STEM Curriculum



Mars Rover: Can You Hear Me? Can You See Me?

Grades: 5
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, Human Performance and Medicine, Sensors
Content Area: Contemporary World Issues, Craft and Structure, Design, Design Process, Earth and Space Sciences, Energy and Waves, Engineering, Informational Text, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, Interconnections within Systems, Key Ideas and Details, Measurement and Data, Physical Science, Production and Distribution of Writing, Reading: Informational Text, Research to Build and Present Knowledge, Speaking and Listening, Technology, Text Types and Purposes, Writing

As we proceed into the future, space exploration is becoming an essential part of our own growth as humans. Space exploration requires innovative, creative, adaptable people to develop the technology necessary for these grand endeavors into new environments. Specifically, the first settlers on Mars will have to use technology developed on Earth in order to […]

Pirate Ship Race

Grades: 5, 6
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials
Content Area: Design, Design Process, Engineering, Forces, Forces and Motion, Geography, Geometry, Informational Text, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, Interconnections within Systems, Key Ideas and Details, Measurement, Measurement and Data, Order and Organization, Reading: Informational Text, Scientific Inquiry

Teams of student engineers are challenged to design, build and test a prototype pirate ship design.  The prototype ship is tested for its ability to float and to sail around obstacles in a baby pool while carrying a load consisting of a crew, food, and a retrieved hidden treasure. Students use force diagrams to communicate […]

Protecting Precious Cargo

Grades: 5
Industry: Human Performance and Medicine
Content Area: Design, Economics, Informational Text, Measurement and Data, Physical Science, Speaking and Listening, Technology, Writing

In most car accidents, the bumper is the first point of impact and defense. The better the bumper is designed, the less possibility for damage and injury. Impact barriers, such as the barrels you see at a highway exit or the barriers separating oncoming traffic, are also important for limiting vehicle damage or human injuries. […]

Dig Up the Volume

Grades: 5
Industry: Sensors
Content Area: Geometry, Measurement and Data, Nature of Technology, Speaking and Listening, Technology and Society Interaction

In this unit students will be engineering a systematic strategy for determining the volume of several rectangular prisms without actually being able to see them.  Student groups will be given several boxes which contain different sized rectangular prisms.  The lids of these boxes will have a coordinate grid which extends into all four quadrants.  Each […]

Practical Frac-tile

Grades: 4, 5
Industry: Human Performance and Medicine
Content Area: Design Process, Measurement and Data, Number and Operations- Fractions, Optimization and Trade-offs, Speaking and Listening, Technical Communication

Students will engineer a functional cafeteria floor plan when given the room’s area as well as specific stationary objects. The created floor plan will show both cafeteria functions (cashier, snack table, silverware station, trash, recycling, etc.) human traffic patterns which will be achieved with the tile patterning. Student engineers will work within a given budget […]

Vehicle Ergonomics: How Big is Big Enough?

Grades: 4, 5, 6
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, Human Performance and Medicine
Content Area: Measurement and Data, Nature of Technology, Statistics and Probability, Technology and Society Interaction

Students are challenged to design an ergonomic automobile driver’s seat. They will take into consideration body proportion measurements and comfort for the average-size students in their class.  Students will engineer the seat based on data collected for student population measurements.

Oil, Oil Everywhere!

Grades: 3, 4, 5
Industry: Power and Propulsion
Content Area: Data Analysis and Probability, Earth and Space Sciences, Life Science, Mathematical Processes, Measurement and Data, Number and Operations in Base Ten, Number Sense and Operations, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry, Scientific Ways of Knowing

Students inquire how to stop an oil leak in a model of the BP oil leak in the Gulf by simulating the situation in a 10 gallon aquarium.  Students generate potential solutions, which are then tested and redesigned.  Students learn about natural factors involved in this real life situation and scenario including ocean depth, properties of […]

Thermal Insulators

Grades: 5, 8
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, Sensors
Content Area: Data Analysis and Probability, Measurement and Data, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Physical Science, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry

Students will explore thermal insulators through a design challenge in which students study and test insulative properties of common materials after which they will conduct data analysis and use their findings to propose a solution for the design challenge.  This lesson includes a student designed experiment as well as a structured experiment. If you have […]

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