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  • NGSS.HS.PS3.3
Boom Construction
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Student teams design their own booms (bridges) and engage in a friendly competition with other teams to test their designs. Each team strives to design a boom that is light, can hold a certain amount of weight, and is affordable to build. Teams are also assessed on how close their design estimations are to the final weight and cost of their boom "construction." This activity teaches students how to simplify the math behind the risk and estimation process that takes place at every engineering firm prior to the bidding phase when an engineering firm calculates how much money it will take to build the project and then "bids" against other competitors.

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Stanislav Roslyakov
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Build and Test a Model Solar House
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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.

Subject:
Engineering
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Diagram/Illustration
Lecture Notes
Student Guide
Provider:
Concord Consortium
Provider Set:
Concord Consortium Collection
Author:
The Concord Consortium
Date Added:
05/16/2012
Building a Piezoelectric Generator
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Students learn how to build simple piezoelectric generators to power LEDs. To do this, they incorporate into a circuit a piezoelectric element that converts movements they make (mechanical energy) into electrical energy, which is stored in a capacitor (short-term battery). Once enough energy is stored, they flip a switch to light up an LED. Students also learn how much (surprisingly little) energy can be converted using the current state of technology for piezoelectric materials.

Subject:
Engineering
Electronic Technology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Kimberly Anderson
Matthew Zelisko
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Concentrated Solar Power
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Students learn how the total solar irradiance hitting a photovoltaic (PV) panel can be increased through the use of a concentrating device, such as a reflector or lens. This is the final lesson in the Photovoltaic Efficiency unit and is intended to accompany a fun design project (see the associated Concentrating on the Sun with PVs activity) to wrap up the unit. However, it can be completed independently of the other unit lessons and activities.

Subject:
Engineering
Electronic Technology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Abigail Watrous
Jack Baum
Stephen Johnson
William Surles
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Design Step 1: Identify the Need
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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
Design Step 2: Research the Problem
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Through Internet research, patent research, standards and codes research, user interviews (if possible) and other techniques (idea web, reverse engineering), students further develop the context for their design challenge. In subsequent activities, the design teams use this body of knowledge about the problem to generate product design ideas. (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]. This activity is Step 2 in a series of six that guide students through the engineering design loop.)

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
Design Step 3: Brainstorm Possible Solutions
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Brainstorming is a team creativity activity that helps generate a large number of potential solutions to a problem. In this activity, students participate in a group brainstorming activity to generate possible solutions to their engineering design challenge. Students learn brainstorming guidelines and practice within their teams to create a poster of ideas. The posters are used in a large group critiquing activity that ultimately helps student teams create a design project outline. (Note: Conduct this activity in the context of a design project that students are working on; this activity is Step 3 in a series of six that guide students through the engineering design loop.)

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
Design Step 4: Engineering Analysis
Conditions of Use:
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Engineering analysis distinguishes true engineering design from "tinkering." In this activity, students are guided through an example engineering analysis scenario for a scooter. Then they perform a similar analysis on the design solutions they brainstormed in the previous activity in this unit. At activity conclusion, students should be able to defend one most-promising possible solution to their design challenge. (Note: Conduct this activity in the context of a design project that students are working on; this activity is Step 4 in a series of six that guide students through the engineering design loop.)

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Design Step 5: Construct a Prototype
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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.)

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
Design Step 6: Evaluate/Manufacture a Final Product
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As students learn more about the manufacturing process, they use the final prototypes created in the previous activity to evaluate, design and manufacture final products. Teams work with more advanced materials and tools, such as plywood, Plexiglas, metals, epoxies, welding materials and machining tools. (Note: Conduct this activity in the context of a design project that students are working on; this activity is Step 6 in a series of six that guide students through the engineering design loop.)

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Energy Forms and Changes
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

This simulation lets learners explore how heating and cooling adds or removes energy. Use a slider to heat blocks of iron or brick to see the energy flow. Next, build your own system to convert mechanical, light, or chemical energy into electrical or thermal energy. (Learners can choose sunlight, steam, flowing water, or mechanical energy to power their systems.) The simulation allows students to visualize energy transformation and describe how energy flows in various systems. Through examples from everyday life, it also bolsters understanding of conservation of energy. This item is part of a larger collection of simulations developed by the Physics Education Technology project (PhET).

