Marshmallow Tower

Marshmallow Tower

Try the Marshmallow Challenge, a fun and quick design challenge that thousands of people have attempted.
Download a Printer-Friendly PDF
Tilt Sensor

Tilt Sensor

From Bots!

Make a simple tilt sensor with LED lights that indicate which way it's leaning.

Draw Your Own Cartoon

Draw Your Own Cartoon

From Crazy Contraptions

Start your creative juices flowing by drawing your own cartoon.

Design a Space Robot

Design a Space Robot

From Robotics!

Think of what planet you would like to explore and design a robot based on the planet you chose.

Design a Poll

Design a Poll

From Big Data

Often, data is collected using a poll or survey. A poll or survey asks questions about people’s opinion on a topic. In this activity, you will design and conduct your own poll.



Science Books and Films
++: Highly Recommended
". . . This book is a wonderful resource for teachers and parents to use in the classroom and at home. It gets back to the basics with exciting activities that are hands-on that support the STEM program. When kids use their hands and work together to create a prototype, the outcomes are much higher when they are actively engaged in this type of learning. It gives students confidence in math while building problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. This is a book that teachers, parents, boys, and girls will enjoy as they learn about the many facets of the engineering world."

School Library Connection, April 2016
"Author Vicky V. May has produced a procedural book for the 21st century. Information covers electricity, chemistry, earth science, physics, and energy . . . The text, with fast facts, sidebars, and text boxes, is kid-friendly and the topics fit the science curriculum. Its guided inquiry approach makes this a useful tool for students seeking science fair ideas, teachers selecting creative outcomes to lessons, and learners who thrive on hands-on projects. Cartoon-like illustrations supplement the "how-to" aspect of the book nicely. Recommended"

Booklist Online 
"Engineers design solutions for common or sophisticated needs, and here kids are challenged to consider, brainstorm, experiment, and create prototypes for 25 projects, from a pencil holder to a cardboard chair to a mini-robot. Each of the first seven chapters examines a specific topic and then asks readers to create one to three corresponding projects . . . Instructions for each project include five steps with highlighted vocabulary and informational text boxes. Most projects lean toward collaboration and experimentation. Colored text boxes and illustrations help break up the text, and several experiments have QR codes for expanded online content. Part of the Build It Yourself series, this book will prove useful to middle-school science teachers."

Joseph J. Helble, dean, Thayer School of Engineering, professor of engineering, Dartmouth College
"3-D Engineering does a wonderful job of conveying the creative discovery and invention that are such important parts of engineering. The author nicely addresses the need for an engineer to not only use the tools of math and science to solve problems, but to experiment, tinker, and discover as a way to develop creative solutions to some of our most pressing problems."

Amanda Burns, fifth-grade teacher
"This book brings engineering to the classroom in such a clear and concise way. Children and teachers learn about the many facets of the engineering world while engaging in fun, hands-on activities. This book provides an excellent overview of what it takes to think like an engineer."

Matt Buck, fifth-grade teacher
"This book nails it! A wonderful resource for the individuals in my classroom who want to take their learning a step further, and I can also use it with my whole class as we explore particular aspects of engineering. 3-D Engineering is engaging with its text and numerous opportunities for building and designing projects. A positive and engaging use of technology to link the learner to "Primary Source' material!"


Detailed Book Description

In 3-D Engineering: Design and Build Your Own Prototypes, young readers tackle real-life engineering problems by figuring out real-life solutions. Kids apply science and math skills to create prototypes for musical instruments, race cars, alarms, and more. Prototypes are preliminary models used by engineers and kids to evaluate ideas and to better understand how things work.

Bridges, skyscrapers, helicopters, and night lights are all very useful things! But how did somebody come up with the idea for these things, and how did people figure out how to build them?

Using a structured engineering design process, kids learn how to brainstorm, build a prototype, test a prototype, evaluate, and re-design. Projects include designing a cardboard chair to understand the stiffness of structural systems and designing and building a set of pan pipes to experiment with pitch and volume in music. 3-D Engineering gives kids a chance to figure out many different prototypes, empowering them to discover the mechanics of the world we know.

Available In:
Hardcover, $22.95
Paperback, $17.95
Includes: Table of Contents | Timeline | Charts | Glossary | Resources | Index | Metric Conversions Chart
Specs: 8 x 10 size | 4-color interior | 128 pages
Subject: Science
Content Focus: Engineering & Technology


Engineering Design

Chapter 1
Stiff, Strong, and Stable

Chapter 2
Everything Is Spinning

Chapter 3
Staying Afloat and Aloft

Chapter 4
Quite the Reaction

Chapter 5
Making Music

Chapter 6
Electrifying Devices

Chapter 7
Energy Converters

Chapter 8
Design and Build Prototypes

Metric Conversions
Essential Questions