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PBS Tools for Next Gen Science Instruction

PBS Design Squad Nate Ball ascendsTo help teachers implement the engineering design components in the Next Generation Science Standards, public broadcaster WGBH and Engineering is Elementary have created a free, online media library drawn from Design Squad, NOVA ScienceNow, and other PBS series.

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Mission: Solar System

Teachers TryScience logoTo mark the Year of the Solar System, NASA and PBS’s Design Squad Nation have teamed up to create a series of fun, space-based engineering challenges for children in grades 4 to 8.

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Lesson: Dance Pad Mania

dance pad revolutionIn this lesson, pairs of students in grades 4 to 7 will learn about the engineering design process and electrical circuits by building a dance pad that sounds a buzzer or flashes a light when stepped on.

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Lesson: A Design Squad Sampler

Design Squad logo

eGFI teachers’ newsletters have featured activities and lesson plans developed by PBS’s Design Squad Nation, with video links and suggested modifications for different age groups. Here’s a sampler:

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Lesson: Pop Fly!

baseballIn this lesson, students in grades 3 – 12 will explore the engineering design process by building a device that can launch a ping-pong ball high enough for them to catch it.

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Inspire the Next Generation of Engineers

Design Squad logoJoin PBS’s Design Squad Nation and ASEE’s Engineering Go For It for a free webinar entitled “Inspiring the Next Generation of Engineers,” on August 25 from 12 PM to 1 PM EDT. Learn about free hands-on activities, videos, and other online resources that will help enliven your classes and spark a love of engineering in kids ages 9 and up.

Watch a replay of the webinar here:

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Lesson: Design a Sturdy Paper Table

Paper TableIn this lesson, students in grades 4-7 explore the engineering design process by building a table out of tubes of newspaper that is strong enough to hold a heavy book. They learn to brainstorm, test, evaluate, and redesign their tables to support more weight and figure out how to keep the table legs from buckling.

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Contest: Trash to Treasure, PBS Design Squad

The PBS Design Squad Trash to Treasure Competition Challenge invites kids ages 5-19 to recycle, reuse, and re-engineer everyday materials into an out-of-the box invention. Three winners will come to Boston to see their designs built by Continuum, a design consultancy, and will appear on the Design Squad show and Website. 25 finalists will also be featured on the Website. Contest Deadline: September 5, 2010.

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