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PBS LearningMedia’s NGSS and Engineering collection is a compilation of 36 lessons and several professional development segments that infuse engineering practices into the classroom. Content is sorted by age, and teachers are supported through teacher tips and background essays. Videos are streaming (some are downloadable), and many have related handouts -- kids are bound to love these, as well as the design challenges.
Start with the PD videos -- these can be an introduction (or review) to engineering as a process and engineers as creative problem-solvers. Lean on clear lesson tips and handouts in the Engineering is Elementary activities to educate younger students. At the same time, you'll be able to create excitement through activities like building towers to support stuffed animals. If you teach upper-elementary or middle school kids, help your students make meaningful connections between space science and engineering. Use the Design Squad Nation video segments and the lesson plans grounded in the NASA explorations. Students create and test magnetic field detectors and core samplers! Biology and anatomy classrooms can extend into fields of prosthetics and robotics. Standout resources include Modeling Truss Structures, Designing Parachutes, and Tissue Engineering.Continue reading Show less
Key Standards Supported
Earth and Human Activity
Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.
Apply scientific principles to design, construct, and test a device that either minimizes or maximizes thermal energy transfer.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Gather and synthesize information that sensory receptors respond to stimuli by sending messages to the brain for immediate behavior or storage as memories.
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Ask questions to determine cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other.
Define a simple design problem that can be solved by applying scientific ideas about magnets.
Apply scientific and engineering ideas to design, evaluate, and refine a device that minimizes the force on a macroscopic object during a collision.