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How the Rubber Meets the Road

tire in rainIn this hands-on activity, teams of students in grades 3 to 12 learn how engineers design tire treads to increase safety and reliability, then follow the design process to construct, test, and evaluate treads sculpted from clay that will be safe when driving in heavy rain.

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TeachEngineering Aligns with NGSS

TeachEngineering logoTeachEngineering, a searchable online library of 1,352 teacher-tested activities and lessons developed for use in STEM classrooms, just got a makeover. Improvements include aligning lessons 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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Think Like a Bird!

bird at nestStudents in grades 2 to 4 learn about wildlife habitats, environmental engineering, and the complexities of nest construction by attempting to design and build a nest themselves.

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Video STEM Lessons from MIT

projectorMIT BLOSSOMS, a blended-learning consortium for high school STEM educators, houses a video library with more than 100 free science, engineering, and math lessons taught by experts in the field – and searchable by national and state standards, grade level, and content.

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Give Me a Brake!

Bike brake

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Wind Power for Your Home

wind turbineIn this activity, students in grades 9-11 learn how engineers harness the energy of the wind by following the engineering design process to create and test two prototype wind turbines to see which works best. They also learn about where to place a wind turbine for maximum effectiveness, and to weigh the advantages and disadvantages compared with other energy sources.

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Digest This!

multicolor pills Student teams in grades 6-8 reinforce their knowledge of the digestive system and explore the concepts of simulation and the engineering design process by developing a pill coating that can withstand the churning and acidic environment of the stomach. They test the coating’s durability using a clear soda to simulate gastric acid.

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Seeing the World Through a Different Lens

dolls with disabilities Students in grades 6 to 8 gain an understanding of physical limitations and the biomedical engineering design process by performing a variety of tasks without using their thumbs, eyes, or legs, then working in teams to create or improve and adaptive device.

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Code Calling

web color chart Computer science has the highest pay for new college graduates, twice the national average job growth of more than double the national average, and applications that stretch from rock music to medicine. Yet 9 in 10 schools don’t teach programming. Code.org hopes to change that with a host of free resources to get kids as young as four creating websites and apps.

The answer is computer programming, and advocates from Microsoft founder Bill Gates to former president Bill Clinton are pushing to include it in the K-12 curriculum.

Far from being complicated algorithms only a geek could master, code writing can be learned by just about anyone — even four-year-olds. Code.org has compiled a host of websites, courses, and other free resources to help students hone programming skills from building websites to creating phone apps. There also are tips for using code writing and programming projects and activities in math or science classes to cover content standards.

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