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  • NGSS.MS.ETS1.2
6.5 Natural Hazards
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This unit begins with students experiencing, through text and video, a devastating natural event that caused major flooding in coastal towns of Japan. Through this anchoring phenomenon, students think about ways to detect tsunamis, warn people, and reduce damage from the wave. As students design solutions to solve this problem, they begin to wonder about the natural hazard itself: what causes it, where it happens, and how it causes damage.

This unit is part of the OpenSciEd core instructional materials for middle school.

Subject:
Applied Science
Atmospheric Science
Physical Science
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Author:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
02/11/2022
7.2 Chemical Reactions & Energy
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CC BY
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In this 21-day unit, students are introduced to the anchoring phenomenon—a flameless heater in a Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) that provides hot food to people by just adding water. Students explore the inside of an MRE flameless heater, then do investigations to collect evidence to support the idea that this heater and another type of flameless heater are undergoing chemical reactions as they get warm. Students have an opportunity to reflect on the engineering design process, defining stakeholders, and refining the criteria and constraints for the design solution.

This unit is part of the OpenSciEd core instructional materials for middle school.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Author:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
02/11/2022
8.1 Contact Forces
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Oh, no! I’ve dropped my phone! Most of us have experienced the panic of watching our phones slip out of our hands and fall to the floor. We’ve experienced the relief of picking up an undamaged phone and the frustration of the shattered screen. This common experience anchors learning in the Contact Forces unit as students explore a variety of phenomena to figure out, “Why do things sometimes get damaged when they hit each other?”

Student questions about the factors that result in a shattered cell phone screen lead them to investigate what is really happening to any object during a collision. They make their thinking visible with free-body diagrams, mathematical models, and system models to explain the effects of relative forces, mass, speed, and energy in collisions. Students then use what they have learned about collisions to engineer something that will protect a fragile object from damage in a collision. They investigate which materials to use, gather design input from stakeholders to refine the criteria and constraints, develop micro and macro models of how their solution is working, and optimize their solution based on data from investigations. Finally, students apply what they have learned from the investigation and design to a related design problem.

Subject:
Applied Science
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Module
Unit of Study
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
10/21/2020
AM I on the Radio?
Read the Fine Print
Educational Use
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Student groups create working radios by soldering circuit components supplied from AM radio kits. By carrying out this activity in conjunction with its associated lesson concerning circuits and how AM radios work, students are able to identify each circuit component they are soldering, as well as how their placement causes the radio to work. Besides reinforcing lesson concepts, students also learn how to solder, which is an activity that many engineers perform regularly giving students a chance to be able to engage in a real-life engineering activity.

Subject:
Applied Science
Career and Technical Education
Electronic Technology
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Brandon Jones
Emily Spataro
Lara Oliver
Lisa Burton
Date Added:
09/18/2014
An Assistive Artistic Device
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Students design and develop a useful assistive device for people challenged by fine motor skill development who cannot grasp and control objects. In the process of designing prototype devices, they learn about the engineering design process and how to use it to solve problems. After an introduction about the effects of disabilities and the importance of hand and finger dexterity, student pairs research, brainstorm, plan, budget, compare, select, prototype, test, evaluate and modify their design ideas to create devices that enable a student to hold and use a small paintbrush or crayon. The design challenge includes clearly identified criteria and constraints, to which teams rate their competing design solutions. Prototype testing includes independent evaluations by three classmates, after which students redesign to make improvements. To conclude, teams make one-slide presentations to the class to recap their design projects. This activity incorporates a 3D modeling and 3D printing component as students generate prototypes of their designs. However, if no 3D printer is available, the project can be modified to use traditional and/or simpler fabrication processes and basic materials.

Subject:
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Kristen Billiar
Terri Camesano
Thomas Oliva
Date Added:
02/07/2017
Automatic Floor Cleaner Computer Program Challenge
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Educational Use
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Students learn more about assistive devices, specifically biomedical engineering applied to computer engineering concepts, with an engineering challenge to create an automatic floor cleaner computer program. Following the steps of the design process, they design computer programs and test them by programming a simulated robot vacuum cleaner (a LEGO® robot) to move in designated patterns. Successful programs meet all the design requirements.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Health, Medicine and Nursing
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Jared R. Quinn
Kristen Billiar
Terri Camesano
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Balsa Glider Competition
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Educational Use
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The purpose of this activity is to bring together the students' knowledge of engineering and airplanes and the creation of a glider model to determine how each modification affects the flight. The students will use a design procedure whereby one variable is changed and all the others are kept constant.

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
Beating the Motion Sensor
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Educational Use
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Lighting is responsible for nearly one-third of the electricity use in buildings. One of the best ways to conserve energy is to make sure the lights are turned off when no one is in a room. This process can be automated using motion sensors. In this activity, students explore material properties as they relate to motion detection, and use that knowledge to make design judgments about what types of motion detectors to use in specific applications.

