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Pedal Power

Kid riding bikeIn this activity, small groups of students in grades 3 to 8 learn about forces, energy, and efficiency by measuring a bicycle’s gear ratios, calculating tire revolutions, and testing who can ride a course the swiftest based on that information.

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Playful STEM: OK Go Sandbox

OK Go SandboxOK Go is a wildly popular band that “likes to make stuff.” AnnMarie Thomas, a University of St. Thomas engineering educator and amateur circus aerialist, likes to make stuff, too. Put them together and the result is OK Go Sandbox, a free, video-rich repository of design challenges, curricula, and other resources that put the *fun* in fundamental STEM concepts while fostering creativity.

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What Are Gears?

education appIn this activity, students in grades 4 to 8 use LEGO spur gears to learn about different types of gears and how they are used in many engineering devices, including bicycles, to change the speed, torque, and direction of a power source.

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Activity: Robot Basketball

basketball robotIn this activity, students in grades 5 to 12 learn about accuracy, precision, and simple machines by working in teams to design and build a robotic basketball “player” that can nail a free-throw shot three times in a row.

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Lesson: Pop Fly!

baseballIn this lesson, students in grades 3 – 12 will explore the engineering design process by building a device that can launch a ping-pong ball high enough for them to catch it.

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