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October 25, 2011 

From Blueprints to Breakthroughs 



What do energy-efficient homes, phone apps, tailfins, and assembly lines have in common? All represent the fruits of engineering design -- a process of brainstorming, building, testing, and improving that Apple founder Steve Jobs called "the fundamental soul of a human-made creation. "Your designers will discover the perils of hidden assumptions in this week's marshmallow challenge. They'll beg for s'mores!


For Navy-related student research opportunities, check out the Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP) and the Naval Research Enterprise Intern Program (NREIP).


Download our Teacher Guide for more ideas!


Lesson: Marshmallow Design Challenge 


marshmallows In this lesson, student teams have a limited period of time (18 minutes) to build the tallest free-standing spaghetti structure that can support a marshmallow. They learn how engineers collaborate to design, test, and improve on their ideas, as well as to examine hidden assumptions that can derail the creative process and final product.


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Feature: Wastewater Engineering 


toilet power Bathrooms create as well as dispose of waste: The average person flushes the toilet five times a day, and uses as much as 35 gallons of water. Tom Broadbent, an industrial design graduate from De Montfort University in Leicester, UK, has designed a way to turn bathrooms into power generators by harvesting energy from water discharged from showers, toilets, and sinks in high-rise apartments. He got his idea after seeing how quickly and forcefully his hotel bathtub drained. 





K-12 News: District Trades Texts for Tech

texts to tech Are science and math textbooks slated for the scrap heap? In Munster, Ind., they're already history. The well-regarded school district went whole hog this year, tossing out traditional math and science tomes for 2,600 students in grades 5 -12 in favor of video-rich, interactive content accessible via school-issued laptops.   


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Special: ASEE Partners with NSTA

marshmallow challengeThe American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) has put together a public/private partnership to develop ways of engaging elementary, middle, and high school students in engineering. Participants will learn about innovative, hands-on, project-based engineering at three events during National Science Teachers Association regional conferences.


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egfi 5th edition What do the blockbuster "Avatar," high-performance sports gear, Angry Birds phone app, and pollution-eating bacteria have in common?  


They are among a host of cool innovations developed by engineers and featured in the new fifth edition of the American Society for Engineering Education's Engineering, Go For It magazine.  


The kid-friendly magazine is part of ASEE's campaign to inspire more K-12 students, particularly young women and underrepresented minorities, to pursue engineering majors and careers.


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About the eGFI Teachers' Newsletter


Delivered each week to your email inbox, our newsletter is packed with lesson plans and activities, resources, feature stories, and the latest developments in K-12 engineering education. eGFI is part of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), a non-profit organization committed to enhancing efforts to improve STEM and engineering education.   

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