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International TechnologyEducation Association

Technology for All Americans Project1914 Association Drive, Suite 201Reston, VA 20191-1539

Phone (703) 860-2100Fax (703) 860-0353Email [emailprotected] ISBN: 1-887101-02-0

Standards forTechnologicalLiteracyContent forthe Study ofTechnology

� ird Edition

Standards for Technological Literacy Content for theStudy of Technology

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International TechnologyEducation Association

and its

Technology forAll Americans Project

Standards forTechnologicalLiteracy:

Content forthe Study ofTechnology

Third Edition

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This material is based upon work supported by the following:

National Science Foundation under Grant No. ESI-9626809 and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under Grant No. NCC5-172. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recom-mendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) anddo not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundationor the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Copyright © 2007, 2002, 2000 by the International TechnologyEducation Association. All Rights reserved. Except as permitted underthe United States Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publicationmay be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, orstored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior writtenpermission of the publisher.

ISBN: 1-887101-02-0

Copies of this document are being disseminated by the International Technology Education Association1914 Association Drive, Suite 201Reston, Virginia 20191-1539Phone: (703) 860-2100Fax: (703) 860-0353Email: [emailprotected]:

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D E D I C A T I O N iv

F O R E W O R D v

P R E F A C E vii


1 Preparing Students for a Technological World 1

2 Overview of Standards for Technological Literacy 11

3 The Nature of Technology 21

4 Technology and Society 55

5 Design 89

6 Abilities for a Technological World 113

7 The Designed World 139

8 Call to Action 199


A History of the Technology for All Americans Project 208

B Listing of Technological Literacy Standards 210

C Compendium 211

D Articulated Curriculum Example for Grades K-12 215

R E F E R E N C E S 221

A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S 227

G L O S S A R Y 236

I N D E X 243

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TThis publication is dedicated to two individuals

who played a significant role in creating

this project and then assisting with its early

stages—Dr. Walter B. Waetjen (1920–1997)

and Mr. Thomas A. Hughes, Jr. The project

was launched because of their dedication and

proceeded because of their enthusiasm to advance

the teaching of technology. Their spirit and pur-

suit of excellence have served as guides in the

creation of these standards for technology.

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We are a nation increasingly dependent on technology.

Yet, in spite of this dependence, U.S. society is largely

ignorant of the history and fundamental nature of

the technology that sustains it. The result is a public

that is disengaged from the decisions that are helping

shape its technological future. In a country founded on democ-

ratic principles, this is a dangerous situation.

Thankfully, in Standards for Technological Literacy: Content

for the Study of Technology (Standards for Technological

Literacy/STL), we have a tool to help us address the mismatch

between dependency and understanding. Through an arduous

four-year process, involving many levels of review and count-

less revisions, the International Technology Education

Association has successfully distilled an essential core of tech-

nological knowledge and skills we might wish all K-12 students

to acquire.

It is worth noting that the view of technological literacy

spelled out in these standards includes reference to computers

and the Internet, but it correctly does not focus unduly on

these technologies, which comprise only a small part of our

vast human-built world.

The standards and associated benchmarks in this document

have been carefully written to ensure they are age appropriate.

They are crafted to build increasingly sophisticated under-

standing and ability as students mature. In this way, Standards

for Technological Literacy provides an ambitious framework for

guiding student learning.

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The standards should not be viewed as static and immutable.

Rather, Standards for Technological Literacy — as is true for all

good standards — will undergo periodic reassessment and

reevaluation. It is very much a living document.

It is not enough that the standards are published. To have

an impact, they must influence what happens in every K-12

classroom in America. This will not happen without the

development of new curricula, textbooks, and student assess-

ments, to name just a few of the more important factors.

And, certainly, it cannot happen without the participation

of teachers — all teachers, not just technology educators.

Indeed, the standards cannot succeed without the concerted

effort of many stakeholder groups. In this regard, I urge all

readers to review Chapter 8, Call to Action. As anyone

involved in U.S. education knows, meaningful and lasting

change occurs over many years, if not decades. While we need

to be aware of this long timeline, we should not be discouraged

by it. There is much to be done and much to be hopeful about.

The ITEA standards provide a clear vision for the many indi-

viduals and organizations around the country committed to

enhancing the technological literacy of the nation.

William A. WulfPresidentNational Academy of Engineering

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With the growing importance of technology to our

society, it is vital that students receive an educa-

tion that emphasizes technological literacy.

Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the

Study of Technology (referred to henceforth as

Standards for Technological Literacy or STL) presents a vision

of what students should know and be able to do in order to

be technologically literate. These standards do not attempt

to define a curriculum for the study of technology; that is

something best left to states and provinces, school districts,

and teachers. Instead, as the name implies, the standards

describe what the content of technology education should

be in Grades K-12. By setting forth a consistent content for

technology education in schools around the country,

Standards for Technological Literacy will help ensure that all

students receive effective instruction about technology.

Standards for Technological Literacy was created under the

aegis of the International Technology Education Association

and its Technology for All Americans Project (see Appendix

A), and hundreds of educators and professionals have par-

ticipated in its development and revision. We thank every-

one who was involved in this important consensus-building

process. As a result of their efforts, we believe that Standards

for Technological Literacy can be a catalyst for reform, bring-

ing about significant change in the study of technology and

resulting in the recognition of technology education as an

essential core field of study in the schools.

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Anyone interested in seeing that students receive a high-quality

and relevant education, particularly those involved in decisions

about what our schools teach, should find this document

useful. The document’s intended audience includes teachers,

curriculum developers, school administrators, teacher educa-

tors, school board members, parents, engineers, business

leaders, and others in the educational community, as well

as the community as a whole.

Standards for Technological Literacy does not represent an end,

but a beginning. In other fields of study, developing standards

has often proven to be the easiest step in a long, arduous

process. Therefore, we can predict that getting these technol-

ogy standards accepted and implemented in Grades K-12 in

every school will be far more difficult than developing them

has been. Only through the combined efforts of educational

decision-makers everywhere will we be able to ensure that

all students develop higher levels of technological literacy.

This work has been made possible by the generous support

of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National

Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and we would

like to express our appreciation to both agencies. We are excited

about the difference that Standards for Technological Literacy can

make, and we urge each of you to work collaboratively to use it

as a basis for improving the study of technology.

William E. Dugger, Jr. Anthony F. GilbertiDirector President, 1999-2000Technology for All Americans Project International Technology Education International Technology Education Association


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Preparing Students fora Technological World1

Humans have been called

the animals that make things,

and at no time in history has that

been so apparent as the present.

Today, every human activity is

dependent upon various tools,

machines, and systems, from

growing food and providing shelter

to communication, healthcare, and

entertainment. Some machines, like

the tractor, speed up and make more

efficient activities that humans have

done for hundreds or thousands of

years. Others, such as the airplane

or the Internet, make possible things

that humans have never been able to

do before. This collection of devices,

capabilities, and the knowledge that

accompanies them is called technology.

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The Need for Technological LiteracyTechnology has been going on since humans first formed a bladefrom a piece of flint, harnessed fire, or dragged a sharp stickacross the ground to create a furrow for planting seeds, buttoday it exists to a degree unprecedented in history. Planes,trains, and automobiles carry people and cargo from place toplace at high speeds. Telephones, television, and computernetworks help people communicate with others across the streetor around the world. Medical technologies, from vaccines tomagnetic resonance imaging, allow people to live longer,healthier lives. Furthermore, technology is evolving at anextraordinary rate, with new technologies being createdand existing technologies being improved and extended.

All this makes it particularly important that people understandand are comfortable with the concepts and workings of moderntechnology. From a personal standpoint, people benefit bothat work and at home by being able to choose the best productsfor their purposes, to operate the products properly, and totroubleshoot them when something goes wrong. And from asocietal standpoint, an informed citizenry improves the chancesthat decisions about the use of technology will be maderationally and responsibly.

For these reasons and others, in the past several years a growingnumber of voices have called for the study of technology to beincluded as a core field of study in elementary, middle, andsecondary schools. Among the experts who have addressedthe issue, the value and importance of teaching about technologyis widely accepted.

Despite this consensus, however, technology laboratory-classrooms, the formal environment in the school where thestudy of technology takes place, are available in only a smallnumber of elementary, middle, and secondary schools aroundthe country. A few school districts have put comprehensivetechnology programs in place, and a handful of states andprovinces have set forth technology standards, but nationwidemost students receive little or no formal exposure to the studyof technology. They are graduating with only a minimalunderstanding of one of the most powerful forces shapingsociety today.

Broadly speaking,

technology is how people

modify the natural world to suit

their own purposes. From the

Greek word techne, meaning art

or artifice or craft, technology

literally means the act of

making or crafting, but more

generally it refers to the diverse

collection of processes and

knowledge that people use to

extend human abilities and to

satisfy human needs and wants.

1 Preparing Students fora Technological World

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The reasons for this situation are not hard tofind. One is simple inertia. To keep doingwhat one has been doing is always easier thanlearning to do something new. A biggerreason, though, lies with the pressures on theeducational system today. The back-to-basicspush has emphasized competency in suchtraditional courses as English, mathematics,science, history, and social studies, buttechnology has never been a basic part ofeducation for most students. Furthermore,the growing emphasis on standardizedcompetency tests has encouraged schools toteach to those tests, which generally containfew questions gauging technological literacy.So, squeezed for time and resources, relativelyfew local school districts and states orprovinces have opted for what they see as theluxury of including the study of technologyas part of the core curriculum.

Compounding these problems is the factthat the study of technology (technology

education) is a mystery to many teachers andadministrators. As a field of study that hasevolved over the past fifteen to twenty yearsfrom industrial arts programs, technologyeducation is just beginning to establish a newidentity that people outside the field recog-nize and understand. There is still widespreadconfusion about the differences betweentechnology education and educationaltechnology, which uses technology as a toolto enhance the teaching and learning process.

The standards and enabling benchmarks inthis document have been developed to helpclear up this confusion and to build the casefor technological literacy by setting forthprecisely what the outcomes of the study oftechnology should be. Technology teachers,as well as science and mathematics teachers,and other educators and experts fromaround the country, collaborated to spell outwhat students in kindergarten throughtwelfth grade should be learning about

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1 technology. These people, along withcurriculum specialists and representativesfrom the National Research Council and theNational Academy of Engineering, reviewedStandards for Technological Literacy andsuggested changes and additions. The resultis a document that both defines the study oftechnology as a field of study and provides aroad map for individual teachers, schools,school districts, and states or provinces thatwant to develop technological literacy in allstudents.

The standards presented here do more thanprovide a checklist for the technologicalfacts, concepts, and capabilities thatstudents should master at each level.Along the way, they explain how and whytechnological literacy fits with the broadmission of schools, and they describe thebenefits of the study of technology forstudents. In short, they make the case forwhy — despite inertia, despite the back-to-basics movement, despite the growingemphasis on standardized competencyexams, and despite the various otherpressures on educators — the study oftechnology should be an integral partof the curriculum of our schools.

Learning About TechnologyStudents who study technology learn aboutthe technological world that inventors,engineers, and other innovators have created.They study how energy is generated fromcoal, natural gas, nuclear power, solar power,and wind, and how it is transmitted anddistributed. They examine communicationssystems: telephone, radio and television,satellite communications, fiber optics, theInternet. They delve into the variousmanufacturing and materials-processing

industries, from steel and petrochemicalsto computer chips and household appliances.They investigate transportation, informationprocessing, and medical technology. Theyeven look into new technologies, such asgenetic engineering or emerging technol-ogies, such as fusion power that is still yearsor decades away.

Because technology is so fluid, teachers oftechnology tend to spend less time on specificdetails and more on concepts and principles.The goal is to produce students with a moreconceptual understanding of technology andits place in society, who can thus grasp andevaluate new bits of technology that theymight never have seen before.

To this end, Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy emphasizes comprehension of thebasic elements that go into any technology.One of these elements, for example, is thedesign process, the main approach thatengineers, designers, and others in technologyuse to create solutions to problems. Anotheris development and production, whereby thedesign is transformed into a finishedproduct, and a system is created to produceit. A third element is the use and main-tenance of the product, which can determinethe product’s success or failure. Each of thesesteps in the technological process demandsits own set of skills and mental tools.

Besides understanding how particulartechnologies are developed and used, studentsshould be able to evaluate their effects onother technologies, on the environment, andon society itself. The benefits of a technologyare usually obvious — if they were not, itwould probably never be developed — butthe disadvantages and dangers are oftenhidden. When chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

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were invented, for example, no one realizedthat these chemicals used as refrigerants andblowing agents for foam would eventuallydamage the ozone layer. Today, the Internet ishaving profound effects on society — howpeople interact and communicate with oneanother, how they do business, and how theyget their entertainment and recreation — butno one knows exactly what to expect from itin the long run.

One of the basic lessons in studyingtechnology is that not only can technologybe used to solve problems, but it may alsocreate new ones. Many of these new prob-lems can be solved or ameliorated by yetmore technology, but this may in turn begetother problems, and so on. Technologiesinevitably involve trade-offs between benefitsand costs. Intelligent decisions made about atechnology need to take both into account.Students should come to see each technologyas neither good nor bad in itself, but onewhose costs and benefits should be weighedto decide if it is worth developing.

Learning to Do TechnologyOne of the great benefits of learning abouttechnology is also learning to do technology,that is, to carry out in the laboratory-classroommany of the processes that underlie thedevelopment of technology in the real world.Recent research on learning finds that manystudents learn best in experiential ways — bydoing, rather than only by seeing or hearing —and the study of technology emphasizes andcapitalizes on such active learning.

For instance, students in technologylaboratory-classrooms are taught practicalproblem-solving skills and are asked to putthem to work on different types of real-world

problems. Engineers, architects, computerscientists, technicians, and others involved intechnology use a variety of approaches toproblem solving, including troubleshooting,research and development, invention,innovation, and experimentation. Studentswill become familiar with these approachesand learn about the appropriate situations inwhich to use them. They will also learn thatdesign (sometimes called “technologicaldesign”) is the primary problem-solvingapproach in technology. In learning to design,students will master a set of abilities that willserve them well throughout their lives.

The design process generally begins with

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1 identifying and defining a problem — thereis some need to be met or some want to befulfilled, and the designer must understandexactly what it is. After investigating andresearching the problem, the designergenerates a number of ideas for a solution.Because it is particularly helpful for severalpeople to brainstorm ideas, students willgenerally work in groups at this stage. Then,considering the original criteria, along withvarious constraints, one design — or, in somecases, more than one — is chosen as the mostpromising. The selected design is modeledand tested, and then reevaluated. If necessary,the original design is dropped and another istried. Eventually, through a series ofiterations, repeating the various steps of theprocess as necessary, a final design is chosen.

This design process can be applied to almostany sort of design. In one elementary schoolclassroom, for instance, the students wereasked to design and build a “pop rocket” todemonstrate Newton’s Third Law. In highschool technology laboratory-classrooms,one assignment might be to design a water-purification system for a catfish farm. Oneof the first lessons that students learn fromexercises like these is that there are manypossible solutions to a technologicalproblem, and that while some answers areclearly wrong — they don’t work, or theywork poorly — there is no such thing as“the” correct answer.

Such design projects are inevitably morethan just mental exercises. Studentsgenerally work in teams when buildingmodels of their design proposals, and,depending on the device, they may buildworking prototypes as well. Such hands-onlearning engages the students in a way thatlectures, problem solving on paper, or lab

exercises that follow a preset series of stepscannot. In other words, design exercisesencourage active learning rather thanpassive learning.

In addition to problem-solving skills,students are given opportunities to use andmaintain technological products correctly,again with an emphasis on learning how tolearn. Because it would be impossible toinstruct students on every product theymight encounter, they are given experiencewith some common tools and systems togain familiarity with the basic principles ofusing and maintaining technologicalproducts. They are also taught how to learnabout products on their own — by readinginstructions, or searching for informationon the Internet, for instance. Theconfidence and familiarity with technologythat they acquire will prepare students todeal intelligently with current and futuretechnological products.

Technological Studiesas an IntegratorPerhaps the most surprising message toemerge from Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy — surprising, at least, to those whohave not themselves taught technology classes— is the role technological studies can playin students’ learning of other subjects. Whentaught effectively, technology is not simplyone more field of study seeking admission toan already crowded curriculum, pushingothers out of the way. Instead, it reinforcesand complements the material that studentslearn in other classes.

As envisioned by the standards in thefollowing chapters, the study of technology isa way to apply and integrate knowledge from

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many other subject areas— not just mathematics,science, and computerclasses, but also the liberaland fine arts. Consider, forinstance, a field trip takenby a class of fourth-gradersin Michigan to GreenfieldVillage, a historicalmuseum with restoredhouses and shops. Theclass had just finished ahistory unit on America atthe turn of the twentiethcentury, which preparedthem for what they wouldfind. While there, eachclass member chose anartifact of a particulartechnology used at thetime — a threshingmachine, for instance, or alight bulb, or a car, or aclothes washing machine— and acted as a reporterby quizzing the docents fordetails about that device.Later, each student sketched and determinedthe proper scale needed to make a model ofthe artifact he or she had chosen. Thestudents made models and prepared reportson the devices, including such information astheir purpose, how they were made, how theywere used, their roles in the economic andsocial life of the village, and a description ofhow they worked. Afterward, the class workedtogether to develop and create a video thatwould describe the technology of GreenfieldVillage as a part of a communicationstechnology unit for future fourth-gradeclasses. The assignment taught the students agood deal about the technology of the era,

and it reinforced lessons from other parts ofthe curriculum. The assignment broughtturn-of-the-century America to life in historyclass; it exercised composition skills fromEnglish class; and it allowed the students toapply what they had learned in a motion andforces unit in science class. As teachers allknow, having students apply material in a waythat captures their interest and imagination isthe best way to make sure they retain it. Andwhen students can bring together lessonsfrom several classes or content areas, they trulymake the material their own.

Such integration among subjects is easiest inelementary schools where the same teacher

Preparing Students for a Technological World1C H A P T E R

Technologicalliteracy is theability touse, manage,assess, andunderstandtechnology.

Technologyis the modi-fication ofthe naturalenvironmentin order tosatisfyperceivedhuman needsand wants.

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handles most or all of a student’s classesduring the school day and does not haveto work with several other teachers tocoordinate lesson plans. At the elementarylevel, the standards are designed to beimplemented in the regular classroom byteachers with appropriate in-service training.In middle and high schools, by contrast,licensed technology teachers should work

with others in thedelivery of tech-nological studies; inthe middle grades,much of the teachingabout technologycan be done in unitstaught by inter-disciplinary teams;and in high schooltechnology should betaught in stand-alonecourses as well asbeing integrated intothe rest of thecurriculum.

Because instructionbecomes increasinglyspecialized at highergrade levels, inte-grating technologywith other subjectscan be more diffi-cult, but the payoffsare proportionatelyhigher. As subjectsbecome morecompartmentalized,students find it moredifficult to see howthey intersect withone another or tounderstand the place

of each in the world outside. Technologylaboratory-classrooms provide a neutralground for different subjects to cometogether, often in the guise of devising asolution to some practical problem. Atypical assignment might be to design a carwith certain characteristics — being crash-worthy, energy efficient, or using alternativefuels. In developing their designs, students

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could operate various computer programsand perhaps retrieve information from theInternet, apply lessons from physics orchemistry classes, and use skills from theirmathematics classes as well. In researchingthe background to their problem, theymight delve into the history of the car andhow it has shaped American society in thetwentieth century. They might use statisticsto analyze automobile fatality rates atdifferent speeds and in cars of various sizes.They could study the chemistry or thehealth effects of the ozone smog afflictingcities, or they could analyze the economicsof gasoline prices. In an attempt tounderstand the world’s petroleum reserves,they might study geology and explore howpetroleum is formed. When writing areport on their final product, they wouldneed to do so in clear prose, probably witha bibliography. They might even translateit into a second language or convert it intoHTML format for access on the Internet.

Many teachers have reported that this sortof real-world problem solving helps studentswith their other courses by making thesubject matter meaningful to them. Thebest way to learn something — to trulymaster and retain it, not just to learn it wellenough to pass a test — is to apply it. This,of course, is the rationale for lab sessions inchemistry class, word problems inmathematics, and conversational periods inFrench. But technology classes take thislogic one step further because students areexpected to synthesize and apply informa-tion from other subjects as well as fromwithin the study of technology. In this way,they learn to make connections amongdifferent fields of study and begin tounderstand how all knowledge isinterconnected.

People who are unfamiliar with technologytend to think of it purely in terms of itsartifacts: computers, cars, televisions,toasters, pesticides, flu shots, solar cells,genetically engineered tomatoes, and allthe rest. But to its practitioners and to thepeople who study it, technology is moreaccurately thought of in terms of theknowledge and the processes that createthese products, and these processes areintimately dependent upon many factorsin the outside world.

Technology is the modification of the naturalenvironment in order to satisfy perceivedhuman needs and wants. To determine whatthose needs and wants are and to figure outhow to satisfy them, one must consider awide range of factors simultaneously. For thisreason, although the study of technology maysometimes be a separate subject, it can neverbe an isolated subject, cut off from the rest ofthe curriculum.

Technological LiteracyStandards for Technological Literacy isdesigned as a guide for educating studentsin developing technological literacy.Technological literacy is the ability to use,manage, assess, and understand technology.A technologically literate personunderstands, in increasingly sophisticatedways that evolve over time, what technologyis, how it is created, and how it shapessociety, and in turn is shaped by society.He or she will be able to hear a story abouttechnology on television or read it in thenewspaper and evaluate the information inthe story intelligently, put that informationin context, and form an opinion based onthat information. A technologically literateperson will be comfortable with and

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1 objective about technology, neither scared ofit nor infatuated with it.

Such technological literacy benefits studentsin a number of ways. For the future engineers,the aspiring architects, the students who willhave jobs in one area of technology oranother, it means they will leave high schoolwith a head start on their careers. They willalready understand the basics of such things asthe design process, and they will have a bigpicture of the field they are entering, allowingthem to put the specialized knowledge theylearn later into a broader context.

But technological literacy is importantfor all students, even those who will notgo into technological careers. Becausetechnology is such an important force inour economy, anyone can benefit by beingfamiliar with it. Corporate executives andothers in the business world, brokers andinvestment analysts, journalists, teachers,doctors, nurses, farmers and homemakersall will be able to perform their jobs betterif they are technologically literate.

On the individual level, technologicalliteracy helps consumers better assessproducts and make more intelligent buyingdecisions: What are the important factors inevaluating the latest computer or electronicdevice? Should I avoid genetically engineeredfood? Should I put my infant in cloth ordisposable diapers? A few years from now doI buy a solar-powered car or one that runs onhydrogen? Among people who have nofamiliarity with or basis for evaluatingtechnological products, some of thesedecisions will be based simply on guesswork,gut feelings, or emotional responses.

On the societal level, technological literacyshould also help citizens make betterdecisions. As the 21st century dawns, newtechnologies will open up possibilities forhumankind that have never existed before.This power will bring with it hard choices.Do we place limits on the flow ofinformation? How much heed do we pay tothe worries that genetic engineering couldlead to the inadvertent creation ofunwelcome new species? At the same time,older, established technologies will alsodemand that choices be made: Should we,for instance, cut back sharply on carbondioxide emissions in an attempt to slowdown global warming?

In the United States, such decisions will begreatly influenced by individual citizens. Insome countries, average citizens have littleinput into technological decision making,which is left to a technological elite or thecountry’s rulers. But the political structure ofthe United States is open, and regular citizenscan — and generally do — shape techno-logical issues through their legislators, throughpublic hearings, and through court cases.Having a technologically literate citizenry maynot guarantee that the best decisions are madeon these knotty, contentious issues, but itcertainly improves the odds.

Our world will be very different 10 or 20 yearsfrom now. We have no choice about that. Wedo, however, have a choice whether we marchinto that world with our eyes open, decidingfor ourselves how we want it to be, or whetherwe let it push us along, ignorant and helplessto understand where we’re going or why.Technological literacy will make a difference.

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Overview of Standards forTechnological Literacy2

Because of the power of today’s

technological processes, society

and individuals need to decide what,

how, and when to develop or use

various technological systems. Since

technological issues and problems

have more than one available solution,

decision-making should reflect the

values of the people and help them

reach their goals. Such decision-making

depends upon all citizens, both indi-

vidually and collectively, acquiring a

basic level of technological literacy —

the ability to use, manage, and

understand technology.

Technology for All Americans:A Rationale and Structure forthe Study of Technology


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The foundation for Standards for Technological Literacy was laidwith the publication of Technology for All Americans: A Rationaleand Structure for the Study of Technology (Rationale andStructure). The Rationale and Structure presents the structure andcontent for the study of technology, and Standards forTechnological Literacy is an extension and elaboration of thatearlier work.

Standards for Technological Literacy Technology programs across the United States generally havevarying structures and content. Thus, a student who takes atechnology course in one area of the country may not receivethe same core information or study the same basic concepts andprinciples as a student in another area, even when the coursetitles are the same or nearly so. Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy offers a way to provide a consistent content for the studyof technology that will enhance the learning of K-12 students nomatter where they live and what their future goals may be.

In the following chapters, Standards for Technological Literacylays out what should be learned and accomplished by eachstudent in the study of technology at four levels, beginning withGrades K-2 and continuing through 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Thestandards and benchmarks are tailored to be age and genderappropriate and are planned so that the material at each levelbuilds on, amplifies, and extends the standards and benchmarksof earlier grades. Furthermore, the standards and benchmarkshave been designed to prescribe the content knowledge andabilities of what students should know and be able to do inorder to be technologically literate.

Standards for Technological

Literacy presents, in a

coherent manner, what students

should know and be able to do

in order to achieve a high level

of technological literacy. In

other words, the standards

prescribe what the outcomes

of the study of technology in

grades K-12 should be, but they

do not put forth a curriculum

to achieve those outcomes.

Standards for Technological

Literacy also is designed to act

as a catalyst for educational


2 Overview of Standards forTechnological Literacy

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Features of Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy

Standards for Technological Literacy wascreated with the following basic features:

• It offers a common set of expectations forwhat students in technology laboratory-classrooms should learn.

• It is developmentally appropriate forstudents.

• It provides a basis for developing mean-ingful, relevant, and articulated curriculaat the local, state, and provincial levels.

• It promotes content connections withother fields of study in Grades K-12.

Standards for Technological Literacy is not acurriculum. A curriculum provides thespecific details on how the content is to bedelivered, including organization, balance,and the various ways of presenting thecontent in the laboratory-classroom, whilestandards describe what the content shouldbe. Curriculum developers, teachers, andothers should use Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy as a guide for developingappropriate curricula, but the standards donot specify what should go on in thelaboratory-classroom.

In laying out the essentials for the study oftechnology, Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy represents a recommendation fromeducators, engineers, scientists, mathe-maticians, and parents about what skillsand knowledge are needed in order tobecome technologically literate. It is not,however, a federal policy or mandate.

Standards for Technological Literacy does notprescribe an assessment process fordetermining how well students are meetingthe standards, although it does provide criteria

for such an assessment. Assessment practicesdeal with how well students learn the contentput forth in Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy . Closely tied with assessment is howwell a teacher has directly taught and guidedstudents in the learning process, as well ashow much support the school and schooldistrict have provided in this effort. Theultimate goal in any educational assessmentprocess is to be able to determine how welleach student is attaining technological literacyin Grades K-12. Assessment takes place inmany forms, from daily records of students’work, interviews, quizzes and tests, andportfolios of longitudinal activities in thelaboratory-classroom, to standardized testsadministered by the school system or state.Plans for comprehensive assessmentthroughout the student’s education must bedesigned, implemented, and continuallymonitored.

Overview of Standards for Technological Literacy 2C H A P T E R

Standards forTechnologicalLiteracy laysout whatshould belearned andaccomplishedby each studentin the study oftechnology atfour levels.

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Format of Standards forTechnological Literacy

The individual standards presented inStandards for Technological Literacy areorganized into five major categories, each ofwhich is addressed in a separate chapter:

1. The Nature of Technology (Chapter 3)

2. Technology and Society (Chapter 4)

3. Design (Chapter 5)

4. Abilities for a Technological World(Chapter 6)

5. The Designed World (Chapter 7)

Each chapter begins with a narrative thatdefines a category, explains the importance ofeach topic within a category, and gives a briefoverview of the chapter. The standards inChapter 3 ask that students understand whattechnology is, become familiar with itsconcepts, and recognize the relationshipsbetween technology and other fields of study.Chapter 4 examines the use of technology ina broader context by examining its effects onhuman society and the physical environment,by exploring how societal factors shapetechnology, and by tracing the history oftechnology. The standards in Chapter 5 focuson a cognitive understanding of a designprocess with an emphasis on the attributes ofdesign, the engineering design process, andother problem-solving approaches. Chapter 6deals with developing abilities in designing,making, developing, operating, maintaining,managing, and assessing technologicalproducts and systems. Chapter 7 coversselecting, using, and understanding majortechnologies that are common today. SeeTable 2.1 for a listing of the chapters and thestandard topics.


Standards for Technological Literacy specifieswhat every student should know and be able

to do in order to be technologically literate,and it offers criteria to judge progresstoward a vision of technological literacy forall students. There are a total of 20standards in this document and theindividual standards fall into two types:what students should know and understandabout technology, and what they should beable to do. The first type, which could betermed “cognitive” standards, sets out basicknowledge about technology — how itworks, and its place in the world — thatstudents should have in order to betechnologically literate. The second type,the “process” standards, describes theabilities that students should have. The twotypes of standards are complementary. Forexample, a student can be taught in a lectureabout a design process, but the ability toactually use a design process and to apply itfor finding a solution to a technologicalproblem comes only with hands-onexperiences. Likewise, it is difficult toperform a design process effectively withouthaving some theoretical knowledge of howit is usually done. See Appendix B for acomprehensive listing of the standards.


Benchmarks in Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy provide the fundamental contentelements for the broadly stated standards.Benchmarks, which are statements thatprovide the knowledge and abilities thatenable students to meet a given standard,are provided for each of the 20 standardsat the K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 grade levels.The benchmarks are identified by analphabetical listing (e.g., A, B, C) and arehighlighted in bold type. They are followedby supporting sentences (not in bold) thatprovide further detail, clarity, and examples.

Benchmarks inStandards forTechnologicalLiteracyprovide thefundamentalcontent ele-ments for thebroadly statedstandards.

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Overview of Standards for Technological Literacy 2C H A P T E R

Listing of Standards for Technological Literacy




The characteristics and scope of technology.

2 The core concepts of technology.

3 The relationships among technologies and theconnections between technology and other fields.

4 The cultural, social, economic, and politicaleffects of technology.

5 The effects of technology on the environment.

6 The role of society in the development and useof technology.

7 The influence of technology on history.

8 The attributes of design.

9 Engineering design.

10 The role of troubleshooting, research and development, inven-tion and innovation, and experimentation in problem solving.

11 Apply the design process.

12 Use and maintain technological products and systems.

13 Assess the impact of products and systems.

14 Medical technologies.

15 Agricultural and related biotechnologies.

16 Energy and power technologies.

17 Information and communication technologies.

18 Transportation technologies.

19 Manufacturing technologies.

20 Construction technologies.

3Students will develop anunderstanding of The Natureof Technology. This includesacquiring knowledge of:

4Students will develop anunderstanding of Technologyand Society. This includeslearning about:

5Students will develop anunderstanding of Design.This includes knowing about:

6Students will developAbilities for a TechnologicalWorld. This includesbecoming able to:

7Students will developan understanding ofThe Designed World.This includes selectingand using:

T A B L E 2 . 1

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The benchmarks are required in order forstudents to meet the standards.

Research in education has shown that whenpreviously learned knowledge is tapped andbuilt upon, students are more likely toacquire a more coherent and thoroughunderstanding of these processes than ifthey are taught as isolated abstractions(National Research Council, 1999).

With this in mind, the benchmarks arearticulated from Grades K-2 through 9-12to progress from very basic ideas at the earlyelementary school level to more complexand comprehensive ideas at the high schoollevel. Certain content “concepts” are foundin the benchmarks, which extend acrossvarious levels to ensure continual learningof an important topic related to a standard.


A selection of vignettes is included in thisdocument to provide snapshots of labora-tory-classroom experiences. They offerdetailed examples of how the standards canbe implemented by a teacher. A largemajority of the vignettes are authentic in thatthey have been successfully used before in anactual laboratory-classroom with students. Afew of the vignettes were generated especiallyfor these standards and are fictional — theyhave not been tried and tested. Readersshould be cautioned that any vignette shouldnot be read too literally or narrowly, norshould they be interpreted as a curriculum.


The format of each standard follows thisstructure: (See Figure 2.1 for a sample layout)

1. The standard is expressed insentence form.

2. A narrative follows that explainsthe intent of the standard.

3. Grade-level material is presented nextfor Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

4. Under each grade level, a narrativefollows that explains the standardat the grade level under discussionand provides suggestions on howthe standard can be implementedin the laboratory-classroom.

5. Each grade-level essay is followed by aseries of benchmarks in bold type thatdetail the particular knowledge andabilities that students must attain in orderto meet the standard. Each benchmark isfurther explained by supporting sentences(not in bold type) that offer examplesand additional details.

6. Vignettes, which are scatteredthroughout each of the chapters,provide examples of laboratory-classroom experiences and offerillustrations of how the standardscan be put into practice.

The standards and benchmarks wereestablished for guiding a student’s progresstoward technological literacy. Referencesthat were used in the development ofStandards for Technological Literacy includethe following standards in other subjectareas: National Science Education Standards(National Research Council, 1996);Benchmarks for Science Literacy (AmericanAssociation for the Advancement ofScience, 1993); Curriculum and EvaluationStandards for School Mathematics (NationalCouncil of Teachers of Mathematics,1989); and National Council of Teachersof Mathematics Standards 2000 Draft(NCTM, 1998) and others.

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Overview of Standards for Technological Literacy 2C H A P T E R

Organizational Format of a Sample Standard and BenchmarkF I G U R E 2 . 1

People in today’s health-orientedsociety spend more time and moneythan in any other time in history insearch of how to improve theirlifestyle in order to live longer and

more productive lives. Technology hasmade numerous contributions to medicineover the years. Scientific and technologicalbreakthroughs are at the core of mostdiagnostic and treatment practices. Forexample, major surgeries used to requirelong hours of surgery followed by anextensive hospital stay. Today, through theuse of the lasers, new drugs, and updatedmedical procedures, long hours in thehospital operating room have been reducedto outpatient procedures in a doctor’s office,and recuperation time has been reducedfrom weeks to days.

Medical miracles are sighted often in thenews, such as the reattachment of a limb orthe saving of a life through a new medicalprocedure made possible by a new device orsystem. New ways of studying how thehuman body functions or reacts to changeare being introduced at alarming rates.Devices and systems are being designed toprod, check, evaluate, and operate withcomputerized and electronic controls inorder to extend human capabilities and helpimprove human health from the risks of thechanging world.

The development of good nutrition andpreventive medicine has played a key role inhelping individuals live longer, moreproductive lives. Medical advances, such asvaccines, are developed to help healthcare

providers do their work more efficientlyand effectively, thus improving the deliveryof medicine. Today, technologies, such astelemedicine (the use of telecommuni-cations technologies to deliver health care)are being designed and developed toprovide easier access to medical expertise, tointegrate geographically dispersed services,to improve the quality of care, and to gainmaximum productivity from expensivemedical and technical resources.

With the increase in technologies in themedical industry, it is important to takeinto consideration the consequences thataccompany them. Products and systems,such as life-support systems andpharmaceuticals, have helped protect andimprove human health. However, thesesame products and systems have raisedmany concerns, such as the length of time aperson should remain on a life-supportsystem and equal access to life-savingprocedures for everyone.

In 1900 an American’s life expectancywas 47.3 years; today, it exceeds 76 years.Worldwide, human life expectancy hasbeen prolonged through the developmentof sanitation practices, vaccines, wastedisposal systems, and other products andsystems. This increase in life expectancyhas led to a worldwide populationexplosion. The issues surrounding the useof many technologies often conflict witheach other or with the opinions and ethicsof those affected by its use. Therefore,knowledge based on scientific fact isimportant in making sound decisions.

The Designed World7C H A P T E R

Medical technologies are used to maintain,restore, and improve human health.



People in today’s health-orientedsociety spend more time and moneythan in any other time in history insearch of how to improve theirlifestyle in order to live longer and

more productive lives. Technology hasmade numerous contributions to medicineover the years. Scientific and technologicalbreakthroughs are at the core of mostdiagnostic and treatment practices. Forexample, major surgeries used to requirelong hours of surgery followed by anextensive hospital stay. Today, through theuse of the lasers, new drugs, and updatedmedical procedures, long hours in thehospital operating room have been reducedto outpatient procedures in a doctor’s office,and recuperation time has been reducedfrom weeks to days.

Medical miracles are sighted often in thenews, such as the reattachment of a limb orthe saving of a life through a new medicalprocedure made possible by a new device orsystem. New ways of studying how thehuman body functions or reacts to changeare being introduced at alarming rates.Devices and systems are being designed toprod, check, evaluate, and operate withcomputerized and electronic controls inorder to extend human capabilities and helpimprove human health from the risks of thechanging world.

The development of good nutrition andpreventive medicine has played a key role inhelping individuals live longer, moreproductive lives. Medical advances, such asvaccines, are developed to help healthcare

providers do their work more efficientlyand effectively, thus improving the deliveryof medicine. Today, technologies, such astelemedicine (the use of telecommuni-cations technologies to deliver health care)are being designed and developed toprovide easier access to medical expertise, tointegrate geographically dispersed services,to improve the quality of care, and to gainmaximum productivity from expensivemedical and technical resources.

With the increase in technologies in themedical industry, it is important to takeinto consideration the consequences thataccompany them. Products and systems,such as life-support systems andpharmaceuticals, have helped protect andimprove human health. However, thesesame products and systems have raisedmany concerns, such as the length of time aperson should remain on a life-supportsystem and equal access to life-savingprocedures for everyone.

In 1900 an American’s life expectancywas 47.3 years; today, it exceeds 76 years.Worldwide, human life expectancy hasbeen prolonged through the developmentof sanitation practices, vaccines, wastedisposal systems, and other products andsystems. This increase in life expectancyhas led to a worldwide populationexplosion. The issues surrounding the useof many technologies often conflict witheach other or with the opinions and ethicsof those affected by its use. Therefore,knowledge based on scientific fact isimportant in making sound decisions.

The Designed World7C H A P T E R

Medical technologies are used to maintain,restore, and improve human health.



At this level, the technologies used forhealth and medicine should becritically researched and discussed,including the global concerns of theuse of these technologies on the

environment and the ethical concerns aboutaltering life. Students should gain theability to debate such questions as: How dopeople know when a medical technology isbeneficial? At what point should people beinvolved in the testing of a medicalinvention and innovation? To what degreeare designers responsible for the safety oftheir products or systems? How will certainproducts and systems affect the current andfuture environment?

Students should have opportunities toidentify emerging health and medicaltechnologies by using trends, research, andforecasting techniques. Students shouldexamine healthcare technology and newareas of development, such as the use oflasers, computers, and telemedicine. Forexample, students could study and learnhow a laser works by making, testing, andevaluating a model and then relating itsadaptation to use in many surgicalprocedures. They should communicate theirfindings to a wide variety of audiencesincluding peers, family, and the community,in order to explain their viewpoints on howproducts and systems can be used topromote safe and healthy living.

Advances in medical technology have helpedto improve human health by reducing theinstances of such serious diseases as polioand smallpox. Yet, there is still a great needfor continued improvements and moreinnovations. Students should investigate theadvances in medicine for the treatment ofcancer, AIDS, and heart disease, as well as

the research that is on- going. In addition,students should be aware of such topics aspopulation control, gene mapping, and themedical effects of pesticide usage. Similarly,students should examine how computers inthe healthcare system play an integral rolekeeping track of patient’s diagnosticinformation, medicines, and results ofprocedures. Computers also aid in analyzingdata in order to help clinicians do theirwork more efficiently and effectively. Forexample, many hospitals use computerterminals in a networked station to provideup-to-the minute information on patients asthey are moved through the hospital system.

In order to select, use, and understandmedical technologies, students ingrades 9-12 should understand that

K. Medical technologies includeprevention and rehabilitation;vaccines and pharmaceuticals;medical and surgical procedures;genetic engineering; and the systemswithin which health is protected andmaintained. For example, thedevelopment of vaccines and drugs,such as the polio vaccine, penicillin,and chemotherapy, has helped toeradicate or cause remission of seriousillnesses. The development of diagnostictools, such as the x-ray machine,computerized tomography (CT) scan,and lasers, allows for less invasiveinterior views of the body than surgery.The use of specially designedequipment can help providerehabilitation to disabled persons. Usinga wheelchair and other speciallydesigned equipment, a paraplegicperson is able to play basketball. Manytechnologies designed for health,



Medical Technologies14S T A N D A R D



Medical Technologies14S T A N D A R D


This example usesa visit to a localpharmacy to encouragestudents to develop andput to use their under-standing of how thedesign of a vaccine ormedicine relates to theprocess of design andhow vaccines andmedicine arerelated to varioustechnological devices.[This example highlightssome elements of3-5 Technology ContentStandards 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9,10, 11, and 14.]

The students in Ms. B’s fifth grade class visited their local drug store tolearn more about the various medicines and individualized kits designedto help people learn more about their bodies.

Ms. A, the local druggist, showed the students how people use various kitsto check their bodies’ pH and glucose levels, as well as their protein andenzyme levels. The students were particularly interested in the salivatesting kits used to determine sugar levels. In addition, the studentsnoticed all the different devices available for checking their temperature –from the traditional thermometer to the new strips used on the forehead.Ms. A demonstrated how the electronic ear thermometer worked.

When they were shown the various drugs kept in a pharmacy, thestudents seemed overwhelmed. They asked Ms. A how she was able tokeep track of all the information about the drugs and the customers. She explained that thousands of records were kept in large filing cabinetsbefore they had computers. Ms. A further explained that computersenable pharmacists to link customer information with doctors’ orders.Computers also help in delivering advice to customers regarding the safeusage of medicines.

After the students returned to their classroom, Ms. B asked them toinvestigate more about the development of various medicines andvaccines, in addition to some of the tools used in their development. She asked the students to refer to lessons they had studied on design and to consider what processes of design may have been used in thedevelopment of a medicine or vaccine. A few students used the Internetto check information, and others referred to several books about medicaltechnologies. After the students had written down their information, Ms. B provided them with an opportunity to share their findings. Thestudents reported that in order for many vaccines to work, physicianssend things into the body that tell them how the body works. They are then able to determine if a vaccine is functioning properly. Manystudents commented on how similar the design and use of a vaccine was to the design and use of a product or system.

A Pharmacy Connection

1. STANDARDDescribes what students should know andbe able to do as a result of the study oftechnology.

2. NARRATIVE OF STANDARDSGives the explanation of what is includedin the standard and why it is important.

4. NARRATIVE OF THE STANDARD EXPLAINING THE BENCHMARK BYGRADE LEVELDescribes where and how this standard should be presented withinthe students’ laboratory-classroom experiences at each grade level.Suggestions are given on how the benchmarks may be implemented.

5. BENCHMARKS (in bold)Provides specific requirements or enablers of what the student shouldknow or be able to do in order to meet this technology content standard.The sentences that follow (not in bold) provide further elaboration andexamples of the benchmark.

6. VIGNETTEGives ideas or examples of how standardscan be implemented in the laboratory-classroom.


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Primary Users of Standardsfor Technological Literacy A variety of groups and individuals can beexpected to use Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy. Curriculum developers at the state,province, and local level, along with textbookpublishers and developers of laboratoryequipment, may be among the first users ofthe document. They will use it to fashioncurriculum and resources for each grade level.

Ultimately, of course, once the standards havebeen adopted at the local and state or pro-vincial level, teachers will implement them.Some teachers may not wait for their states orprovinces, or school districts to act. Eitherway, the ultimate success of Standards forTechnological Literacy rests with teachers.

Other users of Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy will include superintendents,principals, and other administrators,curriculum coordinators, directors ofinstruction, and supervisors, all of whom willbe a part of the planning, overseeing, anddelivering of standards-based education.Teacher educators should use the documentin designing pre-service programs for futuretechnology teachers. Furthermore, parentsshould familiarize themselves with thedocument in order to become involved withtheir children’s education and to reinforce theconcepts and processes being taught. Finally,if students are home schooled, parents shouldincorporate Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy into their instruction.

Recommendations for UsingStandards for Technological Literacy

Individuals involved in curriculum develop-ment, teaching, or assessment shouldconsider the following recommendations:

• Standards for Technological Literacyrepresents the careful thought of manypeople and is meant to be used in itsentirety. All standards should be met for astudent to obtain the optimal level oftechnological literacy at graduation fromhigh school.

• The benchmarks, which are required formeeting the standards, specify how thestudent should progress toward tech-nological literacy and what students needto know and be able to do in order tomeet the standards.

• The standards must be integrated withone another rather than being presentedas separate parts (e.g., Standard 1 withStandard 8 or Standard 19 with Standard17 and 20).

• Standards for Technological Literacy shouldbe included in the curriculum at eachgrade, both in the technology laboratory-classroom and in other subject areas.Teachers should be familiar with standardspreceding and followingthe grades in which they teach.

• Teachers and curriculum developersshould address minority, gender, andequity issues to ensure that students areencouraged and motivated to succeed inthe study of technology.

• Standards for Technological Literacy shouldbe applied in conjunction with othernational, state, provincial, and locallydeveloped standards in technologicalstudies and for other fields of study.

• School systems should begin to movetoward a K-12 technology program for allstudents. (See Appendix D for an articu-lated curriculum example for Grades K-12.)

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Administrator ’s Guidelinesfor Resources Based onStandards for Technological Literacy

A variety of resources, including instruc-tional materials, textbooks, supplies,modules, and kits to aid the laboratory-classroom teacher, are necessary to meet theStandards for Technological Literacy .Administrators should ensure that theseresources are age and gender appropriateand progressively more rigorous and richerin content. Each should have a clearlydesignated level of application specifyingone or more of the four grade levels (K-2,3-5, 6-8, and 9-12).

Resources based on Standards forTechnological Literacy should:

• allow for innovations and alterations thattake into account the changing natureof technology.

• integrate the standards, rather thanfocusing on a single one.

• provide opportunities for students tomake connections among a variety oftechnologies, thereby helping themdevelop a common core of technologicallearning. The resources should also allowfor the integration of other fields of studyinto technological studies.

• incorporate varied methods of assessmentin order to provide a broad picture of astudent’s progress; these assessmentmeasures should allow teachers tocompare the progress of differentstudents and to prepare individualizedactivities that take into account astudent’s strengths and weaknesses.

• reflect the different standards of thedesigned world (Chapter 7).

• include various teaching methodologiesand student learning styles that addressdiversity.

• incorporate motivational componentsthat will encourage students to pursuetheir ideas and complete projects andthat ensure lifelong learning for allstudents.

• include experiences and activities thatenhance and promote hands-on learning,including problem-based and design-basedlearning. These experiences and activitiesalso should be open-ended, requiringstudents to develop and use technologicalthinking and challenging them to use andapply it in a variety of settings.

• incorporate knowledge and processactivities that enable students to thinkand do for themselves, as well as to beeffective team members.

• include activities that demonstrate tostudents the need to be adaptable.

• provide opportunities for students todemonstrate their understanding oftechnology and its value to them andsociety.

Other Standards and PublicationsAdvancing Excellence in TechnologicalLiteracy: Student Assessment,Professional Development, and Program Standards

In Phase III of TfAAP (2000-2005),Advancing Excellence in TechnologicalLiteracy: Student Assessment, ProfessionalDevelopment, and Program Standards(AETL) was developed.

Overview of Standards for Technological Literacy 2C H A P T E R

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AETL consists of three separate butinterrelated sets of standards.

• Student Assessment Standards

• Professional Development Standards

• Program Standards

The standards in AETL are based uponSTL. AETL is designed to leave specificcurricular decisions to educators. Teachers,professional development providers, andadministrators should use STL and AETLas guides for advancing technologicalliteracy for all students.

New Technology Standards-BasedAddenda

Educational standards provide criteria forlearning and ensure quality in educationalprograms. Standards-based technologyprograms can deliver technological literacy.The purpose of STL and AETL is to advancethe technological literacy of all students.Together, they identify a vision for developinga technologically literate citizenry.

The ITEA Addenda series (to STL andAETL) is part of the standards package fortechnological literacy. They were producedby the TfAAP staff with special assistancefrom ITEA’s Center to Advance theTeaching of Technology and Science(CATTS). These addenda are based on thestandards but include concrete processes orsuggestions for incorporating national,state, and/or local technological literacystandards into the programs of all studentsthroughout Grades K–12. Additionally, allof the documents contain worksheets foreducators to use to make changes specific totheir locality and situation. The newaddenda series marks another pioneering

effort in educational reform, as it provides asupplement to educational standards thatfocuses on the entire picture of programreformation rather than concentratingsolely on curricula. The new addenda are:

• Measuring Progress: Assessing StudentsforTechnological Literacy (ITEA, 2004)

• Realizing Excellence: StructuringTechnology Programs (ITEA, 2005)

• Planning Learning: Developing TechnologyCurricula (ITEA, 2005)

• Developing Professionals: PreparingTechnology Teachers (ITEA, 2005)


In 2005, ITEA started using the descriptiveterm TIDE: Technology, Innovation,Design, Engineering, which reflects whatthe association is all about. It clearlydescribes what the content, nature, breadth,and scope of the study of technology is andcan be. This acronym, TIDE, indicates thatthe study of technology is much moreencompassing than computers andinformation technology (although they arestill a part of technology). TIDE provides agood, succinct description of what ITEA istrying to accomplish as the associationrepresenting the study of technology as acore school subject.


A compendium of the Standards forTechnological Literacy is presented inAppendix C.

The compendium provides a brief summaryof the content of technology as presented inthe standards and benchmarks by grade levels.



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The Nature of Technology3Students will develop anunderstanding of thecharacteristics and scopeof technology. p. 23

Students will develop anunderstanding of the coreconcepts of technology. p. 32

Students will develop anunderstanding of the relationshipsamong technologies and theconnections between technologyand other fields of study. p. 44





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Yet because it shapes nearly every part of our lives, a basic

understanding of technology is essential to make sense of

today’s changing world.

Put simply, technology is how humans modify the world around

them to meet their needs and wants or to solve practical

problems. It can range from building protective shelter and

growing food to formulating cancer-fighting drugs and

constructing a multi-level network. Technology extends human

potential by allowing people to do things they could not

otherwise do.

Technological activity is purposeful and directed towards

specific goals, and sometimes the results are unintended.

The development of a particular technology is influenced by

a variety of factors, including the needs of individuals, groups,

and society as a whole, as well as by the level of development

of related technological components, devices, and systems.

