Join us in celebrating Engineers Week! This year’s theme is Discover Engineering – Let’s Make a Difference. There is a wealth of resources for teachers, students, and volunteers to celebrate the event, and we have picked some of our favorites!
For Teachers: The Discover E website is full of activities and videos to use in your classroom. Design, aerospace, computer science, environmental and energy engineering are all types of projects included in the list. Here is engineering principles with Slinky Science, electrical circuits with the Power of Graphene, and chemical reactions with Catalysis: Change for the Better. The full list is HERE!
For Students: Check out the Career Outlook on engineering; the average salary for engineers in 2011 was $99,738, and the field of engineering is expected to grow by 10 percent in the next ten years! Engineering Careers explores the many industries looking for new graduates. Remember, Energy4me has a full list of petroleum engineering schools and programs HERE!
Girl Day: Formerly known as Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, Girl Day celebrates the importance of girls in engineering. Great role models and mentors are shaping future engineers during events on February 20. Find an Idea Starter to get involved.
Engineering Challenges: Always a quick activity to encourage teamwork and creativity, while fostering the love of science in kids! One of the 2013-2014 Albert Einstein Fellows, James Town, posted some classroom challenges that are cheap, easy, and great for Engineers Week. Find his full post HERE, but we’re sharing what he says about his best design ideas:
Best Helicopter Challenge:
Materials: Paper, Scissors, Paper clips, Stopwatch (optional)
Students cut out their Bunny Copter and go through the design process to improve it. I usually host the Eweek events at lunch so there is a natural design cut off. Then drop the copters head-to-head (or keep a running total of best times) to determine the winner. I make copies of the Bunny Copter Challenge from PBS Kids.
Best Boat Challenge:
Materials: 1’x1’ squares of aluminum; Something small, but kind of heavy that you can get a lot of (like dice or pennies); Buckets of water
Students craft a boat out of the aluminum foil (and only the aluminum foil) and try to keep the maximum amount of pennies afloat with their boat. Each trial they redesign and make it better. (Idea from Jefferson Labs)
Best Airplane Challenge:
Students make paper airplanes and try to make one that goes the furthest.
Best Jet Car Challenge:
Materials: Toy cars (e.g. Matchbox cars), Balloons, Straws, Tape, Paper clips
Admittedly, this one has the highest initial cost, but it also is the coolest. Students need to make the car go as far as possible passed the starting line. I always emphasize they cannot interact with it in any way once it passes the starting line. For extra engagement, the winner can keep their car. I originally got the idea from the e-week website run by American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
We’d want to hear your plans for Engineers Week! Share with us in the comments or visit us on Facebook www.Facebook.com/Energy4me. You can also connect with us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Energy4me!