I still remember my very first day as a teacher. A few days earlier, my principal had given me advice: Whatever you do, do not start with an overview of your course. Do something active and set the tone. As I nervously awaited the arrival of my first period physical science students, I wondered how they would react. To my relief, they jumped right in and remained engaged throughout the entire class building, testing, and revising prototypes of paper towers.
Since that day, I have continued to use design challenges as a way to engage students and teachers in classes and professional development. From the very first day you use them, the design challenges in this compendium will spur your students to jump right in and engage throughout the entire class. The activities reinforce important science content while illustrating a range of STEM skills. The 30 articles have been compiled from Science and Children, Science Scope, and The Science Teacher, NSTA s journals for elementary through high school.
Excite students of all ages with activities involving everything from light sabers and egg racers to prosthetic arms and potatoes. Apply to lessons in life and environmental science, Earth science, and physical science. Works well in traditional classrooms as well as after-school programs. Next time you need an engaging STEM activity, you’ll be glad you have this collection to help you blend meaningful and memorable experiences into your lessons. As Editor Eric Brunsell promises, by exposing students to authentic engineering activities, you can help students uncover the profession that makes the world work.