This chapter describes what students should understand about

the nature of technology in order to become technologically

literate and adaptable. The three standards contained in

Chapter 3 address what technology is, its general core

concepts, and the relationships among various technologies

and between technology and other areas of human endeavor.

Everyone recognizes that such

things as computers, aircraft,

and genetically engineered plants

are examples of technology,

but for most people the

understanding of technology

goes no deeper.

3 The Nature of Technology

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The Nature of Technology3C H A P T E R



The word “technology” encompassesmany meanings and connotations. It can refer to the products and artifactsof human invention — a videocassetterecorder is a technology, as are

pesticides. It can denote the body ofknowledge necessary to create suchproducts. It can mean the process by whichsuch knowledge is produced and suchproducts are developed. Technology issometimes used very broadly to connote anentire system of products, knowledge,people, organizations, regulations, and socialstructures, as in the technology of electricpower or the technology of the Internet.

Through their innovations, people havemodified the world around them to providenecessities and conveniences. A tech-nologically literate person understands thesignificance of technology in everyday lifeand the way in which it shapes the world.

Throughout history, the modification ofthe natural world has taken on differentforms. Understanding these different formsand how the human-made world differsfrom the natural world can lead to anunderstanding of human innovation. In theStone Age, for instance, a major technologyinvolved chipping flakes from pieces of flintto shape useful tools — a task that could bedone from start to finish by one person.Today, the products of technology generallyinvolve a much more complicated process,often requiring the efforts of many peopleto transform an idea or concept to its final,practical form.

Engineers are the professionals who aremost closely associated with technology.Although they are the innovators anddesigners, many other people are involvedas well — from distributors, manufacturingand construction workers to operators,managers, regulators, maintenance peopleand ultimately, consumers.

Students will develop an understanding ofthe characteristics and scope of technology.

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In Grades K-2, students will begin tounderstand that people use creative orinventive thinking to adapt the naturalworld to help them meet human needsand wants. Students should be actively

engaged in identifying the differencesbetween the natural world and the human-made world, in addition to learning aboutsome of the tools and techniques people useto help them do things. At this grade,students should begin to explore howpeople have developed ways to shape theirworld in order to improve comfort, easeworkloads, and increase leisure time.

Young children are aware of the world inwhich they live, but they do not generallyknow how the technologies they encountercame about. For instance, students may notunderstand how the food they eat is grown,transported, and processed. By learning howtechnological developments, such as build-ings, highways, telephones, and artificialfoods have enhanced the natural world,students can begin to comprehend the vastinfluence of technology on their lives.

In order to comprehend the scope oftechnology, students in Grades K-2should learn that

A. The natural world and human-madeworld are different. The natural worldincludes trees, plants, animals, rivers,oceans, and mountains. The human-made world includes buildings,airplanes, microwave ovens,refrigerators, and televisions.

B. All people use tools and techniquesto help them do things. By usingtechnology, people adapt the naturalworld to meet their needs and wantsand to solve problems. All people usetechnology in their jobs and in theirdaily tasks — from librarians andteachers to truck drivers, homemakers,and police officers.




Scope of Technology1S T A N D A R D


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In these grades, the study of technologyshould enhance previous learning byincreasing the students’ understandingof how technology helps people. Asstudents continue to develop a clearer

understanding of the natural world asopposed to the human-made world, theywill develop an understanding of thedifferences between technology and science.

When students observe how various thingsare made, grown, or used, they shouldbegin to see that different processes andtechniques are used. Teachers shouldencourage their students to explore thesedifferences in order to determine thoseunique qualities. Finding answers to theirquestions will lead to more questions,which in turn will lead to a deeperunderstanding of processes and techniques.

In addition, students should investigatehow technology has altered people’sperceptions of the world. For example, theycan explore how television has enabledpeople to view programs and news releasesfrom any part of the globe, how transporta-tion systems have made it possible to travelacross a country in a few hours, and howinformation technology systems let peoplesearch libraries without leaving their desks.

Technological development is shaped byeconomic and cultural influences. As newtechnologies appear and some demands aresatisfied, the wants of humans change, newideas and innovations emerge, and the cyclerepeats itself. This continuing effort toimprove products and systems dictates thattechnologies change constantly, thusleading to both positive and negativeimplications for people and society. To seethis principle in action, students couldexplore the changing forms of specific

products and systems. They might trace, forexample, the progression of recorded musicfrom cylinders through records, eight-tracktapes, cassettes, compact disks, and laserdisks. In this way, they could develop anunderstanding of how creative thinking andproblem solving were used to create newand different ways of recording music tofit the changing technological capabilities.

In order to comprehend the scope oftechnology, students in Grades 3-5should learn that

C. Things that are found in naturediffer from things that are human-made in how they are producedand used. For example, the essentialsfor natural plant growth are sunshine(photosynthesis), air, water, andnutrients, while human-made itemsrequire an idea, resources (e.g., time,money, materials, and machines), andtechniques. Things found in nature,such as trees, birds, and wildflowersrequire no human intervention. Onthe other hand, creating a human-madeobject, such as a garment, requireshuman participation and innovation.For instance, the fibers from the bolls ofa cotton plant are transformed into cloththrough spinning and weaving so thatthey can be made into a cotton garment.

D. Tools, materials, and skills are usedto make things and carry out tasks.People make tools to help themselves orothers do their work: a cook uses knivesto cut vegetables; a gardener uses a hoeto remove weeds; an accountant uses acomputer to store information. Peoplealso use materials, such as paper, wood,cloth, and stone to make things theyuse every day. Most people develop the




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ability to do common tasks, such ascutting paper with scissors, and somepeople develop special abilities, likeflying an airplane.

E. Creative thinking and economicand cultural influences shape tech-nological development. For example,the interests, desires, and economy of agroup of people will cause a transporta-tion system to develop in one way andnot another. A transportation systemfor a large city may rely on mass transit,while one in a town might requirereliance on personal vehicles, suchas bicycles or cars.




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Students in the middle-level grades willexplore in greater detail the scope oftechnology. From personal andclassroom experience, students will befamiliar with specific ways in which

technology is dynamic, and teachers shouldbuild on this experience by reinforcing theidea that technology is constantly changing.

Classroom activities in Grades 6-8 shouldhelp students understand that technologyenables people to improve current tech-nologies, to further their understanding ofother technological ideas, and to developnew technologies. For example, computersare used to develop models before a productis actually made.

In addition, students will learn howcreativity is central to the developmentof products and systems. The developmentof an invention or innovation is closelyrelated to addressing a need or want. Inrecent years, however, the developmentof something new has sometimes precededthe need or identification of a problem.This practice leads to a different growth inknowledge that focuses on the developmentof the product or system instead of meetingthe need or desire of a person.

In order for new technologies to bedeveloped, new knowledge and processesmust be developed first. This is often donethrough research and development (R&D),the practical application of scientific andengineering knowledge for discovering newknowledge about products, processes, andservices, and then applying that knowledgeto create new and improved products,processes, and services that fill market needs.For example, new knowledge developed

about microprocessors by engineers andscientists led to the development of moderncomputer systems. Companies spendconsiderable resources on developing newunderstandings of how things work in hopesof creating new products and systems orimproving existing ones. Students willevaluate the commercial application oftechnology and how economic, political,and environmental concerns haveinfluenced its development.

In order to comprehend the scope oftechnology, students in Grades 6-8should learn that

F. New products and systems canbe developed to solve problemsor to help do things that couldnot be done without the help oftechnology. For example, enginesincrease the speed at which peoplecan travel, and pumps move water tolocations where it is needed. The useof technology sometimes helps toimprove personal lives by lesseningthreats, such as disease, toil, or igno-rance. However, the desire or needfor a new product or system can causenegative consequences, such as whenpeople travel long hours to work inorder to pay for improvements fortheir homes or child and healthcare.

G. The development of technology is ahuman activity and is the result ofindividual or collective needs andthe ability to be creative. Makinglife easier involves generating newproducts and systems through creativityand innovation. For example, from thetime of the first gas cook stove in 1936



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to the time of the microwave oven in1967, the focus was on simplifying theprocess of cooking and reducing thetime of food preparation.

H. Technology is closely linked tocreativity, which has resulted ininnovation. Most inventions areinspired by perceived needs andwants — the hairbrush, for example.Other inventions are linked todeveloping creative ideas and the waya person uses them, not necessarilytheir intended use. For example, theinvention of the tea bag grew out of apackaging strategy to replace expensivetin containers. Although tea waspackaged in small silk bags to giveaway as samples, some users thoughtit was a new way to brew the tea, and thus the tea bag was born. Aninvention can always be improved,and trying new ideas is often key tothat improvement.

I. Corporations can often createdemand for a product by bringingit onto the market and advertisingit. Although market demand generallydetermines the success or failure of atechnology, companies often developproducts or systems before a need isidentified. In order for a technologyto be profitable, there must be amarket for it — either preexisting orcreated through an advertising cam-paign. The promotion of a product orsystem often determines its popularityand demand.


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The following exampleuses an unforeseenproblem as an oppor-tunity to encouragestudents to develop anduse their understandingof how technology can beused to solve problems.Students in Ms. K’stechnology class noticeda problem while gluingsome wings on theirrocket launch system —the smell of the glue.Concerned about theeffects of breathing thefumes, the studentsdecided to solve theirproblem by creating asafer gluing station.[This example highlightssome elements of Grades6-8 STL standards 1, 3, 9,11, and 20.]

Ms. K first asked the students to define what their problems were and thento brainstorm some possible solutions. The students began listing theirconcerns:

1. Awful smell

2. Hard to breathe

3. No air circulating

4. Cold outside

After allowing students time to consider their problems, Ms. K divided theclass into teams and asked them to identify the most important and pressingconcern that could be addressed by designing and building a safer gluingstation. After several minutes of working in teams, each group presented itsconcern to the rest of the class. Each concern was recorded, and the classnarrowed them to “awful smell” and “no air circulating.”

Next, the students spent two class periods determining the physicallimitations of the room and measuring the space necessary for a gluingstation. Everyone agreed that the gluing station should be well ventilated andhave a safe gluing surface. Students then measured the height of the windowsthrough which the fumes were to be vented, and made rough sketches of thestations using a Computer Aided Design system to refine them.

Once the plans were finalized, the students made a list of the resources theywould need to turn their designs into reality: a 3' cardboard box, two 4' x 3'sections of heavy paper, a window fan, a 2' square piece of high-density pressboard, a roll of duct tape, an electrical cord, a 3' square section of wire mesh,and a 110-volt outlet. The teacher was able to provide recycled and surplussupplies including a discarded double-motored window fan with a bad cord.

After collecting the necessary drawings, materials, and tools, the studentscreated the gluing station by applying skills that they had learned earlierin the year: using form cutting to turn a box into an encasem*nt for thestation, attaching the fans to the box using pop rivets, and soldering a cordbetween the fan and switch. They used a reducer to connect the square holecoming from the fan in the box to a round pipe made from the heavy paper,a device that served as the ductwork leading to the window. Duct tape wasused to connect the paper pipe to the cardboard box, and wire was cut tofit the inside of the gluing station to protect fingers from the fan blades.

The students also put their mathematical skills to work to determine ifthe cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating of the fan was sufficient for the job.After completing the calculations, they decided that the fan did evacuatethe fumes quickly enough to avoid inhalation.

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In Grades 9-12, students will gain abroader perspective of the importance ofhuman innovation and ingenuity inrefining existing technologies anddeveloping new ones. They will also

continue to develop higher-order thinkingskills, such as questioning, investigating,and researching. By the time they graduate,students should have developed an under-standing of the scope of technology. Thisrealization includes knowing what tech-nology is and recognizing that it has anintellectual domain and a content baseof its own.

Technology is intricately woven into thefabric of human activity and is influencedby human capabilities, cultural values,public policies, and environmentalconstraints. Students need to recognizethese influences and understand how their integration affects technologicaldevelopment. For example, the develop-ment of earmuffs was a direct result ofharsh, cold winters. Chester Greenwood,a young boy whose ears seemed to beespecially sensitive to the cold, decidedto develop something new. He designed aspecial device made of loops of wire andcovered with black velvet and beaver fur.Neighbors and friends were so pleased withChester’s invention that they, too, wantedearmuffs, and thus a demand was created,which led to an 1872 patent for theapparatus. The particular environment, inaddition to human activity and capabilityand the resulting demand, determined thesuccess of earmuffs.

New technologies change people’s lives andthe way they do things in both expectedand unexpected ways. Technologicaladvances build on prior developments and

lead to additional opportunities, challenges,and advances in an accelerating spiral ofcomplexity. These advances make modernsociety vastly different from what wasknown 10 or 20 generations ago.

Students should realize that inventionsoccur both by design (e.g., putting a humanon the moon) and by serendipity (e.g., 3MPost-it® notes and spin offs). In addition,they should realize innovations are plannedand aimed at, such as Edison’s light bulb,while others grow unexpectedly out of linesof work that take off in new directionsalmost as if they have a life of their own.The purposeful application of scientificand technological knowledge speeds updevelopment, while various changes in thephysical, political, or cultural environmentcan act to either speed up or slow downtechnological development. For example,the appearance of AIDS has spurredresearch for new vaccines, and the ColdWar accelerated the development of bothmilitary and space technologies. Ethicalconcerns have at times restrained thedevelopment of certain reproductive andgenetic engineering technologies.

Finally, students should understand that thescope of technology involves its essence, itsrelation to the natural world, and its rapidand often unexpected development. At thesame time, students should also understandthat the scope of technology includes thecommercialization of products and systems.This commercialization frequently results inthe development of many inventions andinnovations based on market research —who the customers are, what they willpurchase, how they will purchase it, andwhere they will purchase it. The product orsystem is then prominently presented




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through advertising to encourage people topurchase it. The intention of advertising isto influence a purchase so that a demandwill develop from a desire or an unknownneed. The development and marketing ofmany entertainment devices illustrate suchan approach.

In order to comprehend the scope oftechnology, students in Grades 9-12should learn that

J. The nature and development oftechnological knowledge andprocesses are functions of the setting.For example, the tractor, plow, and haybaler are designed specifically for usearound farms, while the pick-up truck,tanker, and tractor-trailer are vehiclescommonly used to move goods fromfarms to other areas.

K. The rate of technological develop-ment and diffusion is increasingrapidly. The rate of development ofinventions and innovations is affectedby many factors, such as time andmoney. New technologies are built onprevious technologies, often resultingin quick development and dispersion.For example, the first hand-heldelectronic calculator was designed toperform simple arithmetic. It hasquickly evolved from a bulky productowned by a few people to a miniature,multi-function version owned by many.

L. Inventions and innovations are theresults of specific, goal-directedresearch. For example, years of researchled to the design and developmentof a laser system used in atmosphericstudies. This same laser system wasthen modified and reapplied to treat

the buildup of plaque in the arteriesthrough laser angioplasty.

M. Most development of technologiesthese days is driven by the profitmotive and the market. The successof a technology is often determinedby whether or not it is affordable andwhether or not it works. People oftendevelop and apply technology in acentralized and large-scale fashion tooptimize efficiency and reliability, thusresulting in lower production costs.


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Like any other branch of knowledge,technology has a number of coreconcepts that characterize it and set itapart from other fields of study. Theseconcepts serve as cornerstones for the

study of technology. They help unify thisstudy, which could otherwise appear as acollection of ideas that seem only minimallyconnected, and they provide students withguidance to help them understand thedesigned world.

The core concepts of technologyhighlighted by Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy are systems, resources, require-ments, optimization and trade-offs,processes, and controls. Because theseconcepts are integral areas of technology,they should not be taught as separatetopics, but rather, they should be integratedinto classes at every opportunity andpresented in whatever context is beingstudied at the time. To that end, theconcepts described will also be foundinterspersed throughout the otherstandards. In particular, Chapter 7, “TheDesigned World,” will show these coreconcepts in action in various types oftechnologies.

The core concepts of technology include:

• Systems. A system is a group ofinterrelated components designedcollectively to achieve a desired goal.Systems thinking involves understandinghow a whole is expressed in terms of itsparts, and conversely, how the parts relateto each other and to the whole.

Troubleshooting a malfunctioning systemdemands considering the various parts andhow those parts affect the entire system.Systems should be studied in differentcontexts, including the design, trouble-shooting, and operation of systems bothsimple and complex.

• Resources. All technological activitiesrequire resources, which are the thingsneeded to get a job done. The basictechnological resources are: tools andmachines, materials, information, energy,capital, time, and people. Tools andmachines are those devices designed toextend and enhance human capability.Materials have many different qualities andcan be classified as natural (e.g., wood,stone, metal, and clay), synthetic (e.g., glass,concrete, and plastics), and mixed —natural materials modified to improveproperties (e.g., leather, plywood, andpaper). Information, or the organization ofdata (facts and figures), is critical to theoperation of products and systems. Energyinvolves the ability to do work, and alltechnological systems require energy to beconverted and applied. Capital is the money and other finances available for thecreation and use of technological productsand systems. Time, which is allotted to alltechnological activities, is limited, andtherefore, its effective use is critical intechnological endeavors. Finally, people arethe most important resource for alltechnological activity.

• Requirements. Requirements are theparameters placed on the development of a

Students will develop an understanding ofthe core concepts of technology.




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product or system. Requirements includethe safety needs, the physical laws that willlimit the development of an idea, theavailable resources, the cultural norms, andthe use of criteria and constraints. Criteriaidentify the desired elements and featuresof a product or system, while constraintsinvolve the limitations on a design. Inaddition, knowing how robustness, or over-design, affects the requirementswill also aid in developing an under-standing of technology.

• Optimization and Trade-off. Optimiza-tion is a process or methodology of designingor making a product, process, or system tothe point at which it is the most fullyfunctional, effective, or as near perfection aspossible. The development of the wheelrepresents a good example of the applicationof optimization. The entire process ofcreating should include optimization — fromthe initial idea to the final product or system.Trade-off involves a choice or exchange forone quality over another. For example, thedecision to favor the best material regardlessof weight in order to achieve maximumstrength may require a designer to make atrade-off of costs. In order to maintainestablished requirements, trade-offs are madein order to meet the characteristics of anoptimum design.

• Processes. A process is a systematicsequence of actions used to combineresources to produce an output. Anunderstanding of processes requires timeand may not transfer well to othersituations without a variety of opportunitiesin which connections can be made.Designing is the process of applyingcreative skills in the development of aninvention or innovation. The process ofmaking models, as well as modeling in

virtual environments, is used todemonstrate concepts and to try out visionsand ideas. Maintenance is the process ofworking with the parts of a system or thesystem as a whole to ensure properfunctioning and to prevent unnecessaryerrors. Management, which is the processof planning, organizing, and controllingtechnology, is used to control resourcesand to ensure that technological processesoperate effectively and efficiently. Assess-ment of products and systems requiresasking questions and looking beyondisolated events to deeper patterns. Theend goal of assessment is to improvethe product or system.

• Controls. Controls are the mechanismsor activities that use information to causesystems to change. The household thermo-stat is an example of a control used toregulate room temperatures. Controls donot always succeed or work perfectly.Understanding the role of feedback, or theuse of information about the output of asystem to regulate the inputs to a system, isimportant in being able to determine howcontrols work in various kinds of systems,such as social, civil, or technical.


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Students in the early elementary gradeswill acquire a basic understanding ofmany core concepts of technologythat will help them as they learn moreabout the subject. Repeated exposure

to those concepts will enable them to makeconnections and begin to recognize patternsin technological development. They willbegin to notice, for example, how the use ofa system, such as a heating system, dependson resources and requirements.

Through hands-on activities students willlearn that technological activity requirestools, materials, movement, safety, andplanning. In addition, they will discoverhow many of these same concepts relate toother parts of their lives. Students shouldhave as many opportunities as possible totalk about how the technological items theyencounter on a daily basis fit into the worldaround them and how they relate to thecore concepts of technology.

The laboratory-classroom should haveavailable a variety of opportunities forstudents to discuss, explore, and encounterthese concepts. Such activities can helpstudents begin to recognize the coreconcepts of technology.

In order to comprehend the coreconcepts of technology, students inGrades K-2 should learn that

A. Some systems are found in nature,and some are made by humans. Thesolar system in space and the circula-tory system in the body are examplesof natural systems. One example of atechnological system is the informationand communication system, whichconsists of such things as telephones,televisions, printed materials, e-mail onthe computer, and letters.

B. Systems have parts or componentsthat work together to accomplisha goal. For example, a bicycle can bethought of as a system. It has manyparts — wheels, handlebars, pedals,brakes, gears, and chains — and eachis important for the bike to functionproperly.

C. Tools are simple objects that helphumans complete tasks. Many toolshave specific functions, and selectingthe right tool makes the task easier.People can use tools to make things.There are many different kinds of toolsused in preparing food, such as potsand pans, utensils, and appliances.Children use scissors to cut paper, gluesticks to fasten components together,markers to sketch ideas, and computersto search for information.

D. Different materials are used inmaking things. Paper, wood, cloth,and cardboard are the most commonmaterials children use in making thetools and things they design.

E. People plan in order to get thingsdone. For example, children learn thatif they want to accomplish something,such as make a birthday card for aparent, they must have the materialsavailable, and they must have the cardready by a given date.




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In Grades 3-5, a strong emphasis will beplaced on the concepts of systems,resources, requirements and processes. Atthis level, becoming more familiar withthe core concepts of technology will help

students in their development of a totalpicture of the study of technology. Forexample, students should be able to identifyavailable resources in their own communities.These resources could include tools andmachines in their homes, materials used inbuilding the roads and sidewalks they usewhen going to and from school, or theinformation needed to use a new product.

In their mathematics and science lessons,students sort and classify figures, shapes,plants, and animals. Students also shouldhave an opportunity to classify technologicalsystems in order to explore them more easily.Problem solving is another major aspect ofmathematics, science, and technology.Through the study of diverse resourcesand processes, students can develop skillsappropriate for solving technologicalproblems. As students get older, they canuse more advanced tools to extend theirpotential. Whether they are using glue gunsor computers with design-oriented software,they need to recognize the importance oftools in getting things done.

Introducing the concept of requirementswill provide a foundation that will enablestudents to understand the more complexideas of later grades. Students will begin tounderstand the parameters that determine adesign or how a product will be developedand used — the safety needs, the physicallaws that will limit the development of anidea, the resources available, and the culturalnorms. Future discussions of requirementswill be related to the use of resources andother core concepts of technology.

In order to recognize the core conceptsof technology, students in Grades 3-5should learn that

F. A subsystem is a system thatoperates as a part of another system.An example of a subsystem is thecollection of water pipes in a house,which is part of a larger fresh-waterdistribution system in a town.

G. When parts of a system are missing,it may not work as planned. A radiodoes not work when electricity fails orwhen a battery has been removed.

H. Resources are the things needed toget a job done, such as tools andmachines, materials, information,energy, people, capital, and time.Energy transformed into power isused for all technological activities.For example, a battery providesenergy to power a flashlight bulb.

I. Tools are used to design, make,use, and assess technology. Thereare many kinds of tools that are usedwhen designing, such as paper, pencils,and rulers or programs speciallydeveloped for computers.

J. Materials have many differentproperties. For example wood, stone,metal, glass, and concrete are hard;leather, paper, and some metals can bebent; and glass and some plastics aretransparent. The properties of a specificmaterial determine whether it issuitable for a given application.

K. Tools and machines extend humancapabilities, such as holding, lifting,carrying, fastening, separating,and computing. The use of toolsand machines, such as shears, clamps,


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vises, carts, drills, saws, and computersmakes it possible for people toaccomplish more tasks.

L. Requirements are the limits todesigning or making a productor system. For example, it is oftenimpossible to make a product in acertain way because of the costs ofmaterials or because of time con-straints, such as needing the productto be made more quickly than ispossible with the method in question.These limits are considered inmaking decisions about designingand making a product.




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This example uses thebicycle to help studentsdevelop an understandingof the various aspects ofsystems thinking.Students explore thevarious components of abicycle and begin todiscover how they worktogether. The teacherleads the students inmaking connectionsbetween their discussionand prior classes. Thestudents explore andwork with gears,sprockets, and chains andare given opportunitiesto tie togetherconceptual ideas learnedin technology and scienceclasses. [This examplehighlights elements ofGrades 3-5 STL standards2, 3, 5, and 18.]

Mrs. N’s fourth-grade class is exploring how various parts of a system worktogether. She chose the bicycle as an appropriate system because childrenare familiar with it, and her students had recently learned in a social studiesand technology unit that people all over the world rely on bicycles for theirtransportation needs. The students also had learned in their technology labthat other modes of transportation consume scarce resources and pollute theenvironment. Mrs. N brought her bicycle in and asked the class to explainhow it worked. Bob volunteered that you just get on the bicycle and ride.

Caitlin says, “Well, you are pedaling, and that makes the wheels go.”

“But if you don’t steer, you’ll crash or tip over,” Alice adds.

Pointing to the bicycle, Mrs. N restates the children’s comments by observingthat there are really several things happening: the rider is pedaling and steering,the wheels are turning, and the bicycle is moving.

Mrs. N then uses this explanation to introduce how many systems operate. Thereis input — in this case, energy coming from the rider pedaling the bicycle; aprocess, or something happening — pedals making the wheels turn; output —the bicycle moving; and a feedback loop — the rider observing that the bicycleis moving in the direction and speed that is desired.

After discussing the systems and experimenting with the bicycle, Jeromesuggests, “Let’s call this pedaling system the power system of the bicycle.”

“Great idea. Is anything else happening?” Mrs. N asks.

“Well, you have to steer,” Jamie says.

“Would you consider steering to be a system also?” Mrs. N asks. Alice thinksfor a moment and then answers in the affirmative. “What else?” she asks.

“You have to brake,” Jamie notes.

“Would you consider the brakes to be a system also?” Mrs. N asks. Aftercontemplating the question, Jamie decides that the input is the brake lever,the process is the brake pads acting on the wheels, and the output is slowingdown or stopping.

“It would appear, then, that a technological system might be made up ofseveral subsystems,” Mrs. N concludes. “In the case of the bicycle, thereis a power system, steering system, and braking system.”

“Thinking about the unit we studied last week on machines, do you observeany simple machines in the bicycle?” Mrs. N asks.

“It has wheels and axles,” Megan says.

“The chain sprocket is like a wheel too, and there is a pulley and a lever,”Kendall says.

Tomorrow, Mrs. N will help the children discover the relationship between speedand the forces that produce rotation as they experiment with pedaling andshifting the upside-down bicycle. Although the students aren’t ready yet formath calculations, Mrs. N plans to have them develop simple charts to depictthe relationships.

Gears, sprockets, and chains will also tie the technology and science unitstogether. Some of the students had already experimented with gears andchains by using the constructive building sets during their open discovery time.

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After developing a general under-standing of the core concepts oftechnology in the prior grades,students now can investigate thesetopics and their interrelationships

in greater depth. Many aspects of thedevelopment and use of technology dealwith these systems, resources, requirements,optimization and trade-offs, processes, andcontrols. Understanding these main ideaswill provide a strong foundation for conceptdevelopment, application, and transfer oftechnological knowledge in later years.

Students should continue to explore andlearn more details about systems, such asthe fact that they can take many forms andthat systems may have numerous sub-systems. Students might investigate, forexample, how automated production linesfunction as a subsystem of the manufac-turing system. Simple and complex systemsare a vital part of students’ lives. Just as thestudents have organs that will not functionapart from their bodies, the parts andsubsystems of a technological system willnot work properly unless the system iscomplete. If, for example, a systemcontrolling traffic lights were to suddenlymalfunction and cause traffic lights to getout of sequence, the result could be a majortraffic jam and many irate citizens.

Most people find it easier to understand howtechnology works if they see it as a systemcomprised of connected parts. A new coreidea for students at this grade level is systemsthinking. Systems thinking is a practice thatfocuses on the analysis and design of thewhole system as distinct from its many parts.Students should learn to look at a problemin its entirety by taking into account allpossible requirements and trade-offs. Prior tothis level, students have tended to

concentrate on the parts that make up thewhole. This shift in focus can be difficult,requiring many opportunities for students todevelop understanding. Teachers shouldapproach this technique as an introductionto future work in higher grade levels.

Experiences working with different types oftechnologies and processes help students learnhow devices work, as well as how to fix themwhen they break. This information is used indetermining the cause of a malfunction,maintaining products and systems, andmanaging various aspects of technologicaldevelopment. Understanding variousprocesses requires knowing the context inwhich a particular process should be used andwhen it is needed. Therefore, students shouldhave varied opportunities to use manyresources, requirements, and processes inorder to experience how trade-offs andfeedback systems affect results. Students needto learn how to determine if a product,service, or system conforms to specificationsand tolerances required by a design.

In order to recognize the core conceptsof technology, students in Grades 6-8should learn that

M. Technological systems includeinput, processes, output, and,at times, feedback. The input consistsof the resources that flow into a techno-logical system. The process is thesystematic sequence of actions thatcombines resources to produce anoutput — encoding, reproducing,designing, or propagating, for example.The output is the end result, whichcan have either a positive or negativeimpact. Feedback is informationused to monitor or control a system.A system often includes a component

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that permits revising or refining thesystem when the feedback informationsuggests such action. For example, thefuel level indicator of a car is a feedbacksystem that lets the user know when thesystem needs additional fuel.

N. Systems thinking involvesconsidering how every part relatesto others. Systems are used in anumber of ways in technology.Systems also appear in many aspectsof daily life, such as solar systems,political systems, civil systems, andtechnological systems. Analyzing asystem is done in terms of itsindividual parts or in terms of thewhole system and how it interactswith or relates to other systems.For example, discussing a computersystem may involve the particularparts of a single computer, or it mayinclude the entire computer network.In contrast, discussing the solarsystem may involve listing the planets,stars, and other celestial bodies, or itmay be discussed by comparing oursolar system to other solar systems inthe universe.

O. An open-loop system has nofeedback path and requires humanintervention, while a closed-loopsystem uses feedback. An exampleof an open-loop system is a micro-wave oven that requires a person todetermine if the food has been heatedto the required temperature. Anexample of a closed-loop system is theheating system in a home, which has athermostat to provide feedback whenit needs to be turned on and off.

P. Technological systems can beconnected to one another. Systemscan be connected with the output ofone system being the input to thenext system. Sometimes the connec-tion provides control of one systemover another system.

Q. Malfunctions of any part of asystem may affect the functionand quality of the system. Whenpart of a system breaks or functionsimproperly, the results can range froma nuisance to a disaster.

R. Requirements are the parametersplaced on the development ofa product or system. Theseparameters are often referredto as criteria or constraints.

S. Trade-off is a decision processrecognizing the need for carefulcompromises among competingfactors. For example, a comparisonmay be made between increasing thetakeoff power of a spacecraft and usinglightweight materials. The increasedpower may result in larger engines,which may be heavier, while the use ofthe newly developed materials mayoffset weight concerns. When trade-offsare made, there is a choice or exchangefor one quality or thing in favor ofanother.

T. Different technologies involvedifferent sets of processes. Forexample, data processing includesdesigning, summarizing, storing,retrieving, reproducing, evaluating,and communicating, while theprocesses of construction includedesigning, developing, evaluating,

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making and producing, marketing, andmanaging.

U. Maintenance is the process ofinspecting and servicing a productor system on a regular basis inorder for it to continue functioningproperly, to extend its life, or toupgrade its capability. All techno-logical systems will eventually fail.Maintenance reduces the possibility offailing earlier. If maintenance is notdone, failure is certain. The rate offailure depends on such factors as howcomplicated the system is, what kindsof conditions it must operate in, andhow well it was originally built.

V. Controls are mechanisms orparticular steps that people performusing information about the systemthat causes systems to change.The essence of a control mechanismis comparing information about whatis happening to what is desired andthen adjusting devices or systems tomake the desired outcomes more likely.For example, a microprocessor may beused to control the performance of amicrowave or traditional oven in cook-ing food to a desired temperature.

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material and space, affects the use of manytechnologies.

Students should learn that the processes oftechnology do not always happen in a linearorder. For example, prototypes, which areoften made as part of the design process, areused to help assess the quality of a designbefore the product or system is actuallymade and used. Likewise, students need tounderstand that new innovations areseldom ready for market. Once innovationshave been designed, they must be testedand prepared for future use. Because ofrequirements — capital, timing, demand,and production problems, for example —not all technologies make it to market. Thelife cycle of a product (or system) includesthe processes from concept to eventualwithdrawal from the marketplace. Someproduct life cycles are quite long whileothers may be very short.

Optimization and trade-offs are topics thatrequire more time and effort for students todevelop an understanding of theirimportance in technological development.Students should have opportunities to usesimulation or mathematical modeling, bothof which are critical to the success ofdeveloping an optimum design. If amathematical model is not possible, thenstudents will have to rely on their personalexperience and use of physical models.Students will need to recognize thelimitations of physical models and the limitstheir use imposes on being able to makevarious adjustments. Likewise, studentsneed repeated exposure in determiningtrade-offs because this important principlewill be encountered in many areas ofscience, in addition to technology.


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9-12 By the time students enter highschool, they should be familiar withthe core concepts of technology. Atthis level they can begin to analyzehow those concepts interact in issues

that affect them, their community, and theworld. Such cross-theme topics as howresources can be sustained and howresources are related to requirements oroptimization considerations should bediscussed and explored in great detail.

Students should focus on the concepts ofsystems analysis, stability of systems, andcontrol systems. They should recognize thatthe order in which processes are used isvariable and that new technologies are oftencreated out of existing ones. The marketingof these new technologies has a direct effecton future developments and innovations.

Students need to shift from focusing onhow the development of technology affectsthem locally to a broader, global outlook.The use of systems thinking requiresstudents to examine all aspects of aproblem, such as its criteria, constraints,benefits, and consequences. Using systemsthinking helps students to determine if thedevelopment of a particular system is worththe effort and cost, and to determine thebest approach. Resources can also beexamined from a global perspective byexploring the sustainability of the Earth’sresources. The management of work andresources is a major factor in the success ofthe commercial applications of productsand systems. Poor management can lead toexcessive costs, poor quality, andinefficiency. Good management helpsensure that processes and resources operateeffectively and efficiently. The use ofschedules, in addition to the allocation of

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Finally, the study of controls involvessimple as well as complex systems. The human body includes controls thatdetermine breathing, circulation, anddigestion. These systems in nature aremuch more complicated and sophisticatedthan the most advanced human-madecontrol systems. Reliability, feedback,and the basic function of a control devicedetermine how efficient and beneficial itproves to be. Therefore, students needexposure to an array of experiencesand activities which focus on designingand working with control systems.

In order to recognize the core conceptsof technology, students in Grades 9-12should learn that

W. Systems thinking applies logicand creativity with appropriatecompromises in complex real-lifeproblems. It uses simulation andmathematical modeling to identifyconflicting considerations beforethe entire system is developed.

X. Systems, which are the buildingblocks of technology, are embeddedwithin larger technological, social,and environmental systems. Forexample, a food processor is a systemmade up of components and sub-systems. At the same time, a foodprocessor is only one component ina larger food preparation system that,in turn, is a component in a largerhome system.

Y. The stability of a technologicalsystem is influenced by all of thecomponents in the system, especiallythose in the feedback loop. Cruisecontrol in an automobile, for example,automatically detects and controls the

speed of the car. Some delay infeedback or in functioning cancause a cycle to develop in a system.

Z. Selecting resources involves trade-offs between competing values, suchas availability, cost, desirability, andwaste. Technological developmentinvolves decisions about whichresources can and should be used.For example, some homes are veryenergy efficient, while others con-sume large amounts of energy.

AA. Requirements involve theidentification of the criteria andconstraints of a product or systemand the determination of how theyaffect the final design and develop-ment. Sometimes requirements canbe constraints, criteria, or both.Balancing the two is the optimum.

BB. Optimization is an ongoing processor methodology of designing ormaking a product and is dependenton criteria and constraints. Optimiza-tion is used for a specific design purposeto enhance or to make small gains indesirable characteristics. An optimumdesign is most possible when a mathe-matical model can be developed so thatvariations may be tested.

CC. New technologies create newprocesses. The development ofthe computer has led to many newprocesses, such as the development ofsilicon chips, which led to smaller-sized components.

DD. Quality control is a planned processto ensure that a product, service, orsystem meets established criteria.It is concerned with how well a




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product, service, or system conformsto specifications and tolerancesrequired by the design. For example,a set of rigorous internationalstandards (ISO 9000) has beenestablished to help companiessystematically increase the qualityof their products and operations.

EE. Management is the process ofplanning, organizing, and con-trolling work. Management issometimes called getting work donethrough other people. Teamwork,responsibility, and interpersonaldynamics play a significant role inthe development and productionof technological products.

FF. Complex systems have many layersof controls and feedback loops toprovide information. Controls donot always succeed or work perfectly.The more parts and connections ina system, the more likely it is thatsomething may not work properly;therefore, human intervention maybe necessary at some point.


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The products of technology are used inevery field of study. Technologicalprogress often sparks advances andsometimes can even create a wholenew field of study. For example, the

telescope made possible the era of modernastronomy, and the movie camera led to awhole new art form. Conversely, tech-nology borrows from and is influenced bymany other areas. There may be no field ofstudy as intimately connected with so manyother fields as technology.

Technology has its own unique contentbase with specific concepts and principlesthat set it apart from these other fields.Technologies are intimately related, such asthe manufacturing used to produce gener-ators and motors that are then used inenergy and power technology. Becausetechnology cannot really be appreciatedin isolation, students need to understandthat these interrelationships exist and togain an appreciation for how the relation-ships shape technology.

Standard 3 discusses various opportunitiesto connect ideas and procedures thatdemonstrate how technologies are inter-related and combined. This standard alsoaddresses how new products and systemsbuild on previous inventions and inno-vations, while demonstrating howknowledge acquired in one setting canbe applied in another. For example,understanding how to mass-produce abiological product developed in a researchlaboratory is essential to the building of abiotechnology company. The biotech-

nology industry has learned that there isa vast difference in engineering a productin a laboratory and mass-producing it forcustomers. Research about the variousefforts addressing production problemsassociated with bioprocesses is proving to be vital.

Science and technology are like conjoinedtwins. While they have separate identities,they must remain inextricably connected inorder to survive. Science provides theknowledge about the natural world thatunderlies most technological productstoday. In return, technology providesscience with the tools needed to explore theworld. The two fields have manysimilarities, such as the development ofcodified sets of rules and reliance upontesting of theories in science and of designsin technology. The fundamental differencebetween them is that science seeks tounderstand a universe that already exists,while technology is creating a universe thathas existed only in the minds of inventors.

Mathematics and technology have a similarbut more distant relationship. Mathematicsoffers a language with which to expressrelationships in science and technology andprovides useful analytical tools for scientistsand engineers. Technological innovations,such as the computer, can stimulate progressin mathematics, while mathematicalinventions, such as numerical analysistheories, can lead to improved technologies.

Other fields of study also have relationshipswith technology. The designers of bridges,

Students will develop an understanding of therelationships among technologies and the connectionsbetween technology and other fields of study.



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dams, and buildings are often influenced byart forms. In turn, technology affects thehumanities, often quite profoundly, withinventions that offer new capabilities andapproaches. For example, the synthesizerand the computer have aided in thecomposition and performance of music,while computer databases have revolution-ized research in the social sciences.


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Learning becomes more meaningfulwhen students can connect knowledgegained in the classroom to theireveryday experiences. The study oftechnology provides many oppor-

tunities to make such connections. Asstudents establish these connections early intheir education, they will begin to understandhow technology influences their daily life.

Because the study of technology hasnumerous relationships with other areas ofthe K-12 curriculum, it is particularlyimportant to introduce technology at thislevel. Teachers can focus on the commonground between technology and othersubjects (e.g., science, mathematics, socialstudies, language arts, health, physicaleducation, music, and art).

One effective method is to use themes fromfamiliar literature, such as Richard Scarry’sHow Things Work, Charlotte’s Web, The ThreeLittle Pigs, or Jack and the Beanstalk, to makeconnections with the study of technology.For example, E.B. White’s novel, Charlotte’sWeb, could offer an opportunity to learnabout such connections.

Once the book is read in class, studentscould use photographs, drawings, or actualspider webs to examine and describe thedesign of various webs. They could copy aparticular design using materials, such asyarn, string, or strips of construction paperand then decide which materials wereeasiest to use, best suited for the design, orprovided the best results. Classroomdiscussions about the novel could provideopportunities for students to buildconnections between science and the studyof technology: How do spiders make webs?How do they use their webs? Why are thesmall strands in webs so strong? How do

humans apply similar designs (nets, forexample)? The children’s classic, The ThreeLittle Pigs, could provide the inspiration forstudents to build models of each house andthen test them for strength and durability.By understanding which structure is thebest for the pigs, even very young studentsshould grasp concepts such as the propertiesof materials, construction techniques,measurement, and scale.

Through activities in Grades K-2, studentswill have the opportunity to explore,discover, and make connections betweentechnological studies and other fields ofstudy — an important component in theprocess of learning and understandingabout the value of technology to societyand culture. Through the combinedinvestigation of these fields of study,students will develop a well-roundedknowledge base.

In order to appreciate the relationshipsamong technologies, as well as withother fields of study, students inGrades K-2 should learn that

A. The study of technology uses manyof the same ideas and skills as othersubjects. For example, many ideaslearned in mathematics are also used inthe study of technology, such as basicrules of numbers and using numbersto represent measurements. The useof ideas or skills learned in the studyof technology, such as measuring andbuilding an object, may be used tobuild a representation of data collectedduring mathematics instruction.




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The Nature of Technology3C H A P T E R


This example uses thestory line of Stuart Little,by E. B. White, to helpstudents develop anunderstanding of howthe study of technologyrelates to other fieldsof study and vice versa.The students develop abasic understanding ofhow things work andhow the topics they learnin school are related.[This example highlightssome elements of GradesK-2 STL standards 1,2, 3,10, 11, and 20.]

To provide continuity throughout the school year, Ms. L, a second-gradeteacher, chose to use Stuart Little by E. B. White as the basis for many of herclassroom activities. By using this popular children’s story, she was able tointroduce her students to many concepts in the study of technology, as wellas other subject areas.

While she was reading the book to the students, they decided the Littlefamily needed a new home, one that would fit Stuart and his family.Ms. L used this opportunity to discuss with the class the differencesbetween fundamental needs (shelter, food, and clothing) and wants.

Working in teams, the students selected different rooms that they wouldbuild for the Little home. Each team selected a cardboard box that was theappropriate size and shape for the room that they were developing. Usingthe materials provided, the students constructed doors, windows, stairs, andfurniture for the Littles. Next they chose colors and materials to decoratetheir particular room, and with the aid of their teacher, they used simpleelectrical devices to wire their model house for lights.

When they read about the Big Cat coming around, the students, withthe guidance of Ms. L, applied what they had learned about safety andprotection to develop a security system. Using aluminum foil, cards, wire,lights, and buzzers, they designed and assembled an early warning cat-alarmsystem that would alert the Little family when the Big Cat stepped ontothe porch.

Later in the year, the students planned a local trip to the zoo for the Littlefamily. They built different vehicles for the family’s travel and used maps todetermine where the zoo was located, how far they would have to travel,and how long it would take to get there.

In the spring, the students planned a trip to China for the Little family.They located China on a map and determined how far away it was. They alsolearned about Chinese customs, and the value of U.S. money in China, andeven constructed passports so the Littles could get through customs.

Helping Out Stuart Little

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As a result of their experiences inGrades 3-5, students will have anunderstanding of and anappreciation for many possiblerelationships that exist among

technologies and between the study oftechnology and other fields of study.Students then need to develop theconfidence to apply these relationshipsto help them construct a greater under-standing of how things work, how thedesigns of many technologies use naturalphenomena, and how technologies affectthe development of other technologies.

Various technologies are often combined inthe development of new products andmachines. Mechanical parts, such assprings, wheels, belts, gears, levers, and camand cranks, for instance, are used to makesimple machines that in turn are combinedto produce more complex machines andsystems. The combination of technologiesis not always obvious. It is hard to see thecomponents that make up a microwaveoven or a high-powered microscope.However, the combinations of technologiesare more obvious in other devices — aroller coaster, for example.

Although technology is a human enterprisewith a content and history of its own, it isinterdependent with other fields of study.By creating laboratory-classroomenvironments where this interdependency ishighlighted, teachers can increase theopportunities for ideas to flow naturallyfrom lessons in one subject to lessons inanother. For example, rockets and spacefascinate many children and offer a naturalopportunity for teachers to bring togetherseveral fields of study. Students could beginby studying about the moon’s surface and

movement in their science lessons. Next,they could take a historical look at thedevelopment of various rockets. Thestudents could then design a rocket andbuild a model to test their design. Theycould apply their estimation skills learnedin a prior mathematics lesson to determinehow far their rockets could fly. Finally, theycould write a creative paper describing whatit would be like to be an astronaut travelingin space. By seeing these connections madein the classroom, students would gain aclearer understanding of why they need tolearn certain concepts and principles.

In order to appreciate the relationshipsamong technologies, as well as withother fields of study, students inGrades 3-5 should learn that

B. Technologies are often combined.For example, an escalator uses thewheel and axle, inclined plane, pulley,gears, belts, and an electric motor tomove people from one level toanother.

C. Various relationships exist betweentechnology and other fields ofstudy. For example, the studyof technology includes the studyof natural scientific laws, systems,design, modeling, trade-offs, and sideeffects. These topics are also exploredand studied in science and mathe-matics. Likewise, numerous fieldsof study share the common conceptsof communication, scale, constancy,and change.




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Through the study of technology,students in Grades 6-8 begin todiscover the answer to the perennialquestion, “When am I ever going to usethis knowledge?” The study of

technologyin the middle-level grades helps studentsrecognize relationships among differenttopics in technology, make connectionsacross fields of study, and integrate ideasand activities in a structured setting.

For example, learning about aviationtechnology could involve the study of keytechnological design and performancecharacteristics of planes and helicopters,mathematical calculations used for altitudesand airwave movement, and technicaldocumentation of the history of aviationand scientific principles of flight. Thisinformation could help students makeconnections across various subjects ordisciplines, while providing opportunitiesfor them to expand their knowledgethrough making, testing, and exploringtheir designs in the technological studieslaboratory-classroom.

Students need various opportunities toexplore how technological ideas, processes,products, and systems are interconnected.For example, in the healthcare systemtechnological devices that monitor theheart, blood pressure, and breathing aredependent on other technological devices,software, and hardware in order to performproperly. In the home, heating systems aredependent upon a thermostat system. Ifone aspect of a system is not functioningproperly, the entire system may mal-function or break down. Students also canstudy relationships within technology byexploring the role of various occupations,such as engineering.

The free sharing of processes and tech-niques has generally been limited to thefederal government. Because of economicinterests, businesses and industry do nottypically give ideas away. Rather, they relyon patents to protect ideas so that otherscannot copy them without permission.The sharing of technological knowledgeis viewed as a means to improve the qualityof life and bolster the country’s competi-tiveness in the global marketplace. Forexample, the ideas developed in geneticengineering, first used in plants in spaceprogram research, are now being transferredto research and new developments involv-ing human tissue.

Students should be encouraged to lookfor relationships between the study oftechnology and other fields of study. Theyshould understand that knowledge gainedin one field of study could be applied toanother. Such experiences will enablestudents in Grades 6-8 to develop systemsthinking by understanding how parts worktogether to form the whole.

In order to appreciate the relationshipsamong technologies, as well as withother fields of study, students inGrades 6-8 should learn that

D. Technological systems often interactwith one another. In automatedmanufacturing, for example, computersystems interact with manufacturingsystems.

E. A product, system, or environmentdeveloped for one setting may beapplied to another setting. Forexample, a computerized pump based onbiological laboratory design for the MarsViking space probe was modified for use


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as an insulin delivery mechanism thatprovides diabetics with an automatic andprecise way to control blood sugar.

F. Knowledge gained from other fieldsof study has a direct effect on thedevelopment of technologicalproducts and systems. Studying thehistory of technology provides peoplewith a way to learn from the successesand failures of their predecessors. Inaddition, skills learned from other fieldsof study enhance technologicaldevelopments. For example, skillslearned in language arts are used inmaking design presentations. Theconcepts and principles of drawing areused in designing and rendering

examples of technological products andsystems. Scientific and mathematicalknowledge and principles influence thedesign, production, and operation oftechnological systems. Science concepts,such as Ohm’s Law, aerodynamicprinciples, and the periodic table ofelements, are used in the developmentof new materials and designs.Mathematical concepts, such as the useof measurement, symbols, estimation,accuracy, and the idea of scaling andproportion are key to developing aproduct or system and being able tocommunicate design dimensions andproper function.




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At the 9-12 grade level, students willincrease their understanding oftechnology to include an in-depthunderstanding of its relationshipsand connections. Developing an

appreciation for the vast relationships intechnology will help students begin tounderstand how future developments andsociety’s well-being is dependent on howwell technology is understood, developed,used, and restricted.

The sharing of the development andproduction of an invention (a new productor system) or innovation (an improvementof an existing product or system) expandsthe knowledge base of technology. Thisnew knowledge base will have a direct effecton the ability of people to develop andproduce more technologies, which isreferred to as technology transfer.Technology transfer, or spin-offs, is anexciting concept for students. Studentsneed to have various opportunities toinvestigate how technology transferhappens within a technology, amongtechnologies, and across other fields ofstudy. They also need to study theeconomic benefits of technology transfer.By using various resources to gatherinformation on technology transfer, forexample, students can prepare apresentation that demonstrates howtechnology is transferable, its potential fornew applications, and its benefits.

In the highly competitive world of business,obtaining patents is critical. Patents aredesigned to protect the financial potentialof an idea, invention, or innovation byprohibiting others from copying theprocesses and final products unless theyprovide financial compensation to thedeveloper, or unless they wait until a given

period of time has passed. In contrast,scientific knowledge is often communicatedopenly to the public through presentationsat professional meetings and publications inscientific journals.

Science, mathematics, engineering,language arts, health-related fields, fine andperforming arts, and social studies offerdirect connections to technology content.Teachers in these fields of study can includethe use of tools, artifacts, resources, simula-tions, and computer models to better illus-trate the knowledge or concepts they areteaching. Likewise, students in a technologylaboratory-classroom can use content fromother fields of study when studying abouttechnology.

For instance, when students in a physicaleducation class are discussing ergonomics(the study of the body as it relates todesign), they could build on experiencesby applying ergonomic principles in theirtechnology laboratory-classroom. Theycould then relate information learned intheir physical education class about stressesapplied to the body, combined withknowledge from science and mathematicsdealing with the forces of motion, to designa model of an amusem*nt park ride orfunctional furniture. Connecting andsynthesizing technological knowledge withother fields of study can provide valuableinformation for students as they learn moreabout the world around them.

