In this lesson, students build spinning tops out of everyday materials. Their challenge is to design a spinning top that can spin for at least 10 seconds within a circle 30 cm in diameter.
This lesson focuses on parachute design. Teams of students construct parachutes from everyday materials. They then test their parachutes to determine whether they can transport a metal washer to a target on the ground with the slowest possible rate of descent.
This lesson focuses on trebuchet design. Teams of students construct trebuchets from everyday materials. They then test their trebuchets to determine the farthest distance they can hit a target with a marshmallow projectile.
Lesson focuses on how wind energy can be generated on both a large and small scale. Student teams design and build a working windmill out of everyday products and learn about anemometer and site testing. Student windmills must be able to sustain the wind generated by a fan or hairdryer at medium speed at 2 feet and rotate, lifting a small object upward. Students evaluate the effectiveness of their windmill and those of other teams, and present their findings to the class.
Lesson focuses on how bridges are engineered to withstand weight, while being durable, and in some cases aesthetically pleasing. Students work in teams to design and build their own bridge out of up to 200 popsicle sticks and glue. Bridges must have a span of at least 14 inches and be able to hold a five pound weight (younger students) or a twenty pound weight (older students). Students are encouraged to be frugal, and use the fewest number of popsicle sticks while still achieving their goals. Students then evaluate the effectiveness of their own bridge designs and those of other teams, and present their findings to the class.
Lesson focuses on exploring how the development of seismographs has helped save lives around the world. Students work in teams to design their own seismograph out of everyday items, and test its ability to record a simulated classroom earthquake. Students evaluate their own seismographs, those of classmate teams, and present findings to the class.
Lesson focuses on how anemometers are engineered to measure the speed of wind, and how designs have changed over time. Student teams design and build a working anemometer out of everyday products and learn about how anemometers are used for feasibility tests on locations considering alternative energy from wind turbines. Student anemometers must be able to sustain the wind generated by a fan or hairdryer at varying speed and students must develop a way to measure and chart rotations at different wind speeds. Students evaluate the effectiveness of their anemometer and those of other teams, and present their findings to the class.
Lesson focuses on how engineers design tire treads to increase safety and reliability. Students are presented with the challenge of designing a new tire tread that will be safe when driving in rainy conditions. Student teams will design and construct a sample tread out of clay, then test and evaluate the effectiveness of the design, evaluate their results, and present their findings to the class.
Lesson focuses on the engineering behind the design of musical instruments. Teams of students explore the engineering behind recorder manufacturing, and then design, construct, test, and evaluate a working musical instrument using easily found materials.
Lesson focuses on how canoes, which have been hand built for centuries, have been impacted by engineered materials and manufacturing processes over the years. Student teams design and build a model canoe frame and then cover their frame with everyday materials and test their design in a basin. Student model canoes must be able to float, travel a distance of 4 feet, and support a load. Students then evaluate the effectiveness of their canoes and those of other teams, and present their findings to the class.

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