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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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Fancy Feet

high heel shoe designTeams of middle school students use the engineering design process to design, build, and test a pair of wearable platform or high-heeled shoes, taking into consideration the stress and strain on the wearer’s foot. They activity concludes with a “walk-off” to test the shoe designs and discuss the design process.

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Greeting Card Assembly Line

making greeting cardsIn this collaborative math and art lesson, students in grades 4 through high school explore central ideas in industrial engineering – including productivity, efficiency, and quality – by designing their own assembly line and working together to mass produce greeting cards.

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Origami Engineering

Jan 2013 Prism cover origami engineeringCould origami engineering be the next big thing in manufacturing? Researchers say that the Japanese art of folding paper could have practical implications ranging from minimally invasive surgical aids to highly efficient capture of solar energy and giant space telescopes that fit into a small payload. And their work has evolved into a well-funded fount of innovation.

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Verizon Innovative App Challenge 2016

Verizon Innovative App Challenge 2016Absolutely no coding or tech expertise is required for middle and high school students to compete in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. Winners will receive a $20,000 grand prize and the chance to work with MIT experts to turn their concepts into downloadable mobile apps. Register your team by November 24, 2015.

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