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October 2014

Inspiring Spires    

Eiffel Tower at night  

Arching over the 1889 World's Fair entrance, engineer Gustave Eiffel's tower was Earth's tallest edifice for four decades. Skyscrapers like Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the current record holder, may loom much higher. But most owe their design to the ingenious iron lattice that debuted in Paris 125 years ago. This month's fun activity will tickle your structural engineers' fancy. Vive la France!
Activity: Pipe Cleaner Challenge


pipe cleaners  

In this short, fun activity for students in grades 2 to 12, teams learn about the engineering design process, including constraints on time and materials, by building the tallest free-standing tower out of pipe cleaners.
Great for after-school clubs and Girl Scout troops! 


View Activity


Build a Paper Tower (Grades 5-12)  

Leaning Tower of Pasta (Grades 5 -7)  

Marshmallow Design Challenge (Grades K to adult)  


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


Feature: Vertical Engineers Got A Capital View



Structural engineer Emma Cardini has inspected some pretty impressive facades, including the Chicago Tribune Tower's ornate spires. Still, nothing compared with the panorama she enjoyed while rappelling down the Washington Monument in 2011 to assess earthquake damage.  


Read More    



No Toppling This Tower

Building Blocks: Back to Basics

High Spire Act

Milan's Vertical Forest  


Spotlight: edX Offers Free Online AP Courses

mortar board on keyboard Whether they're preparing for Advanced Placement® Biology exams or engineering math, high school students now can access 27 free online courses from the MIT-Harvard edX consortium -- all designed to boost their chance of college STEM success.   


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Mickelson Exxon-Mobil Teachers Academy. -- Apply by Oct. 31 for this free summer professional development session for STEM teachers in grades 3 to 5. Learn more.

Shell Eco-marathon.
-- High school and college teams design and race fuel-efficient cars to see how far they can go on a gallon of gas. Register by Nov. 17. Learn more.

Einstein Fellowships for STEM Teachers.
-- Applications are due Nov. 20 for this unique opportunity to work on national education policy at a federal agency. Learn more.

SMART Competition.
-- High school students apply their knowledge of science, math, and physics to design an intelligent building, in this case, a school's gym. Learn more.

TEAMS Competition.
-- Students address real-world energy challenges in the 2015 Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics and Science. Register today. Learn more.

Code Studio. -- To encourage more schools to teach computer science, has created a set of free tools, lessons, curriculum, and teachers' dashboard. Learn more.

Verizon Innovative App Challenge. --
Middle and high school students need not be techies to dream up a $20,000 winning app idea. Submissions due Nov. 24. 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.   

American Society for Engineering Education 

1818 N Street, N.W., Suite 600

Washington, DC, District of Columbia 20036


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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.