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July 2015

Star Power

sun with flare  

Broiling on the beach? Actually, only a sliver of the energy produced by the sun's blinding nuclear furnace ever reaches Earth. Still, it's enough to raise crops, influence weather, and, thanks to engineers, power homes and provide electricity to remote villages. This month's activity will get your designers generating some hot ideas for keeping cool this summer. No sunscreen needed!
Activity: Berry Organic Solar Power



High school students learn how a device made with berry juice can convert light energy into electrical energy by building their own organic solar cells and measuring performance based on power output.


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Design a Solar Building (Grades 3-5)  

Build a Solar Still (Grades 3-8)   

Solar Cooking (Grades 6-8)  

Zero Energy Home Design (Grades 9-11)   

Solar Hot Water (Grades 9-11)  



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


Feature: Solar Plane Soars into History



Solar Impulse 2 landing in Hawaii July 3 2015

While solar-powered cars have yet to cruise much beyond design competitions, a solar-powered aircraft swooped across the Pacific and into the record books on July 3 when it landed in Hawaii (photo, right) five days after taking off from Japan.


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Reactor Turns Sunlight into Hydrogen Fuel

Follow the Solar-Brick Road

Solar Cells from Bioluminescent Jellyfish

Meet Cliff Ho, Solar Energy Whiz

7th Grade Student Invents a Solar Tree

Solar Decathlon Powers Up 




Spotlight: Engineering Education Certificate

Want to inspire innovation in your classroom? Tufts University's Center for Engineering Education and Outreach has just launched a graduate-level online certificate program to empower K-12 teachers to bring hands-on engineering to their students.  


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STEM students in classroom Silicon Valley isn't the only place with a gender gap. A federal study of 20,000 high school students reveals that while boys and girls earn math and science credits at similar rates, boys were far more likely to take engineering, technology, and computer science classes and to consider pursuing STEM majors in college. 

Read more.

Bioenergy Workshop for STEM Teachers. -- The USDA's Bioenergy and Bioproducts Education Program is sponsoring free workshops July 27-30 & Aug. 10-13. Learn 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.

STEM Lessons from Space. -- Whether looking for fun activities, webinars, or images from Pluto, NASA Education has a wealth of resources for educators. 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


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