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Think Like an Engineer

Author(s): Gregory L. Vogt, EdD, Barbara Z. Tharp, MS, Michael T. Vu, MS, and Nancy P. Moreno, PhD.
Think Like an Engineer
  • Grades:
  • 6-8

Students follow an engineer's approach as they identify problems, brainstorm solutions, design a plan, build, test, refine and produce a product or solution. Activities in Think Like an Engineer Teacher’s Guide include the following.

  1. Ring Wing Gliders: Investigating Engineering - Can you work like an engineer?

  2. Boomerangs: Many Happy Returns - Will a boomerang always come back no matter how it is thrown?

  3. Javelin Rockets: Throwing to the Max - How does the angle affect distance?

  4. Catapults: Powering a Projectile - Does design make a difference?

  5. Wind-up Racers: The Potential for Speed - Where is the energy transformation?

  6. Rocket Cars: Off to the Races - How can a balloon propel a race car?

  7. Roller Coasters: Getting Loopy - How high can you go?

  8. Kinetic Art: Sculptures in Motion - What makes a kinetic sculpture work?

The STEM activities found in the Think Like an Engineer Teacher’s Guide may be used individually or as a teaching unit focusing on physical science. Though designed for middle school students, activities also may be appropriate for upper level elementary students.

Download: Think Like an Engineer Teacher's Guide

Funded by the following grant(s)

National Science Foundation

National Science Foundation, Directorate of Education and Human Resources

Grant Number: DRL-1028771