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3D Printing, Computer Aided Design (CAD) and G-Code Basics
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Students learn how 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is revolutionizing the manufacturing process. First, students learn what considerations to make in the engineering design process to print an object with quality and to scale. Students learn the basic principles of how a computer-aided design (CAD) model is converted to a series of data points then turned into a program that operates the 3D printer. The activity takes students through a step-by-step process on how a computer can control a manufacturing process through defined data points. Within this activity, students also learn how to program using basic G-code to create a wireframe 3D shapes that can be read by a 3D printer or computer numerical control (CNC) machine.

Subject:
Engineering and Information Technologies
Geometry
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Matthew Jourden
Date Added:
05/04/2019
Applications of Systems of Equations: An Electronic Circuit
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Does the real-world application of science depend on mathematics? In this activity, students answer this question as they experience a real-world application of systems of equations. Given a system of linear equations that mathematically models a specific circuit—students start by solving a system of three equations for the currents. After becoming familiar with the parts of a breadboard, groups use a breadboard, resistors and jumper wires to each build the same (physical) electric circuit from the provided circuit diagram. Then they use voltmeters to measure the current flow across each resistor and calculate the current using Ohm’s law. They compare the mathematically derived current values to the measured values, and calculate the percentage difference of their results. This leads students to conclude that real-world applications of science do indeed depend on mathematics! Students make posters to communicate their results and conclusions. A pre/post-activity quiz and student worksheet are provided. Adjustable for math- or science-focused classrooms.

Subject:
Algebra
Engineering and Information Technologies
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Marianne Livezey
Date Added:
11/01/2017
Be “Cool” with Popsicle Engineering
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Educational Use
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Beginning kindergarteners are introduced to science and engineering concepts through questions such as “What is a Scientist?” and “What is an Engineer?”, and go on to compare and contrast the two. They are introduced to five steps of the engineering design process and explore these steps using the “I do, we do, you do” set of guided instruction. At the end of the project, students produce a set of purple popsicles that they design using various materials and by following a set of criteria.

Subject:
Engineering and Information Technologies
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Numbers and Operations
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Amy Bliss
Date Added:
06/18/2019
Bio-Engineering: Making and Testing Model Proteins
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Educational Use
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Students act as if they are biological engineers following the steps of the engineering design process to design and create protein models to replace the defective proteins in a child’s body. Jumping off from a basic understanding of DNA and its transcription and translation processes, students learn about the many different proteins types and what happens if protein mutations occur. Then they focus on structural, transport and defense proteins during three challenges posed by the R&D; bio-engineering hypothetical scenario. Using common classroom supplies such as paper, tape and craft sticks, student pairs design, sketch, build, test and improve their own protein models to meet specific functional requirements: to strengthen bones (collagen), to capture oxygen molecules (hemoglobin) and to capture bacteria (antibody). By designing and testing physical models to accomplish certain functional requirements, students come to understand the relationship between protein structure and function. They graph and analyze the class data, then share and compare results across all teams to determine which models were the most successful. Includes a quiz, three worksheets and a reference sheet.

Subject:
Biology
Life Science
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Beth Podoll
Lauren Sako
Date Added:
06/07/2018
Biochar: Measuring and Improving Soil Function
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Educational Use
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Students learn how to manipulate the behavior of water by using biochar—a soil amendment used to improve soil functions. As a fluid, water interacts with soil in a variety of ways. It may drain though a soil’s non-solid states, or its “pores”; lay above the soil; or move across cell membranes via osmosis. In this experiment, students solve the specific problem of standing water by researching, designing, and engineering solutions that enable water to drain faster. This activity is designed for students to explore how biochar helps soils to act as “sponges” in order to retain more water.

Subject:
Life Science
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Chetan Sawhney
Date Added:
09/14/2018
Body Motion Vector Visualization
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Educational Use
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Students learn how engineers gather data and model motion using vectors. They learn about using motion-tracking tools to observe, record, and analyze vectors associated with the motion of their own bodies. They do this qualitatively and quantitatively by analyzing several examples of their own body motion. As a final presentation, student teams act as engineering consultants and propose the use of (free) ARK Mirror technology to help sports teams evaluate body mechanics. A pre/post quiz is provided.

