Environmental Engineering

Program | Grades 6-8

In this exciting new program, students will have the opportunity to explore alternative means of energy production as well as a study of environmental systems as they relate to life on Earth. Students will explore how natural resources are extracted from deep underground and ways that we can use them more efficiently to reduce waste and toxic byproducts. Looking further into nature, students will also be challenged to reverse-engineer a novel animal characteristic that could potentially benefit mankind!

Clean Air

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Air pollution is a global concern and environmental engineers are constantly working to prevent and remediate air pollution. In this lesson, students investigate the composition of air that we breathe and design air filters to remove small particles from the air.

Kid Power

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Regenerated heat energy can be used to power air conditioning systems, car accessories, and other minor components that would otherwise rely on a main power source. Students will harness their own kinetic energy in a manner similar to regenerative braking by shaking a tube containing a circuit that will light an LED bulb.

Mindful Mining

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Students will design a mining scoop to obtain the most pennies (“mineral ore”) possible while minimizing the amount of water byproduct (“slag”).

One Slippery Slope!

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Students will construct a retaining wall that will hold back the power of a landslide. Students will also analyze the properties of a landslide to predict the forces of a landslide and build a stronger wall during the second phase of testing.

Power of the Sun

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How do we know that solar energy is an efficient way to heat a house? How can we maximize the use of energy resources? Environmental engineers seek to answer these questions and more as they work with builders, homeowners, and governments to increase use and efficiency of solar power. In this lesson, students compare the amount of time it takes to heat a home with electric and solar heat. Then, students will work together to engineer ways to insulate the home and conserve energy making the home more green and efficient.

Two Lives of a Landfill

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In this lesson, students will design a model geotextile fabric that will prevent waste from leaching through the soil from a landfill. They will develop a master plan for reusing a landfill once it’s reached the end of its design life. And finally, students will examine whether or not their solutions were successful by conducting a perk test to search for leaks in the fabric.

Wetlands Rescue

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Wetlands play an important role in the biological world and provide a number of very important services to humans, including natural flood control and water treatment. Students will learn about the importance of wetlands and explore how wetlands work and come to understand why they are an integral part of our lives. Students will then construct an artificial wetland to observe its water filtration benefits and learn how to design permeable materials.