2014 Physical Science Curriculum

Engineering to the Rescue

The local fire department needs engineers to research and design a rescue vehicle that can withstand challenges such as extreme heat and weather elements. Students will learn about force and motion and be provided materials with cost restraints to create their prototype. Once tested, students will present their final designs and data to the fire department for consideration.  

Flood Rescue Challenge

In response to the extreme flooding events that occurred this past spring, The Minnesota National Guard has been evaluating current methods for flood rescue. Students are asked to design a watercraft that can be used to save lives during a flood.Specifically, the National Guard requires an accurate way to determine the maximum capacity of a watercraft. The student’s final report will be used to assess the type of water craft deployed in a variety of circumstances. 

Bicycle Physics

Cycles for Change is a non-profit organization developed to build a diverse and empowered community of bicyclists. The Youth Program Coordinators of C4C need engineers to design a way to encourage cyclists to ride for recreation and transportation. Students will learn about the physics of force and motion through the context of bicycling and use their knowledge to address their engineering challenge. With material and cost restrictions in mind, students will design, test, and present their final concept to C4C. 

Chemical Cargo Carriers

Your community is demanding the local chemical company to clean up its chemical storage facility to ensure a safe environment for its citizens. The chemical company needs engineers to design chemical cargo carriers to transport these chemicals safely to a disposal site. Students are asked to use their new knowledge of force and motion to design a cargo carrier to transport chemicals, an egg, safely, even under impact. 

Water Wheel Challenge

DASH Co-Op needs engineers to design a hydroelectric generator on a local river to generate electricity for a small rural community. After learning about water and clean energy, students will work in teams of 3 or 4 to design, test, and present their product to the client. 

Landmine Detonation Project

The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) International works to save lives through the removal and destruction of land mines that have been left in areas of conflict. Students are asked to design a simple machine that can safely detonate landmines without further injuring people or animals. After learning about simple machines and force, students design, test, and present their final product to MAG for consideration.