Engineering

Gear Clipart

 

Lesson Plans and Materials

All NGSS performance expectiations that have an asterisk* are intended to integrate Engineering Design (ETS) with disciplinary core ideas in science. Each summer institute we will try to feature one or more of these integrated lessons. The 2017 Summer Institute focused on big ideas in Engineering Design K-6, as well as  Chemistry (PS1).The content of this institute will be repeated in 2023. 

 

Grade Level

NGSS Performance Expectation(s)

Lesson Title and Description

Lesson Materials

Presenter(s)

Kindergarten 

K-PS2-1

K-PS2-2*

K-2 ETS1-1

Kindergarten Motion Lesson Sequence: Pushes and Pulls

This 4-lesson sequence focuses on the fundamentals of pushes and pulls, and how they effect the speed and direction of moving objects. In lesson one students identify the pushes and pulls of everyday objects. Lesson two provides an investgation of the relationship between ramps, object speed, and object mass, guiding students to make the connection that objects with a larger mass and speed can give a bigger push. Lesson three incorporates engineering desgin as students work in teams to build marble towers, and lesson four concludes with a study of simple machines. 

Lesson Plans

Student Worksheets (Word)

Student Worksheets (PDF)

Word Wall Cards

Mandi de Witte

Summer 2016

Kindergarten

K-PS3-2*

K-2 ETS1-1

Bunny Burrows

Students are presented with the problem of keeping a UV bead "bunny" safe in its shoebox "burrow." Students work in groups of 3 to use tools and materials to design, build, and test a structure that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on their bunny's burrow. After testing, students share results with the class and find patterns in which materials worked best to protect the bunny, and which materials did not work to protect the bunny. 

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheet (PDF)

Student Worksheet (Word)

Change Cards (PDF)

Materials Cards (PDF)

Angela White

Nichole Hughes

Summer 2017

First

1-PS4-1

1-PS4-4*

K-2 ETS1-3

Tin Can Phones

This 5E lesson plan engages students through exploration of the phenomenon of sound, leading them to make the connection that vibrating materials make sound, and that sound makes vibrations. After, students build and test cup telephones to investigate sound over a distance. 

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheets (Word)

Student Worksheets (PDF)

Tanya Juarez

Summer 2016

First

1-LS1-1*

K-2 ETS1-1

What can we learn from plants and animals?

This lesson provides a great ending activity to performance expectation 1-LS1-1 (from molecules and organisms). During the activity students identify external parts (adaptations) that help animals survive, grow, and meet their needs for the environment. In addition, students are challenged to think about external features that animals and plants have that humans have copied. Students then apply their engineering skills to design, build, and test a "jacket" to keep "metal man" warm using materials that mimic external features from animals that help to keep animals warm. In addition, this activity introduces students to scientific argumentation and allows students multiple opportunities to practice these skills.

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheet and Lesson Materials (Publisher)

Student Worksheet and Lesson Materials (PDF) 

Darby Feldwinn

Summer 2017

Third

3-PS2-4*

3-5-ETS1-1 

Maglev Train Systems

Students work in teams to design and build a levitating magnet "train" that can move using magnets not in direct contact with each other. Materials include cardboard boxes, magnets, tape, and other various materials. Students must use their knowledge about magnetism as well as trial and error when building their trains. 

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheets (Word)

Student Worksheets (PDF)

Additional Resources

Hortencia Corral

Nancy Escamilla

Summer 2016

Third

3-ESS3-1*

3-5 ETS1-1

Saving the Doghouse: Flood Barrier Design Challenge

This lesson begins with the phenomenon of a flash flood, and students are asked to identify the causes and effects of flood damage after watching videos of local floods. Students are then presented the challenge of protecting a backyard doghouse in the event of a flash flood, and work in teams of 3-4 to use a variety of materials to design, build, and test a flood barrier for their doghouse to keep it dry. 

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheet (PDF) 

Lauri Dahlin

Hortencia Corral 

Summer 2017

Fourth

4-PS3-2

4-PS3-4*

3-5 ETS1-3

Stomp Rockets

Students design, build, test, and refine paper rockets and measure how far they launch and fly through the air! 

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheets (Word)

Student Worksheets (PDF)

Lauri Dahlin

Summer 2016

Fourth

4-ESS3-2*

3-5 ETS1-2

Earthquake Building/Shaking Contest

Students begin by brainstorming why some buildings collapse in earthquakes and other buildings stay standing or have little damage. They complete a beginning activity comparing damage to buildings in historic earthquakes and learn about the components for building an earthquake resistant structure.

Students must apply their knowldge of these components to design, build, and test an earthquake resistant structure on a shake table. Empahsis is placed on how these components work together as a system as well as analyzing class data to identify which buildings worked best. 

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheet (Word)

Student Worksheet (PDF)

Additional Materials

Kim Castagna

Jennifer Foster

Summer 2017

Sixth / Middle School 

MS-PS3-3*

MS-ETS1-3

Ovens Using Solar Energy

Students will design, create a procedural plan, and test the efficiency of a solar oven. Students will then analyze data to determine the similarities and differences among oven designs to create a new oven procedure.

This lesson provides a great ending activity to performance expectation MS-PS3-3 and MS-ETS1-3. During the activity students build solar ovens to capture the energy from the sun to melt their s’mores. In addition, students record the beginning and ending temperatures from inside their ovens and a control placed outside the oven. Students then compare the similarities and differences of the class ovens to design the optimal oven.

Before this activity students should have learned about the transfers/transformations of energy, specifically solar radiation.

Lesson Plan

Student Worksheet (Word)

Student Worksheet (PDF)

Data Sheet (Word)

Data Sheet (PDF)

Kim Castagna

Jennifer Foster

Summer 2017