eGFI logo for teacher newsletter
June 2015

When Disaster Strikes

lightning and house  

"What is so rare as a day in June?" rhapsodized poet James Russell Lowell. Plenty, it turns out. Along with crisp skies, June brings the start of hurricane season and peak tornado probability. While they can't change the weather, engineers help reduce damage with better forecasting and sturdier buildings. This month's lesson will appeal to your designers' humanity. Brainstorm alert!
Activity: Disaster-Resistant Housing


tornado damage illinois FEMA  

In this lesson, groups of middle or high school students focus on the devastation caused by natural disasters and apply appropriate technology, fluid mechanics, and the engineering design process to create sustainable shelters that can withstand flooding and high winds.


View Activity


Design a Tornado-Proof House (Grades 3-5)  

Save Our City! (Grades 3-5)   

Tsunami Survival (Grades 3-8) 

Asteroid Impact! (Grades 6-8)   

Shipwreck Survival (Grades 4-10)  



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


Feature: Robots to the Rescue



They got out of cars, climbed stairs, opened doors - and fell. But the mechanical humans that went through their paces this month in the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's Robotics Challenge showed that they could assist in disasters.   


Read More    



Students Win Disaster-Shelter Design Contest

Robotic Cockroach Could Assist in Earthquake Rescue

Design for the Other 90 Percent

Engineering Students to the Rescue in Haiti

Japan's Rescue Robots




Spotlight: Gross - But Cool - Science

meal worms The world is full of revolting stuff, like parasites that squirm out of people's feet. But yucky creatures also can fascinate and inspire kids to learn about science. And that's the idea behind PBS's new YouTube series, "Gross Science."   


Read More 



National Geographic Engineering Contest. -- Children 6 to 18 develop, build, and test robots to solve challenges that explorers face in the field. Enter by Aug. 1. Learn more.

Wild Weather Adventure.
-- NOAA and NASA's SciJinks website has interactive games and resources for kids and educators to learn about weather. Learn more.

TryNano. -- Nanotechnology is in products from cosmetics to medicine. TryEngineeing's new website includes lessons, games, and other resources to teach it. Learn more.

Innovation Nation. -- An early Google server is among the treasures of American enterprise on display in the Smithsonian's new Innovation wing. 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 APEX competition for publication excellence.