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Civil Engineering Lesson Plans (14 results)

Civil engineering is a field for problem solvers. From setting up water systems for drinking and irrigation to major transportation systems like highways, airports, subways, and railroads, civil engineers take on big challenges. In today's world, civil engineers also face big challenges: providing the modern infrastructure for a growing human population, and finding ways to do this that are environmentally sound, safe, and cost-effective. Experience what it is like, on a smaller scale, to tackle these problems.

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Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
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6 reviews
Explore how technology can save lives in this fun engineering lesson plan! Earthquakes can cause devastation and loss of life when they strike, but earthquake-resistant buildings can stay standing and keep people safe. In this project, your students will build model earthquake-resistant buildings and measure their movement during a simulated earthquake using a mobile phone and a sensor app. A French translation of this activity is available. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-ESS3-2. Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
  • MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Featured
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
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7 reviews
Junkbots are easy-to-build robots that you can make using a simple circuit and some recyclable materials. In this lesson, your students will learn about engineering design as they compete to build the fastest robot. No previous robotics experience is required! Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Lesson Plan Grade: Kindergarten-2nd
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Your students have probably walked or ridden over a bridge at some point in their lives. In this engineering activity they will design and make bridges out of folded pieces of paper, and test how much weight they can hold with pennies. How does the shape of a bridge affect its strength? Let your students explore and find out with this lesson! This lesson can be expanded to a second lesson looking at how the material a bridge is made out of can change its strength; see second lesson for details. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
  • K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
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Teach your students about the engineering design process with this fun lesson plan. They will design and build the tallest possible tower using nothing but paper and tape, but there's an additional twist on this classic activity. The tower must support a heavy weight at the top without collapsing! Teachers, note that middle school and high school versions of this lesson plan are also available. The 2021 Engineering Challenge is over, but you can still try this fun lesson with your students,… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
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Teach your students about the engineering design process with this fun lesson plan. They will design and build the tallest possible tower using nothing but paper and tape, but there's an additional twist on this classic activity. The tower must support a heavy weight at the top without collapsing! Teachers, note that elementary and high school versions of this lesson plan are also available. The 2021 Engineering Challenge is over, but you can still try out this fun challenge with your… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
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Add a twist to a classic activity with this fun lesson plan. Your students will design and build a ball run for a ping pong ball using nothing but paper and tape. Their goal is to make the slowest ball run possible. How long can they make it take for the ball to go through their ball run? The 2022 competition is over, but you can see what students built and learn about the winners on the 2022 Engineering Challenge summary page. Teachers, note that elementary and high school … Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
New
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-12th
Create a two-part system for filtering greywater. Teams will focus on communication and systems engineering as they build separate components to filter solid and liquid waste and then combine them into one device. Learning Objectives Students will: Consider the potential effects of drought and how greywater could be part of the solution. Design a system for filtering out solid waste or liquid waste. Consider effective communication strategies with their team. Collaborate on their design… Read more
Lesson Plan Grade: 9th-12th
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Teach your students about the engineering design process with this fun lesson plan. The lesson is based on the real-world challenge of designing an observation tower. Can your students maximize the height of the tower while minimizing the amount of material needed to construct it? Teachers, note that elementary and middle school versions of this lesson plan are also available. The 2021 Engineering Challenge is over, but you can still try out this fun challenge with your students, or check… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
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Add a twist to a classic activity with this fun lesson plan. Your students will design and build a ball run for a ping pong ball using nothing but paper and tape. Their goal is to make the slowest ball run possible. How long can they make it take for the ball to go through their ball run? The 2022 competition is over, but you can see what students built and learn about the winners on the 2022 Engineering Challenge summary page. Teachers, note that middle school and high school … Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Lesson Plan Grade: 9th-12th
Students investigate passive solar building design with a focus solely on heating. They learn how insulation, window placement, thermal mass, surface colors, and site orientation play important roles in passive solar heating. They use this information to design and build their own model houses, and test them for thermal gains and losses during a simulated day and night. Teams compare designs and make suggestions for improvements.Engineering Connection Passive solar… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • HS-ETS1-2. Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
  • HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Video Lesson Grade: 2nd
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Bridges are made of many different materials: steel, stone, wood and even rope. How do engineers decide which materials to use? In this activity, your students will learn about material properties, test the strength and flexibility of several materials, and use their test information to predict which material will result in the strongest bridge. They will test their hypotheses by buiding simple bridges from each material and determining which bridge can hold the most weight. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 2-PS1-2. Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.
Lesson Plan Grade: 9th-12th
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Add a twist to a classic activity with this fun lesson plan. Your students will design and build a ball run for a ping pong ball using nothing but paper and tape. Their goal is to make the slowest ball run possible. How long can they make it take for the ball to go through their ball run? The 2022 competition is over, but you can see what students built and learn about the winners on the 2022 Engineering Challenge summary page. Teachers, note that elementary and middle school … Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • High School - Science & Engineering Practices
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