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TeachEngineering Adds Video, Maker Challenges

TeachEngineering logoTeachEngineering, a searchable online library of more than 1,400 teacher-tested activities and lessons developed for use in STEM classrooms, just got a makeover. Improvements include videos, Maker challenges, alignment with Common Core math and Next Generation science standards, and “Sprinkles” – abbreviated versions of popular activities designed for use in after-school programs.

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Lend A Hand: Teaching Forces

3D printed prosthetic handWorking in groups of three, middle school students learn about types of forces, the relationship between form and function, and the structure of the hand by working as biomedical engineers to design, build, and test their own hand “gripper” prototypes that can grasp and lift a 200 ml cup of sand.

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Who Moved the Beach?

students conducting Cape Hatteras beach profile surveyHigh school students working in groups of three to four learn about the primary causes and impacts of coastal erosion, and use elevation data to construct profiles of a beach over time or to compare several beaches, make inferences about the erosion process, and discuss how humans should respond.

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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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Earth Day Resources

Earth in Our HandsKids love exploring the world around them, and Earth Day offers a great way to introduce them to environmental science and engineering. The following sampler includes activities, lessons, and resources that promote green engineering and science learning.

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Citizen Science

Alaska Chena Salmon citizen science projectMiddle school students learn that ordinary people like themselves can make meaningful contributions to science by reviewing examples of citizen science projects on Zooniverse, an interactive website. They then form “engineering teams” to brainstorm projects for their own community and design conceptual interactive websites that could organize and support them.

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Lesson: Map the Green Space

A City Garden in ChicagoStudents in grades 5-9 learn about urban planning as they assess the environmental health of their community, taking a walk around their neighborhood. They construct a map that identifies both positive and negative features and then recommend improvements.

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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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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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