In this lesson, students in grades 6-8 discover how engineers can use biomimicry to enhance their designs. They learn how careful observation of nature — in this case, reverse engineering a flower — can lead to new innovations and products.
You don’t have to be an engineer to introduce engineering concepts and design into your classroom. The eGFI site includes scores of inexpensive, engaging lessons – searchable by grade level or subject – that cover the various engineering disciplines. To kick off the school year and acquaint you with eGFI, we’ve assembled a dozen of 2011’s most popular lessons and activities. Have fun putting some “E” in your STEM classes this semester!
Tags: Aerospace, balloon racers, bridge, build, catapult, Civil Engineering, Class Activities, earthquake, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Grades K-5, Lesson Plan, Lesson Plans, Nanotechnology, Structural Engineering, Teacher Resources, tower
eGFI teachers’ newsletters have featured activities and lesson plans developed by PBS’s Design Squad Nation, with video links and suggested modifications for different age groups. Here’s a sampler:
These references and resources were initially developed for presentations at the Central PA STEM Conference and the 2011 ASEE K12 Workshop, which included a presentation focused on the green-roof lesson on the eGFI website.
In this lesson, you’ll introduce your students to the four forces of flight–drag, lift, thrust, and weight–through a variety of fun-filled flight experiments. Students will “fly” for short periods and then evaluate factors that might either increase or decrease their “flight” duration.
It’s easy to find your way to school. Now imagine trying to navigate the skies, with no signs to point you in the right direction. How do pilots find their way? These “pilot training lessons” developed by the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education at the Stevens Institute of Technology will teach your young aviators the principles of navigation in a fun series of real-time activities.
Basketball not only is fun to play or watch–it packs a lot of math and science in each move. In this lesson, developed by NPR’s Talking Science with John Fontanella, a physicist at the U.S. Naval Academy and author of The Physics of Basketball, students will learn how physics affects the game. What forces are acting on the ball? What must players do to offset these forces?
From buildings that sway rather than collapse to tsunami seawalls and drills, Japan’s earthquake precautions have made the nation uniquely prepared for disaster. Learn how Japanese construct skyscrapers and other earthquake-resistant engineering in this New York Times feature. Such practices undoubtedly helped save lives, though the toll from last week’s temblor and giant wave continues to mount.
From the “miracle fiber” Kevlar invented by Dupont chemist Stephanie Kwolek to Silly Putty, our world abounds with materials discovered by accident. In this activity from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), students will learn some serious materials science–and hit several national science and tehcnology standards–by using everyday items to create and investigate the properties of Funny Putty.