The Big Book of Engineering Challenges: Putting the "E" in STEM

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Product Description

by Celeste Baine and Cathi Cox-Boniol

ISBN: 978-0-9819300-3-7
8.5″ x 11″, 192 pages – Lay-flat binding for easy photocopying.

Publication Date: August 1, 2015 

Book Description: Engineering challenges are design problems that require students to identify needs, define problems, identify design criteria and constraints, develop solutions, and evaluate their solutions. In these activities, there are more than one “right” answer. The right design is usually one that meets the engineering criteria and is built within the materials budget. Students will design, construct, and test their engineering design solution and collect relevant data (if applicable). They will then evaluate the solution in terms of design and performance criteria, constraints, priorities, and trade-offs while also identifying possible design improvements.

This easy and exciting time and work saving book was developed to help middle and high school teachers with no engineering background teach engineering. By using the Engineering Design Process, students begin to look at problems, issues and constraints from multiple viewpoints and in relationship to an assortment of situations and scenarios. Good engineering design considers people’s needs to determine the best solution.  By solving problems that consider the needs of people, the doors to creativity open wide and student engagement increases. As students build skills in using the Engineering Design Process, they no longer need to sit back and wait for instructions. Instead, they explore, create, design, innovate, imagine, test and evaluate their solutions.

In The Big Book of Engineering Challenges, Celeste Baine and Cathi Cox-Boniol have done it again! Taking cues from their bestselling Teaching Engineering Made Easy series, Baine and Cox-Boniol have crafted an exceptional activity guide that gives classroom teachers an easy and dynamic way to meet curriculum standards and competencies.  Their must-have resource for middle school teachers includes 30 activities with standards alignment for the National Science Education Standards (NCES), the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA), the Common Core State Mathematics Standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  

By completing activities in The Big Book of Engineering Challenges, students will see connections to the world around them at the same time they develop problem solving skills that they can use in school and throughout their life. The activities do not require a formal science lab and can be done with materials that are inexpensive and easy to find.

Table of Contents

  • What You Can Do With This Book
  • What is an Engineering Challenge?
  • Why Use the  Engineering Design Process?
    • Increasing Students’ Depth of Understanding in Science
    • Acquiring Essential Skills
    • Connecting to Real-World Careers
    • Scientific Inquiry Process & Engineering Design Process
  • Engineering Design Process
    • Characteristics of Engineering Design Processes and How They Are Used
    • Good Ways to Teach Students About the Engineering Design Process

Challenge Activities

  • Unzipping a Zip Line
  • Three’s a Charm
  • Secret Straw Structure
  • Unsinkable Straw and Saran Ship
  • Newspaper Table
  • Cardboard Chair
  • Steady in the Storm
  • Ship Shape
  • Boosting Books
  • Rev Up Your Rocket
  • Pacing a Pendulum
  • Knock Your Block Off
  • It’s a Strike!
  • Hello Helicopter
  • Having a Ball
  • All Docked Out
  • Hydraulic Puppy
  • Hydraulic Marble Lifter
  • Wind Turbine R&D
  • Wind Power
  • 3...2...1...Flight Design!
  • The Coin Flipper
  • Float Your Boat
  • Ten Second Tower
  • Beautiful Bridges
  • Unfolding a Bridge
  • Pasta Bridges
  • Hydraulic Draw Bridge
  • Tractor Pull Challenges
  • Challenge 1
  • Challenge 2
  • Challenge 3


Professional Development Training Opportunity

Hold The Big Book of Engineering Challenges Professional Development Workshop at Your Location

Bring The Big Book of Engineering Challenges Professional Development Workshop, facilitated by co-author Cathi Cox-Boniol, to your location. Cathi Cox-Boniol is currently the ACHIEVE Coordinator for Lincoln Parish Schools and the Director for New Tech @ Ruston, a 21st Century teaching and learning program. An early proponent of science education reform, Cox-Boniol is also a highly successful presenter of workshops and seminars that focus on reform methodologies and strategies, alternative assessment, school to work, and standards based education. Cox-Boniol has won numerous awards and honors including The Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, The Radioshack/Tandy Technology Scholars Outstanding Teacher Award, and she was most recently named among Delta Style Magazine’s “Sweet Sixteen” Most Influential Women.

Audience: The Big Book of Engineering Challenges Professional Development Workshop is for elementary, middle and high school teachers and educators.

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