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August 2014

Shore Leave

sand castles on beach 

Building castles at the beach may seem mere child's play, each turret a brief triumph over wind and waves. But sand - or silica, as the mineral-and-rock grains are known - has been a crucial construction material since ancient times. Today it is found in everything from bricks to cement to glass. Your civil engineers will dig this end-of-summer activity. See if their structures hold up!
Activity: Engineering for the Three Little Pigs


Three Little Pigs laying brick house  

Students in grades 3 to 5 learn about the importance engineers place on using the right materials by building three different sand castles and testing them for strength and resistance to weathering.


View Activity


Sand and Water (Grades 3-8)  

Concrete for Kids (K-12)  

Design a Green Rooftop (Grades 6-8) 


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


Feature: Lighter Than a Feather



That's no chocolate wafer perched atop a dandelion, but the world's lightest material. Created for DARPA by researchers at the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, the nickel micro-lattice's design was inspired by the strong, lightweight architecture of structures like the Eiffel Tower.  


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Students Win Disaster Shelter Design Contest

Meet Materials Engineering Major Wendy Peng

Philadelphia Eagles Build a Green Stadium

Engineering as Art: Theo Jansen's Beach-combing Strandbeesten    


Spotlight: Videos Teach Core STEM Concepts

Are your students vexed by vectors or stymied by simple machines? MIT's Teaching and Learning Lab and the Singapore University of Technology and Design have teamed up to produce a series of free STEM Concept Videos designed to help students learn these and other pivotal ideas in science, technology, engineering, mathematics.  


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SMART Competition. -- Redesigning a gym is the theme of this year's intelligent-building challenge for high school students. Registration opened Aug. 18. Learn more.

Google RISE Awards. -- Receive up to $50,000 to start or expand a computer science program for girls or underrepresented groups. Apply by Sept. 30. Learn more.

STEM Teacher Scholarships -- Applications just opened for Engineering is Elementary's professional development workshops. Funds include travel to Boston. Learn more.

Verizon Innovative App Challenge. --
Middle and high school students need not be techies to dream up a $20,000 winning app idea. Registration began Aug. 4. Learn more.

Engineering for You.
Vote by Sept. 1 for your favorite video in the National Academy of Engineering's 50th anniversary contest. 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
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.   

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eGFI Wins Award
Our January 2014 teachers' e-newsletter, "Olympic Engineering," took top honors for publication excellence in the 2014 APEX competition.