Science is the essential backbone to figuring out how our world works through prediction and explanations. Engineers apply science and use scientific concepts to help develop solutions to everyday problems and challenges.

Engineering plays an integral role in our daily lives from the moment we wake up to the time we go to sleep. Your digital alarm clock, the breakfast you eat, the clean water you drink, the clothes you wear, the medicine you take, the car you drive, and the light you turn off at the end of the day–all are available courtesy of engineers that used their knowledge of science to make the world we know today.

Science is one of the most significant channels of human learning and serves many functions that benefit our society. It helps establish new knowledge, improves education and enhances the quality of our lives.

Science can be classified into five disciplines: biology, chemistry, environmental science, physics, and earth and space. Each discipline holds vital information that helps engineers develop new technologies and innovations.


Biology is the study of life and living organisms. Biological engineers apply various biological systems to help them modify, enhance or otherwise improve upon current engineering challenges.


Chemistry is the study of the behavior and properties of matter and the natural laws that govern them. Chemical engineers apply the properties of substances and the changes they undergo to help them develop and design chemical manufacturing processes.

Environmental Science

Environmental science explores the interactions between the biological, chemical and physical components and natural phenomena of ecosystems. Environmental engineers apply their understanding of how humans interact with the environment to develop solutions for environmental problems and find ways to live more sustainably.


Physics is the study of how the universe works, from subatomic particles to universe scales. Physics explores the fundamental laws and properties that govern time, space, energy, matter, force and motion. Civil and mechanical engineers use physics to design structures, machines and engines that are physically sound.

Earth and Space

Earth and space is the study of our planet and the solar system; it explores the interconnections between the ocean, land, atmosphere and life on Earth. Aerospace engineers apply their understanding of earth and space to develop technologies for use in aviation and spacecraft.

Our hands-on resources help students make sense of all the different disciplines of science, and applying science through engineering encourages students to dive deeper into their understanding of how science and engineering make the world a better place!

Science Curricula

Empower your students to engage with all things science through our hands-on, design-based resources from TeachEngineering featured here, by grade band.

Grades K-2

  • How High Can a Super Ball Bounce?
    How High Can a Super Ball Bounce?

    preview of 'How High Can a Super Ball Bounce?' Activity

    Students determine the coefficient of restitution (or the elasticity) for super balls. Working in pairs, they drop balls from a meter height and determine how high they bounce. They measure, record and repeat the process to gather data to calculate average bounce heights and coefficients of elastici...

  • Soil from Spoiled: Engineering a Compost Habitat for Worms
    Soil from Spoiled: Engineering a Compost Habitat for Worms

    preview of 'Soil from Spoiled: Engineering a Compost Habitat for Worms' Activity

    A unique activity for young learners that combines engineering and biology, students design an optimal environment for red wiggler worms in a compost bin.

  • Bacteria! It’s Everywhere!
    Bacteria! It’s Everywhere!

    preview of 'Bacteria! It’s Everywhere! ' Activity

    Students investigate what causes them to become sick during the school year. They use the engineering design process to test the classroom lab spaces for bacteria. After their tests, they develop ideas to control the spread of germs within the classroom.

  • Sink or Float? Engineering Solutions for a Sticky Situation
    Sink or Float? Engineering Solutions for a Sticky Situation

    preview of 'Sink or Float? Engineering Solutions for a Sticky Situation' Activity

    In this activity, students build a road out of Jell-O that is sturdy enough to drive a toy car across without sinking. Using the full engineering design process, students research and choose available ingredients that will support their car.

  • Super Slime Engineering
    Super Slime Engineering

    preview of 'Super Slime Engineering' Activity

    Students apply engineering skills to engineer the best slime! Beginning with a given recipe, students make slime, observe it, and then decide on what and how they want to improve it (for example, stickier, less sticky, etc.) Students then make their updated slime by implementing the changes they wan...

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Grades 3-5

  • Swinging with Style
    Swinging with Style

    preview of 'Swinging with Style' Activity

    Students experientially learn about the characteristics of a simple physics phenomenon — the pendulum — by riding on playground swings. They use pendulum terms and a timer to experiment with swing variables. They extend their knowledge by following the steps of the engineering design process to desi...

  • Modeling and Testing Physical Properties of Slime
    Modeling and Testing Physical Properties of Slime

    preview of 'Modeling and Testing Physical Properties of Slime' Activity

    An exploration of an engineering brief from a mock toy company leads students to explore a new slime with a unique set of characteristics. Using simple directions, students create five different types of slime and classify their slime properties against the criteria provided by the mock toy company....

