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Design a Sneaker

sneaker with xray leg in itStudents in upper elementary/early middle school follow the engineering design process to brainstorm and build prototype sneakers from a variety of materials to meet such design requirements as good traction or deep cushioning. They learn how the sole provides support, cushioning, and traction. There also may be some fashion-based functions, including cool colors or added height.

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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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All About Code

Navajo Code TalkerstStudents in grades 3 – 5 learn how alphanumeric symbols can be encoded for many fun purposes. In the first of two sessions, they learn about codes by making their own with a limited number of symbols. They then attempt to break each other’s codes and discover the relationship among encryption, decryption, and shared keys.

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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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Class Activity: Make an Alarm

Dog sleeping with alarm clockAfter reading the story Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary, students will build an alarm system for something in the classroom, as the main character Leigh does to protect his lunchbox from thieves. Students will learn about alarms and use their creativity to create an alarm system to protect their lockers, desk, or classroom door.

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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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Fun With Bernoulli

paper planesStudents in grades 5 to 7 use Bernoulli’s principle to manipulate air pressure in a series of fun activities so its influence can be seen on the objects around us.

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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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