From creating systems to desalinate water using solar energy to growing rooftop gardens to increase food supply and regulate building temperature, environmental engineers tackle all kinds of problems and innovate new solutions to help create a more sustainable world. Students and classes can explore environmental engineering with a range of hands-on science projects.This week (April 13-19) is National Environmental Education Week (EE Week). Sponsored by Samsung, this year's EE Week celebrates the theme Greening STEM: Engineering a Sustainable World and encourages students in all grades to learn more about the ways in which engineering can be used to develop sustainable solutions.
On the EE Week website, teachers will find a plethora of resources and tools for use with students, all of which celebrate the ways in which environmental engineers tackle real-world challenges as they "make, move, and improve" the world around them. The downloadable Educator Toolkit: Engineering a Sustainable World highlights a collection of environmental engineering science projects from various online science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) sites. Suggestions for environmental engineering projects in areas of Biomimicry, Sustainable Energy & Design, Recycling & Reusable Materials, and Environmental Conservation are listed by grade to make it easy for teachers to locate projects relevant to their classes.
Science Buddies is proud to have projects included in this resource to support and encourage teachers to integrate hands-on environmental engineering lessons and activities in the classroom. In addition to project summaries, the resource includes an infographic and an overview of games and apps related to environmental engineering.
Exploring Green Engineering
Students interested in environmental engineering, or teachers and parents looking to find projects that can be adapted for in-class or at-home science learning, can explore further in projects like these:
- Rooftop Gardens: Are They a Cool Idea?: rooftop gardens can be used as a food supply, but do they also affect the temperature inside a building? In this science project, students experiment with their own miniature rooftop gardens to find out.
- Green Technology: Build an Electronic Rain Detector to Conserve Water: can you help decrease water waste by building a circuit that shuts power off to a sprinkler system when it is raining?
- From Contaminated to Clean: How Filtering Can Clean Water: experiment with filtering different kinds of liquid using a filter column.
- Solar-Powered Water Desalination: experiment to find out how the design of the device, including color, affects the efficiency of a solar-powered device used to desalinate water.
- From Brine to Beverage: Solar-Powered Salt Removal: observe the water cycle in action in a bowl as you make freshwater from saltwater using solar power.
- Cold Room? Heat It Up with A Homemade Solar Air Heater: can we take advantage of the Sun to help heat rooms in houses without relying on fossil fuels?
- Energy Is Blowing in the Wind: wind may be a good source of alternative energy, but the location you choose to place a wind generator may make a difference in how much you can collect—and how much electricity it can produce.
- Are You in Hot Water? Use the Sun's Energy to Heat Your Own Water: experiment with batch solar collectors made from different colored plastic bags to see which color heats water the best.
- Water-Wise: Building a Rainwater Collection System *: rain water isn't water that should be used for drinking. The water can be used for other things—but first you have to collect it!
- View all Environmental Engineering Project Ideas...