STEM Curriculum



Sunshades and Shadows

Grades: K, Pre K
Industry: Environmental Engineering
Content Area: Algebra, Craft and Structure, Daily and Seasonal Changes, Design, Design Process, Designed World, Energy, Engineering, Geometry, Informational Text, Key Ideas and Details, Measurement and Data, Patterns Functions and Algebra, Physical Science, Research to Build and Present Knowledge, Speaking and Listening, Text Types and Purposes, Writing

Students participate in hands-on inquiry-based centers and guided activities to increase knowledge of shadows and light.  Students explore and manipulate light, using a light source to simulate the sun at various times of day and observe shadows, create and measure shadows, and test how various types of media block light. Students explore the shadows created […]

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 […]

Pollution Solution: Community Aquifer Contaminants

Grades: 7
Industry: Environmental Engineering
Content Area: Expressions and Equations, Order and Organization, Speaking and Listening, Statistics and Probability, Technology, Technology and Information Literacy, Writing

Students will assume the role of an environmental engineering EPA officer for this lesson. They will investigate a contaminated off site residential property and will try to determine the source of contamination. Surrounding the property is Wright Patterson Air Force Base, a dry cleaner, and a corporate farm. Students will investigate contaminants from each of […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

Moving On Up

Grades: 11, 12
Industry: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials, Environmental Engineering
Content Area: Algebra, Contemporary World Issues, Creating Equations, Design, Design Process, Designed World, Physical Science, Reading: Informational Text, Speaking and Listening, Statistics, Technology, Writing

Teams of students will design and build a model for a transportation system in the Virunga Mountains. Student learning will focus on science (physics of simple machines), math (statistics and modeling), language arts (technical writing) and history (African people and mountain ranges) to solve this problem.

It’s NOT Easy Being Green Algae!

Grades: 10, 11
Industry: Agricultural Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Power and Propulsion
Content Area: Contemporary World Issues, Design, Design Process, Designed World, Earth Systems, Engineering, Environmental Science, Government, Life Science, Reading: Informational Text, Statistics, Technology, Visual Arts, Writing

After being initially exposed to the basics of photosynthesis and cellular respiration, student teams design an algae growth chamber focusing primarily on producing large quantities of algae.  Teams collect and measure algae on a daily basis, and research uses of algae for a sustainable fuel source.  In order to inform the public about the potential […]

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