In this activity, teams of students in grades 3-12 explore the engineering design process by building model canoes from everyday materials and testing their design in a basin. The canoes must be able to float for three minutes and, for older students, support a load. Students then evaluate the effectiveness of their canoes and those of other teams, and present their findings to the class.
In this game, teams of students in grades 3 – 8 are introduced to the economics and environmental constraints of mining by extracting “ore” (chocolate chips) from purchased “property” (cookies). They will learn that mining requires investment before resources can be extracted, and that there are costs associated with permits, environmental monitoring, and reclamation.
In this activity, students in grades 5 – 7 learn how motion capture technology (mo-cap) enables computer animators to create realistic effects. They learn the importance of center of gravity in animation and how to use the concept in writing an action scene.
In this lesson, students in grades 2 – 7 use simple materials to design and make model sailboats that must stay upright and sail straight in a testing tank. They will learn the basic components of a ship and how design represents a tradeoff between speed, stability, and ease of handling.
In this lesson, K-12 student teams have a limited period of time (18 minutes) to build the tallest free-standing spaghetti structure that can support a marshmallow. They learn how engineers collaborate to design, test, and improve on their ideas, as well as examine hidden assumptions that can derail the creative process and final product.
In this lesson, students in grades 6-8 discover how engineers can use biomimicry to enhance their designs. They learn how careful observation of nature — in this case, reverse engineering a flower — can lead to new innovations and products.
In this lesson, teams of students in grades 4 – 8 learn about basic aerodynamics by constructing a rocket from a balloon propelled along a guide-string. They use this model to learn about Newton’s three laws of motion, examining the effect of different forces on the motion of the rocket.
Concrete for Kids is a fun, hands-on activity to introduce students to engineering and concrete as an engineered material that engineers use to make the structures we use every day, including bridges, buildings, and roads. In this two-period lesson, teams of students in grades K-12 mix and pour concrete to form beams which, once hardened, are tested to see how much weight they can hold before breaking.
You don’t have to be an engineer to introduce engineering concepts and design into your classroom. The eGFI site includes scores of inexpensive, engaging lessons – searchable by grade level or subject – that cover the various engineering disciplines. To kick off the school year and acquaint you with eGFI, we’ve assembled a dozen of 2011’s most popular lessons and activities. Have fun putting some “E” in your STEM classes this semester!
Tags: Aerospace, balloon racers, bridge, build, catapult, Civil Engineering, Class Activities, earthquake, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Grades K-5, Lesson Plan, Lesson Plans, Nanotechnology, Structural Engineering, Teacher Resources, tower