Register here for our virtual June or August engineering design Professional Development workshops!

Recently Added Curriculum

Displaying recently added curriculum of grade level and type

preview of 'Engineering a Minion Rescue' Activity

Engineering a Minion Rescue Elementary School Activity

Published on May 1, 2021

The minions are stuck on a deserted island! Students research, design, create and test boats that can rescue the minions. They learn about the physical properties of matter as well as the construction of boats and buoyancy while they engineer a minion rescue.

preview of 'Shielding from Cosmic Radiation: Part 3 - Post-Launch Analysis' Activity

Shielding from Cosmic Radiation: Part 3 - Post-Launch Analysis High School Activity

Published on April 30, 2021

In this wrap-up activity, students analyze their findings from their launch! (Alternatively, they can independently analyze data sets without launching a balloon.) Students examine the radiation data collected from a balloon launched into near space to see if cosmic radiation shielding designs worked. Students explain their findings, which might require some research to show if this observation is correct and why. Finally, students make a comparison of the shielded and unshielded, control Geiger counters and analyze the results.

preview of 'Shielding from Cosmic Radiation: Part 2 - High-Altitude Balloon Launch Test' Activity

Shielding from Cosmic Radiation: Part 2 - High-Altitude Balloon Launch Test High School Activity

Published on April 30, 2021

This activity has students embarking on an ambitious design project: to measure the effect of shielding from cosmic radiation via a high-altitude balloon launch test. Students prepare their payloads for launch, making sure batteries are charged, payloads are complete, flight predictions have been made and approved, etc. On launch day, students launch a latex, high-altitude balloon that carries each space agency’s payload to near space. GPS tracking units follow the balloon flight path in real-time, so the location and altitude of the balloon during flight, when it bursts, and once the payload is on the ground. After landing, participants travel to the landing site and retrieve and examine the payloads.

preview of 'Shielding from Cosmic Radiation: Part 1 - Building the Payload' Activity

Shielding from Cosmic Radiation: Part 1 - Building the Payload High School Activity

Published on April 30, 2021

This activity has students embarking on an ambitious design project: to build a payload that measures the effect of shielding from cosmic radiation via a high-altitude balloon launch test. Each payload includes a Geiger counter, data collection device (Arduino and microSD memory card), and uses materials that will shield their Geiger counter from cosmic radiation. (Each payload also has a second, unshielded Geiger counter to act as a control.) By the end of the activity, each group has a completed payload ready to launch into near space and collect data.

preview of 'Shielding from Cosmic Radiation: Space Agency Scenario' Lesson

Shielding from Cosmic Radiation: Space Agency Scenario High School Lesson

Published on April 29, 2021

There is increasing interest in human space exploration beyond the Moon’s orbit, such as venturing to Mars. However, the effects of radiation are still a major concern for such travel. Astronauts need shielding from radiation. One testing method is to send materials into near space and measure radiation levels using Geiger counters. Teams of engineers on such projects need to be aware of design constraints, such as budgets, material limitations, and public support. Through role playing and problem solving, the first lesson sets the stage for a friendly competition between groups to design and build a shielding device to protect humans traveling in space. The instructor asks students—how might we design radiation shielding for space travel? Finally, the instructor presents the space agency scenario to students and hands out Arduinos while explaining the scenario, the roles, and the objectives. Students divide into groups and begin the process of forming their agency. Students get to know their partners and counterparts. Both agencies design logos and examine their missions. The computer scientists from each agency learn about Arduinos and basic computer coding.

preview of 'Lunar Olympics' Activity

Lunar Olympics Middle School Activity

Published on April 27, 2021

On your mark… get set… design! Students discover how sports arenas, rules, and equipment would change if the Olympic Games were conducted on the Moon. During the process, they learn about the engineering design process and physics concepts such as gravity, velocity, acceleration, and friction. They use free online design and programming tools which help them to improve their conceptions and design skills. This activity was developed to be implemented fully online; however, it could easily be adapted for in-class or hybrid classroom use.

preview of 'Get the Skinny on LEAN Manufacturing!' Activity

Get the Skinny on LEAN Manufacturing! High School Activity

Published on March 30, 2021

Learn the basics of LEAN manufacturing! In this activity, students participate in a simple manufacturing process to identify and eliminate waste via collaboration and analyzing data to optimize the process. Students learn how to do small scale, rapid testing of change ideas and measurement to improve a process. The purpose of this activity is relatively simple: assemble a sticker face (in the style of Potato Head) as quickly as possible with all the right pieces in place and in the right position.

