Recently Added Curriculum

Displaying recently added curriculum of grade level and type

preview of 'Much More than Pretty Colors' Activity

Much More than Pretty Colors High School Activity

Published on March 17, 2023

In a visible spectrophotometer a beam of light shines into a solution containing the sample and detects how much of it comes out of the other side of the solution. Students can compare the amount of light absorbed by the pure solvent to the amount absorbed when the sample is dissolved in it. Spectrophotometers can report measurements such as absorbance. In this investigation, students are guided to construct a spectrophotometer to discover the relationship between absorbance and concentration and ultimately the concentration of an unknown solution.

preview of 'Designing Musical Instruments Using Material Properties' Activity

Designing Musical Instruments Using Material Properties Elementary School Activity

Published on March 16, 2023

Students use recyclable materials to make musical instruments. Students learn the different states of matter and that matter has properties. They observe and classify recycled materials by size, color, material and any other property the students feel is important. As they observe the materials, students decide which materials would work best for instruments. Students use the engineering design process to create and build an instrument. Working with a small group, they collaborate, ask, imagine, plan, create, and test their instrument. As time allows, they also improve their instrument by thinking about what materials can be added or taken away to make their instrument sound and work better.

preview of 'Testing Cell Signal at Altitude' Lesson

Testing Cell Signal at Altitude Elementary School Lesson

Published on March 15, 2023

Students analyze cellphone signal data from a high-altitude balloon launch, testing how the strength of the cell signal changes with altitude. Students begin by looking at graphs and discussing the various components, as well as different types of graphs. Students then have the opportunity to practice collecting, plotting and analyzing data. Finally, students apply their graph interpretation skills to investigate actual data collected from a 2020 balloon launch to determine how the strength of the cell signal changes with altitude.

preview of 'Electromagnetic Waves Are Everywhere!' Activity

Electromagnetic Waves Are Everywhere! Elementary School Activity

Published on March 15, 2023

In this three-part activity, students are introduced to the electromagnetic spectrum, learn about the devices that use electromagnetic waves, and become experts on one electromagnetic radiation device. This activity allows students to get an in-depth perspective on different devices and how they operate on the electromagnetic spectrum. It allows students to research and evaluate how engineers create new technology.

preview of 'Take a Seat! Minimizing Pressure and Optimizing Comfort in School Chairs' Activity

Take a Seat! Minimizing Pressure and Optimizing Comfort in School Chairs Middle School Activity

Published on March 14, 2023

Students build and use a simple capacitance sensor as they learn how capacity relates to pressure. As they learn more about how capacitance changes as pressure is applied to the sensor, they explore how to measure the pressure of sitting in a school seat. This will lead to the exploration of the problem of uncomfortable school seats and then the task of designing a cushion to be used to lessen the pressure of sitting in a school chair. Student groups can measure the effectiveness of their cushions and compare the success of different designs and materials by measuring the change in pressure using the capacitance sensors they built.

preview of 'Net-Zero Ecological Building Design' Activity

Net-Zero Ecological Building Design High School Activity

Published on February 22, 2023

The federal government has set a goal to reach 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035 and there is a target to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. A building development company that is known for futuristic designs and climate change activism has hired students to design the blueprints needed to modify old buildings/structures to meet a goal established by the federal government. Students work in small groups as they design the type of building for which they will draw blueprints. The building they design must have both net-zero carbon emissions and active roles in the water, carbon, and nitrogen cycles. Students then join expert groups where they learn about one of the energy sources or cycles. This information is then shared with their poster group and students draw their blueprints. There is a peer review and time for modifications before the blueprints are shared in a presentation.

preview of 'Reading Hands-free Is the Way for Me!' Activity

Reading Hands-free Is the Way for Me! Elementary School Activity

Published on February 22, 2023

Reading is fundamental, but so is engineering design! In this activity, students plan, design and create a structure that holds a book and, therefore, allows a person to read hands-free. Students then test their design and try to improve upon it by making the composition more stable so that it can hold more weight. Eventually students discuss the needs for this product and explain how their structure opposes gravity to enhance day-to-day tasks.

preview of 'Animal Adaptations Fashion Show' Activity

Animal Adaptations Fashion Show Elementary School Activity

Published on February 22, 2023

Students will use what they have learned about animal survival and habitation to design and build their own “animals.” Students will be assigned a particular habitat and asked to determine what physical features would best help a living creature survive in that environment. They will first draw out their design and then face their next challenge; building a wearable model of their animal for our adaptation fashion show out of recyclable materials.

