Activity adapted from the Museum of Science, Boston‘s Design Challenges, a program of hands-on activities developed to help students and visitors explore the engineering design process, and from the version modified for classroom use by California’s Tech Museum of Innovation. Click on link to view the educator’s guide (.pdf) Summary Teams of students in grades 3 to 8 learn about friction, forces, and the engineering design process by building and testing miniature bobsleds to see which can race down an icy slope either the fastest or slowest. Grade level: 3-8 Time: 20 minutes for the activity, 10 minutes for setup and clean up. Learning outcomes After doing this activity, students should be able to: Standards International Technology and Engineering Educators Association Energy is the capacity to do work. Next Generation Science Standards The Challenge Design a bobsled to race down the icy slopes as quickly or as slowly as possible. Materials Procedure Before the activity Activity 1. 2.Create. 3. 4.
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Activity: Robot BasketballLesson courtesy of TryEngineering Summary In this activity, students in grades 5 to 12 learn about accuracy and precision by working in teams to design and build a robotic basketball player that can nail three free-throw shots in a row. Grade level: 5 -12 Time: Three or four 45-minute session Learning objectives After doing this activity, students should be able to: Understand and implement the engineering design process to solve a problemUnderstand the difference between precision and accuracyUse knowledge of simple machines to refine the projectile’s trajectoryCalculate accuracy percentages and use scatter plots to visualize precision Standards National Science Education Standards Content Standard B: Physical Science. Principles and Standards for School Mathematics Measurement Standard. Common Core State Mathematics Standards Materials Put all of the materials on a resource table: PreparationSet up the “Testing Zone.” Have 3 testing ping-pong balls in a cup at the starting line. Procedure 1. 2. 3.
Build a Big WheelLesson courtesy of TryEngineering, sponsored by the IEEE. Click here for a .pdf of the original activity. Summary In this activity, teams of students learn about the history and engineering behind big wheels (Ferris wheels) by constructing a working model using pasta, glue, and teabags. Grade level: K-12 Time: Two to three 45-minute sessions Learning Objectives Learn about engineering design.Learn about motion, load, and construction.Learn about teamwork and working in groups. Learning OutcomesAs a result of this activity, students should develop an understanding of: structural engineering and designproblem solvingteamwork Standards National Science Education Standards Standards for Technological Literacy – All AgesThe Nature of Technology Standard 1: Students will develop an understanding of the characteristics and scope of technology.Standard 2: Students will develop an understanding of the core concepts of technology. Technology and Society Design Abilities for a Technological World Materials
Curious Little Apps :: The best educational iPad apps for kidsOverview Monster Physics is an addictive creative app that encourages children to learn more about physics and explore physical phenomena that they will encounter in their daily lives. There are fifty missions where kids are challenged to complete tasks that involve a cute little monster, such as helping it reach some fruit to eat. Children complete these tasks by utilising a variety of parts and materials such as wheels, cannons, ropes, ice, propellers, wood and many more. Parts can be resized, flipped, rotated and manipulated in many different ways. The tutorials are highly recommended as they highlight the way these different parts and materials function, but once children understand how they can be utilised the fun truly begins! Kids are free to use their creativity in the ‘Build It’ option, where they design inventions that allow them to experiment freely. Learning Outcome Usability This app is very easily navigated. More info This app enables children to: Fun Factor Negatives
Energetic WaterThe Physics ClassroomMonster PhysicsTo say that my family loves physics type apps is an understatement. We own a couple of other apps similar to Monster Physics; though my family enjoyed playing the others they always wished it could do more. Well, along comes Monster Physics and problem solved! This awesome universal app contains features the other apps are missing; such as all of the parts are available from the beginning, no need to earn them before you use them in the free play area. Monster Physics teaches the user about physics in a way that is fun; the “Learn” section is dedicated to teaching you important physics concepts such as gravity, friction and speed and velocity; more importantly it explains the concepts in a way that kids can understand them and apply that knowledge in the missions portion of the app. The tutorial missions are exercises designed to teach you how to use various parts. Up to five player profiles can be created, each profile has a customized monster. Bottom line ▸ Solve 50 fun missions
2nd Biannual NGSS STEM Education ConferenceDownload the conference schedule and a map Session 1 Arms & Arteries: Adventures in Biomechanical Engineering Looking for ways to integrate engineering into your life science and biology classes? Try biomechanical engineering! Join us as we engineer ways to unclog arteries and construct prosthetic arms while incorporating key scientific principles and NGSS Science & Engineering Practices along the way. Download Session PDFs Session 2 Environmental Engineering: Life in the Bay Water Together we’ll design and build tools for exploring bay water. Session 3 Seismic Engineering Feeling a little shaky on how to teach engineering in your earth science unit? Session 4 Build a Battery of Batteries Come explore the physics and chemistry of simple batteries! Session 5 Build a Better Motor We’ll start by taking apart a spring-powered motor to see how it stores and releases energy, and then we’ll take apart a small electric motor to see how the magnets, wire coils, and electrical connections are arranged.
Curious Little Apps :: How It Works: Machines by Geek KidsOverview As parents and educators we are constantly responding to questions of how and why. With the help of How It Works: Machines children can get a close look at how nine different everyday machines work, including a car, a hair dryer, a lawn mower and a vacuum cleaner. They are encouraged to assemble these devices by dragging pieces of the inside mechanics of different machines to their illustrative see-through structures. Learning outcome How It Works: Machines encourages children to find out about how different machines work by watching their parts functioning together. This app suits inquirers – children who have an interest in finding out more about how the world works. Usability This iPad app is very simple to navigate. More info This iPad app encourages children to: Fun factor Children will be amazed as they see how machines that they have used before actually work. Negatives This app has quite a few links to the app store which may distract some users. The Bottom Line
Graphing Average Speed with Superworms | Kesler ScienceMy favorite lab in our force and motion unit is called graphing average speed with superworms. I’ve done this lab for the last several years in my class, and it’s always a hit with the students. The kids like it because they are working with a live organism, and it really helps solidify the concept of graphing motion. During the lab students record data from the path of superworm (species of darkling beetle). After they data collection process is over the students are asked to find different measurements and fill out their data tables. Once the data table has been filled out students will create a position/time graph, and a distance/time graph. I like doing this lab on a larger piece of paper so the data from the experiment and the graphs are all visible on the same piece of paper. The full lab write up, conclusion questions, teacher instructions, and student rubric are all available in my TpT store. About The Author Chris Kesler