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Groundwater Pollution Detectives

Water pumpTeams of students in grades 5 to 7 locate a contaminant spill in a hypothetical site by measuring the pH of soil samples. They then predict the direction of groundwater flow using mathematical modeling and use the engineering design process to come up with alternative treatments for the contaminated water.

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Inspirational Math

female geometry studentMath can be a tough sell. Many students think it’s too hard, or that they’re no good at it. It doesn’t have to be this way, says Stanford Graduate School of Education Professor Jo Boaler, who has designed a free program for teachers to change mindsets and inspire their fifth through ninth graders to think more deeply in mathematics.

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Earth Day 2015

Earth in handsPlant a tree. Snap a selfie for NASA. There are countless ways students and teachers can celebrate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22. This year’s theme: It’s Our Turn to Lead. See how your small steps can lead to big change!

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ASEE K-12 Teachers Workshop 2015

ASEE K12 workshop 2015 logoWant to get students from preschool to high school excited about learning? Discover how to incorporate authentic, hands-on engineering activities and projects in your STEM classes at ASEE’s annual K-12 Workshop in Seattle on June 13, 2015.

Whether you’re seeking fun, immediately useful ways to enrich your STEM classes, teaching tips, or an opportunity to network and learn alongside STEM teachers from across the country, the American Society for Engineering Education’s 12th annual K-12 Workshop is the place to be.

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Hydraulic Arm Challenge

Energy Department Robot with armTeams of students in grades 6 to 8 follow the engineering design process to develop and build a mechanical arm that can lift and move an empty 12-ounce soda can using hydraulics for power. One group designs and builds the grasping hand, another team the lifting arm, and a third team the rotation base. The three groups must work to communicate effectively through written and verbal communication and sketches.

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How the Rubber Meets the Road

tire in rainIn 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.

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Girls Who Code Summer Program

Girls Who Code logoApply 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.

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Wizardly Wands

sparklersIn 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.

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Squishy Circuits

squishy circuitIn 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!

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