Engineers Week Resources from the National Science Teachers Association

Engineers Week logoEngineers Week is February 16–22, 2014. Engineering is in the spotlight right now—and science teachers need to know how to incorporate it into their STEM curriculum, what resources really work, and where to get online PD to stay current. Use this resource collection from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) to find everything you need.

Elementary Resources

Core Ideas of Engineering and Technology
This article from Science and Children addresses Chapter 8 of A Framework for K–12 Science Education, which presents core ideas in technology and engineering at the same level as core ideas in the traditional science fields. (free)

Problem Solvers
This book chapter from Even More Picture-Perfect Science Lessons, K-5: Using Children’s Books to Guide Inquiry presents a lesson that introduces Benjamin Franklin’s timeless inventions to inspire students to use the engineering design process to solve some of their own everyday problems. ($2.79 – NSTA Member Price; $3.49 – Nonmember Price)

Archived Web Seminar: Engineering Practices in the Next Generation Science Standards
Presented by Mariel Milano, P-SELL and STEM Coordinator for Orange County Public Schools, this archived web seminar focuses on the role of technology and engineering in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). (free)

The Crooked Swing
This book chapter from Yet More Everyday Science Mysteries: Stories for Inquiry-Based Science Teaching presents a story that allows the reader to apply what is known about pendulums to a new problem and to use technical skills to solve a problem.  ($2.79 – NSTA Member Price ; $3.49 – Nonmember Price)

Middle School Resources

Web Seminar: Engineering Design Challenge: Spacecraft Structures, February 26, 2014 (mark your calendar!)
This web seminar for educators of students in grades 5–9 features an engineering design challenge called “Spacecraft Structures” where students use the engineering design process to build and test a spacecraft thrust structure that meets the requirements of a scientific mission. Web seminar participants will receive an overview of the design challenge and get information about materials required to implement the lesson in the classroom. Participants will brainstorm ways to modify this challenge to teach the engineering process while covering content. (free)

The Future Scientists and Engineers Conferences: Using Community Resources to Enhance the Science Fair
This Science Scope article portrays students as conference attendees, who arrive at the registration desk at 9:00 a.m. sharp, eager to start their day. While standing in line, they talk excitedly about the sessions they’ve chosen to see, the original investigation they’ll be presenting, off-site field trips for which they’ve registered, and the businesses scheduled to have booths in the Exhibitor’s Hall this year. However, the attendees of this conference are not scientists, educators, or even adults—they are students in grades 4—6! Each year, more than 300 children from three different schools gather for the Future Scientists and Engineers Conference (FSEC). This article describes this memorable opportunity for students to engage in inquiry while interacting with science and math professionals. (free)

Get a Grip! A Middle School Engineering Challenge
This free book chapter from Integrating Engineering and Science in Your Classroom  is a problem-based unit that places middle school students in the role of engineers who are challenged to design and construct prosthetic arms for amputees in a war-torn country. It presents a practical and efficient mode of interdisciplinary instruction meeting state and national standards in science, math, reading, and social studies. (free)

Integrating Engineering and Science in Your Classroom
This compilation of 30 articles from NSTA’s journals will excite students with activities involving everything from light sabers and egg racers to prosthetic arms and potatoes and applies to lessons in life and environmental science, Earth science, and physical science. ($23.96 – NSTA Member Price ; $29.95 – Nonmember Price)

Everyday Engineering: Putting the E in STEM Teaching and Learning, Grades 6-8
Spark students’ fascination with the marvels of engineering with this collection of 14 activities that explore engineering’s role in five areas: the office, the kitchen, the bathroom, electricity, and outdoor recreation.  ($15.96 – NSTA Member Price; $19.95 – Nonmember Price)

High School Resources

Web Seminar: Engineering Design Challenge: Thermal Protection System, February 20, 2014 (mark your calendar!)
This web seminar for educators of students in grades 8-12 features the engineering design challenge “Thermal Protection System” where students use the engineering design process to design a thermal protection system and test it using a propane torch. Web seminar participants will gain strategies for implementing the challenge and learn about research at NASA on a promising new thermal protection system called the Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD), which could be used during spacecraft entry, descent, and landing. (free)

Serving the Community Through STEM
The January 2014 issue of NSTA Reports features educators who are turning to community service projects to not only make science, technology, engineering, and mathematics relevant to students, but to give them hands–on experiences with the engineering process. (free)

The January 2013 issue of The Science Teacher is themed “Scientific and Engineering Practices.” The articles focus on how teaching science has important implications for human society and the future of our planet. All students will need to make ethical decisions about complex socio-scientific issues that arise as a consequence of new science and technology. An emphasis on socio-scientific connections helps students learn important content while developing their ability to make informed decisions about critical issues. This edition of the journal will help you bring the necessary emphasis to your own classroom.

Featured articles (please note, only those marked “free” are available to nonmembers without a fee):

General Support for K-12 Educators

Engineering and Science: Technological Partners”: Featured Strand at NSTA’s 2014 National Conference on Science Education in Boston, MA, April 3–6: This strand explores the thoughtful, effective, and meaningful integration of technologies to increase STEM learning and understanding. Sessions organized around this strand include a featured presentation on Thursday, April 3 3:30–4:30 PM (“Engineering and Science: Strengthening the Partnership”) by Yvonne M. Spicer (Vice President for Advocacy and Educational Partnerships, National Center for Technological Literacy, Museum of Science: Boston, MA).

The American Society of Civil Engineers has a great Engineers Week toolkit, with tips on getting organized, links to resources, free posters, activities, graphics, and more.

Looking for more? Search among more than 6,000 resources, quality professional development opportunities (many of which are free), and management and reporting tools. The NSTA Learning Center can help with your professional development needs. To check out The NSTA Learning Center, click here.

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