Teaching NGSS Engineering Design Through Media

Expand/Collapse Teaching NGSS Engineering Design Through Media


Teaching Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Engineering Design Through Media is a collection of activities and professional development resources drawn from programs such as WGBH’s Design Squad Nation and the Engineering is Elementary® project at the Museum of Science, Boston. These media-based resources illustrate and deepen teachers’ understanding of Next Generation Science Standards and help them bring engineering alive for students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

 

  • How Do You Keep Lemonade Cool?

    This video segment adapted from FETCH!™ shows two cast members teaming up to take on a design challenge: Make a lemonade stand that keeps lemonade cool and is sturdy and transportable. With the assistance of master carpenter Norm Abram, the team does an experiment to determine the best insulator for keeping the lemonade cool and then chooses their materials from among those available. Their deliberate approach exemplifies the strengths inherent in the engineering design process. This resource is useful for introducing components of Engineering Design (ETS) from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to grades K-8 students.

    Grades: K-8
  • Robo Arm Challenge

    Robotic arms are cool, useful, and fun to make. In this video from Design Squad Nation, kids design and build controllable mechanical arms and use their “robo” arms to lift objects and to play a series of games. As they build their mechanical arms, the kids use the engineering design process, apply a variety of science concepts (e.g., levers and tension and compression), and learn how NASA uses robotic arms in many of its missions. This resource is useful for introducing components of Engineering Design (ETS) from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to grades 3-8 students.

    Grades: 3-8
  • Soft Landing Challenge

    Cars use airbags. Packages use airbags. Why shouldn’t eggs use airbags, too? In this video from Design Squad Nation, kids use balloons and other readily available materials to design and build a shell that can protect an egg when it is dropped from a height of three feet. Their systems model the airbag landing systems used by three NASA Mars missions. The kids use the engineering design process, apply a variety of science concepts, and learn about NASA’s exploration of the solar system. This resource is useful for introducing components of Engineering Design (ETS) from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to grades 3-8 students.

    Grades: 3-8
  • Modeling Truss Structures

    Cantilever bridges like the Firth of Forth Railway Bridge may look complicated, but the principle on which they're built is very simple. In this video segment from Building Big: "Bridges," David Macaulay describes the forces at work in a cantilever bridge and explains how the bridge's design uses some of these forces to create a very strong and stable span. This resource is useful for introducing components of Engineering Design (ETS) from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to grades K-2 students.

    Grades: K-2
  • Wind Powered Vehicles

    In this activity from Engineering is Elementary, students design, build, and test small vehicles that are powered by puffs of air. The activity is useful for introducing components of Engineering Design (ETS) from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to grades 3-5 students.

    Grades: 3-5
  • Tower Power Returns

    In this activity from Engineering is Elementary, students design, build, and test a tower that can hold up a stuffed animal. The activity is useful for introducing components of Engineering Design (ETS) from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to grade 3-5 students.

    Grades: 3-5
  • Designing Parachutes: Setting a Context for Engineering

    In this professional development video from Engineering is Elementary, teacher Jean Facchiano reads a story about an engineering problem and engages her fourth grade students in discussion in order to encourage them to relate the engineering challenge to their prior knowledge. The lesson shows students working on Disciplinary Core Ideas in Engineering Design from the NGSS.

    Grades: 3-5
  • Aerospace Engineering: Encouraging Imagination

    In this professional development video from Engineering is Elementary, teacher Jean Facchiano guides her fourth grade students to research and discuss the factors that need to be considered in the design of a spacecraft. The lesson shows students working on Performance Expectations and Disciplinary Core Ideas in Engineering Design from the NGSS.

    Grades: 3-5
  • Designing Parachutes: Applying Science Knowledge

    In this professional development video from Engineering is Elementary, teacher Jean Facchiano has her fourth grade students perform tests on models while controlling variables. The lesson shows students working on Performance Expectations in Engineering Design as well as Engineering Practices from the NGSS.

    Grades: 3-5
  • Designing Parachutes: Beginning the Engineering Design Process

    In this professional development video from Engineering is Elementary, teacher Jean Facchiano has her fourth grade students start the design process to create parachutes that will carry a small load. The lesson shows students working on Performance Expectations and Disciplinary Core Ideas in Engineering Design from the NGSS.

