Written by teachers for teachers, these ready-to-use, hands-on projects for technology education and applied science classes are great curriculum enhancement tools. They really get students motivated!

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Applied Academics

New! The Mathematics of Computers
Four activities help students understand the role of binary in technologies they use every day, such as computers, smartphones, and the Internet. The activity appeared in the February 2014 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted for easy classroom use. It contains ready-to-copy student instructions and full-size worksheets.

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New! Potato Experiment Shows How Germs Spread
Students inventory the technology devices they touch in a day and then discover how bacteria from unwashed hands can grow in an interdisciplinary activity that promotes technology, science, design, and English language arts.
The activity appeared in the December 2013 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted for easy classroom use. It contains student handouts and additional photos.

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NEW! 'Nerf' Football Project Scores Points with Students
Students learn about chemistry, problem solving, and the importance of accurate measurement and precision timing while making flexible polyurethane footballs. The activity appeared in the November 2013 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted for easy classroom use. It contains additional photos.

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Aerial Mapping
Photogrammetry has widespread applications in mapping and aerial surveying—but you don’t have to send students up in an airplane to teach it! This activity simulates aerial mapping and surveying in the classroom by turning it into a horizontal exercise.
Note: This project appeared in the October 2008 issue of techdirections. It has been reformatted for easy classroom use.


Applied Mathematics
Architects, designers, engineers and technicians routinely make mathematical calculations for construction and production. The activities provided here give students experience in calculating perimeter, circumference, area and volume.


The Bicycle: A Great Vehicle for Learning
Students learn about the bicycle’s evolution, manufacturing processes and physics concepts, then rank bikes on a spreadsheet in this activity that kids can really relate to.


Biotechnology: Hydroponics
Students create a hydroponic environment, grow plants and record their development, while learning about plant growth: how light, temperature, water and nutrients affect growth; photosynthesis; and the advantages of hydroponics over traditional land farming.


Biotechnology: Uncle Sam the Radioactive Man
Extensive background on radiation and its effects on human health, plus hands-on radiation-measuring activities that introduce concepts of gamma radiation, beta radiation, shielding and back scatter.


Biotechnology: Waste Management
Students learn how toxic waste makes its way into water systems, what radioactive elements such as plutonium, cesium and uranium are made up of, and how these radioactive materials can be measured at a waste site.
Mini project, only $2.95.


Building a Better Mousetrap Offers Cross-Curricular Connections
Technology students create and test innovative designs that allow a mouse to survive the trapping process. Cross-curricular connections include social studies, English, math, science, art, and ecology. The activity appeared in the October 2012 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted. Extras include a grading rubric and design handouts. Only $2.95.

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Calculating Home Electricity Consumption
Students gain greater awareness of their personal use of electricity and get some excellent experience with the practical application of mathematics through study of their families’ consumption of electricity.


Candy Bar Activity Teaches CAD, Math, and Design
Students develop, design, and produce candy bars and wrappers, moving from concept through production. Includes step-by-step student directions.


Cardboard Boat Challenge
Students research, design, construct, and race cardboard boats, gaining substantial math, science, communication, and engineering experience. Includes key definitions, detailed student instructions, 13 pages of student work sheets, plus an evaluation sheet.


Career Posters
This activity combines researching the details of various technical careers with creation of a poster that organizes and displays gathered information. Students can introduce their posters through two-minute oral presentations.
Mini project, only $2.95.


Calculating Home Electricity Consumption
Students gain greater awareness of their personal use of electricity and get some excellent experience with the practical application of mathematics through study of their families’ consumption of electricity.


Cereal Box Design
This interdisciplinary activity introduces students to graphic design; basic drawing; sketching and rendering; measuring area, volume and weight; oral and written technical communication; applied problem solving; marketing; consumer research; environmental education; recycling; and considerations of form, function, and aesthetics.


Cheapo Aerospace Technology
Students learn about simple orbital mechanics, design and construct a model rocket, balance it prior to flight, measure its altitude with a homemade sextant and recover it after launch.


Conduct Load Test Experiments Using Simple Materials
Experimenting with simple paperboard, students learn how engineers conduct load tests. They start with a simple strip, add a strut support system to improve their results, and finally design their own support. Worksheets for recording and charting results included.


Constructing a Simple Gyroscope
Students learn about the physics of gyroscopes and their various applications, then construct a simple gyroscope based on the design of a spinning top.


Combustion Rocket
Thrill and amaze your students while introducing them to the process of combustion and Newton’s laws of motion with this dramatic teacherbuilt and -demonstrated rocket made with inexpensive materials. Vocabulary development and extension activities included.


Cookin' with Sun—Design and Build Solar Cookers
Hot dogs and marshmallows anyone? Bring together math, science and technology in an activity that teaches students about designing products that address human needs, along with issues related to health and the environment.


Creating an Effective Newsletter
Production of a newsletter using Microsoft Word makes an excellent project for technology students that's relevant to real-world communication.


Descriptive Geometry Project
Descriptive geometry shows that engineering answers may be found two ways: by using math and by drafting an answer.
Mini project, only $2.95.


