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Integrating Engineering and Science in Your Classroom

edited by: Eric Brunsell

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“I still remember my very first day as a teacher. A few days earlier, my principal had given me advice: ‘Whatever you do, do not start with an overview of your course. Do something active and set the tone….’ As I nervously awaited the arrival of my first-period physical science students, I wondered how they would react. To my relief, they jumped right in and remained engaged throughout the entire class—building, testing, and revising prototypes of paper towers. Since that day, I have continued to use design challenges as a way to engage students and teachers in classes and professional development.”
From the Introduction by Editor Eric Brunsell

From the very first day you use them, the design challenges in this compendium will spur your students, too, to jump right in and engage throughout the entire class. The activities reinforce important science content while illustrating a range of STEM skills. The 30 articles have been compiled from Science and Children, Science Scope, and The Science Teacher, NSTA’s journals for elementary through high school.

Integrating Engineering and Science in Your Classroom will:
• Excite students of all ages with activities involving everything from light sabers and egg racers to prosthetic arms and potatoes.
• Apply to lessons in life and environmental science, Earth science, and physical science.
• Work well in traditional classrooms as well as after-school programs.

Next time you need an engaging STEM activity, you’ll be glad you have this collection to help you blend meaningful and memorable experiences into your lessons. As Editor Eric Brunsell promises, “By exposing students to authentic engineering activities, you can help students uncover the profession that makes the world work.”

Table of Contents


Part One

Engineering Design

1. The Engineering Design Process

Eric Brunsell

2. Science and Engineering Two Models of Laboratory Investigations

Jennifer Harkema, James Jadrich, and Crystal Bruxvoort

3. Using a Cycle to Find Solutions Students Solve Local Issues With

of a Four-Step Cycle

Glenn Fay Jr

4. Building Models to Better Understand the Importance of Cost Versus

Safety in Engineering

William Sumrall and Michael Mott

5. Miniature Sleds, Go, Go, Go! Engineering Project Teaches Kindergartners

Design Technology

Gina A. Sarow

6. Science and Engineering

Donna R. Sterling

7. Elementary Design Challenges Students Emulate NASA Engineers

Jonathan W. Gerlach

Part Two

Content Area Activities

Life and Environmental Science

8. Repairing Femoral Fractures A Model Lesson in Biomaterial Science

Jarred Sakakeeny

9. Get a grip! A Middle School Engineering Challenge

Suzanne A. Olds, Deborah A. Harrell, and Michael E. Valente

10. A Partnership for Problem-Based Learning Challenging Students to Consider Open-Ended Problems Involving Gene Therapy

Amanda Lockhart and Joseph Le Doux

11. Plastics in our Environment A Jigsaw Learning Activity

Elaine Hampton, Mary Ann Wallace, Kristan Keele, and Wen-Yee Lee

12. Designed by Nature Exploring Linear and Circular Life Cycles

Sandra Rutherford, Bonnie Wylo, Peggy Liggit, and Susan Santone

13. The Sport-Utility Vehicle Debating Fuel-Economy Standards in Thermodynamics

Shannon Mayer

Earth Science

14. Design Challenges Are “ELL-ementary” English Language Learners Express Understanding Through Language and Actions
Nancy Yocom de Romero, Pat Slater, and Carolyn DeCristofano

15. Save the Penguins Teaching the Science of Heat Transfer Through Engineering Design

Christine Schnittka, Randy Bell, and Larry Richards

16. Shake, Rattle, and Hopefully Not Fall Students Explore Earthquakes and

Building Design
Adam Maltese

Physical Science

17. Gravity Racers

Dawn Renee Wilcox, Shannon Roberts, and David Wilcox

18. The Egg Racer

Jeremy Brown and John Corbin

19. Engineering for All Strategies for Helping Students Succeed in the

Design Process

Pamela S. Lottero-Perdue, Sarah Lovelidge, and Erin Bowling

20. Fuel-Cell Drivers Wanted

Todd Clark and Rick Jones

21. The Science of Star Wars Integrating Technology and the Benchmarks for Science Literacy

Stephanie Thompson

22. Catapulting Into Technological Design

Kristen Hammes

23. Potato Problem Solving A 5E Activity Addresses Misconceptions About Thermal Insulation
Sarah J. Carrier and Annie Thomas

24. Nanoscale in Perspective

Elvis H. Cherry, Weijie Lu, and R. P. H. Chang

25. What’s So Big About Being Small?

MaryKay Orgill and Kent J. Crippen

Part Three

After-School Programs

26. Fueling Interest in Science An After-School Program Model That Works

Kathleen Koenig and Margaret Hanson

27. The Invention Factory Student Inventions Aid Individuals With Disabilities
Thomas W. Speitel, Neil G. Scott, and Sandy D. Gabrielli

28. Engineering-A-Future for Tomorrow’s Young Women

Susan Gore

29. A Model of the INEEL Science and Engineering Expo for Middle Schools
Elda Zounar

30. Engineering in the Classroom

Kathleen Matthew and Stacy Wilson


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