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Flying T-Shirt Challenge

Astros mascot shooting t-shirtsStudents follow the engineering design process to design and build a usable device to propel school T-shirts up into the stands during home sporting events while keeping costs under budget.

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Three Little Pigs Design Challenge

three little pigs meet big bad wolf fanElementary students act as civil engineers to design and build a house that the big, bad wolf cannot blow down. If time allows, they can redesign and test their structures.

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Save Our Shore!

unusual breakwaterStudents in grades 3 to 8 study coastal erosion and the apply the engineering design process to devise structures and policies to protect shorelines, taking public concerns into account.

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NASA Space Spinoff Contest

NASA tech innovation posterNASA’s second annual OPSPARC Challenge asks students in grades 3 to 12 to identify everyday items that were first developed for a space mission and then imagine a new humanitarian purpose for that technology. Deadline for submission is February 10, 2017.

That question lies at the heart of NASA’s Optimus Prime Spinoff and Research Challenge, a contest that asks students in grades 3 to 12 to identify and dream up a new purpose for technology first developed for a space mission.

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Naked Egg Drop

egg yolk droppingParis of students in grades 3 to 6 experience the engineering design process by building and modifying devices to catch and protect a “naked” egg as it is dropped from increasing heights. The activity scales up to district or regional egg drop competitions.

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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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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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Build a Bobsled Racer

bobsled on track Teams of students in grades 3 to 8 learn about friction, forces, and the engineering design process by building and testing miniature bobsleds to see which can race down an icy slope either the fastest or slowest.

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Lesson: No Valve in Vain

heart beatIn this activity, teams of students in grades 6 to 8 will learn about the engineering design process and how a one-way valve works by creating heart valves from tape, plastic tubing, and other materials.

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