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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Engineering Inspirations from Nature

For Teachers 6th - 8th Standards
With James Cameron's DEEPSEA CHALLENGER expedition as an example, engaged engineering students learn about biomimicry and how engineers can imitate processes in nature to design new technology. They experiment with temperature on...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Popsicle Bridge

For Teachers 2nd - 12th Standards
Using popsicle sticks and glue, groups must work together to design and build a bridge that can support weight and is aesthetically pleasing. The instructional activity begins by learners reading about different features of bridge...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Assembly Line

For Teachers 2nd - 12th Standards
Working under specific constraints and with designated criteria, groups work together to create a product using an assembly line process. In addition, they work through the entire engineering design process with an excellent graphic to...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Great Discoveries in Science: The Double Helix

For Teachers 8th - 12th Standards
Take a trip with Watson and Crick as they struggle to determine the structure of the DNA molecule. In this beautiful documentary, biology students learn the history of this revolutionary discovery, and even hear from James Watson...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Interactive Gumball Machine

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
Sure, you may be able to build a better mousetrap, but what about a gum dispenser? In a fun engineering challenge, teams must design and build a working interactive gumball machine with specific constraints and criteria.
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Get it Write

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
In an effort to practice engineering design, STEM classes break out into teams and endeavor to make a working ink pen. To prepare, they read about writing implements through history, patents, and viscosity of liquids. Armed with this...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Statue Display Tower

For Teachers 2nd - 12th Standards
Sometimes engineering problems that seem easy prove to be more challenging than imagined. Present your class with the challenge to build a functional display tower to support a statue using only the supplies available in class while...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Water Tower Challenge

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
Providing clean water to a town is quite a feat... is your class up for the challenge? After a short reading about water towers, groups work together to design a working water delivery system. The water flow must be adjustable (able to...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Tall Tower Challenge

For Teachers 2nd - 12th Standards
A fun and challenging activity for nearly any age group, partners must work together to build the tallest structure possible using paper clips, straws, and pipe cleaners. In addition to being tall, the structure must also be able to...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

How to Build a Turbine

For Teachers 4th - 12th Standards
Here is a six-minute video of a pair of electrical engineers that illustrate how to build a wind turbine. A list of materials is provided, along with general guidelines for your class. Use this to introduce turbine design to your...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

How to Build a Motor

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
Electrical engineers entertain and explain how to construct an electromagnet-driven motor. Kellie and Mike, the hosts of the show, are enthusiastic teachers that will help introduce a project that you likely include in your middle school...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

The Great Marble Drop

For Teachers 4th - 12th Standards
Mike and Kellie, a team of electrical engineers, demonstrate how to to design a contraption that accurately drops a marble onto a target. The materials needed and general instructions are provided on the website or via a downloadable...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Ship the Chip

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
Here is a tasty challenge, especially for middle school engineers: design a container that meets mass and volume criteria, and will safely transport a tortilla or potato chip through the mail without damaging it! Mostly, this is a crisp...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Tinkering with Tops

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
Get kids' heads spinning by challenging them to design a top that will rotate for a minimum of 10 seconds without leaving a 30-cm circle. Groups of learners collaborate through a planning stage, testing stage, and evaluation stage. Some...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Rotational Equilibrium

For Teachers 8th - 12th Standards
Physics stars design mobiles that demonstrate rotational equilibrium. They take measurements and solve related equations for force by graphing, substitution, or determinants. This is a well-developed lesson plan, complete with student...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Classroom Paper Recycling

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
After reading about the history and recycling of paper, creative crafters collaborate to think of a new process for making recycled paper. A complete teacher's guide and student worksheets are included. There is no written procedure for...
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Whirligig Lollapalooza

For Teachers 6th - 8th Standards
Using a cut-out template of a whirligig, emerging engineers experiment with flight behavior. After you teach them the concepts of force, air resistance, and lift, they discuss what variables on the whirligigs might be changed in order to...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Nano Waterproofing

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
This lesson will make an impact, especially on scientist-athletes who may have an interest in waterproof clothing! Acting as materials engineers, they work collaboratively on waterproofing pieces of cotton fabric. This challenge is...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Telescoping Periscope

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
Ahoy, matey! Here is an engineering expedition that mini mariners are sure to be swept away by! After reading a brief description and history of periscopes, they work in crews to construct one. Use this activity to enhance a lesson on...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Geothermal Energy

For Teachers 5th - 8th Standards
With Earth Day quickly approaching, as well as many science fairs, why not challenge your class to investigate geothermal energy or other renewable energy resources? There are five driving questions explored in depth here, as well as...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Filtration Investigation

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
Scholars build a simple filtration system to remove impurities from muddy water and rate the filtered water to a grade of clarity scale. The focus is on teamwork and problem solving. This instructional activity would be effective in your...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Exploring at the Nanoscale

For Teachers 3rd - 9th Standards
Nano-nano! Nanotechnology can seem like it's from another planet! After learning about this tiny technology, collaborative groups experiment with how smaller particles affect chemical reactions. They do this by immersing a whole and a...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Toxic Popcorn Design Challenge

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
Engineering enthusiasts are sure to explode in understanding as they practice the engineering design process (EDP). A container of "toxic popcorn" is placed in the classroom. Teams must work together to devise a method for removing it...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Working with Watermills

For Teachers 3rd - 12th Standards
In collaborative groups, emerging engineers or environmental scientists plan and construct a water wheel or watermill that rotates for a total of three minutes. Everything you need to carry out this lesson is included: objectives,...