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January 2015

All That Glitters        

2015 sparklers  

Many cultures celebrate the new year with fireworks, but few revelers know much about the chemical reactions that stoke these bright displays. Each blaze and boom is the result of carefully choreographed oxidations and reductions, with metal salts producing the colors. Your pyrotechnic engineers will sparkle in this month's Harry Potter-themed lab activity. Happy 2015!
Activity: Wizardly Wands


dueling sparklers  

High school students learn such core chemistry concepts as reaction rates and thermodynamics by making and demonstrating their own Harry Potter-style "magic wands" (sparklers). The lab, which also can serve as a fun AP course review, concludes with a class duel between wands of two different chemical compositions.  


View Activity


Chemical Wonders (Grades 3-5)   

Digest This!  (Grades 6-8)

Guilt Free Chocolate (Grades 10-12)  


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


Feature: Glowing Trees Instead of Street Lights?



tree in lightbulb

It might sound like something from the movie Avatar, but what if trees lit up at night, replacing the need for street lights? This fantastical vision may become a reality, thanks to the discovery that placing gold nanoparticles within the leaves of trees causes them to give off a luminous glow. 


Read More    



The Science of Harry Potter 

Meet Adam Lowry & His Green Cleaning Products

Fuel from Algae

Engineer Your Path: Chemical Engineering



Spotlight: National Youth Science Camp

National Youth Science CAmp The National Youth Science Camp, one of the country's premier science education programs, offers graduating high school seniors a month of outdoor adventure and hands-on projects with students from around the country and world in the beautiful woods near Bartow, W.V., all travel costs and camp fees paid. Applications for the summer 2015 camp are due March 1.    


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Get the Math! -- WNET Channel 13 seeks to help middle and high school students develop algebraic thinking skills through reality-TV-style videos and challenges. Learn more.

Scientist's Curiosity Cabinet. -- Boston College chemistry prof. Ross Kelly turns his gadget collection into video-rich lessons of key scientific principles. Learn more.

Young Minds Design Contest. -- Middle and high school students create and demonstrate a product to solve a problem or improve a process. Entries due May 31. 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.

Next Gen STEM.
-- TeachEngineering offers a free, searchable library of 1,352 activities aligned with Common Core math and Next Generation science standards. 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.

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 e-newsletter, Olympic Engineering, took top honors in the APEX competition for publication excellence.