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Lesson Plan
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Lesson 3: Branches of Government

For Teachers 3rd - 6th Standards
Young historians climb through the three branches of the US government in the third activity of this five-part series. While reading the first three Articles of the Constitution in small groups, children write facts on paper leaves that...
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In the Shadows, Agents of Change

For Teachers 5th - 8th Standards
Most of your learners have probably heard of Martin Luther King, Jr., or Cesar Chavez, but could they also recognize the names of Betty Friedan or Dolores Huerta? Give your learners the opportunity to discover the many accomplishments of...
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Building a Skyscraper

For Teachers 4th - 6th Standards
The construction of skyscrapers is no simple undertaking, involving the careful coordination and planning of many different people. The third lesson plan in this series explores this detailed process by first teaching children about the...
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Organizer
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Science Learning Summary Guide

For Teachers 3rd - 8th Standards
Apply reading standards to your science curriculum by asking pupils to complete this guide. Individuals note down important vocabulary as well as two ideas they learned and two supporting facts for each idea. They then take this...
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Shake it up with Seismographs!

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
Shake things up in your STEM or earth science classroom when you have small groups construct their own seismographs. A reading assignment on the history of seismographs, the Richter scale, and current technology sets the stage for the...
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Failure: Seeds of Innovation

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!" Through this assignment, emerging engineers examine how failed experiments are simply part of the process of an outstanding design. They begin with some reading about the microwave oven,...
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Chair Lift Challenge

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
During the Winter Olympics, this would be an engaging task to include in your STEM lesson. Design teams plan, construct, and test a miniature ski lift that can carry a pingpong ball up and down a rope line without falling out. With this...
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Pendulum Time

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
Take your time with this lesson. Junior engineers read about different types of clocks and then work together to build a pendulum time-keeper. There are no hints as to how they might go about accomplishing this complex task, so you may...
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Radio Reception and Transmission

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
After reading about radio transmission, application, and the difference between AM and FM, small teams of engineers use a kit to construct an FM radio and then send and receive broadcasts. This is an ideal activity for middle school STEM...
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Planting with Precision

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
Following the standard style of the publisher, this lesson begins with a reading excerpt on the topic. Learners read about different types of agricultural equipment and agricultural history. They then work in teams to engineer and test a...
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Stop and Go

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
It's "Green light, go!" with this lesson! STEM classes are illuminated with the history of traffic signals and how the engineering design has improved over time. They also learn about patents for new inventions. Finally, they research in...
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The Incredible Journey

For Teachers 4th - 8th Standards
Divide your school gym into breeding grounds and non-breeding grounds so that your zoologists can play a game simulating the seasonal migration of shorebirds. Players pick one of the included game cards and follow its directions, which...
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Measuring the Wind

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
When earth scientists or mini meteorologists are learning about wind, they can participate in an engineering activity in which they will design and construct an anemometer. A thorough overview of different types of anemometers is...
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Engineered Music

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
Sound engineers investigate the structural design of a musical instrument, the recorder. They work in collaborative groups to choose an instrument to build out of everyday craft materials. It must be able to repeat a three-note sequence...
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What is a Nanometer?

For Teachers 3rd - 7th Standards
A reading precedes the activity in order to familiarize learners with just how small a nanometer is. Then, small groups measure classroom objects and convert units into nanometers. The publisher doesn't mention it, but the reading...
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Life Vest Challenge

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
After reading about the history and science of personal floatation devices, patents, and intellectual property, engineering teams design a life vest for a can of soup. To evaluate which groups considered the need for waterproofing, hold...
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Be a Scanning Probe Microscope

For Teachers 3rd - 9th Standards
Extensive reading is done in order to learn about scanning probe microscopy and nanoscale. Afterward, individuals use a pencil to probe an unidentified object that is inside of a box so that they cannot see it. Using only what they could...
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Tennis Anyone?

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
After reading up on the history of sports racquets, engineering teams design and construct a racquet for batting a Velcro-striped ball at a target. Teams evaluate their design by aiming for the target three times each and answering...
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Rubber Band Racers

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
After reading a brief overview of automobile history and introduction to energy and motion, automotive engineering teams plan, construct, test, and evaluate a rubber-band-powered car. This manipulative experience can enrich understanding...
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Keep it Cool

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
This cool lesson plan is ideal for elementary engineers or physical scientists, especially when learning about heat transfer and insulation. After reading a page of background information, engineering teams collaborate to design and...
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Lesson Plan
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Cast Your Vote

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
In a simple but unique lesson plan, youngsters learn about the history of voting systems. They then collaborate in groups to develop a new honest and consistent voting method. A class-wide poll is taken, evaluating the designs of other...
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Healthy Earth, Sick Earth

For Teachers K - 5th Standards
Earth is sick and needs our help! Read the children's book Planet Earth Gets Well to explain the various problems facing the planet, discussing what young conservationists can do to heal the planet along the way. A great Earth Day...
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Making Sense of Sensors

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
Have small groups in your class construct working hygrometers as an example of the benefits of using sensors in engineering. This activity can be used during a weather unit when covering humidity or in a STEM activity as a preparation...
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Adaptive Device Design

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
After reading about how engineering has made adaptive devices possible for people with disabilities, pupils work in groups to discuss different devices to determine whether or not they are adaptive. They also disassemble a pair of...