Subject:
Engineering and Information Technologies
Information Technologies
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Physical Science
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Jackson Reimers
Date Added:
08/30/2018
Build the Biggest Box
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Educational Use
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Student pairs are given 10 minutes to create the biggest box possible using one piece of construction paper. Teams use only scissors and tape to each construct a box and determine how much puffed rice it can hold. Then, to meet the challenge, they improve their designs to create bigger boxes. They plot the class data, comparing measured to calculated volumes for each box, seeing the mathematical relationship. They discuss how the concepts of volume and design iteration are important for engineers. Making 3-D shapes also supports the development of spatial visualization skills. This activity and its associated lesson and activity all employ volume and geometry to cultivate seeing patterns and understanding scale models, practices used in engineering design to analyze the effectiveness of proposed design solutions.

Subject:
Geometry
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Aaron Lamplugh
Maia Vadeen
Malinda Zarske
Nathan Coyle
Russell Anderson
Ryan Sullivan
Date Added:
02/24/2020
Combustion and Air Quality: Emissions Monitoring
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Educational Use
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As a class, students use a low-cost air quality monitor (a rentable “Pod”) to measure the emissions from different vehicles. By applying the knowledge about combustion chemistry that they gain during the pre-activity reading (or lecture presentation, alternatively), students predict how the emissions from various vehicles will differ in terms of pollutants (CO2, VOCs and NO2), and explain why. After data collection, students examine the time series plots as a class—a chance to interpret the results and compare them to their predictions. Short online videos and a current event article help to highlight the real-world necessity of understanding and improving vehicle emissions. Numerous student handouts are provided. The activity content may be presented independently of its unit and without using an air quality monitor by analyzing provided sample data.

Subject:
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Ashley Collier
Ben Graves
Daniel Knight
Drew Meyers
Eric Ambos
Eric Lee
Erik Hotaling
Hanadi Adel Salamah
Joanna Gordon
Katya Hafich
Michael Hannigan
Nicholas VanderKolk
Olivia Cecil
Victoria Danner
Date Added:
02/24/2020
Cookie Mining: Ore Production & Cost-Benefit Analysis
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Educational Use
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Students act as mining engineers and simulate ore mining production by using chocolate chip cookies. They focus on the cost-benefit analysis of the chocolate ore production throughout the simulation, which helps them understand the cost of production. As students “mine” with tools such as paperclips and toothpicks, they keep records of their costs—land (cookie), equipment used, cookie size before and after production, and time spent. While the goal is to make as much profit as possible, other costs and goals are taken into consideration—as in real-world mining engineering. For example, mining engineers also consider the resulting amount of destruction to the lithosphere when deciding the best method to obtain ore. Thus, a line item for land reclamation cost is included from the beginning. A provided worksheet serves as a profit and loss statement.

Subject:
Algebra
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Ashley Martin
Dale Gaddis
Hannah Brooks
Lazar Trifunovic
Shay Marceau
Date Added:
04/19/2017
Cooler Design Challenge
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Educational Use
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Students learn and apply concepts in thermodynamics and energy—mainly convection, conduction, and radiation— to solve a challenge. This is accomplished by splitting students into teams and having them follow the engineering design process to design and build a small insulated box, with the goal of keeping an ice cube and a Popsicle from melting. Students are given a short traditional lecture to help familiarize them with the basic rules of thermodynamics and an introduction to materials science while they continue to monitor the ice within their team’s box.

Subject:
Engineering and Information Technologies
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Laurie Salander
Date Added:
03/26/2019
Counting Atoms: How Not to Break the Law of Conservation of Matter
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Educational Use
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Students explore the science of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) by using a molecular modeling set to model the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration—building on the concept of MFCs that they learned in the associated lesson, “Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration at the Atomic Level.” Students demonstrate the law of conservation of matter by counting atoms in the molecular modeling set. They also re-engineer a new molecular model from which to further gain an understanding of these concepts.

Subject:
Chemistry
Engineering and Information Technologies
Life Science
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Kamryn Jenkins
Tuyen Duddles
Weiyang Yang
Wen Li
Date Added:
08/27/2018
Creating Mini Wastewater Treatment Plants
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Educational Use
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Student teams design and then create small-size models of working filter systems to simulate multi-stage wastewater treatment plants. Drawing from assorted provided materials (gravel, pebbles, sand, activated charcoal, algae, coffee filters, cloth) and staying within a (hypothetical) budget, teams create filter systems within 2-liter plastic bottles to clean the teacher-made simulated wastewater (soap, oil, sand, fertilizer, coffee grounds, beads). They aim to remove the water contaminants while reclaiming the waste material as valuable resources. They design and build the filtering systems, redesigning for improvement, and then measuring and comparing results (across teams): reclaimed quantities, water quality tests, costs, experiences and best practices. They conduct common water quality tests (such as turbidity, pH, etc., as determined by the teacher) to check the water quality before and after treatment.