  • Wind Makes the Wheels Go ‘Round
    Wind Makes the Wheels Go ‘Round

    preview of 'Wind Makes the Wheels Go ‘Round' Activity

    Students learn how engineers use alternative and renewable resources in the design of a prototype for a wind powered car. Using the engineering design process, students identify the problem, brainstorm solutions, plan a design, create and test a prototype, and make improvements to their wind powered...

  • Creating Model Working Lungs: Just Breathe
    Creating Model Working Lungs: Just Breathe

    preview of 'Creating Model Working Lungs: Just Breathe ' Activity

    Students explore the inhalation/exhalation process that occurs in the lungs during respiration. Using everyday materials, each student team creates a model pair of lungs.

  • Waterwheel Work: Energy Transformations and Rotational Rates
    Waterwheel Work: Energy Transformations and Rotational Rates

    preview of 'Waterwheel Work: Energy Transformations and Rotational Rates' Activity

    Students learn the history of the waterwheel and common uses for water turbines today. They explore kinetic energy by creating their own experimental waterwheel from a two-liter plastic bottle. They investigate the transformations of energy involved in turning the blades of a hydro-turbine into work...

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Grades 6-8

  • Saltwater Circuit
    Saltwater Circuit

    preview of 'Saltwater Circuit' Activity

    Students build a saltwater circuit, which is an electrical circuit that uses saltwater as part of the circuit. Students investigate the conductivity of saltwater, and develop an understanding of how the amount of salt in a solution impacts how much electrical current flows through the circuit.

  • Building Roller Coasters
    Building Roller Coasters

    preview of 'Building Roller Coasters' Activity

    Students build their own small-scale model roller coasters using pipe insulation and marbles, and then analyze them using physics principles learned in the associated lesson. They examine conversions between kinetic and potential energy and frictional effects to design roller coasters that are compl...

  • Design and Build a Rube Goldberg
    Design and Build a Rube Goldberg

    preview of 'Design and Build a Rube Goldberg ' Activity

    In this two-part activity, students design and build Rube Goldberg machines. This open-ended challenge employs the engineering design process and may have a pre-determined purpose, such as rolling a marble into a cup from a distance, or let students decide the purposes.

  • Red Cabbage Chemistry
    Red Cabbage Chemistry

    preview of 'Red Cabbage Chemistry' Activity

    Students take advantage of the natural ability of red cabbage juice to perform as a pH indicator to test the pH of seven common household liquids. Like environmental engineers working on water remediation or water treatment projects, understanding the chemical properties (including pH) of contaminan...

  • Bubbling Plants Experiment to Quantify Photosynthesis
    Bubbling Plants Experiment to Quantify Photosynthesis

    preview of 'Bubbling Plants Experiment to Quantify Photosynthesis' Activity

    Students learn a simple technique for quantifying the amount of photosynthesis that occurs in a given period of time, using a common water plant (Elodea). They use this technique to compare the amounts of photosynthesis that occur under conditions of low and high light levels.

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Grades 9-12

  • Reaction Exposed: The Big Chill!
    Reaction Exposed: The Big Chill!

    preview of 'Reaction Exposed: The Big Chill!' Activity

    In the presence of water, citric acid and sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) react to form sodium citrate, water, and carbon dioxide. Students investigate this endothermic reaction. They test a stoichiometric version of the reaction followed by testing various perturbations on the stoichiometric v...

  • Bacteria Transformation
    Bacteria Transformation

    preview of 'Bacteria Transformation' Activity

    Students construct paper recombinant plasmids to simulate the methods genetic engineers use to create modified bacteria. They learn what role enzymes, DNA and genes play in the modification of organisms.

  • Projectile Motion
    Projectile Motion

    preview of 'Projectile Motion' Activity

    Students use tabletop-sized robots to build projectile throwers and measure motion using sensors. They compute distances and velocities using simple kinematic equations and confirm their results through measurements by hand. To apply the concept, students calculate the necessary speed of an object t...

  • Measuring Viscosity
    Measuring Viscosity

    preview of 'Measuring Viscosity' Activity

    Students calculate the viscosity of various household fluids by measuring the amount of time it takes marble or steel balls to fall given distances through the liquids. They experience what viscosity means, and also practice using algebra and unit conversions.

  • Paper Circuits Greeting Cards
    Paper Circuits Greeting Cards

    preview of 'Paper Circuits Greeting Cards' Activity

    Create a sure-to-impress flashing birthday card or design a light-up Christmas card—all with paper circuits! In this activity, students are guided through the process to create simple paper circuitry using only copper tape, a coin cell battery, a light-emitting diode (LED) and small electronic compo...

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Free K-12 standards-aligned STEM curriculum for educators everywhere.
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