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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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Shapes of Strength

house of cards with coins on topStudents in grades 3 to 5 use engineering problem solving to create structures from paper, straws, tape, and paper clips that can support the weight of at least one textbook. For the second trial, they examine examples of successful buildings in history and try again.

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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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Beat the Motion Sensor

light sensor nano circuitryIn this activity, students in grades 7 to 9 explore material properties as they relate to motion detection, and use that knowledge to make design decisions about what types of motion detectors to use in specific applications, such as conserving energy in commercial buildings.

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Edible Green Screen

green screenHave you ever thought about those bare, exterior walls of your home or school? If so, you would be current with one of the hottest trends in civil and environmental engineering: Redesigning buildings to take full advantage of solar energy, like this “edible green screen” created by students at the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments.

The idea behind green walls, or vertical gardens, can be traced back to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. In Babylon, plants were said to have been cultivated at a height above ground level. In modern times, the idea of similar gardens has become a way to bring more greenery to cityscapes while also making urban areas more environmentally friendly.

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