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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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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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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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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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Backyard Weather Station

homemade rain gaugeWorking in groups of 8, middle school students use their senses to describe and predict the weather, then act as state park engineers and design/build “backyard weather stations” to gather data to make actual weather forecasts.

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Solar Geometry

longitudeMiddle school students learn about the Earth’s geometrical relation to the sun by calculating where the sun will be in the sky for any date or time given a particular location on Earth, such as their school. The three-activity module was developed by lighting engineer Tony Esposito, Ph.D., during his graduate studies at Pennsylvania State University and made available to eGFI Teachers.

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NOAA’s Planet Arcade

NOAA sea turtle cartoomCloud classification, coastal environments, and sea turtles and their quest to nest are among the interactive online games highlighting environmental science and stewardship on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Planet Arcade portal.

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Gimme Shell-ter

student in Project PORTS oyster restoration projectLike many New Jersey shore communities, Gandy’s Beach was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The solution? Engage school communities in a real-world restoration project: Building a living breakwater from bags of old shells to protect both oyster beds and shoreline from future storm damage.

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“Adopt” a Piece of the Planet

NASA Adopt a PlanetIt’s hard to top NASA for an out-of-this-world way to celebrate Earth Day 2017. The space agency is inviting people from around the globe to virtually “adopt” one of 64,000 individual pieces of Earth as seen from space by one of its 18 Earth science instruments.

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