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Design Step 1: Identify the Need
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Students practice the initial steps involved in an engineering design challenge. They ...

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 NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Build Your Own Arduino Light Sculpture! Part 1
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Students create projects that introduce them to Arduino—a small device that can ...

Students create projects that introduce them to Arduino—a small device that can be easily programmed to control and monitor a variety of external devices like LEDs and sensors. First they learn a few simple programming structures and commands to blink LEDs. Then they are given three challenges—to modify an LED blinking rate until it cannot be seen, to replicate a heartbeat pattern and to send Morse code messages. This activity prepares students to create more involved multiple-LED patterns in the Part 2 companion activity.

Subject:
Applied Science
Computer Science
Career and Technical Education
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Brian Huang
SparkFun Education
Density Column Lab - Part 1
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In this first part of a two-part lab activity, students use triple ...

In this first part of a two-part lab activity, students use triple balance beams and graduated cylinders to take measurements and calculate the densities of several common, irregularly shaped objects with the purpose to resolve confusion about mass and density. After this activity, conduct the associated Density Column Lab - Part 2 activity before presenting the associated Density & Miscibility lesson for discussion about concepts that explain what students have observed.

Subject:
Engineering
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
GK-12 Program,
Jessica Ray, Phyllis Balcerzak, Barry Williams
TeachEngineering.org
Earthquakes Living Lab: Geology and the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
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Students examine the effects of geology on earthquake magnitudes and how engineers ...

Students examine the effects of geology on earthquake magnitudes and how engineers anticipate and prepare for these effects. Using information provided through the Earthquakes Living Lab interface, students investigate how geology, specifically soil type, can amplify the magnitude of earthquakes and their consequences. Students look in-depth at the historical 1906 San Francisco earthquake and its destruction thorough photographs and data. They compare the 1906 California earthquake to another historical earthquake in Kobe, Japan, looking at the geological differences and impacts in the two regions, and learning how engineers, geologists and seismologists work to predict earthquakes and minimize calamity. A worksheet serves as a student guide for the activity.

Subject:
Engineering
Geology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department,
Mike Mooney, Minal Parekh, Scott Schankweiler, Jessica Noffsinger, Karen Johnson, Jonathan Knudtsen
Ohm's Law 2
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In this extension to the Ohm's Law I activity, students observe just ...

In this extension to the Ohm's Law I activity, students observe just how much time it takes to use up the "juice" in a battery, and if it is better to use batteries in series or parallel. This extension is suitable as a teacher demonstration and may be started before students begin work on the Ohm's Law I activity.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
K-12 Outreach Office,
Ozan Baskan
TeachEngineering.org
Density Column Lab - Part 2
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Concluding a two-part lab activity, students use triple balance beams and graduated ...

Concluding a two-part lab activity, students use triple balance beams and graduated cylinders to take measurements and calculate densities of several household liquids and compare them to the densities of irregularly shaped objects (as determined in Part 1). Then they create density columns with the three liquids and four solid items to test their calculations and predictions of the different densities. Once their density columns are complete, students determine the effect of adding detergent to the columns. After this activity, present the associated Density & Miscibility lesson for a discussion about why the column layers do not mix.

Subject:
Engineering
Life Science
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
GK-12 Program,
Jessica Ray, Phyllis Balcerzak, Barry Williams
TeachEngineering.org
Build Your Own Arduino Light Sculpture! Part 2
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In the companion activity, students experimented with Arduino programming to blink a ...

In the companion activity, students experimented with Arduino programming to blink a single LED. During this activity, students build on that experience as they learn about breadboards and how to hook up multiple LEDs and control them individually so that they can complete a variety of challenges to create fun patterns! To conclude, students apply the knowledge they have gained to create LED-based light sculptures.

Subject:
Applied Science
Computer Science
Career and Technical Education
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Brian Huang
SparkFun Education
Design Step 2: Research the Problem
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Through Internet research, patent research, standards and codes research, user interviews (if ...

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 NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
20/20 Vision
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In this activity, students determine their own eyesight and calculate what a ...

In this activity, students determine their own eyesight and calculate what a good average eyesight value for the class would be. Students learn about technologies to enhance eyesight and how engineers play an important role in the development of these technologies.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Denali Lander
Janet Yowell
Joe Freidrichsen
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Biodomes Engineering Design Project: Lessons 2-6
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In this multi-day activity, students explore environments, ecosystems, energy flow and organism ...

