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4 - Engineer a Shoe
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
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This unit is centered on designing a shoe for a customer. Students decide on a particular type of shoe that they want to design and utilize ideas of force, impulse, and friction to meet the needs of a particular customer. Force plates are used study the relationship between force, time, and impulse to allow students to get the mathematical models that allow them to make data informed decisions about their shoe design.

Subject:
Physics
Science
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Provider:
Portland Metro STEM Partnership
Provider Set:
Patterns Physics
Date Added:
07/31/2019
Agony of Defeat
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This video clip is meant to serve as a writing or discussion prompt during a unit on forces and motion. This can be used at varied grade levels, with the expectation that student responses would be more complex in higher grade levels.

Subject:
English Language Arts
Physical Science
Physics
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Presentation
Provider:
OER
Author:
WLVT PBS 39
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Air Power: Making a Hovercraft
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This brief video clip demonstrates how to create a hovercraft from simple materials. Toward the end of the clip, the students in the video explains the science behind the hovercraft's motion (reduced friction). Students are encouraged to continue the experimentation on their own by changing variables in the design of the hovercraft.

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Presentation
Provider:
WGBH Educational Foundation
Author:
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Breaking Beams
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Educational Use
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Students learn about stress and strain by designing and building beams using polymer clay. They compete to find the best beam strength to beam weight ratio, and learn about the trade-offs engineers make when designing a structure.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Ben Heavner
Chris Yakacki
Denise Carlson
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Breaking the Mold
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Educational Use
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In this math activity, students conduct a strength test using modeling clay, creating their own stress vs. strain graphs, which they compare to typical steel and concrete graphs. They learn the difference between brittle and ductile materials and how understanding the strength of materials, especially steel and concrete, is important for engineers who design bridges and structures.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Chris Valenti
Denali Lander
Denise W. Carlson
Joe Friedrichsen
Jonathan S. Goode
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Natalie Mach
Date Added:
02/19/2009
Building Roller Coasters
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Educational Use
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Students build their own small-scale model roller coasters using pipe insulation and marbles, and then analyze them using physics principles learned in the associated lesson. They examine conversions between kinetic and potential energy and frictional effects to design roller coasters that are completely driven by gravity. A class competition using different marbles types to represent different passenger loads determines the most innovative and successful roller coasters.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Scott Liddle
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Building a Stronger (Sweeter) New Orleans
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Educational Use
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Students create and analyze composite materials with the intent of using the materials to construct a structure with optimal strength and minimal density. The composite materials are made of puffed rice cereal, marshmallows and chocolate chips. Student teams vary the concentrations of the three components to create their composite materials. They determine the material density and test its compressive strength by placing weights on it and measuring how much the material compresses. Students graph stress vs. strain and determine Young's modulus to analyze the strength of their materials.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Charisse Nelson
Sarah Wigodsky
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Caine's Arcade PBL
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
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Using third grade Michigan Science Standards students will learn about force and motion then design, describe, and create an arcade game for others to play.  Since this is a PBL, many ELA content standards are also included.

Subject:
Physical Science
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Michigan Virtual
Author:
Val Capel
Date Added:
06/30/2016
Catapults!
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Educational Use
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Students observe the relationship between the angle of a catapult (a force measurement) and the flight of a cotton ball. They learn how Newton's second law of motion works by seeing directly that F = ma. When they pull the metal "arm" back further, thus applying a greater force to the cotton ball, it causes the cotton ball to travel faster and farther. Students also learn that objects of greater mass require more force to result in the same distance traveled by a lighter object.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Ben Heavner
Denise Carlson
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Sabre Duren
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Controlling a Collision
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This worksheet provides students practice answering concept questions and solving problems involving momentum and impulse.

