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February 2014

Bright Ideas   

green energy saving light bulb    

African American STEM trailblazers can be found from NASA research labs to recording studios, forging a better world as engineers and scientists. Your architectural designers will brighten up with this Black History Month activity. It is inspired by African American inventor Clarence L. Elders, whose energy-conserving motion detectors are found in most modern offices and schools.   

Activity: Beat the Motion Sensor


Students in grades 7 to 9 explore material properties as they relate to motion detection, and use that knowledge to make design decisions about what types of motion detectors to use in specific applications, such as conserving energy in commercial buildings. 


View Activity


That (Motion) Captures It  (Grades 5-7) 

Who Invented the Cotton Gin?  (Grades 6-12)  

The Shapes of Africa (Grade 1)  



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


Feature: Master of the Wind



William Kamkwamba William Kamkwamba's village in Malawi, Africa, was 

experiencing a devastating famine. At 14, he had to drop  

out of school because his family could no longer afford to pay for his education - about $80. So what did William do? Like any good engineer, he began to research and look for creative solutions.


Read More    



Solar Decathlon Powers Up

Power Up On the Floor  

Electricity on the Shoulders of Giants    

Water Bottles to Illuminate 1 Million Homes    




Spotlight: National Engineers Week

Hands-on activities, a virtual "global marathon," and travel guides to iconic engineering sites are just some of the ways that teachers, parents, students, and volunteers can extend this annual celebration of engineers and their contributions to society.  


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PBS Tools for Next Generation Science Instruction.  -- "Teaching NGSS Engineering Design Through Media" is a free digital library from WGBH and Engineering is Elementary. Learn more.


Engineering is Everywhere. -- This free curriculum developed by the Museum of Science, Boston, has hands-on design activities for middle school after-school and camp programs. Learn more.  


Black History Month STEM Resources. -- Help students learn about the contributions of African American scientists and engineers with this eGFI collection of bios and activities. Learn more.  


Mark your 2014 calendars for Saturday, June 14, when ASEE's 11th Annual Engineering in K-12 Classrooms Workshop kicks off at the Indianapolis Convention Center in Indiana. Teachers, administrators, Race to the Top recipients, and engineering educators from across the nation will find engaging hands-on lessons and interactive activities to share with students, takeaway materials for the classroom, and networking opportunities. Certificates of completion at the end may entitle teachers to CPE credits. For details, contact Stephanie Harrington-Hurd at [email protected]


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
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 

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Washington, DC, District of Columbia 20036


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