Home  |  Log In

Engineering


Building an Electric Motor

8th Grade

Content Area & Topic: Energy and Engineering

Lesson Overview: In this lab students build an electric motor to demonstrate the basics of energy conversion from electrical to mechanical energy.  They are required to follow directions to build a simple electric motor, make suitable adjustments to make it work, and find electric motors in their surroundings. 

Iowa Core Statements:

  • Understand and apply knowledge of forms of energy and energy conversion.

Content Objectives:

  • Understand the basis of energy conversion from electrical to mechanical.

Back     PDF Version


Minute to Win It Games

Any Grade Level

Content Area & Topic: Engineering, Physics, and Sound

Lesson Overview: Based on the fun game show of Minute to Win It, these activities provide students with engaging, hands on learning into many different units within the curriculum standards. The games pulled together for this lesson plan focuses on forces and motion. Some may apply to the sound and light units.

Iowa Core Statements:

  • Understand and apply knowledge of motions and forces.
  • Identify and generate questions that can be answered though scientific investigations.

Content Objectives:

  • Design and conduct different kinds of scientific investigations.
  • Understand that different kinds of questions suggest different kinds of scientific investigations.
  • Select and use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze and interpret data.
  • Incorporate mathematics in scientific inquiry.
  • Communicate and defend procedures and explanations.
  • Recognize that the motion of an object can be described by its position, direction of motion and speed.
  • Explain how an object that is not being subjected to a force will continue to move at a constant speed in a straight line.
  • Describe how unbalanced forces cause changes in speed or direction of an object’s motion.
  • Understand that the acceleration of an object is determined by the mass of the object and the force applied to it.

Back     PDF Version     Presentation


Roller Coaster Lab

8th Grade

Content Area & Topic: Engineering and Physics

Lesson Overview:You are a group of young roller coaster developers working for a company that designs roller coasters.  Your goal is to build the best roller coaster possible, judged by the time of the ride and how exciting it is.

Iowa Core Statements:

  • Understand and apply knowledge of motions and energy.

Content Objectives:

  • Understand the differences between potential and kinetic energy.

Back     PDF Version


Spoon Drop Test

8th Grade

Content Area & Topic: Engineering and Physics

Lesson Overview:Have you wondered why people use certian materials for wrapping food, printing papers, cars and etc...? Here we test the strength of different materials that people use everyday.

Iowa Core Statements:

  • Understand and apply knowledge of forms of energy and energy transfer

  • Understand and apply knowledge of motions and forces

Content Objectives:

  • Understand that energy is transferred in many ways

  • Recognize that the motion of an object can be described by its position, direction of motion and speed

  • Explain how an object that is not being subjected to a force will continue to move at a constant speed in a straight line

  • Describe how unbalanced forces cause changes in speed or direction of an object’s motion

  • Understand that the acceleration of an object is determined by the mass of the object and the force

Back     PDF Version     Presentation


Singing Pipes

8th Grade

Content Area & Topic: Physics and Engineering

Lesson Overview: Lesson Overview:This demonstration is designed as an introduction into sounds and waves for the waves and light unit. The lesson is an introduction and exploration into how sound is and can be produced. The goal is to cause students to critically think about how the sound is produced without covering the material in an effort for students to explore the topic on their own. The goal is for students to look back on the demonstration once the material is covered and have an “aha!” moment where they connect the course material to the demonstration. This demonstration involves using metal pipes and a propane torch to produce sound through thermal gradients in air.

Iowa Core Statements:

  • Understand and apply knowledge of forms of energy and energy transfer.

Content Objectives:

  • Distinguish between types of waves.
  • Describe the characteristics of waves.

Back     PDF Version   


Biopolymer and Nylon 6, 10 Synthesis

8th Grade

Content Area & Topic: Engineering and Chemistry

Lesson Overview: Lesson Overview:This lesson is designed to fit into the energy unit, talking about energy transfer from thermal to chemical and such. The polymerization process is an easy way to see how chemical energy can be stored. The demonstration provides a way to bring a laboratory style demonstration to the classroom while providing content rich material for discussion on energy as well as polymers, a field few middle school students know about.

Iowa Core Statements:

  • Understand and apply knowledge of forms of energy and energy transfer.

Content Objectives:

  • Recognize examples of energy conversions in real situations.
  • Summarize and apply the law of conservation of energy.
  • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of various energy resources.
  • Distinguish between heat and temperature.
  • Explain how thermal energy is transferred.

Back     PDF Version