Digital Camera Project for Beginners
Kids enjoy taking pictures, right? And you know how much they like asking questions about each other. This project combines both of those activities plus teaches interviewing techniques and simple photo-manipulation skills. The activity’s end result is photo-illustrated Word document—perfect for upper elementary and middle school students. Project includes student objectives, material list, suggested interview questions, vocabulary list, resources, and a list of state standards addressed.


Encourage Recycling Through Communications Project
Students assess the amount of school cafeteria waste being thrown out or recycled then design and produce tent-card advertising to encourage recycling. Includes student worksheets, follow-up questions, and an assessment/grading rubric.


Energy Conservation
Teach kids how to save energy—and money—before they’re paying the bills! A light bulb energy calculation activity, a home energy efficiency test, and lots of tips and info on how to be a wise energy consumer are included.


Forensics 101—Applying Physics to Solve Crimes
Capitalize on CSI mania! Students apply math and science knowledge to solve a class "murder case" that shows how forensic experts use physics principles.


Gears
What a gear is, how are they used, how they work and how to figure out gear ratios are all covered in this project. Students then build their own machines and measure the gear ratio of their gear train.
Mini project, only $2.95.


Geodesic Dome Construction
Students explore math, science, and technology principles related to design and construction, then work in teams to build a geodesic dome. Eight student worksheets, plus a detailed assessment form are included.


‘Green’ Project Teaches Design and Language Skills
Students learn about our patterns of water use and the importance of conservation, then practice both design and language arts skills by producing multilingual computer generated hangtags.


Job Search Skills 101
Help students develop skills to land a good job. Activities provide practice with writing resumés, cover and follow-up letters, and creating portfolios. How to dress, body language, and answering questions effectively are also covered as students team up to practice the interviewing process. This project appeared in the March 2011 issue of Tech Directions. It has been reformatted for easy classroom use and also includes an interview evaluation form and lots of sample interview questions. Special introductory price: $4.95.


It’s High Time to Make Sundials
With this activity, students design a sundial in CAD, export the file to a CNC router to mill the dial’s face and then learn and apply the mathematics needed to have it accurately track time.


Katapultos: Teaching Basic Statistics with Ballistics
Heads up! This technology project increases math, science and technology correlations within the classroom while giving students a fun way to collect and apply measurement data.


Lasers
Four separate activities make up this laser project. Students design and arrange the course of a laser, then learn how to draw and measure angles using protractors. Next they draw shapes and check their accuracy using a laser, and finally try their hand at laser surveying.
Mini project, only $2.95.


Launch Pad Design
Student teams design and construct a device that will launch a Ping Pong ball into a large cup. Features extensive problem-solving, physics, and mathematics content.


Manufacturing: Angles and Lines
A brief discussion of the key role that precision plays in modern manufacturing, plus three activities that give students practice with solving for missing angles.


Marble-A-Maze
An amazing extension into language arts and writing, this activity—aimed at meeting students’ basic literacy goals—shows how to incorporate language arts into your classroom while introducing students to the principles of technology.


Materials Science
Middle schoolers learn about the basic types of materials and their properties, how to measure and safely use basic tools, and how to design and construct a prototype and final project using these materials.


Materials Science Research: The Hygrometer
Students make a simple hygrometer using pieces of wood, wire, rubber bands and staples.


Math Challenges
From the best of the “More than Fun” archives! Twenty mathematical mind-benders that engage and enrage young minds. Includes two sheets of problems and two sheets of solutions. Perfect one-day project for you or a sub!


New! The Mathematics of Computers
Four activities help students understand the role of binary in technologies they use every day, such as computers, smartphones, and the Internet. The activity appeared in the February 2014 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted for easy classroom use. It contains ready-to-copy student instructions and full-size worksheets.

Add to cart


Mini Solar Race Car
Here’s a miniature solar-powered electric car that students can construct, plus background on how transmissions work and advice on sources of information on solar cars.


NEW! 'Nerf' Football Project Scores Points with Students
Students learn about chemistry, problem solving, and the importance of accurate measurement and precision timing while making flexible polyurethane footballs. The activity appeared in the November 2013 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted for easy classroom use. It contains additional photos.

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A New Twist to Bridge and Tower Building
Picking up where “Newspaper Structures” leaves off (see next item), this middle school project teaches principles of mathematics as they relate to structural stability and the building of model structures. Includes 8 pages of student handouts.


Newspaper Structures
Challenge—build a geodesic dome large enough for a student to sit inside. Capture students’ interest in this fascinating project that uses only newspaper, scissors, masking tape, and dowel rods. Students will have fun and learn about physics topics, such as strength-to-weight ratios, Euler’s Law of regular polyhedra, and much more.


Newton's Laws of Motion Challenge
Activity challenges students to design and build a simple energy-transferring machine that helps them understand Newton’s Laws of Motion.


Patio Stone Project
Background on the composition, history and uses of concrete, plus a hands-on activity in which students mix concrete and design and pour a patio stone for use at home.