In this multi-day activity, students explore environments, ecosystems, energy flow and organism interactions by creating a scale model biodome, following the steps of the engineering design process. The Procedure section provides activity instructions for Biodomes unit, lessons 2-6, as students work through Parts 1-6 to develop their model biodome. Subjects include energy flow and food chains, basic needs of plants and animals, and the importance of decomposers. Students consider why a solid understanding of one's environment and the interdependence of an ecosystem can inform the choices we make and the way we engineer our own communities. This activity can be conducted as either a very structured or open-ended design.

Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Christopher Valenti
Denise Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Katherine Beggs
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Design Step 3: Brainstorm Possible Solutions
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Brainstorming is a team creativity activity that helps generate a large number ...

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 NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
3RC (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Compost)
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In this lesson, students expand their understanding of solid waste management to ...

In this lesson, students expand their understanding of solid waste management to include the idea of 3RC (reduce, reuse, recycle and compost). They will look at the effects of packaging decisions (reducing) and learn about engineering advancements in packaging materials and solid waste management. Also, they will observe biodegradation in a model landfill (composting).

Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Amy Kolenbrander
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Janet Yowell
Jessica Todd
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Projections and Coordinates: Turning a 3D Earth into Flatlands
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Projections and coordinates are key advancements in the geographic sciences that allow ...

Projections and coordinates are key advancements in the geographic sciences that allow us to better understand the nature of the Earth and how to describe location. These innovations in describing the Earth are the basis for everything that is done in a GIS framework. Shape of the Earth is a critical starting point because in fact the Earth is not round but rather a more complex shape called a geoid. Coordinate systems are often referenced to a particular model shape of the Earth, but many different formats exist because not all coordinates work equally well in all areas. While projections and coordinates are abstract concepts in themselves, students eventually find them interesting because 1) it causes them to challenge their current ideas of the Earth's shape and 2) it is much easier to visualize these ideas for learning through interactive GIS such as Google Earth.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Andrey Koptelov
Nathan Howell
National Science Foundation GK-12 and Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Programs,
TeachEngineering.org
Design Step 4: Engineering Analysis
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Engineering analysis distinguishes true engineering design from "tinkering." In this activity, students ...

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 NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Design Step 5: Construct a Prototype
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Students learn about the manufacturing phase of the engineering design process. They ...

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 NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Learn to Build a Rocket in 5 Days or Your Money Back
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In this lesson, students discover the entire process that goes into designing ...

In this lesson, students discover the entire process that goes into designing a rocket for any customer. In prior lessons, students learned how rockets work, but now they learn what real-world decisions engineers have to make when designing and building a rocket. They learn about important factors such as supplies, ethics, deadlines and budgets. Also, students learn about the Engineering process, and recognize that the first design is almost never the final design. Re-Engineering is a critical step in creating a rocket.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Design Step 6: Evaluate/Manufacture a Final Product
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As students learn more about the manufacturing process, they use the final ...

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 NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Abdominal Cavity and Laparoscopic Surgery
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For students interested in studying biomechanical engineering, especially in the field of ...

For students interested in studying biomechanical engineering, especially in the field of surgery, this lesson serves as an anatomy and physiology primer of the abdominopelvic cavity. Students are introduced to the abdominopelvic cavity—a region of the body that is the focus of laparoscopic surgery—as well as the benefits and drawbacks of laparoscopic surgery. Understanding the abdominopelvic environment and laparoscopic surgery is critical for biomechanical engineers who design laparoscopic surgical tools.

Subject:
Engineering
Life Science
Anatomy/Physiology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Benjamin S. Terry, Brandi N. Briggs, Stephanie Rivale, Denise W. Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
TeachEngineering.org
About Accuracy and Approximation
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Students learn about the concepts of accuracy and approximation as they pertain ...

Students learn about the concepts of accuracy and approximation as they pertain to robotics, gain insight into experimental accuracy, and learn how and when to estimate values that they measure. Students also explore sources of error stemming from the robot setup and rounding numbers.

Subject:
Engineering
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
AMPS GK-12 Program,
Ronald Poveda
TeachEngineering.org
Above-Ground Storage Tank Design Project
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At this point in the unit, students have learned about Pascal's law, ...

At this point in the unit, students have learned about Pascal's law, Archimedes' principle, Bernoulli's principle, and why above-ground storage tanks are of major concern in the Houston Ship Channel and other coastal areas. In this culminating activity, student groups act as engineering design teams to derive equations to determine the stability of specific above-ground storage tank scenarios with given tank specifications and liquid contents. With their floatation analyses completed and the stability determined, students analyze the tank stability in specific storm conditions. Then, teams are challenged to come up with improved storage tank designs to make them less vulnerable to uplift, displacement and buckling in storm conditions. Teams present their analyses and design ideas in short class presentations.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Emily Sappington, Mila Taylor
National Science Foundation GK-12 and Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Programs,