Students are introduced to the concepts of biomimicry and sustainable design. Countless examples illustrate the wisdom of nature in how organisms are adapted for survival, such as in body style, physiological processes, water conservation, thermal radiation and mutualistic relationships, to assure species perpetuation. Students learn from articles and videos, building a framework of evidence substantiating the indisputable fact that organisms operate "smarter" and thus provide humans with inspiration in how to improve products, systems and cities. As students focus on applying the ecological principles of the previous lessons to the future design of our human-centered world, they also learn that often our practices are incapable of replicating the precision in which nature completes certain functions, as evidenced by our dependence on bees as pollinators of the human food supply. The message of biomimicry is one of respect: study to improve human practices and ultimately protect natural systems. This heightened appreciation helps students to grasp the value of industry and urban mimetic designs to assure protection of global resources, minimize human impact and conserve nonrenewable resources. All of these issues aid students in creating a viable guest resort in the Sonoran Desert.
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Students are challenged to design a method for separating steel from aluminum based on magnetic properties as is frequently done in recycling operations. To complicate the challenge, the magnet used to separate the steel must be able to be switched off to allow for the recollection of the steel. Students must ultimately design, test, and present an effective electromagnet.
In this lesson, students find their location on a map using Latitude and Longitudinal coordinates. They determine where they should go to be rescued and how best to get there.
Students are challenged to design a permanent guest village within the Saguaro National Park in Arizona. The design must provide a true desert experience to visitors while emphasizing sustainable design, protection of the natural environment, and energy and resource conservation. To successfully address and respond to this challenge, students must acquire an understanding of desert ecology, environmental limiting factors, species adaptations and resource utilization. Following theintroduction, students generate ideas and consider the knowledge required to complete the challenge. The lectures and activities that follow serve to develop this level of comprehension. To introduce the concepts of healthy ecosystems, biomimetics and the importance of sustainable environmental design, students watch three video clips of experts. These clips provide direction for student research and challenge design solutions.
How many calories are in your favorite foods? How much exercise would you have to do to burn off these calories? What is the relationship between calories and weight? Explore these issues by choosing diet and exercise and keeping an eye on your weight.
- Health, Medicine and Nursing
- Life Science
- Forestry and Agriculture
- Material Type:
- University of Colorado Boulder
- Provider Set:
- PhET Interactive Simulations
- Franny Benay
- Kate Semsar
- Kathy Perkins
- Noah Podolefsky
- Sam Reid
- Wendy Adams
- Date Added:
In the Flow Rate Experiment, students perform hands-on experiments with a common faucet, as well as work with the Engineering Our Water Living Lab to gain a better understanding of flow rate and how it pertains to engineering and applied science. Students calculate the flow rate of a faucet for three different levels (quarter blast, half blast, and full blast). Building on these calculations, students hypothesize about the flow rate in a nearby river, and then use the Engineering Our Water Living Lab to check their hypothesis. For this lesson to be effective, your students need to have a visual feel for the flow in a nearby river.
This is a forest measurements textbook written for field technicians. Silvicultural applications and illustrations are provided to demonstrate the relevance of the measurements. Special “technique tips” for each skill are intended to help increase data collection accuracy and confidence. These include how to avoid common pitfalls, effective short cuts and essentials for recording field data correctly. The emphasis is on elementary skills; it is not intended to be a timber cruising guide.
This design-based subject provides a first course in energy and thermo-sciences with applications to sustainable energy-efficient architecture and building technology. No previous experience with subject matter is assumed. After taking this subject, students will understand introductory thermodynamics and heat transfer, know the leading order factors in building energy use, and have creatively employed their understanding of energy fundamentals and knowledge of building energy use in innovative building design projects. This year, the focus will be on design projects that will complement the new NSTAR/MIT campus efficiency program.
During a scavenger hunt and an art project, students learn how to use a handheld GPS receiver for personal navigation. Teachers can request assistance from the Institute of Navigation to find nearby members with experience in using GPS and in locating receivers to use.
Introduces scientific, economic, and ecological issues underlying the threat of global climate change, and the institutions engaged in negotiating an international response. Develops an integrated approach to analysis of climate change processes, and assessment of proposed policy measures, drawing on research and model development within the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.