Subject:
Applied Science
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Darcie Chinnis
Janet Yowell
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Better By Design
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Educational Use
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Students use the scientific method to determine the effect of control surfaces on a paper glider. They construct paper airplanes (model gliders) and test their performance to determine the base characteristics of the planes. Then they change one of the control surfaces and compare the results to their base glider in order to determine the cause and effect relationship of the control surfaces.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Physical Science
Physics
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
Bombs Away!
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Educational Use
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Students design and build devices to protect and accurately deliver dropped eggs. The devices and their contents represent care packages that must be safely delivered to people in a disaster area with no road access. Similar to engineering design teams, students design their devices using a number of requirements and constraints such as limited supplies and time. The activity emphasizes the change from potential energy to kinetic energy of the devices and their contents and the energy transfer that occurs on impact. Students enjoy this competitive challenge as they attain a deeper understanding of mechanical energy concepts.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Dan Choi
Randall Evans
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Boxed In and Wrapped Up
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Educational Use
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Students find the volume and surface area of a rectangular box (e.g., a cereal box), and then figure out how to convert that box into a new, cubical box having the same volume as the original. As they construct the new, cube-shaped box from the original box material, students discover that the cubical box has less surface area than the original, and thus, a cube is a more efficient way to package things. Students then consider why consumer goods generally aren't packaged in cube-shaped boxes, even though they would require less material to produce and ultimately, less waste to discard. To display their findings, each student designs and constructs a mobile that contains a duplicate of his or her original box, the new cube-shaped box of the same volume, the scraps that are left over from the original box, and pertinent calculations of the volumes and surface areas involved. The activities involved provide valuable experience in problem solving with spatial-visual relationships.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Geometry
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Mary R. Hebrank
Date Added:
09/18/2014
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
Architecture and Design
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
Breathing Cells
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Educational Use
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Students use a simple pH indicator to measure how much CO2 is produced during respiration, at rest and after exercising. They begin by comparing some common household solutions in order to determine the color change of the indicator. They review the concepts of pH and respiration and extend their knowledge to measuring the effectiveness of bioremediation in the environment.

Subject:
Applied Science
Chemistry
Engineering
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Kaelin Cawley
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Bridge Types: Tensile & Compressive Forces
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Educational Use
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Students explore how tension and compression forces act on three different bridge types. Using sponges, cardboard and string, they create models of beam, arch and suspension bridges and apply forces to understand how they disperse or transfer these loads.

Subject:
Applied Science
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
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:
10/14/2015
Bridges
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Educational Use
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Through a five-lesson series that includes numerous hands-on activities, students are introduced to the importance and pervasiveness of bridges for connecting people to resources, places and other people, with references to many historical and current-day examples. In learning about bridge types arch, beam, truss and suspension students explore the effect of tensile and compressive forces. Students investigate the calculations that go into designing bridges; they learn about loads and cross-sectional areas by designing and testing the strength of model piers. Geology and soils are explored as they discover the importance of foundations, bearing pressure and settlement considerations in the creation of dependable bridges and structures. Students learn about brittle and ductile material properties. Students also learn about the many cost factors that comprise the economic considerations of bridge building. Bridges are unique challenges that take advantage of the creative nature of engineering.

Subject:
Applied Science
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Build a Thermos
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
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Getting Started:

This lesson is designed to be used within the heat transfer unit as an engineering design project.

My goal is to teach students:

The difference in heat conductivity of different materials.
Engage students in thinking about the principles of engineering (designing to meet criteria determined by the desired result).

Total class time:

170 minutes (2 class blocks, 1 period for demo, in-class design, 1 period for student-requested informational experiments).

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Date Added:
06/16/2021
Build a Thermos
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
Rating
0.0 stars

Getting Started:

This lesson is designed to be used within the heat transfer unit as an engineering design project.

My goal is to teach students:

The difference in heat conductivity of different materials.
Engage students in thinking about the principles of engineering (designing to meet criteria determined by the desired result).

Total class time:

170 minutes (2 class blocks, 1 period for demo, in-class design, 1 period for student-requested informational experiments).

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Date Added:
12/06/2018
Buildings and Earthquakes
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Earthquakes happen when forces in the Earth cause violent shaking of the ground. Earthquakes can be very destructive to buildings and other man-made structures. Design and build various types of buildings, then test your buildings for earthquake resistance using a shake table and a force sensor that measures how hard a force pushes or pulls your building.

Subject:
Applied Science
Education
Engineering
Geoscience
Physical Science
Space Science
Technology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Lecture Notes
Provider:
Concord Consortium
Provider Set:
Concord Consortium Collection
Author:
The Concord Consortium
Date Added:
05/21/2012
Can It Support You? No Bones about It!
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Educational Use
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After completing the associated lesson and its first associated activity, students are familiar with the 20 major bones in the human body knowing their locations and relative densities. When those bones break, lose their densities or are destroyed, we look to biomedical engineers to provide replacements. In this activity, student pairs are challenged to choose materials and create prototypes that could replace specific bones. They follow the steps of the engineering design process, researching, brainstorming, prototyping and testing to find bone replacement solutions. Specifically, they focus on identifying substances that when combined into a creative design might provide the same density (and thus strength and support) as their natural counterparts. After iterations to improve their designs, they present their bone alternative solutions to the rest of the class. They refer to the measured and calculated densities for fabricated human bones calculated in the previous activity, and conduct Internet research to learn the densities of given fabrication materials (or measure/calculate those densities if not found online).

Subject:
Anatomy/Physiology
Applied Science
Engineering
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Jeanne Hubelbank
Kristen Billiar
Michelle Gallagher
Terri Camesano
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Capillary Action in Sand
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Educational Use
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As part of a (hypothetical) challenge to help a city find the most affordable and environmentally friendly way to clean up an oil spill, students design and conduct controlled experiments to quantify capillary action in sand. Like engineers and entrepreneurs, student teams use affordable materials to design and construct models to measure the rate of capillary action in four types of sand: coarse, medium, fine and mixed. After observing and learning from a teacher-conducted capillary tube demonstration, teams are given a selection of possible materials and a budget to work within as they design their own experimental setups. After the construction of their designs, they take measurements to quantify the rate of capillary action, create graphs to analyze the data, and make concluding recommendations. Groups compare data and discuss as a class the pros and cons of their designs. Pre- and post-evaluations and two worksheets are provided.

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Yaqi Xiong
Date Added:
02/07/2017