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!
Simply duplicate and use for as many students—and for as many times—as desired. Our high-quality activities save you time and help your students really understand the principles of technology and applied science. Projects include teaching tools such as procedures, vocabulary words, quizzes, photos, illustrations, and much more.
Projects are intended for unlimited copying and use by purchaser only. For multi-teacher use, site licenses are available. Hard copies available at an adjusted price. Please contact Vanessa Revelli at 734-975-2800 x306 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
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©2013 by Tech Directions/Prakken Publications, Inc.
A $14.85 value, only $9.95 each!
Each sampler contains three full projects—ready for immediate classroom use. Samplers available:
Cardboard Boat Challenge
Students research, design, construct and race cardboard boats, gaining substantial math, science, communication and engineering experience in the course of the activity. Includes 10 student work sheets, plus an evaluation sheet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Getting started with digital photography is easy. Using Photoshop Elements, a "lite" version of Photoshop, you can introduce your students to the subject with some good hands-on projects. Here are details on everything you need, plus activities with detailed step-by-step procedures.
Screening Across the Curriculum
Teaching silk screening can integrate design, art, science and history in the technology education classroom. This activity provides ample background on the subject, along with step-by-step silk-screening procedures.
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.
Students learn the design process used in industry and use CAD to create appropriate packaging for products of varying shapes.
Design: Packaging Design
Students develop a solution to a packaging design problem by first creating a design portfolio of sketches, then a technical drawing of the best solution, and finally the package itself using simple, inexpensive materials.
Investigating Construction Strength
Students experiment with the strength of various kinds of joints, then design and test bridges made from toothpicks.
Nineteen puzzlers to develop your students’ logical-thinking skills.
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.
Background on the many safety concerns involved in design and construction, plus a hands-on activity in which students design and construct a small-scale playground.
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.
Larry Bob's Blocks
Students learn how to make isometric and orthographic drawings and flat pattern layouts, then build a puzzle block using their new skills
Twenty mathematical mind-benders that engage and enrage young minds.
a Simple Jeopardy Circuit
Students design a real-life electronic circuit, using several methods of digital design, and overcome problems with interfacing digital designs with components outside the digital control.
Teaches Basic Electricity and Magnetism. Students build an electrically-operated seesaw that serves as an excellent model for visualizing magnetic repulsion and also helps with understanding the left-hand rule of current flow.
Students can learn electronics basics—Ohm’s law, series and parallel circuits, use of the VOM, and more—while building a very useful product.
Optic Communication: The Firefly Communicator
Using simple components that include a battery, light-emitting diode, momentary switch, and fiber optic cable, students build an LED communication transmitter.
Electronics and Computer Programming Project
Students build simple electronics projects using a BASIC Stamp development board and then write program code to control the circuits they have built. Includes four student projects, culminating in a door bell circuit. (Requires purchase of development board.)
Includes forms for students and tips on managing evaluations of students’ projects.
Rubrics for Drafting
and Engineering Classes
Allows students to better evaluate their own performance. Includes tips on how to use the rubrics.
Producing a Paper-Cup Dispenser
Teaches both mass-production procedures and woodworking skills.
Uses inexpensive 2 x 4 lumber and is well suited for mass production
Four Handy Metal Kitchen Tools
Project provides instructions for making a bottle opener, pizza cutter, meat tenderizer, and salt and pepper shakers. Students gain experience with horizontal and vertical mills, lathe, and drill press, while working with stainless steel, aluminum, and plastic
Students learn how the three different types of conveyor systems work, along with their advantages and disadvantages. Then, using simple materials, they build a compressed-air conveyor system and test their design.
Jigs and Fixtures: A Design Brief
Introductory information on the use of jigs and fixtures in the manufacturing process, plus design of jigs and fixtures to be used in student manufacture of a Ball Drop Game.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Activities give students a practical understanding of the amount of energy the average home uses and wastes and teaches them about energy-efficient design. Includes handouts, vocabulary, student quiz, and grading rubric.
Pre-engineering activity gives students experience with the value of risk, failure and serendipity; the role of calculation; and Newton’s laws of motion.
Teaching Basic Statistics with Ballistics
Increase math, science and technology correlations while giving students a fun way to collect and apply measurement data.
Cereal Box Design
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.
Crush-Worthiness—An Introduction to Materials Testing
Using a teacher-made testing device, students experiment with various materials to find how well they stand up under presssure.
Problem Solving Discovery Days
These projects build students’ problem-solving skills, developing their use of creative logic, conflict resolution, organization, and sound judgment in decision making. Perfect for middle schoolers. Includes 15 pages of handouts for six complete projects.
From the best of the “More than Fun” archives! Nineteen puzzlers to develop your students’ logical-thinking skills. Includes two sheets of problems and two sheets of solutions. Perfect one-day project for you or a sub!
Nineteen more brainteasers and thought-provoking problems from the best of the "More Than Fun" archives -- guaranteed to test your students' problem-solving skills! Great for those students who finish activities before the rest of the class or when lesson plans run short.
Solving Discovery Days
These projects build students’ problem-solving skills, developing their use of creative logic, conflict resolution, organization and sound judgment in decision making. Perfect for middle schoolers. Includes 15 pages of handouts for six complete projects.
Studying and making boomerangs teaches students about four forces that affect an airplane’s flight: thrust, gravity, drag and lift. Flying the boomerangs is motivating for students and teachers alike!
Wing Flyer: A Glider Challenge
Model gliders built from foam egg cartons introduce students to the parts of an airplane and teach balance for maximum flight performance.
A tech teacher’s experience with having his students build and operate hovercrafts, plus an extensive curriculum—
handouts on the science and physics involved, homework sheets, lab activities, and vocabulary. (Hovercraft plans not included.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hovercraft Design and Testing
Activity uses very inexpensive materials—foam board, a pop-up bottle cap, and a balloon—to teach design and testing procedures. Includes background information on engineering processes and detailed instructions. This project appeared in the August 2011 issue of Tech Directions. It has been reformatted for easy classroom use and also includes a grading rubric, drawings, and additional photos.
In the course of making wooden puzzles, students learn about the various roles involved in industrial production (procurement, product engineering, process engineering, plant engineering, personnel management and administration), as well as about such concepts as prototype, quality control, and industrial safety.
a Laser Level
This project gives detailed procedure for constructing an inexpensive, very accurate level that incorporates a laser pointer.
and Build Gumball Machines
Students get great experience with research and design, problem solving, use of jigs and fixtures, and the details of the mass production process.
Three Handy Wooden Kitchen Tools
Project includes instructions for making a spaghetti serving sizer, a napkin holder, and a set of spice containers. Projects teach hand tool use, turning on a lathe, and a variety of joinery methods.
Producing a Paper-Cup Dispenser
Mass-producing this paper-cup dispenser teaches both mass-production procedures and woodworking skills.
A clever wood project teaches students about rotary routing jigs and mass production techniques—and provides them with a tool for slicing a treat!