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Technology/Engineering

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Absolute Zero
Have students brainstorm all the things and places they can think of that are cold...

Astrospies
Use Google Earth to simulate what satellites "see" from different distances from Earth...

B-29 Frozen in Time
Working and living in extremely cold conditions is a dangerous challenge. Before showing this program to the class, discuss with students what they know about extreme weather survival...

Battle of the X-Planes
The prototype Joint Strike Fighter had to fit the design specifications of three different armed service branches: the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marines. Ask students how each branch uses airplanes...

Bioterror
Review with students the terms bacteria, toxin, antibiotic, and vaccine...

Building on Ground Zero
Make a list on the board of your school's safety features. Have students create a data sheet for each floor (or wing) of your building...

Eighteen Ways to Make a Baby
To get students thinking about the possibility of genetically engineered children, have each student make a list of all the characteristics they would want a son or daughter to have...

Escape! Because Accidents Happen -- Car Crash
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for people ages 6 to 27. Have students brainstorm a list of traffic laws...

Escape! Because Accidents Happen -- Fire
Find out what students know about fire safety by having them imagine the following: You are in a packed movie theater when you hear someone yell "Fire!"...

Fall of the Leaning Tower
To give students an appreciation of the tower's weight, ask them to work in pairs to compare its weight (14,000 tons) to something familiar to them...

Faster Than Sound
How fast is the speed of sound? It depends on what temperature the air is. The generally accepted speed through air is...

Great Escape
Review with students the basic facts of World War II, including the Allied and Axis players, major battle sites and victories, and time line of events...

Great Robot Race, The
The DARPA Grand Challenge involves building an autonomous ground vehicle that will race across 212 kilometers of unpaved roads in Nevada's Mojave Desert. Discuss what an autonomous vehicle is...

Harvest of Fear
Review with students the difference between traditional plant breeding and breeding done through genetic engineering...

Infinite Secrets
Archimedes made a number of mathematical and scientific discoveries in his lifetime. As they watch, have students take notes on Archimedes' key discoveries...

Lost at Sea -- The Search for Longitude
Review latitude and longitude with students. Have students select a few locations on a map or globe and identify them by latitude and longitude...

MARS Dead or Alive
Ask students to imagine that they can visit Mars. What would they want to find out about the planet?...

Missing in MiG Alley
Discuss with students some of the events that led up to the Korean War, what the conflict was about, who was involved, and why the United States became involved...

NOVA scienceNOW: Papyrus
Compare maps of modern and ancient Egypt...

NOVA scienceNOW: Profile: Hany Farid
Explore optical illusions: You can't always believe your eyes

NOVA scienceNOW: Profile: James McLurkin
Many of your students have never experienced life without computers. Help them develop a clearer understanding of their personal, and society's, dependence on computers...

NOVA scienceNOW: Profile: Naomi Halas
Play a game to understand the size of a nanometer...

NOVA scienceNOW: Saving Hubble
Explore the major discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope

Perfect Pearl, The
Collect some bivalve shells, such as oysters, clams, or mussels, and a fake pearl. Using hand lenses, have students investigate the nacre...

Roller Coaster!
Draw a side view of a roller coaster, including several hills and valleys, on the board. Place six chairs in front of the room and invite students in teams of six to "ride the coaster."...

Saved By the Sun
Organize students into groups and assign each group the United States or Germany...

Saving the National Treasures
Ask students what they think an artifact is. (It is an object made by a human.) Ask students to describe the personal artifacts they save...

Search for a Safe Cigarette
What do students think happens when cigarettes burn? How do their ingredients affect the body? What makes cigarettes addictive?...

Secrets of Lost Empires I -- Colosseum
The team of experts in each program attempts to re-create a model of a time-worn structure using as much of the knowledge, resources, and tools available to their ancient counterparts as possible...

Secrets of Lost Empires I -- Inca
These programs, which focus on ancient technologies, provide an opportunity for students to reflect on the relationship between science and technology...

Secrets of Lost Empires I -- Obelisk
The team of experts in each program attempts to re-create a model of a time-worn structure using as much of the knowledge, resources, and tools available to their ancient counterparts as possible...

Secrets of Lost Empires I -- Stonehenge
These programs, which focus on ancient technologies, provide an opportunity for students to reflect on the relationship between science and technology...

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- China Bridge
The engineers and other experts featured in each program make many inferences about ancient building techniques. They base their inferences on a variety of sources...

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Easter Island
The experts use different types of models to plan their construction strategies. Have students keep track of each model as they watch...

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Medieval Siege
Each program's story is driven by the question, "How did they do that?" The engineers and archeologists have developed hypotheses to answer that question...

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Pharaoh's Obelisk
The ancient building methods shown in the programs depend on the use of simple machines, including levers, ramps, pulleys, and wheels...

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Roman Bath
The engineers and other experts featured in each program make many inferences about ancient building techniques. They base their inferences on a variety of sources...

Secrets of Making Money
Organize students into large groups, and give each group a newly designed $20 bill. Have students observe and list the characteristics of the redesigned U.S. currency...

Secrets of the Parthenon
The Parthenon was conceived to embody the greatness of Greece and to celebrate Athens as the apex of that culture...

Secrets of the Samurai Sword
Have students brainstorm a list of common uses of metal alloys (e.g., a door frame, a doorknob, or a paper clip)...

Sinking City of Venice
Have students use a map to locate the lagoon of Venice, Italy. Tell students the lagoon meets the Adriatic Sea at three inlets...

Sinking the Supership
Ask students what they know about World War II. Use a map and have students locate specific countries as they describe what they know about each country's involvement in the war...

Special Effects -- Titanic and Beyond
Have students think of and list the most enjoyable movies they have seen. Then have them list their favorite scenes from those movies...

Spies That Fly
Ask students to list the challenges they think engineers face when designing an unmanned aircraft...

Sputnik Declassified
To help students understand the historical context in which Sputnik was launched, have them make a time line that includes political events on the top and space exploration events on the bottom part of the time line...

Super Bridge
Have students build a people bridge to experiment with the forces of compression (a pushing, squeezing force), tension (a pulling force) and torsion (a rotational, twisting force)...

Supersonic Dream
Have students research the location and role of the following components for a typical commercial airliner: nose, wings, fuselage, tail, and engine(s)...

Supersonic Spies
The political climate of the cold war fueled the race for technological and military supremacy between the West and the Soviet Union. Have students review...

Three Men and a Balloon
In this program, a team of adventurers plans to travel nonstop around the world in a balloon. However, predicting the exact route of a balloon is impossible...

Time Travel
Have students debate this quote from physicist Stephen Hawking: "Time travel might be possible, but if that's the case why haven't we been overrun by tourists from the future?"...

Underwater Dream Machine
In the program, Peter Robbins was inspired by Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, a science-fiction novel. List on the board titles of science-fiction books or movies students have read or seen...

War Machines of Tomorrow
Before showing this program, have students look through magazines and newspapers from the winter of 1990-1991 for articles about The Persian Gulf War and create a list...

Welcome to Mars
Find a map of Mars and help students locate where on Mars each of the rovers were directed to land (Spirit was sent to Gusev Crater, Opportunity to Meridiani Planum)...

Wright Brothers' Flying Machine
Discuss with students the meaning of the following terms: control surfaces, wing warping, elevator, rudder, and aileron...

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