In order to appreciate the relationshipsamong technologies, as well as withother fields of study, students inGrades 9-12 should learn that

G. Technology transfer occurs whena new user applies an existinginnovation developed for one


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purpose in a different function.Aerospace composite materials, forinstance, were used to design anadvanced wheelchair that proved to belightweight and easy to maneuver.

H. Technological innovation oftenresults when ideas, knowledge,or skills are shared within a tech-nology, among technologies,or across other fields. The sharingof knowledge about irrigation tech-niques, for instance, can enabledeveloping countries to try out newideas and make innovative adjust-ments to their current systems toimprove the delivery of water.

I. Technological ideas are sometimesprotected through the processof patenting. The protection of acreative idea is central to the sharingof technological knowledge. Mostoften an idea is protected through thelong and tedious process of obtaininga patent. The purpose of a patent isto safeguard the investment of theinventor or creator and to give creditwhere and when it is due.

J. Technological progress promotesthe advancement of science andmathematics. Likewise, progress inscience and mathematics leads toadvances in technology. The develop-ment of binary language, a digitallanguage made up solely of ones andzeros; the invention of the transistor, adevice designed to replace the vacuumtube; and the use of integrated cir-cuits, a collection of millions ofminiature transistors, helped spawn anew generation of machines, fromlaptop computers and compact disc

players to digital television. Themathematical and scientific ideasapplied in the development of thesedigital devices promoted furtherdevelopments that resulted in newtools, such as computer modeling.These tools, in turn, are used toexplore new scientific and mathe-matical ideas, thereby spawningadditional discoveries.




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The Nature of Technology3C H A P T E R


This example demon-strates how collaborationand coordination of cur-riculum allows studentsto make connections andunderstand the relation-ships of the study oftechnology with otherfields. [This examplehighlights some elementsof Grades 9-12 STLstandards 1, 3, 11, 12,and 14.]

The science teacher, Mr. C, and the technology teacher, Ms. M, workedtogether to develop a unit concerning joints, tendons, muscles, andprosthetic devices.

In their science class, students learned how these different body partsfunction by using a human skeleton and related pictures to identify eachpart of the body.

In their technology class, the students learned about the development ofprosthetic devices from a historical standpoint. The students then dividedinto groups to fabricate a prosthesis for one of their own hands. Each groupreceived a poster board, string, elastic strips, straws, glue, and a utilityknife. The criteria and constraints stated that the hand must be able to pickup a table tennis ball, pick up a piece of paper lying flat on a table top, dial a rotary phone, and be displayed in a stand-alone presentation. Aftera couple of class periods, the students tested their “hands” and determinedif they met the criteria and constraints.

As a result of the learning experiences in both classes, students developed aclear understanding of the unique functions of joints, tendons, and muscles,in addition to how various technologies were used in the development andoperation of prosthetic devices that mimic body functions.

A Hands-On Experience

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Technology and Society4Students will develop anunderstanding of the cultural,social, economic, and politicaleffects of technology. p. 57

Students will develop anunderstanding of the effectsof technology on theenvironment. p. 65

Students will develop anunderstanding of the roleof society in the developmentand use of technology. p. 73

Students will develop anunderstanding of the influenceof technology on history. p. 79






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To a large degree, a society will determine the wants and needs

that the use of technology seeks to address. This in turn shapes

the paths that technological development will take. The physical

environment, too, can play a role by creating constraints or

causing certain needs. The initial development of the steam

engine, for instance, was driven by a need to pump water out

of coal mines, and the coal mines were needed because most of

the wood in British forests had already been burned for fuel.

Conversely, technology affects both society and the environ-

ment. Technology has been called “the engine of history” for

the way in which its use drives changes in society; it influences

cultural patterns, political movements, local and global

economies, and everyday life. And, as technology has grown to

meet the demands of the world’s billions of people, its power

over the environment has grown as well, to the point where its

use has the potential both to improve or to cause great damage

to the environment.

In general, the effects of society on technology and technology

on society go hand in hand, so that the two march together

toward the future. The invention of the personal computer,

for example, was driven by the interest of a small number of

hobbyists. Once the computer was invented, people in the

business world and general population began to find uses

for it. This sparked more development, which made it

useful for greater numbers of people, whose interest drove

further development, and so on, in an ever-accelerating

spiral of adoption and development.

This chapter deals with how the use of technology affects society

and the environment, as well as how society influences the

development of technology, and how technology has changed

and evolved over the course of human history.

To be understood properly,

technology must be put

into a social, cultural,

and environmental context.

4 Technology and Society

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Technology and Society4C H A P T E R



In many ways, technology defines asociety or an era. This delineation isreflected in the naming of time periodsto reflect the respective technologicalmilieus: Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron

Age, Industrial Age, Information Age, andso forth. Technology shapes the environ-ment in which people live, and over thecourse of time, it has become anincreasingly larger part of people’s lives.Meanwhile, the natural components of theenvironment have become correspondinglysmaller. Most people in our country live inhouses or apartments, work and shop inlarge buildings, move about in vehicles, eatprepared foods, drink water from a publicsystem, and rely on newspapers, radio,television, and the Internet for much oftheir communication. People occupy atechnological world.

Many of technology’s effects on society arewidely regarded as desirable. Advances inmedicine and public health have enabledpeople to live longer, healthier lives whileeradicating diseases that once preventedmany children from living to adulthood.Public water and sewer systems haveprovided water to remote areas andremoved contaminants. Improvedtransportation and communication systemshave brought the world closer together, andautomated manufacturing systems haveallowed the average citizen to own cars,televisions, computers, and a host of otherconsumer goods.

Other effects of technology are sometimesregarded as less desirable. Traditional waysof life have been displaced by technologicaldevelopment. This trend tends to magnifythe inequalities among peoples and amongsocieties by creating a situation in which aminority of people and groups control anduse a majority of the world’s resources. Asthe pace of technological change continuesto increase, questions arise as to whethersociety’s political and social norms caneffectively keep up with the changes.

Such factors dealing with the use oftechnology make it important thatdecisions be made with care about anyparticular product or system. For instance,the emerging technology of genetic engi-neering has great potential for improvingagriculture and the treatment of disease, it carries a number of concerns and ethicalquandaries as well. In a democratic societysuch as ours, individual citizens need to beable to make responsible, informed deci-sions about the development and use ofsuch technologies.

Students will develop an understanding of the cultural, social,economic, and political effects of technology.

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By the time they enter kindergarten,students have already been exposedto various home appliances, buildingtools, communication products, andtransportation vehicles. A natural

place for students to start learning abouttechnology is by having them reflect onhow they use such things. For example, ateacher might ask students to identifyproducts and systems they use and howthey use them (e.g., the refrigerator keepsfood cold, the microwave oven cooks food,and the television provides entertainment).

Through guided inquiries, observations,and discussions, students can also becomeaware of other forms of technology in theirlives, how they are used, and what makesthem effective. For example, students couldexplore what bell is used for recess and howthat bell is different from the bell used in afire drill. Building an awareness of howtechnology is connected to each person’s lifeprovides a foundation for a later explorationof its effects.

Students should be encouraged to look atboth the positive and negative results of theuse of technology. Although products andsystems are generally designed to enhancelife and improve living conditions, theoutcome is not always positive. Laboratory-classroom activities can help studentsrecognize that when products do not workas planned, problems can be created.Likewise, students should look attechnologies that enhance life and improveliving conditions. For example, teacherscould encourage students to ask questionsto determine the positive and negativeeffects of artificial light. The students couldexamine how home, office, and streetlighting is used to illuminate dark

environments and provide protection andsecurity. They also could examine howdifferent kinds of light fixtures are usedin a variety of situations.

In order to recognize the changesin society caused by the use oftechnology, students in Grades K-2should learn that

A. The use of tools and machines canbe helpful or harmful. Scissors canbe used to cut paper, but they can alsocause injury. A wagon can be used tohaul toys, but if the wagon tips, thetoys will spill and may break.




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Students are eager to know about theworld around them — how thingswork, or why they work the way theydo. They ask questions, such as: Whydoes a plane fly, and how is it built?

How did early people measure the length ofsomething? How do escalators and elevatorswork? What makes a computer work theway it does? Learning how technologyinfluences or changes their lifestyles takestime and experience. Providing opport-unities for students to explore, askquestions, and use information resourcesallows them to begin to find answers to theirtechnology questions, which in turn willlead to more questions and more answers.As they explore and make connections,students begin to build a knowledgefoundation they will use later in solvingproblems and understanding the influenceof the use of technology on society.

For instance, students who have beenstudying pulleys and counterweights mightthen investigate how an elevator operates.After building a model of an elevator, theycould see how pulleys and counterweightswork to create a machine that can movepeople and goods up and down. From there,they could discuss how such machinesimprove the mobility of people and goodsand the effect that elevators have on thedesign and construction of buildings.

Students can consider the issuessurrounding transportation, land use,pollution control, and communication tobecome knowledgeable about the decisionsmade during their development. Inexamining how such decisions are made,students should recognize that the use oftechnology results in both expected andunexpected consequences. They might,

for instance, discuss landfills and how poordesign or construction has sometimes led tothe contamination of surrounding soil andwater. Through these exercises, studentswill learn that making sound decisionsdemands examining both the costs andbenefits of technological development.

In order to recognize the changesin society caused by the use oftechnology, students in Grades3-5 should learn that

B. When using technology, results canbe good or bad. These results mayaffect the individual, family, com-munity, or economy. An example of agood result is using air conditioning tohelp keep cool. However, during aheat wave, the overuse of air condi-tioning can result in a power outage,which can leave a community withoutelectricity. Ships transport oil, whichhelps people by supplying fuel forhomes, cars, and other things. Butwhen a ship wrecks and oil spills intothe ocean, the environment can sufferimmeasurably.

C. The use of technology can haveunintended consequences. Whena dam is built for the purpose ofsupplying water for a city, it can alsoprovide a habitat for plants and ani-mals uncommon to the area. At thesame time, covering a large area withwater can destroy native plants andanimals. Developers must decidewhether the product or system will behelpful, and if so, what the best planwill be to put it into use.




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In the middle-level grades, students willdiscuss how technology causes cultural,social, economical, and political changesin society, with an emphasis whereverpossible on how the use of technology

influences their own lives. For example,students could examine how technologyused in education has changed theirlearning environments. They also couldreflect on how their safety and comfort areenhanced by new products and systems inbuildings and classrooms. Likewise, stu-dents could determine how the use ofcertain technologies affects choices andattitudes of school personnel and thestudents themselves.

Students should understand that technologyitself is neither positive nor negative, but thatthe use of products and systems can haveboth desirable and undesirable consequences.When technologies work as intended, theconsequences can be desirable, such asproviding comfort from the elements,mitigating diseases, and using naturalresources more efficiently. Sometimes,however, the consequences are undesirable,such as loss of jobs, the loss of resources, orthe misuse of time. Some children, forinstance, spend many hours watchingtelevision or playing video games instead ofdoing their homework or exercising. Byinvestigating such issues, students will cometo understand the various roles of technologyand the value of its use in society. Forexample, students could be taught how thedevelopment of motion pictures led to thecreation of the movie industry, which in turnhas affected the economy, particularly insouthern California.

Understanding the effect that the use oftechnology has on cultural, social,

economical, political, and ethical issues isanother important concept. Exploring suchissues will provide students with opport-unities to consider principle concerns,employ critical questioning, and determinethe benefits and changes in society causedby the use of different technologies. Suchexploration will enhance their reasoning,logic, and critical thinking skills.

In order to recognize the changesin society caused by the use of tech-nology, students in Grades 6-8 shouldlearn that

D. The use of technology affects humansin various ways, including theirsafety, comfort, choices, and attitudesabout technology’s development anduse. People’s attitudes toward andknowledge about a product or system,along with their subsequent actions,vary greatly and are influenced by theirmoral, social, or political beliefs. Forexample, some might support theconstruction of a high-voltage electrictransmission line because it wouldprovide electricity to people in remoteareas, while others who live near thepath of the power line might notsupport it because of potential effectson their health and safety. Sometimespeople are well informed about aproduct or system, while at other timesthey have limited information to maketheir choices about whether a tech-nology should be developed or used.

E. Technology, by itself, is neither goodnor bad, but decisions about the useof products and systems can resultin desirable or undesirable conse-quences. For example, fossil fuelshave both desired and undesired




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consequences. While these fuels pro-vide a good source of energy, their usemay damage the environment.

F. The development and use oftechnology poses ethical issues.People often wonder whether the useof some technologies is ethicallyacceptable. For example, should weallow everyone to purchase a gun?

G. Economic, political, and culturalissues are influenced by thedevelopment and use of technology.For example, information technologysystems have been used to bothinform and influence society.Technology also affects the waypeople of different cultures live, the kind of work they do, andthe decisions they have to make.


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Students at this level will continue tostudy how the development of varioustechnologies affects cultures andsocieties in both subtle and obviousways. Working from this foundation,

students will learn that the changes causedby technology have been driven by thedesire to improve life, increase knowledge,and conquer time.

New technologies are often developedin response to an identified need or wantor a technological demand. But somenovel products and systems, such as someentertainment devices, medicines, andfoods, have emerged as a result of theapplication of new technological knowledgeor techniques. Students should explorethese emerging technologies and developthe skills to evaluate their impacts. Theyshould learn to reason and make decisionsbased on asking critical questions, not onthe basis of fear or misunderstandings. Thegoal is to equip them with the necessaryknowledge and the proper mental tools tobe able to examine technological issues andcome to their own conclusions in aresponsible, ethical manner.

A classroom activity might, for instance,have students explore the use anddevelopment of synthetic rubber and itsrelated products, such as nylon. Teacherscould guide students to recognize the variousdecisions and issues that were a part of thedevelopment process and the effects initiatedby world events. For example, the study ofWorld War II could provide an opportunityto discover why there was a need forsynthetic rubber to replace natural rubber.Due to the war, resources were limitedbecause of military needs, and naturalproducts were not readily available. Thus,

experimentation and new developmentsgrew out of urgent wartime needs.

Finally, students need to recognize the valueof transferring technological knowledgewithin and among cultures and societies.They should be able to point out how thetransfer of technology from one society toanother affects other cultures, societies,economies, and politics.

In order to recognize the changes insociety caused by the use of technology,students in Grades 9-12 should learn that

H. Changes caused by the use oftechnology can range from gradualto rapid and from subtle to obvious.Those changes have resulted in peoplehaving information overload, rapidadaptation or acceptance of short-lived relationships, and the need forinstant gratification. For example,when people listen to a classic albumor watch television on their high-techentertainment system, they are able toprogram segments of the album toplay in a certain sequence or watchtwo television programs at once whilethey preview the highlights of a thirdand record a fourth.

I. Making decisions about the use oftechnology involves weighing thetrade-offs between the positive andnegative effects. These decisions canhave lasting impacts, sometimes affect-ing living habits and cultural patternson a global scale. The construction anduse of the interstate system requireconsidering the benefits of providing asafe and quick mode of transportation,as well as the effects on the economyand society.




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J. Ethical considerations are importantin the development, selection, anduse of technologies. For example,medical advances for prolonging lifeand treating illness have triggeredconcerns about health care providersgiving more attention to the besttechnological solution than to humanvalues or needs. Questions about howmedical technologies should be used tosustain life and the related costs mustbe considered. High-tech medicine hastransformed the philosophy of doingeverything possible to prolong life intoa consideration that living longer maynot necessarily mean living better.

K. The transfer of a technology fromone society to another can causecultural, social, economic, andpolitical changes affecting bothsocieties to varying degrees. Sharingmethods to increase food productionand preservation can alter a country’sliving habits in significant ways. Forexample, the idea for developing flashfreezing, a method to freeze foods thatpreserves the flavor, appearance, andnutritional value, was based on howthe people of Labrador preserved theirfood. The resulting invention, frozenfood that is ready to heat and eat, hasconsiderably changed the living habitsand culture of many societies.


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This example involvesstudents learning aboutthe various issues raisedduring the developmentof a local airport site.Students are encouragedto consider all issuesand to look at how theuse of technology causescultural, social, economic,and political changes intheir own area. They areasked to work in collabo-ration with students in abiology class and to makea joint presentation oftheir findings. [Thisexample highlights someelements of Grades 9-12STL standards 4, 5, 6, 10,11, and 18.]

Students in Ms. T’s technology class were discussing the issuessurrounding the development of the new regional airport near theirschool. The students thought it would be a good idea to design a layoutof the airport and see how their plan compared with that of thedevelopers. Ms. T asked students to review aerial photos of a practicalsite, outline the area on a land plot book, and sketch a geographical mapof their proposed site.

The students soon discovered just how much the airport would affect theregion. Because of the amount of acreage needed, a state highway wouldneed to be rerouted, part of a creek bottom would need to be rechan-neled, and many farms would need to be bought. The students voicedconcern about the impact on the local economy, the environment, andpolitical issues, as well as the relocation of residents. After muchdiscussion, the class decided that a good science activity would involvestudying about wetlands preservation and the pollution that the airportcould bring to the area.

Mr. D’s biology class joined in on the project and began looking at theeffect of the proposed action on the various species of wetland animals.Additionally, the biology students designed a survey to send to theresidents near the site to obtain information concerning how the citizensfelt about the proposed airport project. In another activity, studentsparticipated in a field trip to a regional airport 50 miles from their siteand recorded sounds at varying distances from the airport. Mr. D thenasked the class to divide into groups and develop reports on thewetlands, resident life, noise pollution, and political issues.

After the two classes had worked independently for several weeks, thetechnology and biology students met jointly to share their work. Thetechnology group had completed a CAD layout based on proposed plansfor the airport, which included details of the terminal, runways, controltower, and support facilities. One group of students had completed a newland plot map to show the geographical changes the airport would createin the rural area. Another group had created a scale model of the airport,while yet another had designed a rerouting plan for the state highway.

The biology students presented a report on the wetlands supported byphotos, graphs, and charts of the animals, which would be endangered bythe airport development project. Students who had conducted the surveyabout the impact of the airport on residents’ lifestyles presented anotherreport. Yet another group attended local hearings and prepared a reportthat outlined the political issues of the proposed airport. The final reportcontained a probability study of noise pollution on the surrounding area.

Because the information developed by the two classes was so significant,the teachers encouraged the students to combine their findings into acomprehensive impact study that could be presented to the RegionalEconomic Development Council. This project provided a firsthandexperience for the students to observe how technological activities canaffect society and how society can affect the development of technologicalactivities. Also, the activity represented a practical problem of meetinghuman needs in relation to cultural and economic consequences.

Students Plan New Airport Site

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As with its influences on society, theimpact of the use of technology onthe environment can be positive ornegative. Technology can clean ariver or pollute it; it can clear skies

or darken them. As the use of technologyhas grown, so too, has its potential to affectthe environment — a hundred million carshave an effect that a hundred do not. It istherefore essential that all decisions aboutthe use of technology be made with theenvironment in mind.

Managing resources through conservationand recycling is one of the best ways to usetechnology to protect the environment.The entire lifecycle of a product must betaken into account before the product iscreated, from the materials and processesused in its production to its eventualdisposal. Optimizing a technologicalprocess can make sense bothenvironmentally and economically becauseoptimization minimizes waste, maximizesrecycling, and conserves resources.

Increasingly, engineers have incorporatedsuch environmental responsiveness intotheir designs. Many new chemical-processing technologies, for instance,have been engineered to produce less waste,as well as waste that is less toxic. Othertechnologies have been created to cleaneffluents before they are dumped intothe surrounding water or air. Still othershave been designed to incorporate wastematerials, which would normally end upin landfills, into new products.

Yet, the careless use of technology hascreated negative effects through waste andby-products — the toxic sludge from achemical plant, for example, or theemissions from automobiles. The use oftechnology also may cause damage simplyby its presence, as when the habitat of anendangered species is displaced by a dam-created lake. There is usually littleeconomic incentive for a company or otherentity to prevent such damage from itsproducts because the cost of the destructionis spread among the millions of peopleaffected by it, while the cost of avoidingthat damage would be borne by thecompany alone. Thus, a society usuallycreates alternate incentives via the politicalsystem and through the use of laws,regulations, and court decisions. If citizensare to participate effectively in this politicalprocess, they need to be educated about theenvironmental effects of technology.

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Students will develop an understanding ofthe effects of technology on the environment.



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At this age, children have only a basicknowledge of the world aroundthem. Their main focus is on theirimmediate surroundings and theirindividual lives. Thus, K-2 students

should be introduced slowly to broaderscale thinking that leads them to realize thattheir actions affect things in their individualhomes, schools, and neighborhoods.

Children at this age are often encouragedto use scrap paper, used cardboard,and recycled cans when they design andmake products. Because they typicallydemonstrate concern about theenvironment, younger students oftencooperate enthusiastically with a school-recycling program. They should have abasic understanding that pollution canaffect people and animals. They shouldrealize that a great deal of pollution resultsdirectly from using things and thenthrowing them away. Teachers can boostthis understanding of reuse, recycling, andpollution by teaching students the bestways to use technology.

It is important that students in Grades K-2consider whether a material, product, orsystem will affect the environment. Toaccomplish this, students could examinevarious materials and products to determineif they can be reused or recycled fordisposal. If they conclude that an item canbe reused, the students could develop ideasand plan ways to reuse the item. If theyconclude that an item cannot be recycled,they could discuss an alternative plan. Theycould also experience hands-on recycling bydesigning, making, and testing a variety ofcontainers — for cans, paper, plastic, glass,cardboard, and other materials. Afterwards,they could take their containers home andactually use them for their own recycling.

In addition to learning about the benefitsof reuse and recycling, students shouldlearn that acquiring information aboutmaterials and products is necessary inorder to make decisions. This will behelpful in preparing students for lessonsabout the use of technology and theenvironment in later grades.

In order to discern the effects of tech-nology on the environment, studentsin Grades K-2 should learn that

A. Some materials can be reusedand/or recycled. Materials, suchas plastic or glass containers andcardboard tubes and boxes, may bereused to make useful items. Othermaterials, such as used newspapers,glass, and aluminum, may be recycled.




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The environment directly affects thequality of human life. Clean air andwater are central to a healthy andproductive life. Although thedevelopment and use of technology

can solve many environmental problems,improper application may pose seriousthreats to the environment. It is importantfor students in Grades 3-5 to begin tounderstand how technology affects theenvironment in both positive and negativeways. They also need to realize that it isimportant to look for alternative ways toprotect their environment.

Students should have opportunities toexplore and discuss environmental issuesthat are apparent locally, such as resourcemanagement and pollution. They couldinvestigate ways that various technologiesare being developed and used to reduceimproper use of resources. On a broaderscale, they could look at issues affecting theenvironment globally, such as dwindlingtropical rain forests and depletion of theozone layer. Students should use thisinformation while learning to makedecisions about the effects of technologyon the environment.

The proper disposal of waste and theconsistent use of recycling represent twoways to help keep the environment healthyand enjoyable for the future. It is not toosoon for students to understand whathappens to waste and whether it is beingdisposed of appropriately. Students mayalso explore how alternate forms oftransportation can reduce pollutants thataffect the environment.

In order to discern the effects of tech-nology on the environment, studentsin Grades 3-5 should learn that

B. Waste must be appropriately recycledor disposed of to prevent unnecessaryharm to the environment. Biode-gradable materials can be composted,and many solid materials can berecycled. It is important to reduce theamount of material going to landfills.

C. The use of technology affects theenvironment in good and bad ways.For example, the development of a masstransit system through a wooded areacan improve the environment byreducing the number of automobilestraveling through it. However, such asystem might cause destruction ofvegetation, present danger to nativeanimals, and compromise naturalaesthetics.


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The various opportunities forunderstanding the life cycle of amaterial or product should begin withlearning about the origins of variousmaterials and products. Students

should explore how a waste product isrecycled, re-used, or re-manufactured into anew product — old rubber tires beingground and re-used in road pavement or re-manufactured as soles for shoes, forexample. Once they understand howproducts are developed, students can thenexamine their use and ultimate disposal. Bytracing the life cycle of a product from itsinception to its disposal, students will beable to identify various points in thesequence where technology plays a role.

For example, students could study thegrowing of corn, tomatoes, or other gardenprojects. After learning details about howthe soil is prepared, how the plants arefertilized, how the products are harvested,packaged, transported, and marketed, thestudents could examine the effects of thesevarious processes on the environment andcome up with more environmentallyfriendly modifications.

Unfortunately, the environment is notalways friendly to humans. However,technology can be used to modify theenvironment. Technological products andsystems have been used to improve dreadfulconditions caused by natural disasters, suchas earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes.New construction and agriculturaltechniques have been developed to reduceor prevent harm to people and property.

Students should investigate how technologyhas affected the natural world in bothpositive and negative ways. Examples ofpositive effects of technology include

wastewater treatment plants that make itpossible to keep rivers, lakes, and oceansclean, and pollution-control devices that havereduced much of the destructive acid rain.On the other hand, the negative effects oftechnology can be observed in the depletionof the ozone layer, acid rain, deforestation,and air and water pollution. Students shouldlearn how to objectively look at the pros andcons of a given technology in order to beinformed decision makers.

Finally, students should research thepotential clash between environmental andeconomic concerns created by technologicalproducts and systems. They could look athow the development and use of tech-nologies sometimes cause environmentaland economic concerns to be at odds. Forexample, students could follow the debatesconcerning the development of Antarctica.In the past, technological capabilitieslimited the use of Antarctica to a scientificreserve. Owing to recent technologicaladvances, the future of the continent and itsmarine life are in question. A heightenedeconomic interest in the potential todevelop and use minerals from Antarctica iscausing debate about the future use of thecontinent and the unknown impacts.

In order to discern the effects of tech-nology on the environment, studentsin Grades 6-8 should learn that

D. The management of waste producedby technological systems is animportant societal issue. Recyclingmaterials, such as glass, paper, andaluminum has decreased the waste thatis sent to landfills, thereby reducing theneed for new disposal sites.




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E. Technologies can be used to repairdamage caused by natural disastersand to break down waste from the useof various products and systems. Newbuilding technologies and landscapingtechniques can be used to reduce theeffects of earthquakes and major storms.In addition, innovative ways of reducingwaste production can aid in repairingthe environment. For example, the useof bacteria in sewage treatment helps toclean human waste prior to beingreleased into rivers or lakes.

F. Decisions to develop and use tech-nologies often put environmentaland economic concerns in directcompetition with one another.For example, decisions on the useof nuclear power, wetlands preservation,and placement of roads and highwaysare sometimes in direct conflict withmany different viewpoints and interests.


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Effects on the Environment5S T A N D A R D



This example uses acommon object, a grocerybag, for students toinvestigate how well itworks and what theconsequences of its useare for the environment.Students work in teamsto gather data and todetermine which grocerybag is best suited forhauling groceries safely.They also gather dataregarding environmentaleffects and discover thatthe use of a technologyhas a direct effect onlocal waste management.[This example highlightssome elements of Grades6-8 STL standards 5, 6, 8,9, 10, and 13.]

“Would you like paper or plastic?” This familiar question became the basis fordetermining the effect on the environment and a technological assessment of acommon item, the grocery shopping bag. The students compared the bags bydesigning and using a spreadsheet to record their characteristics and their effectson the environment.

The class began the unit by brainstorming about the various characteristics ofgrocery bags and then selecting the most important characteristics to use in theirexperiment. Next, they researched different tests for evaluating each bag.

Once the tests were selected, the students divided into teams and decided whichteam leader positions (“Managers”) would be necessary to complete the activity.The five groups included the Data Team, the Inflation Team, the Puncture Team,the Environmental Impacts Team, and the Weight Team. A sixth group, theManagement Team was made up of the leaders of each of the other five teams, inaddition to an overall project manager. The team leaders were assigned titles toreflect their respective teams, and the students then developed resumes andapplied for the team manager positions. After reviewing the resumes andinterviewing their classmates, the class selected the management team. Themanagement team then selected the remaining students to serve as members oftheir respective teams and developed a timeline. The teacher served as consultant.

The Management Team selected ten stores in their town from which to gatherbags. They collected the bags, along with specifications that included both theminimum and maximum dimensions.

The Data Group designed a spreadsheet to chart the test results using anascending scale of 1 to 10. The score was assigned according to how well the bagperformed on each test. The spreadsheet was designed to measure the results ofthe individual tests, as well as overall performance.

The Inflation Team constructed a test apparatus that allowed them to blow a blisteron samples from each bag and then to compare thickness differences at set poundsper square inch (PSI). The team tested the thickness of the bags before and afterinflation at different PSI and noted at what PSI the bag ruptured.

The Puncture Team designed bottles and boxes that were attached to the rims ofpneumatic cylinders. After each sample bag was struck by the bottles and boxes,the Puncture Team noted at which PSI the bag ruptured.

The Weight Group suspended the bags by their handles and then filled the bagswith sand in order to find out at what weight the handles would tear. After testinga couple of bags, the group decided to change their test to include the weight atwhich the seams separated.

The Environmental Team surveyed local consumers to determine how the bags wereused after they were taken home. The students noted if the bags were recycled ortrashed. The team also checked with the local waste management office for data ondiscarded grocery bags. All information was added to the spreadsheet for each bag.

After the tests were completed, and the scores were tallied, the bag with thehighest score was declared the winner. The students then contacted the distributorof the winning bag to determine why the distributor chose to sell that particularbag. The students were surprised to learn that the bag was chosen for its looks andnot its strength or recyclability. The students agreed that appearance was importantbecause a bag with visual appeal plus durability would be reused. However,the students concluded that more study would be needed to determine ifother measures could be used to limit the number of bags being wasted.

The Best Bag in Agawam

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Students in Grades 9-12 need tounderstand the delicate balanceamong people, technology, andthe environment. For example,conservation of natural resources,

improvement of older technologies, andlarge-scale use of technologies are resultingin global changes. Learning to appreciatethe decisions that are made to maintain abalance among society, technological use,and the environment is central todeveloping technological literacy.

Although many technological products orsystems are developed with the good of theenvironment in mind, sometimes unin-tended side effects occur. To develop anunderstanding of the effect of technologyon the environment, students need to studyand have experiences with technologicaldevices and systems designed to helpprevent or repair damages to the environ-ment. For example, students could design,develop, build, and control a waste-management or water-treatment systemthat would treat soil pollution or purifywater. To reinforce this lesson, studentscould visit a local water treatment facility todetermine how water treatment and waste-disposal practices affect the surroundingenvironment.

Environmental disasters are reportedregularly on the evening news. Studentsshould develop an understanding of howtechnological advances in landscaping andarchitecture are being used to mitigate suchdisasters. At the same time, mishandledmaterials and products may affect theenvironment and, in turn, the health andsafety of people. Students could research,design, and build a model showing acutaway view of their local terrain,

complete with caverns, sand, soil, waterflow patterns, ponds, and lakes. Such amodel could be used to show how spilledfuels or other liquids affect watersheds andbodies of water. Students could then designand develop solutions for fixing a potentialspill in their own area.

Students can determine how to evaluatetheir needs or wants for a product or systemversus the effect that it will have on theenvironment. Such an evaluation involves avery complex process. For example, damsand high-powered electric lines are neededfor generating power and providing serviceto many communities. Yet, the damming ofstreams and rivers and the diversion ofnatural water flows is damaging to manyhabitats and environments. Understandingthe trade-offs that must be made and thenmaking decisions accordingly helps studentsto recognize the positive and negative effectsthat can result from technological solutions.

In order to discern the effects of tech-nology on the environment, studentsin Grades 9-12 should learn that

G. Humans can devise technologies toconserve water, soil, and energythrough such techniques as reusing,reducing, and recycling. For example,water treatment and filtering tech-nologies can facilitate the reuse ofwater; wind and water erosion canbe reduced by no-till farming; andaluminum containers can be recycled.

H. When new technologies aredeveloped to reduce the use ofresources, considerations of trade-offs are important. Examples includethe cost and limited output of photo-voltaic cells to produce electricity


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mainly in remote areas and the poten-tial long-term side effects of new drugs.

I. With the aid of technology, variousaspects of the environment can bemonitored to provide informationfor decisionmaking. The develop-ment of a wide range of instru-mentation to monitor the effects ofhuman-made gases, such as CFCs ormonitor the effects of weatherpatterns (meteorology) and otheratmospheric conditions are examplesof these technologies.

J. The alignment of technologicalprocesses with natural processesmaximizes performance and reducesnegative impacts on the environ-ment. For example, buildings can bestrategically oriented to the sun tomaximize solar gain, and biode-gradable materials can be used ascompost to make the soil moreproductive.

K. Humans devise technologies toreduce the negative consequences ofother technologies. Examples includescrubbers for coal burning generationfacilities, fuels that burn more cleanlyand, materials separation processesthat aid in the recycling process.

L. Decisions regarding theimplementation of technologiesinvolve the weighing of trade-offsbetween predicted positive andnegative effects on the environment.For example, the implementation ofadvanced transportation technologies,such as shuttles and metrorails, has hadan enormous impact on the ability totravel. At the same time, roadways,urban sprawl, and automobileemissions have directly affected theenvironment. Indirect effects includefactors such as pollution caused bymanufacturing and junked cars.




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Just as technology molds society, sotoo does society mold technology,shaping it in big ways and small. Themost obvious influence that societywields is the vote on whether a

particular product satisfies a need or want.If enough people find a product useful ordesirable, it will generally be continued anddeveloped further; if it is not accepted, itwill vanish from the technological universe.In most cases this vote is tallied by themarket — products that are profitablesurvive; others do not — but sometimes,most often for risky technologies, thedecision is made politically. Nuclear power,for example, has been banned by a numberof governments around the world.

Because most innovations today aredeveloped inside organizations, organiza-tional culture plays an important role inshaping technology — the personalcomputer as developed by Apple is a muchdifferent machine than the personalcomputer developed by IBM, for example.Government regulations, subsidies, andfinancial incentives can favor sometechnologies and be a disadvantage toothers. Market forces and competitionamong businesses will often shapetechnological choice, as has happened inthe battle between Microsoft and Netscapeover Internet browser technology. Andindividuals from Henry Ford to RalphNader have stamped their personal markson technology as well. Corporations willcreate technological demand, over-shadowing needs and wants in favor ofdeveloping or increasing market value.

The values and beliefs of individuals shapetheir attitudes toward technology. Forinstance, genetic engineering is viewed bysome as a way to produce more and betteragricultural products at lower prices, whileothers see it as a possible environmentalhazard and an economic threat to smallfarms. More generally, some people tend tobe sanguine about technology, believing it torepresent progress, while others view it withsuspicion, arguing that its disadvantages toooften outweigh its benefits.

Technology and Society4C H A P T E R

Students will develop an understanding of the roleof society in the development and use of technology.



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Young children are interested inlearning about various technologicalproducts and systems and about howsuch things can satisfy their ownneeds and wants. This interest can

be used to teach the lesson that, in general,such products and systems are designed withthe goal of meeting individual needs, wants,or demands. For example, students mightexplore how the desire to see after dark andthe demand for safer, more reliable sources oflight led to the use of candles, oil lamps, gaslamps, and, eventually, the electric lightbulb. Teachers should help studentsunderstand that the electric light bulbdisplaced the candle and gas lamp because ithad a number of desirable characteristics: itprovided a brighter, steadier, and more

natural light; it was cleaner; and it was lesslikely to cause a fire. This exampledemonstrates that personal likes and dislikesand preferred characteristics help shapeproduct development.

In order to realize the impact ofsociety on technology, students inGrades K-2 should learn that

A. Products are made to meet indi-vidual needs and wants. For example,people need water, so a system forproviding water to the home andschool was created. Because peoplelike to play video games, computersoftware designers have respondedwith an on-going supply of new games.




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Technology and Society4C H A P T E R


This is an example of howstudents may approachthe ideas behind howpeople shape thedevelopment and useof technology and relatethem to the evolutionarychange and history of asingle product or groupof similar products.[This example highlightssome elements of GradesK-2 STL standards 4, 6, 7,and 11.]

Two people from the community, dressed in simply draped robes, visitedMr. B’s elementary classroom to help introduce a unit on the development oftechnology. By asking carefully directed questions, Mr. B helped the childrenrealize that the robes did not have zippers, pins, or buttons — only beltsand fabric knots held the robes together. Using selected students to act asmannequins, students demonstrated how the robe was draped and securedusing only the belts and fabric knots.

After the demonstration, the class reviewed and discussed information onhow clothing fasteners have changed over time, including the developmentof buttons and buttonholes in the thirteenth century, and how the needsand wants of individuals drove those changes. To reinforce the discussion,the students experimented by making buttons out of materials representingvarious periods of history.

Following the making and testing of their buttons and buttonholes, theteacher and children explored why the button was so successful. Mr. Bhelped the children see that buttons made clothes fit better and thereforekept people warmer. The example enabled Mr. B to explain that theinvention of the button helped to keep babies warm in the cold, draftyhouses of the time. Thus, the button improved the survival rate of thebabies — quite an accomplishment for such a simple little device.

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Students in Grades 3-5 should learnthat people’s needs and wants have adirect influence on the developmentof technology. If people have nodesire for a certain product or system,

companies will not generally develop it.Furthermore, once people lose interest in aproduct or system, even one that was pre-viously seen as a necessity, it will probablybe removed from the marketplace andquickly forgotten.

In contrast, companies often encourage thedemand for a product through such tactics asmarketing or deliberately creating a shortage.Furthermore, because people’s wants andneeds are constantly changing, technologytoo is constantly changing. Toy sales canexemplify this principle. Many toys are madeand brought to market because parents andchildren demand them. If the demand forcertain toys drops, prices will also drop, andcompanies will reduce production of thoseitems. Students should learn that whenpeople are deciding which product topurchase, they are also influencing the riseand fall of technological development.

In order to realize the impact ofsociety on technology, students inGrades 3-5 should learn that

B. Because people’s needs and wantschange, new technologies aredeveloped, and old ones areimproved to meet those changes.Before the days of air conditioning,covered porches on homes were verypopular because people could gooutside to enjoy a cool breeze in acomfortable, shaded area. Now that airconditioning is widely available, newhouses seldom feature open-air frontporches; rather, uncovered backyarddecks are favored to accommodatemodern day preferences.

C. Individual, family, community,and economic concerns may expandor limit the development of tech-nologies. The development of aproduct or system is related to thewants, interests, and acceptance ofindividuals. Just because a product orsystem could be developed does notmean it should be. Sometimes anindustry is able to deliver a product orsystem, but because of misunder-standing or fear, a product or systemis not developed. For example, theelectric car, nuclear power, and geneticterminator seeds have stimulated bothpublic mistrust and misunderstanding.





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Technology is widely recognized ascausing many changes in society, butthe converse is also true — society playsa critical, if not always obvious role inthe development and use of technology.

Students in Grades 6-8 should recognizethat inventions and innovations are createdto help meet the demands and interests ofindividuals and communities. Likewise,they should have opportunities to discussand explore various long-term research anddevelopment projects that have resulted inmajor impacts, such as fusion, spaceexploration, and genetic engineering.

Students could study how moderntransportation stems from people’s needs tomove quickly from place to place. Theinvention of powerful engines and motorshas helped to meet the desire for faster andmore comfortable modes of travel, whichin turn has affected the transportationtechnologies by causing an increase in thenumber of vehicles and roadways. Theresult is a spiral of ever-improvingtransportation technologies and an ever-increasing demand for even better ones.

In order to realize the impact ofsociety on technology, students inGrades 6-8 should learn that

D. Throughout history, new technologieshave resulted from the demands,values, and interests of individuals,businesses, industries, and societies.The development of the typewriterhelped speed the preparation of docu-ments for many businesses, while thedevelopment of the photocopyingmachine revolutionized the process ofduplicating documents. The typewriterand photocopying machine werefollowed by many other innovations

including an electronic facsimile (fax)machine, and electronic mail (e-mail),which continue to change the waypeople correspond and keep records.

E. The use of inventions and innovationshas led to changes in society and thecreation of new needs and wants.For example, the initial creation of radios,televisions, and sound systems has led toan ever-growing demand for entertain-ment and information. Thus, thedevelopment of technology sometimescreates the demand.

F. Social and cultural priorities andvalues are reflected in technologicaldevices. For example, an unenthusiasticattitude toward the use of geneticallyengineered foods has affected thedevelopment of this technology, yetmany seed-producing companies arepressed to develop insect- and disease-resistant plants. Likewise, consumertastes influence technological designs,such as the color and contours ofhousehold appliances. For example, newappliances are not marketed in therounded shapes of the 1950s or theavocado green color of the 1970s.

G. Meeting societal expectations is thedriving force behind the acceptanceand use of products and systems.Whether or not a technology isaccepted by society depends, first, on whether it does its job and, second,on how well it accords with variouseconomic, political, cultural, andenvironmental concerns. With littleregard to underlying technology, peopleexpect buildings to provide shelter,bridges to span water, and dams toprovide power and recreation.


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Technology is connected with andinfluenced by all of society’s institutions,including economic, family, political,and educational. These societalinstitutions have a powerful influence

on how people live, work, play, and learn.Students in Grades 9-12 need to realize theinfluence of society on technology and howits decisions will directly affect thedevelopment of a product or system.

Students at this level begin to search fortheir place in a technologically complexworld. They need to learn that decisionsthey will be asked to make can be affectedby their own understanding of technology.The more opportunities they have topractice their technological thinking anddecision making, the better prepared theywill be to make decisions regardingoutcomes of a product or system.

Students should study how public opinionand demands directly affect the market-place. When a product or system is notregarded favorably, the developers mustdecide whether to continue or halt itsdevelopment. Just because a product orsystem can be developed does not mean thatit should be — acceptance or rejection bysociety often determines its success orfailure. If companies do not consider publicopinion, their products or systems can bedoomed to failure, which can lead tosignificant financial losses. To demonstratethis concept, students could studyinventions or innovations with limitedsuccess: the Edsel, named for Henry Ford’sson, was considered a poorly designedautomobile; after the Hindenburg disaster,production of the dirigible, a largehydrogen-filled balloon, was halted. It isextremely difficult to convince people toabandon an established product in which

there has been a tremendous investment.Students should understand the importanceof public opinion — those who reap thebenefits have an advantage on influencingdecisions regarding the development andimplementation of technology.

In order to realize the impact ofsociety on technology, students inGrades 9-12 should learn that

H. Different cultures develop their owntechnologies to satisfy their indi-vidual and shared needs, wants,and values. American transportationsystems are closely linked to freedomand independence, whereas othercultures might place more value onthe speed and convenience associatedwith mass transportation systems.

I. The decision whether to develop atechnology is influenced by societalopinions and demands, in addition tocorporate cultures. The technologicalexpertise to develop a particular productor system may be available, but if thepublic reaction to such development isin opposition, or if a corporation refusesto adjust to new and complex ideas, thedevelopment is most often limited orstopped.

J. A number of different factors, such asadvertising, the strength of the econ-omy, the goals of a company, and thelatest fads contribute to shaping thedesign of and demand for varioustechnologies. Sometimes these forcesare consistent with one another. At othertimes, they may compete. The generalpublic may or may not be aware of theinfluences that shape technology or ofhow technological development willimpact the environment.





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Technology began with very simple tools:rocks or other natural items that weremodified to better serve whateverpurpose their maker had in mind. Astime passed, humans became more

sophisticated at making tools and also learnedto process raw materials into forms that didnot exist in nature — bronze and iron,ceramics, glass, paper, and ink. These newmaterials opened the way to improve existingtools and to create whole new technologies.People learned to put individual partstogether to create systems — the wheel andaxle, the lever, and the bow and arrow — thatcould perform jobs no single item could. Thedivision of labor allowed people to becomespecialists and to cooperate in makingproducts more complicated and sophisticatedthan any individuals were likely to achieve ontheir own.

A major boost to technology came with therise of science in the sixteenth and seven-teenth centuries. Scientific knowledgeopened the way to a new type of design,one not based completely on trial and error,but based partly on being able to predicthow something should work even beforeit was built.

History has seen at least three greattransformations that were driven bytechnology. The development of agriculturesome 14,000 years ago was the first. Byproviding a stable food supply, agricultureallowed societies to grow and flourish,which in turn led to the first great floweringof civilization. The second transformationcame in the eighteenth century with the

development of the steam engine and anumber of other important machines andthe establishment of the first factories.These changes ushered in the IndustrialAge, a time of mass production. Thecreation of an interconnected system ofsuppliers, manufacturers, distributors,financiers, and inventors revolutionized theproduction of material goods, making themwidely available at low cost and highquality. The most recent transformation —the development of powerful computersand high-speed telecommunicationnetworks — has taken place over the pastfew decades. These technologies haveachieved for the field of information whatthe previous two revolutions did for foodand material goods. The ability to store,manipulate, and transfer informationquickly and inexpensively has profoundlyaffected almost every part of society, fromeducation and entertainment to businessand science.

Knowing the history of technology — themajor eras, along with specific events andmilestones — helps people understand theworld around them by seeing howinventions and innovations have evolvedand how they in turn produced the worldas it exists today. In studying past events,one begins to see patterns that can help inanticipating the future. In this way, thestudy of technology equips students tomake more responsible decisions abouttechnology and its place in society.

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Students will develop an understandingof the influence of technology on history.



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Studying about the history of tech-nology in the early school grades isimportant because it provides studentswith a basic understanding of how theworld around them came about. This

foundation will be important as theyprogress through school.

Students will learn how technology hasevolved from early civilizations when the firsthumans created primitive tools by chippingaway the edges of flint stones. Making andusing tools were among the first tech-nologies; they were — and still are — ameans to extend human capabilities and tohelp people work more comfortably.Students will realize that humans havebecome more than just toolmakers. Overtime, people have improved their capabilityto create products or systems for providingshelter, food, clothing, communication,transportation, weapons, health, and culture.

In order to be aware of the history oftechnology, students in Grades K-2should learn that

A. The way people live and work haschanged throughout history becauseof technology. Once people learned toprovide shelter for themselves — firstwith simple huts and later with houses,castles, and skyscrapers — they were nolonger forced to seek natural shelter, suchas caves. The invention of the plow andother agricultural technologies, alongwith such simple devices as fish hooksand the bow and arrow made it easier forpeople to feed themselves, which freedup time for other pursuits. People’sability to communicate with one anotherover space and time has been improvedby the use of such tools and processes assmoke signals, bells, papermaking,telephones, and the Internet.




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Throughout history, people havedeveloped various products and systemsto help in their pursuits. To understandthis concept, students in Grades 3-5might study, for instance, the evolution

of construction. They could trace thedevelopment of structures from the earliestpeople to Egyptian pyramids, Romanaqueducts, sailing ships, to modern dayskyscrapers. In this way, students will cometo see how the history of civilization hasbeen closely linked to technologicaldevelopments.

A variety of activities based on historicalperiods can help students learn how peopleimproved their shelter, food, clothing,communication, transportation, health, andsafety, and, therefore, promoted theirculture. For example, to develop anunderstanding of the evolution ofcommunication, students could replicatedifferent forms of communication, startingwith cave drawings and carvings andmoving on to maps and charts, then tophotography, and finally to graphic design.They could trace the progression ofartificial light from primitive cave fires tocandles, and on to gaslights and electriclight bulbs, and finally neon lights,fluorescent lights, and lasers.

By the time they complete the elementarygrades, students will have gained a perspec-tive on the importance of technologythrough its historical development.In addition, they will have gained anunderstanding of the importance of toolsand machines throughout history.

In order to be aware of the history oftechnology, students in Grades 3-5should learn that

B. People have made tools to providefood, to make clothing, and toprotect themselves. The products andsystems developed did not always work.Often many attempts and variationswere tried before an idea became areality. For example, the developmentof pottery stretched over 10,000 years.People learned to mix various clays tomake stronger items and to fire potteryin ovens to harden the clay faster.Various containers, such as jugs, vases,and cups were designed and developedfor holding things, such as water, milk,seed, and grains. Not all of the designsworked, and variations in some may beseen in every ancient civilization.


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This example explores thehistory of communicationand provides an oppor-tunity for students tobegin to develop andput to use their under-standing of how theevolution of technologiesrelates to the historyof humankind. [Thisexample highlights someelements of Grades 3-5STL standards 3, 4, 6, 7,13, and 17.]

Understanding historical perspectives becomes critical when educatorsconsider that their students have never known much technology that ismore than a few years old. This point became clear to Mr. S when herealized his fourth-grade students had never heard of the railroadtelegraphers’ Morse Code mentioned during their lesson on westwardexpansion. Mr. S chose communication systems as a way to help hisstudents explore the history of technology.

To begin the study, Mr. S provided background information, and thestudents conducted basic research. The students then created a time line,which depicted communication methods from prehistoric times to thepresent. Their time lines included such milestones as drums, messengers,whistles, mirrors, telephones, fax machines, and e-mail. The classseparated into teams, and each group researched particular types ofcommunication and then shared their findings with the other teams. Theclass experimented with earlier forms of communication (e.g., sendingmessages by foot, whistling, and using mirrors) between their school andthe school down the street. After discussing the results of these basicforms of communication, the students concluded that more modern formswould be necessary for their project.

The students were given an opportunity to work with modern types ofcommunication when their school was celebrating the networking of all18 classrooms to the Internet. Mr. S approached his fourth graders withthe challenge of testing the new system to see if it worked as well as, orbetter than, previous communication systems.

To do this, the class composed a message that read, “Our school has justcompleted networking our classrooms to the Internet, so please help uscelebrate by sending back this message A.S.A.P. using the way it was sent(e.g., inter-school mail, telephone, letter, e-mail, and fax). This is a test ofour new communication system. Thanks for participating in our celebration.”

In teams, the students sent the message to 10 other schools in thedistrict. Each team used a different mode of communication and recordedthe amount of time it took for the recipient to respond. One team usedthe inter-school hand-delivered mail system, another used the telephone,a third mailed letters via the postal service, a fourth e-mailed themessage, and a fifth used the office fax machine.

All 10 schools replied to the message using the same form of com-munication in which they received it. The students then were able tocompare the response rate and accuracy for each type of communicationand then assess the pros and cons of each. Finally, Mr. S’s studentsprepared reports for other classes with information about appropriate formsof communication for a given purpose (e.g., postal mail for formalinvitations and e-mail for informal notes, reports). As a result of thisexercise, Mr. S’s class learned a great deal about the historical changes andimprovements in communication, which were brought about by technology.

A Time Line Comparison of Communicating a Message

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In the middle-level grades, students willlearn about many of the technologicalmilestones in human history. They willrecognize the ways in which technologyhas affected people from different

historical periods — how they lived,the kind of work they did, and thedecisions they made. Seeing the historyof technological developments in thebroader context of human history willenable students to understand how theimpact of technology on humankind haschanged over time.

Teachers can inspire students’ curiosityabout the history of technology in avariety of ways. They might, for example,have students explore various structuresthat provide shelter and investigate howtheir climate-control systems, such asheating and cooling, have made lifeindoors more comfortable and enjoyable.In conducting their research, studentscould use such sources as books, theInternet, and even older members of thecommunity to learn about life beforehomes were air-conditioned and centrallyheated. Once they have gathered theirinformation, the students could present itto the class in various formats, such asbuilding a model, making a slidepresentation, or producing a video. Anynumber of other topics, including food,clothing, communication, transportation,weapons, and health, could also serve asthe basis for such an exercise. Byinvestigating the major inventions andinnovations from various times in history,students will be able to draw conclusionsabout how society and culture influencetechnological development and vice versa.

