STEM Curriculum



Eco-Park Design

Grades: 4, 5
Industry: Environmental Engineering
Content Area: Design, Design Process, Designed World, Earth and Space Sciences, Earth Systems, Engineering, Environmental Science, Geography, Geometry, Geometry and Spatial Sense, Interconnections within Systems, Social Studies Skills and Methods, Text Types and Purposes, Writing

In this unit, student design teams create a plan for an Eco Park that achieves multiple goals for their client, International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF). Students gain knowledge about the ecology of various ecosystems and explore both positive and negative ways in which humans impact the environment. They brainstorm solutions for reducing detrimental effects […]

Lunchbox of the Future

Grades: 3, 4
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials
Content Area: Economics, Engineering, Interconnections within Systems, Language, Measurement and Data, Number and Operations in Base Ten, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Speaking and Listening, Technology

Working people, school children, and others pack meals to take with them that will be eaten later in the day, however there may not be access to refrigeration or the capability to heat their food.  Students will design and build a lunchbox that will maintain two different temperatures in different sections of the lunchbox. Students […]

What’s All the Commotion about Erosion

Grades: 4
Industry: Environmental Engineering
Content Area: Design, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering, Geography, Measurement and Data, Social Studies Skills and Methods, Speaking and Listening, Writing

Grade: 4 River erosion is the removal of rock material from the banks and bed of a river.  In this unit, students will use a physical model of a river bed to determine the causes of erosion and will brainstorm ways to prevent it within their model.  Concepts of environmental engineering will be applied to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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 […]

Divisibility Gadget

Grades: 4, 5
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials
Content Area: Mathematical Processes, Number and Operations in Base Ten, Number Sense and Operations

Students will be given a set of materials to use to design and build a divisibility gadget that communicates (or allows practice of) the divisibility rules and could be used to solve problems.  The gadgets will be given to parents in order to solve math problems created by the students. Number, Number Sense and Operations […]

Tires or Tracks

Grades: 3, 4, 5
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials
Content Area: Data Analysis and Probability, Patterns Functions and Algebra, Physical Science, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry, Technology

Tires and Tracks Build Instructions Physical Science Grade band 3-5 – Benchmark C: Describe the forces that directly affect objects and their motion. Science and Technology Grade band 3-5 – Benchmark B:  Describe and illustrate the design process. Scientific Inquiry Grade band 3-5 – Benchmark B:  Organize and evaluate observations, measurements and other data to […]

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