skip page navigationOregon State University

Hydraulics with Syringes  August 8th, 2014

Hydraulic systems are an important mechanical component of a lot of our daily lives! In this activity, students will brainstorm and build a functional mechanical arm that uses hydraulic systems to perform different tasks. Click here for the lesson plan. Happy inventing!


Team Building Activities  August 8th, 2014

Do you ever need to boost the energy of your club group? Want to build your group’s teamwork in fun, interactive ways? Check out these team-building activities and icebreakers to make your club meetings more exciting and engaging! Click here to access the activities.

Film Canister Rockets  August 8th, 2014

Here’s another awesome activity that we’ll be presenting at our Teachers’ Workshop next week! This is a really fun activity in which students use film canisters to create rockets. Click here to access the lesson plan.

On Ellen’s talkshow, she set off 3,000 film canisters rockets at once! Check it out here:

Amazing Owls  August 8th, 2014

Next week at our Teacher’s Workshop, Renee O’Neill will be presenting a new set of activities about owls, owl pellets, ecosystems, and food webs for use in at the elementary level. We are very excited about these activities, as they are hands-on, interactive, and fun! Check out the different lessons and components at the links below. We look forward to seeing you at our Workshop!

If you are interested in ordering owl pellets from researcher Rebecca Terry for dissection in your SMILE clubs, please contact Renee O’Neill at



Lesson 1

All About Owls: click here

All About Owls Powerpoint: click here

Habitat Activity: click here

Whooo Am I Brochures: click here


Lesson 2

Owl Pellet Dissection (Part 1): click here

Bone Identification Sheet: click here


Lesson 3

Owl Pellet Dissection (Part 2): click here

Mice and Munchies: click here


Lesson 4

Specialists vs. Generalists: click here


Lesson 5

I’m in Danger: click here


Other activities:

Survivor: click here

Fueling Our Future Activity  August 4th, 2014

Last teacher workshop we previewed awesome middle school and high school bioenergy textbooks from Facing the Future.  These books are filled with activities including Sustainable Flight in the Pacific Northwest, which is a great real life example.  In this activity students will research different biofuels and decide which one is best suited to be mixed with jet fuel. They will then trace the production process and explore stakeholder’s positions with their classmates. Collectively classmates must come up with a new jet fuel policy that satisfies all of their stakeholders. This activity encourages healthy debate and will allow students to act as policy makers. We will be handing out the Facing the Future textbooks during the teacher workshop and we encourage you to check out their other amazing activities.


BrainSTEM game  August 4th, 2014

We did not forget about our middle school students.  We wanted them to have a fun game as well and we made one with help from PBS SciGirls. This game was modified so that students could test their bioenergy knowledge. As the name suggests students will be quizzed on bioenergy based science, technology, engineering, and math questions. The questions are meant to get kids moving and using their creativity skills. Check it out!


Bioenergy Farm Game  August 1st, 2014

Teachers, we have been dormant for a while so we could create amazing activities for you and your students.  The teacher workshop is just a few weeks away and we wanted to give you a preview of one of the great activities you can use in your classroom.  To start, we found this Bioenergy Farm Game from Great Lakes that would be perfect for a high school classroom.  Students will take the perspective of a bioenergy farmer to learn the benefits and drawbacks of crops, like corn and switchgrass, that can be turned into fuel. This game allows students to see where and how money is made and the effects of their actions on the environment. Check back for more activities that will be presented at the teacher workshop.  See you there!