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Hydraulic Arm Challenge

Energy Department Robot with armTeams 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.

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How the Rubber Meets the Road

tire in rainIn 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.

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Squishy Circuits

squishy circuitIn 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!

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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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Engineering Everywhere

kids building straw structure in AustinDeveloped by the Museum of Science, Boston, Engineering Everywhere is a free engineering curriculum full of hands-on design activities for middle-school-aged youth in after-school and camp programs.

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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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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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