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Engineering Inquiry Lessons

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Accelerometer: Centripetal Acceleration
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Educational Use
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Students work as physicists to understand centripetal acceleration concepts. They also learn about a good robot design and the accelerometer sensor. They also learn about the relationship between centripetal acceleration and centripetal force governed by the radius between the motor and accelerometer and the amount of mass at the end of the robot's arm. Students graph and analyze data collected from an accelerometer, and learn to design robots with proper weight distribution across the robot for their robotic arms. Upon using a data logging program, they view their own data collected during the activity. By activity end , students understand how a change in radius or mass can affect the data obtained from the accelerometer through the plots generated from the data logging program. More specifically, students learn about the accuracy and precision of the accelerometer measurements from numerous trials.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Carlo Yuvienco
Jennifer S. Haghpanah
Date Added:
09/18/2014
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
Compact Fluorescent and LED Cost-Benefit Analysis
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
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In this activity, students collect data and analyze the cost of using energy in their homes and investigate one method of reducing energy use. This activity provides educators and students with the means to connect 'energy use consequences' and 'climate change causes.' Through examining home energy use and calculating both pollution caused by the generation of electricity and potential savings, students can internalize these issues and share information with their families.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
Connecticut Energy Education
Date Added:
06/19/2012
Fun with Air-Powered Pneumatics
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Educational Use
Rating
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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
Latex Tubing and Hybrid Vehicles
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Educational Use
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The learning of linear functions is pervasive in most algebra classrooms. Linear functions are vital in laying the foundation for understanding the concept of modeling. This unit gives students the opportunity to make use of linear models in order to make predictions based on real-world data, and see how engineers address incredible and important design challenges through the use of linear modeling. Student groups act as engineering teams by conducting experiments to collect data and model the relationship between the wall thickness of the latex tubes and their corresponding strength under pressure (to the point of explosion). Students learn to graph variables with linear relationships and use collected data from their designed experiment to make important decisions regarding the feasibility of hydraulic systems in hybrid vehicles and the necessary tube size to make it viable.

Subject:
Engineering
Mathematics
Functions
Physics
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Carleigh Samson
Erik Bowen
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Power Metering Project
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This activity focuses on applying analytic tools such as pie charts and bar graphs to gain a better understanding of practical energy use issues. It also provides experience with how different types of data collected affect the outcome of statistical visualization tools.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
Department of Energy,
Department of Energy Academies Creating Teacher Scientists
Date Added:
10/27/2014
Solar Water Heater
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Student teams design and build solar water heating devices that mimic those used in residences to capture energy in the form of solar radiation and convert it to thermal energy. In this activity, students gain a better understanding of the three different types of heat transfer, each of which plays a role in the solar water heater design. Once the model devices are constructed, students perform efficiency calculations and compare designs.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Landon B. Gennetten
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
TeachEngineering from Integrated Teaching and Learning Program
Date Added:
06/19/2012