Wind Turbines — Engineering the Future — Overview

Alternative energy topics are both popular and relatable with children. This versatile engineering module — containing both electrical and mechanical variants — focuses on wind turbine blade development, which provides an excellent platform for teaching concepts of experimental design. Subtle changes in blade configuration often yield dramatic results that excite the youngsters and encourage them to investigate further.

Hooke’s Law — It’s No Stretch!

Many balances familiar to students, such as bathroom or grocery store scales are examples of spring balances. Hooke’s Law defines the relationship between the force applied to a spring or other elastic material to the distance it stretches or compresses. In this module, students will set up and conduct experiments to test the validity of the relationship.

Storm the Castle

“Storm the Castle” is an exercise in engineering problem solving that’s loads of fun for children of all ages. Students take on the role of “besieging armies”, designing siege engines capable of launching “boulders” (ping pong balls) into the defending castle, earning points depending on where the balls land. They also design a device to retrieve containers of boulders from the “quarry”.

Paper Chromatography — The Colors Within

Paper chromatography is a technique for separating out components in a mixture, such as for testing the purity of compounds. In this module, Kidizen scientists will study the composition and separation behaviors of a variety marker types and colors. They will then employ this knowledge and their chromatography skills to identify the various mystery markers from their inks alone!

The Periodic Table – It’s Elemental!

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table (IYPT) to mark the 150th anniversary of the Mendeleev periodic table. This iconic resource, a vital tool for all who learn and work in science, provides ample opportunities to engage even the youngest students. You do not have to wait for the next anniversary to include a periodic table session in your science enrichment program.

The Panamax Challenge

This module is an alternative version of The Great Boat Float Challenge, which may be more satisfying for older students — third grade and up — than simply building a boat to hold as much weight as possible. Students consider the real-world problem that marine engineers and naval architects face when designing ships to pass through the Panama Canal. “Panamax” refers to the maximum allowable dimensions for those ships. This is a good activity for teams of two students.