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Watercraft

raft bugIn this activity, students in grades 6 to 8 learn about the engineering design process and the physical principles of buoyancy by working together to build a boat out of straws and plastic wrap that can hold 25 pennies for at least 10 seconds before sinking.

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What a Dump!

landfillIn this activity, teams of students in grades 5 to 7 learn about environmental, civil, and sanitation engineering by designing and building model landfills that hold the most garbage, minimize costs, and prevent trash and contaminated “rainwater” from polluting the nearby “city.” Teams test their landfills, and graph and compare designs for capacity, cost, and performance.

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Activity: Robot Basketball

basketball robotIn this activity, students in grades 5 to 12 learn about accuracy, precision, and simple machines by working in teams to design and build a robotic basketball “player” that can nail a free-throw shot three times in a row.

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Lesson: No Valve in Vain

heart beatIn this activity, teams of students in grades 6 to 8 will learn about the engineering design process and how a one-way valve works by creating heart valves from tape, plastic tubing, and other materials.

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Activity: Design a Super Dome

dome constructionIn this activity, student teams learn about construction and engineering design by building a domed structure with an internal frame that is strong enough to support 120 grams of coins or candy on top. They present their domes to the class and complete reflections on the lessons learned.

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Activity: Keep-A-Cube

ice boxRefrigeration is considered one of engineering’s greatest 20th-century achievements. In this activity, student teams in grades K – 6 explore the design process by engineering a way to keep an ice cube from melting for 30 minutes.

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Activity: Conveyor Engineering

sushiIn this activity, teams of students in grades 3 to 12 explore how engineers work to solve such societal problems as moving goods, materials, and people by designing and building a conveyor system out of everyday materials than can transport pieces of candy 4 feet, including a 90-degree turn.

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Activity: Eyewitness to Evaporation

dust bowlIn this week-long activity, student teams in grades 5 – 7 study the effects of evaporation by observing and measuring the ongoing evaporation of water in pans that contain soil or other variables, then then assess what factors may affect evaporation.

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Lesson: Tennis, Anyone?

tennisIn this lesson, students in grades 3 to 12 explore how engineers incorporate the latest materials and manufacturing techniques to improve the performance of sports equipment by constructing a functional racquet out of everyday materials that can volley against another team’s racquet at least six times.

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