preview of 'Energy Innovator: Be Your Own Generator' Activity

Energy Innovator: Be Your Own Generator High School Activity

Published on March 26, 2021

Exploring the phenomena of electromagnetism and current generation are great ways to help students gain an understanding of how these concepts are used in engineering design. This activity allows students to make sense of, design, and create their own magnetic field generator without the use of batteries. As they create their own generator, students learn how electricity can been created using circuits and magnetism—hence, discovering the phenomenon of electromagnetism! While thinking critically about how magnetic fields work, students develop a design for a generator using magnets, copper wire, discs, and LED indicator lights.

preview of 'Crystalline Cloth: Modeling Water Treatment Filters' Activity

Crystalline Cloth: Modeling Water Treatment Filters High School Activity

Published on February 27, 2021

Water filtration is a key engineering concept, and in this activity students become environmental engineers as they model membranes and membrane treatments to remove scaling during water filtration. Using cheese cloth to represent a simple membrane, students soak their “membrane” in a supersaturated salt (or sugar) solution and measure how much salt (or sugar) crystallizes on their cloth. They then research and analyze different treatments they can apply to their “membranes” to reduce the scaling (crystal growth). They apply and test their chosen treatments and then hypothesize which treatment method best prevents scaling on their “membrane.”

preview of 'Side-Impact Crash Superhero – Who Will Save the Day with a Better Safety Feature?' Activity

Side-Impact Crash Superhero – Who Will Save the Day with a Better Safety Feature? Middle School Activity

Published on February 27, 2021

In car crashes, serious injuries are more likely to occur in side-impact crashes since passengers can be extremely close to the impact site with no protective region of the car to crumple and absorb the impact. Therefore, it is imperative that we find as many improvements to car design as possible that could help prevent or lessen the impact of side-impact collisions. In this activity, students brainstorm ideas to best reduce side-impact collision, and then build and test their prototypes. Students then have the opportunity to improve their design before final testing. After final testing each team reports on the ideas and successes of their design.

preview of 'Engineering a Handcrafted Cement Shape' Activity

Engineering a Handcrafted Cement Shape High School Activity

Published on February 24, 2021

In this prototyping activity students design a (or a set of) paperweights and look for affordable hardware items to make the molds. They practice the classic approach of preparing hand-drawn sketches and templates to design hand-crafted molds of parts to their object, opposed to using CAD or 3D printing hardware. Simplicity proceeds complexity in the design process. Students learn how molds of shapes are useful because they reproduce duplicate items for models and prototypes. The overall goal is to investigate how to use the engineering design process to design an object with geometric modeling. They learn that volume and surface area are important considerations when designing a mold for an object.

preview of 'Fabrication of a Resin Keychain or Keyring' Activity

Fabrication of a Resin Keychain or Keyring High School Activity

Published on February 24, 2021

Using the engineering design process as a problem-solving tool, students fabricate keychains made out of resin. Since these keychains are prepared from resin, students learn about the history and thermoplastic nature of resins. Students use a silicone mold to temper the thermoplastic resin from its liquid to its solid state in a two-step casting procedure to produce the final product. The final prototype will be portable, compact, lightweight, and able to attach keys that can fit into a pocket or purse. Students also learn about prototypes and how prototypes compare to models. The aim of this activity is for students to design and assemble a functioning, high-fidelity prototype. Creative engineering of new keychains and keyring allows students to explore functions from the structures that they use in daily life.

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

Modeling and Testing Physical Properties of Slime Elementary School Activity

Published on January 31, 2021

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. Based on their observations, they identify the best slime recipe based on the resulting physical properties.

preview of 'Engineering Solutions for a Dry Playground' Activity

Engineering Solutions for a Dry Playground Elementary School Activity

Published on January 28, 2021

The school’s playground is flooded again, and the students cannot go out to recess! Students learn about the different states of matter and how water changes. They use this knowledge, along with research about natural disasters, to come up with an engineering solution that prevents playground flooding. They plan and design a model, test it, and share results. After sharing results, they redesign and complete at least two more trials to find the optimal solution.

preview of 'Create a Safe Pathway for Turtles' Activity

Create a Safe Pathway for Turtles Elementary School Activity

Published on January 26, 2021

The students must solve a real-world phenomenon with constraints. Students design and construct a bridge or some form of crossover to provide a pathway for a turtle to safely cross the road. Students pick a specific turtle species native to their state or region. They research their chosen species to identify its niche and habitat, with a special emphasis on the difference between the turtle’s “normal” location and behaviors and its “nesting grounds”. Often, it is the movement between these two locations that can be lethal to the turtles. The goal of the students is to try and lessen the impact of the highway on turtle populations. Civil engineers and environmental engineers must keep ecosystems stable, while allowing infrastructure to be built and all within a reasonable budget.

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