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The Mechanical Engineering Team is Back!  February 3rd, 2014

Alex, Erik, and Jared are back again to give you more helpful hints on this year’s Middle School Challenge.  To recap the last time we heard from them, they helped define the customer for our upcoming cable car project.  Today the group wants to share with you what type of materials they are using to please the customer, which may look a little different than the materials you may end up using.  They also encourage you to be more efficient by planning your materials and budget ahead of time.  The team is here to break it all down for you.

Alex is here to talk to you about a budget and schedule.  Both are an important part of the engineering process.  The video even shows you the team’s timeline for their own cable car.  We may not have the same timeline the group does but time management is an important factor in this project.  What do you think will be the first item on your schedule? How long should it take you?

Jared is helpful in breaking down what materials you may come across in your project.  He elaborates on where you can get these various supplies.  Don’t worry we do have most of the supplies for you, but what supplies do you think you will need? Where do you think is the best place to purchase those supplies?  Feel free to share your answers in our comment section.

Growing Bioenergy  February 3rd, 2014

GreenWood Resources, home to the largest drip irrigation farm in the world, was nice enough to provide our workshop attendees with several varieties of poplar saplings.  With these saplings we ask that you and your students plant them and conduct your own growth experiment.  Here we have provided for you a lesson plan as well as planting instructions for your trees.  We would like to see data about your sapling’s progress and we will provide a way to share that data in the near future. Enjoy!

Cable Car Curriculum  February 3rd, 2014

Our cable car curriculum keeps expanding and we are happy to share with you more lessons in this PowerPoint from the SMILE Teacher’s Workshop.  Included in the slides are customer requirements and design elements that will help with the Middle School Challenge.  This would be a great lesson plan to show middle school students to get them motivated and inspired!

Fueling Our Future  February 3rd, 2014

At the SMILE Teacher’s Workshop we showcased a plethora of great lessons plans, one of which was presented by Danica Hendrickson from Facing The Future.  She was gracious enough to share with us a PowerPoint for high school students that focuses on how we use energy everyday and where that energy comes from. Danica also recommended checking out these websites in conjunction with her lesson plan to see how much waste and energy recycling saves us.  These are great bioenergy ideas to share with your students.

New and Exciting Lesson Plans  February 3rd, 2014

At this year’s teacher workshop we introduced two new teams of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering students.  These seniors at Oregon State University have created several new amazing lesson plans for middle school teachers.  We hope these lesson plans make their way into your classroom and help with the Middle School Challenge!

  • During the Teacher’s Workshop, teachers were taught the mechanics behind a push and pull manufacturing system.  Both systems can be seen in our everyday lives.  It is a great short activity that only requires paper and pencils.  We encourage you to check out this activity!
  • Instructions are also an important factor in the manufacturing process.  In this lesson plan students will decode different instructions and explore their clarity.

Our Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering team was thrilled to showcase these lessons at the Teacher Workshop and are excited to share more lessons on this blog.  Check back soon to see additional engineering lesson plans.

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