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Acids and Bases: Making a Film Canister Rocket
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In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, two cast members demonstrate what happens when vinegar is added to baking soda inside a container. The resulting chemical reaction produces enough carbon dioxide to launch their paper rocket skyward.
Recommended for: Grades K-5

Subject:
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
02/20/2004
Acids and Bases: Testing Rocket Cars
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A car propelled by the reaction between lemon juice and baking soda has more in common with rockets and jet aircraft than one might think. In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, two cast members demonstrate the power of rocket-propelled vehicles and how to exploit the force produced by the carbon dioxide gas. Grades 3-8.

Subject:
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
02/20/2004
All Fat Is Not Created Equally!
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Students learn that fats found in the foods we eat are not all the same; they discover that physical properties of materials are related to their chemical structures. Provided with several samples of commonly used fats with different chemical properties (olive oil, vegetable oil, shortening, animal fat and butter), student groups build and use simple LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots with temperature and light sensors to determine the melting points of the fat samples. Because of their different chemical structures, these fats exhibit different physical properties, such as melting point and color. This activity uses the fact that fats are opaque when solid and translucent when liquid to determine the melting point of each sample upon being heated. Students heat the samples, and use the robot to determine when samples are melted. They analyze plots of their collected data to compare melting points of the oil samples to look for trends. Discrepancies are correlated to differences in the chemical structure and composition of the fats.

Subject:
Nutrition
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Jasmin Hume
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Anchors Away
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In this activity, students discover the relationship between an object's mass and the amount of space it takes up (its volume). Students learn about the concept of displacement and how an object can float if it displaces enough water, and the concept of density and its relationship to mass and volume.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Arch Bridge
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Educational Use
Rating

This video segment adapted from Building Big illustrates the strength of the arch in bridge design and construction.

Subject:
Chemistry
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
01/22/2004
Biodomes
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Students explore the biosphere's environments and ecosystems, learning along the way about the plants, animals, resources and natural cycles of our planet. Over the course of lessons 2-6, students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems - exploring energy and nutrient flows, basic needs of plants and animals, and decomposers. Students learn about food chains and food webs. They are introduced to the roles of the water, carbon and nitrogen cycles. They test the effects of photosynthesis and transpiration. Students are introduced to animal classifications and interactions, including carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, predator and prey. They learn about biomimicry and how engineers often imitate nature in the design of new products. As everyday applications are interwoven into the lessons, students consider why a solid understanding of one's environment and the interdependence within ecosystems can inform the choices we make and the way we engineer our communities.

Subject:
Biology
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Christopher Valenti
Denise W. Carlson
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
11/11/2008
Blast Off
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Rockets need a lot of thrust to get into space. In this lesson, students learn how rocket thrust is generated with propellant. The two types of propellants are discussed and relation to their use on rockets is investigated. Students learn why engineers need to know the different properties of propellants.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Brian Argrow
Janet Yowell
Jay Shah
Jeff White
Luke Simmons
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Breathe In, Breathe Out
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Students are introduced to the respiratory system, the lungs and air. They learn about how the lungs and diaphragm work, how air pollution affects lungs and respiratory functions, some widespread respiratory problems, and how engineers help us stay healthy by designing machines and medicines that support respiratory health and function.

Subject:
Engineering
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Jay Shah
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Build an Anemometer
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Students create their own anemometers instruments for measuring wind speed. They see how an anemometer measures wind speed by taking measurements at various school locations. They also learn about different types of anemometers, real-world applications, and how wind speed information helps engineers decide where to place wind turbines.

Subject:
Earth and Space Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Natalie Mach
Sabre Duren
Xochitl Zamora-Thompson
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Checking the Surf
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This lesson introduces the concepts of wavelength and amplitude in transverse waves. In the associated activity, students will use ropes and their bodies to investigate different wavelengths and amplitudes.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Abigail Watrous
Frank Burkholder
Janet Yowell
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Columns: Finding the Strongest Shape
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In this video segment, members of the ZOOM cast experiment by bending and folding sheets of paper into various shapes to see which shape will support the weight of a heavy book.

Subject:
Chemistry
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
01/22/2004
Conductivity
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Students make a simple conductivity tester using a battery and light bulb. They learn the difference between conductors and insulators of electrical energy as they test a variety of materials for their ability to conduct electricity.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise Carlson
Jeff Lyng
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Sharon D. Perez-Suarez
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Cooking with the Sun
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Students learn about using renewable energy from the Sun for heating and cooking as they build and compare the performance of four solar cooker designs. They explore the concepts of insulation, reflection, absorption, conduction and convection.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise Carlson
Geoffrey Hill
Jeff Lyng
Jessica Butterfield
Jessica Todd
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Sabre Duren
Xochitl Zamora-Thompson
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Cooking with the Sun - Creating a Solar Oven
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Student groups are given a set of materials: cardboard, insulating materials, aluminum foil and Plexiglas, and challenged to build solar ovens. The ovens must collect and store as much of the sun's energy as possible. Students experiment with heat transfer through conduction by how well the oven is insulated and radiation by how well it absorbs solar radiation. They test the effectiveness of their designs qualitatively by baking something and quantitatively by taking periodic temperature measurements and plotting temperature vs. time graphs. To conclude, students think like engineers and analyze the solar oven's strengths and weaknesses compared to conventional ovens.

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Lauren Powell
Date Added:
09/18/2014
DNA: The Human Body Recipe
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As a class, students work through an example showing how DNA provides the "recipe" for making our body proteins. They see how the pattern of nucleotide bases (adenine, thymine, guanine, cytosine) forms the double helix ladder shape of DNA, and serves as the code for the steps required to make genes. They also learn some ways that engineers and scientists are applying their understanding of DNA in our world.

Subject:
Engineering
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Frank Burkholder
Jessica Todd
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014