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Beat the Motion Sensor

light sensor nano circuitryIn this activity, students in grades 7 to 9 explore material properties as they relate to motion detection, and use that knowledge to make design decisions about what types of motion detectors to use in specific applications, such as conserving energy in commercial buildings.

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Build a Bobsled Racer

bobsled on track Teams of students in grades 3 to 8 learn about friction, forces, and the engineering design process by building and testing miniature bobsleds to see which can race down an icy slope either the fastest or slowest.

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Chair Lift Challenge

chair lift

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‘Engineering for You’ Video Contest

tablet with gearsTo celebrate its 50th Anniversary, the National Academy of Engineering is offering a $25,000 prize for the most inspiring short video focused anywhere in the time period from 1964-2064 that shows how engineering innovations advance human welfare and address societal needs.

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Digest This!

multicolor pills Student teams in grades 6-8 reinforce their knowledge of the digestive system and explore the concepts of simulation and the engineering design process by developing a pill coating that can withstand the churning and acidic environment of the stomach. They test the coating’s durability using a clear soda to simulate gastric acid.

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Seeing the World Through a Different Lens

dolls with disabilities Students in grades 6 to 8 gain an understanding of physical limitations and the biomedical engineering design process by performing a variety of tasks without using their thumbs, eyes, or legs, then working in teams to create or improve and adaptive device.

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Program a Friend

man in mazeIn this activity, students working in pairs learn basic computer programming and software engineering concepts by building an obstacle course, then steering a blindfolded friend through it by using a series of commands. They re-run the maze to improve on their “program.”

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Asteroid Impact!

asteroid impactIn this first of eight activities, students in grades 6 – 8 learn about the engineering design process and earth science by beginning to design an underground cavern that can shelter people for one year after an asteroid strike makes Earth uninhabitable.

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Mission: Solar System

Teachers TryScience logoTo mark the Year of the Solar System, NASA and PBS’s Design Squad Nation have teamed up to create a series of fun, space-based engineering challenges for children in grades 4 to 8.

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