Welcome Global Day of the Engineer to Engineers Week
Award-winning PBS Design Squad is going global. Design Squad Global launches tomorrow as part of Engineers Week. Join the movement this E-Week to introduce kids to engineering and inspire students around the world.
This year, Engineers Week celebrates its first Global Day (February 24), a day dedicated to introducing students to engineering and to the ways in which engineers can help solve challenges that happen in their local communities as well as around the world.
In partnership with Design Squad Global, teachers can download Global Day engineering activities on the DiscoverE site. Targeting different global challenges, these classroom activities encourage students to think like engineers and to brainstorm real-world solutions. The activities are:
- Seismic Shake-Up!: explore the science and engineering behind designing structures that can survive earthquakes.
- Emergency Shelter: explore the issue of shelter needed in response to emergencies (like natural disasters), and then design an emergency shelter big enough and sturdy enough for at least one person.
- Helping Hand: explore the ways in which robotic hands or prosthetic devices can be used, and then design and build a device that can be used to grab an object that is hard to reach.
To download these engineering activities, available in five languages, teachers will need to take the DiscoverE Global Day pledge to lead students in a hands-on engineering project.
Design Squad Goes Global
Design Squad Global aims to "connects kids to their peers from around the world, empowering them to solve global engineering challenges and expanding their cross-cultural understanding." In coming months, Design Squad Global will be launching DSG Clubs which will connect students in out-of-school programs around the world. Guided by an engineer or educator, students in DSG clubs will work on engineering projects that target challenges in their communities.
Teachers and students interested in the Global Day engineering challenges, may also enjoy exploring project ideas and activities like these on the Science Buddies site:
Grasping with Straws: Make a Robot Hand Using Drinking Straws: design a hand with joints that bend. How many fingers does the hand need? How many joints? What kinds of tasks can a robot hand perform?
Now You're Cooking! Building a Simple Solar Oven: build a solar oven from materials like cardboard boxes and aluminum foil and experiment to find the most efficient design. How can simple concepts like this be used to help solve problems around the world?
From Contaminated to Clean: How Filtering Can Clean Water: experiment to see how a simple filter column works to filter different kinds of liquids. Access to clean water is important in all communities. How can science and engineering be applied to create inexpensive ways to provide safer water in communities around the world? See also: Carbon Filters and Adsorbing Science.)
Set Your Table for a Sweet and Sticky Earthquake Shake: make models using peanut butter and sugar cubes to see how the impact of side-to-side shaking differs in different types of soil. Earthquakes are a natural threat in many parts of the world. Understanding how to build structures to better withstand shaking caused by an earthquake can make a difference in communities around the world.
Build a Gumdrop Geodesic Dome: explore the geometry and strength of a geodesic dome by building one from candies and toothpicks. Or scale up with straws or rolled newspaper. What gives the geodesic dome its strength? Where else can you find examples of this shape? What geometric patterns can you spot in a geodesic dome?
Put Your Water to Work: Using Hydropower to Lift a Load: experiment with hydropower, an alternative and renewable form of energy, to see how converting the kinetic energy in moving water to mechanical energy can be used to lift something.
These are just a few of the many projects at Science Buddies that encourage students to think like engineers, to tackle science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) projects with real-world connections, and to brainstorm, prototype, test, and refine possible solutions to engineering challenges.
Take the Fluor Challenge
Do your students love the challenge of solving an engineering problem? Don't miss the 2016 Fluor Engineering Challenge! The #FluorChallenge is open to K-12 students around the world. Students in certain locations are eligible for entry in a random drawing for cash awards for their school or organization. See the Fluor Engineering Challenge page for complete information.
Support Engineers Week
Engineers Week, a DiscoverE program, runs February 21-27, 2016. Follow Engineers Week conversations, photos, success stories, and projects at Twitter with the hashtags #eweek2016 and #NationalEngineersWeek.