Hawaii DOE STEM

The purpose of this group is to identify resources for teachers to use to supplement their curriculum with interdisciplinary activities, lessons and assessments that engage students via the Engineering Design Process, Scientific Inquiry, and/or the Standards for Mathematical Practice.
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All resources in Hawaii DOE STEM

STEM Through Wind Turbines

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This unit integrates scientific inquiry, the engineering design process, with math practices and technology. Students learn about energy, alternative energy, designing experiments and use math and technology as tools to accomplish their tasks.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment

Author: JC HIDOE

What Is the Design Process?

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This video segment, adapted fromThinking Big, Building Small, demonstrates each part of the engineering design process, which is fundamental to any successful project. Though it does this in the context of building skyscrapers, the process is applicable to any sort of project, including constructing schools, building bridges, and even manufacturing sneakers. Students will recognize the value of going through its steps sequentially when constructing scale models. Recommended for: Grades 3-12

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Admin

Biodomes

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Students explore the biosphere's environments and ecosystems, learning along the way about the plants, animals, resources and natural cycles of our planet. Over the course of lessons 2-6, students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems - exploring energy and nutrient flows, basic needs of plants and animals, and decomposers. Students learn about food chains and food webs. They are introduced to the roles of the water, carbon and nitrogen cycles. They test the effects of photosynthesis and transpiration. Students are introduced to animal classifications and interactions, including carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, predator and prey. They learn about biomimicry and how engineers often imitate nature in the design of new products. As everyday applications are interwoven into the lessons, students consider why a solid understanding of one's environment and the interdependence within ecosystems can inform the choices we make and the way we engineer our communities.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Author: Admin

Natural Disasters

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Students are introduced to our planet's structure and its dynamic system of natural forces through an examination of the natural hazards of earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, tsunamis, floods and tornados, as well as avalanches, fires, hurricanes and thunderstorms. They see how these natural events become disasters when they impact people, and how engineers help to make people safe from them. Students begin by learning about the structure of the Earth; they create clay models showing the Earth's layers, see a continental drift demo, calculate drift over time, and make fault models. They learn how earthquakes happen; they investigate the integrity of structural designs using model seismographs. Using toothpicks and mini-marshmallows, they create and test structures in a simulated earthquake on a tray of Jell-O. Students learn about the causes, composition and types of volcanoes, and watch and measure a class mock eruption demo, observing the phases that change a mountain's shape. Students learn that the different types of landslides are all are the result of gravity, friction and the materials involved. Using a small-scale model of a debris chute, they explore how landslides start in response to variables in material, slope and water content. Students learn about tsunamis, discovering what causes them and makes them so dangerous. Using a table-top-sized tsunami generator, they test how model structures of different material types fare in devastating waves. Students learn about the causes of floods, their benefits and potential for disaster. Using riverbed models made of clay in baking pans, students simulate the impact of different river volumes, floodplain terrain and levee designs in experimental trials. They learn about the basic characteristics, damage and occurrence of tornadoes, examining them closely by creating water vortices in soda bottles. They complete mock engineering analyses of tornado damage, analyze and graph US tornado damage data, and draw and present structure designs intended to withstand high winds.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Author: Admin

Naturally Disastrous

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Students are introduced to natural disasters, and learn the difference between natural hazards and natural disasters. They discover the many types of natural hazards avalanche, earthquake, flood, forest fire, hurricane, landslide, thunderstorm, tornado, tsunami and volcano as well as specific examples of natural disasters. Students also explore why understanding these natural events is important to engineers and everyone's survival on our planet.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Author: Admin

Save Our City!

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Students learn about various natural hazards and specific methods engineers use to prevent these hazards from becoming natural disasters. They study a hypothetical map of an area covered with natural hazards and decide where to place natural disaster prevention devices by applying their critical thinking skills and an understanding of the causes of natural disasters.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Author: Admin

Biomimicry: Natural Designs

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Students learn about biomimicry and how engineers often imitate nature in the design of innovative new products. They demonstrate their knowledge of biomimicry by practicing brainstorming and designing a new product based on what they know about animals and nature.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Author: Admin

Engineering for the Three Little Pigs

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The purpose of this activity is to demonstrate the importance of rocks, soils and minerals in engineering and how using the right material for the right job is important. The students build three different sand castles and test them for strength and resistance to weathering. Then, they discuss how the buildings are different and what engineers need to think about when using rocks, soils and minerals for construction.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Author: Admin

Conduction, Convection, and Radiation

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With the help of simple, teacher-led demonstration activities, students learn the basic concepts of heat transfer by means of conduction, convection, and radiation. Students then apply these concepts as they work in teams to solve two problems. One problem requires that they maintain the warm temperature of one soda can filled with water at approximately body temperature, and the other problem is to cause an identical soda can of warm water to cool as much as possible during the same thirty-minute time interval. Students design their solutions using only common, everyday materials. They record the water temperatures in their two soda cans every five minutes, and prepare line graphs in order to visually compare their results to the temperature of an unaltered control can of water.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Author: Admin

Energy Conversions

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Students evaluate various everyday energy conversion devices and draw block flow diagrams to show the forms and states of energy into and out of the device. They also identify the forms of energy that are useful and the desired output of the device as well as the forms that are not useful for the intended use of the item. This can be used to lead into the law of conservation of energy and efficiency. The student activity is preceded by a demonstration of a more complicated system to convert chemical energy to heat energy to mechanical energy. Drawing the block energy conversion diagram for this system models the activity that the students then do themselves for other simpler systems.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Author: Admin

Food Packaging

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This lesson focuses on how food packages are designed and made. Students will learn three of the main functions of a food package. They will learn what is necessary of the design and materials of a package to keep food clean, protect or aid in the physical and chemical changes that can take place in a food, and identify a food appealingly. Then, in the associated activity, the students will have the opportunity to become packaging engineers by designing and building their own food package for a particular type of food.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Author: Admin

Understanding Ocean Acidification: Hands-on Demos and Activities

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This website presents hands-on demonstrations and experiments done at the Ocean Acidification workshop, July 2012. The site also includes presentations by scientists and educators, useful links, and an ocean pledge that explains on a personal level what you can do to reduce CO2 emissions. The hands-on activities will help demonstrate and explore the effects of increasing carbon dioxide on the acidity of the ocean and learn about impacts an acidic ocean has on marine organisms, the ocean food web, and humans. You will also investigate the causes for increased ocean acidity and learn about ways to minimize your impact.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Letha Goger

Problem Solving Under Pressure

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John Santos, STEM teacher at the Images, Science, and Technology Academy (ISTA) pushes students to become college and career ready with 21st century skills. A variety of science, technology, and engineering concepts and tools are utilized in this rigorous program including graphic design, manufacturing, digital design, engineering, applied math, and physics.Some of the 21st century skills addressed include critical thinking, real-world scenarios in which students have Ňone shotÓ to solve a problem that could have a catastrophic impact, reverse engineering, and working as a team.

Material Type: Lesson Plan, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Letha Goger

What Is the Design Process?

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This video segment, adapted fromThinking Big, Building Small, demonstrates each part of the engineering design process, which is fundamental to any successful project. Though it does this in the context of building skyscrapers, the process is applicable to any sort of project, including constructing schools, building bridges, and even manufacturing sneakers. Students will recognize the value of going through its steps sequentially when constructing scale models. Recommended for: Grades 3-12

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Admin

Making Recycled Paper

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In this adapted ZOOM video segment, cast members get hands-on in the recycling process by using old newspapers to make new paper. ***Access to Teacher's Domain content now requires free login to PBS Learning Media.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Diagram/Illustration

Author: Admin