Presentations 2017-03-25T13:44:07+00:00


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

STEM Career Opportunities, By Jacques Charbin, Grades 8-12

An in-depth presentation on STEM career opportunities, packed full of interesting facts, videos and pertinent information for high school aged students. It starts by putting STEM careers in a broader context, with statistics and historical tidbits on Canada’s innovation performance. Contains amongst other things a list of STEM educational and career websites and an overview of a broad range of STEM careers (from health to music technology to green jobs) including the current level of demand, statistics on average salaries as well as the career paths to get there. It also goes over examples of universities and colleges with STEM programs as well as information about incubators, skilled trades, and being an entrepreneur.

Engineering Education and Careers, Lucas Kruitwagen, Grades 9-12

An overview of engineering careers for older grades, with a focus on university options and the transition between high school and university. The slides include a great set of notes with clarifications and possible talking points. They also include the definition of engineering and of “profession” in the engineering context, an outline of various engineering disciplines, and a discussion of the various universities and their different approaches to engineering education. Uniquely, these slides also look at the transition process into university, addressing such questions as how to choose the right program, how to pay for it, and some of the differences one might encounter between high school and university (for example, class size).

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.

Engineering Recruitment, By David Chartash, Grades 7-10

This PowerPoint begins with the question: ‘Why Do Engineers Exist?’ and proceeds with an overview of the profession. The presentation provides examples of engineering disasters, historical background and famous engineers. It highlights the legal aspects of becoming an engineer, explains what engineers actually do, and lays out a career road-map for interested students.

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Christmas Chemistry, Grades 8-12

A handout for creating delicious holiday-themed cookies in the chemistry lab.

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Engineering Challenges

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.

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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.

What Does Professional Mean, By Randy Sinukoff, Grades 7-8

A discussion outline on what it means to be a professional engineer.

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Electro-optics, By Doug Knight, Grades 8-12

Amazingly detailed presentation on Electro-Optics. Covers everything from the basics to Thermal Imaging to Lasers.

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Understanding Matter and Energy


Fluids, Buoyancy and Viscosity + Water System Challenge, By Ben de Mendonca and David Sonenberg, Grade 8

A complete package of goods on fluids, buoyancy and viscosity, including a presentation and a group challenge activity including student handouts, worksheets, and reflection exercises. The presentation overviews fluids, buoyancy and viscosity by answering these questions: ‘What is a fluid?’, ‘How do you calculate buoyancy?’ and ‘What is Viscosity?’

Matter and Materials

Investigating Properties of Substances and their Chemical Reactions, Adapted By Jesse Fleming , Grades 5 and 6

From rocket launches and mining cookies to using fruits and vegetables as batteries – this is a series of activities designed for students to investigate the properties of substances and their respective chemical reactions in producing energy. The presentation also looks at the challenges of extraction.


Energy Management and Sustainability, By Dr. Hossein Ahari, Grades 7, 11-12

This presentation on energy management and sustainability examines how heat loss needs to be better managed as a means of sustaining the environment.

The Sun , By Amanda Froese, Grades 1-2

A cute and colourful slideshow on the sun for younger grades. Includes an overview of energy including its definition, where it comes from and how we use it in our everyday lives. It also introduces the concept of energy conservation, including why we shouldn’t waste it and what we can do to save energy. Use this worksheet with the presentation to help students solidify what they learned about how they can save energy.

Energy – Electrical, Mechanical, Friction and Fluid, By Sam Theodoulou, Grades 1-8

A series of PowerPoint presentations providing a clear overview of various energy forms – covering basic principles of electrical energy, mechanical and electrical work, fluids, and friction.

Renewable Energy Challenge, By Mikhail Kabakov, Grades 5-6

A student worksheet detailing a renewable energy engineering challenge. Students must come up with a new energy plan for their town, calculating costs and benefits of a number of potential sustainable energy sources. Approval of the plans is of course required by your EIR and the town mayor!

Electricity and Electrical Devices

Electricity, By Adam Bugglin, Grade 6

A PowerPoint on electrical circuitry.

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Understanding Earth and Space Systems

Soils in the Environment

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 Jam-Jar Activity, by Zack White, adapted from , Grade 5

Fill a jam-jar with soil and add water to observe how organic plant material, and silt, clay and sand particles settle.

Environment-related Issues

Climate Change: Science & Solutions, By Jacques Charbin, Grades 7-12

This incredibly detailed presentation on climate change is sure to start some animated discussion in your classroom! The presentation includes relevant definitions, a summary of the greenhouse effect, and an extensive overview of the potential consequences of climate change. It also includes a discussion of some of the sources of climate change, including Canada-specific data, and of some of the potential mitigation methods that are being or can be enacted, including some made-in-Canada contributions. Don’t miss the great video of the sustainable dance floor in action!

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.

Space, By Bob and Catherine Thomas, Grades 6

A five-session lesson plan on space – lesson one: a look at the solar system; lesson two: provide understanding of how human knowledge of space was gathered; lesson three: orbital mechanics; spacewalk (a discussion on the challenges of designing a space suit); and lesson 5: uses of space.

Water Systems

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.

Integrative Project: The Human Body, Mechanical Process Problems, and Water Systems, By David Chartash, Grade 8

This is an integrative project for students to learn about the body and translate that knowledge into applications. The project also involves solving mechanical process problems exploring mechanical and civil machinery within water systems that are constructed and operated by human society.

Heat in the Environment

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.

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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, Grades 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.

An Introduction to Structures and Understanding Forces and Stress, By Sohail Umar-Khitab, Grades 3, 5, and 7

An introductory presentation on structures with an emphasis on understanding the concept and effects of ‘forces’ and ‘stress’. The presentation also outlines core structural components (materials, safety factors and stability) and is followed by a challenge activity for the class.


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

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.

Pulley Challenge, By Mikhail Kabakov, Grades 3-4

This handout for students challenges them to “lift a firefighter along with her gear to the roof of a building” using the listed materials. It also contains explanations and diagrams for students to help explain how pulleys work including key terms such as “mechanical advantage” and “torque”.

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Autonomous/Self-driving Vehicles, by Jacques Charbin, Grades 9-12

This presentation provides an excellent overview of autonomous/self-driving vehicles (AV), including the definition, examples of vehicles being developed by a wide range of manufacturers, some of the current sensor systems being used or developed and, broadly, how they work, and some neat examples of AV prototypes built by STEM students. It also has an interesting section on how we currently use many of these technologies in a variety of current applications – from mining trucks to farm vehicles to spacecraft. Finally, it goes over some of the more compelling AV benefits, some of the obstacles it faces, and predictions on some of the impacts AV may have on our future society.

Paper Snapper, by Carol Hulls, all ages

Instructions on creating a “paper snapper.”

Maglev Train

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

Ideas for using small gasoline engines to demonstrate a variety of curriculum topics.

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.

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