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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

Students follow an engineer's approach as they identify problems, brainstorm solutions, design a plan, and 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 may also 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