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Beyond Earth: Shelter from the Elements

This resource provides a scaffold for students to undertake a design challenge. The design challenge requires students to develop a shelter that protects humans from the hostile conditions on another planet. Students draw on their existing scientific understanding (for example, conductors and insulators), along with their ...

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Walking on Crushed Glass

This is an illustrated story of a real-life engineering solution designed to recycle glass waste and reuse it as reinforcement for concrete used in footpaths. The book explains the process of innovation to reach a viable solution. It shows the creativity, innovation and collaboration required to provide a solution that ...

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Engineering clean rivers

Figuring out how to clean up contaminated rivers is a big challenge. It's also tricky to work out where the most contaminated parts of a river system are and whether its fish are safe to eat. Watch this video and learn how engineering has helped to solve these problems. Why do you think engineers looked to the bottom of ...

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How to build a Mars rover

Imagine if you were building a robot to help you explore Mars. That's exactly what these engineering students are doing. Watch this video to find out about their design process. How important do you think it is to test and review the final product after it has been built?

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Telling robots what to do

If you were programming a robot to play a competitive game of soccer, what are some of the things you would consider? Think about some of the most basic functions of a robot, like walking, stopping and turning, to more complicated functions like recognising objects and reacting to them in a specific way.

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For the Juniors: How planes take off and fly

A modern jet aeroplane is big and heavy, so how does it fly? In this clip we explain how the wing shape helps a plane to take off and fly. Also see how a plane's jet engine works. Is it all a load of hot air?

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All about engines

What does 'horsepower' really mean? And how do engines work? Join Luke and Abhi from MIT to find out! As Abhi explains, engines produce power by forcing a mixture of fuel and air into a tight space and then burning it. Piston engines and turbine engines do this in similar, yet different ways. After watching this video, ...

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Why become an engineer?

Are you interested in improving the way people live? What are some of the other reasons Ashwini Ranjithabalan gives for wanting to be an engineer?

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For the Juniors: Super-fast jet boats

Jet boats can go really fast. Instead of an outboard motor and propeller, jet boats have an inboard engine and they eject a jet of water out the rear of the boat. Watch this clip to see how they work.

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For the Juniors: Tall buildings that won't fall

What makes tall buildings strong and stable? View this clip to find out how a tall building made from concrete is made even stronger. Look at a model of the building to see how it will look when it's built. See if you can pick up some design tips to help you build your own tall structure!

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Benefits of teamwork in robotics

It takes team work to build robots! Oliver talks about how he didn't know too much about building robots when he first joined  3132 'Thunder Down Under', but by being in a team with others learned a lot of skills. He also talks about sharing ideas, and how valuable it is to make and learn from mistakes with others. Why ...

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For the Juniors: Wheely good wheels

Wheels are round and come in many sizes, but how does a wheel turn? In this clip we show you how a wheel and axle work together to provide movement.

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Know your robotics materials

Sean, a robotics mentor for FIRST Robotic Competition's 3132 'Thunder Down Under', worked on the robot's intake system which allows it to take in the 'boulder', or the ball, so it can then shoot into the high goal or the low goal. What were some of the challenges he faced in designing and building this feature?

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What are IP addresses?

Meet Vint Cerf, the co-creator of the internet! In this clip, Vint and software engineer Paola Mejia explore the way computer networks talk to each other. Find out what an IP address is and why it's similar to a street address. What's the domain name system? And how does your computer find out the IP address of a website ...

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How to fly around the world without fuel

Imagine if we could fly day and night using only solar energy. The expertly engineered Solar Impulse plane is flying around the world delivering a powerful message: clean technologies can achieve the seemingly impossible. Powered by a dream, determination and breakthrough engineering, this flying adventure aims to inspire ...

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Use your creative thinking skills!

Ashwini Ranjithabalan from Women in Engineering and IT at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) sees engineering as the business of solving future problems. What are some of the challenges we (and our societies) might face in the future? Get some friends together and see if you can brainstorm a list. Now choose one ...

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Working towards a renewable energy future

Listen to electrical engineering student Kulsoom Hussain describe her dream career. What are some of the challenges she says she'll face in trying to achieve her goals? What can you find out about the energy sources used in Australia? How much renewable energy is used to power our country?

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Biofuels – From Sorghum to Ethanol (video)

This is a video [6:05 min] about the production of ethanol from sorghum at the Dalby Bio-Refinery in Queensland. The video describes and illustrates the stages in the production process including milling the sorghum into ‘flour’; mixing the flour with water to hydrolyse the starch; adding enzymes to liquefy the starch (the ...

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How to become a NASA engineer

Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? Debora Fairbrother, a NASA engineer, didn't know what career path she was on. Watch this clip as she talks about the importance of education and of following your passion.

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For the Juniors: First the base, then the frame

Come and see Hugo's house getting built. Find out how the concrete foundations are laid. What comes next? Carpenters build a wooden frame. Spot the tools used to build the house. How is each tool used?