This lesson explores the similarities between how a human being moves/walks and how a robot moves. This allows students to see the human body as a system, i.e., from the perspective of an engineer. It shows how movement results from (i) decision making, i.e., deciding to walk and move, and (ii) implementing the decision by conveying the decision to the muscle (human) or motor (robot).
10 Lesson mini-maker camp for introductory programming and circuitry on the Raspberry Pi. Students are introduced to basic program structures (while loops, if/elif/else statements) and taught to wire LEDs and sensors then given extensive work time to create a project authentic to their lives that uses their new skills.
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Students learn how roadways are designed and constructed, and discuss the advantages and limitations of the current roadway construction process. They look at current practices of roadway monitoring, discuss the limitations, and consider ways to further road monitoring research. To conclude, student groups compete to design smooth, cost-efficient and sound model road bases using gravel, sand, water and rubber (representing asphalt). This lesson prepares students for the associated activity in which they act as civil engineers hired by USDOT to research through their own model experimentation how to best use piezoelectric materials to detect road damage by showing how piezoelectric transducers can indicate road damage.
Acting as civil engineers hired by the U.S. Department of Transportation to research how to best use piezoelectric materials to detect road damage, student groups are challenged to independently create their own experiment procedures, working with given materials and tools. The general approach is that they set up model roads using rubber mats to simulate asphalt and piezoelectric transducers to simulate the in-ground road sensors. They drop heavy bolts at various locations on the “road,” collecting data and then analyzing the voltage changes across the piezoelectric transducers caused by the vibrations of the bolt hitting the rubber. After making notches in the rubber “road” to simulate cracks and potholes, they collect more data to see if the piezo elements detect the damage. Students write up their research and conclusions as if presenting evidence to USDOT officials about how the voltage changes across the piezo elements can be used to indicate road damage and extrapolated to determine when roads need maintenance service.
Students learn how different characteristics of shapes—side lengths, perimeter and area—change when the shapes are scaled, either enlarged or reduced. Student pairs conduct a “scaling investigation” to measure and calculate shape dimensions (rectangle, quarter circle, triangle; lengths, perimeters, areas) from a bedroom floorplan provided at three scales. They analyze their data to notice the mathematical relationships that hold true during the scaling process. They see how this can be useful in real-world situations like when engineers design wearable or implantable biosensors. This prepares students for the associated activity in which they use this knowledge to help them reduce or enlarge their drawings as part of the process of designing their own wearables products. Pre/post-activity quizzes, a worksheet and wrap-up concepts handout are provided.
In this lesson, students are going to look at sensors and how they are used in many applications. The lesson is connected to the STEM initiative, and gives students an opening to the world of science and engineering. Students are going to investigate different sensors that are around them and what these sensors are gathering. Students are going to draw and design a hygrometer which measures humidity levels, select from everyday items to build their hygrometer, test their machine using a spray bottle to increase humidity, evaluate the effectiveness of their construction and present their findings to the class.
- Applied Science
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- North Carolina State University
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- Kenan Fellows Program for Curriculum and Leadership Development
- Renuka Hackney
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This lesson focuses on ultrasound wavelengths and how sound frequencies are used by engineers to help with detection of specific distances to or in materials. Students gain an understanding about how ultrasonic waves are reflected and refracted. Students also see how ultrasound technology is used in medical devices. The activity following this lesson allows students to test their knowledge by using the Sunfounder Ultrasonic sensor and Arduino Mega Microcontroller.
Students apply their knowledge of scale and geometry to design wearables that would help people in their daily lives, perhaps for medical reasons or convenience. Like engineers, student teams follow the steps of the design process, to research the wearable technology field (watching online videos and conducting online research), brainstorm a need that supports some aspect of human life, imagine their own unique designs, and then sketch prototypes (using Paint®). They compare the drawn prototype size to its intended real-life, manufactured size, determining estimated length and width dimensions, determining the scale factor, and the resulting difference in areas. After considering real-world safety concerns relevant to wearables (news article) and getting preliminary user feedback (peer critique), they adjust their drawn designs for improvement. To conclude, they recap their work in short class presentations.
This activity is about how you form mental images of your body's position in space, independent of vision. Can you take a sip of water from a cup with your eyes closed? If so, how are you able to navigate this maneuver without seeing the cup? Find out here!