PC Power Management Project Also Teaches Spreadsheet Use
Activity teaches students the economic impact of computer power management and provides good experience with mathematics and spreadsheet software. It appeared in the August 2012 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted to provide ready-to-hand-out student instructions.

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Pinhole Camera for Science, Art, and Fun
A pinhole camera is a camera without a lens—a tiny hole replaces the lens. Having students make their own camera, take photographs, and develop the pictures is a rewarding experience. It also helps students understand the properties and nature of light and better understand the function of a lens in the eye and other optical devices.


Platonic Solids
Students learn to identify the five platonic solids (tetrahedron, hexahedron, octahedron, dodecahedron, icosahedron) and construct paper models. They then play a baseball board game that uses the dodecahedron-like dice.
Mini project, only $2.95.


New! Potato Experiment Shows How Germs Spread
Students inventory the technology devices they touch in a day and then discover how bacteria from unwashed hands can grow in an interdisciplinary activity that promotes technology, science, design, and English language arts.
The activity appeared in the December 2013 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted for easy classroom use. It contains student handouts and additional photos.

add to cart


Pressurized Air/Water Rocketry—Build, Test and Learn!
The history of rocketry, the functioning of liquid-fuel and pressurized-air rockets and Newton’s laws are covered. Then, students and/or instructor build a launcher using wood and PVC tubing and launch bottle rockets.


Project X Air Cannon
A student simulation of NASA’s historic Project X-15 high speed and altitude program. Challenge your middle schoolers to design, construct and test models of rockets and aircraft made from simple materials while learning about aerodynamics, physics and mathematics.


Simple Sextant
Students learn the history of navigation, then construct a functional sextant using a plastic protractor, drinking straw, fishing weight (sinker), string, and tape.


Skateboard Park
Introduce middle schoolers to the concepts of potential and kinetic energy and pendulums and their periods by having them design, construct and test a skateboard park. Includes test and project evaluation questions and directions for constructing eight different skateboard park components.


Soma Cube
Work with legendary scientist Piet Hien’s Soma cube gives students experience with visualization, technical drawing, mathematics, manufacturing, research and more. Project includes background information, plus 10 hands-on, minds-on activities.


Statistics to the Rescue
The use of statistics and process controls is too often overlooked in educating students. In this activity, high school students with some background in materials processing advance their knowledge by determining whether or not a manufacturing process works well.


Teach Geometry Concepts with the Aid of the Great Pyramids
Students first create a square using simple technological tools available to the ancient Egyptians, then using modern instruments (protractor, compass, pencil), and finally using mathematical software. Requires Geometer's Sketchpad or similar software.
Mini-project, only $2.95!


Technical Reading and Writing
Introduce your students to the simple techniques of technical reading and writing. Includes a project in which students create a CD-ROM Book Report.
Mini project, only $2.95.


Tensional Integrity
Tensional integrity, or tensegrity, is covered with explanations of torque, stress, and Hooke’s Law. Once students understand the principles, they can complete three activities building structures based on what they have learned.


Toast Anyone?
Students measure the electricity needed to toast bread, then use their findings to compute the cost of doing so. Excellent introduction to electricity terminology—and math practice.Note: This project appeared in the February 2010 issue of techdirections. It has been reformatted to include ready-to-copy worksheets.


Towers: A Smashing Activity
Students explore mathematical and technological problem solving and apply concepts of measurement, geometric modeling, geometric stability and perimeter in designing, building and testing (kaboom!) inexpensive wooden towers.


Understanding Energy Consumption and Phantom Loads
Background on typical household electricity usage and phantom loads, plus three activities in which students estimate the amount and cost of electrical leakage from electronic devices and appliances in their homes, and propose methods for reducing the leakage. This project appeared in the August 2011 issue of Tech Directions. It includes handouts, full-size student worksheets, and additional information.

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Understanding How Heat Works
Use thermometers or temperature sensors on a stick to help students understand how heat disperses through air and water. Project appeared in the February 2012 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted to provide student worksheets and data collection pages. Only $2.95.

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Up Periscope
Students learn about buoyancy, propulsion, and control systems in the course of designing, constructing, and testing a submarine that uses PVC pipe and a basic dc switching circuit. High school level.


Wanted! Famous Technologists Posters
Students practice research, word processing, design and information technology skills, and learn a bit of technology history, in the course of making a poster of a notable technologist or inventor.
Mini project, only $2.95.


Water Pressure Basics
Students experiment with water pressure and flow using two simple, easy-to-make water tank designs.
This project appeared in the January 2011 issue of Tech Directions. It has been reformatted for easy classroom use with added student data recording sheets. Mini project, only $2.95.


Wind Power & Wind Turbines
In this project for middle schoolers, students learn about torque, build and test their own wind turbines, learn to calculate kilowatts per hour and measure the power of their wind turbines.


Write Right!
Creating an owner’s manual for a product sharpens students writing skills and their ability to communicate clearly and effectively. This activity also gives educators tips on producing both writing prompts and grading rubrics—and provides a rubric for use with the owner’s manual project.


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