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Pipe-Cleaner Towers

pipe cleanersIn this short, fun activity for students in grades 2 to 12, teams learn about the engineering design process, including constraints on time and materials, by building the tallest free-standing tower out of pipe-cleaners.

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Where’s Your Teacher?

compass and mapIn this activity, students in grades 7 to 9 will learn how to take a bearing with a compass and find an object in their classroom.

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Live Like an Animal

prairie dogMiddle school students learn about the engineering design process by building a model of an innovative human shelter inspired and informed by an animal habitat. They then present their work, explaining what attribute of the animal structure influenced their design.

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What Are Gears?

education appIn this activity, students in grades 4 to 8 use LEGO spur gears to learn about different types of gears and how they are used in many engineering devices, including bicycles, to change the speed, torque, and direction of a power source.

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Robot Soccer Challenge

robocup 2009In this activity, part of a robotics design curricular unit, teams of students in grades 4 – 8 learn how to program LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT intelligent bricks so that one can remotely control the other, gaining skills and an appreciation for wireless communications as they play “robot soccer.”

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Pedal Power

Kid riding bike

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Give Me a Brake!

Bike brake

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Snack Bag Assembly

Cookie decoratingIn this delicious exercise, middle school students in teams of 3 to 5 learn about the field of industrial engineering by creating an assembly line to pack as many snack bags in 2 minutes as possible. They then see if they can improve their process.

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Just a Minute!

Running clockIn this quick, fun activity, pairs of students in grades 2 – 8 will learn about industrial engineering and measurement by estimating how many times a partner can complete a task in one minute, then checking the estimate against actual performance. Students then can discuss ways to improve their performance and try again.

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