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Disaster Engineering

Hurricane Maria strands PR familiesHurricanes, earthquakes, and other destructive events offer timely “teachable moments” about the role of engineers in improving weather forecasts and reducing the toll from natural disasters. eGFI Teachers’s collection of activities, feature articles, and other resources can help you integrate engineering into your classes – and inspire the next generation of “crisis” engineers.

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Backyard Weather Station

homemade rain gaugeWorking in groups of 8, middle school students use their senses to describe and predict the weather, then act as state park engineers and design/build “backyard weather stations” to gather data to make actual weather forecasts.

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Lend A Hand: Teaching Forces

3D printed prosthetic handWorking in groups of three, middle school students learn about types of forces, the relationship between form and function, and the structure of the hand by working as biomedical engineers to design, build, and test their own hand “gripper” prototypes that can grasp and lift a 200 ml cup of sand.

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Save Our Shore!

unusual breakwaterStudents in grades 3 to 8 study coastal erosion and the apply the engineering design process to devise structures and policies to protect shorelines, taking public concerns into account.

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Earth Day Resources

Earth in Our HandsKids love exploring the world around them, and Earth Day offers a great way to introduce them to environmental science and engineering. The following sampler includes activities, lessons, and resources that promote green engineering and science learning.

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March Madness STEM Resources

Basketball MadnessJust as athletes “learn from the game,” the annual NCAA March Madness basketball competition offers students a timely, engaging way to hone their STEM knowledge and skills. eGFI has compiled some bracket-busting resources to pep up your math and science classes.

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Citizen Science

Alaska Chena Salmon citizen science projectMiddle school students learn that ordinary people like themselves can make meaningful contributions to science by reviewing examples of citizen science projects on Zooniverse, an interactive website. They then form “engineering teams” to brainstorm projects for their own community and design conceptual interactive websites that could organize and support them.

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Lesson: Map the Green Space

A City Garden in ChicagoStudents in grades 5-9 learn about urban planning as they assess the environmental health of their community, taking a walk around their neighborhood. They construct a map that identifies both positive and negative features and then recommend improvements.

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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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