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Everyday Engineering: Putting the E in STEM Teaching and Learning

by: Richard Moyer and Susan Everett

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“The idea for Everyday Engineering began with our interest in design and production issues related to the simple ballpoint pen. We were struck by the elegance of the means for retracting the reservoir and transferring the ink to paper …. For some months, we found ourselves taking a number of things apart—becoming more and more intrigued with the design of the seemingly simple. When thought about in this light, paper clips and pump soap dispensers become fascinating; so, too, is learning the history of how these everyday objects were developed.”
—From the Introduction to Everyday Engineering

Here’s an ideal way to spark students’ fascination with the marvels of engineering behind the seemingly simple. This book is a compilation of popular “Everyday Engineering” columns from NSTA’s middle school journal, Science Scope. The collection is made up of 14 activities that explore engineering’s role in five areas: the office, the kitchen, the bathroom, electricity, and outdoor recreation. Students can perform hands-on investigations of objects they use all the time, asking questions such as:

• What makes a Bic click?
• Why do squirt guns squirt?
• What makes a better cereal box?

Each activity includes a clear explanation of the science and history behind the object’s development plus a materials list, student data sheets, and safety suggestions. The collection is useful to classroom teachers as well as scout leaders, engineers leading outreach activities, after-school and summer enrichment program staff, and parents.

Everyday Engineering may soon have your students taking a number of things apart—and putting together a lifelong interest in engineering.

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Grade Levels

Middle School


General Science


Type NSTA Press BookPub Date 4/15/2012ISBN 978-1-936137-19-0Stock # PB306X

NSTA Press produces classroom-ready activities, hands-on approaches to inquiry, relevant professional development, the latest scientific education news and research, assessment and standards-based instruction.

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