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Soil Biosolarization: Sustainable Weed Killer

seedlingIn this three-part activity, students in grades 5 to 7 act as agricultural engineers, learning about and testing the effectiveness of a sustainable pest-control technique that uses organic waste and sunlight rather than toxic chemicals to reduce weeds.

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All About Code

Navajo Code TalkerstStudents in grades 3 – 5 learn how alphanumeric symbols can be encoded for many fun purposes. In the first of two sessions, they learn about codes by making their own with a limited number of symbols. They then attempt to break each other’s codes and discover the relationship among encryption, decryption, and shared keys.

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Fancy Feet

high heel shoe designTeams of middle school students use the engineering design process to design, build, and test a pair of wearable platform or high-heeled shoes, taking into consideration the stress and strain on the wearer’s foot. They activity concludes with a “walk-off” to test the shoe designs and discuss the design process.

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Trash Sliders

Trash sliders at 2015 ASEE K12 workshopIn this activity, teams of middle school students express their creativity while learning the fundamentals of engineering design, sustainability, and the basic physics of forces and motion by building a vehicle out of recycled trash that is capable of transporting liquid over rough terrain with as little spillage as possible.

Note: This activity can be scaled for high school or upper elementary students.

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Class Activity: Make an Alarm

Dog sleeping with alarm clockAfter reading the story Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary, students will build an alarm system for something in the classroom, as the main character Leigh does to protect his lunchbox from thieves. Students will learn about alarms and use their creativity to create an alarm system to protect their lockers, desk, or classroom door.

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Build a Portable Sundial

Google Science Fair 2016Students in grades 6 to 8 investigate the accuracy of sundials and the discrepancy that lies between “real time” and “clock time.” They track the position of the sun during the course of a relatively short period of time as they make a shadow plot, a horizontal sundial, and a diptych sundial. In the process, they learn that time is among the criteria that engineers must factor into their designs.

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Fun With Bernoulli

paper planesStudents in grades 5 to 7 use Bernoulli’s principle to manipulate air pressure in a series of fun activities so its influence can be seen on the objects around us.

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Naked Egg Drop

egg yolk droppingParis of students in grades 3 to 6 experience the engineering design process by building and modifying devices to catch and protect a “naked” egg as it is dropped from increasing heights. The activity scales up to district or regional egg drop competitions.

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Greeting Card Assembly Line

making greeting cardsIn this collaborative math and art lesson, students in grades 4 through high school explore central ideas in industrial engineering – including productivity, efficiency, and quality – by designing their own assembly line and working together to mass produce greeting cards.

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