Explore the engineering design process.
Learn about engineers and their jobs.
Practice teamwork and communication skills.
Build a index card tower in response to a design challenge.
Lesson adapted from the Engineering Adventures “Shake Things Up” curriculum from The Museum of Science, Boston.
Explore circuits and their components.
Use the engineering design process to solve a problem.
Build functional circuits with LittleBits.
Lesson and media based off the material available at the LittleBits website.
Recommended Lead-Up Lesson: Circular Circuits
This is intended as an end-of-year activity. When kids are finished making frogs, we do a summary of all activities learned throughout the year–a bit of a question-answering contest.
Soap film must stretch to include the air trapped inside it, or reach the surfaces that form its boundaries. The more soap film stretches, the more elastic potential energy it gains. Soap film will stretch as little as possible to keep its potential energy low. The soap film will try to keep its surface area small.
When light travels from one material to another it usually changes speed. This change in speed makes light bend, and our eyes can see the change.
The refractive index is a measure of the change in speed of light when it passes from one material (like water or air) into another.
This activity uses two objects that have a similar refractive index, and light does not get bent (refracted) when it passes through the baby oil and into the glass. As no light is bent, our eyes cannot see a change in what’s there.
Reflection occurs when light bounces off objects. How much reflection depends upon how even the surface is. If the surface is rough, the light scatters. If the surface is smooth and flat, the light will bounce off it at equal angles. That is why a flat mirror reflects a good likeness of the object being reflected.
The solar energy will heat up the air inside the bag causing the molecules to move around and bump into all sides of the solar bag and make it rise! This is a perfect experiment to learn about the properties of air, buoyancy and convection. It’s amazing science at work!