provided.
This lesson focuses on ultrasound wavelengths and how sound frequencies are used by engineers to help with detection of specific distances to or in materials. Students gain an understanding about how ultrasonic waves are reflected and refracted. Students also see how ultrasound technology is used in medical devices. The activity following this lesson allows students to test their knowledge by using the Sunfounder Ultrasonic sensor and Arduino Mega Microcontroller.