Kids 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.
In this activity, students in grades 5 to 12 learn about accuracy, precision, and simple machines by working in teams to design and build a robotic basketball “player” that can nail a free-throw shot three times in a row.
Tags: accuracy, basketball, biomechanical engineering, biomechanics, catapult, Class Activities, Engineering, lever, Mathematics, percentages, Physics, precision, projectile, Robotics, simple machines, Sports Engineering, statistics
Students in grades 3 – 12 explore how the development of seismographs has helped save lives worldwide by working in teams to design their own seismograph from everyday items, test its ability to record a simulated classroom earthquake, evaluate their results, and report to the class.
In this lesson, students in grades 8 to 10 experience civil and environmental engineering by planning a housing development while also protecting the native species that live there. They conduct research, draw plans, make brochures, and give presentations, with each four-member team having a project manager, civil engineer, environmental engineer, and graphic designer.
In this service-learning activity, teams of students in grades 10-12 learn the basic principles of fluid dynamics by designing and testing a prototype system to pipe water from a storage tank to a Tippy Tap hand-washing station similar to inexpensive homemade devices used extensively in the developing world.
Tags: Agricultural Engineering, Bernoulli, Class Activities, developing nation, energy conservation, Environmental Engineering, fluid dynamics, Grades 9-12, Lesson Plan, pipe systems, pipes, pressure, sanitation, service learning, velocity, Water
In this activity, students in grades 7-9 explore the sound-dampening capability of materials by designing and prototyping model sound booths. They learn about how sound is reflected and absorbed, and how it travels through various materials, providing an overview of sound dampening propagation in the context of engineering.
In this activity, students in grades 4 – 12 will do math like a computer. They will learn the basics of binary number systems by writing and then counting on their hands, and use their knowledge to decode numbers and letters.
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 hands-on activity designed to teach chemical-engineering principles to freshman engineering students at Rowan University, teams of high school students will melt chocolate and coat commercially available cookies, then perform several measurements and calculations. They then will write a lab report that includes nutritional labeling and recommendations for improving the chocolate-coating process.