STEM Curriculum



Up, Up and Away

Grades: 8
Industry: Power and Propulsion
Content Area: Design, Designed World, Forces and Motion, Nature of Technology, Reading: Informational Text, Speaking and Listening, Statistics and Probability, Technology and Information Literacy, Technology and Society Interaction, Technology for Productivity Applications, Visual Arts

 In this series of investigations, students will develop an understanding of how magnets can be used to move large payloads such as an airplane. The unit will begin with a career connection activity. Next, students will investigate the properties of magnetism through station activities. Data collection and analysis software will be used to investigate the increase in force […]

Can You Stand on Me?

Grades: 8
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials
Content Area: Contemporary World Issues, Design, Design Process, Designed World, Engineering, Geometry, Geometry and Spatial Sense, History, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, Literature, Measurement and Data, Nature of Technology, Observations of Objects and Materials, Optimization and Trade-offs, Physical Science, Ratios and Proportional Relationships, Reading: Informational Text, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry, Speaking and Listening, Technical Communication, Technology, Technology and Communication Applications, Technology and Information Literacy, Visual Arts, Writing

Visitors to schools in underdeveloped countries have found that students suffer from a lack of technology. Some students do not even have access to a flat surface on which to write. Service groups and industries in the United States, have shown interest in providing learning materials for students of such schools. When groups ship materials overseas, […]

“Fish-y” Gardening

Grades: 7
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, Agricultural Engineering, Environmental Engineering
Content Area: Data Analysis and Probability, Design, Design Process, Designed World, Earth and Space Sciences, Earth Systems, Engineering, Environmental Science, Interconnections within Systems, Life Science, Mathematical Processes, Measurement and Data, Nature of Technology, Order and Organization, Ratios and Proportional Relationships, Reading: Informational Text, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry, Speaking and Listening, Technical Communication, Technology, Technology and Communication Applications, Technology and Information Literacy, Writing

In this 7th grade unit, student teams design and construct a small/micro-scale symbiotic aquaponic system that can be used by populations lacking natural resources needed to provide and cultivate a sustainable, nutrient-rich food source. This unit engages students in participating in an engineering design challenge in which they create a viable farming method consisting of […]

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 […]

Bending Light to Communicate

Grades: 10, 11, 12, 9
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, Sensors
Content Area: Algebra, Design, Design Process, Designed World, Functions, Geometry, Nature of Technology, Physical Science, Physics, Reading: Informational Text, Statistics and Probability, Technical Communication, Technology, Technology and Communication Applications, Technology and Information Literacy, Writing

Lasers can be used for many purposes such as targeting and communication. Light is refracted (“bent”) as it travels from one medium to another.  This can be demonstrated by a straw appearing to be “bent” when placed into a glass of water. Throughout this inquiry STEM lesson, student will have students investigate and apply lasers, […]

Fire Safety Impact Systems

Grades: 6, 7, 8
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, Human Performance and Medicine, Sensors
Content Area: Design, Design Process, Engineering, Expressions and Equations, Nature of Technology, Physical Science, Ratios and Proportional Relationships, Reading: Informational Text, Writing

In this unit, students will explore the relationships between force, motion, and gravity as they team up with Underwriters Laboratories to create a prototype for use in emergency situations, such as a house fire, to break a person’s fall. Teams of students will work collaboratively to employ the engineering design process as they design an […]

Launch into Energy Transformations

Grades: 6, 7
Industry: Air Systems/Vehicles
Content Area: Expressions and Equations, Nature of Technology, Order and Organization, Writing

Students assume the role of propulsion engineers and aerodynamicists on collaborative Air Vehicle teams.  They are challenged to employ the iterative nature of the engineering design process to design, build, and test a nose cone system for a air pressurized-air and water fueled soda bottle rocket.  Students will conduct research based on their role, utilize […]

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.

Umm, You’re eating my trash

Grades: 6, 7, 8
Industry: Agricultural Engineering
Content Area: Expressions and Equations, Functions, Nature of Technology, Order and Organization, Statistics and Probability, Technology and Communication Applications, Technology and Society Interaction, The Number System, Writing

Through inquiry-based learning, students are able to experience and investigate the biogeochemical cycles.  They utilize the engineering design process in order to design and construct compost bins.  They also design a method for scientifically testing the validity of snack food companies’ advertisements that their packages are manufactured with 100% compostable materials.  Throughout the composting process, […]

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