In order to be aware of the history oftechnology, students in Grades 6-8should learn that

C. Many inventions and innovationshave evolved by using slow andmethodical processes of tests andrefinements. For example, during thedevelopment of the incandescent lightbulb, Thomas Edison and a team of20 highly skilled technical personnelperformed more than 1,000 testsbefore they narrowed their ideas tothe one that worked. Since that firstlight bulb burned for 13 hours in1879, there have been manyinnovations and design changes.

D. The specialization of functionhas been at the heart of manytechnological improvements. Forexample, the early steam engine wasoriginally designed with a singlechamber in which steam expandedand then was condensed — thusperforming both of the two verydifferent functions of the steamengine in the same place. Fifty yearslater, by isolating the functions of thecylinder and steam condenser intoseparate components, James Wattcreated a more efficient steam engine.

E. The design and construction ofstructures for service or conven-ience have evolved from thedevelopment of techniques formeasurement, controlling systems,and the understanding of spatialrelationships. For example, thepurpose of Roman aqueducts was toprovide a service by moving water


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from the surrounding hills to the city.The water flowed through channels,some above ground on high arches ortiers, while most were undergroundand were designed with a slightdownward grade. Building theaqueducts required much organiza-tion, as well as an understanding ofthe materials and terrain.

F. In the past, an invention or innova-tion was not usually developed with the knowledge of science.

The introduction of scienceknowledge combined with tech-nological knowledge led to a greatincrease in engineering andtechnological development. Thedevelopment of a new product orsystem often happens in areas thathave not been analyzed by science orin areas where science knowledge isbeing gathered alongside the tech-nological development, such as inspace programs.




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Students in Grades 9-12 should learnthat sometimes technological changesare abrupt and obvious, and at othertimes, they are evolutionary andsubtle. The effects of technological

advancements can also be very powerful,irreversible, and global.

To develop an understanding of the historyof technology, students at this grade levelshould learn about the origins and historyof various inventions and innovations asthey relate to particular periods of time.Historical periods have been defined andnamed in terms of the dominant productsor systems of the time. For instance,students would learn that the Stone Agebegan with the development of chipped-stone tools, which later evolved into handaxes, blade tools, spears, and the bow andarrow, and that fire was also harnessed atthis time. Other historical periods havebeen characterized by significant tech-nological developments — the wheel, theprinting press, mass production, and thecomputer, for example.

Without question, key developments intechnology have pushed civilization forwardand laid the foundation for the presenthigh-technology era. Over the past 200years, technological and scientific growthhas become closely linked with the idea ofprogress. Thus, students should comparethe various eras and come to understandthat studying the history of technology isalso studying the process of change.

Students should also understand that whilehistory tends to be told in terms of heroesand individual inventors, in reality manypeople with different backgrounds haveworked together and separately over time todevelop technology.

In order to be aware of the history oftechnology, students in Grades 9-12should learn that

G. Most technological developmenthas been evolutionary, the resultof a series of refinements to a basicinvention. For example, the develop-ment of the pencil was a long andtedious process. Engineers, designers,and technicians developed manydifferent techniques and processes touse a variety of materials in order todevelop the best pencil possible. Oftena product or system will have a directimpact or dependence on another,which will affect the pace and natureof the change in one or both of them.For example, information and com-munication technologies have had anenormous impact on the developmentof the transportation system.

H. The evolution of civilization hasbeen directly affected by, and hasin turn affected, the developmentand use of tools and materials.Communication, agriculture, andtransportation, for example, haveevolved out of the political, economic,and social interests and values of thetimes. The use of electricity, farmtractors, and airplanes have enhancedsafety and comfort, aided in differentmeans of communication, and helpedprovide food and transportation.

I. Throughout history, technologyhas been a powerful force inreshaping the social, cultural,political, and economic landscape.The study of the history of technologyhelps determine possible scenarios forthe future. For example, the develop-


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ment of the mechanical clock in thefourteenth century changed howpeople regarded their use of time.

J. Early in the history of technology,the development of many tools andmachines was based not on scientificknowledge but on technologicalknow-how. The Stone Age startedwith the development of stone toolsused for hunting, cutting and pound-ing vegetables and meat and progressedto the harnessing of fire for heating,cooking, and protection. The BronzeAge began with the discovery of copperand copper-based metals. Agriculturaltechniques were developed to improvethe cultivation of food and its supply.This period also involved the develop-ment of better ways to communicatethrough the development of paper, ink,and the alphabet, to navigate withboats made of timbers, and to under-stand human anatomy with the aid ofan embalming process.

K. The Iron Age was defined by theuse of iron and steel as the primarymaterials for tools. During thisperiod, sustained technologicaladvancement caused many people tomigrate from farms to developingtowns and cities. Other influentialdevelopments in this age includedweaving machines and the spinningwheel, which advanced the makingof cloth, and gunpowder and guns,which were an improvement overprevious weapons for both huntingand protection. The wide applicationof new agricultural technologies, suchas the sickle, the plow, the windmill,and irrigation, enabled fewer farmersto grow more food.

L. The Middle Ages saw the develop-ment of many technological devicesthat produced long-lasting effectson technology and society. Thisperiod saw the development of thewaterwheel, the block printingprocess, paper money, the magneticcompass, and the printing press. Inmany ways, all of these devices are stillbeing used today, although they havebeen greatly modified from theirearlier designs.

M. The Renaissance, a time of rebirthof the arts and humanities, was alsoan important development in thehistory of technology. Leonardo DaVinci, an Italian painter, architect, andengineer, created drawings and writtendescriptions of the human flyingmachine, a helicopter, parachutes,diving bell suit, articulated chains, agiant crossbow, and circular armoredvehicles. Gunsmiths, while seeking ameans to adjust their gun mechanisms,invented the first screwdriver. Thecamera obscura, silk knitting machines,the telescope, the submarine, thehydraulic press, and the calculatingmachine also were developed duringthis time period.

N. The Industrial Revolution saw thedevelopment of continuous manu-facturing, sophisticated transporta-tion and communication systems,advanced construction practices,and improved education and leisuretime. Major developments of thisperiod included the continuous-processflourmill, power loom and pattern-weaving loom, steam engine, electricmotor, gasoline and diesel engines,vulcanized rubber, airplane, telegraph,




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telephone, radio, and television. Theconcepts of Eli Whitney’s inter-changeable parts and Henry Ford’smovable conveyor added to theadvances made in the production ofgoods. Extended free time was possibleas a result of increased efficiency, andconsequently, widespread educationbecame possible because children werenot needed on the farm and could stayin school longer.

O. The Information Age placesemphasis on the processing andexchange of information. Thedevelopment of binary language,

transistors, microchips, and anelectronic numerical integrator andcalculator (ENIAC) led to anexplosion of computers, calculators,and communication processes toquickly move information from placeto place. Holography, cybernetics,xerographic copying, the breederreactor, the hydrogen bomb, the lunarlanding ship, communicationsatellites, prefabrication, biotech-nology, and freeze-drying have allbeen major developments during thistime period.


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Design5Students will develop anunderstanding of theattributes of design. p. 91

Students will developan understanding ofengineering design. p. 99

Students will develop anunderstanding of the role oftroubleshooting, research anddevelopment, invention andinnovation, and experimentationin problem solving. p. 106





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The development of a technology begins as a desire to meet a needor want. These needs or wants could belong to a single inventor orbe shared by millions of people. Once needs or wants have beenidentified, the designers must determine how to satisfy or solvethem. The modern engineering profession has a number of well-developed methods for discovering such solutions, all of whichshare certain common traits. First, the designers set out to meetcertain design criteria, in essence, what the design is supposed todo. Second, the designers must work under certain constraints,such as time, money, and resources. Finally, the procedures or stepsof the design process are iterative and can be performed in differentsequences, depending upon the details of the particular designproblem. Once designers develop a solution, they test it to discoverits shortcomings, and then redesign it — over and over again.

Designing in technology differs significantly from designing inart. Technological designers work within requirements to satisfyhuman needs and wants, while artists display their mental imagesand ideas with few constraints. Additionally, technologicaldesigners, such as engineers, are concerned with the usability anddesirability of a product or system. As a result, efficiency is amajor consideration in technological design, while the beauty orappearance of the product is often less important. In artisticdesign, by contrast, aesthetics and beauty are central issues, whileefficiency is not. For those who appreciate them, technologicaldesigns can be viewed as works of art that showcase creativityequal to a well-crafted poem or an inspired painting. Industrialdesign may strike a balance between art and technology.

Over the last three decades, many countries have moved theteaching of design in technology from the periphery of the schoolcurriculum towards its center. Because technological designinvolves practical, real-world problem-solving methods, it teachesvaluable abilities that can be applied to everyday life and providestools essential for living in a technological environment. Tech-nological design also promotes teamwork as a method by whichpeople work together to accomplish a common goal. If studentsknow how problem-solving methods work, they can gain a betterappreciation and understanding of technology. In addition, bypracticing these problem-solving methods, students acquire anumber of other valuable skills — performing measurements,making estimates and doing calculations — using a variety of tools,working with two- and three-dimensional models, presentingcomplex ideas clearly, and devising workable solutions to problems.

Design is regarded by many

as the core problem-solving

process of technological develop-

ment. It is as fundamental to

technology as inquiry is to science

and reading is to language arts.

To become literate in the design

process requires acquiring the

cognitive and procedural knowledge

needed to create a design, in addi-

tion to familiarity with the processes

by which a design will be carried out

to make a product or system.

More broadly, problem solving is

basic to technology. Design is one

type of problem solving, but not all

technological problems are design

problems. Technology includes many

other types of problems and different

approaches to solving them, includ-

ing troubleshooting, research and

development, invention and

innovation, and experimentation.

5 Design

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Design is the first step in the makingof a product or system. Withoutdesign, the product or systemcannot be made effectively.Technological design is a distinctive

process with a number of definingcharacteristics: it is purposeful; it is basedon certain requirements; it is systematic, itis iterative; it is creative; and there are manypossible solutions. These fundamentalattributes are central to the design anddevelopment of any product or system,from primitive flint knives to sophisticatedcomputer chips.

Technological design is purposeful becausea designer must have a goal when devising anew product or system — some function orlist of functions that the product or systemshould perform. Without a purpose, designis no more than doodling. The designprocess is a system that converts inputs intooutputs, or ideas into completed productsand systems.

A designer or engineer is always workingwithin requirements, such as criteria andconstraints. The criteria set the parametersfor a design by identifying the key elementsand features of what the product or system isand what it is supposed to do. Efficiency, forexample, is an important criterion in mostdesigns. Constraints are limits on a design.Some constraints are absolute — no one canbuild a perpetual-motion machine, forinstance. But most of the constraints that adesigner works with are relative — funding,space, materials, human capabilities, time, orthe environment — that must be balanced

against each other and against how well thedesign satisfies the requirements. In order tomake solutions as good as possible, thedesign must go through a process ofoptimization, with a series of adjustmentsbeing made to the design to improve itseffectiveness within the given requirements.Sometimes trade-offs are made in selectingone design over another.

Technological design must be systematic.Because so many different designs andapproaches exist to solving a problem, adesigner is required to be systematic or elseface the prospect of wandering endlessly insearch of a solution. Over time, theengineering profession has developed well-tested sets of rules and design principlesthat provide a systematic approach todesign. Design measurability, which is a keyconcept in the engineering profession today,is concerned with a designer’s ability toquantify the design process in order toimprove the efficiency. Design is not alinear, step-by-step process. Rather, itshould be an iterative, or repeating processthat allows designers to explore differentoptions in a pragmatic way, becomeindependent decision makers, and envisionmultiple solutions to a problem.

Technological design inevitably involves acertain amount — sometimes a great deal —of human creativity. No matter how exact therequirements or how definitive the designprinciples are, there are always choices to bemade and there is always room for a freshidea or a new approach. As they search forthe most elegant designs that yield the best

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solutions, designers and engineers willdepend on intuition, feelings, andimpressions gained from prior experience todetermine which directions to explore.

Finally, there are many possible solutions toa design problem. What may be the bestsolution for one situation may not be theoptimum answer for another. The problemsolver should look at many differentsolutions and determine which one (orones) is best under the circ*mstances.


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For many students, the K-2 classroomwill provide their first structuredexperience with design andtechnology. Starting at an early age,students should be introduced

gradually to the importance of design, ofvisualizing objects, of translating ideas intosketches, and of using the design process tosolve problems.

Research on how children learn suggeststhat young children’s imaginations arebetter stimulated when they have theopportunity to work with actual materials.By working individually or brainstormingin teams, discussing their ideas, manipu-lating materials, and investigating howmaterials can be changed, students willbegin to understand what design is whileenhancing their imaginations.

Students at this age are creative, oftendemonstrating an uncanny ability togenerate original solutions. In Grades K-2,students need to understand that there canbe several solutions to a given problem, andthat some of the solutions are better for aparticular situation than others. They needto be encouraged and rewarded forindividual and team creativity as theyformulate their own solutions.

In order to comprehend the attributesof design, students in Grades K-2should learn that

A. Everyone can design solutions toa problem. When searching for apurposeful solution to a designproblem, many ideas should beconsidered, rather than looking for oneright solution. For example, if asked todesign a playhouse, students couldbrainstorm various ideas, such as usinga cardboard box for the walls, buildingit out of plywood, or draping a sheetbetween chairs.

B. Design is a creative process. Whenpeople think about problems in orderto solve them, it helps to stimulateinnovation and turn ideas into action.


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In Grades 3-5, students will learn thatdesign is a useful process of planning thatallows them to come up with workablesolutions to everyday practical problems.Building on the foundation laid in

Grades K-2, students at this level shoulddevelop a more in-depth understanding ofhow a product or system is designed,developed, made, used, and assessed.Students should be encouraged to considerall stages when creating their designs. Theyshould be encouraged to ask questions andprovided opportunities to seek more thanone solution to a given problem.

Students should recognize that positive and negative side effects are common indesigning. As in life, sometimes generatinga solution to one problem may createadditional problems. They should have thefreedom to model, test, and evaluate theirdesigns before redesigning them. Thisprocess of continuous improvement is one of the key concepts in moderntechnological progress. The design processconsists of a goal or purpose and isbounded by a set of requirements. Typicalrequirements include such things as cost,appearance, use, safety, and market appeal.In the laboratory or classroom, a specificproblem, the cost of materials, and the toolsthat can be used are typically specified inadvance. These specifications then becomethe exact requirements that students have towork within.

In order to comprehend the attributesof design, students in Grades 3-5should learn that

C. The design process is a purposefulmethod of planning practicalsolutions to problems. The designprocess helps convert ideas intoproducts and systems. The process isintuitive and includes such things ascreating ideas, putting the ideas onpaper, using words and sketches,building models of the design, testingout the design, and evaluating thesolution.

D. Requirements for a design includesuch factors as the desired elementsand features of a product or systemor the limits that are placed on thedesign. Technological designs typicallyhave to meet requirements to besuccessful. These requirements usuallyrelate to the purpose or function of theproduct or system. Other requirements,such as size and cost, describe the limitsof a design.

Attributes of Design8S T A N D A R D

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All humans have the ability todesign and solve problems — itis a fundamental human activity.Building upon the foundation laidin Grades K-5, middle-level

students will strengthen theirunderstanding of what design is and how itrelates to basic human activities in everydaylife.

Design is a creative process that allowspeople to realize their dreams and ideas fora better environment. To design is to plan,create, modify, refine, build, and enjoy.Good design turns ideas into products andsystems, which, in turn, pleases and excitesthe users.

The design process is never considered tobe final, and multiple solutions are alwayspossible. As a result, technological problemsolving differs from problem solving inother fields of study in which absolute, or“right,” answers are sought.

In Grades 6-8, students will learn moreabout the influence of requirements in thedesign process. At this age, students can beeasily engaged in the identification ofproblems and opportunities they mightpursue. The goal is to get them to workwithin reasonable requirements for a designby providing focus for their ideas. TheApollo space program, for instance, facedobvious requirements, such as cost, size, theneed to withstand extreme temperatures,and a requirement for life-sustainingmechanisms for humans. Theserequirements forced engineers to be creativein order to put an astronaut on the moon.

Requirements encompass the factors ofcriteria and constraints. Learning to workwith criteria and constraints is a challenge that

students will face throughout life and is animportant concept to understand at an earlyage. Some criteria questions that should beasked include: “Will it work correctly?” “Willit be effective for its design?” “Does the sizeappear to be appropriate?” Some constraints,which specify the limitations on the design,include: “Are the proper materials available?”“How much will this item cost?” “How muchspace is needed to build (or use) this productor system?” “What are the important humancapabilities needed to use it?”

In order to comprehend the attributesof design, students in Grades 6-8should learn that

E. Design is a creative planningprocess that leads to usefulproducts and systems. The designprocess typically occurs in teamswhose members contribute differentkinds of ideas and expertise.Sometimes a design is for a physicalobject such as a house, bridge, orappliance and sometimes it is for anon-physical thing, such as software.

F. There is no perfect design. Alldesigns can be improved. The bestdesigns optimize the desired qualities— safety, reliability, economy, andefficiency — within the givenconstraints. All designs build on thecreative ideas of others.

G. Requirements for a design are madeup of criteria and constraints.Criteria identify the desired elementsand features of a product or systemand usually relate to their purpose orfunction. Constraints, such as size andcost, establish the limits on a design.


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This example uses thedesign process to create agift to recognize and paytribute to the teachers inthe student’s schoolduring Teacher Apprecia-tion Week. [This examplehighlights some elementsof Grades 6-8 STLstandards 8, 9, 10, 11,and 19.]

After learning about the basics of materials and the design process, studentswere given the task of designing an appreciation gift for all the teachers intheir middle school. The students outlined the design criteria andconstraints, which included: the cost for each item must be less than $1.50;gifts must be designed and made in the technology laboratory; and the giftshould be useful.

The class began by brainstorming possible design ideas as a group. Theycame up with note centers, penholders, marker racks, computer disk bins,and other gift ideas. After selecting the computer disk bins, they dis-cussed different materials to use. Next, each student worked individuallyresearching different materials, sketching ideas, and developing a model.To estimate the cost of the various ideas, students used recent catalogswith material prices, called local dealers, and accessed information onthe World Wide Web. They developed spreadsheets to calculate variouscombinations of costs depending on the idea.

Each student presented a model to the class. Class members evaluatedthe models according to the design constraints. After discussing each ofthe constraints, such as costs, usefulness, and aesthetic appearance, theclass selected the model that would be based on their design constraints.The model was then manufactured in quantity in the technologylaboratory for all teachers in the school.

Designing a Gift of Appreciation

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As high school students develop agreater comprehension of the designprocess, they will haveopportunities to explore theattributes of design in greater depth.

The attributes of design include thefollowing characteristics: the design ispurposeful; it is based on specificrequirements; it is systematic; it is iterative;it is creative; and there are many solutionsto a design problem. They will learn thatseeking multiple solutions for a problem isa hallmark of the practice of technology. Inorder to come up with a variety of designsthat offer multiple solutions to a problem,students should develop an ability to use anonlinear approach to solving problems.The steps of the design process serve asimportant guideposts to help adeptproblem-solving students use their intuitionand ingenuity to arrive at a variety ofsolutions. Revisiting steps in the designprocess allows students to view varioussolutions in a pragmatic way. This processprovides opportunities to make adjustmentsto the designs. Students begin to see thesystematic, yet iterative nature of thedesign process.

Designs typically are ill defined with nonatural end to the process. In searching forthe best solution, the designer redesigns,tests, refines, and remodels again and again.Sometimes an ingenious idea will allowdesigners to come up with a design thatdoes exactly what they want it to do, so thatthey can finish the design process.

Requirements, which include criteria andconstraints, are among the attributes ofdesign to be considered. Criteria aredecisions that help identify the specificationsof the design. They include such factors as

familial, economic, environmental, political,ethical, and societal issues that could createproblems and conflicting solutions. Becauserequirements can compete with one another,accommodating one often results in conflictswith others. These conflicts result in trade-offs that must be considered. For example,the demand for high quality frequentlycompetes with a desire for low cost. Becauseof such conflicting demands, perfect designssimply do not exist. To find the best design,students should learn to focus on as manysolutions as possible.

In general, efficiency is central to the require-ments for nearly every technological design.Efficiency specifies how well a given productor system performs and how close thatperformance is to the ideal. Optimization canhelp ensure that a product or system is asefficient as possible. Optimization processesinclude features such as experimentation, trialand error, and development.

In order to comprehend the attributesof design, students in Grades 9-12should learn that

H. The design process includesdefining a problem, brainstorming,researching and generating ideas,identifying criteria and specifyingconstraints, exploring possibilities,selecting an approach, developing adesign proposal, making a model orprototype, testing and evaluatingthe design using specifications,refining the design, creating ormaking it, and communicatingprocesses and results. The designprocess is a systematic, iterativeapproach to problem solving thatpromotes innovation and yields


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design solutions. To systematically seekan optimum design solution, engineersand other design professionals useexperience, education, establisheddesign principles, creative intuition,imagination, and culturally specificrequirements.

I. Design problems are seldompresented in a clearly defined form.Design goals and requirements mustbe established, and constraints mustbe identified and prioritized, during the time when designs are beingdeveloped. Design decisions typicallyinvolve individual, familial, economic,social, ethical, and political issues.Often, these issues lead to conflictingsolutions. For example, what may bepolitically popular may not make goodeconomic or social sense. Based onthese issues and depending on theimpact of the design, certain designsolutions should not be developed.

J. The design needs to be continuallychecked and critiqued, and the ideasof the design must be redefined andimproved. The design process alsoinvolves considering how designs will bedeveloped, produced, maintained,managed, used, and assessed. As a result,multiple solutions are possible. Moreknowledge or competing technologiescause a design to change with time.

K. Requirements of a design, such ascriteria, constraints, and efficiency,sometimes compete with each other.When such competition happens,trade-offs occur, and the design ismodified to accommodate theserequirements. Different people maychoose different solutions, depending





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Engineers who are developing atechnology use a particular approachcalled the engineering design process.The design process is fundamentalto technology and to engineering.

Also referred to as technological design,the engineering design process demandscritical thinking, the application oftechnical knowledge, creativity, andan appreciation of the effects of a designon society and the environment.

There are many models found in literaturetoday that attempt to describe the engineer-ing design process. Some are linear anddescribe the progress as a series of steps thattake place in a well-defined sequence. Manyengineers, however, do not believe thismodel truly reflects what takes place in theengineering design process. Other modelspicture the engineering design process interms of a circle with the design stepsaround the circumference or as a spiral.These models try to represent the iterativenature of the engineering design process aswell as to indicate that the steps of theprocess do not have to begin in anyprescribed sequence. Although theengineering profession has not come to aconsensus on which model best describesthe process, they do agree on several stepsthat should be included when describing it.These steps do not have to be performed ina set order, but rather they should be usedby designers in ways that their intuitiontells them is best suited for solving theproblem at hand. The environment inwhich the engineers design should be openand encourage creativity.

One step in the engineering design processis identifying the problem. Another step isgenerating ideas by using such techniquesas brainstorming and conducting research.The requirements of the problem should beidentified, and the designer should explorepossibilities for solving the problem andthen select approaches that may lead tosolutions. To help evaluate the solutions,models and prototypes can be built andtested, and the results can then be used todetermine how well the solutions meet thepreviously identified requirements. Thesolution must constantly be refined asinformation is gathered through feedbackand new ideas are generated. It may benecessary to retrace a number of steps inorder to iteratively refine the design solutionbefore the optimum one is selected. Oneof the final steps in the engineering designprocess is to build or construct the actualproduct or system in order to determine ifit works. Once the designer is pleased withthe solution, the final product or idea canbe produced and marketed.

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Children at this age enjoy doodling,sketching, and building simplethings. In Grades K-2, they willlearn about and be able to applythese abilities, and others, as they are

introduced to the engineering designprocess. Students will understand that theengineering design process is a method usedto solve problems. All the products andsystems they see around them must havebeen designed and made — from the forkthey eat lunch with, to the toys they playwith, to the clothes they wear.

The engineering design process helps givestructure to creative and innovative thinking.The process includes a number of steps,which are appropriate for young children tolearn. In a very simple form, the steps of theengineering design process include identify-ing the problem, looking for ideas, develop-ing solutions, and sharing solutions withothers. Because students at this age arefocused on their immediate environments,they should be given problems that relate totheir individual lives, including their inter-actions with family and school environ-ments. Looking for ideas, or researching, cantake many forms, including reading booksand talking to others. Another method forgenerating new ideas is for students toinvestigate things they currently use andsearch for ways to improve them. As a resultof their research, students often will developseveral solutions.

As they use the engineering design process,students should communicate their ideasand solutions to classmates, teachers, andfamily and community members usingsketches, models, and verbal descriptions.Through this communication process,they will be able to reflect on their progress,as well as to receive ideas from others.

In order to comprehend engineeringdesign, students in Grades K-2 shouldlearn that

A. The engineering design processincludes identifying a problem,looking for ideas, developingsolutions, and sharing solutionswith others. In the design process,there are many solutions to a problem,with some being better than others.Each design can be made better byrefining it.

B. Expressing ideas to others verballyand through sketches and modelsis an important part of the designprocess. A sketch, which typicallydescribes the appearance of a product,can help put ideas into a form that canbe used to communicate with others.Sketches are more efficient than wordsfor conveying the size, shape, andfunction of an object, while modelsare effective in imparting a three-dimensional realism to a design idea.

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This vignette is anexample of usingchildhood literature inthe study of technology.It uses a problempresented in a book tocreate a classroomlearning activity. Thisexample can be used inthe K-2 classroom tostimulate interest andmotivate students towardtechnology and literature.[This example highlightssome elements of GradesK-2 STL standards 3, 9,and 10.]

Virginia Lee Burton’s book, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, provided aproblem-solving challenge for Mr. C’s second grade class. After reading thisstory to the point that Mike Mulligan realizes he didn’t leave a way outof the cellar hole, Mr. C asked his students to identify the problem. Thestudents recognized that Mike Mulligan and the steam shovel were stuckin the hole. Mr. C then engaged the class in a brainstorming session togenerate various methods that Mike Mulligan could use to get the steamshovel out of the hole.

After compiling a list of their ideas on the board, Mr. C divided the classinto teams of three to four students. Each group was given a tub of wetsand with a hole dug in it and a miniature steam shovel in the bottom ofthe hole. They were also given a box of materials that included such itemsas spools, straws, string, wire, Popsicle sticks, yarn, paper clips, clay, glue,tape, and rubber bands. He challenged them to use the problem-solvingskills that they had been learning in class to find a method to get the steamshovel out of the hole without touching it.

The students then went to work as a group designing various methods thatwould allow them to solve the problem. The first solutions didn’t work formost of the groups. After evaluating why their ideas didn’t work, somegroups decided to redesign their solutions while others came up with newsolutions. Mr. C offered the students resource books that containedsuggestions for various solutions.

Once the students had generated a solution and built a model of it, theysketched a picture and labeled the simple machines that were involved inthe method. Each group then wrote a new ending to the story based on themachine that their group developed.

The entire class gathered for the presentations. The groups demonstrated themethod and the machine they had created and read their stories to theclass. After the presentations were finished, Mr. C read the end of the storyto the class.

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Students in Grades 3-5 should buildupon what they have learned in K-2about the engineering design processby adding several additional steps.They should realize, for example, that

the purpose of the engineering designprocess is to convert ideas into finishedproducts and systems. Sometimes a designresults in physical products (e.g., a sewingmachine, a bridge, or a car), and at othertimes, a design may result in processes (e.g.,how to use a computer program, how tomake a drawing, or how to bake brownies).

The engineering design process asunderstood by students in Grades 3-5includes defining the problem, generatingideas, selecting a solution, making the item,evaluating the outcome, and presenting theresults. As the students work with theengineering design process, it is importantthat they realize that these steps do not haveto be completed in a set sequence. Rather,they should be completed in any sequencethat will produce the best results.

Each step of the engineering design processinvolves students obtaining certain informa-tion and developing specific skills. Whengenerating ideas, for instance, students shouldbe encouraged to be creative and to considerthoughtfully all ideas. Once they select thesolutions, students should make sketches anddrawings of what they will look like. Then,using available resources, they should create ormake their solutions and evaluate them.Evaluation is a back-and-forth process ofassessing the performance of solutions andthen using that information to fine-tune andimprove them. Once the students havefinalized their solutions, they should presentwhat they have learned to others in their class,to the teacher, and to other members of the

school and community. In this communi-cation process, students should describe notonly what went well, but also some of theobstacles that they encountered in theengineering design process.

In order to comprehend engineeringdesign, students in Grades 3-5 shouldlearn that

C. The engineering design processinvolves defining a problem,generating ideas, selecting asolution, testing the solution(s),making the item, evaluating it, andpresenting the results. At thebeginning of this process, it isimportant that students gather asmuch information about the problemas they can find. This “wide open”consideration of all ideas will help asthey seek the best solution for theirproblem.

D. When designing an object, it isimportant to be creative andconsider all ideas. The design processcan unlock creative thinking and turnideas into reality. Having a lot of ideasgives the designer many possibilities todraw from and use.

E. Models are used to communicateand test design ideas and processes.Models are replicas of an object inthree-dimensional form. Models canbe used to test ideas, make changes todesigns, and to learn more about whatwould happen to a similar, real object.

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When learning the engineering designprocess the teacher and students firstneed to define the problem. Once theproblem is determined, brainstormingbecomes an important group

problem-solving technique for generating asmany ideas as possible. It allows for creativeinput from a number of people andencourages everyone to speak without fear oftheir ideas being judged or belittled. The moreideas an individual can draw from, the betterthe chances that an optimum solution can befound. After the initial brainstorming session iscompleted, the group should determine whichof the ideas suggested are the most appropriate.These ideas should then be researched in moredepth. The designer also needs to specifyconstraints and identify criteria in order toestablish the requirements of the design.Throughout the iterative process, alternativesolutions should be considered.

At this point, an approach for solving aproblem should be selected, and a designproposal should be developed. A designproposal is a written plan that specifies whatthe design will look like and what resourcesare needed to develop it. It can be com-municated through various forms, such assketches, drawings, models, and writteninstructions. Models allow a designer to makea smaller version without having to invest thetime and expense of making the larger item.Physical, mathematical, and graphic modelscan also be used to communicate an idea.

After an idea has been developed, it isimportant to test and evaluate the design basedon the requirements. This testing andevaluating process leads to the refinement andimprovement of the design. Next, the refineddesign is developed and produced. This mayinvolve making one or more items.

In order to comprehend engineeringdesign, students in Grades 6-8 shouldlearn that

F. Design involves a set of steps, which can be performed in differentsequences and repeated as needed.Each design problem is unique andmay require different procedures ordemand that the steps be performed ina different sequence. In addition,engineers and designers also have theirpreferences and problem-solving stylesand may choose to approach the designprocess in different ways.

G. Brainstorming is a group problem-solving design process in which eachperson in the group presents his or herideas in an open forum. In this process,no person is allowed to criticize anyoneelse’s ideas regardless of how inane theymay seem. After all of the ideas arerecorded, the group selects the best ones,and then further develops them.

H. Modeling, testing, evaluating, andmodifying are used to transformideas into practical solutions.Historically, this process has centeredon creating and testing physical models.Models are especially important for thedesign of large items, such as cars,spacecraft, and airplanes because it ischeaper to analyze a model before thefinal products and systems are actuallymade. Evaluation is used to determinehow well the designs meet theestablished criteria and to providedirection for refinement. Evaluationprocedures range from visually inspect-ing to actually operating and testingproducts and systems.


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An engineer is, in essence, a problemsolver who uses the engineeringdesign process to solve problems.The task of an engineer is morethan simply designing a product

that works. He or she must consider manyother factors, such as safety, environmentalconcerns, ethical considerations, and risksand benefits. In the design process, it is vitalthat people with different interests andexpertise work together when devisingsolutions to a problem. These diverseindividuals bring various perspectivesto the solution of a problem.

In educating students about engineeringdesign, a teacher must stimulate thecuriosity of the students so that theybecome interested in the design processand motivated to learn more about it. Thestudents should have many opportunities todesign so that they will develop an in-depthunderstanding of this important process.

Students in Grades 9-12 are introduced totwo more concepts in the engineeringdesign process: making prototypes andusing design principles. A prototype is aworking model that is conceived early inthe design process. Prototypes provide ameans for testing and evaluating the designby making observations and necessaryadjustments. Computer prototypes allowdesign solutions to be tested in virtualsettings. Students are also introduced todesign principles, such as balance,proportion, function, and flexibility. Theseprinciples are universal across all types ofdesign and establish the rules that designersuse to create designs that are pleasing to theeye and functional to use. Design principlesalso are used to evaluate existing designsand to collect data.

There are many factors that influence adesign, including how safe the designsolution will be. Reliability is anotherconcern in the design process, as is qualitycontrol. Environmental concerns, as well ashow well the solution can be produced(manufactured), must be taken intoaccount when designing solutions totechnological problems. After designedproducts or systems have been created, it isimportant to maintain and repair them.This becomes a consideration which mustbe incorporated into the design. Finally,human factors engineering, sometimesreferred to as ergonomics, is anothersignificant concept that is applied to manydesigns. Human factors engineering isconcerned with how a design can be usedto modify tools, machines, and the environ-ment to better fit human needs. Forexample, ergonomically designed chairs areeasier to sit in and provide positive supportto the human body.

In order to comprehend engineeringdesign, students in Grades 9-12 shouldlearn that

I. Established design principles areused to evaluate existing designs, tocollect data, and to guide the designprocess. The design principlesinclude flexibility, balance, function,and proportion. These principles canbe applied in many types of designand are common to all technologies.

J. Engineering design is influencedby personal characteristics, suchas creativity, resourcefulness, andthe ability to visualize and thinkabstractly. Individuals and groups ofpeople who possess combinations ofthese characteristics tend to be good





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at generating numerous alternativesolutions to problems. The designprocess often involves a group effortamong individuals with variedexperiences, backgrounds, andinterests. Such collaboration tends toenhance creativity, expand the rangeof possibilities, and increase the levelof expertise directed toward designproblems.

K. A prototype is a working modelused to test a design concept bymaking actual observations andnecessary adjustments. Prototypinghelps to determine the effectiveness of adesign by allowing a design to be testedbefore it is built. Prototypes are vital to

the testing and refinement of a productor system with complicated operations(e.g., automobiles, householdappliances, and computer programs).

L. The process of engineering designtakes into account a number offactors. These factors include safety,reliability, economic considerations,quality control, environmental con-cerns, manufacturability, maintenanceand repair, and human factorsengineering (ergonomics).


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Students will develop an understanding of the role oftroubleshooting, research and development, inventionand innovation, and experimentation in problem solving.



Engineering design is a major type ofproblem-solving process, but it is notthe only one. There are many otherapproaches that are used in solvingeither formal (well-defined) or

informal (ill-defined) problems. Trouble-shooting is a specific form of problemsolving aimed at identifying the cause of amalfunctioning system. Often the problemcan be traced to a single fault, like a brokenwire, a burned-out fuse, or a bad switch.Good troubleshooters are systematic ineliminating various possible explanations asthey focus on the source of the problem.

As a problem-solving method, research anddevelopment (R&D) is much broader in scopethan troubleshooting. After something hasbeen conceived, it can take considerable timefor teams of people to refine and work thebugs out before it becomes a product ready formarket. If there are flaws in the design, theseneed to be researched, analyzed, redesigned,and corrected. Unlike troubleshooting, R&Dtends to address a wide range of issues concur-rently. The product must work. It must bereliable, safe, and have market appeal. Some-times, questions about its value to society orpotential harm to the environment must beresearched and addressed.

Invention and innovation are among themost open-ended and creative problem-solving approaches. Unlike other forms ofproblem solving that deal with thingsalready in existence, invention launchesinto the unknown and the untried.Invention is the process of coming up withnew ideas, while design is concerned with

applying these ideas. On the other hand,an innovation is an improvement of anexisting product, system, or method ofdoing something. Creativity, in additionto an ability to think outside the box andimagine new possibilities, is central to theprocesses of invention and innovation.All technological products and systemsfirst existed in the human imagination.

Experimentation is the form of technologicalproblem solving that resembles most closelythe methods that scientists use. Usingmethods that are similar to the scientificapproach, technological problem solversapply iterative processes to experiment ontechnological products and systems. Forexample, performing hardness tests onvarious metals may be needed before usingthose metals to make tools. Another exampleis testing airplanes in various situations to seewhy similar models crashed. Because thegoals of technologists and scientists differ,their approaches to work also differ.Scientists use experiments to gain a betterunderstanding of the natural world.Technologists, on the other hand, useexperiments to understand and change thehuman-made world. Quality control shouldbe used in the process of experimentation toassure that a desired standard is met.

These different types of problem solving arenot always easy to distinguish from oneanother. Sometimes they go on at the sametime as teams focus on very large problems.In addition, some problems require theexpertise of both science and technology inorder to find solutions.

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K-2 In the early grades, students will learnsome of the basic approaches to problemsolving. The design process, oneapproach to problem solving, wasdiscussed in the previous two standards.

Other approaches to problem solving canalso be introduced at this level. Forexample, when a product or system quitsworking, troubleshooting can be used toisolate and correct the problem. Studentsshould be introduced to troubleshooting bylearning how to correct problems withsimple systems. For example, they coulddetermine and correct a problem with aflashlight that does not produce light.Using a systematic process, students candetermine whether the bulb, batteries, orthe switch was the source of the problem.

Young students also can be inventive.Students at this level enjoy the challenge ofinventing something new for a givenpurpose. Students should be taught the bestways to ask questions in order to getaccurate and timely information.Additionally, they should gain the ability toobserve technological processes, products,and systems to gain a firsthand knowledgeon how things function. Teachers shouldcreate a non-threatening workingenvironment that encourages students tocome up with ideas.

Another important concept for children tolearn is that malfunction and failure arecommon in technological products andsystems. With proper maintenance, manyof these products and systems can be madeto last longer. When they do fail, they oftencan be repaired. At other times, however,the products and systems cannot be fixedand must be discarded.

In order to be able to comprehend otherproblem-solving approaches, studentsin Grades K-2 should learn that

A Asking questions and makingobservations helps a person tofigure out how things work. Oneof the best ways to learn is throughasking simple questions: “How dothese two parts fit together?” or “Whattool do we need to fix the bicycle?”Another important way of learning isto look at something and try to figureout how it works.

B. All products and systems are subjectto failure. Many products andsystems, however, can be fixed.Some stop working because they areold, and others because a part wearsout. Troubleshooting helps people findwhat is wrong with the product orsystem so that it can then be fixed.Products and systems need to bemaintained in order to keep them ingood operating order.

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In order to be able to comprehend otherproblem-solving approaches, studentsin Grades 3-5 should learn that

C. Troubleshooting is a way of findingout why something does not work sothat it can be fixed. Troubleshootinginvolves a logical and orderly process ofdiscovering what the problem is in apart or system.

D. Invention and innovation are creativeways to turn ideas into real things.Technology starts with invention andis improved through innovation. Inven-tions are new things, while innovationschange things that already exist.

E. The process of experimentation,which is common in science, canalso be used to solve technologicalproblems. Typically, experimentationincludes testing something undercontrolled conditions in order toimprove or change it.





In Grades 3-5, students should buildupon their problem-solving abilities thatwere developed in earlier grades. Theyshould be challenged to troubleshootmore complex systems that do not work.

Invention and innovation can be especiallyexciting for students in Grades 3-5. Forexample, students could be challengedto invent a toy for preschool children. Tolearn about innovation, students could bechallenged to modify an existing toy in orderto improve upon its design or purpose.

Experimentation is also an important partof technology. During the fourth and fifthgrades, students will be introduced to it intheir science lessons. Experimentation intechnology can be demonstrated throughthe search for solutions to technologicalproblems. For example, the problem isidentified, a hunch (hypothesis) about thesource of the problem is generated, tests areconducted, and data is gathered. These dataoften reveal the nature of a problem, whichhelps in knowing the proper course ofaction to take in order to solve it.

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Design5C H A P T E R


This vignette presentssome problems to solverelated to transportationtechnology. Specifically,students are encouragedto invent new ways andinnovate older methodsto navigate while on aship. [This example high-lights some elements ofGrades 3-5 STL standards3, 10, and 18.]

Historical examples of how individuals used problem-solving skills to solvetechnological problems can provide opportunities for students to learn avariety of principles from several fields of study. During a unit on explora-tion, Ms. H assigned her class to read Pedro’s Journal, a novel by PamConrad. This book provided the backdrop to investigate different examplesof navigational technology.

Students discovered that with relative ease, sailors could determine theirlatitude by measuring the angle of elevation of the North Star (Polaris).Ms. H then introduced the concepts of angles and a global-grid coordinatesystem. In the classroom, students used protractors and measuring anglesto construct working astrolabes. Using multimedia software, the apparentmotion of the stars was simulated. It became clear to the students thatPolaris was the only star in the Northern Hemisphere that could be reliedupon to remain in a constant position relative to the observer.

An accurate star chart of the circumpolar constellations was posted on theceiling of the classroom. Students then used problem solving to navigatetheir way around the room, determining the “latitude” of their desk, orwhether the pencil sharpener was at more northern or more southernlatitude than the teacher’s desk. In a discussion, the class came to theconclusion that the astrolabes were only able to specify the latitude, andthat several points around the room seemed to share the same latitude. Itwas clear that the early mariners needed to develop additional technologyto position themselves precisely while at sea.

The students then were assigned teams to develop navigational equipmentthat could have solved this problem and allowed the mariners to preciselyposition themselves on the open seas. The groups brainstormed differentideas and conducted research in the library and on the Internet before theyselected the best idea to pursue. With the help of their teacher, each groupmade a model of its equipment and tested it to determine how well itworked. The groups later presented their findings to their classmates anddemonstrated their equipment.

In the novel, the students read about sailors measuring speed by puttinga rope over the stern and counting the knots as the rope ran over thegunwale. The class talked about how inaccuracies in this method gaveColumbus the opportunity to easily deceive his crew into believing thatthey were closer to home and further east than they really were.

Through studying the development of navigational technology, the classlearned about various methods of problem solving, measurement, angles,grid coordinate systems, and precision versus accuracy; astronomy; speed,time, and distance calculations; researching, designing, developing, andtesting; Western history; and reading comprehension.

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At the middle level, students willwork with solutions to morecomplicated and demandingtechnological problems. By the timestudents enter the middle grades,

they should be able to distinguish differentkinds of problems. For example, theyshould realize that designing somethingusing a set of requirements requires adifferent problem-solving process thandetermining why a device does not work. Inaddition to design, students at this levelshould expand their knowledge aboutproblem solving to include troubleshooting,invention and innovation, andexperimentation. Different kinds ofproblem solving require different abilities,knowledge, attitudes, and personalities.Sometimes success with problem solvingcomes down to self confidence and trustingone’s ability and instincts. Because peopleare unique, with different strengths to offer,they differ in their ability to solve varioustypes of problems. As a result, teamworkbecomes important. Teamwork allowsindividuals to pool their strengths in orderto arrive at better solutions to problems.

Inventors tend to be creative and haveexcellent imaginations. They oftendemonstrate the ability to see possibilitiesthat others miss. By contrast, trouble-shooting almost always requires specificknowledge. To figure out why anautomobile does not start requires specificknowledge about automobile systems.Without the right kind of knowledge, manypeople resort to inefficient and ineffectivepractices and oftentimes still fail to find thecause of the problem. Experimentation isone of the most formal types of problemsolving, requiring a person to follow anestablished set of procedures.

In order to be able to comprehend otherproblem-solving approaches, studentsin Grades 6-8 should learn that

F. Troubleshooting is a problem-solving method used to identifythe cause of a malfunction in atechnological system. These kindsof problems typically require sometype of specialized knowledge. Forexample, knowledge about how aderailleur works is needed in orderto find out why a bicycle does notshift properly. Once the cause of theproblem has been identified, the nextstep is to repair and test it.

G. Invention is a process of turningideas and imagination into devicesand systems. Innovation is theprocess of modifying an existingproduct or system to improve it.All technological refinement occursthrough the process of innovation.

H. Some technological problems arebest solved through experimenta-tion. These include experimentationwith technological products andsystems. This process closelyresembles the scientific method. Thedifference between these methods is inthe goals that each pursue. The goalof science is to understand how natureworks, while the goal of technology isto create the human-made world. Inboth cases, the process is systematicand involves tinkering, hypothesizing,observing, tweaking, testing, anddocumenting.

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Design5C H A P T E R


9-12 In addition to learning abouttroubleshooting, invention andinnovation, and experimentation,students at this level will learn to engagein research and development (R&D).

R&D is a goal-oriented process in whichdesigns, inventions, and innovations areresearched and refined to address a range ofobjectives and concerns. These concernscan be functional (e.g., making it workbetter), economic (e.g., giving it marketappeal), and ethical (e.g., making it safer).R&D pursues answers to unknownquestions that need to be solved before adesign can work. Products and systems thatare being prepared for the marketplaceshould almost always go through anextensive period of R&D involving teamsof people with wide-ranging expertise.

During R&D, several different problem-solving strategies are often applied to thesame problem, either concurrently or insequence. In the prototyping stage of thedesign process, for instance, it is oftennecessary to use troubleshooting to get theprototype to work.

Students should also realize that knowledgefrom many fields of study is required tosolve technological problems. Just knowingabout technology in order to solve atechnological problem is not sufficient. Forexample, it is impossible to know exactlywhat knowledge will be needed to buildand put people on the international spacestation. Psychologists and physiologists, forinstance, will help design the properergonomics of the space station. Dieticianswill specify diets; medical doctors will focuson health issues; and economists willconcentrate on costs. Frequently, solutionsto difficult problems are found when

someone with a very different kind ofknowledge or perspective injects thatthinking into a given situation.

In order to be able to comprehend otherproblem-solving approaches, studentsin Grades 9-12 should learn that

I. Research and development is aspecific problem-solving approachthat is used intensively in businessand industry to prepare devices andsystems for the marketplace. Researchon specific topics of interest to thegovernment or business and industrycan provide more information on asubject, and, in many cases, it canprovide the knowledge to create aninvention or innovation. Developmenthelps to prepare a product or system forfinal production. Product developmentof this type frequently requiressustained effort from teams of peoplehaving diverse backgrounds.

J. Technological problems must beresearched before they can be solved.When a problem appears, it is first neces-sary to learn enough about it to decidethe best type of problem-solvingmethod.

K. Not all problems are technological,and not every problem can be solvedusing technology. Technology cannotbe used to provide successful solutions toall problems or to fulfill every humanneed or want. Instead, some problems dobest with non-technological solutions.For example, recycling to reduce pollu-tion and conserve resources is abehavioral solution to a technologicalproblem. In the area of healthcare,healthy living practices, such as good

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nutrition and regular exercise, can oftenprevent and solve problems that surgeryand medications cannot.

L. Many technological problems requirea multidisciplinary approach.Depending on the nature of a problem,a wide range of knowledge may berequired. For example, the research anddevelopment of a new video gamecould benefit from knowledge ofphysiology (e.g., reaction times andhand-eye coordination) as well aspsychology (e.g., attention span andmemory).





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Abilities for aTechnological World6

Students will developthe abilities to applythe design process. p. 115

Students will developthe abilities to use andmaintain technologicalproducts and systems. p. 126

Students will developthe abilities to assessthe impact of productsand systems. p. 133





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The quill pen becomes the typewriter that becomes the wordprocessor. The horse and buggy becomes the Model T thatbecomes the family minivan. As a technology grows, so too doesthe commitment required to understand and be comfortablewith the technology. Every farmer’s child could fix the horse andbuggy when required, and most Model T owners soon learnedhow to keep it running. But when the family minivan breaksdown, all but a few will haul it into the shop and let a specialisttake care of it.

With each passing decade, technological knowledge becomesmore specialized and widespread. To a certain extent, thispattern is inevitable. However, the average citizen should notautomatically delegate the ability to use and work withtechnology to members of the high-tech community whodevelop and operate it. On the contrary, because the use oftechnology represents such an important part of life, everyoneneeds a broad understanding of what it is, how it is developed,how it works, and how to make intelligent decisions about it.

Technological literacy can be defined as having the ability to use,manage, assess, and understand technological products andsystems. This ability, in turn, demands certain mental tools,such as problem solving, visual imaging, critical thinking, andreasoning. The development of these capabilities is central totechnological literacy. These various skills can be developed instudents through such activities as modeling, testing,troubleshooting, observing, analyzing, and investigating.

The content standards in this chapter involve the developmentof important abilities for a technological world, which includeapplying the design process, using and maintainingtechnological products and systems, assessing products andsystems, and others.

A s technologies become

more powerful and more

useful, they generally become

more complex.

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Very few products and systems todayare developed by trial and error orcome about by accident. Instead,almost any technology that a studentencounters is the result of a systematic

problem-solving design process thattransformed an idea into a final product orsystem. This design process involves an in-depth understanding of the problem andresources available, an exhaustive search forsolutions, and an extensive evaluation andrefinement procedure. The design process isthe foundation for all technological activity.

Most people think that the design processshould be left to engineers or designers,but, in fact, everyone has the ability todesign. By following the iterative steps ofthe design process, anyone, from firstgraders to the elderly, can learn to design.

The design process requires the use of avariety of strategies, such as problemsolving, creative thinking, visual imagery,critical thinking, and reasoning. It alsorequires hands-on abilities, such asmeasuring, drawing, sketching, workingwith computers, and using tools. Qualitycontrol is also an essential factor in thedesign process to maintain a desiredstandard of quality in what is beingdesigned, as well as arriving at theoptimum solution.

Standard 8 asks that students know theattributes of design, and Standard 9 calls forthem to know the steps in a design process.Besides knowing the attributes of designand being able to articulate the steps of thedesign process, technologically literate

students must also be able to apply theprocess. Thus, where the previous standardsdealt with what students should know orunderstand about the design process,Standard 11 deals with the application ofthe design process. These knowledge andprocess standards are connected — thedesign process cannot truly be understoodwithout the opportunity to apply it.Conversely, students cannot successfullyapply the design process without a cognitiveunderstanding of what they are doing.

The skills required by the design process arevaluable in and of themselves. In theprocess of developing those abilities,students will also attain firsthand experienceabout the transformation of ideas intosolutions, which in turn will make themmore comfortable with technology.

Abilities for a Technological World6C H A P T E R

Students will develop abilitiesto apply the design process.



