STEM Curriculum



Universal Cell Phone Sound Amplifier

Grades: 9
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials
Content Area: Algebra, Contemporary World Issues, Energy and Waves, Geometry, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, Key Ideas and Details, Production and Distribution of Writing, Speaking and Listening

Student teams are challenged to create an energy-free speaker system for any hand-held device.  In order to effectively complete the design challenge, students will explore the wave behaviors and transfer of energy in a sound wave.  Students will also analyze the volume of the device and the speaker system as solid figures.  Students will study […]

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 […]

Using Nanoparticles to Deliver Targeted Chemotherapy Drugs

Grades: 10, 11, 12, 9
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, Human Performance and Medicine, Sensors
Content Area: Biology, Geometry, Number and Quantity, Speaking and Listening, Technology, Writing

Cancer is a part of our daily lives. The treatment for most cancer patients is usually achieved through aggressive chemotherapy.  Unfortunately this treatment has major side effects as it destroys not only the cancer cells but also the non-cancerous cells around it. Is there a method of treating cancer using nanotechnology to help target just […]

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, […]

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 […]

Security Alert

Grades: 10, 9
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, Sensors
Content Area: Building Functions, Design, Energy and Waves, Quantities, Speaking and Listening, Visual Arts, Writing

Teams of students are presented with a scenario in which they are employees at a local museum. Each team member assumes a different jobs within the museum and completes research based on that role. Teams are tasked to boost museum attendance at their museum by acquiring an exhibition from the Smithsonian SITES program. Their task […]

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 […]

Mechanical Cornhole

Grades: 9
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials
Content Area: Creating Equations, Design, Designed World, Physical Science, Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities, Writing

In this instructional unit, students will analyze the force interactions of simple machines to identify ways to mechanically perform the task of depositing a bean bag into the hole on a cornhole board.  Following analysis of four simple machines, students will design a system that is both accurate and precise in its function.  Students will […]

Sterilization Station

Grades: 10, 9
Industry: Human Performance and Medicine
Content Area: Life Science, Science and Technology, Scientific Inquiry

Bacterial and fungal spores are all around us every day. Most of the bacteria that we encounter are not harmful to us but a few are and these can lead to undesirable, even fatal, outcomes. In this activity, students will design and construct a container with a germ free environment and will then test to […]

Dyes that Bind

Grades: 10, 11, 12, 9
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials
Content Area: Chemistry, Contemporary World Issues, Design, Geometry, Number and Quantity, Physical Science, Reading: Informational Text, Speaking and Listening, Technology and Information Literacy, Visual Arts, Writing

In this unit, students will investigate different types of solvents and their effects upon ink and dye solubility in order to create designs for a student artifact.  They will explore basic chemistry principles and mathematics to design and create a t-shirt, book mark, class quilt, or other artifact that will inspire nonviolence in their community. […]

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