This section includes a number of presentations, instructions for challenges/activities, and student handouts sent to us over the years by EIRs. Please feel free to use them as is, or adapt them for your own purposes. We have suggested grades listed for most presentations; however these are just a general guide, and many can be easily adapted for younger or older audiences.
Please note that presentations are posted as they are sent to us and are not edited for content or style.
Careers in Engineering
Career Day Talk, By Doug Knight, Grades 7-8
These notes for a Career Day presentation cover different types of engineering, thinking about how an engineer does things, what types of jobs a junior engineer might do, what to expect from an engineering career, and what steps students can take to get there.
EIR Career Presentation, By John Marcheggiani, Grades 7-8
This PowerPoint presentation (adapted from Career Day Talk by Doug Knight) is a great overview of engineering as a career. It includes a good overview of the different types of engineering as well as what types of jobs a junior engineer might do, what to expect from an engineering career, and what steps students can take to get there.
Engineering Career, By Joseph Vera, Grades 7-8
A PowerPoint presentation including details on a variety of types of engineering. Includes steps to becoming an engineer, and what one can expect from an engineering career.
Christmas Chemistry, Grades 8-12
A handout for creating delicious holiday-themed cookies in the chemistry lab.
Mechanically Powered Launcher Presentation (Engineering Challenge 2004), by Harry Baker (2004), Grades 5-6
A PowerPoint presentation outlining the 2004 Engineering Challenge from National Research Council Canada (construction of a Mechanically Powered Launcher). Includes imagined history of the challenge as well as design standards, construction tips, and final measurement requirements. Also has specific curriculum links and lesson ideas for educators. This presentation was designed to inform teachers, engineers and students about a specific challenge in 2004, so must be adapted for use today.
Introductions to Engineering
A Young Person’s Introduction to Engineering, By Stephen Makk (2011), Grades 6-8, adaptable for most grades
A PDF version of a PowerPoint presentation. This presentation is a fairly comprehensive introduction to engineering that is targeted at middle school students but could be adapted for most grades.
Introduction to Engineering – The Pen (Original), By Doug Knight, Adaptable for most grades
An innovative introduction to engineering for students of all ages (currently aimed at grades 4-8 but concept is easily adapted). This presentation uses a common item, the pen, to challenge students to consider the amount of engineering that goes into objects they use every day. This is a great introductory visit and really helps to open students’ eyes to how engineering affects them personally.
Introduction to Engineering – The Pen (Adapted), By Jesse Fleming, Adaptable for most grades
This adaption of Doug Knight’s presentation ‘The Pen’ includes a couple of great YouTube videos to go along with the presentation.
Introduction to Engineering, By Gordon Griffith (2007), Grades 6-8
PowerPoint presentation introducing engineering including different types of engineering and steps to becoming an engineer. It finishes with a straw tower building activity.
Introduction to Engineering, By Harry Baker (2004), Grades 5-8
PowerPoint presentation introducing engineering including different types of engineering and steps on becoming an engineer. Includes a unique look at “The Engineering Approach” including the inquiry and design process.
Engineering Overview and Structures, By Javier Yanez (2012), Grades 3-6
Overview of engineering including a variety of everyday examples of industrial engineering in action. Ends with an overview of structures and mechanisms with a focus on stability, including a tower building activity.
Electro-optics, By Doug Knight, Grades 8-12
Amazingly detailed presentation on Electro-Optics. Covers everything from the basics to Thermal Imaging to Lasers.
Understanding Earth and Space Systems
Soils & Plants, By Javier Yanez, 2012, Grade 3
This PowerPoint introduces students to three different types of soils, and has links to useful videos and activities.
The St. Lawrence Seaway & the Confederation Bridge, By Doug Knight, Grades 7-10
The outline for a presentation detailing the St Lawrence Seaway and the Confederation Bridge. The general theme is why the Saint Lawrence Seaway was constructed, and the general lack of environmental concern at the time, compared to the construction of the Confederation Bridge and the environmental concern of that project.
Recycling, By Doug Knight, Grades 4-7
A detailed presentation on reducing, reusing and recycling, including details on the recycling of aluminum, paper, and plastic in North America.