Students explore the effects of regional geology on bridge foundation, including the variety of soil conditions found beneath foundations. They learn about shallow and deep foundations, as well as the concepts of bearing pressure and settlement.
- Forestry and Agriculture
- Material Type:
- Lesson Plan
- Provider Set:
- Christopher Valenti
- Denali Lander
- Denise W. Carlson
- Joe Friedrichsen
- Jonathan S. Goode
- Malinda Schaefer Zarske
- Natalie Mach
- Date Added:
The marine environment is unique and requires technologies that can use sound to gather information since there is little light underwater. The sea-floor is characterized using underwater sound and acoustical systems. Current technological innovations are allowing scientists to further understand and apply information about animal locations and habitat. Remote sensing and exploration with underwater vehicles allows scientists to map and understand the sea floor, and in some cases, the water column. In this lesson, the students will be shown benthic habitat images produced by GIS. These imaged will lead to a class discussion on why habitat mapping is useful and how current technology works to make bathymetry mapping possible. The teacher will then ask inquiry-based questions to have students brainstorm about the importance of bathymetry mapping.
Students explore heat transfer and energy efficiency using the context of energy efficient houses. They gain a solid understanding of the three types of heat transfer: radiation, convection and conduction, which are explained in detail and related to the real world. They learn about the many ways solar energy is used as a renewable energy source to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses and operating costs. Students also explore ways in which a device can capitalize on the methods of heat transfer to produce a beneficial result. They are given the tools to calculate the heat transferred between a system and its surroundings.
This seminar will explore the difficulties of getting agreement on global definitions of sustainability; in particularly building international support for efforts to combat climate change created by greenhouse gas emissions as well as other international resource management efforts. We will focus on possible changes in the way global environmental agreements are formulated and implemented, especially on ways of shifting from the current "pollution control" approach to combating climate change to a more comprehensive strategy for taking advantage of sustainable development opportunities.
This lesson will introduce students to environmental issues. Students will recognize environmental opinions and perspective, which will help them define themselves and others as either preservationists or conservationists. Students also learn about the importance of teamwork in engineering.
Students are introduced to the concept of light pollution by investigating the nature, sources and levels of light in their classroom environment. They learn about the adverse effects of artificial light and the resulting consequences on humans, animals and plants: sky glow, direct glare, light trespass, animal disorientation and energy waste. Student teams build light meters using light sensors mounted to LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT intelligent bricks and then record and graph the light intensity emitted in various classroom lighting situations. They are introduced to the engineering concepts of sensors, lux or light meter, and lumen and lux (lx) illuminance units. Through this activity, students also learn how to better use light and save energy as well as some of the technologies designed by engineers to reduce light pollution and energy waste.
Through investigating the nature, sources and level of noise produced in their environment, students are introduced to the concept of noise pollution. They learn about the undesirable and disturbing effects of noise and the resulting consequences on people's health, as well as on the health of the environment. They use a sound level meter that consists of a sound sensor attached to the LEGO® NXT Intelligent Brick to record the noise level emitted by various sources. They are introduced to engineering concepts such as sensors, decibel (dB) measurements, and sound pressure used to measure the noise level. Students are introduced to impairments resulting from noise exposure such as speech interference, hearing loss, sleep disruption and reduced productivity. They identify potential noise pollution sources, and based on recorded data, they classify these sources into levels of annoyance. Students also explore the technologies designed by engineers to protect against the harmful effects of noise pollution.
Students build on their understanding and feel for flow rates, as gained from the associated Faucet Flow Rate activity, to estimate the flow rate of a local river. The objective is to be able to relate laboratory experiment results to the environment. They use the U.S. Geological Survey website (http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt) to determine the actual flow rate data for their river, and compare their estimates to the actual flow rate. For this activity to be successful, choose a nearby river and take a field trip or show a video so students gain a visual feel for the flow of the nearby river.
Students build a saltwater circuit, which is an electrical circuit that uses saltwater as part of the circuit. Students investigate the conductivity of saltwater, and develop an understanding of how the amount of salt in a solution impacts how much electrical current flows through the circuit. They learn about one real-world application of a saltwater circuit — as a desalination plant tool to test for the removal of salt from ocean water.
In this activity, students build a water filter with activated carbon, cotton and other materials to remove chocolate powder from water.