‘Smart buildings’ meld environmentally responsible design with cutting-edge computing technology. This lesson explores the practical, scientific, ethical, and environmental issues that emerge in building ‘smart buildings’ that rely on ‘the internet of things’. Students work in teams using resourced technology to design and perhaps later implement, smart building solutions to make their school a better place in which to live.
This lesson further develops principles of floating and sinking to young learners. It allows children to explore how boats and ships use the principle of displacement and buoyancy to stay afloat. The activities allow children to experiment with different shapes and design of boat ‘hull’ to see which floats best. It introduces the concepts of displacement and buoyancy in a practical activity. It also introduces the idea of a fair test. It can also be used to encourage children to use the engineering principles of and design, test, and improve.
Lesson focuses on how technical standards are developed and demonstrates how standards enable products to work together.
Lesson focuses on how sensors are used in many applications to gather information about our environment. This lesson focuses on the hygrometer, a sensor used to measure humidity. Through this lesson, students work in teams to design and build a hygrometer out of everyday items to measure humidity levels. The student hygrometers are not meant to be exact, but are expected to indicate a change. Students select from everyday items to build their hygrometer, test their machine using a spray bottle to increase humidity, evaluate the effectiveness of their system and those of other teams, and present their findings to the class.
Lesson focuses on how engineers and ship designers have developed boats with a goal of breaking a water speed record. Students work in teams to develop a boat out of everyday materials that will prove to be the fastest in the classroom covering a distance of 5 ft or 150 cm along a classroom trough. Students design, build, and test their speedboats; evaluate their designs and those of classmates; and share observations with their class.
Lesson explores chemical engineering and explores how the processes of chemical plating and electroplating have impacted many industries. Students work in teams to copper plate a range of items using everyday materials. They develop a hypothesis about which materials and surface preparations will result in the best copper plate, present their plans to the class, test their process, evaluate their results and those of classmates, and share observations with their class.
Lesson explores the electronics behind radio, and its impact on society. Students work in teams to build and test a radio receiver and optional transmitter from either a snap or soldering kit (depending on level and age). They review challenges encountered in the building and testing process, evaluate their results, and share observations with their class.
Lesson explores computer programming and the impact of computers on society. Students build and test a program to turn a light on and off using an Arduino board. They connect the hardware, program the code, test their system, adapt it for variations in blinking times, evaluate their results, and share observations with their class.
Lesson explores the engineering behind the conveyor belt and considers the impact this invention has had on transportation and the coordinated shipping and delivery of goods. Students work in teams to design and build a conveyor system out of everyday materials that can transport pieces of candy 4 feet (120cm). The conveyor must make a 90 degree turn as it moves along. Student teams design their system, build and test it, evaluate their designs and those of classmates, and share observations with their class.
Lesson explores agricultural and engineering and challenges students to engineer a system out of everyday materials that can drop a seed every 15 cm over a 60 cm distance. Students learn about seed drills and planters and consider the impact these inventions have had on farming and agriculture over the years. Students build and test their planters, evaluate their designs and those of classmates, and share observations with their class.

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