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Powerhouse on Wheels

University of Pittsburgh engineering researcher Rory CooperParalympic champion and University of Pittsburgh assistive-technology pioneer Rory Cooper wants people with disabilities to see engineering as a great career.

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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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Design a Sneaker

sneaker with xray leg in itStudents in upper elementary/early middle school follow the engineering design process to brainstorm and build prototype sneakers from a variety of materials to meet such design requirements as good traction or deep cushioning. They learn how the sole provides support, cushioning, and traction. There also may be some fashion-based functions, including cool colors or added height.

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Engineering Football Safety

UAB football crash dummiesIn the movie Concussion, Will Smith plays a Pittsburgh pathologist who uncovered a link between repeated concussions and brain damage in professional football players.
Engineers can’t change behavior. But they can design better helmets and other gear to reduce injuries. Some engineering students even play the game!

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Thankful Engineering

Toon turkey with football and helmetWhat does engineering have to do with Thanksgiving? Plenty, including football broadcasting technology and meatless Tofurkey, among other holiday delights.

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Ball Bounce Experiment

soccer ball jugglingIn this activity, elementary students in grades 3 to 5 learn about reverse engineering and how to collect and represent data graphically by investigating different balls and their abilities to bounce.

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Sochi’s Big Olympics Dig

Sochi Olympic constructionIt takes host cities a lot of time, money, and engineering to prepare for the Olympics, and Sochi, the Russian seaside resort that will welcome athletes and fans from around the world this February, is no exception. Along with luge runs and ice arenas, the area’s 218 Olympic projects include a new high-speed rail and seaport.

A recent Businessweek article estimated the total at $51 billion, making Russia’s games the costliest in history

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Lesson: Tennis, Anyone?

tennisIn this lesson, students in grades 3 to 12 explore how engineers incorporate the latest materials and manufacturing techniques to improve the performance of sports equipment by constructing a functional racquet out of everyday materials that can volley against another team’s racquet at least six times.

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Fashion, Form & Function

horseFrom Lady Gaga’s glowing, LED-encrusted gown to lightweight body armor and high-tech sports apparel, engineered fabrics are turning up well beyond the fashion world. ASEE’s Prism magazine highlights some innovative examples.

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