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Acoustic Mirrors
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Students play and record the “Mary Had a Little Lamb” song using musical instruments and analyze the intensity of the sound using free audio editing and recording software. Then they use hollow Styrofoam half-spheres as acoustic mirrors (devices that reflect and focus sound), determine the radius of curvature of the mirror and calculate its focal length. Students place a microphone at the acoustic mirror focal point, re-record their songs, and compare the sound intensity on plot spectrums generated from their recordings both with and without the acoustic mirrors. A worksheet and KWL chart are provided.

Subject:
Mathematics
Geometry
Physical Science
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Nick Breen
Steven C. Thedford
Date Added:
02/17/2021
Air - Is It Really There?
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Educational Use
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By watching and performing several simple experiments, students develop an understanding of the properties of air: it has mass, it takes up space, it can move, it exerts pressure, it can do work.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Amy Kolenbrander
Daria Kotys-Schwartz
Denise Carlson
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Natalie Mach
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Air Quality InQuiry (AQ-IQ)
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Students engage in hands-on, true-to-life research experiences on air quality topics chosen for personal interest through a unit composed of one lesson and five associated activities. Using a project-based learning approach suitable for secondary science classrooms and low-cost air quality monitors, students gain the background and skills needed to conduct their own air quality research projects. The curriculum provides: 1) an introduction to air quality science, 2) data collection practice, 3) data analysis practice, 4) help planning and conducting a research project and 5) guidance in interpreting data and presenting research in professional poster format. The comprehensive curriculum requires no pre-requisite knowledge of air quality science or engineering. This curriculum takes advantage of low-cost, next-generation, open-source air quality monitors called Pods. These monitors were developed in a mechanical engineering lab at the University of Colorado Boulder and are used for academic research as well as education and outreach. The monitors are made available for use with this curriculum through AQ-IQ Kits that may be rented from the university by teachers. Alternatively, nearly the entire unit, including the student-directed projects, could also be completed without an air quality monitor. For example, students can design research projects that utilize existing air quality data instead of collecting their own, which is highly feasible since much data is publically available. In addition, other low-cost monitors could be used instead of the Pods. Also, the curriculum is intentionally flexible, so that the lesson and its activities can be used individually. See the Other section for details about the Pods and ideas for alternative equipment, usage without air quality monitors, and adjustments to individually teach the lesson and activities.

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Physical Science
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Ashley Collier
Ben Graves
Daniel Knight
Drew Meyers
Eric Ambos
Eric Lee
Erik Hotaling
Evan Coffey
Hanadi Adel Salamah
Joanna Gordon
Katya Hafich
Michael Hannigan
Nicholas VanderKolk
Olivia Cecil
Victoria Danner
Date Added:
02/17/2021
Alloy Advantage
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Students define and classify alloys as mixtures, while comparing and contrasting the properties of alloys to those of pure substances. Students learn that engineers investigate the structures and properties of alloys for biomedical and transportation applications. Pre- and post-assessment handouts are provided.

Subject:
Chemistry
Physical Science
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janelle Orange
Date Added:
02/17/2021
Biochar: Measuring and Improving Soil Function
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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:
Measurement and Data
Life Science
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Chetan Sawhney
Date Added:
09/14/2018
Build Your Own Night-Light with Arduino
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Whether you want to light up a front step or a bathroom, it helps to have a light come on automatically when darkness falls. For this maker challenge, students create their own night-lights using Arduino microcontrollers, photocells and (supplied) code to sense light levels and turn on/off LEDs as they specify. As they build, test, and control these night-lights, they learn about voltage divider circuits and then experience the fundamental power of microcontrollers—controlling outputs (LEDs) based on sensor (photocell) input readings and if/then/else commands. Then they are challenged to personalize (and complicate) their night-lights—such as by using delays to change the LED blinking rate to reflect the amount of ambient light, or use many LEDs and several if/else statements with ranges to create a light meter. The possibilities are unlimited!

Subject:
Computer Science
Engineering
Physical Science
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
MakerChallenges
Author:
Daniel Godrick
Date Added:
10/11/2017
Build and Test a Conductivity Probe with Arduino
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Educational Use
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Student groups construct simple conductivity probes and then integrate them into two different circuits to test the probe behavior in solutions of varying conductivity (salt water, sugar water, distilled water, tap water). The activity culminates with student-designed experiments that utilize the constructed probes. The focus is to introduce students to the fabrication of the probe and expose them to two different ways to integrate the probe to obtain qualitative and quantitative measurements, while considering the application and utility of a conductivity probe within an engineering context. A provided handout guides teams through the process: background reading and questions; probe fabrication including soldering; probe testing and data gathering (including circuit creation on breadboard); probe connection to Arduino (including circuit creation and code entry) and a second round of testing and data gathering; design and conduct their own lab experiments that use the probes; online electrolyte/nonelectrolyte reading, short video, comprehension check and analysis questions.

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Chemistry
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Iulian Irimina
Phillip Cook
Date Added:
02/17/2021
Building Arduino Light Sculptures
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Students are challenged to design their own small-sized prototype light sculptures to light up a hypothetical courtyard. To accomplish this, they use Arduino microcontrollers as the “brains” of the projects and control light displays composed of numerous (3+) light-emitting diodes (LEDs). With this challenge, students further their learning of Arduino fundamentals by exploring one important microcontroller capability—the control of external circuits. The Arduino microcontroller is a powerful yet easy-to-learn platform for learning computer programing and electronics. LEDs provide immediate visual success/failure feedback, and the unlimited variety of possible results are dazzling!