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Ariel Paul
Emily Moore
John Blanco
Kathy Perkins
Noah Podolefsky
Trish Loeblein
Date Added:
04/25/2013
Energy Storage Derby and Proposal
Conditions of Use:
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In Activity 5, as part of the Going Public step, students demonstrate their knowledge of how potential energy may be transferred into kinetic energy. Students design, build and test vehicle prototypes that transfer various types of potential energy into motion.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Joel Daniel
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Evaporative Cooler
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Explore the concept of evaporative cooling through a hands-on experiment. Use a wet cloth and fan to model an air-conditioner and use temperature and relative humidity sensors to collect data. Then digitally plot the data using graphs in the activity. In an optional extension, make your own modifications to improve the cooler's efficiency.

Subject:
Engineering
Education
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Lecture Notes
Provider:
Concord Consortium
Provider Set:
Concord Consortium Collection
Author:
The Concord Consortium
Date Added:
12/12/2011
Flying T-Shirts
Conditions of Use:
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During this engineering design/build project, students investigate many different solutions to a problem. Their design challenge is to find a way to get school t-shirts up into the stands during home sporting events. They follow the steps of the engineering design process to design and build a usable model, all while keeping costs under budget.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Brandi Jackson
Denise W. Carlson
Jonathan MacNeil
Scott Duckworth
Stephanie Rivale
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Fun with Air-Powered Pneumatics
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Working as engineering teams in this introductory pneumatics lab, students design and build working pneumatic (air-powered) systems. The goal is to create systems that launch balls into the air. They record and analyze data from their launches.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Alyssa Burger
and Melissa Schreifels
Jacob Givand
Jeffrey Schreifels
Will Durfee
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Keep It Moving! from Electrons to Electric Motors
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Students act as engineers to apply what they know about how circuits work in electrical/motorized devices to design their own battery-operated model motor vehicles with specific paramaters. They calculate the work done by the vehicles and the power produced by their motor systems.

Subject:
Engineering
Electronic Technology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Christiana Chang
Duane Turner
Eduardo Guevera
Gangbing Song
Mark Bulger
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Keeping Our Roads Smooth
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Students learn how roadways are designed and constructed, and discuss the advantages and limitations of the current roadway construction process. They look at current practices of roadway monitoring, discuss the limitations, and consider ways to further road monitoring research. To conclude, student groups compete to design smooth, cost-efficient and sound model road bases using gravel, sand, water and rubber (representing asphalt). This lesson prepares students for the associated activity in which they act as civil engineers hired by USDOT to research through their own model experimentation how to best use piezoelectric materials to detect road damage by showing how piezoelectric transducers can indicate road damage.

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Physical Science
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Adam Alster
Amir Alvai
Andrea Varricchione
Drew Kim
Nizar Lajnef
Victoria Davis-King
Date Added:
02/07/2017
MISA HS Sample Item Set - Wind Turbines (PS/ESS)
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

Sample high school MISA test item set which uses a physics and earth space science performance expectations.  The Item set focuses on wind turbines and their environmental impacts. It contains 5 questions and one constructed response for a total of 9 points. (Image source: “Wind Turbine” by Painter06 at Pixabay.com.)  

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Author:
Melissa Kaye-Kamauff
Mouse Trap Racing in the Computer Age!
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Students design, build and evaluate a spring-powered mouse trap racer. For evaluation, teams equip their racers with an intelligent brick from a LEGO© MINDSTORMS© NXT Education Base Set and a HiTechnic© acceleration sensor. They use acceleration data collected during the launch to compute velocity and displacement vs. time graphs. In the process, students learn about the importance of fitting mathematical models to measurements of physical quantities, reinforce their knowledge of Newtonian mechanics, deal with design compromises, learn about data acquisition and logging, and carry out collaborative assessment of results from all participating teams.

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Pavel Khazron
Date Added:
09/18/2014