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Tackle Plastics for World Oceans Day

fish made from ocean plasticClean a beach, create art, or help monitor marine debris as a citizen scientist. Check out these lesson plans and other resources for celebrating World Oceans Day June 8.

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Engineer a Vertical Farm

vertical garden class projectStudents in grades 6 to 8 explore food production problems related to population growth and then engineer a model vertical farm as a potential solution in a fictional community, Greentown, culminating with a presentation to the imaginary city’s “legislators.”

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Meet the Ocean Cleanup Crew

Boyan SlatA diving trip in Greece drove a Dutch teen named Boyan Slat to spend the next 10 years devising a way to clean up ocean plastic. His giant boom is set to launch in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this year. Other eco-activists have developed trash-intercepting water wheels and campaigns to reduce the use of plastic drinking straws.

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Sense It!

SENSE IT water quality samplingSensors are in everything from smart phones to corn fields. They also can be a powerful and engaging tool to teach STEM. SENSE IT, a free, research-based curriculum, involves students in hands-on learning about their local environment by constructing, deploying, and interpreting data from a network of water-quality sensors.

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Ahoy! Plastic in the Ocean

plastic on Hawaii beach wildlife preserve USFWSStudents learn about the Great Pacific garbage patch, research the extent and impact of plastics pollution on oceans, and present that information as a short, eye-catching newsletter suitable to hand out to fast-food restaurant customers. 

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Injured Eagle Lands New Beak

Beauty and the BeakChildren’s literature is full of memorable wildlife adventure stories, but Deborah Lee Rose and Jane Veltkamp’s Beauty and the Beak may be the first to feature engineers and their role in outfitting an injured eagle with a 3-D printed prosthetic beak. A free education guide with standards-based STEM, STEAM, and literacy lessons accompanies the book, winner of the 2018 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books.

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Engineers Week 2018

Engineers Week 2018 posterIntroduce a girl to engineering. Make slime and other cool stuff. Visit a local engineering school. National Engineers Week kicks off on Feb. 18 2018 and this year’s theme – Engineers: Inspiring Wonder – offers an opportunity to learn about how engineers make a difference in our world. How will you celebrate?!

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Extreme Event: Free STEM Games

Koshlund Science Museum Extreme Event game“It started out as a beautiful day, but in a disaster, anything can happen at any time…” So begins Extreme Event, a free, hour-long role-playing game from the National Academy of Sciences’ Marian Koshland Science Museum. The game is latest addition to teacher resources designed to help students and communities use science to address climate change, health, and other problems.

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Eyes in the Skies

Texas A&M hurricane Harvey drone surveyAfter Hurricane Harvey inundated Houston with historic rains, engineering researchers Texas A&M University offered a quick, inexpensive way to survey the damage. They deployed drones – lots of them – in the biggest squadron ever used in an official disaster response.

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