SciTech Now: Engineering and Technology


  • Engineering a Detector for Airborne Contaminants

    Find out about an unusual partnership between a doctor and a geologist who helped veterans with respiratory side-effects from dangerous waste disposal practices in Iraq in this video from SciTech Now. Dr. Szema struggled to prove particles from burn pits caused long term damage to veterans until geologist Timothy Glotch mentioned he has a laser that can identify particle origin. In the accompanying classroom activity, students use the engineering design process to design an air filter to remove harmful airborne particles.

    Additional support materials are available, including discussion questions and teaching tips. For more resources from Teaching Engineering in New York, check out the collection page.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Engineering 3D Food Printers for Tailored Nutrition

    Learn how researchers use the engineering design process to adapt 3D printers so they can print food, in this video from SciTech Now. Columbia Professor Hod Lipson shares his vision of how 3D printing can lead to meals tailored to genetic backgrounds, extreme actives such as marathons, or even celebrity chef recipes. In the accompanying classroom activity, students use the engineering design process to design a 3D printed food preparation tool or to design a meal plan.

    Additional support materials are available, including discussion questions and teaching tips. For more resources from Teaching Engineering in New York, check out the collection page.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Engineering Sustainable Synthetic Fabric

    Learn how researchers use the engineering design process to create sustainable nylon in this video from SciTech Now. NYU Professor Miguel Modestino shares how he developed a process to make nylon production environmentally friendly by replacing petroleum, the current raw material for nylon, with plants and powering the production with solar power. In the accompanying classroom activity, students use the engineering design process to design a sustainable rope.

    Additional support materials are available, including discussion questions and teaching tips. For more resources from Teaching Engineering in New York, check out the collection page.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Engineering: Identifying Warranted Ecological Intervention

    Learn how the National Parks Service uses science and engineering practices to respond to the breach Superstorm Sandy opened near Fire Island in in this video from SciTech Now. In the accompanying classroom activity, students use the engineering design process to protect a simulated beach from erosion.

    Support materials are available, including discussion questions, teaching tips and a handout. For more resources from Teaching Engineering in New York, check out the collection page.

    Grades: 6-12
  • How Architects Use Toy Blocks for Modeling

    In this video from SciTech Now, learn how one Seattle-based architect uses building blocks to unleash his creativity. Although Jeffrey Pelletier mainly plays with building blocks for fun, such as building a 7ft. long spaceship, he also uses building blocks as a modeling tool and source of inspiration for his architecture projects.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Turning Food Waste Into a Resource

    Find out how one company is using discarded produce from grocery stores to help farmers grow better crops—all with a little help from technology—in this video from SciTech Now. Support materials will also provide an opportunity for students to explore the role of decomposers in natural fertilizers, and to investigate the final destination of the food waste from their school cafeteria.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Greening Waste Treatment

    In this video from SciTech Now, explore St. Louis’ combined sewer system, once considered an engineering masterpiece, but today fails to meet many modern environmental standards. See how Metropolitan Sewer District is digging tunnels and planting gardens to address the issues.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Wind Turbines

    In this video from SciTech Now, students learn about an extremely efficient way to harness wind energy for urban environments. Derek Grassman is the innovator behind the wind energy company Kohilo Wind. He was always passionate about clean energy, but it wasn't until Grassman found himself homeless and living in the woods that he was able to turn his ideas into a reality.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Engineering Toys that Capture Energy from Play

    In this video from SciTech Now, learn how one company is using sporting equipment to provide renewable energy sources to developing countries. The kinetic energy generated from kicking a soccer ball and rotating a jump rope is used to generate light, so people with less access to electricity can have light with them when they need it.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Drones in Agriculture

    Learn how researchers and farmers are using drones to help figure out the future of agriculture. In this video from SciTech Now, hear from farmers who are embracing new technologies to increase crop yields while decreasing over-fertilization and water waste. It’s estimated that 90% of all drone use by the year 2025 will be in agriculture.

    Smart advancements in agricultural technology could be the key to increasing farmers’ profitability, decreasing the environmental impact, and increasing food production to support an ever-growing global population.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Spy Penguin

    Wildlife filmmaking is equal parts art and science, as production crews often go to great lengths and use cutting-edge technology in order to get stunning footage of creatures around the world. In this video from SciTech Now, learn how filmmakers for the PBS series, NATURE, have brought robotics into their work, designing animatronic cameras and other specially-engineered creations in disguise to get up close and personal with animals in the Antarctic.

     

    Grades: 5-12
  • Underwater Archaeology

    A team of researchers in Michigan has discovered a site older than the pyramids. But it’s not buried beneath the earth. It’s submerged in a hundred feet of water. In this video from SciTech Now, learn about some of the new tools and strategies that are opening up underwater locations to researchers and scientists.

     

    Grades: 6-12
  • Biomorphic Robots

    In this video from SciTech Now, see how the University of South Florida’s Biomorphic Robotics Lab is turning to the animal kingdom for inspiration in developing biomorphic mimics. One day soon, these robotic creations may be able to provide unique solutions for dealing with challenging situations such as search-and-rescue and hazardous waste.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Robotics in Medicine

    In this video from SciTech Now, learn how robotics is changing today's medical landscape. Robotic instruments are used to help surgeons perform ultra-precise surgeries, sometimes even replacing the surgeon! Bionic limbs are used to help paralyzed patients stand and walk again, improving the patients’ health and spirit. It’s an exciting time to be in the robotic engineering field, as these medical bots continue to improve.

    See the "Designing a Robotic Instrument" handout and sample answers in the Support Materials section for a hands-on activity for to get students engaged with the design process and robotic engineering in relation to medicine and human anatomy.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Scientists Develop Technology to Study Antarctic Waters

    See how scientists from Rutgers University engineered two technologies for measuring environmental conditions in Antarctica in order to better track penguin foraging in this video from SciTech Now.

    The associated activity, "Engineering to Collect Environmental Data in Challenging Environments," helps students to identify various components important in the engineering of these two technologies.

    Grades: 5-12
  • C-BASS: Revolutionizing Fish and Ocean Habitat Management

    In this video from SciTech Now, see how scientists at the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida are developing a new fish assessment project that may revolutionize the way we can study, manage, and conserve fish and ocean habitats.  Known as C-BASS (Camera-Based Assessment Survey System), this new technique may prove to be a faster, more accurate, and environmentally friendly method of gathering valuable data.

    Grades: 5-12

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