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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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Build-a-Toy Workshop

toy car engineeringIn this hands-on activity, student teams apply the engineering design process to create prototype toys with moving parts. They set up electric circuits using batteries, wire, and motors, and plan project materials to meet budget constraints.

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Student’s Invention Could Prevent Concussions

BYU student invents smart foamBrigham Young University engineering student Jake Merrell has created a “smart foam” that could be placed inside the helmets of football players to measure the impact of hits to the head, and could help prevent concussions while players are int the game.

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Now Hear This: Cochlear Implant Inventor Wins Lasker Prize

earImagine life without sound. That’s the reality for hundreds of thousands of deaf individuals. Thanks to a device called the cochlear implant – the first medical apparatus to restore a human sense – many now can hear. Its three inventors won the 2013 Lasker Prize for their work.

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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: Sound Booth Construction

sound booth1In 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.

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Feature: Nuclear Energizes Teachers

Texas A&M workshopDespite the anxiety triggered by last spring’s nuclear disaster in Japan, nuclear power is still a key part of this country’s energy mix. Industry and universities are enlisting help from teachers in preparing the next generation of nuclear engineers and technicians.

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Feature: Kart Me Away

evGrandPrix Line UpA Purdue University engineering professor has found that building and racing go-karts is a great way not only to interest his own students in science and engineering, but at-risk middle-school kids as well.

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Lesson: Holiday Lights and Circuits

holidaylights1Students in grades 4-8 build simple circuits using a battery, wires, and light bulbs. They examine how electricity is conducted through a light bulb using a battery as a power source, and learn the difference between a series circuit and a parallel circuit.

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