In this hands-on activity, teams of students in grades 3 to 12 learn how engineers design tire treads to increase safety and reliability, then follow the design process to construct, test, and evaluate treads sculpted from clay that will be safe when driving in heavy rain.
Apply by February 12, 2015 to attend the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program, a free, seven-week course of intensive instruction for high school sophomores and juniors in robotics, Web design, and mobile app development. The program also includes mentoring, demos, field trips, and workshops led by the computer industry’s top female entrepreneurs and engineers.
In this activity, high school juniors and seniors learn such core chemistry concepts as reaction rates and thermodynamics by making and demonstrating their own Harry Potter-style “magic wands” (sparklers). The lab, which also can serve as a fun Advanced Placement course review, concludes with a class duel between wands of two different chemical compositions.
Tags: Advanced Placement, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Class Activities, Energy, Grades 9-12, Harry Potter, Next Generation Science Standards, reaction rates, sparklers, STEM education, stochiometry, wand
In this fun activity developed by St. Thomas University engineering associate professor AnnMarie Thomas, students of all ages learn the basic principles of electricity by fashioning circuits from play dough, batteries, and LEDs. No soldering necessary!
Tags: afterschool activities, circuits, Class Activities, Electrical Engineering, electricity, Energy, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Grades K-5, LEDs, lights, Squishy Circuits, St. Thomas University, STEM education
In this short, fun activity for students in grades 2 to 12, teams learn about the engineering design process, including constraints on time and materials, by building the tallest free-standing tower out of pipe-cleaners.
Tags: build, Building Design, Civil Engineering, Class Activities, Design, design contest, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Grades K-5, North Carolina State University, pipe cleaner challenge, pipe cleaners, STEM education, Structural Engineering, tower
Students in grades 2 to 4 learn about wildlife habitats, environmental engineering, and the complexities of nest construction by attempting to design and build a nest themselves.
Tags: Biology, birds, Class Activities, construction, Design, ecology, Environmental Engineering, Grades K-5, Great Sand Dunes National Park, habitat, Lesson Plan, material properties, National Park Service, nest, wilderness, wildlife
In this activity, students in grades 7 to 9 will learn how to take a bearing with a compass and find an object in their classroom.
Middle school students learn about the engineering design process by building a model of an innovative human shelter inspired and informed by an animal habitat. They then present their work, explaining what attribute of the animal structure influenced their design.
Students learn about the importance of using the right materials for the job by building three different sand castles and testing them for strength and resistance to weathering. They then discuss how the buildings are different and what engineers need to think about when using rocks, soils, and minerals for construction.