preview of 'What are RC Circuits?' Activity

What are RC Circuits? High School Activity

Published on February 15, 2023

Students learn about the nature of resistors and capacitors and how they are used in circuits to observe the application of Coulomb’s law. Students review the nature of voltage divider circuits which use resistors in series and parallel circuits to vary the voltage and RC circuits in series and parallel which add capacitors to the circuits. Lastly, students study the nature of capacitors in relation to Coulomb’s Law using the PhET simulation, Capacitor Lab: Basics.

preview of 'Keep the Heat in! Testing the Insulation Properties of Materials' Activity

Keep the Heat in! Testing the Insulation Properties of Materials High School Activity

Published on February 14, 2023

How do engineers design materials that are useful to architects for insulation? In this activity, students use a homemade house made from cardboard to investigate heat transfer. They evaluate how long it takes to heat up the inside of the house and then compare it to how long it takes for the house to cool down after the heat source is turned off. From this, they make an evaluation about the effectiveness of the material to be used as insulation as well as if it would be cost effective or sustainable.

preview of 'Designing Musical Art to Help See Sound' Activity

Designing Musical Art to Help See Sound Elementary School Activity

Published on January 31, 2023

Why do guitars create amazing sounds using just a few strings? In this activity, students explore how sound is created. After researching with classmates, students are then challenged to create a prototype guitar. Using paint on the strings of their guitar, students create vibrations by plucking on the strings. To visualize this, they engineer their very own sound wave art and create a visual representation of the sound they are hearing. Afterward, students measure their sound waves, and come to conclusions about what it means when sound waves get further apart.

preview of 'Hold On to That Water! Making Biodegradable Hydrogels' Activity

Hold On to That Water! Making Biodegradable Hydrogels High School Activity

Published on January 31, 2023

What can engineers do to help solve problems related to water conservation? In this activity, students design methods that concentrate on supplying plants with a steady source of water without the cost or depletion of aquifers caused by using some type of irrigation method. Students develop hydrogels that help to retain soil moisture while being biodegradable and nontoxic.

preview of 'Exploration of ECG and EMG Technologies' Activity

Exploration of ECG and EMG Technologies High School Activity

Published on January 30, 2023

Students learn about electrocardiography (ECG) and electromyography (EMG) and apply this knowledge to an engineering design activity. First, they briefly compare the heart to a common electronic device, such as a computer or smartphone, to understand how the heart uses electricity to pump blood through the body just as computers and smartphones use electricity to open apps, update the screen, etc. Students then use a Jupyter Notebook, an interactive tool containing pre-written Python code, to analyze and plot real EMG and ECG data. They are asked to adjust plots, make observations, and sketch snippets of the data they viewed. Students also learn about how ECG and EMG measurement capabilities have been integrated into wearables such as smart watches so that users can track their own heart and muscle health daily. In the associated activity, students draw inspiration from smart devices and use the engineering design process to design their own wearable device to track the heart or muscle health of a patient.

preview of 'Design a Collapsible Barrier to Save the Snails!' Activity

Design a Collapsible Barrier to Save the Snails! Elementary School Activity

Published on January 24, 2023

Periwinkle snails are in trouble! They cannot camouflage themselves at night because the LED streetlights are way too bright. Students design and build a collapsible barrier, using everyday materials, to block the light from reaching the snail. As they design and build, students learn about the effects of placing various objects in the path of a beam of light. Students must also be mindful that the barriers are only needed at night. Thus, students must also make their design collapsible so that the barrier can be moved out of the way during the day.

preview of 'Sinkhole Emergency!' Activity

Sinkhole Emergency! Elementary School Activity

Published on January 24, 2023

The ground is collapsing, and we have a problem! How do we handle a sinkhole emergency? In this activity, students are tasked with repairing a sinkhole to prevent it from spreading and getting larger. Using the engineering design process, student groups first research sinkholes and then brainstorm, plan and design the best solution for repairing a sinkhole so that water cannot get through to dissolve additional soft minerals and become bigger. The effectiveness of each group’s design is determined by pouring water into the top of their “repaired sinkhole” to see how much water gets through. Successful designs should prevent water from leaking through.

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