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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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Berry Organic Solar Energy

Raspberries on vineHigh school students working in teams of four learn how a device made with dye from berries can be used to convert light energy into electrical energy by building their own organic solar cells and measuring performance based on power output.

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Blue LED Beams Nobel Fame

Blue LED sculpture Makoto TajikiLight-emitting diodes illuminate everything from traffic signals to shimmering sculptures like this one by Makoto Tojiki. But the researchers whose early 1990s breakthrough – a blue-light LED – made today’s energy-saving white lamps possible toiled mostly in the shadows… until they won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2014.

No longer. In September, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in physics to Isamu Akasaki of Meijo University in Nagoya, Japan, Hiroshi Amano of Nagoya University, and Shuji Nakamura, a professor of materials and co-director of the Solid State Lighting and Energy Electronics Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Squishy Circuits

squishy circuitIn this fun activity developed by St. Thomas University engineering associate professor AnnMarie Thomas, students of all ages learn the basic principles of electricity by fashioning circuits from play dough, batteries, and LEDs. No soldering necessary!

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MIT Videos Convey Key STEM Concepts

video screens with bookAre your students vexed by vectors or mystified by electricity? MIT’s Open Courseware offers a series of videos designed to help students learn these and other pivotal concepts in science, technology, engineering, mathematics that are the building blocks of many engineering curricula.

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