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December 2013

Playful Pursuits 


Ever wonder who puts the action into action figures or creates those cool games that line toy-store shelves? Engineers do. Americans spend $22 million a year on toys, and manufacturers need electrical, mechanical, industrial, and safety engineers to develop new products and improve old favorites. This month's activity will rev your toy designers' imaginations. Happy holidays!  

Activity: Build-a-Toy Workshop


In this hands-on activity, teams of students in grades 3 - 5 apply the engineering design process to create prototype toys with moving parts. They set up electric circuits using batteries, wire, and motors, and plan materials to meet budget constraints.


View Activity


Be Inventive (Grades 4-8) 

Break It Down (Grades 5-8)

Design and Race a Solar Car  (Grades 6-8)  

Funny Putty (Grades 1-8) 


Grades K-5  |  Grades 6-8  |  Grades 9-12


Feature: Toy Engineering


From the iconic rubber ducky to GoldieBlox, a new construction activity for girls, the work of toy designers and engineers includes having fun thinking up new ways for kids to play and learn.


Read More    



Engineering Students Design Toys 

Building Blocks: Back to Basics 

DIY Magnetic Silly Putty           

3-D Printing: From Toys to Organs       


Spotlight: Engineering For You Video Contest


To celebrate its 50th Anniversary, the National Academy of Engineering is offering a $25,000 prize for the most inspiring short video made by students in middle school or older that shows how engineering innovations from 1964 to 2064 address societal needs. 



Read More 



Science Essay Competition.  -- The Dupont contest awards more than $100,000 to students in grades 7 - 12 and their sponsoring teachers. Submit by Jan. 31, 2014. Learn more.


Free Summer Science Program. -- Graduating high school seniors can apply by March 1 to represent their state at the prestigious National Youth Science Camp in W. Va. Learn more.  


STEM Learning Resources. -- Pathways to Science has a searchable database of more than 1,500 professional development and other programs for teachers and students. Learn more.  


Explore Our Site: Helpful Links for Teachers

Cynthia Breazeal Wants You to Make Friends with RobotsJetman: Flying Soon to a Landmark Near YouUnderwater Scooters are the New SCUBAEbone Pierce - Mechanical Engineering StudentTurning Air into WaterVertical Forest Coming Soon to Milan
bulletPrepare your students for engineering school with these 10 Essential Steps.
bulletChange your students' perceptions of engineering students.
bulletIntroduce your students to young engineers who are already making a difference in the world.
bulletStay up-to-date with cool engineering innovations.
bulletFind out about the engineering design process.
bulletLearn about the different types of engineering.
bulletRead our magazine online.
bulletCheck out all the items in our online store.
bulletExplore lesson plans and class activities.
bulletView our archive of past newsletters.


If I Were an EngineerIt's never too early to learn about engineering. Along with our 5th Edition magazine and classroom cards, Engineering, Go For It offers an engaging children's book in its collection of learning materials.


"If I Were an Engineer," from the American Society for Engineering Education, is a fun, 40-page rhyming book that introduces engineering to kids 5 to 8 years old. It includes a parent page that explains the various engineering disciplines.  


Price: $7.95


Now available in our store.   


About the eGFI Teachers' Newsletter


Delivered each month 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.   

American Society for Engineering Education 

1818 N Street, N.W., Suite 600

Washington, DC, District of Columbia 20036


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