All resources in PA STEM Toolkit

Angular Velocity: Sweet Wheels

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Students analyze the relationship between wheel radius, linear velocity and angular velocity by using LEGO(TM) MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots. Given various robots with different wheel sizes and fixed motor speeds, they predict which has the fastest linear velocity. Then student teams collect and graph data to analyze the relationships between wheel size and linear velocity and find the angular velocity of the robot given its motor speed. Students explore other ways to increase linear velocity by changing motor speeds, and discuss and evaluate the optimal wheel size and desired linear velocities on vehicles.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: James Muldoon, Jigar Jadav, Kelly Brandon

Remix

Engineering Design Prototype - Simple Machines

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In this activity, students will learn about and apply the Engineering Design Process to solve a problem. While working through the steps of the Engineering Design process they will focus on defining the criteria and constraints of a design problem, learn about scientific principles of simple machines, understand tool and machine safety, and create a prototype solution to the problem. The activity frames the problem around researching, designing, building and testing a prototype that is built with at least one simple machine that will launch a ball into a target. At end of unit students test their prototypes and present their findings of working through the process. ● Project Rubric

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment, Diagram/Illustration, Lecture Notes, Unit of Study

Author: STEMToolkit Administrator

Remix

9th Grade Cube Challenge

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Students will use a perceived weak material to construct something that is surprisingly strong. Students can experiment with different shapes and configurations to see what holds the most weight. The cube size is defined, what each student places within each 4x4 square, is up to them.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson

Author: STEMToolkit Administrator

Amusement Park Ride: Ups and Downs in Design

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Students design, build and test model roller coasters using foam tubing. The design process integrates energy concepts as they test and evaluate designs that address the task as an engineer would. The goal is for students to understand the basics of engineering design associated with kinetic and potential energy to build an optimal roller coaster. The marble starts with potential energy that is converted to kinetic energy as it moves along the track. The diameter of the loops that the marble traverses without falling out depends on the kinetic energy obtained by the marble.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: C. Shade, Marthy Cyr

Android App Development

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Students develop an app for an Android device that utilizes its built-in internal sensors, specifically the accelerometer. The goal of this activity is to teach programming design and skills using MIT's App Inventor software (free to download from the Internet) as the vehicle for learning. The activity should be exciting for students who are interested in applying what they learn to writing other applications for Android devices. Students learn the steps of the engineering design process as they identify the problem, develop solutions, select and implement a possible solution, test the solution and redesign, as needed, to accomplish the design requirements.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Brian Sandall, Scott Burns

52 Minute Challenge

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Students get one class period (52 minutes) to find a real problem on campus, document it, develop a solution and prepare a market-based presentation to be peer-reviewed the next day. The main goal of this project is to highlight the importance of collaboration when working under a tight deadline - a common situation in today's working world. This project integrates engineering, design and business concepts and meets learning standards from 9th to 12th grade.

Material Type: Assessment, Interactive, Lecture, Lesson Plan, Simulation, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Random Shakespearean Insult Generator Lesson

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This lesson integrates coding and computer science into English Language Arts for the purpose of fostering appreciation of Shakespearean wit and language and to provide students exposure to coding. Students first choose words that carry insulting connotations from a Shakespearean play and then create a program that randomly generates insults based upon those found words. Swift Playgrounds, Scratch, or Raspberry Pi are recommended resources for creating this project, and links to projects are provided for each of these platforms. Sample code and directions are provided. Students who are beginning to learn coding may complete the code while more advanced individuals may modify the program or create their own.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Author: Chris Barnabei

Catapult Challenge

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This is a really fun and informative lesson that I do with my high school Programming/technology class to break up the monotony of beginner programming. However; this lesson can be used and applied in essentially any class and for many purposes, and to address many areas. One of the other really nice things about this lesson is that it can be extended to hit many points including physics, math, and advanced engineering. Throughout the building period, I would present teams with a challenge (puzzle, build, etc…) and the first team to complete it would get a prize. It could be more modification time, extra materials, etc…) The materials (including hot glue guns) can be purchased at Wal Mart or a similar store for around $20-25, if ordering through your district isn’t an option. With those purchases, it gives you a lot more materials than needed which can be used for additional similar projects.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Timothy Barnes

Using Microcontrollers to Model Homeostasis

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Students learn about homeostasis and create models by constructing simple feedback systems using Arduino boards, temperature sensors, LEDs and Arduino code. Starting with pre-written code, students instruct LEDs to activate in response to the sensor detecting a certain temperature range. They determine appropriate temperature ranges and alter the code accordingly. When the temperature range is exceeded, a fan is engaged in order to achieve a cooling effect. In this way, the principle of homeostasis is demonstrated. To conclude, students write summary paragraphs relating their models to biological homeostasis.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Aaron Lamplugh

Hoop Shoot Challenge

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Design and engineer a mechanical device that is powered by hydraulic (syringe and water) that includes levers and moving parts that will propel a ping pong ball to complete the 2 levels of the “Hoop Shoot Challenge”.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Unit of Study

Author: Rick Zilla

Got Lactose? Investigating How Enzymes Function

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After studying the basics of enzyme function, students will be exposed to the history and evolution of lactose intolerance/lactase persistence. Both whole group and individual activities will ask students to interact with the concept. They will conduct a lab to understand the role of enzymes in lactose digestion and communicate their knowledge by creating a public health poster.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment, Data Set, Lesson, Lesson Plan, Student Guide

Author: Janelle Roberts