eGFI logo for teacher newsletter
December 2014

Lighten Up!       

floating light wreath  

Yuletide illuminations have come a long way since Edison decorated his Menlo Park Lab with a string of bulbs in 1880. Serial lights made once-unaffordable "festoons" a holiday mainstay, though one bad bulb spoiled the show. Today, LEDs turn whole neighborhoods into wondrous displays. Your electrical engineers will get a charge from this month's activity. Happy holidays!
Activity: Squishy Circuits



In this fun activity created by St. Thomas University engineering educator AnnMarie Thomas, students of all ages learn the principles of electricity by building circuits out of play dough, LEDs, and batteries. No soldering needed!


View Activity


Brown Bag Electricity (Grades 1-5)   

Holiday Lights and Circuits  (Grades 4-8) 

Dance Pad Mania (Grades 4-7)  

Plasma Globes & Electricity (Grades 3-5)  


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


Feature: Bye Bye, Blues?



Valkee light therapy

Millions of people get SAD - seasonal affective disorder - during the winter. Current treatment requires shining a light in the sufferer's face for up to two hours a day, but a Finnish start-up has a better idea: directing light into sufferers' ears.


Read More    



Student Invents Projecting Bike Light

Beams of Electricity to Extinguish Fire

Electricity, Borne by Giants

A Life in Darkness

Blue LED Beams Nobel Fame    


Spotlight: Next Generation STEM Lessons

TeachEngineering, a searchable online library of 1,352 free, teacher-tested activities, just got a makeover. Improvements include aligning lessons with Common Core math and Next Generation science standards, and "Sprinkles" - abbreviated versions of classroom activities for use in after-school programs.   


Read More 



Find Your Green Career. -- Green360 has interest inventories, career coaching, and other tools to help students discover their future in sustainability fields. Learn more.

Engineering 4 U.
-- Submit a short video to the National Academy of Engineering about achieving the "Grand Challenges" by March 2 for a chance to win $25,000. Learn more.

2015 Rube Goldberg Machine Contest. -- Middle and high school students compete to build the cleverest contraption that can erase a chalkboard. Deadlines vary. Learn more.

Internet of Things
. Young women 13 to 18 design ways to improve the world by harnessing the power of connected technologies. First round is March 2015. Learn more.

SMART Competition.
-- High school students apply their knowledge of science, math, and physics to design an intelligent building. Register by January 16, 2015. 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


Become a Fan/Follow us 



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