Lesson focuses on two simple activities younger students can do to gain an appreciation of nanotechnology. First, students measure their hands in nanometers, second students learn about liquid crystals, their applications and nanotechnology connections and test how the heat of their hands changes the color of the crystals. They observe what they see, present their findings to the class, and reflect on the experience.
Lesson focuses on the many uses of periscopes and how this simple device was designed and is used in many applications. Students work in teams to design and build their own working periscope out of everyday materials. They design their periscope, build and test it, evaluate their designs and those of classmates, and share observations with their class.
Lesson focuses on graphene and its electrical properties and applications. Students learn about nanotechnology and how engineers can harness the differences in how materials behave when small to address challenges in many industries. Students work in teams to hypothesize and then test whether graphene is an electrical conductor or insulator. They build a simple circuit using everyday items, and create a graphene sample using soft pencils on paper. They observe what they see, extrapolate to broader applications, present their ideas to the class, and reflect on the experience.
Lesson focuses on how materials behave differently as their surface area increases. Students learn about nanotechnology and how engineers can harness the differences in how materials behave when small to solutions for challenges in many industries. Students work in teams to explore examples of how surface area impacts functionality. They hypothesize how surface area will impact the performance of antacid tablets, conduct an experiment using whole and crushed tablets to see how they behave when introduced to water, observe what they see, extrapolate to other examples, compare their hypotheses and the results with those of other student teams, reflect on the experience, and share observations with the class.
Lesson focuses on how writing instruments have been engineered over time. Students work in teams to design and build a functional "pen" out of everyday materials that can deliver washable liquid watercolor (ink) to a sheet of paper in a controlled manner. They design their pen, build and test their design, evaluate their results, and share observations with the class.
Lesson focuses on sports engineering and advanced materials development. Students work in a team to devise a racquet out of everyday materials that can consistently hit a ball to a target. Students design their racquet on paper, build the racquet, and test it. All teams evaluate their results, reflect on their design, and present to the class.
Lesson focuses on how pendulums have been used to measure time and how mechanical mechanism pendulum clocks operate. Students work in teams to develop a pendulum out of everyday objects that can reliably measure time and operate at two different speeds. They will determine the materials, the optimal length of swing or size of weight to adjust speed, and then develop their designs on paper. Next, they will build and test their mechanism, compare their results with other student teams, and share observations with their class.
This lesson focuses on how the sun’s energy can be used to heat and cool buildings. Teams of students construct passive solar houses from everyday materials. They then test their solar houses to determine how well they regulate temperature.
Lesson focuses on the growth of tall buildings and their structures. Students work in teams to develop the tallest tower they can build with limited materials that can support the weight of a golf ball for two minutes. They develop a design on paper, build their tower, present and test their tower to the class, evaluate their results and those of their teammates, and complete reflection sheets.
Lesson focuses on the engineering behind building a spring scale and its use as a measuring device. Students work in teams to design, build, and test their own spring scale that can measure the weight of an apple using everyday items. They compare their designs with those of other student teams and reflect on the experience.

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