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EngineerGirl Essay Winners 2018

EngineerGirl infrastructureSelf-healing roads and Tick Tock, a Lyme disease-protection wristwatch that not only alerts wearers to the presence of ticks but sprays bug repellent are among the winners of the National Academy of Engineering’s 2018 EngineerGirl essay competition.

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Ahoy! Plastic in the Ocean

plastic on Hawaii beach wildlife preserve USFWSStudents learn about the Great Pacific garbage patch, research the extent and impact of plastics pollution on oceans, and present that information as a short, eye-catching newsletter suitable to hand out to fast-food restaurant customers. 

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Heavy Metal Bell Engineers

music graphic from Dec 2011 ASEE PrismWhen “The Victors” peals from the 55-bell carillon high inside the University of Michigan’s Burton Tower, many students below can hum the famous fight song as they stroll. One group, though, also understands the engineering and skilled labor behind the resonant tones, having sculpted and poured metal to make carillon bells that achieve a particular sound in a course called Shaping the Sound of Bronze.

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Wind Chimes

wind chimesHigh school students design and build wind chimes using their knowledge of physics and sound waves, and under such constraints as weight, cost, and the number of musical notes their chimes must generate. They make mathematical computations to determine the pipe lengths. Links to similar activities for younger students included in activity scaling section.

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Generation Nano Superhero Challenge

NSF Generation Nano graphicSpider-Man’s creator, Stan Lee, finds inspiration in STEM. And he hopes students in grades 6 to 12 will, too, by dreaming up comics or short videos in the National Science Foundation’s Generation Nano: Superheroes Inspired by Science competition. Top entries can win up to $1,500 in scholarships, with $500 stipends for teachers. Enter by January 8, 2018.

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Virtual Maker Camp

Maker Camp 2017Stitched circuits and musical instruments made from marshmallows are among the latest offerings in the 2017 Maker Camp, a virtual DIY summer camp sponsored by Make magazine. Many activities could work well as classroom projects, too!

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K-12 Statistics Poster Contest

American Statistical Association poster contestThe American Statistical Association hosts an annual poster competition for K-12 students to showcase their ability to apply and display data. Winners will receive up to $300 and Texas Instrument calculators. Submit by April 1, 2017.

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Visualize STEM

Thermagram handIn this lesson, high school students learn the value of writing and art in science and engineering by designing visual diagrams to communicate the results of thermal conductivity (heat flow) experiments they have conducted to anyone with little background on the subject. The principles of visual design include contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity, and involve such elements as the use of lines, color, texture, shape, size, value, and space.

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Shapes of Strength

house of cards with coins on topStudents in grades 3 to 5 use engineering problem solving to create structures from paper, straws, tape, and paper clips that can support the weight of at least one textbook. For the second trial, they examine examples of successful buildings in history and try again.

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