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Lesson Planet

Everyday Engineering: Foil Boats

For Students 3rd - 8th Standards
Keep one's dream of becoming an engineer afloat. Learners apply the engineering design process to build a boat out of aluminum foil. They start with a square boat, then consider whether boats of different shapes would be able to hold...
Lesson Planet

At Home: Safe Landing Activity

For Students 3rd - 8th Standards
A parachute is probably a good idea. An engaging lesson has pupils brainstorm ways to slow the descent of a falling object to minimize the impact when it lands. They decide on a design, build a prototype, test it out, and then make...
Lesson Planet

Everyday Engineering: Windy City Tower

For Students 3rd - 12th Standards
A little wind shouldn't hurt a building. Given three sheets of paper and six feet of tape, scholars create a structure that can withstand wind and hold up a weight. They conduct tests using a fan and decide on any improvements to make...
Lesson Planet

Everyday Engineering: Build an Earthquake Resistant Structure

For Students 3rd - 8th Standards
Shake, rattle, and learn! Future engineers build structures out of toothpicks or spaghetti sticks, using marshmallows as connectors. They then use a homemade shake table to test the sturdiness of their creations.
Lesson Planet

DiscoverE Challenge: Pen Factory

For Students 3rd - 8th Standards
Manufacture a great lesson on industrial manufacturing. A fun resource has learners use the production of pens to consider how assembly lines work. They write out a set of instructions for assembling a pen, test it out, then determine if...
Lesson Planet

DiscoverE Challenge: Tallest Cup Tower

For Students K - 8th Standards
Dream big and build tall. Scholars build the tallest tower possible out of plastic or paper cups. They apply the engineering design process to refine their designs and see if they can make their towers even taller.
Lesson Planet

DiscoverE Challenge: Critical Load

For Students 3rd - 8th Standards
Take a load off .. and put the weight on a house of cards. Scholars learn about civil engineering and critical loads by building the sturdiest house possible out of a dozen playing cards. They conduct tests by placing pennies or other...
Lesson Planet

STEM-gineers

For Teachers 4th - 6th Standards
Have what it takes to be an inventor? After researching the life of a famous inventor or innovator, scholars brainstorm the characteristics of a successful innovator. They then take part in a project of their choice to learn about the...
Lesson Planet

Be an Engineer! Designing to Solve Problems

For Teachers 3rd - 5th Standards
Engineer a bright future in civil engineering. A set of four engaging lessons covers the engineering design process. In groups, young engineers design and build models of a bridge, a skyscraper, and a dam, and then test the strength of...
Lesson Planet

Parachute Design

For Teachers K - 6th Standards
Deploy an activity that requires deploying a parachute. An engaging lesson challenges learners to design and construct parachutes. They test out their creations and consider what changes should be made to improve the parachute's...
Lesson Planet

Egg Drop Challenge

For Teachers K - 6th Standards
Egg drops aren't just for soup. Scholars design a landing craft with internal padding and external protection to safeguard an egg as it is dropped from a given height. They build their craft and then test out its effectiveness.
Lesson Planet

Straw Bridges

For Teachers K - 6th Standards
There is never a bridge too far. Using common items, class members build bridges to span an opening. Pupils test different geometric shapes to determine which is the strongest. Learners use pennies to find the strength of their bridges...
Lesson Planet

Animal Diversity and Tracking

For Teachers K - 5th Standards
What exactly are those glowing eyes in the night? Learners run an experiment to attract local wildlife and then document the number of visitors by identifying their tracks. They then analyze the data to draw conclusions about the types...
Lesson Planet

Rube Goldberg's Simple Normal Humdrum School Day

For Teachers K - 8th Standards
If you're going to build a machine, you might as well make it interesting and amusing. A set of eight lessons and activities introduces simple machines using Rube Goldberg machines. A culminating project challenges techies to create and...
Lesson Planet

STEM Problem Solving Activities

For Teachers 1st - 6th Standards
Need engineering resources? Problem solved! A STEM curriculum resource provides instructors with problem-solving activities. The document has eight parts: (1) electricity, (2) energy, forces, and motion, (3) general problem solving, (4)...
Lesson Planet

STEM Construction Block Activities

For Teachers 1st - 6th Standards
Build on techies' knowledge of engineering design. A set of STEM lessons for grades one through six provides instructors with suggestions for engineering instruction. The activities require pupils to design and build structures, such as...
Lesson Planet

STEM Narrative Curriculum Design Challenges

For Teachers K - 6th Standards
Picture books provide great learning opportunities for STEM. A curriculum resource document gives several lessons in each grade level for K-6. The activities have learners read a book before applying the engineering design process to...
1 In 1 Collection
Lesson Planet

Design of an Earthen Dam for a Lafayette Neighborhood

For Teachers 3rd Standards
How do dams support bodies of water? Scholars engage in a hands-on STEM activity where they design, build, and test dams to learn about bodies of water and how humans use natural resources. They learn how criteria and constraints affect...
Lesson Planet

Detecting Rise in Body Temperature in Human and Animals and its Effects on Health

For Teachers 6th - 8th Standards
Beat the heat using sensors. Scholars research normal body temperatures for humans and a specific animal. In groups, they create sensors that monitor body temperature, as well as the weather. The goal is to reduce the occurrence of heat...
Lesson Planet

Helping Hand

For Teachers 4th - 8th Standards
Reach out and grab something. Given the task of picking up objects at least two feet away, pupils design and build a grabber. The last activity in a series of five challenges requires learners to use information about fulcrums and levers.
Lesson Planet

Paddle Power

For Teachers 4th - 8th Standards
Potentially get all the way across the water. The fourth of five design challenges asks pupils to develop a plan for a paddle-powered boat that will store its energy. Given a limited number of supplies, the class members design, build,...
Lesson Planet

Zip Line

For Teachers 4th - 8th Standards
Slide all the way to the bottom. Using the design process, pupils create a carrier for a ping pong ball that will travel down a zip line. Learners test their carriers and determine solutions to issues they encounter to complete the third...
Lesson Planet

Paper Table

For Teachers 4th - 8th Standards
What is black and white and re(a)d all over? Class members build a table out of rolled newspapers. Pupils follow the design process to design, build, and test their paper tables in the second challenge in a series of five.
Lesson Planet

Watercraft

For Teachers 4th - 8th Standards
Whatever floats your boat—with some additional weight. The first activity in a five-part series challenges pupils to design a boat to hold pennies. Using the design process, learners design, build, and test their boats, making sure they...