    Grades: 3-5
  • Designing Parachutes: Analyzing Data and Improving Design

    In this professional development video from Engineering is Elementary, teacher Jean Facchiano has her fourth grade students build and test their parachute designs. The lesson shows students working on Performance Expectations and Disciplinary Core Ideas in Engineering Design from the NGSS.

    Grades: 3-5
  • Introducing Engineering: What is Technology?

    In this video from Engineering is Elementary, teacher Nancy Yocom de Romero has her second grade students define and study technologies. The class explores a variety of everyday technologies, helping students understand that technologies are designed to solve a problem or need.

    Grades: K-2
  • Inspector Detector Challenge

    People love treasure hunts. But, in this one, kids are looking for something invisible! In this video from Design Squad Nation, kids design and build magnetic-field detectors and use them to find hidden magnets. As they build their detectors, the kids use the engineering design process, apply a variety of science concepts (e.g., force, magnetic fields, mapping), and learn how a planet’s or moon’s magnetic field gives NASA scientists insights into its structure and how it formed. This resource is useful for introducing components of Engineering Design (ETS) from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to grades 3-8 students.

    Grades: 3-8
  • Down to the Core Challenge

    Analyzing samples from a planet, moon, or asteroid helps scientists learn about its chemistry, geologic history, and potential to support past or present life. Nearly every NASA surface mission collects samples. In this video from Design Squad Nation, kids design and build coring devices that can poke into a potato “asteroid” and extract a core sample. The kids use the engineering design process, apply a variety of science concepts, and learn about NASA’s exploration of the solar system. This resource is useful for introducing components of Engineering Design (ETS) from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to grade K-8 students.

    Grades: 3-8
  • Designing the Citigroup Skyscraper

    In this video segment, adapted from Thinking Big, Building Small, narrator David Macaulay and structural engineer William LeMessurier explain the set of problems LeMessurier faced when designing the Citigroup Center over a church and the engineering solutions that led to this marvelous addition to the New York City skyline. This resource is useful for introducing components of Engineering Design (ETS) from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to grades 3-8 students.

    Grades: 3-8
  • Columns: Finding the Strongest Shape

    The shapes of a structure and its parts are often as important as the materials those parts are made of. In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, members of the cast bend and fold sheets of paper to see which shape is strongest and can best support the weight of a heavy book. This resource is useful for introducing components of Engineering Design (ETS) from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to grade K-8 students.

    Grades: K-8
  • Designing Electric Circuits: Door Alarm

    Electrical circuits are used in a wide variety of technological innovations, from television sets to windshield wipers, escalators to telephones. In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, cast members use electrical circuits to create door alarms out of a variety of materials. This resource is useful for introducing components of Engineering Design (ETS) from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to grade 3-8 students.

    Grades: 3-8
  • Easy-Fit Design

    As part of her Massachusetts Institute of Technology undergraduate degree program in mechanical engineering, Chi-An Wang worked with New Balance, a major athletic shoe manufacturer, in the design and testing of a new running shoe for triathletes. The approach for solving this real-world problem exemplifies the importance of following each step of the engineering design process. In particular, it shows the value of research: learning what consumers really want, using surveys and testing. This resource is useful for introducing components of Engineering Design (ETS) from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to grade 3-12 students.

    Grades: 3-12
  • Simple Solutions

    The most valuable contributions engineers make to humanity are probably not high-tech electronics, but, rather, they are simple and inexpensive solutions that make life better for large populations of people: inventions such as a cheap and easy-to-use water-testing devices. In this video, mechanical engineer Amy Smith explains the design process for an innovation that enables poor people in isolated villages to determine whether their water supplies are free of dangerous bacteria. This resource is useful for introducing components of Engineering Design (ETS) from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to grade 3-12 students.

    Grades: 3-12
  • How Engineering Affects Your Life

    This resource is useful for introducing components of Engineering Design (ETS) from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to grade K-2 students.

    Grades: K-2

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