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In Grades K-2, students are active,energetic learners who enjoyinvestigating and exploring the worldaround them. In addition to encouragingtheir students to be creative and

imaginative, teachers should establish anenvironment in which students can design,develop, test, and communicate their ideas.The use of the design process provides anopportunity for students to generate andexpress ideas in a supportive and structuredsetting.

The problems that students identify for thedesign process should come from everydayexperiences. They should be encouraged toexplore the world around them as it relatesto their personal needs and wants, andteachers are urged to select appropriateproblems for children at this level. Oncethe teacher and students have identified aproblem, the students should begindeveloping potential solutions.

After they have selected a solution, studentsshould build or construct it to demonstratethe design idea. It is important for theteacher to instill in the students the value ofsafety when using tools and materials. Thebuilding process will give students valuableexperience with various skills for handlingmaterials, such as measuring, marking,cutting, shaping, assembling, andcombining.

While generating solutions, students shouldbe given many opportunities to see howthings that are already made can beimproved. The students should work withvarious types of materials and come up withways to test different materials in order todetermine their properties. For example, theycould test newspaper and plastic to determinewhich is more waterproof or heavier. Another

experiment might test which materials couldeasily be shaped (cut with scissors) or fastened(glued). Based on the information gathered,the students then could choose whichmaterials they would like to use. In addition,to help them in their search for solutions,students could brainstorm with theirclassmates and receive input from theirteacher. Throughout the entire designprocess, students should communicate theirideas, solutions, and results to others both inand out of the classroom.

As part of learning how to apply designprocesses, students in Grades K-2should be able to

A. Brainstorm people’s needs and wantsand pick some problems that can besolved through the design process.These problems can come fromeveryday problems — family or schooldilemmas, for example.

B. Build or construct an object usingthe design process. Using the designprocess, students can build or constructit in three-dimensional form. Thiscould include building a scaled-downmodel of the object.

C. Investigate how things are madeand how they can be improved.A sense of innovation can bedeveloped through this investigation.




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This vignette presentsa process used in anelementary school classto design a boat usingcertain requirements.It provided a simulatedexperience to a real-worldbuilding process. [Thisvignette highlights someelements of the GradesK-2 STL standards thatprovide connections withStandards 8, 9, 10,11, 19, and 20.]

Ms. B gave her second-grade students equal sized pieces of wrapping paper,aluminum foil, and wax paper. They also received clay beads, golf balls,small pebbles, marbles, and a tub of water. Ms. B then asked her studentsto design and make one boat that would hold nine objects and float onthe water for 10 minutes.

Before making the product, the students, with guidance from their teacher,thought about the different design options, such as which material shouldbe used and what would be the most appropriate shape. The students thenselected a shape, chose their materials, and made their boats. They testedtheir boats to determine which shape would hold the nine objects. Afterthat experiment, some students tried other materials to see if they workedbetter, while others added more objects to determine at what point theirboats would sink.

After the test, the students identified which products held the loads.Discussion questions included: Why did one shape float and another sink?Which was the optimum design and why? What other materials would haveworked? What kinds of similar products have people made at different timesand places? Based on the discussions and responses to these questions,students were asked to reflect on them and draw some conclusions.

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In Grades 3-5, students will expand theirunderstanding of and ability to use thedesign process. As stated before, the designprocess begins with identifying a problemthat can be solved through the use of

technology. The problem should be one thatinterests the students personally, although itmight not involve their direct needs or wants.

Students will next generate ideas for solvingthe problem. They should be encouraged torecognize that some ideas for solvingproblems will differ from their own. At thisstage, students should collect information tohelp in identifying requirements for thedesign problem and for developing thesolution. The more information they cancollect, the more likely they are to find aworking solution. This collection processstarts with formulating questions to guidethe search. Techniques for finding answersto these questions include searching theInternet, interviewing experts, readingbooks, and looking at similar products orsystems. Students also will experiment withvarious materials, tools, and resources inorder to select the best one for their needs.

After this information has been gathered,students will select the best possiblesolutions and then create a design usingsketches and drawings. Students also mustlearn to use tools and machines safely andeffectively. If they are making a physicalproduct, for example, they may need toperform the basic processes of separating,forming, and combining materials in orderto complete their task. An example wouldbe designing and constructing a paperhouse. In this case, they could usecomputers, markers, colored paper, scissors,and paste to design and build their house sothat it would be attractive and functional.

Next, students would test and evaluate theeffectiveness of their solution. During thisphase, they should be encouraged to reflecton the requirements that have beenidentified. It is also important that theyaddress central issues: Does it work well?Does it meet the criteria that wereestablished earlier in the design process?How effective is the design in solving theproblem? After answering these questions,the students should improve their solutionby redesigning it.

It is important that students learnthat applying the design process involvesiteration. They should learn how touse repetition and recurrence (“do it overagain”) techniques to obtain the desiredsolution to a problem. Throughout theentire design process, students should workto improve the designed solutions.Additionally, they should communicatewith other members of the class by sharingtheir ideas and accepting input. When thestudents believe they have a good solution,they should give a presentation to the class,the teacher, parents, and possibly thecommunity. Communicating what theyhave done will reinforce and strengthenwhat they have learned.

As part of learning how to apply designprocesses, students in Grades 3-5should be able to

D. Identify and collect informationabout everyday problems that can besolved by technology, and generateideas and requirements for solving aproblem. In collecting information, itmay be necessary to use printed material(books or magazines), electronicresources (Internet or compact discs),




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and other resources. The requirementsare the limits to designing or making aproduct or system.

E. The process of designing involvespresenting some possible solutions invisual form and then selecting thebest solution(s) from many. Sketchesor drawings should be used because theyprovide visual records of the possiblesolutions. Complete and accurate recordsof the work should be kept.

F. Test and evaluate the solutions forthe design problem. Use criteriaidentified in the requirements forevaluating the solutions. After selecting

a solution, build it to show the designidea. Also observe safety when usingtools and materials. Through thisprocess, one will gain experience withvarious types of materials — frommeasuring, marking, cutting, andshaping to assembling and combining.

G. Improve the design solutions.Repeating steps in the design processmay be necessary to optimize thedesign before communicating theresults to others. If the solutions are notoptimal at this point, the students willreturn to the design process.


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In Grades 6-8, students are restless,energetic learners who enjoy active,hands-on experiences. The benchmarksat this level call for students to apply adesign process that will enable them to

develop their ideas in greater detail and tocreate their design solutions on a larger,more complex scale. They need to recognizethat multiple ideas may solve a problem.Before designing a solution, students mustspecify goals that will establish the desiredresults for the problem. These goals willthen be used to guide the design process,and ultimately, they will be used to evaluatethe final product or system.

After establishing the design requirements,students should develop a proposal, whichshould detail the size, shape, resources, andspecifications for making the design. It caninclude sketches and drawings thatincorporate symbols and clarifying notes.Over time, symbols used in the designproposal have become standardized andhave come to represent specificcomponents.

At the middle-school level, models areformally introduced. Using a model is aneffective way to simulate what the designwill look like. Models can take many forms,such as physical replicas of artifacts,computer programs, conceptual andmathematical modeling, and simulatedproducts. For example, a model of abuilding is often created by an architect toshow clients how it will ultimately look.

After the design proposal has been finalizedand the model has been created, it isimportant to perform tests and evaluate theresults as they relate to the pre-establishedcriteria and constraints. This testing andevaluating allows students to refine the

design proposal before it becomes a reality.Once they begin the process of makingtheir designs, students should continue toevaluate their ideas in hopes that the finalsolution will be the best one possible.

Students should actually build thesolution(s) as a final activity. If anyproblems with the proposed solutionsurface, some of the steps in the designprocess can be repeated (not necessarily inthe same order) to obtain the optimumsolution. It is important for students todocument procedures and results as they gothrough each step of the design process.They should communicate their successes,as well as their disappointments. Throughthis process, students will gain valuableinsights from one another. Varioustechniques for documentation includedesign portfolios, sketches, journals,schematics, and World Wide Web pages.

As part of learning how to apply designprocesses, students in Grades 6-8should be able to

H. Apply a design process to solveproblems in and beyond thelaboratory-classroom. Performresearch, then analyze and synthesizethe resulting information gatheredthrough the design process. Identifyand select a need, want, or problem tosolve, which could result in a solutionthat could lead to an invention (anoriginal solution) or an innovation (amodification of an existing solution).Identify goals of the problem to besolved. These goals specify what thedesired result should be.

I. Specify criteria and constraints forthe design. Examples of criteria




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include function, size, and materials,while examples of constraints are costs,time, and user requirements. Explorevarious processes and resources andselect and use the most appropriateones. These processes and resourcesshould be based on the criteria andconstraints that were previouslyidentified and specified.

J. Make two-dimensional and three-dimensional representations of thedesigned solution. Two-dimensionalexamples include sketches, drawings,and computer-assisted designs (CAD).A model can take many forms,including graphic, mathematical,and physical.

K. Test and evaluate the designin relation to pre-establishedrequirements, such as criteria andconstraints, and refine as needed.Testing and evaluation determine if theproposed solution is appropriate for theproblem. Based on the results of thetests and evaluation, students shouldimprove the design solution. Problem-solving strategies involve applying priorknowledge, asking questions, andtrying ideas.

L. Make a product or system anddocument the solution. Groupprocess skills should be used, such asworking with others in a cooperativeteam approach and engaging inappropriate quality and safety practices.Students should be encouraged to usedesign portfolios, journals, drawings,sketches, or schematics to documenttheir ideas, processes, and results. Thereare many additional ways tocommunicate the results of the design

process to others, such as a WorldWide Web page or a model of aproduct or system.


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This vignette exemplifiesa group problem-solvingactivity, in which a paperracecar is created. Criteriaare used to evaluate thefinal solutions. [Thisexample highlightssome elements of theGrades 6-8 STL standardsthat provide connectionswith Standards 8, 9, 10,11, and 18.]

“Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!” Ms. C told her class.“Your challenge is to design, develop, and produce a racecar thatwill compete in the second annual Great Paper Car Race atRolling Hills Middle School. Your car must be designed to rolldown an 8-foot ramp into the center of the winner’s circle. Tomake your car, you will be given one piece of 8 1/2" x 11" paper,four wheels, dowel rod axels, thumbtacks, glue, and a limitedamount of tape. You will have two days to complete this activity.”

Ms. C then divided the class into groups of four to five students,and they began brainstorming various design ideas. Ms. Cencouraged them to apply the aerodynamic principles that theyhad learned in prior lessons and the concepts of force, motion,and the transfer of energy that they had learned in their scienceclass. The groups also had to use problem-solving strategies,critical thinking skills, and teamwork skills as they evaluatedeach of their ideas and selected the best one.

Each group then used the materials that they were given to buildtheir car. Once the cars were built, each car was timed as itrolled down the ramp. The students were evaluated in threecategories: Teamwork — Did the team work together? Were theyable to produce a completed product? What proportion ofplanning, designing, and construction did each team membercontribute? Problem solving — When the team encountered aproblem, how did they react? Did the team solve the problem?Design Solutions — How well built was the final artifact?

As a result of this activity, the students had an opportunity toexperience firsthand how the seemingly abstract concepts andtheories they were learning could be applied to concrete, real-lifesituations. In addition, they gained valuable insights into thevalue of working together as a team in order to solve a problem.

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By the time students graduate fromhigh school, they will be able toapply the design process with a highdegree of confidence. They also willbe able to work with a whole host of

hand tools, various materials, sophisticatedequipment, and other resources. They willbe capable of synthesizing knowledge andprocesses and applying them to new anddifferent situations.

In working with the design process at thehigh school level, students will be applyingmany of the abilities they learned in earliergrades. They should realize that not allproblems can or should be solved. Theywill also become more adept at identifyingrequirements in the design process.

The major new skill students develop willbe working with prototypes, which can befull-size or scale models, depending on thesize of the final product or system. Forexample, it would be impractical to make aprototype of a skyscraper to full scale.Prototypes and other models should beused to test and evaluate the solutions.Based on these tests, the design solutionshould be refined if necessary. It isimportant during this evaluation stage toremember previously discarded solutions incase they are useful later.

Students should be exposed to moresophisticated conceptual, physical, andmathematical models in their late secondaryschool experiences. Teachers should becareful that the problems their studentsselect are worthy of in-depth research andare challenging enough so that studentsgain the optimal level of knowledge andskills from the process.

Evaluation becomes even more important atthe high school level for testing and judging

ideas. Students should be competent at thisprocess and be able to sort through amultitude of possible solutions, test andevaluate them, and determine the best onesfor the problem at hand.

Based on the results of the testing andevaluation, the process of building thedesigned product or system can proceedand may result in one or many items.Students need to see how the buildingphase goes and then to use that informationin evaluating the design. Students alsoshould be challenged to consider economicfactors when designing their product orsystem. In addition, they should considerthe sustainability and disposability of theresources in the final product.

As part of learning how to apply designprocesses, students in Grades 9-12should be able to

M. Identify the design problem to solveand decide whether or not toaddress it. It is important to determinewhether the design problem is worthy of being addressed or solved. If theproblem is worthy of being solved,students should research, investigate,and generate ideas for the design.Brainstorming is an excellent techniquefor generating ideas and encouragingcreative thinking. Designers often usethis technique. Next, synthesize theresearch and specify the goals of thedesign. Deductive thinking processesshould be used to limit the possiblesolutions to a few good ones.

N. Identify criteria and constraints anddetermine how these will affect thedesign process. Identifying criteriaand specifying constraints will providethe basis for what the design should be


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and what its limits are. Carefullyconsider concept generation,development, production, marketing,fiscal matters, use, and disposability ofa product or system. Test, experimentwith, select, and use a variety ofresources to optimize the developmentof the design. If sufficient resources arenot available, existing resources couldbe modified or new ones could beidentified. Identify and consider trade-offs among the proposed solutions.Next, plan and select the best possiblesolution that takes into account theconstraints and criteria obtained fromresearch and personal preference. Thisinvolves synthesizing various factors,including the constraints, criteria, andinformation gathered by research.

O. Refine a design by using prototypesand modeling to ensure quality,efficiency, and productivity of thefinal product. Evaluate proposed orexisting designs in the real world. Modifythe design solution so that it moreeffectively solves the problem by takinginto account the design constraints inorder to consider the next step.

P. Evaluate the design solution usingconceptual, physical, andmathematical models at variousintervals of the design process inorder to check for proper design andto note areas where improvementsare needed. Checking the designsolutions against criteria and constraintsis central to the evaluation process.Assess previously ignored solutions,perhaps with modifications, as possiblechoices. When previously favoredsolutions are discarded, they may be stillappropriate for consideration later in thedesign process.

Q. Develop and produce a product orsystem using a design process.Sometimes items can be produced insingle quantity, while others can bemade in batches or volume production.Quality control ensures that the productis of high enough quality to be sold.

R. Evaluate final solutions andcommunicate observation,processes, and results of the entiredesign process, using verbal,graphic, quantitative, virtual, andwritten means, in addition to three-dimensional models. The final resultsshould be compared to the originalgoals, criteria, and constraints.




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In this vignette,students participatein an America’s Cupcompetition of theirown by designing andconstructing a wind-powered monohullvessel. The winnerreceives the “Cup.”[This example highlightssome elements of theGrades 9-12 STLstandards that provideconnections withStandards 8, 9, 10,11, and 18.]

The Challenge

Design a wind-powered monohull vessel to travel a predetermined distancein the least amount of time.

Size Constraints

Maximum overall length — 16 inches. Maximum hull width (beam) — 8 inches. Maximum overall height — 24 inches. Maximum boom length —16 inches.

Time Constraints

Items due Week One: 1) Nautical terminology/definitions; 2) Full-size deckplan; 3) Full-size profiles; 4) Determination of hull material.

Items due Week Two: 1) Rigging design; 2) Determination of sail material.

Items due Week Three: 1) Additional nautical terminology.

Items due Week Four: 1) Vessel ready for trials; 2) Written and oral report.

Construction Constraints

Dugouts and solid hull vessels are not acceptable. The sail width must notexceed the length of the hull.

Organizational Criteria

1. The racing team will consist of a captain and two crew members.

2. The vessel will represent a country other than the United States.

3. The vessel must be named (lettered on the vessel) in the language of thecountry represented.

4. The vessel must fly the flag of the country represented.

5. The written and oral reports must be organized in accordance with theassigned instructions.

6. All construction must take place within the confines of the school.


Individual and group input will be used to assess the success of the group’sdesign solution. In addition, assessment will be based on the results of arace held at a basin or pond located near the school.


Masts and spars; ballast; sails; molds; adhesives; tools; machines; equipment;methods; research and development information; and testing procedures.

The America’s Cup Challenge

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Everyone uses technological productsand systems — cars, televisions,computers, and household appliances— but not everyone uses them well,safely, or in the most efficient and

effective manner. Much of the problem lieswith the rapid pace of technological change.New technologies appear so frequently thatit can be difficult to become comfortablewith one before the next has taken its place.As a result, people are driving cars whoseminor failings they are incapable ofdiagnosing; they are working withcomputers most, of whose capabilities are acomplete mystery; and they are staring at aflashing “12:00” on their VCRs.

A technologically literate person does notnecessarily know how to use every tech-nology safely and effectively, but, whennecessary, he or she is able to learn to use aparticular technological product or systemand is comfortable doing so. At this level,students should be exposed to a variety oftechnologies, including the newest, andthey should be taught the proper learningtools for mastering them, beginning withreading the instructions and owner’smanual. Students should learn to selectappropriate technologies for a givensituation. They should be able to analyzemalfunctions and come up withappropriate responses. They shouldrecognize that in some cases the proper useof a technological product is simply not touse it at all.

Appropriate maintenance of a product orsystem is crucial to keeping it in correctworking order, and when malfunctions dohappen, appropriate repair is necessary.Troubleshooting, testing, and diagnosingare important processes in maintaining andrepairing a product or system.

Students will develop the abilities to use andmaintain technological products and systems.



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Abilities for a Technological World6C H A P T E R


K-2 From the earliest grades, students willbe exposed to various products andsystems, and they will be givenopportunities to use them correctlyand to learn what happens when they

are used improperly. For example, studentscould learn how to use a clock to tell time,how to use a telephone correctly, and howto use basic hand tools properly. Thestudents should be encouraged to investigateeach item, perhaps by taking it apart or bycomparing it to similar items to discoverhow it works, its use, and its purpose.

Young students are interested in everythingthey see around them and are asking ques-tions about how things work, why things area certain way, and how things came about.Students should be encouraged to findanswers to their questions using varioustools available to them. Children should beencouraged to follow directions — a type ofcommunication that offers guidance on howto use a tool or product correctly. Directionscan be written, verbal, or step-by-stepillustrations.

Employing products and systems oftenrequires students to use common tools, suchas staplers, screwdrivers, rulers, scissors, andclamps. Although many students will haveused tools before, they may not know howto use them correctly. Through formal andinformal learning activities and guideddiscussions, students will learn the best andsafest way to use tools.

Symbols are also important in thecommunication process. Students shouldrecognize that symbols are all around them,from logos representing their favorite sportsteams to warning signs on roads. Thesesymbols communicate information anddirections in an efficient manner, and they

allow children to “get the message” withoutusing a lot of words.

As part of learning how to use andmaintain technological products andsystems, students in Grades K-2 shouldbe able to

A. Discover how things work. This canbe done by carefully taking somethingapart (while making a sketch of howthe parts fit together) and then puttingit back together. The ability to observe,analyze, and document is vital tosuccessfully accomplish this task.

B. Use hand tools correctly and safelyand name them correctly. Tools havealways provided a means for humans toextend their capabilities. Simple toolssuch as scissors, needles and thread,staplers, hammers, and rulers areexamples of devices that everyone needsto know how to use.

C. Recognize and use everyday symbols.Symbols are used as a means ofcommunication in the technologicalworld. Examples include road signs,symbols for disabled people, and iconson a computer screen.

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Building upon knowledge fromGrades K-2, students will learnmore about how to use productsand systems and what should bedone if they are not working

properly. Reading and followinginstructions from a users’ manual is animportant first step in assembling and usingproducts and systems correctly. Studentsmust learn to follow step-by-step directions.Teaching this ability will require asignificant period of time with manyexposures to directions that are both welland poorly done. Students will need tolearn the appropriate questions to ask whendirections are not available or are not clear.At this level, students will practice taking aproduct or system apart and reassembling itin order to learn how things fit together andwork. The knowledge gained in suchexercises will help them when they use andtroubleshoot other products and systems.For example, students could take a toy carapart to see how the gears and the steeringsystem work. They can then apply theirnew knowledge to investigate why a toy cardoes not roll or change directions properly.

Given many opportunities to use tools,students should become proficient inselecting the best one for a given task.Students must also be taught to keep safetyforemost in their minds when they areusing tools. Tools that help students access,organize, and evaluate information shouldreceive special attention. Such tools shouldinclude newer resources like computers,CD-ROMS, or the Internet, in addition tothe more traditional print sources.

In addition, students should understand andbe able to use various symbols in differentsettings. These symbols could include signs

in the community and icons on computers.In classroom activities, students may bechallenged to create new symbols that couldbe used in the home, school, or communityto begin to understand the need for symbolsand how they aid in communicating keyideas quickly.

As part of learning how to use andmaintain technological products andsystems, students in Grades 3-5 shouldbe able to

D. Follow step-by-step directions toassemble a product. These directionscould come from a paper or bookletthat describes how to put somethingtogether or how to solve a problem.

E. Select and safely use tools, products,and systems for specific tasks. Toolsshould be selected based on theirfunction (what they are designed todo), ease of use, and availability.

F. Use computers to access andorganize information. This could bedone with software on the computer(for example, an encyclopedia on aCD), as well as on the Internet.

G. Use common symbols, such asnumbers and words, tocommunicate key ideas. Most ofthese symbols are found in everydaylife, such as the alphabet, numbers,punctuation marks, or commerciallogos.




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Abilities for a Technological World6C H A P T E R


This vignette dealswith an assembly lineoperation to find out howpens can be disassembledthen reassembled in anefficient manner. Also,more intricate itemscan be brought into theclassroom for students totake apart and put backtogether. This processteaches how parts fittogether and how theywork. This vignettehighlights some elementsof the Grades 3-5 STLstandards that provideconnections to Standards8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 19.]

Using a lesson from Mission 21: Launching Technology Across the CurriculumSeries, Ms. W decided to introduce technology to her third graders. Primaryobjectives of this lesson were to “increase students’ sequencing skills andbroaden her students’ concepts of what technology is by exploring itsinfluence in commonly used [items]” (Dunlop, Croft, & Brusic, 1992, p. 9).Ms. W used a design brief from the series titled “Take It Apart.” She dividedher students into teams and asked them to disassemble retractable ballpointink pens.

The students took the pens apart, sketched the components, and labeled eachone. This method of documentation helped the students later when theydeveloped their presentations. Members of the teams formed an assemblyline to take the pens apart, reassemble them, and discuss how they worked.They used their sketches as a guide in putting the pens back together.

After the pen exercise, the students brought in additional items to explore,most of which were more complex than the ink pen. However, having hadthe opportunity to explore with the ink pen, the students made thetransition with ease. All of them took apart their items, drew the parts,labeled them, and documented how to put the objects back together. Theythen shared their learning through demonstrations by explaining about thevarious parts. The students were challenged with their activities, and mostwanted to know if they could take something else apart and reassemble it.This type of student-centered activity creates understanding within studentsand encourages group effort. (Dunlop, Croft, & Brusic, 1992, p. 10).

Take It Apart

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Students at the middle level willexplore, use, and maintain a variety ofhand tools and machines, consumerproducts, and technological systems.They will continue to practice proper

safety procedures — wearing protectiveclothing and eye protection, for example —and to follow directions from manuals andother protocols in order to ensure a safeworking environment.

In these grades, students also will learn touse the computer, calculator, and othertools to collect data and analyzeinformation to help them determinewhether a system is operating effectively. Inaddition to correcting problems, studentswill be taught to be proactive and toestablish routine maintenance schedulesthat will keep their technological productsoperating efficiently.

In order to manage systems effectively,students need to develop a systems-orientedway of thinking — considering technologyin terms of inputs, processes, outputs, andfeedback. Students at this grade level willlearn to identify types of systems andbecome familiar with how these systemsand subsystems operate. One useful exerciseinvolves assembling several subsystems tocreate a larger system and then trackinghow the various parts interact with andaffect the performance of the others.

To deal with technologies that have becomeinefficient or have failed, students will learnthe skills of diagnosing, troubleshooting,maintaining, and repairing. They should beable to recognize when a system malfunctions,isolate the problem, test the faulty componentor module, determine whether they cancorrect the problem, and decide if they requireoutside help. Students should understand and

follow maintenance procedures, such ascleaning, oiling, adjusting, and tighteningscrews, in order to keep products and systemsoperating properly.

As part of learning how to use andmaintain technological products andsystems, students in Grades 6-8 shouldbe able to

H. Use information provided inmanuals, protocols, or byexperienced people to see andunderstand how things work. Thisinformation is helpful in learning howto use a product and determining if itworks properly. In addition, manymanuals provide tips on how totroubleshoot a product or system.

I. Use tools, materials, and machinessafely to diagnose, adjust, and repairsystems. For many consumerproducts, federal and state laws requiresafety information. Safety proceduresshould be learned through formaleducation.

J. Use computers and calculators invarious applications. Computers canbe used to control production systemsand to research answers to problems.

K. Operate and maintain systems inorder to achieve a given purpose.The understanding of how a systemworks is vital if one is to operate andmaintain it successfully. Examples ofeveryday systems could include theInternet, control systems such asrobots, and gating circuits for digitalprocessing of information.




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By the time they leave high school,students will be able to use andmaintain various types of productsand systems — a key element totechnological literacy. Some students

also will have developed strong personalinterests and abilities in technology and willbe ready to pursue further education in thefield. Students will be able to articulate andcommunicate their thoughts to others usingoral, written, and electronic communica-tion techniques.

Students should be capable of diagnosing,troubleshooting, analyzing, and main-taining systems. These abilities becomecentral to keeping systems in goodcondition and in working order. Studentsshould be taught the importance ofestablishing maintenance schedules toprevent breakdowns. For example, theycould establish regular schedules to changethe air filters in their homes or to changethe oil in their cars. If certain products orsystems fail, it is important that students beable to diagnose, troubleshoot, and repairthem. Much information about how todiagnose and repair a product or system iscontained in the product’s service manual.Having a clear understanding of the severityof the problem is key to deciding if moreexperienced help is needed.

As has been stressed at other grade levels,the safe and effective use of tools andmachines is important to technologicalliteracy. Students should be given manyopportunities to use various tools, suchas meters and oscilloscopes, to retrieve,monitor, organize, diagnose, maintain,interpret, and evaluate data and informa-tion that can then be used in solvingpractical problems.

Systems thinking, which combinesmethodical and analytical thinking,provides the mental skills for studentsto determine if a system is being usedappropriately and correctly. By using suchhigh-level thinking, students will be ableto work with inputs, processes, outputs,and feedback to adjust a system.

At the high school level, students shouldbecome proficient in using computersand software. They should know aboutand be able to use advanced computersand peripherals, and they should be able totroubleshoot hardware and software prob-lems. They should also understand thecapabilities and limitations of computers.Finally, students should be able to adapt toemerging computing technologies.

As part of learning how to use andmaintain technological products andsystems, students in Grades 9-12should be able to

L. Document processes and proceduresand communicate them to differentaudiences using appropriate oraland written techniques. Examples ofsuch techniques include flow charts,drawings, graphics, symbols, spread-sheets, graphs, time charts, and WorldWide Web pages. The audiences canbe peers, teachers, local communitymembers, and the global community.

M. Diagnose a system that ismalfunctioning and use tools,materials, machines, and knowledgeto repair it. Various items, such asdigital meters or computer utilitydiagnostic tools, can be used in themaintenance of a system.


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N. Troubleshoot, analyze, andmaintain systems to ensure safe andproper function and precision.Monitoring the operation, adjustingthe parts, cleaning, and oiling of asystem represent examples of how aproduct or system can be properlymaintained.

O. Operate systems so that theyfunction in the way they weredesigned. These systems may includetwo-way communication radios,transportation systems that movegoods from one place to another,and power systems that convert solarenergy to electrical energy. Using safeprocedures and following directions isabsolutely essential to ensuring anaccident-free working environment.

P. Use computers and calculators toaccess, retrieve, organize, process,maintain, interpret, and evaluatedata and information in order tocommunicate. Many resources, suchas library books, the Internet, wordprocessing and spreadsheet software,in addition to computer aided design(CAD) software can be used to accessinformation.




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When presented with a particularproduct or system, thetechnologically literate personshould be able to gatherinformation about it, synthesize

this information, analyze trends, and drawconclusions regarding its positive ornegative effects. To assess a technology inthis way, students should be encouraged toacquire new abilities. They should be ableto make forecasts by using a variety oftechniques, such as repeated testing,reasoning from past experiences, foreseeingpossible consequences, modeling anddeveloping scenarios, and determiningbenefits and risks. Then, working fromthese forecasts, they should be able to assesshow a product or system will affectindividuals, society, and the environment.

This sort of assessment is particularlyimportant today because the human use oftechnology has become so widespread thatit can result in positive or negativeconsequences, and it is so complex that itcan be difficult to predict. Students shouldrealize that technological activitiesinevitably involve trade-offs, as well as acertain amount of risk. In assessing atechnology, they must distinguish betweenreal and imagined risks and recognize thateven doing nothing can result in anuncertain outcome.

Abilities for a Technological World6C H A P T E R

Students will develop the abilities to assessthe impact of products and systems.



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Technology plays an important part inchildren’s lives. It provides shelter,information, toys, clothing, and food.As current and future consumers,children should be able to determine if

the use of a product or system will havepositive or negative results. They alsoshould begin comparing products todetermine the best value.

Students at this level should collectinformation about everyday products andsystems, asking such questions as: Wheredid the product come from? How was itmade? Does the product work well? Can Iafford to buy it? Does the product do whatit was advertised to do? What are the safetyfactors to be considered when using theproduct? How long will the product last?Does the product require additional costs(e.g., paper, film, or batteries)?

Learning to collect information abouttechnology is important in developing anability to correctly make decisions about itsuse and in evaluating its effectiveness. Theconcept of data collection as a means ofdecision making should be introduced inGrades K-2 when students are also studyingdata collection in science and mathematics.Using easily observable requirements (e.g.,numbers, size, texture, weight, and motion),students will identify, categorize, andcompare different kinds of technologies.

In Grades K-2, students should use thiscollected information to determine whethera product generally produces positive ornegative results. For example, studentscould examine the use of disposable foodcontainers in local fast food restaurants. Inthis activity, students could list the positiveattributes (e.g., makes the lines go fasterand gets rid of the need for washing dishes)

and negative attributes (e.g., produces a lotof trash) of these containers. Suchexperiences can help students to begin todevelop a critical eye for technology.

As part of learning how to assessthe impact of products and systems,students in Grades K-2 should be able to

A. Collect information about everydayproducts and systems by askingquestions. Examples of some questionsare: What are they? Why are theyimportant? Can they be recycled?What is the cost? Where do they fitinto everyone’s lives? How do theyaffect daily life?

B. Determine if the human use of aproduct or system creates positiveor negative results. Examples could bethe positive or negative effects of usingtelevisions, toys, bicycles, games, dolls,and the Internet.




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Students in Grades 3-5 will have anopportunity to assess technology frompersonal, family, community, andeconomic points of view. In assessingtechnology, students take a step

toward becoming self-reliant, independentthinkers. Furthermore, in learning to assesstechnology, students will develop skills incomparing, contrasting, and classifyingcollected data, and they will then use thatdata to make decisions.

Gathering information involves makinginvestigations and observations about theuse of technology and then recording theobservations in an appropriate manner.Knowing how to gather data requiresstudents to use skills from other areas —notably science skills, like observation, andlanguage-arts skills, such as note taking,outlining, and informative writing.

Students should explore how technologyinfluences individuals, families, com-munities, and the environment. As studentsstudy the significant events that helped toshape their communities, they lay thegroundwork for discussing and learningabout the development and future use oftechnological products and systems. Theyshould learn to recognize the trade-offsimplicit in any technology and to weighthose trade-offs to determine whether thepositive outcomes of a product or systemwill outweigh its negative consequences.

As part of learning how to assessthe impact of products and systems,students in Grades 3-5 should be able to

C. Compare, contrast, and classifycollected information in order toidentify patterns. Information, suchas cost, function, and warranties,could be collected on certain products,such as toys, food, games, healthproducts, school supplies, and clothes,or on larger systems, such astransportation or communication.

D. Investigate and assess the influenceof a specific technology on theindividual, family, community, andenvironment. Examples of this couldbe the family car, microwave oven,clothing, processed food, electricpower plants, or passenger airplanes.

E. Examine the trade-offs of using aproduct or system and decide whenit could be used. It is important todecide which problems the productsor systems are solving and which onesthey may create. For example, aquestion that may be examined is:“Should cars be used?”


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Assess the Impact of Products and Systems13S T A N D A R D



This vignette presentsa real-life problem ofan oil spill. Students arechallenged to solve theproblem by trying outdifferent activities inthe laboratory-classroom.Students should be able toassess the impact of theoil spill. [This vignettehighlights some elementsof Grades 3-5 STLstandards that provideconnections to Standards3, 5, 6, 10, 13, 16, and18.]

Ms. G, a fifth-grade teacher, presented her class with a challenge. “OnApril 5, an oil tanker, Radical, sideswiped an iceberg, causing 15 tons ofoil to spill into the ocean. You are chosen to join an elite team ofscientists to devise a way to clean up the oil spill.”

Ms. G then divided the students into groups of four to five members. Eachgroup received a pie pan with one inch of water in it and a small piece offake fur. Ms. G instructed the students to begin the experiment by placingthe fur in the water, and then she used an eyedropper to add atablespoon of oil to the water in each pan. The students observed whathappened and recorded these observations in their journals. The teacherstimulated their thinking by asking questions, such as “Do the oil andwater mix? How many layers do you see? What happened to the oil?” Thestudents then estimated the size of the oil spill.

Next, the students received paper towels, cotton balls, toilet tissue,string, coffee filters, and rubber bands. Ms. G then challenged them touse these materials to try to contain the oil in a small area and to cleanup the oil spill as much as possible. The students worked together asteams to design a method, and they recorded their observations, theirsuccesses, and their not-so-successful attempts in their journals.

Ms. G then led the class in a discussion of the various methods that thestudents had developed. They discussed the problems that they hadencountered in developing a solution and how they had overcome theobstacles. The teacher then asked the students to observe the piece offur and to describe in their journals how the fake fur had changed and toimagine how oil on an animal’s fur might affect its survival. Ms. G thenadded several drops of detergent to the experimental oil spill, and againshe asked the students to write their observations in their journals.

Ms. G concluded the exercise by discussing the importance of petroleumand oil in everyone’s life. She also explained the short- and long-termimpacts that an oil spill can have on the environment. She sharedwith them several real-life stories of tanker accidents, the clean-upprocedures, the damage to the environment, the community’s response tothe accident, and the steps taken to design tankers that won’t spill oil.As a result of this exercise, the students learned how a technology canhave both positive and negative effects on the environment.

Clean Up an Oil Spill

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At this age, students are able to collect andanalyze data and to interpret trends inorder to assess what the personaland societal impacts of a particulartechnology might be. In so doing,

students will develop certain important skills. Tocollect information, for example, students willneed to design instruments for gathering data.The collection of data might include conductingsurveys, interviewing people, writing letters, orconsulting reference sources.

By investigating the effects of technology,students will learn that people react to technologyin a variety of ways. For example, students mayfind that some people favor a proposal for a newshopping mall or golf course in town, whileothers oppose it. The supporters might be moreinfluenced by the effects on employment, as wellas shopping or recreation opportunities, whileopponents might be concerned aboutenvironmental damage or traffic congestion.

Using and analyzing data will help students beginto appreciate various trends that have occurred inthe development and use of technology. Studentsshould learn how to use data to create knowledge.Making sound decisions about technologydemands knowledge about current trends.Students will learn what trends are, how they areimportant in forecasting the future, and how tointerpret and make future predictions based onthem. After identifying trends, students will learnhow to evaluate and monitor the consequences oftechnological activity. For example, students mayuse computer simulation software to assess theimpacts of technology on a city.

By combining various skills, students can evaluateor assess products and systems to determine ifthey are useful or not — whether they willachieve the desired outcomes, and whether thepositive consequences might outweigh thenegative. The ability to analyze a technology

critically and objectively is a skill that requires agreat deal of time and practice to develop.

As part of learning how to assess theimpact of products and systems, studentsin Grades 6-8 should be able to

F. Design and use instruments to gatherdata. Examples of these instruments couldbe a data-collection instrument for inter-views, questionnaires to be mailed, orcomputer-based forms on the WorldWide Web. Assessment tools also couldinclude devices designed to conduct testson such things as water quality, air purity,and ground pollution.

G. Use data collected to analyze andinterpret trends in order to identify thepositive or negative effects of a tech-nology. Technologically literate citizensare able to fulfill their personal and socialresponsibility to assess technology.

H. Identify trends and monitor potentialconsequences of technological develop-ment. Trends are patterns of technologicalactivities that show a tendency or take ageneral direction. Trends are used toprovide direction in deciding if a productor system should be used.

I. Interpret and evaluate the accuracy ofthe information obtained and deter-mine if it is useful. Developing specificcriteria for what is useful is important inmaking these judgments. Sometimesdetermining accuracy is easy — takinginformation from physical measuringdevices like a water-purity tester, forexample. At other times, accuracy is moredifficult to determine, as when assessmentsare based on public opinion, which candiffer greatly from group to group andfrom time to time.


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By learning how to assess technology,students will become better citizens inthe future and, as a result, they will beable to make wiser decisions in anincreasingly complex technological

world. Students should know that theadvantages of technology far outweigh thedisadvantages. If it were not for thedevelopment of technology, humans would beliving in a much more primitive world today.

Collecting and synthesizing data is invaluablefor making informed technological decisions.For example, people who are interested inbuying a product or system may design aforecasting instrument and collect data inorder to assess a technology’s overall efficiencyand intended function. In Grades 9-12,students will learn to synthesize data and touse their syntheses to draw conclusions aboutthe use of technology and the effects of its useon individuals, society, and the environment.

It is important for students to be able to usetrend analysis to judge trends and todetermine what is important in light of othercurrent events. For example, students couldresearch various climate forecast models andproject what could occur if the earth’s polarregions warmed by 2˚C or 4˚C. They thencould analyze a plan to address globalwarming and assess its potential solution.

Once information has been accumulated,synthesized, and used for forecasting, the finalstep in assessing a product or system is decidingwhether using it is appropriate. In making sucha decision, students should come to understandthe benefits and risks, costs, the limits andpotential, and the positive and negative impactsof technological developments.

As part of learning how to assess theimpact of products and systems, studentsin Grades 9-12 should be able to

J. Collect information and evaluate itsquality. This may include using suchmethods as comparing and contrast-ing sources, examining relevancy, andinvestigating the background ofexperts.

K. Synthesize data, analyze trends, anddraw conclusions regarding the effectof technology on the individual,society, and the environment. Deduct-ive thinking and synthesis techniquescan assist in this process. Studentsshould take into account historicalevents, global trends, and economicfactors, and they should evaluate andconsider how to manage the risksincurred by technological development.

L. Use assessment techniques, such astrend analysis and experimentation,to make decisions about the futuredevelopment of technology. Assess-ment is an evaluation technique involv-ing iterative steps and procedures thatrequires analyzing trade-offs, estimatingrisks, and choosing a best course ofaction. The assessment of a product orsystem can prove that it is dangerous,but it cannot prove that it is safe.

M. Design forecasting techniques toevaluate the results of alteringnatural systems. These techniquesshould include testing and assessment.These natural systems could be lakes(building homes around the shore),rain forests (cutting them down forthe wood), or land (strip mining forcoal).




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The Designed World7Students will develop an under-standing of and be able to select anduse medical technologies. p. 141

Students will develop anunderstanding of and be able toselect and use agricultural andrelated biotechnologies. p. 149

Students will develop an under-standing of and be able to selectand use energy and powertechnologies. p. 158

Students will develop an under-standing of and be able to selectand use information and commu-nication technologies. p. 166

Students will develop an under-standing of and be able to selectand use transportation tech-nologies. p. 175

Students will develop an under-standing of and be able to selectand use manufacturing tech-nologies. p. 182

Students will develop an under-standing of and be able toselect and use constructiontechnologies. p. 191









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The natural world consists of plants and animals, earth,air, water, and fire — things that would exist without humanintervention or invention. The social world includes customs,cultures, political systems, legal systems, economies, religions,and the various other mores that humans have devised to governtheir interactions and relationships with one another. Thedesigned world consists of all the modifications that humanshave made to the natural world to satisfy their own needs andwants. As its name implies, the designed world is the productof a design process that provides ways to turn resources —materials, tools and machines, people, information, energy,capital, and time — into products and systems.

In studying the designed world, it is useful to create a taxonomy,or classification system, that divides technology into smallerpieces that can be explored individually. The followingtaxonomy represents important areas that can be studied inK-12 programs. Each area of technology covered in this chaptercontains a set of characteristics that defines it and distinguishesit from the others. As the areas of technology change overtime, so too will the taxonomy. These areas are not mutuallyexclusive — there is some natural overlap between them — butdividing them up in this way makes it easier to study the manyand varied technologies that humankind has invented. It ispossible to create many different taxonomies of the designedworld, but for the purposes of Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy, the designed world is divided into seven standards.

Humans live in three

worlds: the natural

world, the social world,

and the designed world.

7 The Designed World

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People in today’s health-orientedsociety spend more time and moneythan at any other time in historysearching to live longer and moreproductive lives. The use of

technology has made numerouscontributions to medicine over the years.Scientific and technological breakthroughsare at the core of most diagnostic andtreatment practices. For example, majoroperations used to require long hours ofsurgery followed by an extensive hospitalstay. Today, with lasers, new drugs, andupdated medical procedures, long hours inthe hospital operating room have beendecreased to outpatient procedures in adoctor’s office, and recuperation time hasbeen reduced from weeks to days.

Medical miracles are cited often inthe news — the reattachment of a limb orthe saving of a life through a new medicalprocedure made possible by a new deviceor system. New ways of studying how thehuman body functions or reacts to changeare being introduced at rapid rates. Devicesand systems are being designed to check,evaluate, and operate with computerizedand electronic controls in order to extendhuman capabilities and help improvehuman health.

The development of good nutrition andpreventive medicine has played a key role inhelping individuals live better lives. Medicaladvances, such as vaccines and geneticallyengineered drugs, are developed to helphealthcare providers do their work moreefficiently and effectively, thus improving

the delivery of medical care. Today,technologies such as telemedicine(the use of telecommunications tech-nologies to deliver healthcare), are beingdesigned and developed to provide easieraccess to medical expertise, to integrategeographically dispersed services, toimprove the quality of care, and to gainmaximum productivity from expensivemedical and technical resources.

With the increased use of technologies inthe medical industry, it is important toconsider the consequences that accompanythem. Technologies, such as pharma-ceuticals and life support systems, havehelped protect and improve human health.However, the use of these products andsystems has raised questions, such as thelength of time a person chooses to remainon a life-support system and chooses tohave access to life-saving procedures.

In 1900 an American’s life expectancywas 47 years; today it exceeds 76 years.Worldwide, human life expectancy has beenprolonged through the development ofsanitation practices, vaccines, waste-disposalsystems, and other technologies. Thisincrease in life expectancy is a central reasonfor the worldwide population explosion.The issues surrounding the use of manytechnologies often conflict with each otheror with the opinions and ethics of thoseaffected by its use. Knowledge based onaccurate information is therefore essentialfor making sound decisions.

The Designed World7C H A P T E R

Students will develop an understanding of andbe able to select and use medical technologies.



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When children enter kindergarten,many will already know thatcleanliness and healthy habits areimportant in preventing sickness.They also will know that using

certain products and systems help them staysafe and healthy. The K-2 classroom shouldprovide students with the opportunity tolearn about habits that promote healthyliving, along with the technologies thatmake it possible.

Oral vaccines, shots, and medicines areused to help prevent diseases or slow theirprogression. Students should haveopportunities to explore how science andtechnology are used to help promote goodhealth. They may discuss how a germ maycause an illness and then discuss how aproduct is designed to help prevent theillness or provide a means for a person toget better.

Students are aware of various tools used toexamine their bodies when they visit adoctor, dentist, or optometrist. They knowthat tools, such as a thermometers, scales,dental tools, and optometrist lenses are usedto gather information. They shouldunderstand how various technologies arespecially developed to provide unobtrusiveways to learn more about their health. Forexample, they could explore how chewabletablets are designed to reveal plaque build-upby coloring their teeth. They might study astethoscope by taking it apart and examininghow sound is used to provide clues about thehealth of their hearts and lungs.

In order to select, use, and understandmedical technologies, students inGrades K-2 should learn that

A. Vaccinations protect people fromgetting certain diseases. Vaccinationshelp build protection to disease and areoften administered early in life. Someimmunizations are given over a period ofseveral months. Vaccinations and shotshave led to improved health and lifeexpectancy.

B. Medicine helps people who are sick toget better. Some medicines require along period of time before they becomeeffective and require repeated doses.Others work in a short period of timeand should to be used only whenneeded.

C. There are many products designedspecifically to help people take care ofthemselves. Everyday products, such astoothbrushes, hairbrushes,and soap are used to promote healthyliving. Doctors, dentists, optometrists,and other health professionals use manytechnological tools to gather medicalinformation about people’s health.




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Specialized products and systems canbe used to collect information aboutmany different things that can affectpeople’s health and safety. Doctorsuse such devices as stethoscopes, x-ray

machines, and thermometers to gain cluesabout why a person may be sick and to helpdetermine what medical attention may beneeded.

Students in Grades 3-5 should be aware ofthese and other products and systems thatplay an important role in keeping themhealthy and safe. News reports in the fallinform people about health issues regardingupcoming flu seasons. With increasedscientific and technological knowledgeabout how germs or bacteria work to causeillnesses, more advanced inoculations aredesigned and produced. Students shouldcontinue to make connections on howscience and technology work together topromote and improve health.

People who have, through injury or illness,lost body parts or functions can often behelped through the use of medicaltechnologies. Hearing aids can compensatefor a loss of hearing, for instance, andartificial limbs help people who have lostarms or legs to lead more normal lives.Students should discuss these and other waysthat technologies have been used to helpthose with disabilities or medical conditions.

Since more and more people spend time inclosed environments, students need to under-stand about the effects of poor indoor airquality and how it can decrease performanceand cause illness. Students could visit ahospital or factory or even tour their school inorder to learn about the different technologicalmeans that have been developed to promote ahealthy living and working environment.

In order to select, use, and understandmedical technologies, students inGrades 3-5 should learn that

D. Vaccines are designed to preventdiseases from developing andspreading; medicines are designed torelieve symptoms and stop diseasesfrom developing. Vaccines for suchillnesses as polio, tetanus, and mumpsare used in the maintenance of goodhealth, while medicines, such as thosefor the common cold, the flu, orpneumonia are used to help ease anillness and restore good health.

E. Technological advances have made itpossible to create new devices, torepair or replace certain parts of thebody, and to provide a means formobility. Products such as artificiallimbs, wheelchairs, or crutches change totake advantage of new technologies andto improve upon previous designs.

F. Many tools and devices have beendesigned to help provide cluesabout health and to provide a safeenvironment. Tools, such as ther-mometers, blood pressure machines,and heart monitors help determine ifpeople are well and provide other healthclues. For example, a heart monitormeasures a person’s heart rate. Manytools have been designed to diagnosewhat is happening in the human body.Self-testing kits for glucose, sugar, andpH levels, and kits to determine thelevels of protein or vitamins in the bodyare examples of such tools. Thisinformation may help determine if aperson’s health is stable, or if he or she isdeveloping an illness.


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This example uses a visitto a local pharmacy toencourage students todevelop and put to usetheir understanding ofhow the design of avaccine or medicinerelates to the process ofdesign and how vaccinesand medicine are relatedto various technologicaldevices. [This examplehighlights some elementsof Grades 3-5 STLstandards 1, 6, 8, 11, and 14.]

The students in Ms. B’s fifth grade class visited their local drug store tolearn more about various medicines in general. They focused particularly onindividualized kits designed to help people learn more about their bodies.

Ms. A, the local pharmacist, showed the students how people use variouskits to check their bodies’ pH and glucose levels, as well as their proteinand enzyme levels. The students were particularly interested in the salivatesting kits used to determine sugar levels. In addition, the studentsnoticed all the different devices available for checking their temperature —from the traditional thermometer to the new strips used on the forehead.Ms. A also demonstrated how the electronic ear thermometer worked.

When they were shown the numerous drugs kept in a pharmacy, thestudents were amazed. They asked Ms. A how she was able to keep track ofall the information about the many drugs and customers. She explainedthat thousands of records were kept in large filing cabinets before theyhad computers. Ms. A further explained that computers not only enablepharmacists to link customer information with doctors’ orders, they alsohelp in delivering advice about how to use medicines safely.

After the students returned to their classroom, Ms. B asked them toinvestigate more about the development of various medicines andvaccines, in addition to finding out about the tools used in theirdevelopment. She asked the students to refer to lessons they had studiedon design and to consider what processes of design may have been usedin the development of a medicine or vaccine. A few students used theInternet to check information, and others referred to several books aboutmedical technologies. After the students had written down theirinformation, Ms. B provided them with an opportunity to share theirfindings. The students reported that in order for many vaccines to work,physicians send things into the body that tell them how the body works.They are then able to determine if a vaccine is functioning properly. Manystudents commented on how similar the design and use of a vaccine is tothe design and use of a product or system.

A Pharmacy Connection

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In Grades 6-8, students are interestedin themselves and their own bodies.Learning about technologies designedto protect and keep them healthy isa natural extension of that interest.

Students can research and discuss thevarious technologies that have enabledpeople to live longer, more productive lives.They could also discuss personal experi-ences in which a technology has helpedthem with a medical situation, such asgetting glasses or braces.

Students should have opportunitiesto explore and discuss recent medicaldevelopments to learn what types oftechnologies are used to improve medicalcare in different environments. Forexample, the use of many new technologies,such as lasers for surgeries, electronicdevices for monitoring and evaluatinghealth, and modified treatment procedures,has helped to increase the well-being ofindividuals. Likewise, students shouldconsider how some people view the healthcare system as being dominated by the useof technology. They should learn abouthow the uses of medical technologies havehelped advance medicine from inactive carethat was primarily diagnostic in nature to afield dedicated to the aggressive treatmentand prevention of disease. In learning howdifferent medical technology devices work,students could design and build modelsthat would demonstrate how they are used.

