Computer Science

Program People

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A game designed by Brian Mayer for the Game Library. The game involves programming people to move around as robots in order to complete tasks. This is a print and play game that can be constructed from found materials.

Grade Level: 
Elementary
Middle
Content Area: 
Computer Science
Play Time: 
15 min.
Program People

Triangles: Designing a Newspaper Chair

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Once it's been read, there's often little more to do with the daily newspaper than to add it to that towering stack of recyclables we collect each week. In this video segment, however, the ZOOM cast demonstrates how innovative design can turn this otherwise flimsy material into a relatively solid piece of furniture.

Biotechnology: Upstream Processing Associate

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In this video excerpted from Pathways to Technology, you’ll learn about the role biotechnology plays in the fight against cancer. Roya Dirin is an upstream processing associate who works with cells, looking for proteins that can help treat cancer. Her first career was as a midwife, but she decided to switch fields because she wanted to help cure diseases. Roya explains how her community college biotechnology degree is just the first step in her new career.

Kid Inventor: The Collapsible Lacrosse Stick

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Many inventions are born of a need to be able to easily store or transport an item without negatively affecting its intended function. In this video segment from ZOOM, a young inventor named Lauren explains the motivation behind her collapsible lacrosse stick.

Teen Fights for Toxic Waste Cleanup

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New York student Shadia Wood tells how she became an environmental activist in this video adapted from Earth Island Institute’s New Leaders Initiative. Wood lives near several toxic waste sites and was concerned to learn that the New York Superfund—the money set aside for cleaning such sites in her state—had gone bankrupt. Working with other students and environmental groups, Wood lobbied the New York legislature for eight years until the Superfund program was refinanced. Environmentalist Laura Haight says that this law was the most important environmental law passed in New York State in a decade.

Acid Mine Drainage Remediation

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In this video, an environmental technologist visits an abandoned coal mine in Kentucky to talk about how a remediation system (a series of settling ponds and treatment cells) is neutralizing the acid drainage from the mine and preventing damage to a creek downstream. He shows the path of the acid drainage as it flows down a hillside from the mine into a settling basin and on to treatment cells where limestone is used to raise the water's pH. At a higher pH, iron and other minerals drop out of solution, which means that these harmful precipitates stay in the settling basins rather than flowing into the creek.

This resource is part of the Water Solutions collection.

This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

Balloon Brain: Designing a Helmet

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As humans, we thankfully have more going for us than the balloon brains depicted in this video segment adapted from ZOOM. Still, the failed efforts of some of the ZOOM cast members to design adequate protection for their balloon brains illustrates the importance of wearing a proper helmet and protecting your own brain whenever you skate, rollerblade, ski, or ride a bike.

Robotics | Science Trek

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This video segment from IdahoPTV's Science Trek defines a robot, explains the 3 parts of a robot, and informs us of some of the many different ways they are used.  Then Josh Johnston, research scientist at Boise State University and Dean Klein, Vice President of Advanced Memory Solutions at Micron, will answer students’ questions about robots on "Robtics: The Web Show."  And on our "Watch This" segment Scientists at UGOBE explain how they designed and built Pleo, a baby Camarasaurus dinosaur toy.

City of Gold: The Story of South Pass City | Mining Techniques and Hazards

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Learn about the techniques gold miners used to collect gold ore from the area around South Pass City, as well as the hazards they faced during the mining process. 

In the accompany lesson plan (found in the Support Materials), students will watch a video that explains the mining process and hazards, and then create caution signs to show their understanding of the challenges the miners faced. Finally, the students will take part in a collaborative STEM challenge to build a working hoist using a limited amount of supplies. 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: 

  • Students will develop grade level appropriate speaking and listening skills, as described by the standards. 
  • Students will understand how technology impacted the mining process of early gold miners, as well as the hazards the miners faced. 
  • Students will define a design problem and use limited resources to solve it. 

SciGirls | Laura Valencia: Ingeniera Eléctrica / Electrical Engineer

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Laura is an electrical engineer who works on things people use everyday.

NOTE: Video is in Spanish, with subtitles in both Spanish and English.

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