Subject:
Computer Science
Engineering
Physical Science
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
MakerChallenges
Author:
Daniel Godrick
Date Added:
10/09/2017
The Building Blocks of Matter
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Students learn about atoms and their structure (protons, electrons, neutrons) — the building blocks of matter. They see how scientific discoveries about atoms and molecules influence new technologies developed by engineers.

Subject:
Chemistry
Physical Science
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Brian Kay
Daria Kotys-Schwartz
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
02/17/2021
COSI Connects
Rating

COSI Connects launches audiences of all ages into a universe of science through online videos, activities, plus a free mobile app that enables science exploration even when offline. COSI Connects is helping to bridge the digital divide, promote digital literacy, and address critical science education needs simultaneously. This repository of activities and videos is for learners of all ages and is a great supplement to at-home learning or for use in the classroom.

Subject:
Science
Biology
Chemistry
Earth and Space Science
Engineering
Environmental Science
Human Anatomy and Physiology
Life Science
Physical Geology
Physical Science
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Catalog
Author:
COSI
Date Added:
04/29/2021
Can SpaceX's BFR send the first humans to Mars?
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Students first read an article on how SpaceX's reusable rockets could revolutionize space travel. They then conduct an investigation with straw rockets and a rubber band to test how elastic potential energy is converted into gravitational potential energy. Students then read an article on the new SpaceX rocket design that could take hundreds of people to Mars and discuss where humans should explore in outer space.

Subject:
Measurement and Data
Science
Earth and Space Science
Physical Science
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Case Study
Lesson
Reading
Student Guide
Author:
Chris Anderson
Date Added:
08/23/2019
Capillary Action in Sand
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As part of a (hypothetical) challenge to help a city find the most affordable and environmentally friendly way to clean up an oil spill, students design and conduct controlled experiments to quantify capillary action in sand. Like engineers and entrepreneurs, student teams use affordable materials to design and construct models to measure the rate of capillary action in four types of sand: coarse, medium, fine and mixed. After observing and learning from a teacher-conducted capillary tube demonstration, teams are given a selection of possible materials and a budget to work within as they design their own experimental setups. After the construction of their designs, they take measurements to quantify the rate of capillary action, create graphs to analyze the data, and make concluding recommendations. Groups compare data and discuss as a class the pros and cons of their designs. Pre- and post-evaluations and two worksheets are provided.

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Yaqi Xiong
Date Added:
02/17/2021
Careers in Science
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In this media-rich lesson, students explore careers in science through profiles of Alaska Native scientists. They consider how traditional ways of knowing and Western approaches to science can complement each other and allow students to incorporate their own interests when considering careers in science.

Subject:
Life Science
Physical Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
11/04/2008
Chernobyl Empathy
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Student groups are given captioned photographs of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant facility and surrounding towns taken before and 28 years after the 1986 disaster. Based on the captions and clues in the images, they arrange them in sequential order. While viewing the completed sequence of images, students reflect on what it might have been like to be there, and ask themselves: what were people thinking, doing and saying at each point? This activity assists students in gaining an understanding of how devastating nuclear meltdowns can be, which underscores the importance of responsible engineering. It is recommended that this activity be conducted before the associated lesson, Nuclear Energy through a Virtual Field Trip.

Subject:
Engineering
Physical Science
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Ashley Martin
Dale Gaddis
Hannah Brooks
Lazar Trifunovic
Shay Marceau
Date Added:
04/26/2017
Civil Air Patrol STEM Resources.pdf
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

The Civil Air Patrol (US Air Force affiliate) has many STEM lessons and kits available to educators for a one-time fee. The kits include robotics, microcontrollers, telescoopes, flight simulators and others.

Subject:
Engineering and Science Technologies
Earth and Space Science
Engineering
Physical Science
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Student Guide
Unit of Study
Author:
Bob Claymier
Date Added:
05/21/2019
A Closer Look at Natural Disasters Using GIS
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As if they are environmental engineers, student pairs are challenged to use Google Earth Pro (free) GIS software to view and examine past data on hurricanes and tornados in order to (hypothetically) advise their state government on how to proceed with its next-year budget—to answer the question: should we reduce funding for natural disaster relief? To do this, students learn about maps, geographic information systems (GIS) and the global positioning system (GPS), and how they are used to deepen the way maps are used to examine and analyze data. Then they put their knowledge to work by using the GIS software to explore historical severe storm (tornado, hurricane) data in depth. Student pairs confer with other teams, conduct Internet research on specific storms and conclude by presenting their recommendations to the class. Students gain practice and perspective on making evidence-based decisions. A slide presentation as well as a student worksheet with instructions and questions are provided.

Subject:
Computer Science
Statistics and Probability
Engineering
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
Activities
Author:
Kent Kurashima
Date Added:
02/27/2018
Combustion and Air Quality: Emissions Monitoring
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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:
Career and Technical Education
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:
02/17/2021
Communicating Your Results
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Students groups create scientific research posters to professionally present the results of their AQ-IQ research projects, which serves as a conclusion to the unit. (This activity is also suitable to be conducted independently from its unit—for students to make posters for any type of project they have completed.) First, students critically examine example posters to gain an understanding of what they contain and how they can be made most effective for viewers. Then they are prompted to analyze and interpret their data, including what statistics and plots to use in their posters. Finally, groups are given a guide that aids them in making their posters by suggesting all the key components one would find in any research paper or presentation. This activity is suitable for presenting final project posters to classmates or to a wider audience in a symposium or expo environment. In addition to the poster-making guide, three worksheets, six example posters, a rubric and a post-unit survey are provided.

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Mathematics
Statistics and Probability
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:
02/17/2021