In this lesson, students expand their understanding of solid waste management to include the idea of 3RC (reduce, reuse, recycle and compost). They will look at the effects of packaging decisions (reducing) and learn about engineering advancements in packaging materials and solid waste management. Also, they will observe biodegradation in a model landfill (composting).
Students learn about the concepts of accuracy and approximation as they pertain to robotics, gain insight into experimental accuracy, and learn how and when to estimate values that they measure. Students also explore sources of error stemming from the robot setup and rounding numbers.
In this lesson, students learn about work as defined by physical science and see that work is made easier through the use of simple machines. Already encountering simple machines everyday, students will be alerted to their widespread uses in everyday life. This lesson serves as the starting point for the Simple Machines Unit.
The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the planet Mars. This lesson will begin by discussing the location and size of Mars relative to Earth, as well as introduce many interesting facts about this red planet. Next, the history of Martian exploration is reviewed and students discover why scientists are so interested in studying this mysterious planet. The lesson concludes with students learning about future plans to visit Mars.
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.
Students explore the interface between architecture and engineering. In the associated hands-on activity, students act as both architects and engineers by designing and building a small parking garage.
Students learn how forces are used in the creation of art. They come to understand that it is not just bridge and airplane designers who are concerned about how forces interact with objects, but artists as well. As "paper engineers," students create their own mobiles and pop-up books, and identify and use the forces (air currents, gravity, hand movement) acting upon them.
Students are introduced to the concept of engineering biological organisms and studying their growth to be able to identify periods of fast and slow growth. They learn that bacteria are found everywhere, including on the surfaces of our hands. Student groups study three different conditions under which bacteria are found and compare the growth of the individual bacteria from each source. In addition to monitoring the quantity of bacteria from differ conditions, they record the growth of bacteria over time, which is an excellent tool to study binary fission and the reproduction of unicellular organisms.
Students learn about gear ratios and power by operating toy mechanical cranes of differing gear ratios. They attempt to pick up objects with various masses to witness how much power must be applied to the system to oppose the force of gravity. They learn about the concept of gear ratio and practice calculating gear ratios on worksheets, discovering that smaller gear ratios are best for picking objects up quickly, and larger gear ratios make it easier to lift heavy objects.
In small groups, students experiment and observe the similarities and differences between human-made objects and objects from nature. They compare the function and structure of hollow bones with drinking straws, bird beaks, tool pliers, bat wings and airplane wings. Observations are recorded in a compare & contrast chart, and then shared in a classroom discussion, along with follow up assessment activities such as journal writing and Venn diagrams.
In this activity, students will explore two given websites to gather information on Bone Mineral Density and how it is measured. They will also learn about X-rays in general, how they work and their different uses, along with other imaging modalities. They will answer guiding questions as they explore the websites and take a short quiz after to test the knowledge they gained while reading the articles.
Between 70 and 75% of the Earth's surface is covered with water and there exists still more water in the atmosphere and underground in aquifers. In this lesson, students learn about water bodies on the planet Earth and their various uses and qualities. They will learn about several ways that engineers are working to maintain and conserve water sources. They will also think about their role in water conservation.
Students learn about the underlying engineering principals in the inner workings of a simple household object -- the faucet. Students use the basic concepts of simple machines, force and fluid flow to describe the path of water through a simple faucet. Lastly, they translate this knowledge into thinking about how different designs of faucets also use these same concepts.
In this lesson, students will explore the causes of water pollution and its effects on the environment through the use of models and scientific investigation. In the accompanying activities, they will investigate filtration and aeration processes as they are used for removing pollutants from water. Lastly, they will learn about the role of engineers in water treatment systems.