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Lesson: Design a Sturdy Paper Table

Paper TableIn this lesson, students in grades 4-7 explore the engineering design process by building a table out of tubes of newspaper that is strong enough to hold a heavy book. They learn to brainstorm, test, evaluate, and redesign their tables to support more weight and figure out how to keep the table legs from buckling.

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PBS Offers Early Engineering Online

PBS TeacherLinePBS has introduced an online course to strengthen elementary teachers’ STEM strategies. Called Inspire Elementary Students with Engineering, it was developed at Purdue University to provide an early foundation in engineering.

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Making Math Fun and Relevant

Math by DesignFour Public broadcasting outlets have formed the STEM Collaborative to demonstrate that math can be both fun and relevant. The website’s challenges engage students in such projects as building a skateboard ramp and measuring a rollercoaster.

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Training Teachers in Engineering Instruction

The Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning at Purdue University’s School of Engineering Education has partnered with PBS’s TeacherLine, a web-based professional development program, to educate elementary school teachers on how to teach engineering concepts to their young charges.

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Website: The Brooklyn Bridge on PBS

The PBS documentary on the Brooklyn Bridge was the first produced by Ken Burns, in 1982. This related PBS website offers a timeline on the design and building of the bridge, other on-line resources, and a educators’ page with lesson ideas.

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