Engineering Discussion Starters

Discussion Starters - Educational Innovations NewsletterNeed help launching a class discussion on engineering? We’ve compiled some awesome ideas.  Some of these websites offer ready-to-go lessons… others share exciting interviews with scientists involved in engineering.  All of them are worth a visit!

If you find a worthy site that we haven’t mentioned here, please let us know in the comments section below.

One Stop, So Many Ideas!

Teach Engineering‘s website is full of free activities for all grade levels.  Get your students busy building an LED clock powered by a potato.  Or how about building a bridge made from spaghetti or testing a Jello-O earthquake?

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has created a fantastic clearinghouse of engineering activities for grades K-12.  Well worth a look!

 

What Is Engineering and What Is Design?

What a great introduction to the idea that design is all around us.  It’s not restricted to engineering.  Design is a general concept we encounter in all areas of life.   In this comprehensive lesson, students are challenged to design a picnic for their friends by considering its various components as they go through the design process steps.

 

Engineering A to Z

How many types of engineers are there?  You might be surprised.   This career site explains many of the field’s specialties, from aerospace to software engineers.

For a younger group, this link introduces students to a broad spectrum of engineering fields—agricultural, environmental, computer, nuclear, civil engineering… you name it!

 

Make a Smart Umbrella

Here’s a great discussion starter for upper school students.  Shouldn’t your umbrella be able to tell you when the weather forecast calls for rain?  Now you can create an umbrella that will do that for you!  Click here for details.

 

Zoom Engineering

The PBS series Zoom is chock-full of engineering activities for kids.  Design a coin sorter!  Invent a cereal dispenser!  Create an automatic door opener!  How about a food elevator?  There’s something here for everyone!

 

Kudos to PBS

Their DesignSquad website is a gem.  It’s full of videos, games, challenges and so much more.  Click here for their Activity Guide “Engineering Challenges for 9- to 12-year-olds.”

 

Hear from Real Engineers

5 Questions for a Scientist: NASA Materials Engineer Jake Hochhalter
Description: Learn what it’s like to work in science with our series of blog interviews with STEM professionals. Today’s subject: Jake Hochhalter, materials engineer at NASA.

5 Questions for a Scientist: Materials Scientist Linda Schadler
Description: Learn what it’s like to work in science with our series of blog interviews with STEM professionals. Today’s subject: Linda Schadler, professor and executive producer of The Molecularium Project.

5 Questions for a Scientist: Civil Engineer Peter Procaccio
Description: Learn what it’s like to work in science with our series of blog interviews with STEM professionals. Today’s subject: Civil engineer Peter Procaccio

5 Questions for a Scientist: Science Education Specialist Shaila Kotadia
Description: Learn what it’s like to work in science with our series of blog interviews with STEM professionals. Today’s subject: Shaila Kotadia, education and outreach manager for the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center.

5 Questions for a Scientist: Materials Scientist David Kok
Description: Learn what it’s like to work in science with our series of blog interviews with STEM professionals. Today’s subject: David Kok, graduate student in materials science at the department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at University of California—Irvine.

5 Questions for a Scientist: Bioengineer Z. Maria Oden
Description: Learn what it’s like to work in science with our series of blog interviews with STEM professionals. Today’s subject: biomedical engineer Z. Maria Oden.

5 Questions for a Scientist: Inventor and Engineer David Fossum
Description: Learn what it’s like to work in science with our series of blog interviews with STEM professionals. Today’s subject: inventor and engineer David Fossum.

5 Questions for a Scientist: Civil Engineer and Inventor Elham Fini
Description: Learn what it’s like to work in science with our series of blog interviews with STEM professionals. Today’s subject: civil engineer and inventor Ellie Fini.

5 Questions for a Scientist: Mechanical Engineer, Entrepreneur, and Inventor Elaine Chen
Description: Learn what it’s like to work in science with our series of blog interviews with STEM professionals. Today’s subject: mechanical engineer, entrepreneur, and inventor Elaine Chen.

 

 

 

Feedspot Award

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *