Who knew that gecko feet inspired scientists to develop a stickier adhesive or that cockleburs in dog fur led to the invention of Velcro? Discovery Engineering in Physical Science uses these and other surprising cases of innovations sparked by accidental observations to teach about the amazing role of serendipity in science. The case studies in this new resource are a lively way to integrate engineering into your physical science classes. Middle and high school students will learn to understand fundamental science processes while trying out their own ideas for unexpected applications.
Each of the book’s 22 investigations starts with a real case of accidental inspiration that students explore through primary documents or historical accounts. Then it’s time for the students to become the innovators. They’re tasked to do research, examine data and physical materials, and use their own creativity to design new products or problem-solving applications. The investigations are easy to implement and flexible enough to use in part or as a whole. Students will learn one or more science concepts as they’re exposed to background on the unpredictable nature of science. And they’ll be intrigued by investigations with titles such as “By the Teeth of Your Skin: Shark Skin and Bacteria” and “From Ship to Staircase: The History of the Slinky." Try this book and see what happens! The result may be more engaged science students—and more great ideas about how gecko feet can inspire solutions to everyday problems.