STEM Curriculum



Science Rocks

Grades: 6
Industry: Environmental Engineering
Content Area: Design Process, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, Interconnections within Systems, Language, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry, Scientific Ways of Knowing, Speaking and Listening, Technology, Technology and Communication Applications, Technology and Information Literacy, Visual Arts, Writing

Student teams engineer a computer program that sorts rocks bas on properties in order to identify a specific rock within a Rock Family. Teams identify properties of rocks, then utilize a dichotomous key to sort them by the properties. Students collaboratively engineer a PowerPoint with guiding questions to identify each rock type; thereby, generating a […]

Battery Design Challenge

Grades: 9
Industry: Power and Propulsion
Content Area: Data Analysis and Probability, Mathematical Processes, Physical Science, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry, Scientific Ways of Knowing

Batteries are important form of technology for society. Batteries serve as a stored energy source. You can quickly think of multiple instances in where you are dependent on a battery (some examples are: car (electric started), calculator, iPod, hand held video game, smoke detector, or key fob). For engineers at the Air Force Research Labs […]

Electric Vehicle: Body Design

Grades: 10, 11, 12, 9
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials
Content Area: Data Analysis and Probability, Engineering, Geometry and Spatial Sense, Measurement, Patterns Functions and Algebra, Physical Science, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry, Scientific Ways of Knowing, Technology

This lesson is designed to be done independently, consecutively, or concurrently with the Rolling Resistance, Transmission, Electric Power Source, and Electric Motor Lessons for the Electric Vehicle (EV) Unit. Power efficiency is the goal of all good environmentally conscious designs. As you will see throughout the EV unit, there are many factors that influence this […]

Compressed Air Vehicle

Grades: 4
Industry: Air Systems/Vehicles, Power and Propulsion
Content Area: Data Analysis and Probability, Expressions and Equations, Geometry, Geometry and Spatial Sense, Measurement and Data, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Patterns Functions and Algebra, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry, Scientific Ways of Knowing

*Please note that while this unit is complete, we are in the process of updating both the curriculum and the standards. This activity will introduce students to the use of compressed air as a means of propulsion.  The goal is to allow students to discover the relationship between the amount of compressed air and the […]

Let It Shine

Grades: 1, 2, K
Industry: Sensors
Content Area: Data Analysis and Probability, Geometry, Geometry and Spatial Sense, Measurement and Data, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Patterns Functions and Algebra, Physical Science, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry, Scientific Ways of Knowing

This investigation is to introduce/solidify students’ working knowledge of sorting and classification.  Through this process students will investigate light transmittance through everyday objects.  The students will perform a simple flashlight test to classify objects into three predetermined groups; that of transparent, translucent, and opaque.  Students will create class graphs to represent the discoveries.  An in […]

Is the Sun Toxic?

Grades: 1, 2, 3
Industry: Human Performance and Medicine, Sensors
Content Area: Data Analysis and Probability, Earth and Space Sciences, Life Science, Measurement and Data, Physical Science, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry, Scientific Ways of Knowing, Technology

Although the sun is the primary source of energy for all life, it can also be considered a toxin.  The essence of this lesson is to have students understand that a toxin is a poisonous substance and that the sun is an example of a toxin. Students will be introduced to other toxins including ones […]

Wind Speed

Grades: 1, 2, 4
Industry: Power and Propulsion
Content Area: Earth and Space Sciences, Physical Science, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry, Scientific Ways of Knowing

Students will explore wind and its ability to do work.  Over the course of several short lessons students will observe wind in nature using a self-constructed anemometer and Beaufort scale.  Through use of these tools students will measure the wind speed.  Students will also design or use a prefabricated kite to test the winds ability […]

Pollution Effects on Plant Growth

Grades: 7, 8
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, Human Performance and Medicine
Content Area: Data Analysis and Probability, Measurement, Measurement and Data, Scientific Ways of Knowing

As industries transition from assembly lines to advanced manufacturing, there are more machines being utilized in the manufacturing and assembly process. These machines, as all machines do, require lubricants to run smoothly and efficiently. Owners also use chemical liquids to clean the machines periodically to maintain their performance. Once these lubricants and industrial cleaners are […]

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 […]

Let’s Heat Things Up

Grades: 10, 11, 12, 9
Industry: Sensors
Content Area: Physical Science, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry, Scientific Ways of Knowing

This activity will explore heat transfer and temperature conversion.  Students will conduct Internet based inquiries on conduction, convection, and radiation to understand a thermal sensor lab.  Use of the data collected from this lab will be implemented in the investigation, design, and testing of solar cooker.  Through a provided scenario students employ their knowledge to […]

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