Free STEM poster and lesson plan for thousands of teachers

We all know that teachers are pressed for time – and it can be challenge to put together innovative and interesting lesson plans in addition to other responsibilities.

Well, the Florida Institute of Technology is trying to ease that burden a little. According to its website, FIT will give an attention-grabbing poster, in combination with a lesson plan, to over 13,700 teachers nationwide this yearFlorida teachers will comprise 4,500 of the recipients. Last year the school headed up a similar initiative that centered on the science supporting the moon — and what life would be like without it.

Florida’s STEM University, Florida Tech, provides this free initiative to spark the interest of high school students in the vital disciplines of STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The poster asks the questions, “What Were They Thinking?” and uses a combination of graphics and facts to shed light on the science that backs Florida Tech’s jet dragster.

The poster elaborates on the concepts of mass flow rate, momentum, thrust, and acceleration.

Kastro Hamed, a professor and head of Florida Tech’s Department of Education and Interdisciplinary Studies, worked with Dan Kirk, a professor an associate dean for research in the College of Engineering, and Ivan Farrell, a Master Teacher in the Department of Education and Interdisciplinary Studies to create the lesson plan to use in classes.

“The jet dragster provides students with a powerful manifestation of Newton’s laws of motion in action,” said Hamed, who has a doctorate in physics and leads the initiative. “It helps in connecting science and engineering to a real machine in a truly interdisciplinary fashion that captures the imagination.”

The plan was developed using the 5E model, an approach that features five stages of teaching and learning. It works to engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate and introduces students to the interdisciplinary studies to observe and enact the concept of propulsion through hands-on activities. In the lesson plan, students make a balloon-powered dragster and analyze the forces that act on moving object both vertically and horizontally.

To learn more about the program, visit

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