**STEM Model-Eliciting Activities: 6th – 8th Grade**

#### Building Bridges

Students will complete research on five types of bridges to see how math is used in a real-world setting. Using prior math skills, the students will make a scale drawing of a bridge they select to build in order to meet the qualifications outlined in the given proposal. For their bridge to be operational, it must be able to cross the river, proportionally speaking, and be able to hold four rolls of pennies to pass the weight test. Throughout this activity, students will gain an understanding of how engineers must use scales, percentages, angle measures and proportional relationships to consider the efficiency and safety of the bridge they are constructing. In addition, students will gain an understanding of how the math processes they are performing relate to various careers in the world, such as engineering.

#### Designing a Lifeguard Stand

Students will complete research on current lifeguard stands to see how math is used in a real- world setting for heights and angles. Using prior math skills, the students will make a scale drawing of a lifeguard stand they would like to design and construct to meet the requirements outlined in a given proposal. For their lifeguard stand to be operational, it must have seating for two, be 10 feet tall and have two wheels for easy movement. The model they make will be made from paper. Throughout this activity, students will gain an understanding of how engineers must use scales, angle measures, area and proportional relationships to consider the efficiency and safety of the lifeguard stand they are constructing. In addition, students will gain an understanding of how the math processes they are performing relate to various careers in the world, such as engineering.

#### Designing A Parachute

Students will complete research on parachutes to see how math and science are used in a real- world setting. They will explore the physics exploited by engineers in designing parachutes,including the Laws of Motion, drag, gravity, aerodynamics, fluid flow, surface area and polygonal geometry. After completing research, students will design and build a parachute they would like to enter into the class contest. For their parachute to be operational, it must be free falling, and able to carry an egg to the ground without breaking it open. The model they make will be made from various types of materials. Throughout this activity, students will consider the efficiency and safety of the parachute they are constructing. In addition, students will gain an understanding of how the math and science processes they are performing relate to various careers in the world, such as engineering.

#### Designing Boats

Students will work to use the tools provided to “rescue” a gummy worm and keep him from drowning. This is an exercise in understanding constraints,andfailure points and reproducible results.Students are asked to list each step, creating a detailed step by step reproducible process that can be repeated by others.

#### Designing Sundae Containers

Students will build an assigned structure. They are given a list of possible materials. Teams then have to work together to choose the right materials to build their structure and stay within a purchasing budget for those materials. Each team will build something different. This activity combines budgeting, physical properties, and the engineering design process.

#### Launching Paper Rockets

Students will work in teams of two to complete research on rocket designs and what makes them fly more efficiently. Then, students will make a set of paper rockets to see which design flies the greatest distance. Using prior math skills, the students will calculate the mean, median, mode and range of the class’ distances. Throughout this activity, students will gain an understanding of how engineers use both math and science together for the best aerodynamic design to build and launch rockets.

#### Building Fountains

After the teacher demonstrates a fountain made from a bottle with a straw and a balloon, students will work in groups to research jets in fountains and their parabolic arcs. Through this activity, students will gain an understanding of how engineers use the Quadratic Formula, along with angle measures, to create a fountain with a parabolic arc. In addition, students will gain an understanding of how the math processes they are going to use will relate to certain careers in the real world, such as engineers. Using these math skills, the students will create a fountain using various plastic bottles, straws and clay. They will build, test and calculate various jet angles to obtain the most efficient fountain to use in a competition. For their fountain to be successful, it must release water forming a parabolic arc from the bottle. However, there will be a group winner based on the length of time their fountain continues to release water using the parabolic arc. The students can test up to three different angles on each of the three bottles to find the angle they want to compete with. They will fill out a chart to show the data.

#### Designing a New Rollercoaster

Students will complete research on current roller coasters to see how math and science are used in a real world setting for heights, angles and motion as theyexplore the physics exploited by engineers in designing roller coasters, including potential and kinetic energy, friction and gravity. Students will learn that all true roller coasters are completely driven by the force of gravity and the conversion between potential and kinetic energy is essential to all roller coasters. After completing research, students will make a scale drawing of a roller coaster they would like to design and construct to meet the requirements outlined in the proposal they will be given. For their roller coaster to be operational, it must be free standing, have at least one loop and carry a marble from the top of the roller coaster to the exit at the bottom. The model they make will be made from various types of paper and other items. Throughout this activity, students will consider the efficiency and safety of roller coasters they are constructing. In addition, students will gain an understanding of how the math and science processes they are performing relate to various careers in the world, such as engineering.