Posts Tagged ‘engineering’

Online Engineering Resources for Kids

My dad – a Civil Engineer by trade – was participating in a middle school career fair the other day and wanted some input on his presentation. He did a great job of giving kids exposure to all the different types of engineering.

I was particularly impressed by the American Civil Engineers Society page for kids, parents, and teachers! There are fabulous resources and games for all ages about the opportunities associated with becoming an engineer.

Check it out!

NASA’s Great Moonbuggy Race

I saw this photo gallery about NASA’s Great Moonbuggy Race the other day and just had to share!

Students and other participants flock to Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama to race their Moonbuggies: vehicles they have designed to withstand the elements on the moon. Teams race their buggies around the course and compete for speed and design.

This would be a fantastic project for a high school or university engineering or physics course! Check out the Great Moonbuggy Race website for more information.

Creme Egg Commercials

I love the Creme Egg commercials.

I also love Creme Eggs.

I came across this post today and can’t believe I’ve been writing for over a year. In honor of that, here’s my favorite Creme Egg commercial with a list of links to the others. This could be a great application of Rube-Goldberg machines – how complicated can you make your Creme Egg Contraption?

Newton’s Cradle Creme Egg:

Other great Creme Egg commercials:

General Motors [GM] Education Resources

I just discovered that GM has an incredible wealth of resources for educators!

First, there’s Teach Green, the education blog. It is written by science and technology teachers with tips and commentary on teaching students to be environmentally literacy. As written on the website:

This section of GM Education was created as a gateway for “green” educators to share their experiences and inspirations for teaching lessons about the environment. To educate. To inspire. To, well, teach green.

You can contribute your ideas a stories by emailing

Second, the general education page for GM is chalk-full of excellent resources for energy and environmental lessons for all grades:

  1. About GM Education Page
  2. Grade Appropriate Resources – Separated into K-4, 5-8, and 9-12, this section gives students, parents, and teachers resources related to energy and the environment.
  3. Lesson Plans – fantastic plans for teachers that are interactive and interdisciplinary in nature.
  4. Games include topics such as the environment, science and engineering, general knowledge, and word games.
  5. Teach Green – education and energy blog written by educators.
  6. Coloring Pages for kids related to cars, energy, the environment, and our planet.
  7. Photos from the 2010 Auto Shows

I am really looking forward to getting to know this resource better – I am certain that students will enjoy it as well!

Engineering Design: Kosciuszko Bridge

There was an article in one of the New York Times’ blogs recently on the plans to rebuild the Kosciuszko Bridge on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in New York City. There’s also a video that shows a virtual tour and test drive of the bridge and an opportunity to vote and comment on the final bridge design to be started in 2014.

What a great opportunity for an engineering design project. You could analyze the different design proposals and discuss the benefits of each. It’s also a great chance to talk about the aesthetics involved in design and debate their importance. Finally, kids could team up to build scale models of their favorite proposed design!

Thomas Edison’s House and Laboratory

This weekend my husband and  I went to Thomas Edison’s estate Glenmont in West Orange, NJ. This was not his home when he invented electricity, but a massive laboratory sits at the bottom of the hill. The laboratory will reopen from renovations fall 2009. Here are some highlights of the afternoon, as well as a slide show of all our pictures at the end of the post.

Outside Edison's HouseOur picture just before the tour started.

Edison's House: GlenmontThe back of the house with the beautiful lawn.

Edisons Porch LightsThe large porch lined with lights.

Edison's LaboratoryEdison’s Laboratory. We couldn’t go inside because of renovations, but it opens again in the Fall 2009.

Edison's graveThomas Edison and his wife are both buried on the property.

To see other interesting parts of our visit (including a portrait of the Lord Kelvin), check out this slide show.

100th Post! Fun and Games…

I can’t believe I am at my 100th post already!! In honor of that, I’m sharing some really addicting, science related computer games I found lately.

Electric Box

ElectricBoxI found Electric Box at and I was so excited when I realized it was a game all about creating circuits. In each level, the goal is to use the power supply (green button in the picture to the left) to cause the atomic picture to spin. In the case of Level 9 pictured here, I was given a water turbine, electric kettle, steam detector, magnet, IPS battery, and refrigerator in order to connect the power supply to the atomic symbol. The game is a great teaching tool, because it combines electricity, magnetism, mechanical energy, lasers, mirrors/reflection, and thermodynamics into one succinct circuit-related Physics computer game! All 14 levels are addicting and YouTube has walkthroughs available.

Bridge Craft

BridgeCraftI found Bridge Craft on and it challenges the player to build bridges for the characters to cross using wood planks secured by steel and/or rope and confined by a budget. This would be a really neat game to use as a supplement to any sort of engineering, center of mass, or torque lectures. Some of the levels require extreme creativity since the challenges are not always simple and straightforward. The level pictured to the left was a bit troublesome for me because the ropes had to be just the right length, otherwise my bridge kept collapsing every time the little blue guy crossed! Walkthrough available on YouTube.


I hope you get a chance to play for a bit – happy 100th post!!!

Crazy Creme Egg Contraption

Just found this neat video courtesy of

Things To Do with a Cadbury Egg

More Science Games

Just found a great website with all sorts of online science games and “adventures”. The site also includes online and offline science experiments!!!

Check it out HERE!

Middle School Engineering Contest

  WASHINGTON — Iceland’s economy may be on the ropes, but a group of middle-school students still envisions an eco-inspired day when the nation has housing units with reusable water systems and rooftop fields for farming or recreation.

With their scale model of this futuristic vision for Iceland, the team of eighth-graders from Bexley Middle School in Bexley, Ohio, won the 17th Annual National Engineers Week Future City Competition. The event challenges schools around the country to apply engineering solutions to modern problems.

A panel of judges grilled 38 teams of middle-school engineers at the final judging Wednesday. Each group was assigned to use recycled materials and a budget of $100 to build a model city that conserves, recycles and reuses water sources.

Abby Sharp, 14, part of the winning team, maintained a quiet demeanor even after winning.

“It’s shock. And a little bit of sleep deprivation,” Abby says.

Abby was joined by team members Tom Krajnak, 14, and Wyatt Peery, 13.

The team spent hours researching existing technologies — their least-favorite part of the competition, they said — before inventing realistic new technologies for their future city.

“Engineering is a terrific career choice for them, and we’ve helped them understand that,” says Greg Bentley, CEO of Bentley Systems, an engineering software firm that sponsored the event.

The second place team was from St. Thomas More School in Baton Rouge. Placing third: St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School, South Miami.

The winning team receives a trip to U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala. The second- and third-place teams receive $5,000 and $2,000 scholarships, respectively, for their school’s technology programs.

“We focused a lot on not only the research, but how they worked together as a team,” says judge Allison Whatley, a nuclear surface warfare officer with the U.S. Navy. “This is, you can see, a massive task, to build a city from nothing.”


Original Article Found HERE