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March Madness STEM Resources

Basketball MadnessJust as athletes “learn from the game,” the annual NCAA March Madness basketball competition offers students a timely, engaging way to hone their STEM knowledge and skills. eGFI has compiled some bracket-busting resources to pep up your math and science classes.

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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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A Shot Under Pressure

super soaker water gunTeams of high school students use their understanding of projectile physics and fluid dynamics to calculate the water pressure in squirt guns by measuring the range of the water jets. They create graphs to analyze how the predicted pressure relates to the number of times they pump the water gun before shooting.

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Get Me Off This Planet!

spaceship illustration on marsIn this lesson to teach middle school students how a spacecraft gets from the surface of the Earth to Mars, students first investigate rockets and how they are able to get us into space, then discuss the nature of an orbit as well as how orbits enable us to get from planet to planet.

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Disaster-Proof Housing

storm damaged house illustrationIn this activity for middle school science, high school physics, or engineering, groups of students explore the housing crisis caused by natural disasters by applying appropriate technology and fluid mechanics to design sustainable shelters that can withstand flooding and high winds.

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Paper Penny Bridge

stacks of penniesIn this activity, student teams in grades 8 and up learn about the engineering design process and physical forces by building a bridge from a single sheet of paper and up to five paper clips that will span 20 cm and support the weight of 100 pennies. Like real engineers, teams also have limited budgets and must make trade-offs in materials.

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A Scientist’s Curiosity Cabinent

scientists curiosity cabinetLooking for a fun way to engage students in STEM and help them understand core concepts? Check out the Scientist’s Curiosity Cabinet, a video-laden website showcasing Boston College chemistry professor Ross Kelly’s collection of gadgets that offer “neat examples” of such scientific principles as buoyancy or “things that seem impossible but are staring one in the face.”

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Blue LED Beams Nobel Fame

Blue LED sculpture Makoto TajikiLight-emitting diodes illuminate everything from traffic signals to shimmering sculptures like this one by Makoto Tojiki. But the researchers whose early 1990s breakthrough – a blue-light LED – made today’s energy-saving white lamps possible toiled mostly in the shadows… until they won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2014.

No longer. In September, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in physics to Isamu Akasaki of Meijo University in Nagoya, Japan, Hiroshi Amano of Nagoya University, and Shuji Nakamura, a professor of materials and co-director of the Solid State Lighting and Energy Electronics Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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MIT Videos Convey Key STEM Concepts

video screens with bookAre your students vexed by vectors or mystified by electricity? MIT’s Open Courseware offers a series of videos designed to help students learn these and other pivotal concepts in science, technology, engineering, mathematics that are the building blocks of many engineering curricula.

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