Genetic engineering is the manipulation ormodification of an organism’s genes toincrease production or remove a geneticdefect. Genetic engineering is often discussedin contradictory terms. Although using it isviewed as a powerful means for curing geneticdiseases, it is criticized for the potential harm

that may come to people and the environ-ment. Students should, therefore, haveopportunities to assess different aspects ofgenetic engineering. For example, they couldinvestigate what technologies are used ingenetic engineering, how genetic engineeringis used in the health care field, and how genetherapy may affect medical costs and care.

In order to select, use, and understandmedical technologies, students inGrades 6-8 should learn that

G. Advances and innovations in medicaltechnologies are used to improvehealth care. A super-quick, ultra-lowradiation digital X-ray machine,originally developed to detect diamondsmugglers, has been adapted to savelives. Patients undergo a full-body X-ray, which can locate bullets andpinpoint fractures in seconds.

H. Sanitation processes used in thedisposal of medical products helpto protect people from harmfulorganisms and disease, and shapethe ethics of medical safety. Properhandling and management ofhazardous materials, such as medicines,clothing, and instruments, help toprotect people from unnecessary harmand increase risk-free environments.

I. The vaccines developed for use inimmunization require specializedtechnologies to support environ-ments in which sufficient amounts ofvaccines are produced. Immunizationis the process of systematically vac-cinating people through a series ofshots to prevent disease. The tech-nological system designed to create theproper environment in which a vaccine


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may be cultured is paramount to thesuccess of the large quantity of thevaccine needed for immunization.Increasing the production of a vaccinerequires understanding how anorganism is tailored to produce avaccine and how a vaccine works, inaddition to addressing the quantityneeded for all concerned and providingenough materials for proper productionof the vaccine.

J. Genetic engineering involvesmodifying the structure of DNA toproduce novel genetic make-ups.Genetic engineering is done in alaboratory using reagents and othertools that allow researchers to makecontrolled changes in genetic informa-tion and structure. A practical examplein the molecular pharmaceuticalindustry involves the process to removethe human insulin gene from humancells and to move it into bacterial cells(E. coli) with other genetic signals thatinstruct the bacteria to make humaninsulin. Large amounts of humaninsulin can be produced by thisrecombinant DNA method. Thehuman insulin (Humulin) has beenfound to be superior to that derivedfrom the pancreas of pigs (porcineinsulin) because patients using piginsulin can develop allergies that cancompromise the effectiveness ofdiabetic treatment.




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At this level, the technologies used forhealth and medicine should becritically researched and discussed,including the global concernsregarding the environment and the

ethical concerns about altering life. Studentsshould gain the ability to debate suchquestions as: How do people know when amedical technology is beneficial? At whatpoint should people be involved in thetesting of a medical invention andinnovation? To what degree are designersresponsible for the safety of their products orsystems? How will certain products andsystems affect the current and futureenvironment?

Students should have opportunities toidentify emerging health and medicaltechnologies, such as genetic engineering,noninvasive surgeries, arthroscopies, andnuclear magnetic resonance, by usingtrends, research, and forecasting techniques.For example, students could study and learnhow a laser works by making, testing, andevaluating a model and then relating itsadaptation to use in many surgical pro-cedures. They should communicate theirfindings to a wide variety of audiences,including peers, family, and the community,in order to explain their viewpoints on howproducts and systems can be used topromote safe and healthy living.

Advances in medical technology havehelped to improve human health byreducing the instances of serious diseasessuch as polio and smallpox. Yet there is stilla great need for continued improvementsand more innovations. Students shouldinvestigate both the benefits of the advancesin medicine made through the use oftechnology and the associated costs. In

addition, students should be aware of howtechnology is being used regarding suchtopics as population control, gene mapping,and the medical effects of pesticide usage.Similarly, students should examine howcomputers in the healthcare system play anintegral role keeping track of patients’diagnostic information, medicines, resultsof procedures, and in analyzing data inorder to help clinicians do their work moreefficiently and effectively.

In order to select, use, and understandmedical technologies, students inGrades 9-12 should learn that

K. Medical technologies include pre-vention and rehabilitation, vaccinesand pharmaceuticals, medicaland surgical procedures, geneticengineering, and the systems withinwhich health is protected and main-tained. For example, the developmentof vaccines and drugs, such as the poliovaccine, penicillin, and chemotherapy,has helped to eradicate or cause remis-sion of many serious illnesses. Thedevelopment of diagnostic tools, suchas the x-ray machine, computerizedtomography (CT) scan, and lasers,allows for less invasive interior views of the body than surgery. The use ofspecially designed equipment can helpprovide rehabilitation to disabledpersons. Using a wheelchair and otherspecially designed equipment, aparaplegic person can play basketball;dialysis maintains health for those withno kidneys; and laser eye shaping helpseliminate the need for glasses or contactlenses. Many technologies designed forhealth, medicine, and safety arespecialized and can be expensive to


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L. Telemedicine reflects theconvergence of technologicaladvances in a number of fields,including medicine, telecom-munications, virtual presence,computer engineering, informatics,artificial intelligence, robotics,materials science, and perceptualpsychology. Telemedicine is designedfor emergency situations, rural healthcare, forensic medicine, andmonitoring chronic conditions.Telemedicine represents a significantchange in the delivery of medical careby increasing the number of doctorswho can diagnose illness and offertreatment in unsafe and remote areasvia computer or videoconference. For example, when a scientist inAntarctica discovered a potentiallycancerous lump and could not fly outfor medical care, equipment wasairlifted to the location, and doctors,located in the United States, were ableto use the medical equipment andcommunication devices in the

determination of a treatment.

M. The sciences of biochemistry andmolecular biology have made itpossible to manipulate the geneticinformation found in livingcreatures. Recombinant DNAtechnology, in the form of appliedmolecular research, has resulted inmethods for screening and diagnosis ofdisease states and disease predisposition(molecular diagnostics). The potentialfor misuse of this information shouldcompel society to establish ethicalmandates for regulating the incidenceof testing and the uses of test results.




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About 14,000 years ago, theAgricultural Revolution transformedsociety by allowing humans for thefirst time to produce more food thanthey needed. The development of a

variety of agricultural tools and practices,such as the plow and irrigation, improvedproductivity and made it possible for fewerpeople to feed all of a society, thereby freeingup some of the society for other tasks. Furtheradvances in agricultural technology since thattime have continued the pattern, so that nowonly about one out of a hundred peopleworking on a farm is enough to provide foodfor everyone in the United States.

Agriculture is the growing of plants andanimals for food, fiber, fuel, chemical orother useful products. Many technologicalprocesses and systems are used inagriculture. One example of a simpleprocess is the saving of seeds from the endof one growing season to plant at thebeginning of the next. Another is the use offertilization and weed control. Breedingplants and animals in order to produceoffspring with desired traits is yet anotherexample of agricultural technology. Also, ofcourse, there is a long line of agriculturaltools and machinery — from pointed sticksused to scratch a line in the soil for plantingseeds to today’s most advanced combines ormilking machines. Technology has not onlyimproved the yield and quality of food, butit has also made it possible for farmers toadjust to changing circ*mstances in theenvironment, such as weather-relatedchanges, water shortages and floods, andoverused soil.

Biotechnology applications, both classicaland modern, have long been a driving forcein the field of agriculture. Biotechnology isdefined as “any technique that uses livingorganisms, or parts of organisms, to make ormodify products, improve plants or animals,or to develop microorganisms for specificpurposes” (OTA, 1988/1991, FCCSET,1992/1993). It encompasses a broadspectrum of purposes from changing theform of food and improving health todisposing of waste or using DNA to storedata. Living organisms involved in bio-technology can be microorganisms, plants,and animals, as well as their parts (i.e.,enzymes and proteins). Although it has amodern ring to it, biotechnology has beenaround for at least 8,000 years. Around6000 BC, for example, Babylonians usedyeast to brew beer, and about 4000 BCEgyptians learned how to use yeast inmaking bread.

In recent years, the use of biotechnologyhas become vastly more important asscientists have become more proficient atmanipulating cells and living tissue. Theyhave learned to read the genetic codes ofliving organisms and to manipulate theirgenetic instructions. The use of biotech-nology is opening the door to improvingthe fight against human and animaldiseases, promoting human health, fightinghunger by increasing crop yields throughresisting plant diseases, and helping theenvironment by reducing pesticide use, butthis is just the beginning. Experts predictthat an explosion of new products and

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services will result from biotechnologyadvances over the next century.

More than other types of technology,biotechnology tends to raise ethical andsocial issues. How safe are bio-engineeredcrops? Should society allow the use ofbioengineering methods? If society is toanswer such questions responsibly, itsmembers must have a basic understandingof biotechnology and the resulting productsand systems involved.

All of the technologies designed and usedfor agricultural and related biotechnologyproducts and systems have an effect on theenvironment. The term “artificial eco-system” is used in this standard in itsbroadest sense, to include the design andmanipulation of nature to create suchartificial ecosystems as farms, ponds,gardens, and human-made forests. Theseartificial ecosystems are designed to providefood, fiber, fuel, chemicals, and othergoods. A clear understanding is needed ofthe limitations of the technologies used tocreate the artificial ecosystems and how touse and manage them effectively in order tosustain the earth’s natural resources.


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Students who live on farms or have agarden in their yards will be familiarwith some of the products andsystems used to grow plants and raiseanimals, while children who live in

cities may have only a vague understandingof the technologies and processes. As aresult of experiences in Grades K-2, allstudents will have a basic understanding ofhow the food they eat and how the clothesthey wear are produced.

Living things depend on air, energy (sun),food, and water. If any one of these basicelements is missing, plants and animals willnot survive. Students will discover how allof these elements work together withtechnological products to form a systemthat enhances the growth of plants andfood. For example, they could plant severalpots of seeds using various types of soils.The different pots could be watered withdifferent amounts of nutrients todemonstrate to students how agriculturerelies on the use of supplements to enrichthe soil in various conditions. Some of thepots could be placed in the direct sunlight,while others could be placed in the dark.The students could then observe whathappened to the different pots.

Preparing a “biology-in-the-bottle”ecosystem will help students learnabout using the design process, workingwith tools, and conserving water.Using a container that provides a closedenvironment, students decide what theywant to grow and then research how muchwater and sunlight the plants need. Thestudents could then prepare the soil, plantthe seeds, and place them in a container.This activity will enable students to beginto understand how plants are grown and

what techniques are needed to care forthem in an artificial ecosystem.

In order to select, use, and understandagricultural and related biotechnolo-gies, students in Grades K-2 shouldlearn that

A. The use of technologies inagriculture makes it possible forfood to be available year round andto conserve resources. The processesof planting, growing, maintaining,harvesting, and preserving are importantin providing food. Conservation ofwater requires using it wisely in homes,yards, gardens, and farmlands.

B. There are many different toolsnecessary to control and makeup the parts of an ecosystem.An ecosystem is the collection oforganisms, such as plants and animals,in a shared physical environment.Understanding how plants, animals,and their wastes interact with theirenvironment is important in order toknow how to use them as naturaldevices for scrubbing or cleaning theenvironment. For example, trees andgrasses are used to help remove carbondioxide from the air and generateoxygen, while lakes, rivers, andmarshlands help to maintain andconserve water for all to use.




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Plants and animals, just like students’own bodies, require scheduled care.By applying what they have learned intheir science lessons about how thingsgrow, students can research how the

food that they eat is produced. Because wateris essential for living things, students shouldexplore different techniques for movingwater to its desired location, how to conserveit, and how to keep it from becomingpolluted. They also should investigate whattransportation systems are used to moveagricultural products from place to place.

At this level, students also should design,build, and assess artificial ecosystems fordifferent organisms. Students shouldresearch how much food, space, andsunlight organisms need in a givenecosystem, and how plants give off oxygenthat in turn is needed by the animals. Theycould apply this sort of information byraising a hamster in their classroom. Indesigning the hamster habitat, studentsshould be attentive to how their systemprovides clean water for drinking and thetypes of materials used for bedding andcollecting waste. Students could observethe composting process as it develops inthe material of their designed ecosystem.They might design and make a wildlifehabitat by landscaping a small area in theirschoolyard to attract birds, butterflies,beneficial insects, or small animals. Inconjunction with this activity, studentscould read and write about wildlife habitatsand their experiences in designing andmaking one. Through these variousactivities, students will gain a betterunderstanding of various technologicalprocesses used in agriculture, includingpropagating, growing, maintaining,evaluating, and harvesting.

In order to select, use, and understandagricultural and related biotechnolo-gies, students in Grades 3-5 shouldlearn that

C. Artificial ecosystems are human-made environments that aredesigned to function as a unit andare comprised of humans, plants,and animals. A farm or a garden pondis an example of an artificial ecosystemdesigned to use all parts to their fullestpotential. A farmer uses the plants,animals, and land to work together foroptimum production. A garden pondis designed to use plants to providefood and shelter for fish and otheranimals, in which animal waste, inturn, is used to help support plant life.In particular, Biosphere II is a closedartificial ecosystem, in which plants,animals, and microbes, are used notonly to provide food, but also to filterthe air and water for reuse.

D. Most agricultural waste can berecycled. Composting is a processused to recycle waste. Bio-fuels, suchas ethanol or methane, can be madefrom recycled wastes.

E. Many processes used in agriculturerequire different procedures,products, or systems. The proceduresand products needed to plant a cropare different from those used inharvesting. For example, propagatingand growing require plows and shovels,tractors with planting drills, andirrigation systems. In contrast,harvesting requires shears and hoes,hay thrashers, and baling systems.




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In middle school, students should learnabout and understand how technologicalinventions and innovations have helpedto reduce labor hours and decrease theamount of land needed to grow crops

and raise animals. For example, in 1930 ittook five acres of land and 15-20 hours oflabor to produce 100 bushels of wheat. In1987, owing to the availability of betterseed, improved fertilizer and pest control,and advances in farm machinery — thetractor, plow, planter, combine, and trucks,for example — 100 bushels of wheat couldbe produced on three acres of land withonly three hours of labor.

At this level, students should broadentheir understanding of the field ofbiotechnology — the manipulation ofliving things to make products that benefithuman beings. In addition to combatingdisease and promoting human health,biotechnology is also being put to work indeveloping plants that resist diseases,increase crop yields, and reduce the use ofpesticides. Using their research skills,students should investigate variousbiotechnology practices and assess thepositive and negative consequences.

Students should continue to investigate theagricultural processes and systems usedwhen planting, treating, harvesting,preparing, and utilizing the products forconsumption. For example, students coulddesign, develop, use, and assess a terrariumor hydroponics station that functions aspart of a larger closed system supportingliving organisms. They could manage thesystem and determine the rate, amount,and timing of light, water, nutrients, andwaste recycling that the system requires.They should also be able to determine if

the system is doing what it is supposed toin order to maintain life, scrub or clean theair and water, and assess the system forproper functioning. Students shouldtroubleshoot and maintain the systemif any part fails to function properly.

Opportunities to examine how agriculturalwaste is used and the trade-offs that areassociated with waste recycling and otheragricultural practices will help studentsunderstand how one action may cause anunexpected reaction. Improvements infertilizers and pesticides have allowed largequantities of food to be grown. In somecases, however, these fertilizers, weed killers,and insecticides have mixed withgroundwater and have contaminated thewater supply. Students must be able toassess such pluses and minuses if they are tomake reasonable decisions about the use ofa*griculture and related biotechnologies andgenerate solutions to remedy problems.

In addition, students should recognize thatmany systems are used in agriculture, includ-ing irrigation and agroforestry. Often thesesystems are designed to work in coordinationwith each other. For example, an agroforestrysystem, which is the coordinated use ofplants, crops, and water resources, is oftencombined with an irrigation system toincrease crop yield. Planting trees, shrubs,and crops in alternating plots, in additionto an irrigation system, will increase thediversity of soil usage, conserve energy,protect soil and water resources, and increase production.




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In order to select, use, and understandagricultural and related biotechnologies,students in Grades 6-8 should learn that

F. Technological advances inagriculture directly affect the timeand number of people required toproduce food for a large population.New tools and machinery, such asmilking machines, trucks, and combinesare designed to make work easier andmore productive. Today, fewer peopleare involved in producing food, whilemore people are needed for processing,packaging, and distributing it.

G. A wide range of specializedequipment and practices is used toimprove the production of food,fiber, fuel, and other useful productsand in the care of animals. Forexample, farmers use lasers to leveltheir fields and the global positioningsystem (GPS) for precision farming.Wildlife habitats create special environ-ments that encourage beneficial insectsthat in turn increase plant pollinationand pest control.

H. Biotechnology applies the principlesof biology to create commercialproducts or processes. Advances inthe area of molecular genetic bio-technology have been made in thepharmaceutical industry (improvedtherapeutic drugs), agriculturalindustry (herbicide-resistant, pesticideresistant, and climate-adapted crops),as well as in medicine (gene therapies).

I. Artificial ecosystems are human-made complexes that replicate someaspects of the natural environment.For example, a terrarium is used to

raise plants or animals in an enclosedhabitat. The terrarium acts as a totalenvironment using all the systems oflife, such as food, water, shelter, andspace. Managing an artificial ecosystemrequires gathering data to plan,organize, and control processes,products, and systems. For example,operating a hydroponics system withina closed (or open) environmentrequires total control and cultivation.Temperature, nutrients, light, aircirculation, and monitoring of insectsall need management in order for thesystem to function properly.

J. The development of refrigeration,freezing, dehydration, preservation,and irradiation provide long-termstorage of food and reduce the healthrisks caused by tainted food. Forexample, the process of irradiationinvolves bombarding food with lowdoses of high-frequency energy fromgamma rays, X-rays, or acceleratedelectrons. The purpose of the process isto extend shelf life for weeks instead ofdays by inhibiting maturation anddecay.




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In Grades 9-12, students’ understandingof the technologies used in agriculturecan increasingly draw upon theirknowledge of the underlying principlesand concepts of technology, such as

design and systems. Researching andworking with different types of agriculturalproducts and systems will help studentsmake connections to other topics studied intechnology and understand the value of theuse of technology in agriculture.

Students may study the effects of waste andpollutants deposited in watersheds. Theymay also study the various methods ofrestoring a polluted watershed includingbioremediation, which is the use ofmicrobial organisms to degrade and detoxifypollutants. Students may test soil run-off forvarious pollutants and design and develop asystem that might serve as a model forimproving environmental conditions.

Students should discuss the need forregulations governing technologies used inagriculture. They also should discuss thesocial side effects and trade-offs of usingvarious technologies in order to produce anabundant supply of better-tasting and morenutritious food. To reinforce their under-standing, students could conduct researchand present their findings on the positiveand negative effects of a particular process,product, or system developed for agricul-ture. They could study the effects ofgenetically altered plants or of plants newlyintroduced to an area.

In order to select, use, and understandagricultural and related biotech-nologies, students in Grades 9-12should learn that

K. Agriculture includes a combinationof businesses that use a wide array ofproducts and systems to produce,process, and distribute food, fiber,fuel, chemicals, and other usefulproducts. Crops (e.g., cotton, wheat,tobacco, and grains) and livestock (e.g.,cattle, sheep, and poultry) are boughtand sold by individuals, corporations,and financial institutions. Local, state,and federal governments regulate themarketing and safety of agricultureproducts and systems.

L. Biotechnology has applications insuch areas as agriculture, pharma-ceuticals, food and beverages, medi-cine, energy, the environment, andgenetic engineering. Biologicalprocesses are used in combination withphysical technologies to alter or modifymaterials, products, and organisms.Fermentation, bio-products, microbialapplications, separation and purifica-tion techniques, and monitoring andgrowth processes are key examples ofbiotechnology applications. Selectionof genetically modified seeds, applica-tion of modified organisms (i.e., ice-minus bacteria to prevent frost damageto plants), and uses of algal fertilizersgenerated from photobioreactors aregood examples of extending agri-cultural practices through biotech-nology applications.

M. Conservation is the process ofcontrolling soil erosion, reducingsediment in waterways, conservingwater, and improving water quality.For instance, terraces, used in gardens oron farmland, prevent erosion by shorten-




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ing the long slope of land into a series ofshorter, more level steps. This allowsheavy rains to soak into the soil ratherthan running off and causing erosion.

N. The engineering design andmanagement of agricultural systemsrequire knowledge of artificialecosystems and the effects oftechnological development on floraand fauna. For example, wise wateruse for gardens or farmland involvesconsidering plant needs and efficientwatering methods before installing,using, and maintaining irrigation

systems. Management of agriculturerequires considering such topics as theamount, orientation, and distributionof crops and other plants, the effectsof pests, and the management of landand animals to prevent fire ordrought. For example, pestmanagement involves managingagricultural infestations (includingweeds, insects, and diseases) to reduceadverse effects on plant growth, cropproduction, and environmentalresources.




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This example providesstudents with an oppor-tunity to focus on theapplication beyondgrowing foods toincorporating the useof plants and animalsto complete a totalenvironment. [Thisexample highlightssome elements ofGrades 9-12 STLstandards 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 15.]

Ms. M challenged her high school students to design a hydroponics systemusing plants to scrub the air and remove excess carbon dioxide. The systemwould need to provide enough oxygen in an underwater research station fora four-person crew. Working in groups, the students selected a variety ofvegetables that thrive in a hydroponics environment and have excellent gasexchange properties. They determined the amount of space needed for eachtype of vegetable. One group conducted experiments to learn how to controlthe flow of water through tubes (PVC pipe) and regulate the distribution ofnutrients to the plants. Another group tested pumps to lift water intoreservoirs. The students invented devices to control the level of liquid in thereservoirs, and they experimented with lighting that would cause plants togrow and produce more efficiently. Several groups designed an apparatus tosupport the growing tubes, reservoirs, pumps, control devices, and lights.This design challenge facilitated student learning about plants, about howto increase productivity through the use of biotechnology applications, andprovided an opportunity for them to explore the many uses of combinedbiological and physical technologies.

Once the groups had designed various hydroponics systems, they made andtested prototypes. Through this prototyping process, they discoveredwhether the plants would grow, if the space requirements were adequate,and if the fluid and electrical systems functioned properly. They were evenable to sample the produce.

As an extension of this activity, Ms. M decided to introduce information-technology tools that could be used to convey the students’ experiences toother students, school staff, school board, parents, and the community.Some students chose to use the World Wide Web; some designed and madevideo programs; and others wrote illustrated articles in the schoolnewspaper.

Hydroponics System

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Energy is the ability to do work. Largesupplies of energy are a fundamentalrequirement of the technologicalworld. Although energy and power areoften used interchangeably, they

should not be — each has uniquecharacteristics that differentiate one fromthe other. Energy is the capacity to do work.Power may be defined as the rate at whichenergy is transformed from one form toanother or as the rate at which work is done.

Technological products and systems needenergy that is plentiful, cheap, and easy tocontrol. Thus, the processing and con-trolling of energy resources, often calledfuels, have been key features in thedevelopment of technology.

Energy drives the technological productsand systems used by society. The qualityof life is sometimes associated with theamount of energy used by society. Choicesabout which form of energy to useinfluence our society and the environmentin various ways. There are always trade-offsto consider in the source of energy that maybe chosen. Energy and power systems canpollute the environment. Some sources ofenergy are non-renewable — once they areused, they will no longer be available —while others are renewable, such as fuelmade from corn. Many of our energy needsare met by burning fossil fuels. Nuclearenergy provides a source with less airpollution and no carbon-dioxide buildup,but nuclear waste is more dangerous forlonger periods of time than waste fromother energy sources.

It is the responsibility of all citizens toconserve energy resources to ensure thatfuture generations will have access to thesenatural resources. To decide what energyresources should be further developed,people must critically evaluate the positiveand negative impacts of the use of variousenergy resources on the environment.

Students will develop an understanding of and beable to select and use energy and power technologies.



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In Grades K-2, students will investigatethe particular types of energy that theyare most likely to encounter. Energyenables plants to grow, cars to run, andfood to be cooked. Energy comes from

many different sources in nature, such asfossil fuels and the sun. Many toys andhousehold items would not work withoutelectricity, fuels, or other forms of energy.Students at this early age need to beexposed to many different sources of energyto begin to develop an understanding ofthis complicated topic. They also shouldbegin to understand the relationshipsbetween energy, power, and work. Safetyshould be stressed with young children inworking with energy and power.

Conservation is a very important conceptwhen working with energy resources, andstudents should learn to avoid wastingenergy in their schools and homes. Forexample, students should learn to turnlights off when they are leaving a roomand to turn the television off when theyare no longer watching it.

In order to select, use, and understandenergy and power technologies, stu-dents in Grades K-2 should learn that

A. Energy comes in many forms. It isused to do work. An early source ofenergy for machines was provided byhuman or animal muscle and wasconverted from food that was eaten. A car engine changes chemical energy(gasoline) to mechanical energy(motion). Many appliances in thehome and school use electrical energy.

B. Energy should not be wasted. Toysand appliances should be turned offwhen they are not being used. Manyenergy resources, often called fuels, thatare used to heat and light our homes,run our cars, and cook our food arenonrenewable. There is a limitedsupply of these resources, and thesupply is being used up.




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Energy is behind every movement andchange in the world. Energy comes inmany different forms, such as thermal,radiant (light), electrical, chemical,mechanical, and others. Many tech-

nological devices are driven by energy. Powersystems, such as gasoline engines, generators,and solar cells, transform different forms ofenergy in order to do work. In Grades 3-5,students will continue to study energy andhow these ideas are related.

Students should also learn how tools,machines, products, and systems need energysources for their operation. Power systems areused to convert energy to work that results insome thermal losses. Examples of theseconversion machines include electricgenerators (mechanical to electrical), electricmotors (electrical to mechanical), dry cellbatteries (chemical to electrical), homefurnaces (chemical to thermal), automobileengines (chemical to thermal to mechanical),incandescent lamps (electrical to radiant), andsolar cells (radiant to electrical). Studentsshould also learn the proper procedurefor plugging an appliance into anelectrical outlet, and they should betaught to be careful of the socket whenscrewing in a light bulb.

Energy should be used carefully so thatit is not wasted. In elementary school,students should learn how to conserveenergy, which is an important conceptin technological literacy. Students cantake an active role in conserving energyby riding their bikes to school insteadof riding in a car and by using a faninstead of air conditioning. They canalso investigate how individuals whomake products and systems canconserve energy.

In order to select, use, and understandenergy and power technologies, studentsin Grades 3-5 should learn that

C. Energy comes in different forms.Forms of energy include thermal,radiant (light), chemical, mechanical,electrical, and others. Some energysources cost less than others, and somegive off less pollution. Electrical energyis used in an electric motor, and solarcells can be used to transform solarenergy to electrical energy to operate acalculator.

D. Tools, machines, products, andsystems use energy in order to dowork. A well-designed tool, machine,product, or system minimizes energylosses. For example, machines should bedesigned to apply energy efficiently todo a useful task. Energy is an importantresource in technology.




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This vignette presentssome activities relatedto energy and power.The students studytechnology-relatedproblems that can beaccomplished inelementary schoolclasses. [This vignettehighlights some elementsof the Grades 3-5 STLstandards that provideconnections withStandards 3, 8, 9,11, and 16]

While studying about energy and power systems and reading books thatdiscuss robots, haunted houses, and how things work, students werechallenged to solve one of the following problems: (1) use age-appropriatecircuit diagrams with proper assistance to make a robot out of reclaimedmaterials that includes at least one series circuit and provides light;(2) make a construction paper model of a haunted house that includesat least one series and parallel circuit and lights up two different rooms;or (3) build a flashlight that works, using the following components: size‘C’ battery, wire, light socket, light bulb, paper towel tube, constructionpaper, wire clips, and tape.

After designing, developing, and producing their solutions, the studentsshould discuss their solutions and evaluate their products and systems tosee how closely their results fit the requirements.

Developing and Producing a Product or System Collaboratively

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At the middle school level, studentswill learn about the concepts ofenergy, power, and work. They willengage in hands-on experiences inconverting energy from one form to

another and in learning that energy can betransmitted from one location to another.

There are many processes that are used totransform energy into useful work. Fossilfuels, such as oil, can be burned to producethermal energy, which in turn is used toboil water and produce steam that, in turn,is fed into a steam engine to propel a loco-motive. Water falling over a dam can beconverted into mechanical energy, whichturns a generator that produces electricityfor lighting and other conveniences in ahome. To understand these processes,students should design and build differentdevices that use energy to drive a product orsystem. They should then test their devicesin order to determine how efficiently theyare working.

If not used wisely, nonrenewable energysources can be depleted too rapidly. Becauseof these concerns, conservation and thesearch for alternative energy sources havebecome important priorities for society.Students should investigate and discussvarious methods for conserving energy.They can then build models of their ideasand test them. Students also could design,build, and test alternative energy devices.

In their study of energy students will comein contact with many devices and tools thatrequire special care in the way they areused, handled, and stored. The develop-ment of safe work habits cannot be over-emphasized. It is essential that studentslearn the proper safety procedures whenworking with these energy technologies.

In order to select, use, and understandenergy and power technologies, studentsin Grades 6-8 should learn that

E. Energy is the capacity to do work.Energy is required for a broad range ofactions, from walking to running adiesel engine. Energy is an importantinput to many technological systems.Work is the product of force multi-plied by the distance through whichthe force acted. Work is measured innewton-meters, or joules, in themetric system and foot-pounds in the English system.

F. Energy can be used to do work,using many processes. For example,electricity can be generated by usinggeothermal energy to turn a turbine,which subsequently turns a generatorto produce an electrical voltage.Another example involves an internalcombustion engine: gasoline vaporis combined with air and ignitedwith a spark plug inside the cylinder,creating high pressure andtemperature; the pressure acting onthe piston pushes it down; the pistonis connected to a piston rod that turnsthe crankshaft.

G. Power is the rate at which energy isconverted from one form to anotheror transferred from one place toanother, or the rate at which workis done. Power is calculated bydividing the energy provided by thetime taken to provide it. Commonpower measurements are kilowatt andhorsepower. An example of thedifference between the concept ofenergy (or work) and power can beseen in a student climbing a set of




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stairs. To climb from one floor of abuilding to another takes the sameamount of energy to do the same workno matter how fast the student climbs.However, to climb twenty stairs in30 seconds is quite different fromclimbing the same twenty stairs in10 seconds. Climbing faster requiresthe same amount of energy but morepower — in the previous examplethree times more power.

H. Power systems are used to driveand provide propulsion to othertechnological products and systems.A portable generator, for example, canbe used to provide electricity toremote dwellings.

I. Much of the energy used in ourenvironment is not used efficiently.Conservation is the act of making betteruse of energy. Individuals can conserveenergy by car pooling, driving the speedlimit, and turning off lights. Builderscan conserve energy by installing betterinsulation, and manufacturers canconserve energy by building moreenergy-efficient products. The rate atwhich energy is being used in the worldis increasing. This rapid increase hascreated a concern that natural resourcesmay be depleted in the future beforeother energy resources are available toreplace them.


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Students in Grades 9-12 will studyenergy, power, and work concurrentlyin their science and technology classes.They should synthesize the conceptsand principles learned in science with

the knowledge gained in the study oftechnology to achieve a well-roundedunderstanding of energy and power.

Energy, which is the capacity to do work,can be converted from one form toanother. Thermal energy is usually a by-product in a conversion process. Someenergy converters are more efficient thanothers. For example, electric generators aremore than 95 percent efficient at convert-ing mechanical energy to electrical energy,while the fluorescent lamp is only about 20percent efficient in converting electricalenergy to radiant energy. However, thefluorescent lamp is more than four times asefficient as the incandescent lamp.

Energy can be classified into two types —kinetic (energy associated with motion)and potential (stored energy). Energy cancome from a number of resources innature, such as the sun (radiant), fromtides or falling water (mechanical), fromthe burning of fuels (chemical to thermal),and from chemicals such as those used inbatteries (chemical to electrical). Studentscan work with devices that convert oneform of energy to another, such as electricalto mechanical (motor), electrical to radiant(lamp), or mechanical to electrical (windgenerator).

The United States is among the mosthighly developed countries in the world,and Americans use an ever-increasingamount of energy, even though much of itis derived from nonrenewable resources.

Because many environmental and societalconcerns are associated with the proper useof energy, research and development areunderway to test alternative and renewableresources. Students should investigate ourdependence on fossil fuels, the use ofalternative sources of energy, and the trade-offs associated with each.

All power systems have inputs, processes,outputs, and typically some type offeedback. Students should research energyinputs (e.g., thermal, chemical, nuclear,mechanical, radiant, and electrical),processes (e.g., conversion, transmission,and storage), and outputs (work andthermal loss). At this level, students canlearn about the various sources of energy,the influence of energy and power onsociety, and energy and power systems.Students should be exposed to the SecondLaw of Thermodynamics.

Conservation is also important inmanaging energy sources. Conservationcan take various forms, from simplyturning off appliances when they are notbeing used to designing products that aremore energy efficient. Students shouldinvestigate various approaches toconserving energy. For example, they couldinvestigate recycling materials instead ofproducing new ones. When new energyand power systems are designed,conservation of energy and environmentalconcerns must be incorporated. Studentsshould investigate the by-products ofsystems, such as the waste stream in thenuclear fuel cycle. Using this information,they could then design, develop, and testpower systems and determine if they areefficient and non-polluting.




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In order to select, use, and understandenergy and power technologies, studentsin Grades 9-12 should learn that

J. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed;however, it can be converted from oneform to another. In scientific terms, this iscalled the Law of Conservation of Energy,which can be stated as “The total energy ofan isolated system does not change.”Understanding scientific concepts and lawsconcerning energy is necessary in order todevelop technologies for utilizing energy.These concepts and laws describe thenature of energy. Energy can be classifiedas either kinetic or potential. Kineticenergy is the energy a body has associatedwith its motion. Potential energy is energya body has because of its position (if it canbe acted upon by a force) or condition; itis often referred to as stored energy.

K. Energy can be grouped into majorforms: thermal, radiant, electrical,mechanical, chemical, nuclear, andothers. Some forms of energy cannot betransported easily. In transporting ortransmitting energy, losses from thesource of energy to the destinationoccur. Many times technology systemsthat use a great deal of energy arelocated near the energy source. Anexample of this is an electric generatingplant located near a source of energy,such as a coal mine. The combustion offossil fuels (e.g., coal, natural gas, andpetroleum) provides one of the largestsources of energy today.

L. It is impossible to build an engine toperform work that does not exhaustthermal energy to the surroundings.This is one form of the “Second Law ofThermodynamics.” No energy system canbe 100% efficient. Large coal-fired electric

generation systems strive for 40% effi-ciencies. That means that 60% of theenergy from the coal is lost in the form ofheating the environment rather than beingturned into electrical energy. The law alsohas many wide-ranging consequences,such as the fact that there can be noperpetual motion machine.

M. Energy resources can be renewable ornonrenewable. Examples of renewableresources are the sun and agriculturalproducts, while nonrenewable resourcesinclude fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, andnatural gas. Alternate and sustainableenergy resources are being developed andtested in order to replace or supplementnonrenewable sources. For example,garbage can be used to produce methanegas and then burned for thermal energy.Also, corn can be fermented to produceethanol (grain alcohol), which then can beused as a fuel. Power systems should bedesigned to conserve energy and toprovide maximum efficiency with minimalenvironmental degradation. For example,aircraft manufacturers are making moreenergy-efficient engines. Waste productsassociated with power systems can pollutethe natural environment.

N. Power systems must have a source ofenergy, a process, and loads. Usuallyfeedback is part of this system. Forexample, the output of the system issampled and provides a signal back to theinput or process phase of the system inorder to modify it. Power systems convertenergy from one form to another andmay transfer energy from one place toanother. An example would be to burncoal in order to heat water and makesteam, which turns a turbine andultimately generates electricity.


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People have long used varioustechnologies to communicate overdistances. The invention of movabletype provided the means for atransfer of knowledge to people all

over the world. Although writing andprinting have become visual means forcommunication, people did not typicallyconsider them to be communicationstechnologies, viewing them simplyas technologies that met a particular need.The book was viewed as not having muchin common with the telephone, or thephonograph with the fax machine. In thepast couple of decades, such thinking haschanged dramatically. Technologies thatrecord, store, manipulate, analyze, andtransmit data have developed intoimportant areas of study worthy of beingconsidered equally with other technologies.

The change has come with the recording andstorage of all sorts of data in the same digitalform as “bits” — strings of zeros and ones, oroffs and ons — that can represent letters andnumbers, colors on a computer monitor,notes in a Beethoven sonata, and many othertypes of information. Modern telephonecompanies, for example, transform thesounds of a telephone conversation into bitsthat are sent through fiber-optic cables inexactly the same way as data is sent fromcomputer to computer. Data, information,and knowledge have become the fuel thatruns the communication technology engine.Information and communication tech-nologies include computers and relateddevices, graphic media, electronic trans-

mitters and receiving devices, entertainmentproducts, and various other systems.

Powerful technologies that deal withinformation in a digital form — computers,data-storage devices, fiber-optic communi-cations, and others — have revolutionizedsociety’s information-handling capacity andled to the current era being called theInformation Age. Information itself is avaluable commodity, which has becomemore widely available than in the past.

Students will develop an understanding of and be able toselect and use information and communication technologies.



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By the time children enter kinder-garten, they will already have hadmany informal experiences in usingtechnology to communicate withtheir friends and family, as well as

to find answers to their questions. Forexample, many students will have lookedat picture books and used the Internetfor entertainment and information. Addi-tionally, they may have experienced variousentertainment activities, such as going tothe movies, watching television, or using atelephone or a DVD player.

The K-2 laboratory-classroom will provideformal opportunities for students to learnabout the communication process andthe different ways that they can locateinformation and communicate with others.At this level, students will learn thatinformation is data that has been organized.In later grades, students will build on thisconcept and expand their vocabularies.

Information and communication toolsand systems are available in many differentforms. Computers are at the center of theInformation Age and are the primary toolsused. Students should be able to operatecomputers to perform simple tasks, suchas writing, learning basic operations,communicating with others, and makinggraphic images. In addition, they should beable to use other information technologytools to locate information from both printand electronic sources. These experienceswill reinforce their understanding of howcommunication systems work, how theycan be used as an entertainment medium,and how they make communicating withothers and gathering information easier.

Information and communication tech-nologies use a specialized vocabulary that isimportant to understand, including words,symbols, and pictures. As students learn thealphabet and numbers, they need to realizetheir importance as symbols. Language iskey to communication.

In order to select, use, and understandinformation and communication tech-nologies, students in Grades K-2should learn that

A. Information is data that has beenorganized. Data includes such thingsas numbers, amounts, words, symbols,sounds, and images.

B. Technology enables people tocommunicate by sending andreceiving information over adistance. Communication systemshelp people to communicateinformation better and to locateinformation more easily. Thetelephone is a good example ofa technology that improves com-munication all over the world.

C. People use symbols when theycommunicate by technology. Thesesymbols are a part of the language oftechnology. For example, a stop sign isa type of symbol. Small pictures oricons on a computer screen are othertypes of symbols.




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In Grades 3-5, the study of informationand communication technologies canbe invaluable in helping students betterunderstand what they are learning inlanguage arts, science, mathematics, and

social studies. It also will help students indeveloping their research and communica-tion skills, which are valuable componentsof every subject area.

The use of information and communicationsystems can enhance human knowledge andproductivity, as well as provide entertain-ment. In Grades 3-5, students will learnhow facts, data, information, andknowledge are interrelated. To reinforcethese ideas, students will have hands-onexperiences in accessing facts, processingdata, organizing these facts and data intoinformation, and then interpreting theinformation to produce knowledge. Thecomputer provides an important way toaccess facts and data and then to convertthem into information. For example, thestudents could use the Internet to collectinformation about how technology has beenused to improve agricultural production.Once they have collected their information,they could use a simple spreadsheet programto show how agricultural production hasincreased over the years. This informationcan then be used for writing a researchpaper.

Communication is the exchange ofinformation among people over a distance.Communication technology is the transferof information between people and/ormachines through the use of technology.Students at this grade level should be givenvarious opportunities to use informationand communication tools in order to

experience firsthand how technology can beused to enhance the communicationprocess, to help access information, and toprovide entertainment activities. Forexample, in a unit of study about the solarsystem, students could use a computer tocreate a graphic representation of theplanets, or they could apply their buildingskills to make a model of the stars. Theythen can use these representations whenthey present what they have learned to theirclassmates and teachers. Other types ofcommunication tools that students mayuse include digital or still cameras, videocameras, audio recording devices (e.g., taperecorders), World Wide Web pages, andspreadsheets.

Symbols, letters, numbers, and icons areused to represent data. For instance, apopular symbol is a √ (check), whichmeans, “correct” or “okay.” The letters of analphabet are combined to create words.Icons are small pictures that representinformation, such as a computer function.Numbers are used to represent a quantity,to identify a location, to identify a specificobject in a collection, to name something,or to represent a measurement.

In order to be able to select, use,and understand information andcommunication technologies, studentsin Grades 3-5 should learn that

D. The processing of informationthrough the use of technology can beused to help humans make decisionsand solve problems. Computers canbe used to record and store data, toaccess data easily, and to provide ameans to display and manipulate it.




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E. Information can be acquired andsent through a variety oftechnological sources, includingprint and electronic media.Computers can be used very efficientlyto store, retrieve, and processinformation. A growing number ofpeople work in jobs related to theprocessing and distributing ofinformation.

F. Communication technology is thetransfer of messages among peopleand/or machines over distancesthrough the use of technology.Communication systems, suchas the telephone, electronic mail, andtelevision, are used to improve thecommunication process.

G. Letters, characters, icons, and signsare symbols that represent ideas,quantities, elements, and operations.For example, “+” and “-” are used toindicate addition and subtraction; anup arrow on a map refers to the north;and a red octagonal sign means “Stop.”Symbols, measurements, and sketchesrepresent information.


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Information and communicationtechnologies have become an importantpart of everyday life. However, whathappens behind the scenes when atelephone call is made or an e-mail

message is sent is often puzzling. Peoplesimply take for granted that the message willarrive at the correct destination. Studentsshould develop an understanding of howinformation and communication systemsfunction.

Information and communication systemsallow information to be transferred fromhumans to humans, humans to machines,and machines to humans. These systemsenable people to gather and process data andinformation more easily and, therefore, tocommunicate more effectively.

Information and communication systemsassist humans in making decisions andsolving problems. Students should notinterpret all communication messages asbeing true. They should research andexamine messages to determine the facts.

Entertainment has also been enhanced byvarious information and communicationtechnologies. Radio, television, movies, andvideo games are all products of technology.Students should explore the historicaldevelopment of various forms of entertain-ment and then project how they thinkentertainment will change or stay the same.

At the middle school level, students shouldexplore the different steps in thecommunication process. First, a messagemust be encoded and then transmitted orswitched through a channel (wire, fiberoptics, etc.), and finally received anddecoded by the receiver. In order tounderstand this process, students shoulddesign and send messages using various types

of communication systems, paying closeattention to each step of the process.

The intended audience, the medium that isused, the purpose of the message, and thenature of the message influence the design ofa communication. As a result, informationmust be closely evaluated according to itssource, content, purpose, and intent in orderto determine its value. Students shouldexplore the different factors that influence amessage. They then can apply thisinformation to help them define a set ofrequirements in order to assess theinformation that they send or receivethrough information systems.

In Grades 6-8, students should be providedwith numerous opportunities to useinformation and communication systems forassistance in solving problems, making betterdecisions, and communicating with others.Students could use information systems togather facts on technologies that havepositively affected society, the effect ofmedical technologies on increasing life spansaround the globe, or how informationtechnologies have made it difficult fortotalitarian states to maintain a strongholdon their citizens. Students should thenorganize and maintain their information in asystematic manner. After analyzing theinformation that they have collected,students can communicate their findings totheir classmates.

The use of symbols in technology hasbecome commonplace in today’s society.These symbols represent measurements,terms, and ideas. Drawings are graphicrepresentations of objects in either two orthree dimensions. Students should gainexperiences in the language of technology toexpress themselves and to communicate toothers.




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In order to select, use, and understandinformation and communication tech-nologies, students in Grades 6-8should learn that

H. Information and communicationsystems allow information to betransferred from human to human,human to machine, and machine tohuman. People create information andcommunication technology systems togather data, manipulate, andcommunicate information moreeffectively. Information is transmittedand received using various systems(e.g., telecommunications, digital, andprinted). Transmission involves sendingsignals in a form, such as electro-magnetic waves or fiber-optic cable,that can travel over a distance.

I. Communication systems are madeup of a source, encoder, transmitter,receiver, decoder, and destination.A communication system is similar toother systems in that it includes input,processes, outputs, and sometimesfeedback. Information is encoded usingsymbols and graphics. To “encode”means to change the form of a message(as in pushing a key on a keyboard toproduce a binary signal or changing asignal from analog to digital).Information must be decoded in orderto be understood by the receiver.“Decoding” is the reverse of encoding,with data being converted back tosymbols and graphics. Switchingcircuits allows signals to be sent backand forth in the communicationprocess. A network is a systemconnected by communication lines tomove information from one device to

another. An example of a network is alocal area network (LAN), whichconnects computers to a server.Computers are the primary tools usedfor networking information andcommunication technologies.

J. The design of a message is influencedby such factors as the intendedaudience, medium, purpose, andnature of the message. These factorsshould be taken into account when themessage is created and transmitted to aparticular audience. Communication-technology systems enhance the abilityof handicapped people tocommunicate. Some examples includeaudiotapes, the Internet, and closed-captioned television.

K. The use of symbols, measurements,and drawings promotes clearcommunication by providing acommon language to express ideas.Technological systems use specializedsymbols and terminology. For example,an engineer uses specific symbols torepresent doorway openings, pipeopenings, and road widths. Symbols oricons are used on many computers,elevators, and telephones — the poundsign, the asterisk, and the letter “x,” forexample — to represent ideas and tocommunicate what should be donewhen the symbol or icon is pressed orused.


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This example presents aproblem-solving activityto develop a means tocommunicate to thepublic information abouta local industry. [Thisvignette highlights someelements of the Grades6-8 STL standards thatprovide connections withStandards 1, 3, 4, 6,8, 9, 11, 17, and 19.]

Very few students at Northwood Middle School had any knowledge of oneof the fastest growing activities in their area — the production of homepages for the World Wide Web. For this reason, Mr. M wanted to give hisstudents experience in designing and putting a home page on-line.

The students began their study by contacting local Internet serviceproviders to find out about what they did. After the research phase,Mr. M gave the students a design brief that outlined the problem statement,objectives, software and hardware, requirements, time frame, and evaluationmethod. They were challenged to design and place into operation a homepage for a local children’s clothing store. The new home page should conveythe products of the company in an exciting, creative, and appealing way.

The students brainstormed various ideas and then produced sketches for alayout of the home page. Each sketch included graphics, a slogan, a colorscheme, and special products. The students selected the design they likedbest, and Mr. M reviewed the home pages and offered suggestions forimprovements.

Mr. M, along with input from the store owner, then evaluated thestudents’ work — how well the home page communicated the message,the quality and variety of planning used by the students, the overallcreativity of the design, the quality of the work, in addition to whetherthe students met the requirements of the design and completed the taskon time. As a result of this activity, students were able to design,develop, and use a communication technology.

Communicating Through a Home Page on the Web

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By Grades 9-12, students should becomfortable with terms such as facts,data, information, and knowledge,and they should understand therelationships among them. Addi-

tionally, students should understand theprocessing and management of informa-tion, which will assist them in sendingand receiving information.

The classic communication system is madeup of an information source, an encoder, atransmitter, a receiver, a decoder, and aninformation destination. Feedback may beincluded in this process as well. Becausenoise is any unwanted signal that caninterrupt or interfere with the communica-tion process, students should investigatevarious methods to overcome noise andpromote clear communication.

Messages are influenced by many factors,such as timing, sequencing, and processing.Because people today are bombarded dailywith numerous messages, the usefulness ofinformation depends on such factors asrelevancy, timeliness, truth, completeness,and cultural value. The knowledge andinformation that is provided throughinformation and communication systemscan help to inform people, shape theirpersonal views and concepts of reality, orentertain them. At this level, studentsshould experience activities in designing,using, and assessing with many differenttypes of information and communicationsystems, including television, telephones,the Internet, data-processing systems, fiber-optic cable systems, and graphic-communication systems. They should knowthe purpose of each system and be able toselect the best one for a given situation.

Because information has become such avalued commodity in today’s society, manycommercial companies are involved ininformation and communication tech-nologies. Students can research, synthesize,and transmit messages to the public usingmass media. They can also evaluate thequality of information that is received byusing such techniques as comparing andcontrasting information sources andexamining the relevancy of the message.

Graphic-communication systems involvevisual messages, such as words and pictures;newspapers, magazines, and print mediaexemplify this type of communication.Entertainment, including television, movies,videotape, music, and compact discs, is also agrowing area of communication.

Symbols, measurement, conventions, icons,and graphic images are recognizedcomponents in the language of technologythat are used to communicate messages.Students should communicate to othersusing the language of technology.

In order to select, use, and understandinformation and communication tech-nologies, students in Grades 9-12should learn that

L. Information and communicationtechnologies include the inputs,processes, and outputs associatedwith sending and receiving informa-tion. All of these parts are necessary ifinformation is to be shared andunderstood by the sender and receiver.

M. Information and communicationsystems allow information to betransferred from human to human,




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human to machine, machine tohuman, and machine to machine.Examples of these are: a) two peopletalking to each other over the telephone, b) a person inputting data in a computerusing a keyboard, c) an electric fax machineproviding a copy of a message to a person,and d) an automated system transferringfinancial records from one bank computerto another bank computer.

N. Information and communicationsystems can be used to inform,persuade, entertain, control,manage, and educate. Examples ofsuch systems include the Internet,telephones, televisions, radios, com-puters, and fax machines. Informationand communication systems are widelyused in commercial endeavors to assistin decision making and problemsolving. Entertainment, which has beenenhanced through technology, providespleasure and enjoyment for people intheir free time. The overall usefulness ofinformation is dependent upon suchfactors as its relevance, timeliness, truth,completeness, and cultural value. Thesefactors help shape the meaning of theinformation, which has become a valuedcommodity in today’s society.

O. Communication systems are madeup of source, encoder, transmitter,receiver, decoder, storage, retrieval,and destination. Noise, an unwantedsignal that can interfere with the com-munication process, can interrupt thesignal at any point in the process. Dataand information can be stored to beretrieved later. Storage devices includeCD-ROMs, hard drives, flash memory,and memory chips.

P. There are many ways to communi-cate information, such as graphicand electronic means. Graphic-communication systems involve thedesign, development, and productionof visual messages. Examples ofgraphic systems include printing andphotochemical processes, whileexamples of electronic systems arecomputers, DVD players, digitalaudiotapes, and telephones. Thisinformation can be expressed invarious forms: electrical informationcan be formatted as digital (discretebits) or analog (continuously variablesignals). Multimedia combinesinformation from a number of formats(audio, video, and data) and thentransmits it. Television studios andtelephone companies exemplifybusinesses that deal with multimedia.

