Engineering of Everyday Things -- Curriculum Outline: STEAM Foundational Unit

by Allen Berg email:

"Engineering of Everyday Things: Analysis of a Whole and its Parts; Structure and Function"

K-12 Curriculum Project including:

1. A high-interest dramatic photograph of ten everyday objects to begin the student's adventure

in learning about engineering.

2. A simple one-page Lesson Plan for guiding students through their "Analysis of a Whole and its Parts",

including two photographs of an ordinary ball-point pen revealing its structure and function.

3. A simple two-page Teacher's Guide: A List for "Analysis of a Whole and its Parts"

-- including 60 "Compare and Contrast" examples of Everyday Things for student analysis.

4. Updating in February 2015: a great and free FlexBook at the CK-12 Foundation:

Engineering: An Introduction for High School

5. How Stuff Works -- an encyclopedia with great pictures and animations...

6. The Greatest Inventions of the Past 2,000 Years -- a unique compact History of Science, a book edited by

John Brockman. Excellent one page essays to browse anyway you wish, but with no pictures;

So I am beginning a new wikispace called "Greatest-Inventions" based on his book,

that I would like to collaborate with other teachers with adding pictures and videos...)

7. Google Patent Search: Free online copies of the official texts and diagrams for over 7 million Patents...

Click on "View PDF" to see a full-screen picture of the Technical Drawing(s).

You can easily start your Projects-Based Learning in STEM by using the 1,000+ Patents by Thomas Edison...

His "name link" will lead you to our wikispace page about Thomas Edison and the wikipedia link below lists all his Patent Numbers, which you simply click on to get to Google Patents: copies of every single one... :-)

7.1 The Patent History of the ordinary clothespin is enormous (I just spent 2 hours checking it...) and decided

to choose No. 365755 from 1887 (full document) to share with you as an example.

7.2 The new Apple wrist watch has many patents involved in its development;

here is a recent one from 2014: US 8787006 B2

7.3 The website "Patently Apple", so you can see amazing "New Next Big Things" in iDevices, etc.

"The FDA Approves Imaging Diagnostics App for the iPhone."

8. Your Enthusiasm and Creativity:

– Make a school display of your students' projects.

– Make a school or online magazine of your students' projects.

– Make a school video of your students' projects.

– Create Music Videos using your students' projects.

-- Share your students' projects with another school (via the internet, etc.)

and have the other school's students share their 'similarly' produced projects with your school.

9. The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation (for young people)

at the Smithsonian Institution.

10. A list of excellent student-oriented books about "The Engineering of Everyday Things",

available at many public libraries and definitely available online

10.1 "How Things Work Encyclopedia --A first Reference Guide for Inquisitive Minds"

A D-K Visual Book: Hardcover, fully-illustrated with Everyday Objects labelled clearly

with their Parts. Elementary School Level Book: 128 pages, 8 1/2" x 11" Large Format.

10.2 "The New Way Things Work --From Levers to Lasers, Windmills to Web Sites:

A Visual Guide to the World of Machines" by David Macauley and Neil Ardley

Published by Houghton Mifflin: Hardcover, fully-illustrated with hundreds of Machines

(from the most simple to very complex), 396 pages, including an extensive index.

Upper Elementary School through High School and Adults. Large Format Book.

NOTE: This book is also available as a multimedia DVD.

10.3 "Cool Stuff and How It Works" and "Cool Stuff and How It Works 2.0" (second book)

by Chris Woodford, Ben Morgan, et al Published by D-K Visual Books: Large Format Book.

Table of Contents has lots of Subject Categories, including: Communications, Sports,

High-Tech Portable Devices, Advanced Imaging and Sensing Devices, etc.

Middle School and up...Very Cool Teenage Appeal