Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering      
Boiling Point Project   Small World Project   Gulf Stream Project
  The Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education

Engineering Projects

Students apply systems thinking and learn the core concepts of systems engineering as they reverse engineer a common product.

Recommended for Grades 9-12

Two billion people live in homes that are not connected to the electric grid. Students integrate solar and LED technologies to produce model lighting systems for use in developing countries.

Recommended for Grades 9-12

Millions of people around the world do not have access to clean water. During this project schools collaborate to design water purification systems for use in developing countries.

Recommended for Grades 9-12


Students are challenged to think critically as they collaborate to design an aquaponics system that sustains plant and animal life.

Recommended for Grades 9-12

What Can I Build On?

The ability of buildings to withstand earthquakes is dependent on maintaining structural integrity on the substrate in which the building is constructed. This lesson will challenge students to design and test building design modifications capable of withstanding liquefaction.

Recommended for Grades 6 - 12

Designing an Earthquake-resistant Structure

In this activity students will take part in an engineering design experience that allows them to observe how sudden acceleration as experienced during a seismic event can lead to structural failure and discover what building characteristics most affect stability

Recommended for Grades 6 -12

Using Boiling Water to Create Clean Water

The goal is for students to figure out how to collect the steam from boiling "polluted" water and then let it condense in a new container to create pure, clean water.
Recommended for Grades 6-12
Design a Travel Bag

Students will use the engineering design process to generate research questions, brainstorm ideas, design, build, and test a prototype travel bag for their stowaway adventure.
Recommended for Grades 5-8

Design a Pump (Coming Soon!)

Students design and test a simple hand pump to remove water from an area flooded by a Tsunami.

Recommended for Grades 6-12

Whichever Way the Wind Blows

In this lesson students will solve the problem: How can we tell which way the wind is blowing? They will design and construct a windsocks to gather data about wind direction.

Recommended for Grades 1-5

Ant Day Care Center

In this lesson students will solve the problem: How can we house ants in a structure where we will be able to observe/study them? Students will use the Engineering Design Process to create a suitable container/habitat for keeping and observing ants for one day.

Recommended for Grades 1-5

Mini-Squares of Life

Students will design and construct a device, a "mini-square marker," that they will use in a school yard investigation. This leson complements the project lesson "Field Trip to Our Scquare."

Recommended for Grades 1-5

Erosion – Can You Fight It?

How much energy is involved with waves and erosion? Can humans stop erosion of the shoreline? Should we? Is it cost effective? Students design a seawall to protect a major costal highway.

Recommended for Grades 6-12


How Does Your Garden Grow?

Young students design, build, and test a solution that will prevent bunnies from getting into a vegetable garden. Based on the book Muncha, Muncha, Muncha by Candace Fleming.

Recommended for Grades P-2


Scratch My Back

Young students design, build, and test out a device to scratch their backs. This lesson is based on the book Big Smelly Bear by Britta Teckentrup.

Recommended for Grades P-2

I'll Huff & I'll Puff...

This lesson is based on the Three Little Pigs story. In this activity the students are to imagine that there are no bricks available and that they have to help the third pig by using the Engineering Design Process. They will build a house for the third little pig so that when the wolf comes to visit, he will not huff and puff and blow the house down.

Recommended for Grades K-3

Carbon Imbalance: Algae to the Rescue?

Plants and algae use carbon dioxide in
the process of photosynthesis to convert light energy to chemical energy, increasing their biomass. In this module, students engage in a wide range of activities, including an engineering design activity, to further their understanding of
the relationship among photosynthesis, respiration, carbon dioxide and human impact on the environment.

Recommended for Grades 9-12

Classroom Projects