Q. Technological knowledge andprocesses are communicated usingsymbols, measurement, conventions,icons, graphic images, and languagesthat incorporate a variety of visual,auditory, and tactile stimuli. Forexample, the international symbolsdeveloped for transportation systemshave helped to communicate criticalinformation to travelers: a circle with aslash represents “No” or “Do not do.”Emerging technologies often generatenew symbols, measurement systems,and terminology. For example, ;-) is asymbol used in e-mail and on-line chatrooms to represent a wink. The develop-ment of the computer has spurred newterminology, such as gigabyte (a unit ofcomputer storage capacity equal to onebillion bytes) and nanosecond (onebillionth of a second).




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People view transportation as oneof life’s basic needs. Transportationsystems take individuals to work,offer them convenient access toshopping, allow them to visit with

their friends and family, provideopportunities for recreation, and carry allthe material goods of a technologicalsociety.

The transportation system is a complexnetwork of interconnected components thatoperate on land, on water, in the air, and inspace. Although traveling into space hasbeen realized, it has not yet become a fullyintegrated part of the larger transportationsystem. Many of the subsystems of thetransportation system, such as highways,ports, airports, and others, are dependentupon other subsystems, and each in turn ismade up of yet smaller components that arethemselves interlinked and interdependent.Various forms of transportation have beenin use for many years by a wide assortmentof people — such as ships, boats, jets,helicopters, elevators, and escalators —while newer forms of transportation areused in limited areas or are still inexperimental stages — magnetic-levitationtrains and smart highways, for example.

The more complex life and work become,the more indispensable the elements oftransportation systems are. Throughouthistory, transportation systems havebrought different parts of the world closertogether. In the early twentieth century, forexample, a plane flight across the UnitedStates would take approximately 26 hours.

Now, through advances in technology andimprovements in the aviation system, thesame trip can be accomplished in six hoursor less. If the Concorde were allowed to flywithin the continental United States, itwould take just two hours to travel fromone side of the country to the other, andthe space shuttle, once in orbit, makes thesame trip in only nine minutes.

Because transportation has become such anintegral part of life, people often take it forgranted or consider it an ordinary part ofthe world. As transportation has advanced,society has become increasingly dependentupon cars, highways, and other aspects oftravel. Too often little heed is paid to theenvironmental consequences or to theeffects of rapid expansion that has accom-panied transportation improvements.Future use of transportation systems shouldtake into account ways to reduce energyconsumption and air pollution whilepromoting economic development andsupporting international commerce.

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Students will develop an understanding of and beable to select and use transportation technologies.



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Children at this level have experiencedvarious forms of transportation intheir lives, and they typically considertransportation only in terms of theindividual devices, such as cars,

buses, trains, or planes. They know that acar uses roads and highways, but they donot think of the roads and highways as partof a larger road system, nor do theyunderstand how the highway system workswithin the entire transportation system.Students need to learn how transportationsystems work and how to use those systemssafely and appropriately. Throughexperiences in Grades K-2, students willbegin to learn how various parts of thetransportation system work together, aconcept that will be further expanded inlater grades.

Students should understand that caring fortransportation vehicles is an important partof the process of how a transportationsystem and its various parts work. Forexample, a class could explore how animalstravel from place to place and then relatethat movement to how students move fromhome to school and back. The studentscould discuss how a vehicle could be caredfor and what parts could break down. Inaddition, students should design, make,and use models of various vehicles, such ascars, boats, and planes, and discuss how thevehicles are used in different environmentsto move individuals and goods.

In order to select, use, and understandtransportation technologies, studentsin Grades K-2 should learn that

A. A transportation system has manyparts that work together to helppeople travel. The roadway, vehicles,fuel, and controlling signs are just afew of the parts in a transportationsystem. Understanding how atransportation system works helpspeople use it properly, such as walkingon the left side of the street facingtraffic when sidewalks are unavailable.

B. Vehicles move people or goods fromone place to another in water, air orspace, and on land. People’s needsand wants influence the design of atransportation device, vehicle, fuel,and system. For example, cars replacedthe horse and buggy because theyallowed people to move faster. Goodsare often moved in specially designedcarriers, such as in refrigeratedcontainers, on conveyor belts, orthrough piping systems.

C. Transportation vehicles need to becared for to prolong their use. Peoplesometimes keep a log of what theymust do to care for a vehicle, such askeeping it clean, rotating the tires, andlooking for damage.





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At this level, children can begin to seetransportation as a system in whichall the parts work together to helpmove people and goods from placeto place. Examples of transportation

systems that students may explore includerailways, waterways, roadways, and airways.Components of these systems may involveelevators, conveyor belts, pipelines, cars,ships, planes, refineries, and gas stations.

Students will design, make, use, and assess asimple transportation system in order tounderstand how it works and how it isdesigned for a special purpose. An exampleof this is a people-mover system to be usedin the school. In addition, they should studyhow transportation systems, such as railwaysor highways, are comprised of subsystemsand how these subsystems act as the input,process, output, or feedback for largertransportation systems.

Because balloons appeal to many children, ahot air balloon activity could be used as anintroduction to explore how air transporta-tion has changed throughout history. Thestudents could learn about the developmentof various air transportation vehicles andfind out how a hot air balloon movesthrough the air. They could then design,make, and test a model of a hot air balloon.Using their knowledge of how things workin relation to what they have learned inscience, mathematics, social studies, art, andlanguage arts, students will recognize thatthe transportation system is a complexarrangement of many subsystems and that itrequires large amounts of energy to operate.

In order to select, use, and understandtransportation technologies, studentsin Grades 3-5 should learn that

D. The use of transportation allowspeople and goods to be moved fromplace to place. The development oftransportation systems has had asignificant influence on where peoplelive and work.

E. A transportation system may loseefficiency or fail if one part ismissing or malfunctioning or if asubsystem is not working. Forinstance, an accident on a highwaycan throw a whole traffic pattern intochaos. Severe thunderstorms overAtlanta can result in the cancellationof airline flights up and down the eastcoast of North America.




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Students will explore and learn howvarious methods of transportation areused in the environments of land,water, air, and space. Each environ-ment requires specialized vehicles

and systems for moving people and goods.A skyscraper, for example, employselevators and escalators to move peopleup and down within the building.

Asking what might happen if a particularsubsystem were not working (or was missing)could lead students to reflect on the interde-pendence of systems in transportation, as wellas the relationships of those systems to othersystems. Students will be able to recognizethe different subsystems of the transportationsystem (e.g., structural, propulsion, suspen-sion, guidance, control, and support) andrecognize how they work together. Toincrease their understanding of thesesubsystems, students may design and developmodels of them. For example, the structuralsubsystem includes the framework and bodyof a vehicle. Students should design anddevelop a model of a new vehicle to be usedon land, in the sea, in the air, or in space inorder to see firsthand how the structuralsubsystem is related to the environment inwhich the subsystem is used.

Finally, to develop an appreciation of howtransportation systems can be adjusted ormodified to help the environment, studentscould study the environmental consequencesof using various alternative fuel sources.

In order to select, use, and understandtransportation technologies, studentsin Grades 6-8 should learn that

F. Transporting people and goodsinvolves a combination ofindividuals and vehicles. Forexample, the movement of a productfrom one part of the country toanother may involve the personshipping the item, a delivery truck, abus, plane, or train, and the peopleinvolved in controlling the product’slocation, as well as those who made theroad, the car, and the fuel.

G. Transportation vehicles are made upof subsystems, such as structural,propulsion, suspension, guidance,control, and support, that mustfunction together for a system towork effectively. Structural systems arethe framework and body of a transporta-tion vehicle or system. Propulsionsystems provide the energy source,energy converter, and power transmitterto move a vehicle. Suspension systemsconnect or associate a vehicle with itsenvironment. Guidance systems provideinformation to the operator of a vehicle.Control systems receive informationfrom the guidance system to determinethe changes in speed, direction, oraltitude of a vehicle. Support systemsprovide life, legal, operational,maintenance, and economic support for safe and efficient operation.





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H. Governmental regulations ofteninfluence the design and operationof transportation systems. Stateagencies regulate the use of highwaysystems, set speed limits, and controlother operating conditions. The FederalAviation Administration regulates air-space and air safety and issues licenses to pilots.

I. Processes, such as receiving, holding,storing, loading, moving, unloading,delivering, evaluating, marketing,managing, communicating, andusing conventions are necessary forthe entire transportation system tooperate efficiently. These processesmay be used individually or in variouscombinations to move goods andpeople. For example, a conveyor systemuses many of these processes to moveboxes of goods in stages from onelocation to another.


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In Grades 9-12, students’ understandingof the transportation system will expandto encompass the entire concept of inter-modalism, which provides a seamless andan effective method to move people and

goods. They will also learn about the vital rolethat transportation plays in manufacturing,construction, communication, health andsafety, recreation and entertainment, andagriculture. For example, the movement ofgoods in just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing isdirectly dependent on the global transpor-tation system. Many industries use materialsand prefabricated parts from other countriesor from other parts of the country. Thesegoods arrive just as they are needed (insteadof being stored and used at a later time) tobe used to manufacture products such ascars and clothing. The transportation systemis key to the use of JIT manufacturing, whichhelps in the reduction of storage needs andresource costs.

Although concepts can be learned fromreading and discussion, students shouldhave direct experiences with designing,developing, using, and assessing varioustransportation systems to understand themthoroughly. For example, students coulddesign and develop a bicycle pathway thatwould offer cyclists a safer alternative tocongested streets. Students also couldexamine and develop examples ofintelligent transportation systems. Thesesystems integrate such technologies ascomputers, electronics, communicationsgear, and safety devices in order to maketraveling more efficient and safe.

Classroom discussions should include suchtransportation issues as pollution, conges-tion, accidents, and fuel consumption.

These issues should inspire students todevise solutions or innovations to solve theproblems. Students, for example, coulddesign, develop, operate, and assess animproved transportation system for movingpeople that takes into account such factorsas speed, cost, safety, and environmentalimpacts.

In order to select, use, and understandtransportation technologies, studentsin Grades 9-12 should learn that

J. Transportation plays a vital role inthe operation of other technologies,such as manufacturing, construction,communication, health and safety, andagriculture. The transportation systemincludes the subsystems of aviation, railtransportation, water transportation,pedestrian walkways, and roadways.Each subsystem uses a wide array ofdevices, vehicles, and systems in order tomove people, materials, and goods.

K. Intermodalism is the use of differentmodes of transportation, such ashighways, railways, and waterways,as part of an interconnected systemthat can move people and goodseasily from one mode to another.An example of intermodalism is a truckcontainer that is hauled on an oceancargo ship from another country,transported to a railcar, and finally,attached to a truck that travels ahighway to deliver goods. The sameprocess is used by people who travel toall parts of the world using differentmodes of travel, from airplanes toships, to buses, trains, or cars.Intermodalism provides a system thatallows people to travel more efficientlyand cheaply.




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L. Transportation services and methodshave led to a population that isregularly on the move. For instance,people today can travel to foreign landsor to sites of interest hundreds of milesfrom home as quickly as they used totake a relatively short trip into town ina wagon 200 years ago.

M. The design of intelligent and non-intelligent transportation systemsdepends on many processes andinnovative techniques. For example,the development of an intelligent

transportation system — smarthighways with electronic messageboards, for instance — require the useof coordinated subsystems to determinecapacity of lanes, traffic flow, andpotential congestion problems. Non-intelligent transportation systems, suchas walkways and bicycle paths, attractindividuals and groups of peoplethrough innovative designs thatcapitalize on natural settings andprovide convenience.


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Manufacturing is the productionof physical goods. These goodscan range from tools, such askitchen appliances andcomputers, to products, such as

shoes and tennis balls.

The manufacturing of goods has changedtremendously over the last century, especiallyin recent years. Before manufactured goodsbecame widely available, many goods werecustom made — individuals made eachproduct by hand, one at a time. Withdevelopments, such as standardized parts,assembly lines, and automation, productionchanged dramatically. For the first time,goods became cheaper as more of them wereproduced, an effect known as economies ofscale. As machines became more accurate,making more complex items with inter-changeable parts became possible. The firstinterchangeable items were handmade partsfor firearms and plows produced beforemachine-based industry had developed. Aspreviously discussed in Standard 18, someindustries use a process called just-in-time(JIT) production, in which supplies,components, and materials are delivered justwhen they are needed. This process, which isdesigned to reduce the need to storeinventory, places the burden on the suppliersto deliver quality parts and materials on anas-needed basis.

All goods are made of materials, andwithout these material resources, productionis impossible. Although every material canbe traced to one or more natural resources,very few materials can be used in their

natural form. They must first be processedto some degree before they can be used toproduce goods that are ready for market.For example, some clothing is made ofcotton. But before cotton can be used tomake clothing, it must first be harvested,processed, and woven into cloth. The sameis true of all materials from steel and lumberto plastic. Materials must first be processedinto standard stock, which in turn is used tomake manufactured products. The process-ing of materials into standard stock isreferred to as primary manufacturing.

We live in a global economy whereproducts made in the United States,Finland, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Mexico,Canada, or any other country are sold andused worldwide. Our lives have beenenhanced because of manufacturingtechnology. It provides a segment of thepopulation with jobs; it is a major factor inthe economy (Gross National Product); andit provides us with many products thatimprove the quality of life.

Students will develop an understanding of and beable to select and use manufacturing technologies.



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Manufactured goods include mostof the items that a student willwear or bring to school, fromjeans and backpacks to pencilsand textbooks. Some goods last a

long time, while others are designed to beused and thrown away. At the K-2 level,students will learn that a manufacturedgood is an item made for consumption oruse. These goods are regularly beingdesigned and redesigned to be made better,more cheaply, and more quickly as thetechnology advances. One way for studentsto see such improvement directly is byhaving them compare goods used todaywith similar ones from 10, 20, or even 100years ago. A visit to a museum or viewing avideotape on the historical development ofmanufacturing may provide resources forsuch a comparison.

Students also will begin to develop anunderstanding of how products aredesigned, produced, tested, packaged, andmarketed. To reinforce this understanding,students could simulate this process byproducing a snack comprised of nuts anddried fruit. They could begin by con-ducting a survey among their peers to learnwhat type of nuts and fruit were preferredfor a snack mix. They should includequestions about allergies — peanuts, forexample. From the results of their testing,they could determine an appropriate recipefor the snack mix. Next, they could devisesimple processes for controlling the amountof each ingredient that would go into eachpackage. They could market the product toothers, and finally, they could manufactureand package the snacks. In the process oflearning how goods are made, students willhave many opportunities to learn aboutteamwork and job specialization. They will

study how people work and the ways theyearn money.

In order to select, use, and understandmanufacturing technologies, studentsin Grades K-2 should learn that

A. Manufacturing systems produceproducts in quantity. Products canbe made faster, cheaper, and betterthrough the use of technology. Peoplehave different roles in the manufac-turing process. If people worktogether, they can produce muchmore than if they work alone to makethe same product.

B. Manufactured products aredesigned. Designers and engineersanticipate what people want and needwith the intention that products will bebought. Some things are designed to bethrown away, while others are made tolast a long time.




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In Grades 3-5, students will gain a greaterunderstanding of how goods are manu-factured. They will explore how properservicing of the goods ensures that theywork properly and are up-to-date. As a

result of experiences in designing, pro-ducing, and marketing a product, studentswill attain a greater insight into how topurchase products.

Everyone in our society uses manufacturedgoods on a daily basis. For example, studentsride to school in a bus, wear clothes, and usepens and pencils. They have come to dependon these items. Starting at this early age,students should be taught how to be wiseconsumers. They should discuss how theymake decisions, and whether those decisionsare based on advertising, color, cost,warranties, peer pressure, quality, or acombination of these factors.

The use of technology and its impact onthe environment should be considered inthe design of goods. Designers of theseitems should take into consideration howlong the product will last and what waste isproduced as well as what happens when theproduct is no longer in use and is discarded.Recycling is an important factor in the lifeof goods and structures.

Manufacturing systems generally includetwo steps. First, natural (raw) materials thatare grown or extracted from the earth areconverted into standard stock items.Second, these standard stock items andsome natural or synthetic materials are usedto make products. For example, trees aremade into lumber, and the lumber is thenused to make furniture.

At this level, students should discuss andexperiment with the various processes used in

manufacturing systems. Some of theprocesses include designing the item,gathering inputs (e.g., materials and energy),using tools and machines to change the formof the materials, manufacturing andmarketing the finished products. Chemicaltechnology also can play an important role asa processing technology because it modifiesand alters chemicals, elements, and com-pounds in order to produce materials withthe desired chemical properties. Throughoutthe manufacturing process, feedback shouldbe collected in order to monitor the qualityof these products. Feedback should also begathered after the item is completed todetermine if consumers like the product aswell as its effects on the family and society.These effects can be recognized by enhancedcustomer satisfaction, improved productsales, more jobs, and a stronger economy.

In order to select, use, and understandmanufacturing technologies, studentsin Grades 3-5 should learn that

C. Processing systems convert naturalmaterials into products. Materials,which come directly from nature orare created by humans (synthetic), areessential inputs in the manufacturingsystem.

D. Manufacturing processes includedesigning products, gatheringresources, and using tools toseparate, form, and combinematerials in order to produceproducts. Many manufacturedproducts are composed of standardizedparts, which reduces the cost ofmanufacturing and makes it easier toservice and repair the products. It isimportant to consider the manu-




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facturing process during the design of aproduct. It is also important to con-sider how long materials will last, whattheir effect will be on the environment,and how they will be disposed of.

E. Manufacturing enterprises existbecause of a consumption of goods.When these enterprises produce goodsthat people need and want, they willspend money to purchase them. Thiscycle provides jobs and helps theeconomy.


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Students routinely use computers, bookbags, bicycles, and watches. Many ofthem take these products for granted.Although they know how to buy themand, in many cases, how to use them,

their understanding often goes no deeper.Students at this level will build upon theirknowledge from prior grade levels todevelop an in-depth understanding ofwhere these products and systems comefrom, how they are made, how to use themappropriately, how they are marketed, andhow to dispose of them. For these goods tocontinue to work properly and efficiently,they must be serviced. Services includethose activities that provide support for agood after it has been sold or leased.

Students must be aware of how the manu-facturing processes can have impacts onpeople and the environment. They shouldexplore and experiment with various tech-niques for designing and developingprocesses and systems that are compatiblewith the natural environment.

Manufactured goods are classified accordingto their longevity — durable or non-durable, for example. Many of these goodsare given a guarantee that protects thebuyer for a specified period of time.

Manufacturing processes encompass thedesigning, producing, and marketing ofgoods. Some things are made one at a time,such as homemade clothes, customcabinets, industry processing equipment,and some musical instruments. With thegrowth of modern manufacturing plants,however, this custom production hasbecome relatively rare. With the use ofmachines, computer-aided design (CAD),automation, robots, and moving assemblylines, many identical items are produced

very quickly, often with little interventionfrom humans.

Manufacturing processes include bothmechanical and chemical processes.Students should have opportunities toexperience processes that includeseparating, forming, combining, andconditioning materials. The studentsshould understand that some materialsmust be obtained from the earth throughsuch processes as harvesting, drilling, andmining. Many of these materials then arechanged into standard stock materialsbefore they are used to produce goods. Forexample, iron ore, limestone, and co*ke canbe combined to make steel; steel can beprocessed into bars, rods, and pipes; andthen these parts can be used to manufacturecars, for example. Middle-level studentsshould test and evaluate various types ofmaterials and processes before selecting themost appropriate ones to use when they areworking on a product in the laboratory-classroom.

Products need to be marketed before theycan be distributed and sold. Marketinginvolves researching potential customersand advertising the product. Servicing isimportant after a product is in use. In ourcountry today, more people are employed inthe service sectors of the economy than inthe manufacturing sectors of the economy.

In order to select, use, and understandmanufacturing technologies, studentsin Grades 6-8 should learn that

F. Manufacturing systems usemechanical processes that changethe form of materials through theprocesses of separating, forming,combining, and conditioning.




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Separating includes cutting, sawing,shearing, and tearing. Formingincludes bending, shaping, stamping,and crushing. Combining includesgluing, welding, riveting, and usingfasteners (e.g., nuts, bolts, and screws).Conditioning involves processingmaterials, such as by heating orcooling, to improve their structures.Tempering metals is an example ofconditioning.

G. Manufactured goods may beclassified as durable and non-durable. These classifications are based on the life expectancy of aproduct or system. Durable goodsinclude automobiles, kitchenappliances, and power tools, whilenon-durable goods include tooth-brushes, disposable diapers, andautomobile tires. Manufactured goodshave life cycles, including initial plan-ning and design, and continuing totheir eventual disposal. Factors to beconsidered include what by-productswere created, when the item was made,and how the item will be disposed of atthe end of its life cycle.

H. The manufacturing process includesthe designing, development, making,and servicing of products andsystems. This process includes the useof materials (natural and synthetic),hand tools (e.g., hammers andscissors), human-operated machines(e.g., drills, sanders, and sewingmachines), and automated machines(computer-controlled). Manufacturingsystems have greatly increased thenumber of products available whileimproving quality and lowering costs.

In general, machines, many of whichare computer controlled, are capable ofproducing higher quality goods thanan expert craftsperson could doindividually. Services include thoseactivities that provide support for aproduct or system after it is sold orleased. These services could includeinstalling, troubleshooting,maintaining, and repairing.

I. Chemical technologies are used tomodify or alter chemical substances.The products of chemical technologiesinclude synthetic fibers, pharmaceu-ticals, plastics, and fuels.

J. Materials must first be located beforethey can be extracted from the earththrough such processes as harvest-ing, drilling, and mining. Becausefew materials occur in nature in ausable state, they must be changed intonew forms before they can be used asinputs in the manufacturing process.There also are other resources that areneeded in order for manufacturingsystems to operate properly, such asfinancing, people, tools and machines,information, and time. Natural (raw)materials are typically converted intostandard stock items, which, in turn,become the resources that are used bymanufacturers.

K. Marketing a product involvesinforming the public about it as wellas assisting in selling and distribu-ting it. Marketing entails assessingwhat the public wants and thenadvertising and selling products to thebuyers.


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This vignette presentssome activities thatdeal with plastics as amanufactured product.Students not only studyplastics, but they alsodesign and make plasticproducts. Finally, theycommunicate to othersthe material which theylearned. [This vignettehighlights some elementsof the Grades 6-8 STLstandards that provideconnections withStandards 3, 8, 9, 10,11, 12, 15, and 19.]

The seventh-grade technology, language arts, and science classes workedtogether to implement an interdisciplinary unit on making and recyclingplastics. The students were challenged to investigate the chemistry ofplastics, the various products made with plastic, how new products aremade from recycled plastic and plastic scraps, and the benefits thecommunity receives through the use of plastics and recycling.

The students developed an action plan to complete the project,interviewed various engineers, scientists, technologists, and industrypersonnel, and toured a local plastic manufacturing plant and a recyclingfacility. In the course of the unit, the students worked with various typesof plastics and designed and made examples of the individual objectsthey had investigated.

Students also conducted research on how synthetic materials differfrom natural materials. Additionally, the teacher asked the students tocreate a company that involved the design, development, production-lineoperation, and assessment of a plastic product made in quantity. Duringtheir activities, the students documented their work by using videos andcameras. They produced a three-minute presentation describing what theyhad learned and then broadcast the segment on the school’s televisionstation. Finally, they produced a similar presentation for their school’sWorld Wide Web site.

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Products and systems have a certainlife expectancy. Many products aremade with built-in obsolescence,which means that they are no longerused after an expected period of time.

This trend has contributed to a throwawaymentality in our society. Many peopleregularly discard old products and buynew ones, which in turn has created largeamounts of waste. Students shouldexplore this trend and look for variousways to use products longer through propermaintenance and repair, as well as throughrecycling. They also should conductresearch on the depletion of resourcesand develop ways to sustain them.

The basic processes in manufacturing can beclassified into separating, forming,combining, and conditioning. To gain adeeper understanding of the manufacturingprocess, students can produce items on anassembly line. They should safely use variousmaterials, tools, and processes in order todesign, make, and assess their products.Materials have many qualities, and they canbe classified by how they are found or made,such as natural materials (found in nature),synthetic materials (human made), and amixture of both natural and syntheticmaterials. The study of chemicals isimportant because they are significantresources in today’s world. In addition,students should be familiar with the workthat people do in manufacturing and howproducts are marketed to consumers.Marketing and advertising products isimportant to better assure sales. Once thegoods are sold or leased through a marketingeffort, servicing becomes an importantconcern. One type of servicing is main-tenance, which, if performed on a regularbasis, can increase the life expectancy of

goods. Students can learn how to servicevarious products through such processes asinstalling, repairing, altering, maintaining,and upgrading.

Manufacturing systems can be classifiedaccording to the type of item beingproduced. Customized production involvesmaking a single item that was designedwith the needs of an individual in mind.Batch productions turn out parts orcomponents — typically referred to asstandard stock items — that are assembledat some later time. In developed countries,continuous (assembly-line) production isthe most common way to make productstoday. One of the key features of assemblylines is the use of interchangeable parts,which is an important concept for studentsto learn about and experiment with at thehigh school level.

In order to select, use, and understandmanufacturing technologies, studentsin Grades 9-12 should learn that

L. Servicing keeps products in goodoperating condition. Servicingprocesses include installing, diagnosingand troubleshooting, recalling,maintaining, repairing, altering andupgrading, and retrofitting. Someproducts are designed for eventualobsolescence. Sometimes obsolescenceis due to changing styles — the colorsand shapes of kitchen appliances, forexample.

M. Materials have different qualitiesand may be classified as natural,synthetic, or mixed. Examples ofmaterials found in nature are wood,stone, and clay. Synthetic materials arehuman-made, such as plastics, glass,




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and steel. Mixed materials are acombination of natural and syntheticmaterials, such as plywood, paper,and wool-polyester blends of fabric.

N. Durable goods are designed tooperate for a long period of time,while non-durable goods aredesigned to operate for a shortperiod of time. Examples of durablegoods are steel, furniture, and stoves.Non-durable goods, or consumablegoods, include food, batteries, and paper.

O. Manufacturing systems may beclassified into types, such ascustomized production, batchproduction, and continuousproduction. Customized productionmeets the specific needs and wants ofan individual or small group byproducing a single item or smallquantities of goods. Batch productiongenerates parts to be assembled laterinto larger products. Continuousproduction makes items on anassembly line or in a processing plant.

P. The interchangeability of partsincreases the effectiveness ofmanufacturing processes. Com-ponents of a product or system must beinterchangeable. Since manufacturinghas become global, internationalstandards for the interchangeability ofparts have emerged.

Q. Chemical technologies provide ameans for humans to alter or modifymaterials and to produce chemicalproducts. Chemical technologies havebeen used to improve the health andwell-being of humans, plants, andanimals.

R. Marketing involves establishinga product’s identity, conductingresearch on its potential, advertisingit, distributing it, and selling it.Marketing should be considered fromthe design stage of a product to its finalsale. Large corporations typically havetheir own marketing departments,whereas smaller companies withlimited resources may contractwith a marketing firm.




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Humans have been buildingstructures for millennia. TheChinese erected the Great Wall; theEgyptians built pyramids; theGreeks constructed elaborate

buildings; and the Romans createdremarkable roads. Today, many of the sameprinciples for building structures usedcenturies ago are still being applied. Largestructures, for instance, need substantialfoundations, and for many centuries,builders have known that triangles havemore compressive strength than rectanglesfor making roofs, bridges, and high-risebuildings. Hard materials (steel andconcrete) have also been found to withstandsome weather conditions better than softermaterials (wood and limestone).

The processes involved in designing andmaking structures are typically referred to asconstruction. People from many differentprofessions work in the constructionindustry, including architects and engineers,builders, estimators and bidders, carpenters,plumbers, concrete workers, and electricians.

Structures, such as houses, office buildings,agricultural-storage facilities, roads, andbridges, serve a variety of purposes. In somecases, they are designed primarily to provideshelter and a place to live. Other structuresare used for entertainment and recreation,such as concert halls, amusem*nt parks,and football stadiums, and yet others areprimarily for work, such as factories andoil drilling rigs. Another major class ofstructures includes those that supporttransportation, such as bridges, roads,

and airplane hangers.

Some structures are temporary, whileothers are permanent. Such structuresas scaffolding, cofferdams (a temporarystructure used to create a dry space in waterso that a pier or bridge foundation can bebuilt), and even tree houses are deliberatelydesigned to last only for brief periods at agiven location. As a result, less time andexpense are invested in the construction.Permanent structures are those that aredesigned and constructed to last for a longtime. Examples include parking garages,office buildings, water towers, schoolbuildings, bridges, and air-traffic controltowers. Even permanent structures,however, will eventually wear out orbecome obsolete.

Whereas manufacturing typically usesassembly-line processes, constructiontypically uses customized processes. Eventhough many houses and office buildingslook alike, they are usually built one at atime, and each one tends to have definingcharacteristics. Many structures haveunique, “one of a kind” designs. Anotherdifference between manufacturing andconstruction is that manufacturing usuallytakes place in factories, whereas constructiontypically occurs on a building site.

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Students will develop an understanding of and beable to select and use construction technologies.



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At an early age, children developownership of “their place,”typically a room in an apartmentor house. This place is a part of theconstructed environment in which

they can receive protection, shelter, andcomfort. During the early grades, studentscan expand their understanding of the con-structed environment to include the placeswith which they interact on a daily basis. Inaddition to their homes, such environmentscan include their school, a library, a church,stores, and places where parents work.

The construction of shelter for humanprotection has evolved from caves and hutsto houses, apartment complexes, and officebuildings. Technological advances in suchareas as glass windows, tile making,lighting, furniture, air conditioning, andelectrical utilities have helped improve theconveniences and comforts of dwellings.

Almost every community has activeconstruction sites — homes, buildings,sidewalks, bridges, or roads that are beingbuilt or refurbished. At these communityexamples, children can actually see theconstruction process in progress. They cansee that special materials, such as concrete,bricks, lumber, steel, and glass are beingused. They also can observe the manydifferent people who are involved in theconstruction process. In addition, studentsshould be given the opportunity to designand fabricate models of construction worksin the laboratory-classroom — involvingthem in making a planned modelcommunity, for example. Some studentscould be assigned to work on roads, otherscould design buildings, while others couldwork with utilities and landscapes.

In order to select, use, and understandconstruction technologies, students inGrades K-2 should learn that

A. People live, work, and go to schoolin buildings, which are of differenttypes: houses, apartments, officebuildings, and schools. Buildings aredesigned, built, and maintained bypeople. Special materials are used tomake buildings. Historically peopletended to use materials available intheir communities for buildingmaterials. With the advent of modernways to convert natural materials intobuilding materials and improvedtransportation systems, specialmaterials are now available, includinglumber, stone, brick, and plywood.

B. The type of structure determineshow the parts are put together. Theway the parts are arranged or puttogether to form a whole determinesthe type of structure. Some commonstructures include buildings, whichprotect people and goods, and roadsand bridges, which supporttransportation.




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Students at this level should begin tounderstand the notion of communitydevelopment. They live in aresidential area, go shopping at localstores, and use local parks. Students

should understand that these constructedareas were planned and designed.

As with other technologies in the designedworld, resources are needed as inputs intothe construction process. These resourcesinclude tools and machines, materials,information, energy, capital (money), time,and people. Maintenance is an importantconcept in the preservation of buildings.People, including children, can cause wearand tear on such things as buildings, roads,and bridges. Weather also contributes todeterioration, and regular maintenance isimportant for structures to last.

By the time students complete the fifthgrade, they will have enlarged their conceptof the constructed environment to encom-pass more than buildings. The constructedenvironment also includes trails, roads,railways, utility services, dams, pipelines,waterways, airports, and bridges, whichallow people to move freely about thecommunity and enable goods to be movedfrom place to place.

Students should have the opportunity todesign and build models of structures. Thisprocess can provide a meaningful way forthem to develop spatial relationships. Theyalso should begin to recognize that manysystems are used in structures that providesuch conveniences as drinking fountains,toilets, lights, and comfortable temperatures,which make their lives more enjoyable.

In order to select, use, and understandconstruction technologies, students inGrades 3-5 should learn that

C. Modern communities are usuallyplanned according to guidelines.Special areas are designated for schools,stores, parks, houses, apartments,manufacturing plants, and offices.Sidewalks, trails, roads, and bridgesprovide routes for people to movethroughout the community. In addi-tion to building materials — sand,gravel, lumber, and brick — specializedtools and machines and large amountsof money — are needed in the con-struction industry as well as time,energy, land, and people.

D. Structures need to be maintained.Weather and usage cause deteriorationin any structure.

E. Many systems are used in buildings.Some are simple, while others arecomplex. For example, a plumbingsystem provides water and eliminatessewage, and a heating and coolingsystem maintains comfortable tempera-tures in summer and winter. Othertechnologies are an integral part of abuilding as well. For example, thetelephone is a part of communicationstechnology. When building a house oroffice building, one part of the wholeprocess is installing telephone lines sothat the people who live or work inthat structure can communicate withthe outside world.




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It is important for students in the middlegrades to become involved not only indesigning and making models ofstructures, but also in developing anunderstanding of the importance of the

constructed environment in their dailylives. Students will learn through activitiesin the laboratory-classroom about types ofstructures and the purposes that eachserves, the importance of proper design,the importance of maintaining structures,the use of subsystems in a building, and theneed for community planning, includinglaws and regulations.

Through these activities, students willunderstand that the foundation of astructure is built to provide the footing orunderpinning on which it stands. Thefoundation provides a stable base, which islevel and solid.

The constructed environment is a complexarray of structures which are used for manydifferent purposes and which have beenconstructed over a long period of time.It is an environment that is undergoingcontinual change. Some structures can fallinto disrepair, and the original design nolonger meets current needs. As a result,many structures are demolished, and intheir place new structures are built. Anunderstanding of how and why thesechanges take place will help studentsunderstand the world in which they live.

Students should have opportunities todesign, use, and assess buildings andmaterials. They should understand thatbuildings have subsystems that are used todo specific things. For example, the electricalsystem is used to light the building, and aheating and air conditioning system providescomfortable temperatures. There are many

types of materials needed in a constructionjob that are used to provide form, decora-tion, protection, and strength. Materialscan be natural (rocks, timber) or synthetic(bricks, asphalt, concrete, steel).

In order to select, use, and understandconstruction technologies, students inGrades 6-8 should learn that

F. The selection of designs for struc-tures is based on factors such asbuilding laws and codes, style,convenience, cost, climate, andfunction. Building laws and codes arepart of the city or county regulationsfor construction.

G. Structures rest on a foundation.The structures determine the type offoundation needed. Foundations canbe made from such materials asconcrete, steel, and wooden poles.

H. Some structures are temporary, whileothers are permanent. Many times,temporary structures are built to aidthe construction of permanent struc-tures. For example, scaffolding is oftenassembled to support workers who laybricks, and forms are used as containersto hold poured concrete. There are manydifferent types of interior and exteriorbuilding materials. These materialsinclude brick, rock, stone, siding, log,wood, brick veneer, plywood, metal,wallboard, concrete, glass, and strawand mud.

I. Buildings generally contain a varietyof subsystems. These subsystemsinclude waste disposal, water, electrical,structural, climate control, andcommunication. Most of thesesubsystems are referred to as utilities.




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By the time students graduate fromhigh school, they should know abouta number of factors associated withevaluating and purchasing structuresof various types. Virtually all citizens

are affected in one way or another byconstruction technologies. They purchaseand live in homes. They work in offices andfactories. They receive radio and telephonesignals that have been transmitted throughtowers. They drive over bridges and park inmulti-deck garages.

Structures are explored in greater depth atthis level. Students should design structuresand make models of them. They shouldunderstand that certain structures can bethought of as part of a much larger systemthat underlies the functioning of the entiresociety. Roads and bridges, airports andrailways, electrical transmission anddistribution systems, dams, ships, water-treatment plants, water-supply systems,and sewers all constitute the physicalinfrastructure of a society. An adequateinfrastructure is necessary for othertechnologies to function efficiently.

At the high school level, students shouldbe able to identify the various materialsand systems that comprise buildings.These include utilities, such as water,waste, electrical, climate control, telephone,and gas, as well as component systems,such as foundations, framing, insulation,and lighting.

Since a home is often the single largestfinancial investment an individual makes, itis important that citizens be equipped toassess the quality of homes and otherstructures, including the quality ofprocesses and materials used in theconstruction job. At the very least, they

should know whom to contact forprofessional assessments and have sufficientknowledge to interpret inspection reports.

A number of factors are used to guide theprocess of designing and making structures.Students should understand that variousrequirements are used to make constructiondecisions. Some relate to personalpreference, such as location, style, and size.Other factors deal with legal restrictions,such as zoning laws, building codes, andprofessional standards. Additionally, theselection of requirements often depends on the kind of structure. For example, aprimary consideration for a bridge isstrength, whereas style and affordability are important criteria for many homes.

Periodic improvement or even renovationof a structure is vital to extend its lifetimeor improve its usefulness. In urban areas,two-lane highways are widened to fourlanes to accommodate more traffic, forinstance. A structure can be altered tochange its size, appearance, or function.In some instances, buildings are torn downin order to make room for new ones.Students should realize that, as with othertechnologies, decisions related to construc-tion have impacts on individuals, society,and the environment. An importantpurpose of construction is to provideshelter and structures for humans.

In order to select, use, and understandconstruction technologies, students inGrades 9-12 should learn that

J. Infrastructure is the underlying baseor basic framework of a system. Aninfrastructure often includes the basicbuildings, services, and installationsneeded in order for a society or




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government to function, such astransportation, communication, water,energy, and public information systems.

K. Structures are constructed using avariety of processes and procedures.In some cases, the procedure useddepends on the type of materialavailable. For example, welds, bolts,and rivets are used to assemble metalframing materials. Sometimes pro-cedures are selected as a function ofcost, skills, and preference of theworker, or the level of quality desired.Citizens should be equipped toevaluate the appropriateness ofprocedures used.

L. The design of structures includes anumber of requirements. One of themost important design constraints withstructures is function. For example, thefunction of houses is to provide safe andpleasant shelter for families, whereas theprimary function of a bridge is to carryloads over barriers or obstructions. Otherimportant constraints include appear-ance, strength, longevity, maintenance,and available utilities. The design andconstruction of structures are regulatedby laws, codes, and professionalstandards. Common design constraintsused by engineers and architects in thedesign of structures include style,convenience, safety, and efficiency.

M. Structures require maintenance,alteration, or renovation period-ically to improve them or to altertheir intended use. Structures must bedesigned and constructed to provide formaintenance. Most structures arecomprised of a variety of systems, eachof which commonly requires main-

tenance. For example, because electricaland telephone systems typically need tobe upgraded in office buildings, easyaccess must be included in the originaldesign process — renovating a hotel toserve as a nursing home, for example.Sometimes, alterations and renovationsare necessary because a structure hasbecome outdated or is in need of repair.

N. Structures can include prefabricatedmaterials. Certain kinds of materialsare appropriate for some prefabricatedstructures and parts of structures, whileothers are not. For example, for variousreasons, wood, concrete, and steel arecommonly used as prefabricated framesfor houses, bridges, and buildings. Oneimportant quality variable concerns thetype and quality of materials used andthe support loads required. Prefabricatedsections of buildings can be set in placeto reduce costs, and a wide range ofoptions at different costs is typicallyavailable.




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This vignette presentsan activity to design andconstruct a model home.Criteria and constraintsare given to guide thestudents in their problem-solving processes. [Thisvignette highlights someelements of the Grades9-12 STL standards whichprovide connections withStandards 8, 9, 10, 11,12, 13, 16, and 20.]

The city of Westlake and the surrounding areas experienced an acceleratedgrowth in the construction industry, especially in new home construction.The local high school technology teacher, Mr. S, thought it would be helpfulfor his students, as future consumers, to have an in-depth understanding ofthe housing industry and to know about the latest developments in homeconstruction techniques, materials, and practices.

Mr. S decided to organize a lesson where students were invited to participatein designing an energy-efficient home for a family of four. He guided thestudents to consider all forms of energy and not to limit their imaginations.Students were instructed to consider costs of using energy-efficient designsand how those costs might affect the resale value of a home.

The students in the technology classes were challenged to design, draw, andbuild a scale model of a residential home using heating and cooling systemsthat were energy efficient, aesthetically pleasing, functional, marketable,and innovative. The house also had to accommodate a family of four witha maximum size of 2100 square feet. The students had to work within abudget of $150,000, and they had nine weeks to complete the project.

The students began by researching homes in their area that alreadyincorporated features that were required in their home. They conductedlibrary and Internet searches to learn about the latest materials andtechniques available in the housing industry. Students also interviewed localarchitects and building contractors to learn about various practices and howthey were integrating innovative features. For example, they learned aboutincorporating increased day lighting, which takes into account the home’sorientation, into the design of the home. They also learned about designingand installing environmentally sound and energy-efficient systems andincorporating whole-home systems that are designed to providemaintenance, security, and indoor-air-quality management.

The students then began the process of sketching their homes. Manystudents had to gather additional research as they realized they neededmore information to complete their sketches. Using their sketches, thestudents built scale models of their homes out of mat board.

A group of building industry professionals from across the area was invitedto evaluate students’ work and provide feedback on their ideas in severalcategories, including design, planning and innovations, energy conservationfeatures, drawing presentation, model presentation, and exterior design.

As a result of this experience, the students learned firsthand what it takes todesign a home for the 21st century. Students also learned how to successfullyplan and select the best possible solution from a variety of design ideas inorder to meet criteria and constraints, as well as how to communicate theirresults using graphic means and three-dimensional models.

A Look at Energy Efficient Homes

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Call to Action8Because technological literacy

is so important to all of us, ITEA

is calling for interested parties to

join it in advancing the cause

of technological literacy as laid

out in these standards. Foremost,

ITEA encourages the adoption of

Standards for Technological Literacy

in states, provinces, and localities.

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In conjunction with the nationwide adoption of these standards,ITEA recommends that the following topics or groups be addressed:

• Curriculum Development and Revision

• Learning Environments, Instructional Materials,Textbooks, and Other Materials

• Technology Education Profession

• Students

• Overall Education Community

• Parents and the Community

• Engineering Profession

• Other Technology Professionals

• Business and Industry

• Researchers

• Additional Standards

Curriculum Development and RevisionStandards for Technological Literacy defines what the study oftechnology in grades K-12 should be, but it does not lay out acurriculum — that is, it does not specify how the content shouldbe structured, sequenced, and organized. This task is left, as itshould be, to individual teachers and other curriculum developersin the schools, school districts, and states and provinces. Becausethe 20 standards with their supporting benchmarks contained inStandards for Technological Literacy outline what a curriculumshould accomplish, developers of new and existing curricula areencouraged to use this document as a roadmap. After a curriculumis devised, the next step is to convert it into day-by-day lesson plansused by teachers in their laboratory-classrooms.

To make it easier for educators to implement the standards, ITEA’sCenter to Advance the Teaching of Technology & Science (CATTS)will support localities, states, and provinces in developing curriculabased on Standards for Technological Literacy. In addition, ITEA willprovide instructional materials, publications, and professionaldevelopment activities to assist teachers in putting the standardsinto practice.

In order to meet the goal of

technological literacy for all,

a collaborative effort among

interested parties — teachers,

principals, superintendents,

supervisors, teacher educators,

students, parents, educational

equipment providers and

publishers, engineers,

scientists, mathematicians,

technologists, and the

community at large —

will be essential.

8 Call to Action

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Learning Environments,Instructional Materials,Textbooks, and Other Materials

If the study of technology is to be effective,the facilities, equipment, materials, andother parts of the infrastructure must beappropriate and current. In particular,instructional materials and textbooks usedin the study of technology should bemodified to reflect Standards forTechnological Literacy. The suitability ofinstructional materials, modules, andtextbooks can be assessed by comparingtheir content to the content of thisdocument. Similarly, it is recommendedthat the developers and publishers ofinstructional material follow the“Administrator’s Guidelines For ResourcesBased on Standards for Technological Literacy”presented in Chapter 2.

Technology Education Profession

Support from the technology educationprofession is vital to the acceptance andimplementation of Standards forTechnological Literacy. By using thisdocument as a basis for modifying theirinstruction, teachers will demonstrate theimportance of technological studies, thevalue of technological literacy, and theirown abilities to teach about technology.

In-service programs must be developed toteach technology educators how toimplement Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy. Supervisors are encouraged toprovide support and philosophicalleadership for reform in the field becausethey are in an ideal position to implementlong-range plans for improving the deliveryof technology education subject matter atthe local, district, state, and province levels.

Those who educate technology teachersshould review and revise undergraduateand graduate degree programs by usingStandards for Technological Literacy as thebasis for teaching technology. Furthermore,strategies can be designed and implementedfor recruiting and preparing a sufficientnumber of newly trained and credentialedtechnology education teachers. Alternatecertification programs may be established instates and provinces with serious shortagesof technology teachers.


The Technology Student Association (TSA)provides co-curricular and extra-curriculareducational experiences that enrich students’learning about technology. To further thatgoal, TSA is encouraged to use Standards forTechnological Literacy in the development ofnew activities and competitive events.

The Junior Engineering Technical Society(JETS) also has a number of services andstudent activities that could be enhanced byincorporating the standards and benchmarksfrom Standards for Technological Literacy. Onthe collegiate level, the TechnologyEducation Collegiate Association (TECA), auniversity-based student organization forpre-service teachers, can incorporateStandards for Technological Literacy in itsprograms.

Since there is a major demand for tech-nology teachers, students who have aninterest in both teaching and technology are encouraged to consider becomingtechnology teachers. They can choose froma number of universities that offer pre-service technology teacher educationprograms that license teachers.

Call to Action8C H A P T E R

Standards forTechnologicalLiteracydefines whatthe study oftechnology inGrades K-12should be,but it doesnot lay out acurriculum —that is, itdoes notspecify howthe contentshould bestructured,sequenced,andorganized.

Those whoeducatetechnologyteachersshould reviewand reviseundergraduateand graduatedegree pro-grams byusingStandards forTechnologicalLiteracy asthe basis forteachingtechnology.

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Overall Educational Community

At the elementary level, the regular classroomis where technology should be taught.Although elementary teachers may initiallyfeel unqualified to teach technology,experience has shown that, with appropriatein-service training, they performexceptionally well and excel at integratingtechnological concepts across the curriculum.For the study of technology to become anintegral partof elementary curricula, it is recommendedthat all elementary teachers have courses intechnology in their undergraduate teacherpreparation program in colleges or univer-sities. This means that teacher preparationinstitutions are encouraged to includetechnology teacher education as a part ofelementary teachers’ undergraduate degreerequirements.

At the secondary school level, teachers fromother fields of study can help by becomingfamiliar with Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy. If teachers of subjects other thantechnology apply Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy in their own classes, students inmiddle and high school will learn about therich interdisciplinary relationships betweentechnology and other fields of study, suchas science, mathematics, social studies,language arts, and the humanities. Because ofthe particularly close interrelationship amongtechnology, science, and mathematics,teachers are encouraged to workcooperatively in planning and implementingcurricula that are based on standards from allthree fields of study.

At the community college level, facultyand administrators who work with associatedegree engineering technology programsare encouraged to become familiar with

Standards for Technological Literacy. This isimportant because high school graduates whoare technologically literate may have aninterest in pursuing careers in engineeringtechnology. Additionally, community collegepersonnel who work with tech prep programsin high schools with 2+2 configurations areasked to become familiar with Standards forTechnological Literacy so that articulatedtechnology programs can be developed forthose students who wish to pursue technicalor technology related careers.

Beyond the classroom, school administrators— principals, curriculum developers,directors of instruction, superintendents, andothers — can recognize the importance oftechnological literacy for all students andsupport the study of technology. To that end,they can provide the support and funding forthe materials, equipment, and laboratoriesneeded for the teaching of technology.Current staff should be provided withprofessional development activities andin-service programs that will prepare them toput the STL standards into practice.

It is important that local school boards, stateand provincial legislators, and public officialsalso become familiar with Standards forTechnological Literacy. They are encouraged tounderstand the importance of the study oftechnology and support it as a basic field ofstudy in public schools by developing policiesand providing funding that will allow for theimplementation of Standards forTechnological Literacy in kindergarten throughtwelfth grade.

Parents and the Community

By supporting and reinforcing the conceptslearned in school, parents and othercaregivers will play a central role in the

Everyoneinterested intechnologicalliteracy isencouraged tounderstandthe impor-tance of thestudy of tech-nology andsupport it asa basic fieldof study inpublic schoolsby developingpolicies andprovidingfunding thatwill allow forthe implemen-tation ofStandards forTechnologicalLiteracy inkindergartenthroughtwelfth grade.

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education of their children. Students’attitudes toward the study of technology will,in large measure, reflect the attitudes of theirparents. Therefore, parents with positivestances towards the study of technology willimpart those attitudes to their children.

Parents and other caregivers are in an idealposition to advance technological literacy fortheir children. Relatively few, however, willhave been exposed to technology educationduring their school years. For this reason,many parents may have the wrong ideaabout what the study of technology involves.A common misunderstanding, for example,is confusing technology education withcomputer education or with educationaltechnology (equipment and software used inlaboratory-classrooms to enhance theteaching and learning process). To promotetechnological literacy for all students, parentsare encouraged to embrace and understandthe value of the study of technology.

Ideally, other members of the communitycan also become knowledgeable about thestudy of technology and the importance ofstandards as a means to bring about reformin education and promote technologicalliteracy. Community leaders also need tohelp the youth in their communities bysupporting quality technology programs.

Engineering Profession

By serving as champions of technologicalliteracy for all, members of the engineeringcommunity will not only benefit society ingeneral, they will also benefit their ownprofession. As noted by the NationalResearch Council in the publicationEngineering Education: Designing an AdaptiveSystem (1995), the health of the engineeringprofession is dependent upon a wide range of


The nation’s engineering educationsystem includes not just highereducation but also K-12, communitycolleges, and continuous (lifelong)engineering education. These elementsare embedded in the larger society,whose political and economic influencestypically affect engineering schoolsthrough the academic institution ofwhich they are a part. Thosesocioeconomic and political factors alsodrive demand for engineers, as well asthe supply, recruitment, and retentionof engineering students. (p.40)

Technological literacy will benefit theengineering profession in a number ofways. As more students receive high-qualityinstruction in technology, for example,more will be likely to select engineeringas a career. In the long run, improvedengineering will strengthen the techno-logical base of the economy and of society.

The engineering community can encouragetechnological literacy in a number ofimportant ways. Those in charge ofengineering programs at colleges anduniversities will advance technologicalliteracy by supporting undergraduate andgraduate degree programs in technologyteacher education. To that end, collegeand university engineering faculty cancollaborate with technology teachereducation faculty in interdisciplinarycourses. Some engineering institutions alsomay conduct pre-service summer schoolsfor college students with majors in scienceor mathematics education. Some institu-tions might establish programs forengineering graduates who are interestedin teaching Grades K-12, for example,

Call to Action8C H A P T E R

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by having engineering graduates work asvisiting per diem teachers who receive credittoward a teaching certificate.