Rocket Building, By Don Ball, 2012, Grades 6
Handouts for a rocket launch challenge. Includes instructions for three groups, each with a unique goal.
Grade 8 Water Systems , By Doug Knight, Grade 8
Great presentation on water systems. Explains Ottawa’s waste water system before covering everything from coagulation to toilet paper to siphon pumps. Also includes a detailed additional section focusing on cogeneration.
Heat, By Doug Knight, Grade 7
Overview of heat including Conduction, Convection and Radiation. Discusses how humans use heat including steam engines, hot air systems, stoves, and air conditioners.
Heat, By John Hazel, Grade 7
PowerPoint presentation covering definition and applications of heat. Specifically discusses car engines, specific heat capacity, insulation and the effects of heat on materials/bridges.
Understanding Structures and Mechanisms
Pasta Bridge Building Competition: Rules and Guidance, By Stephen Mak (2012), Grades 3-5
A comprehensive set of rules for a pasta bridge building competition. Includes alternate rules for a ‘harder’ level (in this case targeted at grade fives).
Pasta Bridge Project, By Harry Baker, Grades 5-12
Complete write-up for a Pasta Bridge Project focusing on load performance, including an introduction, project outline, and evaluation breakdown. Accompanying presentation is “EIR Bridges” by Harry Baker.
EIR Bridges, By Harry Baker, Grades 5-12
Contains pictures and descriptions of a variety of bridges from across North America and Europe. This presentation is intended to be followed by the Pasta Bridge Project.
Bridges, By Joseph Vera, Grades 2-6
Short PowerPoint Presentation intended to be followed by a computer simulation and a bridge building activity. Includes pictures of four different types of bridges, with some diagrams of force.
The Bridge, By Babak Zarrabi (2012), Grades 5-8
A PDF version of a PowerPoint presentation. Great overview of four types of bridges including descriptions and pictures, including a discussion of the importance of triangles in the structures. Concludes with a K’Nex Bridge Building activity.
Introduction to Bridges, By Doug Knight, Grades 5-8
This is a great introduction to bridges. It discusses multiple bridge types and real-world considerations for building bridges. Includes pictures and descriptions of 7 kinds of bridges.
Building Structures for a Purpose, By Javier Yanez, Grades 2-6
Short PowerPoint presentation. Includes four activities. A particularly fun idea is the Beaver Dam activity asking students to build a beaver dam in a pie plate to “keep their families dry.”
Rideau Canal, By Doug Knight, Grades 5-6
A description of the Rideau Canal including history, how locks work, and what must be done in order to build a canal.
Constructing Earthquake Proof Buildings, Grade Range 6-8
Extensive and detailed lesson plan for the activity “Constructing Earthquake-Proof Buildings.” Includes details on building a tabletop earthquake generator. Also includes detailed activity overview including possible adaptations and extensions, a number of discussion questions, an evaluation rubric, suggested readings, web links and a mini-glossary of terms.
Aerodynamics, By Doug Knight, Grade 6
A discussion of aerodynamics with a number of common applications and a variety of pictures. Includes instructions intended for use with a flight simulator (check out the website section for a good website with free flight simulator downloads).
Gears and Pulleys, By Doug Knight, Grades 4-8
Brief introduction to engineering in general followed by an in-depth look at gears and pulleys.
Paper Snapper, by Carol Hulls, all ages
Instructions on creating a “paper snapper.”
Brief activity including discussion questions based on the Maglev Train (a levitating train).
Grade 8 Report Writing, By Doug Knight, Grade 8
What’s an engineer doing in an English class? This presentation has an answer to that question, and goes on to detail the essentials of report writing.
Elementary Internet, By Timon LeDain, Grades 4-6
A basic introduction to internet concepts such as IP address and domain names. For use with “Elementary Internet Outline.”
Measurements Activity Presentation Outline, By Timon LeDain, Grades 7-9
Detailed outline of an activity/presentation intended to show the importance of measurements, and to introduce some tools and methods to students.
Small Gasoline Engines, By Bob Thomas, Grades 5-10