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Computer Science Education Week 2017

cartoon kid computer coderWant to inspire your students? Join millions in celebrating Computer Science Education Week – and computer pioneer Grace Hopper’s birthday – from December 4 to 10 this year by hosting an Hour of Code or other fun activity.

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Choose Your Best Way

map of Danville, VaIn this lesson on using mathematical modeling to solve real-world problems, middle and high school students work in teams to build a graph/model of their city map, then try to solve a real problem based on the model. They evaluate their solutions and present their reflections to the class.

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Flying T-Shirt Challenge

Astros mascot shooting t-shirtsStudents follow the engineering design process to design and build a usable device to propel school T-shirts up into the stands during home sporting events while keeping costs under budget.

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Three Little Pigs Design Challenge

three little pigs meet big bad wolf fanElementary students act as civil engineers to design and build a house that the big, bad wolf cannot blow down. If time allows, they can redesign and test their structures.

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Disaster Engineering

Hurricane Maria strands PR familiesHurricanes, earthquakes, and other destructive events offer timely “teachable moments” about the role of engineers in improving weather forecasts and reducing the toll from natural disasters. eGFI Teachers’s collection of activities, feature articles, and other resources can help you integrate engineering into your classes – and inspire the next generation of “crisis” engineers.

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Building for Hurricanes

hurricane tower challengeIn this engineering design challenge about building in hurricane-prone regions, students learn that a solid base helps stabilize a structure by constructing, testing, and redesigning a tower that can support a tennis ball at least 18 inches off the ground while withstanding the wind from a fan.
Note: While suitable for all ages, this activity works best with upper elementary students and older.

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Backyard Weather Station

homemade rain gaugeWorking in groups of 8, middle school students use their senses to describe and predict the weather, then act as state park engineers and design/build “backyard weather stations” to gather data to make actual weather forecasts.

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Build a Cereal Box Eclipse Viewer

boy viewing eclipse using cereal box pinhole projectorTurn an empty cereal box into a pinhole projector or choose another DIY project for safely viewing the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Don’t forget to look around, too, as your shadow sharpens, the horizon colors with sunset hues, and birds roost!

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Eclipse 101: What, Where, How?

eclipse illustrationOn August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to a solar eclipse, including a 90-mile swath of totality stretching from Oregon’s coast to Charleston, S.C. NASA has assembled a helpful guide for where, when, and how to experience the eclipse, including tips for safe viewing.

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