Teacher Area

Lesson Plan 1: Introduction

Students build a foundation of knowledge pertaining to the role of engineers while gaining a value for the importance of systems engineers. Thematic in these lessons are topics such as collaboration, systems, tradeoffs, stakeholders, globalization and conservation. Students will also be exposed to the concept of the SaGE project and its goals. A brief overview of the purpose and goals will be shared. Afterwards students will be given a humanitarian-based design challenge in which they will be participating.


Students will be able to:
  1. Explain the role that engineers have played in our society throughout history
    • Romans aqueducts
    • Greek ships and siege weapons

  2. Identify contemporary engineering projects, the problems they were intended to solve, and subsequent tradeoffs resulting from their implementation
    • Panama Canal
    • French/English Chunnel
    • Boston 's Big Dig

  3. Compare and contrast old and new engineering process in terms of
    • Globalization (collaboration, outsourcing, language barriers)
    • Global warming (power & energy, EPA law)
    • Tools and equipment
    • Knowledge of math and science

  4. Cite engineering systems from the 7 areas of the designed world, and list their dependent subsystems
    • Construction, communication, transportation, biotechnology, manufacturing, power & energy, and medical

  5. Identify technical and non-technical stakeholders in the life cycle of an engineering system
    • Fields of engineering
    • Individual job
    • Environment, Politics, Economy, Citizens, Budgets, Schedules, Laws

  6. Explain the need for systems engineers by citing examples of the roles they have played in real projects.
    • Boeing 777 Dream Liner
    • Airbus A380

  7. Describe various world problems that can be solved using systems engineering.
    • Identify Causes and Effects of global food shortages
      • Identify the effects of changing food supplies have on people in the US as well as other countries.
    • Identify Stakeholders of global food shortages
    • Describe several methods of solving food shortages.

  8. Communicate with participating schools.
Materials and Resources


New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards

  • Standard 5.4: Nature and Process of Technology
  • Standard 8.2: Technological Literacy

ITEA Standards for Technological Literacy

  • Standards: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,7

National Science Content Standards

  • Unifying Concepts and Processes in Science
  • Physical Science
  • Life Science
  • Science and Technology
  • Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
  1. Germination of Seeds - (1 Day)
    • Seeds sprouted in mini-green house with clear lid, heat mat base and rockwool planters inside
    • Students document growing conditions and seed types for initial "planting".
    • Students also describe the environment as far as growing medium, moisture source, essentially a description of the sprouting mechanism.
    • Space for daily observation and documentation of growth and development, both verbal and visual.
    • Create log to record growth and identify environmental conditions such as container, light, seed selected

  2. Discuss SaGE Activity: Self-Sustained Biodynamic Food System - (1 Day )

  3. Read article The New Face of Hunger on Global Food Crisis and complete handout -( 1 Day; assign as homework if needed)
    • Students identify the various components that caused the spike in food prices, growing demand for corn, rising fuel prices, etc.
    • Describe connections between market fluctuations here in the US and in developing countries.
    • Describe the affects on people in developing countries and the instability it creates.

  4. Write a class letter of introduction and share with other participating schools by posting to Collaboration Central - (1 Day ) . Things to include in the letter of introduction are:

    • Name of school, subject, and grade level of class.
    • Location of school including city, state/province, country, latitude and longitude (so other students can pin-point your location on the map).
    • What are school's strengths?
    • What are school's weaknesses?
    • What technological resources are available?
    • What can your school most contribute to this effort?
    • What are your goals and expectations in participating in this collaborative effort?
    • What do you wish to learn from this first meeting?
    • Any other information that you would like to share about your city, school, and community.


Students should complete and submit the student worksheets for the lesson.

Follow-up Activities
Monitor growth and progress of seeds that were germinated. Use activity sheet provided on day of germination and keep for recording purposes.