Subject:
Engineering and Information Technologies
Life Science
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
David Bennett
Sara Hettenbach
William Welch
Date Added:
06/01/2018
Decibels and Acoustical Engineering
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Educational Use
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In this lesson, students learn that sound is energy and has the ability to do work. Students discover that sound is produced by a vibration and they observe soundwaves and how they travel through mediums. They understand that sound can be absorbed, reflected or transmitted. Through associated activities, videos and a PowerPoint presentation led by the teacher, students further their exploration of sound through discussions in order to build background knowledge.

Subject:
Engineering and Information Technologies
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Physical Science
Statistics and Probability
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Lessons
Author:
Emma Cipriani
Geanna Schwaegerle
La’Nise Gray
Natalie Jackson
Date Added:
03/01/2019
Design a Soundproof Room
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Educational Use
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Students are presented with the following challenge: their new school is under construction and the architect accidentally put the music room next to the library. Students need to design a room that will absorb the most amount of sound so that the music does not disturb the library. Students use a box as a proxy for the room need to create a design that will decrease the sound that is coming from the outside of the box. To evaluate this challenge, students use a speaker within the box and a decibel meter outside the box to measure the effectiveness of their design.

Subject:
Engineering and Information Technologies
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Physical Science
Statistics and Probability
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Emma Cipriani
Geanna Schwaegerle
La’Nise Gray
Natalie Jackson
Date Added:
03/01/2019
Designing and Packaging a Distance-Sensing Product
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Students begin by following instructions to connect a Sunfounder Ultrasonic Sensor and an Arduino Microcontroller. Once they have them set up, students calibrate the sensor and practice using it. Students are then given an engineering design problem: to build a product that will use the ultrasonic sensors for a purpose that they all specify. Students will have to work together to design and test their product, and ultimately present it to their classmates.

Subject:
Engineering and Information Technologies
Information Technologies
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Physical Science
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Kendra Randolph
Date Added:
11/29/2018
Discovering Relationships between Side Length and Area
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Educational Use
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Through this lesson and its two associated activities, students are introduced to the use of geometry in engineering design, and conclude by making scale models of objects of their choice. The practice of developing scale models is often used in engineering design to analyze the effectiveness of proposed design solutions. In this lesson, students complete fencing (square) and fire pit (circle) word problems on two worksheets—which involves side and radius dimensions, perimeters, circumferences and areas—guiding them to discover the relationships between the side length of a square and its area, and the radius of a circle and its area. They also think of real-world engineering applications of the geometry concepts.

Subject:
Geometry
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Aaron Lamplugh
Maia Vadeen
Malinda Zarske
Nathan Coyle
Russell Anderson
Ryan Sullivan
Date Added:
02/24/2020
Does It Cut It? Understanding Wind Turbine Blade Performance
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Educational Use
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Students gain an understanding of the factors that affect wind turbine operation. Following the steps of the engineering design process, engineering teams use simple materials (cardboard and wooden dowels) to build and test their own turbine blade prototypes with the objective of maximizing electrical power output for a hypothetical situation—helping scientists power their electrical devices while doing research on a remote island. Teams explore how blade size, shape, weight and rotation interact to achieve maximal performance, and relate the power generated to energy consumed on a scale that is relevant to them in daily life. A PowerPoint® presentation, worksheet and post-activity test are provided.

Subject:
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Numbers and Operations
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Alexander Kon
Date Added:
02/24/2020
Does Weight Matter?
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Educational Use
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Using the same method for measuring friction that was used in the previous lesson (Discovering Friction), students design and conduct an experiment to determine if weight added incrementally to an object affects the amount of friction encountered when it slides across a flat surface. After graphing the data from their experiments, students can calculate the coefficients of friction between the object and the surface it moved upon, for both static and kinetic friction.

Subject:
Engineering and Information Technologies
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Mary R. Hebrank
Date Added:
09/26/2008
Engineering in the World of Dr. Seuss
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Educational Use
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Students are introduced to the engineering design process within the context of reading Dr. Seuss’s book, Bartholomew and the Oobleck. To do so, students study a sample of aloe vera gel (representing the oobleck) in lab groups. After analyzing the substance, they use the engineering design process to develop and test other substances in order to make it easier for rain to wash away the oobleck. Students must work within a set of constraints outlined within the Seuss book and throughout the activity and use only substances available within the context of the plot. Students also take into consideration the financial and environmental costs associated with each substance.

Subject:
Chemistry
Engineering and Information Technologies
Mathematics
Measurement and Data
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Crystal Tessmann
Date Added:
05/10/2019