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Brewing for Bioenergy  February 4th, 2016

From our January Teachers’ Workshop:

Brewing for Bioenergy Lesson Plan


Brewing for Bioenergy Presentation – This is the powerpoint that Brian Hartman shared during the session

Mechanical Engineering: 2016 Middle School Challenge!  February 4th, 2016

From our January Teachers’ Workshop:

Here are the materials shared with you during the Mechanical Engineering session. Make sure to share the ME video with your students prior to the Challenge!

Mechanical Engineering Powerpoint Presentation

Teacher Scoring Sheet

Looking forward to seeing you and all your students at the Middle School Challenges!

Chemical Engineering  February 4th, 2016

From our January Teachers’ Workshop:

Introduction to Chemical Engineering

Gel Beads activity: Learn how polymers cross-link into gels and experiment with making your own gel beads!


Chemical Car activity: Learn about how the ratios of chemicals affect reaction and use the baking soda-vinegar reaction to power a car!

Renewable Wind Energy Activity  February 3rd, 2016

From the January Teachers’ Workshop:

Here are the materials associated with the Renewable Energy and Wind Turbine kit lesson (presented by Brian Hartman, PhD Candidate in Education):

Renewable Wind Energy Presentation

Basic Wind-Kit Manual



Ponds in Peril!  February 3rd, 2016

From our January Teachers’ Workshop:

We heard from Dan Preston, a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Integrative Biology. He presented a Ponds in Peril activity, and here are the materials we’d like to share with you:

Science Scope Article

This first video describes the set-up for the Ponds in Peril experiment, a great tool to use with your students.

This second video is a great overview of the entire project!

Ponds in Peril Full Worksheet Package

Powerpoints: Project OverviewFood Web ReviewAquatic MacroinvertebratesNutrient Pollution and Invaders, and The Process of Science

Understanding Batteries & Capacitors Activity: The Classroom Electric Circuit  February 3rd, 2016

From our January Teachers’ Workshop:

We heard from Dr. David Ji, an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at OSU. Below are the materials that we shared with you:

Energy Storage in the 21st Century – This is Dr. Ji’s powerpoint presentation.

Understanding Batteries & Capacitors Lesson Plan – This is the lesson plan created by SMILE and shared with you at the workshop.




Battery Activity Introductory Powerpoint – This is a powerpoint presentation created by SMILE that can be used to introduce the topic of batteries and how they work as well as the above activity.








Battery Types – This is an excel spreadsheet that can be used for an extensional activity where students explore different types of batteries and their applications.

Forest Grove Family Math & Science Night!  February 1st, 2016

Forest Grove High School had their Family Math & Science Night last November. It was such a success that they wanted to share some photos with us. Check them out:


Colin at the turbine


Making Seismographs


Chain “magic” demo




Engineering straw rockets


Flaming bubbles




2016 Middle School Challenge Introduction  December 7th, 2015

Anyone thinking about the upcoming Middle School Challenge? We’re excited for it and our Mechanical Engineering team have a video to share to get students thinking about the challenges of modeling earthquakes.

Be sure to have students check out the video below before leaving for Winter Break!

This team has also provided us with gifs of their designs. Click the images below to see more!







As students begin preparing for the Challenge, consider what makes an earthquake model realistic? How could you make a shake table? Check out the videos below to see other middle school shake table activities:

Does this realistically model an earthquake? What are some problems with it? How could it be more accurate? Check out these videos below for industrial shake tables: