UNIT 1: ENGINEERING DESIGN PROCESS
These activities introduce the process which engineers use when creating, developing, improving, or implementing ideas. The goal is to help students understand this process when coming up with a solution to a problem. In these experiments a problem has been presented with some questions to think about. Some ideas have been presented in helping them come up with a solution. Students should take notes as they work through the process. Length of time for the project will be different for each individual.
SHOW/HIDE 10 UNIT 1 ACTIVITIES
QUIET SPOT INSIDE
Have you ever wanted to create a quiet space inside your home, especially now that everyone is home? A place you can read, play games, or just be alone? Maybe you want to share it with a friend or family member. Let us help you use the engineering design process in creating your own personal space. It will be uniquely yours!
QUIET SPOT OUTSIDE
The weather is starting to get nicer and everyone is home. Wouldn’t you like to have your own quiet space outside where you can read, observe, or even nap if you’d like? Maybe you would like to use rustic elements like sticks and leaves, or you might like something more durable like canvas. Using the engineering design process you can follow the steps to bring the creation in your mind to reality!
Who doesn’t like to watch a top spin? Do you ever wonder why some spin longer than others? Sometimes it is the colors or design on the spinning top that catch your eye. Top are really easy to make and can use all kinds of material you have around your house. They can even help you understand how the Earth rotates. Using the engineering design process you can experiment and see what designs you come up with!
Have you ever heard of Leon Foucault or Foucault’s Pendulum? What is a pendulum and how are they used? Foucault designed a pendulum that proves the rotation of the Earth and you can watch the video in this exciting lesson. After learning more about pendulums we invite you to use the engineering design process to create your own pendulum with materials you have right at home!
Did you ever wonder why your hands get warm when you rub them together? Why is it more difficult to move some objects but not others? Why can you ski on snow but not on grass and why is swimming so tiring? The answer is friction – learn more about this force and how you can use it to your advantage!
“What goes up must come down.” This old adage is derived from Isaac Newton. Why you ask? Well, of course, gravity is the answer! It holds us on Earth and the Sun’s gravity holds our planets in orbit. Last week we studied the force of friction; this week we dive into the force of gravity. Come along for an adventure and see what unique ways you can test gravity…or maybe you prefer to try and defy gravity.
The previous lessons covered friction and gravity, both of which are forces that affect motion. It seems like a perfect opportunity to introduce Sir Isaac Newton and his 3 Laws of Motion. This lab uses the engineering design process to help you develop a ball drop to show friction, gravity, and force. Since you are a budding engineer you are going to want to change aspects of the lab to see how it affects the end result. Build your unique design and don’t forget to share pictures with us at the Science Center!
Did you ever wonder how roller coasters are able to turn sideways and upside down without coming off the track? Or how you manage to stand in place on that amusement ride that spins in circles really fast? In this lesson we explore the difference between centripetal and centrifugal forces and dive into Newton’s Laws a little further. Two videos are provided so you can experiment at home to understand these forces better and there is a bonus challenge should you accept that mission!
Why do large cruise ships not sink like a submarine? How can an egg float in water? Dive into this lesson about water displacement, density, and volume to begin understanding the science behind these questions. Keep following because the next lesson may float your boat!
As legend has it Archimedes got into his bathtub one day and realized the water overflowed. This one simple event led to the Archimedes’ Principle which all floating objects are based on. In this lesson, build your own boat based on what you learn and then design a challenge for your family to see who can build the best boat!
UNIT 2: BACKYARD ECOSYSTEM
In this unit we will take a look at some plants and animals and how they work together to give us all the food that we need for a healthy life. There will be make-at-home and outdoor activities to compliment the lessons.
SHOW/HIDE UNIT 2 ACTIVITIES
THE AMAZING BEE
Bees are a critical part of the human food chain because of all of the crops that they pollinate. The way they locate nectar is amazing! Learn the parts of the bee and how bees communicate to find food.
If animals can make simple noises, why can’t they talk? Learn how our bodies produce sounds and turn them into understandable words, then see if you can communicate without using words!
PARTS OF A FLOWER
After learning more about flowers, you’ll go outside and find a flower to dissect (take apart and see all it’s cool parts).
POLLINATION: BEES & BUTTERFLIES
Learn even more about flowers, including how they are pollinated. What are some different kinds of pollinators? Which animals and insects pollinate your favorite foods? You’ll find out!.