Criteria. Constraints. Creativity. Comprehension.

Engineering icon on a purple background

"Engineering is the art of directing the great sources of power in nature for the use and convenience of man."
- Thomas Tredgold, 18th Century Railway Engineer

Engineering investigations—opportunities for students to design, build, refine, and innovatehave always been present in FOSS programs over the years. With the increased emphasis on engineering practices and disciplinary core ideas in the Next Generation Science Standards, these investigations are now given greater prominence in the FOSS Next Generation program for grades K-8.

Engineering Investigations in FOSS Next Generation

Grade Physical Science Earth Science Life Science
5 Mixtures and Solutions
Inv 1.3: Separating a Dry Mixture
Inv 4.4: What's in Your Water?
Earth and Sun
Inv 4.4: Color and Energy Transfer
Living Systems
4 Energy
Inv 1.4: Solving the String-of-Lights Problem
Inv 3.1: Building an Electromagnet
Inv 3.3: Reinventing the Telegraph
Inv 5.3: Engineering with Solar Cells
Soils, Rocks, and Landforms
Inv 4.2: Making Concrete
Inv 4.4: Earth Materials in Use
3 Motion and Matter
Inv 3.1: From Here to There
Inv 3.2: Distance Challenge
Inv. 3.3: Investigating Start Position
Inv 3.4: Cart Tricks
Water and Climate
Inv 5.2: Waterwheels
Structures of Life
2 Solids and Liquids
Inv 1.4: Construct with Solids
Pebbles, Sand, and Silt
Inv 3.2: Observing Sandpaper
Inv 3.3: Sand Sculptures
Inv 3.4: Clay Beads
Inv 3.5: Making Bricks
Inv 4.2: Local Soil
Insects and Plants
Inv 2.4: Planting Outdoors
Inv 3.4: Insect Search
Inv 5.2: Chrysalises
1 Sound and Light
Inv 2.4: Sound Challenges
Inv 4.4: Designing with Light
Air and Weather
Inv 1. 2: Parachutes
Inv 3.5: Kites
Plants and Animals
Inv 3.1: Setting Up Terrariums
Inv 3.2: Animals in the Terrarium
K Materials and Motion
Inv 1.3: Testing a Raft
Inv. 2.4: Paper Recycling
Inv 2.5: Papier-Mache
Inv 3.6: Building Structures
Inv 4.2: Colliding
Inv. 4.3: Rolling Outdoors
Trees and Weather
Inv 3.3: Wind Direction
Animals Two by Two

"Engineering is quite different from science. Scientists try to understand nature. Engineers try to make things that do not exist in nature. Engineers stress invention. To embody an invention the engineer must put [their] idea in concrete terms, and design something that people can use."
- Yuan-Cheng Fung, The "Father" of Modern Biomechanics