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Engineer Girl Essay Contest

endangered black footed ferret“Engineering and Animals” is the theme for the National Academy of Engineering’s 2017 EngineerGirl! Essay Contest. Students in grades 3 to 12 are asked to choose an endangered animal – like this black-footed ferret – and consider how engineering might improve life for that species. Submissions are due Feb. 1, 2017.

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Soil Biosolarization: Sustainable Weed Killer

seedlingIn this three-part activity, students in grades 5 to 7 act as agricultural engineers, learning about and testing the effectiveness of a sustainable pest-control technique that uses organic waste and sunlight rather than toxic chemicals to reduce weeds.

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eCybermission 2017

eCybermission 2013 teamTired of plastic action toys? In eCybermission, an Internet-based science fair, students in grades 6 to 9 can play real super-spy detectives. Entries are due February 22, 2017.

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No Phishing! Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2016

Cybersecurity password theftThe Department of Homeland Security designates October as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Its “Stop, Think, Connect” toolkit includes materials for various audiences, including students and educators, as well as guides to social media, phishing, and other topics.

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Girls Rock NAEP Engineering Test

NAEP TEL graphicResults from America’s first-ever test of K-12 technology and engineering literacy point to the power of hands-on, applied STEM learning – both in and outside of school – to increase diversity and achievement. The National Assessment of Educational Progress found that girls scored higher on average than boys. And while suburban and rural students outperformed their urban peers, the achievement gaps between race and income groups were much smaller than typically posted on national tests in other subjects.

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Fancy Feet

high heel shoe designTeams of middle school students use the engineering design process to design, build, and test a pair of wearable platform or high-heeled shoes, taking into consideration the stress and strain on the wearer’s foot. They activity concludes with a “walk-off” to test the shoe designs and discuss the design process.

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Trash Sliders

Trash sliders at 2015 ASEE K12 workshopIn this activity, teams of middle school students express their creativity while learning the fundamentals of engineering design, sustainability, and the basic physics of forces and motion by building a vehicle out of recycled trash that is capable of transporting liquid over rough terrain with as little spillage as possible.

Note: This activity can be scaled for high school or upper elementary students.

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Star Trek Space Food Contest

International Space Shuttle astronaut Luca Parmitano juggling food packsCalling all Starfleet cadets! Star Trek and NASA want you to “boldly go where no one has gone before” and engineer the future of food in space by creating a digital 3-D model of a non-edible, food-related item for future astronauts living aboard the International Space Station.

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Computer Science Contest for Girls

Hour of Code with NOAA at Shepard ElementaryProjectCSGIRLS aims to break down the gender gap in tech fields by encouraging middle school girls to learn computer programming and develop ideas that are powerful, disruptive, and cutting-edge. In this contest, students build something using computer science and technology that can help solve an imminent social problem in one of three areas: global health, a safer world, and intelligent technology. Submissions are due April 15, 2016.

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