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Designing Desert Digs

gila woodpecker in saguaro cactusHigh school students design a permanent guest village within the Saguaro National Park in Arizona after studying the desert ecology. Their designs must provide a true desert experience for visitors while emphasizing sustainable design, protecting the natural environment, and conserving energy and resources.

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Manufacture Your Future Teacher Challenge

Discovery Arconic Manufacturing Your FutureFrom 3-D printing to robotics and artificial intelligence, technology is radically altering traditional manufacturing. How would you bring these exciting career paths to life in your classroom? Make a pitch in the Manufacture Your Future Teacher Challenge for a chance to win $5,000 to put your proposal into action! Deadline: October 19. 2018.

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Paper Roller Coasters

paper roller coaster loop de loopTeams of high school students learn about energy and energy transformation, then use their knowledge to design and build a paper model of the most fun and exciting roller coaster they can imagine.

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Building Roller Coasters

marble roller coaster in classroomStudents in grades 7 to 9 build model roller coasters using pipe insulation and marbles, then analyze them using physics principles, including conversions between kinetic and potential energy and frictional effects. A class competition using various marbles to represent different passenger loads determines the most innovative and successful designs.

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Pedal Power

Kid riding bikeIn this activity, small groups of students in grades 3 to 8 learn about forces, energy, and efficiency by measuring a bicycle’s gear ratios, calculating tire revolutions, and testing who can ride a course the swiftest based on that information.

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Build a Bike Helmet

bike helmetStudents in grades 9 and 10 are introduced to the biomechanical characteristics of helmets and challenged to incorporate them into helmet designs. They come to understand the role of engineering associated with safety products – in this case protecting the brain and neck of a bicyclist in the event of a crash, with the design dependent on the user’s needs and specifications.

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Engineer a Vertical Farm

vertical garden class projectStudents in grades 6 to 8 explore food production problems related to population growth and then engineer a model vertical farm as a potential solution in a fictional community, Greentown, culminating with a presentation to the imaginary city’s “legislators.”

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Ahoy! Plastic in the Ocean

plastic on Hawaii beach wildlife preserve USFWSStudents learn about the Great Pacific garbage patch, research the extent and impact of plastics pollution on oceans, and present that information as a short, eye-catching newsletter suitable to hand out to fast-food restaurant customers. 

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Straw Bridges

straw bridgeWorking in pairs, students in grades 6 to 8 follow the engineering design process to create the strongest truss bridge using a fixed amount of plastic drinking straws and tape. Let the competition begin!

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