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Hack a Greeting Card

card and envelope with musical notesIn this activity, upper elementary students working alone or in pairs learn about electrical circuits and the design process by dismantling a “singing” greeting card and using the parts to build an alarm system.

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Toyota Dream Car Art Contest

Toyota Dream Car Art ContestThe Toyota Dream Car Art Contest invites children 15 and under from around the world to share ideas about the future of mobility by drawing their dream cars. Participants can win great prizes and have the opportunity to tour a Toyota factory and visit Japan for an award ceremony.

The entry period runs from October 2015 until the end of March 2016

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Build a Better Candy Bag

bag of candy cornIn this activity, students in grades 3 to 12 learn how design differences can affect the success of a final product by working in pairs to evaluate, design, and build a better candy bag. They must predict the volume and strength of their designs, test and redesign the bag based on its ability to hold weight, discuss findings, and share results.

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Solar Plane Soars into History

Solar Impulse 2 lands in HawaiiWhile solar-powered cars have yet to cruise much beyond design competitions, Swiss engineer André Borschberg swooped across the Pacific and into the record books when his solar-powered plane landed in Hawaii on July 3, 205 – five days after taking off from Japan.

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Disaster-Proof Housing

storm damaged house illustrationIn this activity for middle school science, high school physics, or engineering, groups of students explore the housing crisis caused by natural disasters by applying appropriate technology and fluid mechanics to design sustainable shelters that can withstand flooding and high winds.

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Nat Geo Engineering Challenge

Dead Vlei, Namib DesertHow do you study an animal that can’t sit still or an environment so extreme you can’t visit? National Geographic Education’s Engineering Exploration Challenge (NGX) asks children 6 to 18 to follow the engineering design process to develop, build, and test robots to solve big challenges that explorers often face in the field.

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Young Minds Design Contest

Young Mind Awards logoThe Young Mind Awards are a global competition for middle and high school students to inspire interest in becoming innovators and engineers. Teams or individuals design and build a product to solve a problem or improve a process, then demonstrate how it works in a three-minute video presentation. Entries are due May 31, 2015.

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Rube Goldberg Machine Contest

Rube Goldberg Machine Contest 2015 logoCan you build a crazy contraption to clean a chalkboard? that’s the task of this year’s Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, open to middle school teams as well as high school and college students. Most registration deadlines fall in January and February, 2015. Ready, set, build!

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Pipe-Cleaner Towers

pipe cleanersIn this short, fun activity for students in grades 2 to 12, teams learn about the engineering design process, including constraints on time and materials, by building the tallest free-standing tower out of pipe-cleaners.

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