STEM Curriculum



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 […]

Stop Stomping on Me

Grades: 6, 7
Industry: Agricultural Engineering, Environmental Engineering
Content Area: Contemporary World Issues, Data Analysis and Probability, Design, Design Process, Designed World, Earth and Space Sciences, Earth Systems, Engineering, Environmental Science, Expressions and Equations, Geometry, Geometry and Spatial Sense, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, Interconnections within Systems, Language, Mathematical Processes, Measurement, Measurement and Data, Order and Organization, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry, Speaking and Listening, Technology and Information Literacy, The Number System, Writing

Student engineering teams assist a city that is building a new soccer field for the World Cup competition.  To protect the city’s precious groundwater, the city requires a field that is as environmentally sustainable as possible, but also meets the needs of professional players.  Students are challenged to design the optimum layered soil arrangement (soil […]

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 […]

Eco-Shipping

Grades: 6
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, Environmental Engineering
Content Area: Data Analysis and Probability, Design, Design Process, Designed World, Engineering, Geometry, Geometry and Spatial Sense, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, Mathematical Processes, Measurement, Measurement and Data, Observations of Objects and Materials, Observations of the Environment, Order and Organization, Physical Science, Ratios and Proportional Relationships, Reading: Informational Text, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry, Speaking and Listening, Technology and Communication Applications, Visual Arts, Writing

Student teams utilize the engineering process to build an eco-friendly, cost-effective packaging prototype for shipping products.  In order to effectively complete the design challenge, students research recyclable packaging options for diminishing the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill.  Teams follow the engineering design process to design a prototype, and utilize a Decision Analysis […]

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.

The Dayton Trebuchet

Grades: 6
Industry: Power and Propulsion
Content Area: Expressions and Equations, Geometry and Spatial Sense, Order and Organization

In this lesson students will design a working trebuchet for maximum accuracy, distance and force using the engineering design process. Students will utilize the measurement formulas to calculate kinetic and potential energy and therefore create a trebuchet for a specific function (ex. Hitting a target, knocking down a wall or launching for distance).

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, […]

Spelling Bee Bumble

Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8
Industry: Human Performance and Medicine
Content Area: Data Analysis and Probability, Ratios and Proportional Relationships, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry, Scientific Ways of Knowing, Statistics and Probability

In studies done with pilots testing cockpit displays, lower reaction times (more desirable) were found with chromatic color schemes when compared to monochrome codes. Careful management of color must be utilized to “meet legibility, attention management, and color coding demands” in the new complex cockpit and air traffic control displays. This investigation will help students […]

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