Engineering is a great field to explore for students of all ages, and high school can be the perfect time to start.
From robotics projects to bridge building and more, there are plenty of engineering projects that can help high school students develop their skills and gain an appreciation for the industry.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the best engineering projects for high schoolers to get involved in.
Building a robot is a great way for high schoolers to learn the basics of engineering and gain experience with programming and electronics.
Students can use kits or build their own robots from scratch, depending on their level of knowledge and access to resources.
Building a robot that can detect light is an interesting project for students of all ages to explore. It allows them to create something from scratch, enhance their understanding of robotics, and practice coding knowledge.
The basic idea behind creating such a robot is simple: make it able to sense light, then use programming skills to make it react in some way depending on the amount of brightness or darkness detected.
2. Bridge Building
Constructing model bridges is an excellent project for high school students wanting to explore engineering principles.
Using basic supplies like toothpicks, popsicle sticks, and glue, students can create bridges of various shapes and sizes to test the limits of their design skills.
3. 3D Printing
3D printing is becoming increasingly popular, and it’s a great way for high schoolers to explore engineering concepts such as CAD/CAM software and prototyping.
Students can design their own 3D printed projects around any concept that they find interesting while learning about how 3D printing works at the same time.
4. Paper Airplane Launcher
Students of all ages and skill levels can have a blast with the challenge of making and launching their own paper airplanes.
To get started, students will need wood, cardboard, or poster board to construct their own airplane launchers.
Depending on the type of launcher they choose, different modifications such as wingspan, weight, and propulsion may be necessary in order to achieve desired range.
Students will also have to test different angles to find the one that will give their paper airplane the most power and distance.
Once completed, the ingenuity and engineering skills used to build an effective airplane launcher are likely to bring a newfound appreciation for these aeronautical marvels known as paper airplanes.
5. Handmade Catapult
This fun and educational hands-on project will have students using basic engineering concepts to build a catapult.
The goal of the project is for students to construct a catapult out of materials found around the house, testing its accuracy, power, and ability to knock down a set of items.
Students should be asked to form small groups or work individually with their own concept design.
Before starting construction, each group should develop their plan for the overall design by listing out what materials are needed.
6. Electric Skateboard
Building an electric skateboard is a great way to get around without having to expend a lot of energy.
With just a skateboard, a cordless drill, and some mechanical connections, students can customize their own electric skateboard.
7. Wind Turbine
Building a wind turbine generator is a great way to bring renewable energy into any home and is an exciting project for anyone looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
Not only that, but in case of emergency scenarios, such as power outages due to natural disasters or related disasters, this could potentially be the saving grace that keeps devices charged up and allows people to still stay connected.
To build a wind turbine from scratch, your students will need some basic tools such as a jigsaw, drill, drill bits, and adhesive tape.
8. Phone Charger
In the age of technology, we rely heavily on devices such as our mobile phones. In order to use it constantly throughout the day, a reliable charger is essential.
If a power outage occurs, or you simply want a creative alternative, building an emergency phone charger from an old computer fan can be an efficient solution.
Most electrical motors in devices like computers and other electronics operate by being supplied rotational energy, which will then generate electricity.
This means that students can use one of these motors in reverse to charge their phone wherever they are without needing access to any power source.
All they need is a computer fan, some wires, and the proper tools and steps to correctly build the emergency phone charger.
9. Crash Test Car
To build a crash test car, students will first need to construct a set of wheels for their craft.
They’ll learn about aerodynamics, suspension, steering, and propulsion as they build their own mini-vehicle from everyday materials like cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, and bottle caps.
Once the body of the car is complete, it’s time for the fun part: creating a testing track with different conditions from ramps to bumps and twists.
Then, when everything is good to go, all that remains is to place the egg inside the car and set it loose across the track.
With luck (and plenty of padding) your egg (or crash dummy) should be safe from harm!
10. Rocket Launcher
Building a paper rocket launcher is a fun engineering project that provides an opportunity to learn more about aeronautical engineering.
In order to get the most out of this engineering challenge, it is important to make sure that the rocket construction is close to perfect.
Tiny imperfections in design, structure, and launching power can set the rocket off course and cause it to crash rather than sail flawlessly through the sky.
The challenge of building a paper rocket launcher lies not only in constructing the launcher itself but also in perfecting the various elements of each rocket build.
11. Trip Wire Alarm
Building a trip wire alarm is a great way to ensure the safety of any space, while also enjoying a fun project.
It involves setting a strand of wire perpendicular to the area and connecting it to some sort of alarm systems like bells or lights.
As soon as someone trips the wire, the entire setup will go off, alerting your students of any potential intruders.
The best part about this project is that you can tailor it according to your student’s skill set, making it available to anyone regardless of their level in electronics or engineering.
12. Vending Machine
Creating and owning a class vending machine is an exciting endeavor that can involve the entire class.
This project gives students of all skill levels the opportunity to participate in building, stocking, and selling items from the machine by engaging everyone’s creative abilities.
The vending machine can be used to help fund future class projects.
Not only does this provide motivation to think of interesting snacks or drinks that students would like to buy, but also it teaches them valuable lessons such as organization, teamwork, responsibility, and business skills.
With proper management of inventory and sales records, profits from the vending machine can be tracked and allocated accordingly.
13. DIY Radar
The idea of a DIY Radar project can seem daunting at first. After all, the end result requires electronic parts and specialized software to be put together in order for it to function properly.
Your students don’t need any sophisticated tools or training to achieve this result – plus, once they’re done, chances are their excitement over the success will carry through to other complicated builds.
Plus, who knows what else they’ll be able to make with all the new skills and confidence they’ve gained?
14. Building Earthquake-Resistant Structures
The building of earthquake-resistant structures is an important step in preventing catastrophic damage from earthquakes.
With the ever-increasing number of destructive earthquakes, it has become increasingly important to create structures that are able to withstand violent shaking and remain standing when the earth moves.
Through this hands-on experience, students can gain a greater understanding of how material composition and design elements contribute to making a structure more resistant to seismic activity.
15. Crafting Projects For Those With A Disability
This project focuses on improving the lives of those with disabilities.
By introducing high school students to the challenge, this project encourages creative solutions that can redefine life for someone with a disability.
Through trial and error, students develop their capacity for creativity and gain a valuable experience in engineering design as they create solutions tailored specifically to the needs of disabled individuals.
Ultimately, this project promotes an inclusive environment where everyone’s needs are addressed through mindful design.
These projects are just a few of the many engineering projects that could be great for high school students.
The best project will depend on the interests and abilities of the student, but any of these projects can provide an exciting challenge and invaluable learning experience.
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