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Category: General

Plastic-Eating Bacteria Discovered!  March 14th, 2016

A SMILE Teacher sent us an article to share with all – scientists have discovered a species of bacteria that can slowly digest polyethylene terephalate (PET), a common plastic that is in polyester fabrics and water bottles. It was previously believed that this material was not biodegradable and no microbes could break it down. This may be an important breakthrough in reducing pollution and cleaning up our oceans.

Check out the full article here!

Middle School Challenge is Coming Up!  March 4th, 2016

Our Middle School Challenge is rapidly approaching, so here is the next video from our Mechanical Engineering team. Please share with your students prior to the Challenge!


Gel Beads at Warm Springs!  February 5th, 2016

Warm Springs Elementary School took our Gel Beads activity for a spin last week after we shared it at our Winter Teacher’s Workshop. The students sure looked like they had fun and learned lots! Check it out below:

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Our Changing Oceans: Ocean Acidification Across Geologic Timescales  February 4th, 2016

From our January Teachers’ Workshop:

Thanks to Assistant Professor Dr. George Waldbusser and Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Annaliese Hettinger,  from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences for partnering with SMILE and sharing the following activity with teachers at the workshop:

Ocean Acidification Lesson Plan



Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering  February 4th, 2016

From our January Teacher’s Workshop:

Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Powerpoint PresentationFactory_Automation_Robotics_Palettizing_Bread

Wave Power Generators  February 4th, 2016

From our January Teachers’ Workshop:

Here are the Wave Power Lesson Plan, Wave Energy Engineering powerpoint presentation, and Wave Energy Converter Diagram from the Wave Power Generators session at the workshop. Thanks to Kyle and Emily from Precollege Programs!


Wave Energy Lesson Plan

Wave Energy Engineering Presentation

Wave Energy Converter Diagram


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!