Leadership, Sportsmanship, and Teamwork Teacher Resources
Find Leadership, Sportsmanship, and Teamwork educational ideas and activities
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This instructional activity will make an impact, especially on scientist-athletes who may have an interest in waterproof clothing! Acting as materials engineers, they work collaboratively on waterproofing pieces of cotton fabric. This challenge is preceded by reading about nanotechnology and the hydrophobic effect. Expect an enduring effect on emerging engineers!
Blow your learners' minds with a sweet lesson on nanotechnology that uses sugar to demonstrate the difference nanoscale surface area makes in dissolving and crystal formation. Plenty of supportive background information is read to introduce the concepts, and then two activities are carried out. Since the sugar crystals take about a week to form, you will need to set aside a later class period in order to wrap this lesson up. Though the publisher mentions many grade levels, this would be the best fit for middle schoolers.
After reading about how engineering has made adaptive devices possible for people with disabilities, pupils work in groups to discuss different devices to determine whether or not they are adaptive. They also disassemble a pair of eyeglasses in order to analyze the materials and design. This is a hands-on critical-thinking activity that you can use in a STEM or engineering unit.
Stop the raindrops from getting into the house! Eager engineers learn about roofing history and waterproofing by nanotechnology. They get into groups and work on designing a waterproof roof for a small model house. The accompanying handout provides space for planning and critical analysis questions for follow-up. Miniature rain storms are sure to make a splash with your science or engineering class!
Introduce emerging engineers to the process of metal plating. This resource provides background reading on chemical engineering, plating, and corrosion. It concludes with a copper plating activity. The standards alignment list includes grades three through five Next Generation Science Standards, but the age levels in the teachers notes do not agree. Upper-elementary learners may be able to handle the activity, but the chemistry concepts are likely to be beyond them.
New! Keep it Cool
This cool lesson is ideal for elementary engineers or physical scientists, especially when learning about heat transfer and insulation. After reading a page of background information, engineering teams collaborate to design and build a container that will keep cold water form warming. They select materials for, construct, and test their design over an hour's time by measuring water temperature changes with a thermometer.
New! Life Vest Challenge
After reading about the history and science of personal floatation devices, patents, and intellectual property, engineering teams design a life vest for a can of soup. To evaluate which groups considered the need for waterproofing, hold a classroom challenge to find out how long each PFD will keep the can afloat! Note that though the publisher states this lesson is appropriate for ages 8 - 14, it is best suited for upper-elementary engineers.
A neat handout immerses learners in the history of canoe making. After reading, small groups of mini engineers work to craft a canoe that will not be immersed! This is an ideal exercise in engineering design for your STEM curriculum or as an addition to a physical science lesson on buoyancy.
In a simple but unique lesson, youngsters learn about the history of voting systems. They then collaborate in groups to develop a new honest and consistent voting method. A class-wide poll is taken, evaluating the designs of other groups. This would be a fun lesson to do in November around election time!
New! Engineered Music
Sound engineers investigate the structural design of a musical instrument, the recorder. They work in collaborative groups to choose an instrument to build out of everyday craft materials. It must be able to repeat a three-note sequence at least three times. Though the publisher designated this lesson as appropriate through high school, it may be best used with your elementary engineers or during a unit on sound waves when learning about pitch.
After reading about marine engineers and naval architects, it's all hands on deck to design and test a speed boat. This lesson is designed for the Next Generation Science Standards in engineering and can be a centerpiece for a STEM lesson or a physical science unit on kinetic and potential energy and Newton's laws of motion.
Have small groups in your class construct working hygrometers as an example of the benefits of using sensors in engineering. This lesson can be used during a weather unit when covering humidity or in a STEM lesson as a preparation for learning how to use specific sensing equipment.
New! Tennis Anyone?
After reading up on the history of sports racquets, engineering teams design and construct a racquet for batting a Velcro-striped ball at a target. Teams evaluate their design by aiming for the target three times each and answering reflection questions. Each team's top six scores are added together for a competitive component. This would be a fun challenge for your STEM or engineering design curriculum.
New! What is a Nanometer?
A reading precedes the activity in order to familiarize learners with just how small a nanometer is. Then, small groups measure classroom objects and convert units into nanometers. The publisher doesn't mention it, but the reading material provided can easily be used when addressing Common Core State Standards for reading informational text or scientific literacy. Math and science are also involved in this comprehensive resource.
New! Measuring the Wind
When earth scientists or mini meteorologists are learning about wind, they can participate in an engineering activity in which they will design and construct an anemometer. A thorough overview of different types of anemometers is included for learners to read, making this a way to address Common Core State Standards for scientific literacy in addition to meeting several Next Generation Science Standards. The publisher doesn't mention it, but the reading material can be used to address standards for scientific literacy!
Engineering feats occur around us all the time, often without us noticing; one example is a coin-sorting machine. In a straightforward, yet challenging activity, young engineers work together to design their own coin sorter. Beginning with a virtual tour of a US mint, sorting is viewed in the real world. Next, groups design their own sorter, then wrap it up by writing an essay.
After reading about polymer materials, engineer trainees examine how plastics have been integrated into everyday products. In groups, they compile a list of products made entirely without plastics and then, as a closing activity, try to plan a redesign of a plastic product using fifty percent less of the material. The reading can be done in support of Common Core standards for literacy in science.
Take a look with your class at how nature supplies inspiration to engineers. In cooperative groups, youngsters research biomimicry and then develop a system that would help support people living on the moon. Each team also considers patent rights and presents their design to their peers. Elementary school engineers will be meeting Next Generation Science Standards as they work on this project.
New! Ship the Chip
Here is a tasty challenge, especially for middle school engineers: design a container that meets mass and volume criteria, and will safely transport a tortilla or potato chip through the mail without damaging it! Mostly, this is a crisp lesson in engineering design. What fun it will be to receive the packages back and open them to find out which team will reign as the chip-shipping champions!
After examining how a spring scale works, teams work together to design their own general measurement device. Reading material provides background information, but there is no part of the procedure in which learners handle an actual spring scale. Consider letting them do so in order to give them a fuller understanding of what they are to design. This activity can be done in a math class as part of a measurement unit, or in any physical science class.