All resources in PA STEM Toolkit

Gravity Design Brief

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Students are going to be working in an Engineering Design team to create a car using K’Nex pieces. They will work through 3 iterations of design in a goal to have their car travel 600 CM. They will use a ramp (defined in the lesson) to have their car gain momentum. They will also create a 3D Printed wheel to be attached to their design and determine if this has improved their design. Teacher/Student Guide Links to 3D Design Videos Project Rubric

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Eric Verno

Mission to Mars

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The Mission to Mars curricular unit introduces students to Mars the Red Planet. Students discover why scientists are so interested in studying this mysterious planet. Many interesting facts about Mars are revealed, and the history of Martian exploration is reviewed. Students will learn about the development of robotics and how robots are beneficial to science, society and the exploration of space. Details on engineers' involvement in space exploration are presented. Furthermore, students will learn how orbits allow astronauts to move from planet to planet and what type of equipment is used by scientists and engineers to safely explore space. Lastly, the specific details on and human risks for a possible future manned mission to Mars (and back to Earth again!) are discussed.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Stormwater Management in Residential Properties

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This problem- based learning lesson looks at the increase of stormwater runoff due to effects of humans continuing to develop more and more of the landscape by building roads, streets, sidewalks, factories, etc. Students will analyze the benefits of using green infrastructure to reduce the amount of runoff in their community and increase biodiversity. Each lab group will play the role of a resident in a community. Their goal is to use the engineering design process to create a model showing how they will decrease stormwater runoff and increase biodiversity. The lesson ends with each lab group presenting their green infrastructure plan to a board. Please note that this lesson focuses specifically on the City of Lancaster in PA, however, documents can be modified depending your specific location.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson

Author: Carly Kessler

Remix

Think Outside the Bottle

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The Challenge: The challenge is to design and build a water filtration device using commonly available materials. To meet this challenge, students use an iterative repeating process as they build, test, and measure the performance of the filtration device, analyze the data collected, and use this information to work towards an improved filtration design. It is the same design process used by engineers and scientists working on ECLSS for NASA. Although students will work in teams of two–three, they are encouraged to think of their entire class as a single design team working cooperatively and learning from the efforts of all members in order to produce the best water filtration device. Students measure the effectiveness of their filtration device using pH test strips. Detailed plans and a complete materials list are provided.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: STEMToolkit Administrator

Remix

Raystown Lake UBD

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Students will learn about the water cycle, watersheds, and point and non-point source pollution. Students will then apply this knowledge to take a position in the debate about the proposed development at Hawn's Bridge Peninsula at Raystown Lake and write a letter to the editor expressing their opinion. Pairs well with an Engineering Design Challenge or a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE).

Material Type: Lesson Plan, Module

Author: STEMToolkit Administrator

Remix

Body System Amusement Parks

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In the Body System Amusement Parks project, students team up to create amusement parks based on the various systems and organs within the human body. With the power of abstraction, each attraction represents the cardiovascular system, the muscular system, the digestive system, etc. Teams create both 3D scale models and presentations to an unnamed wealthy investment firm looking to build a new park in the students’ very own town. This activity was heavily inspired by a post from Danielle Dace.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: STEMToolkit Administrator

Remix

Mini Car Design Challenge

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This engineering design challenge is a great hands-on activity that utilizes the engineering design process, 3D modeling, and 3D printing technology. The challenge can be completed individually or in groups of 2 to 3. Students will work to complete the following challenge: Using the design process, design, document, model, and produce a toy car with interchangeable parts.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Author: STEMToolkit Administrator

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot

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This project will be focused on designing, constructing and evaluating different containers to determine the optimal design for heat retention. After students have constructed their designs and collected and shared data, students will evaluate the class data to create an optimal design for our culminating event: warming ooey, gooey chocolate chip cookies to perfection! Through this activity, students will learn about energy transfer, engineering design process, data collection, graphing, rate of change, optimization, surface area and proportions. The students will test the effectiveness of their design using Vernier Probes to gather quantitative data and graphing the rate of temperature change. They will then create a poster presentation to share their data to the class. Students will use their mathematical skills to quantitatively analyze the strength and weaknesses of their designs while enjoying some delicious, toasty, warm cookies.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Data Set, Lesson Plan

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].)

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Denise W. Carlson, Lauren Cooper, Malinda Schaefer Zarske

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

Authors: Geoffrey Hill, Janet Yowell, Malinda Schaefer Zarske, Tim Nicklas

Remix

STEM BreakoutEDU- Saving the Golden Frogs

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The full Breakout EDU is available on the Breakout EDU platform. In order to view/use this resource, you will have to have an account on the Breakout EDU platform. Students work through different STEM-based challenges. Students create a 3D shape cage. Students measure frogs, and students code a path. At beginning of the Breakout EDU the teacher reads aloud a book about Golden Frog.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: STEMToolkit Administrator

Learn 3D Design Using Tinkercad

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This series of lessons will teach all of the key features in Tinkercad, a free, web-based 3D design platform. When you have finished the lessons you will have a comprehensive knowledge of how to design/draw in 3D. After that all you need is practice to improve your skills.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Diagram/Illustration, Interactive, Lesson, Lesson Plan, Teaching/Learning Strategy, Unit of Study

Author: Tom Guellich