KEEN Teacher Resources

The KEEN Program has many pre-developed classroom presentations that can be delivered.  We also offer the opportunity for teachers to have a presentation custom designed to suit the needs of the class.  Just ask us and we will do our best to address the current curriculum and interests.  
Below we have a listing and brief description of some of our most requested presentations.   In our Hands On Activities, students are typically asked to Plan, Design and Construct, in keeping with engineering concepts. They are asked to work in teams, have a time frame, and usually obtain a reward for being the best “engineers.”  Teaching Sessions are typically presentation and discussion based.  However, you can certainly expect quite a bit of interaction between the presenter and students.  All KEEN presentations are typically delivered with all needed materials provided; the teacher just brings the students! 
Hands On Activities
A Study of Watersheds: The Enviroscape
When the Kentucky transportation Cabinet builds a road, what do we consider?  Well, we think of things like the number of cars that need the road, safety issues, cost, and design, but we also have to consider the environment.  Environmental considerations include the water flow in the area.  Where’s the water traveling and what is the quality of the water?  Well, these questions are all related to the watershed.  This presentation is centralized around a large, hands on model of a watershed.  The students learn about watersheds, pollution, and sources of pollution.  We provide the students an opportunity to test their theories on the model and identify means to improve our environment themselves!

 Enviroscape Video

Aluminum Boat Activity
The class teams are given a 6” by 4” piece of aluminum foil and asked to construct a boat (any size type or dimension) that will hold the most money (in $ value) without sinking. The last coin placed in the boat, that sinks the boat, will be removed. Coins used are quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies.
Core Skills: Problem solving and team building skills are gained from this exercise. Plus, higher grade students will learn about weight distribution, forces, velocity, surface area, and other mathematical concepts.
Bridge Building Activity
A presentation is given teaching basic bridge engineering knowledge.  The class will be divided into engineering teams and build truss bridges using toy building materials or gumballs and toothpicks.  They will then test the loading capacity of their bridges to failure to determine the strongest bridge.
Core Skills: Problem solving and team building skills are gained from this exercise, along with exposure to several physics concepts; such as, loading, torsion, and deflection.   
Cast-in-place Bridge Building Activity
The class will build bridges from water and Plaster of Paris.  Students are given a chance to mix water and Plaster of Paris at differing ratios to see which bridge is strongest.  They will then break these bridges in an apparatus that shows the strength of the best bridge.
Core Skills: Problem solving and team building skills are gained from this exercise, along with exposure to algebra and physics (in the moment of Inertia equation), hydration (from the water and Plaster of Paris’ chemical properties), and the idea of deflection.   
Edible Car Activity
Don’t let the title mislead you. No FOOD is to be consumed. Students are given a variety of food items (rice cakes, pretzel rods, graham crackers, granola bars, donuts, marshmallow crème, peanut butter, etc.) to use to make a car that will travel down an incline (in a race with the other cars). No other items, such as pencils, paper clips, etc., may be used – only food items.
Core Skills: Problem solving and team building skills are gained from this exercise. Plus, forces and momentum may be explored for higher grade students.
Paper Towers
How and why do we build towers?  We will explore basic tower use and function.  The class will be divided into engineering teams to build towers using only newspaper.  They will need to work as a team with these highly limiting material to design and construct the tallest tower they can.  The tallest freestanding tower utilizing the provided materials only will be the winning structure.
Core Skills: Problem solving and team building skills are gained from this exercise, along with exposure to several engineering concepts; such as, loading, construction materials, and construction testing methods.   
Teaching Only Sessions
Jeopardy Game 
Pretend to be Alex Trebek and act like you have all the answers. A brief presentation is given to the students that discusses most all of the answers to the questions. (Or should we say questions to the answers?). After the presentation, a power point presentation tests the student's knowledge. 
Core Skills: Math, science and engineering knowledge is gained from this game.  The game can be tailored to the current classroom curriculum.
Ribbons Across The Land: A History of the National Highway System
Long ago, the United States of America embarked upon a task never before attempted, the establishment of a National Highway System.  This road network is now a 'Ribbon Across the Land', binding our country and allowing us to achieve so much more.  Simply put, the National Highway System is a marvel of engineering and the history of its creation is explored in this presentation. 
Core Skills: American history with an engineering focus.
Does the engineer drive the train?  Not the one's we are discussing!  Many students need to be educated on exactly what engineers do.  There are many fields and specializations in the engineering profession and this presentation sheds light on a few of them.  It also provides advice to students whom are interested in the engineering profession from an educational standpoint.   
Core Skills: Basic comprehension of general engineering fields and their functions.

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