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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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Contest: Shell Eco-marathon

shell carsShell Eco-marathon is a global challenge that motivates students to drive farther than their peers on one gallon of fuel. Student teams participate in one or both of the Prototype and UrbanConcept classes. The Prototype class invites student teams to enter futuristic streamlined vehicles focused on maximizing fuel efficiency through innovative design elements, such as drag reduction.

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Sustainability Counts! Math Awareness Month

math numbers and symbolsSustainability is the theme of this year’s Mathematics Awareness Month. Teachers will find plenty of activities, contests, and other free educational resources that link math with environmental applications, including the Energy Challenge, which teaches students the mathematics of their school’s energy use and then has them develop and implement an action plan to reduce energy consumption.

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Video Tour: The Ultimate ‘Green’ Building

hot air cool airHere’s a quick, fun video guide to environmental engineering produced by Channel One News. It explores the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco and the museum’s signature fully planted roof. It also explains the engineering behind the temperature control system in the four-story interior rain forest and includes an interview with an environmental engineer and advice on how to prepare for a career like his.

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Student Invents Solar Tree

Aiden DwyerOn a hike through the Catskill Mountains in New York, Aidan Dwyer, a seventh-grader, noticed that the branches of oak trees seemed to follow a pattern. Inspired, he created a tree-like arrangement of small solar panels capable of generating 20-50% more energy than a traditional flat designs.

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EPA Teacher Resources

EPA LogoThe Environmental Protection Agency has a collection of materials that can be used to teach environmental topics like conservation, human health, stewardship, waste & recycling, and water. The EPA also offers publications, awards and grants, workshops, conferences, student scholarships, community service projects, and a club for kids.

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Lesson: Solar Water Heater

Water Heater SetupStudent teams in grades 9-11 gain a better understanding of heat transfer and engineering by designing and building solar water-heating devices that mimic those used in residences. Once the model devices are constructed, students perform efficiency calculations and compare designs.

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After School Engineering, Purdue U., Fall 2010 – Spring 2011

purdue

Purdue University’s “Innovation 2 Reality” (I2R) features three FREE 5-week after-school programs for 6th-8th grade students in Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 focused on the themes: Engineering and Our Changing Climate (Oct. 17 – Nov. 10), Edible Engineering (Jan. 13 – Feb. 10), and The Energy Game (Feb. 8-March 8 ) The programs offer a combination of faculty guest speakers, lab tours and hands-on engineering activities.

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Contest: X-Prize Oil-spill cleanup

Workers Burn Off Some Gulf Oil Spill PetroleumThe latest X-Prize Foundation multimillion-dollar engineering and invention contest will tackle the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, with entrants proposing solutions to shorelines and open water sullied by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which has been gushing since April 20, 2010.

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