Subject:
Physics
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
The Physics Classroom
Author:
The Physics Classroom
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Create a Safe Bungee Cord for Washy!
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Educational Use
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Students learn about the role engineers and mathematicians play in developing the perfect bungee cord length by simulating and experimenting with bungee jumping using washers and rubber bands. Working as if they are engineers for a (hypothetical) amusement park, students are challenged to develop a show-stopping bungee jumping ride that is safe. To do this, they must find the maximum length of the bungee cord that permits jumpers (such as brave Washy!) to get as close to the ground as possible without going "splat"! This requires them to learn about force and displacement and run an experiment. Student teams collect and plot displacement data and calculate the slope, linear equation of the line of best fit and spring constant using Hooke's law. Students make hypotheses, interpret scatter plots looking for correlations, and consider possible sources of error. An activity worksheet, pre/post quizzes and a PowerPoint® presentation are included.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Marc Frank
Date Added:
05/09/2019
Designing Bridges
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Educational Use
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Students learn about the types of possible loads, how to calculate ultimate load combinations, and investigate the different sizes for the beams (girders) and columns (piers) of simple bridge design. Students learn the steps that engineers use to design bridges: understanding the problem, determining the potential bridge loads, calculating the highest possible load, and calculating the amount of material needed to resist the loads.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Christopher Valenti
Denali Lander
Denise W. Carlson
Joe Friedrichsen
Jonathan S. Goode
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Natalie Mach
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Energy Basics
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Educational Use
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Demos and activities in this lesson are intended to illustrate the basic concepts of energy science -- work, force, energy, power etc. and the relationships among them. The "lecture" portion of the lesson includes many demonstrations to keep students engaged, yet has high expectations for the students to perform energy related calculations and convert units as required. A homework assignment and quiz are used to reinforce and assess these basic engineering science concepts.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Jan DeWaters
Susan Powers
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Evolutionary Engineering: Simple Machines from Pyramids to Skyscrapers
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Educational Use
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Simple machines are devices with few or no moving parts that make work easier, and which people have used to provide mechanical advantage for thousands of years. Students learn about the wedge, wheel and axle, lever, inclined plane, screw and pulley in the context of the construction of a pyramid, gaining insights into tools that have been used since ancient times and are still important today. Through numerous hands-on activities, students imagine themselves as ancient engineers building a pyramid. Student teams evaluate and select a construction site, design a pyramid, perform materials calculations, test a variety of cutting wedges on different materials, design a small-scale cart/lever transport system to convey building materials, experiment with the angle of inclination and pull force on an inclined plane, see how a pulley can change the direction of force, and learn the differences between fixed, movable and combined pulleys. While learning the steps of the engineering design process, students practice teamwork, creativity and problem solving.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Exploring Energy: Energy Conversion
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Educational Use
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Students are introduced to the concept of energy conversion, and how energy transfers from one form, place or object to another. They learn that energy transfers can take the form of force, electricity, light, heat and sound and are never without some energy "loss" during the process. Two real-world examples of engineered systems light bulbs and cars are examined in light of the law of conservation of energy to gain an understanding of their energy conversions and inefficiencies/losses. Students' eyes are opened to the examples of energy transfer going on around them every day. Includes two simple teacher demos using a tennis ball and ball bearings. A PowerPoint(TM) presentation and quizzes are provided.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Eric Anderson
Irene Zhao
Jeff Kessler
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Exploring Magnetism: Investigating the forces of magnets
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In this activity, students explore the idea that magnets can repel and attract. Students will diagram and write about what happens when they put two ring magnets together on a pencil. Students will also develop their own investigation on how to test the properties of magnets.

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
OER
Author:
Suzanne Bot, Minnesota Science Teachers Education Project
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Exploring Work and Energy
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This is an introductory activity that introduces the concept of work and helps students understand the difference between work and energy in terms of pulling and lifting masses.

Subject:
Physical Science
Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
OER
Author:
Alison Stortz, Minnesota Science Teachers Education Project
Date Added:
02/26/2019
Fairly Fundamental Facts about Forces and Structures
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Educational Use
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Students are introduced to the five fundamental loads: compression, tension, shear, bending and torsion. They learn about the different kinds of stress each force exerts on objects.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Douglas Prime
Date Added:
05/09/2019
Forces of Flight
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC
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Through this lesson, students learn about the four forces of flight: lift, thrust, drag, and weight. They evaluate the role design plays on aerodynamics and the distance a paper airplane travels.

Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Author:
BHUVANESWARI RAMACHANDRAN
Date Added:
12/07/2019
Fun with Bernoulli
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Educational Use
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While we know air exists around us all the time, we usually do not notice the air pressure. During this activity, students use Bernoulli's principle to manipulate air pressure so its influence can be seen on the objects around us.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Alex Conner
Geoffrey Hill
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Tom Rutkowski
Date Added:
10/14/2015