Teams of students in grades 5 to 7 locate a contaminant spill in a hypothetical site by measuring the pH of soil samples. They then predict the direction of groundwater flow using mathematical modeling and use the engineering design process to come up with alternative treatments for the contaminated water.
Math can be a tough sell. Many students think it’s too hard, or that they’re no good at it. It doesn’t have to be this way, says Stanford Graduate School of Education Professor Jo Boaler, who has designed a free program for teachers to change mindsets and inspire their fifth through ninth graders to think more deeply in mathematics.
Plant a tree. Snap a selfie for NASA. There are countless ways students and teachers can celebrate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22. This year’s theme: It’s Our Turn to Lead. See how your small steps can lead to big change!
Tags: Class Activities, Climate, Curriculum, Earth Day 2015, Education Policy, Environmental Education, Environmental Engineering, Environmental science, NGSS, Resources for Teachers, sustainabilty, Web Resources
Teams of students in grades 6 to 8 follow the engineering design process to develop and build a mechanical arm that can lift and move an empty 12-ounce soda can using hydraulics for power. One group designs and builds the grasping hand, another team the lifting arm, and a third team the rotation base. The three groups must work to communicate effectively through written and verbal communication and sketches.
In this hands-on activity, teams of students in grades 3 to 12 learn how engineers design tire treads to increase safety and reliability, then follow the design process to construct, test, and evaluate treads sculpted from clay that will be safe when driving in heavy rain.
In this activity, high school juniors and seniors learn such core chemistry concepts as reaction rates and thermodynamics by making and demonstrating their own Harry Potter-style “magic wands” (sparklers). The lab, which also can serve as a fun Advanced Placement course review, concludes with a class duel between wands of two different chemical compositions.
Tags: Advanced Placement, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Class Activities, Energy, Grades 9-12, Harry Potter, Next Generation Science Standards, reaction rates, sparklers, STEM education, stochiometry, wand
In this fun activity developed by St. Thomas University engineering associate professor AnnMarie Thomas, students of all ages learn the basic principles of electricity by fashioning circuits from play dough, batteries, and LEDs. No soldering necessary!
Tags: afterschool activities, circuits, Class Activities, Electrical Engineering, electricity, Energy, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Grades K-5, LEDs, lights, Squishy Circuits, St. Thomas University, STEM education
To encourage more schools to teach computer science, the nonprofit Code.org has launched Code Studio — a set of tools, lesson plans, and curriculum to help students in kindergarten through high school explore the underlying concepts behind coding. The site includes a dashboard for teachers to monitor their students’ progress.
Students in grades 2 to 4 learn about wildlife habitats, environmental engineering, and the complexities of nest construction by attempting to design and build a nest themselves.
Tags: Biology, birds, Class Activities, construction, Design, ecology, Environmental Engineering, Grades K-5, Great Sand Dunes National Park, habitat, Lesson Plan, material properties, National Park Service, nest, wilderness, wildlife