Through statewide consortia, engineeringinstitutions could set up centers where K-12teachers would acquire in-service training onteaching tools and topics in technology.Engineering colleges and universities mightset up programs to “adopt” elementaryand secondary schools and assist them indeveloping laboratory projects and classroomactivities. Similarly, members of engineeringsocieties might form partnerships with K-12teachers to provide students with hands-onengineering experiences.

The engineering education community,perhaps through the National Academy ofEngineering or the National ResearchCouncil, is encouraged to support ongoingefforts to reform K-12 science, mathematics,and technology at the national, state, pro-vincial, and local levels. A task force may beestablished to examine the college curriculaof students who are planning to teach K-12mathematics, science, and technology. Thetask force could focus particularly on thetechnological literacy of these students andon what they are taught about engineeringand engineering achievements. An effort canbe initiated to redesign many undergraduatescience courses for K-5 teachers to includemore content about technology.

Other Technology Professionals

In addition to engineers, many otherprofessionals support technological literacyfor all students. Examples of some of thesetechnology-oriented professionals includearchitects, computer scientists and pro-grammers, industrial designers, technicians,draftspersons, equipment maintenance

personnel, and others. They are encouragedto read Standards for Technological Literacyand support its implementation in GradesK-12 in their community and schools.Because we live in a technologicallyoriented world, collaborative efforts will bemost beneficial to future generations.

Business and Industry

It is vital that business and industry leaders atthe national, regional, and local level becomemore involved in school programs in general,and in particular, with technology programs.These individuals typically have both theresources and expertise to help implementStandards for Technological Literacy. They areencouraged to become familiar with Standardsfor Technological Literacy and work with local,state, and province personnel to improvetechnology programs by using the documentas a guideline. Business and industry leadersalso are encouraged to donate instructionalmaterials and equipment to K-12 schools andto persuade professionals within their com-panies to join with K-12 teachers in providingrelevant, hands-on experiences for students.

Recognizing the value of support from thebusiness community, technology educatorsneed to actively pursue backing for theirprograms from business and industry intheir areas.


Because few studies have examined K-12technology programs, there is an acute needfor additional research about technology. Inparticular, research is needed that exploresthe specific ways in which the study oftechnology enhances a student’s education.This information will be important inassuring decision-makers of the value of

In particular,research isneeded thatexplores thespecific waysin which thestudy oftechnologyenhances astudent’seducation.

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adding technology to an alreadyovercrowded curriculum. Furthermore,research is needed to move Standards forTechnological Literacy forward and toprovide support and direction for futurerevisions, as well as new standards in otherareas.

Members of the technology educationprofession in particular, and the educationalcommunity in general, are encouraged to setforth new priorities for identifying a researchagenda. This research agenda can be pursuedby all members of the educationalcommunity, including teachers, local schooladministrators, and higher education faculty.Without an accepted and refined researchagenda, future efforts could be haphazard and disjointed. The time has arrived foreducation professionals to realize that much more research must be conducted if the teaching and learning of technology is to advance. Research will be invaluable in developing future editions of thestandards.

It is recommended that future internationalcomparisons of students’ achievements inthe study of technology complement andadd to those already being undertaken, suchas the Third International Mathematics andScience Study (TIMSS). Additionally,research groups can be organized to studythe relationships among technology,science, and mathematics.

Additional Standards and SupportMaterials

Since STL was published in 2000 (andrevised in 2002), ITEA and its TfAAP haveproduced a wide range of companionstandards as well as support materials.AETL was published in 2005 and it

provides additional standards that aresupportive of STL.

Four “Addenda” to STL and AETL havebeen produced, which are:

• Measuring Progress: Assessing Studentsfor Technological Literacy (2004)

• Realizing Excellence: StructuringTechnology Programs (2005)

• Planning Learning: DevelopingTechnology Curricula (2005)

• Developing Professionals: PreparingTechnology Teachers (2005)

These documents provide easy-to-useassistance in implementing standards-basedcontent, student assessment, professionaldevelopment, curriculum, and programs. ACD was produced by ITEA and NEA in2006 to provide briefings of STL, AETL,Addenda, and marketing technologicalprograms. It is available from ITEA or you may purchase acopy for your school system, school, orclassroom.

ITEA’s Engineering byDesign model hasbased all of its publications on STL andAETL. Support is available from EbD onproviding Curriculum and StandardsSpecialists, workshops, and presentations tothe educational community.

Concluding Comments

When we consider that many of the mostinfluential people of the last millennium wereinventors or innovators, the central role oftechnology is undeniable. Consider the powerand promise of some of their momentoustechnologies — Gutenberg’s movable printingpress, Galileo’s telescope, Da Vinci’s flying

Call to Action8C H A P T E R

When we con-sider thatmany of themost influen-tial people ofthe last mil-lennium wereinventors orinnovators,the centralrole of tech-nology isundeniable.

Improvementof technologi-cal literacybegins withthe implemen-tation ofthesestandards.

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machine, Ford’s Model-T, Edison’s light bulb,and Brattain, Bardeen, and Shockley’stransistor. Without them, the history ofhumankind would be vastly different. In lightof the past, technological literacy for allstudents is a noble goal for the future.

Standards for Technological Literacy does notrepresent an end, but a beginning. Inother fields of study, the development ofstandards has often proved to be the easieststep in a long, arduous process ofeducational reform. Getting thesetechnology standards accepted andimplemented in Grades K-12 of everyschool will certainly be far more challengingthan developing them. This document,which is a starting point for action withinschools, districts, states, and provinces, isaimed at making the study of technologyessential for all students. Improvement oftechnological literacy begins with theimplementation of these standards.



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History of the TechnologyA for All Americans Project p. 208

Listing of theB STL Standards p. 210

C Compendium p. 211

Articulated CurriculumD Vignette from Grades K-12 p. 215

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ITEA, through its Technology for All Americans Project

(TfAAP), published Technology for All Americans: A Rationale

and Structure for the Study of Technology (Rationale and Structure)

in 1996. This document provided the foundation for Standards

for Technological Literacy and established the guidelines for what

each person should know and be able to do in order to be tech-

nologically literate.

The goal of Standards for Technological Literacy was to build

upon this work and to present a general-content framework for

technology education. TfAAP created two advisory groups to

assist with the development and refinement of the standards.

One of these groups was the Standards Team, which was instru-

mental in advising the project and creating and refining the


The project also created an Advisory Group, which advised the

project on the process of developing standards and gave specific

input into the wording of the standards. Members of both of

these committees, along with other groups and individuals that

were instrumental in the development of Standards for

Technological Literacy, are listed in the acknowledgements.

In the development, consensus-building, and validation

processes, six drafts of the document were generated. The fol-

lowing TfAAP chronology highlights key dates in this process.

A History of the Technologyfor All Americans Project


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F A L L 1 9 9 4 T O F A L L 1 9 9 6n Phase I—Development of Rationale and Structure.

F A L L 1 9 9 6 T O S U M M E R 1 9 9 7n Start of Phase II of the Technology for All Americans Project.n The Standards Team began the process of developing the core of the standards.

S U M M E R 1 9 9 7 T O F A L L 1 9 9 7n Draft 1 of Standards for Technological Literacy was developed and distributed by mail,

at hearings, and on the World Wide Web (WWW). Each individual or group hadthe opportunity to comment on the draft.

W I N T E R 1 9 9 8 T O S U M M E R 1 9 9 8n Based on the input received, the document was revised, and Draft 2 was produced.

This draft focused on collecting input on the K-12 content standards only. Again,input was received through standards hearings, mail review, and the Internet or theproject’s Web site.

n Draft 3 was produced from the winter of 1998 to the summer of 1998.

S U M M E R 1 9 9 8n Field review of Draft 3 of Standards for Technological Literacy by classroom teachers

and administrators.

F A L L 1 9 9 8n Draft 3 was finalized, mailed out for review, and additional hearings were conducted.

W I N T E R 1 9 9 9n Based on input received, ITEA and the project staff decided that the document

should be revised again before being published.

S P R I N G 1 9 9 9 T O F A L L 1 9 9 9n National Research Council’s Standards Review Committee (SRC) was formed and

charged with reviewing the structure and format of the document.n Draft 4 was developed and then reviewed by SRC and a Technical Review

Committee (TRC) in August 1999.

F A L L 1 9 9 9n Draft 5 of Standards for Technological Literacy was developed and reviewed by SRC

and a National Academy of Engineering (NAE) committee.n Draft 6 was developed and reviewed by the NRC/SRC and the NAE Committees in

late fall of 1999.n Final layout and editing of Standards for Technological Literacy.

W I N T E R T O S P R I N G 2 0 0 0n Standards for Technological Literacy was published and disseminated.

History of the Technology for All Americans ProjectAA P P E N D I X

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Students will develop an understanding of thecharacteristics and scope of technology.

Students will develop an understanding of thecore concepts of technology.

Students will develop an understanding of therelationships among technologies and theconnections between technology and otherfields of study.

Students will develop an understanding of thecultural, social, economic, and political effectsof technology.

Students will develop an understanding of theeffects of technology on the environment.

Students will develop an understanding of therole of society in the development and use oftechnology.

Students will develop an understanding of theinfluence of technology on history.

Students will develop an understanding of theattributes of design.

Students will develop an understanding ofengineering design.

Students will develop an understanding of therole of troubleshooting, research anddevelopment, invention and innovation, andexperimentation in problem solving.

Students will develop the abilities to apply thedesign process.

Students will develop the abilities to use andmaintain technological products and systems.

Students will develop the abilities to assessthe impact of products and systems.

Students will develop an understanding of andbe able to select and use medicaltechnologies.

Students will develop an understanding of andbe able to select and use agricultural andrelated biotechnologies.

Students will develop an understanding of andbe able to select and use energy and powertechnologies.

Students will develop an understanding of andbe able to select and use information andcommunication technologies.

Students will develop an understanding of andbe able to select and use transportationtechnologies.

Students will develop an understanding of andbe able to select and use manufacturingtechnologies.

Students will develop an understanding ofand be able to select and use constructiontechnologies.



B Listing of the STLStandards



1 11























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C Compendium


Compendium of Major Topics for Standards for Technological Literacy

Benchmark Topics Benchmark Topics Benchmark Topics Benchmark TopicsStandards Grades K-2 Grades 3-5 Grades 6-8 Grades 9-12







C H A P T E R N A T U R E O F T E C H N O L O G Y3

TheCharacteristicsand Scope ofTechnology

The Core Conceptsof Technology

The RelationshipsAmongTechnologies andthe ConnectionsBetweenTechnology andOther Fields

The Cultural,Social, Economic,and PoliticalEffects ofTechnology

The Effects ofTechnology on theEnvironment

The Role ofSociety in theDevelopment andUse of Technology

•Natural world andhuman-made world

•People andtechnology


•Connections betweentechnology and othersubjects

•Helpful or harmful

•Reuse and/orrecycling of materials

•Needs and wants ofindividuals

•Things found in natureand in the human-madeworld

•Tools, materials, and skills•Creative thinking


•Technologies integrated•Relationships betweentechnology and otherfields of study

•Good and bad effects•Unintended consequences

•Recycling and disposal ofwaste

•Affects environment ingood and bad ways

•Changing needs and wants•Expansion or limitation ofdevelopment

•Usefulness of technology•Development oftechnology

•Human creativity andmotivation

•Product demand


•Interaction of systems•Interrelation oftechnologicalenvironments

•Knowledge from otherfields of study andtechnology

•Attitudes towarddevelopment and use

•Impacts and consequences•Ethical issues•Influences on economy,politics, and culture

•Management of waste•Technologies repairdamage

•Environmental vs.economic concerns

•Development driven bydemands, values, andinterests

•Inventions andinnovations

•Social and culturalpriorities

•Acceptance and use ofproducts and systems

•Nature of technology•Rate of technologicaldiffusion

•Goal-directed research•Commercialization oftechnology

•Systems•Resources•Requirements•Optimization and Trade-offs•Processes•Controls

•Technology transfer•Innovation and Invention•Knowledge protection andpatents

•Technological knowledgeand advances of scienceand mathematics and viceversa

•Rapid or gradual changes•Trade-offs and effects•Ethical implications•Cultural, social, economic,and political changes

•Conservation •Reduce resource use•Monitor environment•Alignment of natural andtechnological processes

•Reduce negativeconsequences of technology

•Decisions and trade-offs

•Different cultures andtechnologies

•Development decisions•Factors affecting designsand demands oftechnologies

C H A P T E R T E C H N O L O G Y A N D S O C I E T Y4




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CompendiumCA P P E N D I X

Compendium of Major Topics for Standards for Technological Literacy (Continued)

Benchmark Topics Benchmark Topics Benchmark Topics Benchmark TopicsStandards Grades K-2 Grades 3-5 Grades 6-8 Grades 9-12





C H A P T E R T E C H N O L O G Y A N D S O C I E T Y (Continued)4

The Influence ofTechnology onHistory

The Attributes of Design


The Role ofTroubleshooting,Research andDevelopment,Invention andInnovation, andExperimentationin ProblemSolving

Apply the DesignProcess

Use and MaintainTechnologicalProducts andSystems

•Ways people havelived and worked

•Everyone can design•Design is a creativeprocess

•Engineering designprocess

•Expressing designideas to others

•Asking questions andmaking observations

•All products need tobe maintained

•Solve problemsthrough design

•Build something•Investigate howthings are made

•Discover how thingswork

•Use tools correctlyand safely

•Recognize and useeveryday symbols

•Tools for food, clothing,and protection

•Definitions of design•Requirements of design

•Engineering designprocess

•Creativity and consideringall ideas


•Troubleshooting•Invention and innovation•Experimentation

•Collect information •Visualize a solution•Test and evaluatesolutions

•Improve a design

•Follow step-by-stepinstructions

•Select and safely use tools•Use computers to accessand organize information

•Use common symbols

•Processes of inventionsand innovations

•Specialization of labor •Evolution of techniques,measurement, andresources

•Technological andscientific knowledge

•Design leads to usefulproducts and systems

•There is no perfect design•Requirements

•Iterative•Brainstorming•Modeling, testing,evaluating, and modifying

•Troubleshooting •Invention and innovation•Experimentation

•Apply design process •Identify criteria andconstraints

•Model a solution to aproblem

•Test and evaluate •Make a product or system

•Use information to seehow things work

•Safely use tools todiagnose, adjust, andrepair

•Use computers andcalculators

•Operate systems

•Evolutionary developmentof technology

•Dramatic changes in society

•History of technology•Early technological history•The Iron Age•The Middle Ages•The Renaissance•The Industrial Revolution•The Information Age

•The design process•Design problems are usuallynot clear

•Designs need to be refined•Requirements

•Design principles•Influence of personalcharacteristics

•Prototypes •Factors in engineeringdesign

•Research and development•Researching technologicalproblems

•Not all problems aretechnological or can besolved

•Multidisciplinary approach

•Identify a design problem•Identify criteria andconstraints

•Refine the design•Evaluate the design•Develop a product or systemusing quality control

•Reevaluate final solution(s)

•Document and communicateprocesses and procedures

•Diagnose a malfunctioningsystem

•Troubleshoot and maintainsystems

•Operate and maintainsystems

•Use computers tocommunicate

C H A P T E R D E S I G N5


C H A P T E R A B I L I T I E S F O R A T E C H N O L O G I C A L W O R L D6


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CompendiumCA P P E N D I X

Compendium of Major Topics for Standards for Technological Literacy (Continued)

Benchmark Topics Benchmark Topics Benchmark Topics Benchmark TopicsStandards Grades K-2 Grades 3-5 Grades 6-8 Grades 9-12





C H A P T E R A B I L I T I E S F O R A T E C H N O L O G I C A L W O R L D (Continued)6

Assess the Impact ofProducts andSystems


Agricultural andRelatedBiotechnologies

Energy and PowerTechnologies

Information andCommunicationTechnologies

•Collect informationabout everydayproducts

•Determine thequalities of a product

•Vaccinations•Medicine•Products to take careof people and theirbelongings

•Technologies inagriculture

•Tools and materialsfor use in ecosystems

•Energy comes in manyforms

•Energy should not bewasted


•Use information toidentify patterns

•Assess the influence oftechnology

•Examine trade-offs

•Vaccines and medicine•Development of devices torepair or replace certainparts of the body

•Use of products andsystems to inform

•Artificial ecosystems•Agriculture wastes•Processes in agriculture

•Energy comes in differentforms

•Tools, machines, products,and systems use energy todo work

•Processing information•Many sources ofinformation


•Design and useinstruments to collectdata

•Use collected data to findtrends

•Identify trends•Interpret and evaluateaccuracy of information

•Advances and innovationsin medical technologies

•Sanitation processes•Immunology•Awareness about geneticengineering

•Technological advances inagriculture

•Specialized equipment andpractices

•Biotechnology andagriculture

•Artificial ecosystems andmanagement

•Development ofrefrigeration, freezing,dehydration, preservation,and irradiation

•Energy is the capacity todo work

•Energy can be used to dowork using manyprocesses

•Power is the rate at whichenergy is converted fromone form to another

•Power systems•Efficiency andconservation

•Information andcommunication systems

•Communication systemsencode, transmit, andreceive information

•Factors influencing thedesign of a message

•Language of technology

•Collect information andjudge its quality

•Synthesize data to drawconclusions

•Employ assessmenttechniques

•Design forecastingtechniques

•Medical technologies forprevention andrehabilitation

•Telemedicine•Genetic therapeutics•Biochemistry

•Agricultural products andsystems

•Biotechnology•Conservation•Engineering design andmanagement of ecosystems

•Law of Conservation ofEnergy

•Energy sources•Second Law ofThermodynamics

• Renewable and nonrenewable forms of energy

• Power systems are a source,a process, and a load

•Parts of information andcommunication systems

•Information andcommunication systems

•The purpose ofinformation andcommunication technology

•Communication systems and sub-systems

•Many ways ofcommunicating

•Communicating throughsymbols

C H A P T E R T H E D E S I G N E D W O R L D7


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CompendiumCA P P E N D I X

Compendium of Major Topics for Standards for Technological Literacy (Continued)

Benchmark Topics Benchmark Topics Benchmark Topics Benchmark TopicsStandards Grades K-2 Grades 3-5 Grades 6-8 Grades 9-12




C H A P T E R T H E D E S I G N E D W O R L D (Continued)7




•Transportation system•Individuals and goods•Care of transportationproducts and systems


•Design of products

•Different types ofbuildings

•How parts ofbuildings fit

•Transportation system use•Transportation systemsand subsystems

•Natural materials •Manufacturing processes •Consumption of goods •Chemical technologies

•Modern communities •Structures•Systems used

•Design and operation oftransportation systems

•Subsystems oftransportation system

•Governmental regulations•Transportation processes

•Manufacturing systems •Manufacturing goods •Manufacturing processes •Chemical technologies •Materials use•Marketing products

•Construction designs•Foundations•Purpose of structures•Buildings systems andsub-systems

•Relationship oftransportation and othertechnologies

•Intermodalism•Transportation of servicesand methods

•Positive and negativeimpacts of transportationsystems

•Transportation processesand efficiency

•Servicing and obsolescence •Durable or non-durablegoods

•Manufacturing systems • Interchangeability of parts •Chemical technologies •Marketing of products

•Infrastructure •Construction processes andprocedures

•Requirements•Maintenance, alterations,and renovation

•Prefabricated materials

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D Articulated CurriculumVignette fromGrades K-12


One of the challenges of implementing Standards for

Technological Literacy is developing an articulated curriculum for

Grades K-12 that translates each of the standards into a planned

curriculum with instructional activities suited for content being

taught at each grade level. The following example illustrates how

this could work in the laboratory-classroom.

This example revolves around the theme of transportation tech-

nology. Each of the transportation activities presented is age

appropriate and designed to fit with the developmental charac-

teristics and needs of children at the various grade levels. Also,

each grade level builds upon the prior one, showing the impor-

tance of a continuous and articulated experience in technological

studies from Grades K-12.

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Articulated Curriculum ExampleDA P P E N D I X

Students in Grades K-2 exhibit a rangeof characteristics that influence theteaching and learning process in tech-nological studies. These students needa wide variety of activities because

they have short attention spans and tire eas-ily, especially younger students. They aretypically energetic and curious learners whoenjoy cooperative learning activities thatkeep them active and allow them to usetheir rich imaginations. Because small mus-cles in the hands and fingers are not fullydeveloped teachers must be cognizant oftheir students’ limited capabilities to doprecise, manipulative tasks.

Technology activities in Grades K-2 shouldaddress students’ developmental characteris-tics, including their natural curiosity andinventive thinking skills. For example, stu-dents in Grades K-1 should be given ampleopportunities to explore and use wheels,axles, levers, gears, pulleys, and cams byplaying with a variety of toys and construc-tion kits that include these mechanisms.Older students can take apart, describe, andreassemble a simple toy vehicle or build amodel of a conveyor system made withplastic building bricks.

By the end of Grade 2, students should beable to design, plan, and make original vehi-cles using commercial construction kits andrecyclable or consumable materials (e.g.,boxes, straws, and craft sticks). Moreover,they should be able to use simple tools (e.g.,hammers, scissors, and saws) safely andappropriately to accomplish their tasks.

When students explore mechanisms anddesign vehicles, they can sketch anddescribe these components and products to further enhance their understanding ofthe components’ shapes, uses, and names.

In addition, younger students can organizemechanisms by characteristics includingtype, size, weight, and color to practicesorting tasks and to strengthen their skillsin measurement and classification.

Throughout these grade levels, students canbegin to use the terminology associatedwith Standards for Technological Literacy.This vocabulary development can beacquired by involving students in activitiesthat promote language development, suchas orally presenting the projects and designsthey have made, making a collage of trans-portation vehicles in various classifications(e.g., land, water, air, and space), andsketching and labeling drawings of devicesthey designed.

Teachers should clearly integrate technolog-ical studies with other areas of the curricu-lum throughout Grades K-2. For example,connections to history and geographycan be made by exploring the use of the inclined plane in the building of thePyramids. Links to mathematics can bemade by having students determine therank of the vehicles they build (from slow-est to fastest). Reading stories and engagingstudents in discussions about how their lifecould be different without cars and otherpowered vehicles could clearly support cur-riculum in language arts and social studies.

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late the assets and liabilities of their solu-tions and the positive and negative impactsof their designs.

In addition, fourth grade students coulddesign and construct a model of a waste-water treatment system that moves andfilters contaminated water (polluted withoil or containing sediments). Fifth gradestudents also could build and test hydraulicdevices that simulate how the human bodymoves fluids.

All students at this level are capable of doc-umenting their design and problem-solvingprocesses with conventional and computer-based sketching tools. Likewise, studentsshould begin to use the World Wide Web(WWW) to display their designs (Grades 3-4) and should document their problem-solving process through the use of a note-book or an electronic portfolio on theWWW (Grade 5).




Articulated Curriculum ExampleDA P P E N D I X

Students in Grades 3-5 are beginningto exhibit more individualism, butpeer relationships are also important.These young learners have fully devel-oped hand muscles and greatly

improved hand-eye coordination that makesthem more skillful at manipulative tasksrequiring smaller and more numerous parts.Because their ability to stay focused onassignments is much improved, students areprepared to tackle design and problem-solv-ing activities that require attention to greaterdetail for longer periods of time. As studentsmature, they become more capable of inter-preting abstract concepts and making broadgeneralizations — essential traits for studentsbeing asked to evaluate designs and assesssolutions to hypothetical, yet realistic, prob-lems.

Activities in Grades 3-5 should provide stu-dents with diverse opportunities to developand enhance skills in designing, making,assessing, and presenting solutions to tech-nological problems. Students can be chal-lenged to use tools and materials for moreambitious tasks, such as creating vehiclesthat incorporate computer-controlleddevices and use light, sound, or motion sen-sors. Using raw materials and simple handtools, students can design, build, and testproducts that incorporate electricity, mag-netism, and motors.

Problems at this level should build incomplexity, and design constraints shouldbecome increasingly challenging. For exam-ple, students could build and use only onemechanism in their solutions at early levels,whereas students in Grade 5 could incorpo-rate as many as three mechanisms, eachperhaps working in combination with theothers. Students should more clearly articu-

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6-8 Middle-level students are teeteringbetween childhood and earlyadulthood. They are experiencingsignificant physical growth andchange. Girls tend to mature ear-

lier than boys, and they show markedly dif-ferent interests from their male peers. Thesestudents are greatly influenced by theirfriends, and they typically reject adult guid-ance, making them more vulnerable to riskybehaviors and more apt to present attitudi-nal difficulties. Likewise, these adolescentshave an increased sense of self and a blos-soming interest in members of the oppositegender. Placing middle-level students inteams allows them to have smaller commu-nities for learning within the larger schooland enables educational leaders to moreeffectively satisfy students’ emotional andguidance needs as they make the transitionto adulthood.

Students in Grades 6-8 are ready to tacklemore difficult technological problems thatmake them feel more mature and allowthem to apply concepts and skills fromother fields of study, such as mathematicsand science. Small group activities may beparticularly effective in building students’self-esteem by enabling boys and girls tohave success with new and perplexing tasks.Constructing motors and generators fromscratch or designing a game contraptionthat incorporates numerous simplemachines and mechanisms to transportmarbles or balls through a complicatedmaze may be well received at this level ifstudents are given the opportunity to workin pairs or teams.

Middle-level students need to be challengedto refine skills learned in Grades K-5 and toapply them to new problems and opportu-nities. Teachers should expect these studentsto take a more active role in formulatingdesign problems and establishing constraintsin order to ensure that activities reflectboth male and female students’ interests.Adolescents need to be given more decision-making roles, and they should be encour-aged to have positive interactions withadults (e.g., parents, relatives, and otherteachers) as they analyze their design optionsand assess the value and impacts of theirsolutions. In the process of compilingeletronic portfolios on the WWW or using another means of documenting theirprogress, these students will be able toclearly communicate how they transformedtheir ideas into practical solutions and howthey appraised their solution’s functional,aesthetic, social, and economic value. Theyalso will use a variety of informational-technology tools, such as computer-aideddesign (CAD), multimedia software, databaseand spreadsheet applications, online searchtools, and computer-control systems overnetworks, in order to accomplish these tasks.

Articulated Curriculum ExampleDA P P E N D I X

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Students also might address social issuesand conduct environmental impact studiesassociated with such systems.

In another scenario, students could work in“engineering teams” to design and build aspace station simulation, giving full consid-eration to the variety of life-sustaining sys-tems required in space. Or perhaps the sim-ulation would be a virtual environment,existing in three dimensions on the WWWand accessible and controllable by studentsacross the nation or on another continent.

A third approach might challenge studentsto design and build a solar-powered car for astate-wide competition. Along the way, stu-dents could explore social and environmentalimpacts, the working of solar cells, and thevarious subsystems at work within a car.

SummaryThe study of technology could beaddressed, in part, with a series of articu-lated activities from Grades K-12 of increas-ing sophistication focusing on a particulartheme. The transportation activitiesdepicted in this example progress fromimaginative play to exploratory design tosophisticated engineering. The activitiesrecommended are developmentally appro-priate, so that students will be challengedintellectually every step of the way. On thisjourney, students will experience a widerange of technologies in the context of real-world problems, thereby developing a veryrich understanding of the technologicalworld in which they live.



9-12 Students in Grades 9-12 becomeincreasingly independent while con-tinuing to seek social acceptance.Their ability to think and visualizeabstractly provides them with greater

flexibility in problem solving. Physical mat-uration during these years results in greatersize, dexterity, and strength as they matureinto young men and women. They developa clearer definition of their identity andtheir role in society, and they begin to for-mulate life ambitions and goals. Wage earn-ing is often an immediate interest, with col-lege and vocational decisions weighingheavily on their minds as they completetheir high school “careers.”

Technological studies at the high schoollevel should take advantage of the particularinterests students have during these years.Employment and career options, as well asconsumer issues, are relevant topics forGrades 9-12. Instructional activities shouldbe challenging enough to hold their interestand encourage independent thinking asthey pursue solutions to problems encoun-tered along the way.

High school students are quite capable ofdeveloping sophisticated designs forresearch and development projects, so manyactivities at this level should have the lookand feel of engineering projects. For exam-ple, they could develop a “smart” trans-portation system that employs computersand sensors. Their background researchcould require them to use online U.S.Patent Office searches and technical jour-nals in their search for answers. They couldalso review the development of the inter-state highway system in the United States.

Articulated Curriculum ExampleDA P P E N D I X

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References ForStandards for Technological Literacy

Ackoff, R. (1978). The art of problem solving. New York:Wiley.

American Association for the Advancement of Science.(2001). Atlas of Science Literacy: Project 2061.Washington, DC: Author.

American Association for the Advancement of Science.(1989). Science for all Americans. New York: OxfordUniversity Press.

American Association for the Advancement of Science.(1989). Project 2061: Phase I physical and informationsciences and engineering panel report. Washington, DC:Author.

American Association for the Advancement of Science.(1993). Project 2061: Benchmarks for science literacy.New York: Oxford University Press.

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Zuga, K. F. (1994). Implementing technology education:A review and synthesis of the research literature (Informa-tion Series No. 356). Washington, DC: Office ofEducational Research and Improvement. (ERICDocument Reproduction Service No. ED 372 305).

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Technology for All AmericansProject StaffWilliam E. Dugger, Jr., DTE, Director

Pam B. Newberry, Researcher & Contributing Writer

Melissa Smith, Editor

Stephanie Overton, Publications Coordinator

Constance Moehring, Volunteer Librarian & Researcher

Crystal Nichols, Editorial Assistant & Data Coordinator

International Technology EducationAssociation StaffKendall Starkweather, DTE, Executive Director

Thomas Hughes, Jr., Past Director of FoundationDevelopment

Brigitte Valesey, DTE, Director of ProfessionalDevelopment

Kathie Cluff, Assistant Editor

Katie de la Paz, Advertising/Marketing Coordinator

Catherine James, Administrative/Website Coordinator

Michele Judd, Meeting Planning Coordinator

Barbara Mongold, Publications Services Coordinator

Lee Anne Pirrello, Exhibits Coordinator

Lari Price, Member Services Coordinator

Moira Wickes, Database Coordinator/Registrar

Phyllis Wittmann, Accounting Coordinator

International Technology EducationAssociation Board of DirectorsAnthony Gilberti, DTE, President, Indiana StateUniversity, Indiana

Barry Burke, DTE, President-Elect, Montgomery CountyPublic Schools, Maryland

Ronald Yuill, DTE, Past-President, Tec*mseh MiddleSchool, Indiana

Kendall Starkweather, DTE, Executive Director, ITEA,Virginia

William Havice, DTE, TECA Director, ClemsonUniversity, South Carolina

James Kirkwood, DTE, TECC Director, Ball State

University, Indiana

Everett Israel, DTE, CTTE Director, Eastern MichiganUniversity, Michigan

Harold Holley, ITEA-CS Director, OklahomaDepartment of Vocational and Technical Education,Oklahoma

Thomas Bell, Region 1 Director, Millersville University,Pennsylvania

Gary Wynn, DTE, Region 2 Director, Greenfield-CentralHigh, Indiana

Duane Rogers, Region 3 Director, Eastern Hills HighSchool, Texas

Dean Christensen, Region 4 Director, Davis SchoolDistrict, Utah

Standards Team

Grades K-2 and 3-5Jane Wheeler, Monte Vista Elementary, California, Leader

Michael Wright, DTE, University of Missouri-Columbia,Missouri, Recorder

Clare Benson, University of Central England, UnitedKingdom

Kristin Callender, Deane Elementary, Colorado

Linda S. Hallenbeck, East Woods School, Ohio

Jane Hill, Brazosport Independent School District, Texas

Stephan Knobloch, Crossfield Elementary, Virginia

Connie Larson, John Wetton Elementary, Oregon

Kathy Thornton, University of Virginia, Virginia

Grades 6-8Franzie Loepp, DTE, Illinois State University, Illinois,Leader

Brigitte Valesey, DTE, Center to Advance the Teaching ofTechnology & Science (CATTS), Virginia, Recorder

William Ball, DTE, Clague Middle, Michigan

Barry Burke, DTE, Montgomery County Public Schools,Maryland

Denise Denton, University of Washington, Washington

Michael Hacker, The State University of New York atStony Brook, New York

Chip Miller, Century High, Oregon

The following lists have been compiled as carefully as possible from our records.We apologize to anyone whom we have omitted or whose name, title, or affiliationis incorrect. Inclusion on these lists does not imply endorsem*nt of this document.


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Tonia Schofield, Sylvan Middle, Georgia

Leon Trilling, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,Massachusetts

Grades 9-12Rodney Custer, DTE, Illinois State University, Illinois,Leader

Anthony Gilberti, Indiana State University, Indiana,Recorder

Robert Daiber, Triad High, Illinois

Jeffrey Grimmer, Mankato East High, Minnesota

Norman Hackerman, The Robert A. Welch Foundation,Texas

Michael Jensen, Paonia High, Colorado

Michael Mino, The Gilbert School, Connecticut

Scott Warner, Lawrenceburg High, Indiana

George Willcox, Virginia Department of Education,Virginia

RepresentativesCarl Hall, National Academy of Engineering,Washington, D.C.

Flint Wild, National Aeronautics and SpaceAdministration, Washington, D.C.

Advisory GroupRodger Bybee, Executive Director, Center for Science,Mathematics, and Engineering Education, NationalResearch Council, Washington, D.C.

Daniel Goroff, Mathematics Department, HarvardUniversity, Massachusetts

Thomas Hughes, Jr., Director of Development,Foundation for Technology Education, Virginia

George Nelson, Director, Project 2061, AmericanAssociation for the Advancement of Science, Washington,D.C.

Linda Rosen, Former Executive Director, National Councilof Teachers of Mathematics, Virginia

James Rutherford, Education Advisor, Project 2061,American Association for the Advancement of Science,Washington, D.C.

Kendall Starkweather, Executive Director, InternationalTechnology Education Association, Virginia

Gerald Wheeler, Executive Director, National ScienceTeachers Association, Virginia

William Wulf, President, National Academy ofEngineering, Washington, D.C.

National Research Council’s StandardsReview CommitteeWilliam A. Wulf, National Academy of Engineering,Washington, D.C., Chair

Karin Borgh, BioPharmaceutical Technology CenterInstitute, Madison, Wisconsin

Rodger Bybee, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study(BSCS), Colorado Springs

Elsa Garmire, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NewHampshire

James Rutherford, American Association for theAdvancement of Science, Washington, D.C.

National Academy of Engineering FocusGroup ReviewAlice Agogino, Professor, University of California

George Bugliarello, Chancellor, Polytechnic University,New York

Samuel Florman, Chairman, Kreisler Borg FlormanConstruction Company, New York

Elsa Garmire, Professor, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire

Carl Hall, Engineer, Engineering Information Services,Virginia

John Truxal, Professor, State University of New York atStony Brook

National Academy of EngineeringSpecial Review CommitteeRichard Alkire, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Frank Aplan, Pennsylvania State University

Shu Chien, University of California, San Diego

George Fox, Grow Tunneling Corporation, New York

William Friend, Bechtel Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.

Elmer Gaden, Jr., University of Virginia

Donald Johnson, Grain Processing Corporation, Iowa

Dean Kamen, DEKA Research and DevelopmentCorporation, New Hampshire

David Kingery, University of Arizona, Arizona

John Lee, Texas A&M University, Texas

Margaret LeMone, National Center for AtmosphericResearch, Colorado

Matthys Levy, Weidlinger Associates, New York

Henry Paynter, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,Massachusetts

Greg Pearson, National Academy of Engineering,Washington, D.C.

Jerome Schultz, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Hardy Trolander, The Yellow Springs InstrumentCompany, Inc., Ohio

National Research Council’s TechnicalReview PanelistsDennis Cheek, Rhode Island Department of Education,Rhode Island

Rodney Custer, DTE, Illinois State University, Illinois

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Denny Davis, Washington State University, Washington

Marie Hoepfl, Appalachian State University, NorthCarolina

Larry Leifer, Stanford University, California

Peggy Lemone, University Corporation for AtmosphericResearch, Colorado

Thomas Liao, SUNY at Stony Brook, New York

Franzie Loepp, DTE, Illinois State University, Illinois

A. Frank Mayadas, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, New York,New York

Bruce Montgomery, MIT/PSFC, Cambridge,Massachusetts

John Ritz, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia

Mark Sanders, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

Fredrick Stein, CSMATE, Fort Collins, Colorado

George Toye, wiTHinc Inc. and Stanford UniversityLearning Center, California

Scott Warner, Lawrenceburg High School, Indiana

Kenneth Welty, University of Wisconsin-Stout, Wisconsin

Jane Wheeler, Monte Vista Elementary School, RohnertPark, California

The National Commission forTechnology Education(Phase I, 1994-96)G. Eugene Martin, School of Applied Arts andTechnology, Southwest Texas State University, Texas,Chairperson

J. Myron Atkin, Stanford University, California

E. Allen Bame, Virginia Tech, Virginia

M. James Bensen, DTE, Bemidji State University,Minnesota

Gene R. Carter, Association for Supervision andCurriculum Development, Washington, D.C.

Robert A. Daiber, Triad High School, Illinois

James E. Davis, Ohio University, Ohio

Paul W. Devore, DTE, PWD Associates, West Virginia

Ismael Diaz, Fordham University, New York

William E. Dugger, Jr., DTE, Technology for AllAmericans Project, Project Director, Virginia

Frank L. Huband, The American Society for EngineeringEducation, Washington, D.C.

Thomas A. Hughes, Jr., Foundation for TechnologyEducation, Virginia

Patricia A. Hutchinson, Trenton State College, New Jersey

Thomas T. Liao, Sate University of New York at StonyBrook, New York

Franzie L. Loepp, Center for Mathematics, Science, andTechnology, Illinois

Elizabeth D. Phillips, Michigan Sate University, Michigan

Charles A. Pinder, Northern Kentucky University, Kentucky

William S. Pretzer, Henry Ford Museum and GreenfieldVillage, Michigan

John M. Ritz, DTE, Old Dominion University, Virginia

Richard E. Satchwell, Technology for All AmericansProject, Virginia

Kendall N. Starkweather, DTE, International TechnologyEducation Association, Virginia

Charles E. Vela, MITRE Corporation, Virginia

Walter B. Waetjen, Cleveland State University, Ohio

John G. Wirt, Columbia University, New York

Michael D. Wright, University of Missouri-Columbia,Missouri

Field Review SitesAgawam Junior High School, Massachusetts—JohnBurns, James Graveline, and David Littlewood

Agawam Middle School, Massachusetts—Maynard Baker

Belleview High School, Florida—Dale Toney

Bloomfield Hills Middle School, Michigan—Al Binkholz

Burris Laboratory School, Indiana—James Kirkwood, DTE

*Cass Elementary School, Michigan—James Lauer

Caverna Junior/Senior High, Kentucky—Dennis Bledsoe

Century High School, Oregon—Chip Miller

Columbia City Elementary School, Florida—Cheryl Cox

Cumberland Valley High, Pennsylvania—Robert Rudolph

Cutler Ridge Middle School, Florida—Jeff Meide

Damascus High School, Maryland—Robert Eilers, RobertTurnbull, and George Thomas

Dan River High School, Virginia—Robert Huffman

Dublin Scioto High School, Ohio—Kevin Burns

Forest Hills High School, Pennsylvania—Terry Crissey

Fruita Monument High School, Colorado—Ed Reed

G. Ray Bodley High School, New York—Tom Frawley

Gilbert School, Connecticut—Mellissa Ann Morrow

Gladstone High School, Oregon—Roy DeRousie

Greenfield-Central High School, Indiana—Gary Wynn,DTE

*Grant Wood Elementary, Iowa—Sandra Ann Lawrence

Harrisonville Middle and High, Missouri—David Vignery

*Hellgate Elementary School, Montana—BruceWhitehead

Hermosa Valley School, California—Teri Tsosie

Hershey Middle School, Pennsylvania—Kevin Stover

Hobart Middle School, Indiana—Bob Galliher

Hoffman T.E.C.H. Center, Illinois—Cecil Miller

Homewood High School, Alabama—Leah Griffies

John T. Baker Middle School, Maryland—Brian Niekamp

Kalida High School, Ohio—Dale Liebrecht

LakeVille High School, Michigan—Dennis Harrand

*Lange Middle School, Missouri—Carole Kennedy


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Lehman Middle School, Ohio—John Emmons

Louis M. Klein Middle School, New York—Henry Strada

Marlboro Middle School, New Jersey—Alan Lang

Monte Vista Elementary School, California—JaneWheeler, Carey Dahlstrom, Diana Klein, Betsy Smith, andCarol Licht

Normal Community West High, Illinois—Jim Boswell

Pine River Area, Michigan—Carla Chaponis, MikeMaskill, and Carol Posey

Pleasant Hill Elementary School, Texas—Vanessa Jones

Rancho Cotate High School, California—Adam Littlefield

Rochelle Township High School, Illinois—Rick Bunton

Rocky Hill Middle School, Maryland—Michael Callaway

Suncoast Elementary School, Florida—Jo Ann Hartge

Syosset High School, New York—Barry Borakove

Thomas Dale High School, Virginia—Christopher Kelly

Twelve Corners Middle School, New York—Joseph Priola

Venice High School, Florida—Arnall Cox

Vernon Township Public Schools, New Jersey—MarkWallace, Gaylon Powell

Westlake High School, Ohio—Scott Kutz

*Representatives of National Association of ElementarySchool Principals (NAESP)

ITEA and TfAAP wish to thank the National ScienceFoundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics andSpace Administration (NASA) for their funding of PhaseII of the project. Special appreciation is given to GerhardSalinger of NSF and Frank Owens of NASA for theiradvice and input.

We would like to thank William Wulf, President of theNational Academy of Engineering, who chaired the NationalResearch Council Standards Review Committee and theNational Academy of Engineering Focus Group whichreviewed the final drafts of Standards for Technological Literacy.Also, we would like to thank Greg Pearson, who coordinatedthe National Academy of Engineering Focus Group Reviewand Special Review Committee. We appreciate the advice andcouncil from Pamela Mountjoy and Flint Wild of NASA. Aspecial thanks to Fred Brown and Gail Connelly Gross of theNational Association of Elementary School Principals fortheir involvement in the field review of the document.

ITEA and TfAAP also would like to express our appreciationto Jack Frymier and Jill Russell, representatives of Phi DeltaKappa, for serving as our evaluators throughout Phase II.

The project staff would like to thank Robert Pool for hisexpertise and creativity in writing and editing sections of thebook. We are also appreciative of his willingness to attendnumerous development meetings in order to gain a greaterunderstanding of the subject matter and of the project’s vision.

Regarding Draft 5, special thanks is extended to JohnWells for expertise and suggestions on incorporatingelements of his Technology Education BiotechnologyCurriculum (TEBC) taxonomy. Also, we thank selectedmembers of the NRC Technical Review Committee fortheir editorial and content input.

Special Appreciation is given to the following schools forallowing us to take photographs for STL:Hidden Valley Middle School, Roanoke County, VA.,Ottobine Elementary School, Dayton, VA.

Thanks also to John McCormick for taking photographs,Ed Scott and the staff at Harlow Typography for designingthe book, RR Donnelley & Sons Company for printingthe standards. Also we thank Rhonda Simmerman,Stephanie Overton, and Brigitte Valesey for their work inediting the standards, and Jeff Swab for help in designingour homepage. Special appreciation is given to JackHehn, manager, Education Division, American Instituteof Physics for his review and edit of Standard 16, Energyand Power Technologies. Also we would like to thank BobEnglander of Englander Indexing Services for creating theindex. Thanks to Deanna Colaianne for help in the finalediting of the document.

Additionally, we wish to acknowledge the TfAAP staff,who generously supported each step of the developmentprocess. Also, thanks to Jodie Altice, Diane Kitts, AmyMearkle, and Taryn Sims, former staff members, for theirenthusiasm and devotion to the project.

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ReviewersWe would like to express appreciation to all of the reviewers ofStandards for Technological Literacy. This list includes people from aroundthe world who provided valuable input into strengthening the document.There are many different backgrounds represented in this group ofreviewers who came from the ranks of elementary and secondary teachers;supervisors at the local and state level; teacher educators; administratorsincluding elementary and secondary school principals; school systemsuperintendents; engineers; and scientists; parents; school board members;international leaders in technology education; and others. Standards forTechnological Literacy has been improved in its various iterations as a resultof the comments and recommendations of all reviewers.

Gary Aardappel Patrick Abair George Abel Paul Adam Michael Adams Stephanie AdamsAlice Agogino Paul Agosta Shaul Aharoni John Aiken Tom Akins Ari Vilppu AlamakiBryan Albrecht Nelle AlexanderDonald Allaman Cynthia Allen Jerry Allen Paul Allen Jay AlsdorfRichard Ambacher Alex Amoruso Kenneth Amos Darrell Andelin Byron Anderson Debbie Anderson Sheila Anderson Ernie Ando Ronald Ankeny Piet Ankiewicz Frank Aplan Mike Appel Richard Archibald Spence Armstrong Wayne Arndt Steven Ashby Pamela Askeland Denise Atkinson-Shorey Robert Austin Dwight Back Bruce Baker Richard Baker Maynard Baker Jerry Balistreri, DTE William Ball, DTE Allen Bame

Mohamed Bandok Victoria Bannan Gary Bannister Moshe Barak Steven Barbato Ronald Barker Colleen Barnes Michael Barnes Wiley Barnes Bill Barowy Michael Barry Tom BarveLynn Basham Susan Bastion Michael Bastoni Debra Baxter Steven Baylor Jon Bean Michael Beck John Beggs Mark Beise Thomas Bell Gary Bender Christine Bengston Barbara Bennett Russell Bennett James Bensen Clare Benson David Beranek Michael Beranek Richard Bergacs William Berggren Gordon Bernard Kenneth Bertrand Julia Best Carl Betcher Bill Bewley William Bien David Biggs Keith Bigsby David Billington Ken Bingman Al Binkholz Burton Bjorn Gerry Blackburn

Crystal Blackman Dennis BledsoeCynthia Blodgett-McDeavitt Roy Blom Carla BoeckmanDennis Bohmont Jill Bohn Kelly Bolender Janet Boltjes Dominick Bonanno Kathleen Bond Paul Bond Ernest Bonner Wayne Bonsell Lewis Boone R. J. BoothBarry Borakove Karin Borgh Jim Boswell John Brandt BottiCharles Boucher Roy Boudreau Paul Bouffard David BouvierRamona Bowers Sue Boyer Dianne Braden Morgan Branch Chad Brecke Andy Breckon Damuan Breeze Norman Brehm Bruce Breilein Kenneth Bremer Gail Breslauer Carole Briggs Gregory Briggs Andrew Britten Edward Britton Katherine Brophy John Brown, DTE Paul Brown Ron Brown Timothy Brown

Tyson Brown Alan Brumbaugh Silas Bruner Sharon Brusic George Bugliarello Margery Brutscher-Collins Leah Bug-TownsendMichael Bunner Rick Bunton Walter Burgin Barry Burke, DTE Jerry Burmeister John Burns Edward Burton Joe Busby Jeffrey Bush Edward Butler James Butler Peter Butler Keith Butterfield Rodger Bybee Fernando CajasAnthony Calabrese Richard Call Kristin Callender Michael Callaway Allan Cameron Anne Campbell Brian Canavan Roger Cantor Hershey CardVaughn Cardashian Phillip Cardon David Carey Mary Agnes CarlingPatrick Carlson Christopher Carroll Del Carson Frank Casey James Cedel Alverna Champion Susan Chandler Ken Chapman David Chatland Victor Chavez John Chen Shu Chien Vincent Childress Dean Christensen Jim Christensen Gary Christopher Karen Christopherson Thomas Claassen Craig Clark, DTE David Clarke Barbara Clements Toss Cline Beatrice Clink Margaret Clinton

Sam Cobbins, DTE Kenneth Cody Alden Colby Mark Coleman Kathryn Collins Kenneth Collins Sharon Collins Lizabeth Comer Douglas Cone Paul Contreras Bruce Coon Judith Cope Charles Corley, DTEWilliam Cosenza, Jr.Joel Cotton Sam Cotton Ed Coughlin Bryce Coulter Peggy Cowan Arnall CoxBarry Cox Cheryl CoxAlan Cram Caren Cranston Terry Crissey Pamela Croft Lois Ann CromwellTerry Cross Larry Crowder Anita Cruikshank David Culver Roy Culver Barbara Cummins Glenn Current Rodney Custer, DTE Jennifer Cutler F. J. Cutting Christopher Cytera Osnat DaganRichard Dahl John Dahlgren Robert Daiber Richard Daignault Wayne Dallas Thomas D’Apolito, DTE Donald Darrow Michael Daugherty Jack Davidson Kevin Davis Richard Davis Phillip Dean Robert Deans Brad Dearing Beverly DeGraw Greg Dehli-Young Michael De MirandaCarol Denicole Clair Denlinger Denise Denton


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Ed Denton Howard Denton Peter Denzin Roy DeRousie David Devier, DTE Thomas Devlin Paul DeVoreMarc de VriesYasin DhulkiflIsmael Diaz Dan Dick Eric Dickie James Dieringer Doug Dillion Randy Dipner Anthony Docal James Dolan Spencer Dolloff Tim Dolphay Jon d’Ombrain Lori Donnelson Robert Dorn Michael Doyle David Drexter Mike DuBois Kenneth Dues Frank Duggan Stephen Duncan Larry Dunekack Robert Dunkle Dorothy Dunn Robert Dunn Ron Dunn Phyllis Dunsay Phyllis DurdenBill Dutton Nancy Dyck Michael Dyrenfurth Vanik Eaddy Naomi Edelson Glenn Edmison, DTE Robert Eilers Mauka Elem Jeffrey Elkner Deborah Elliott Audie Ellis Nathaniel Ellis Nancy Elnor Leo Elshof Mark Emery John Emmons Sherman England Dan EngstromRonald Engstrom Julie Enstrom Thomas Erekson David Erlandson Don Eshelby Neil Eshelman

Rosemary Eskridge Bruce Evans Mark Evans Marsh FaberLeonard Fallscheer Eloise Farmer Geraldine Farmer John Fecik Paul f*cke Sheryl Feinstein Esperznaz Fernandez John Fialko William Finer Craig Firmender Ronald Fisher John Fitzgibbon James Fitzpatrick Stephen Florence Samuel Florman Judy Forman Richard Foster Tad Foster Gary Foveaux David Fowler Dave Frankmore David Fraser, DTE Tom Frawley Boe Fred Kathy Fredrick Richard Freeburg Brad Freeman William Friend David Fromal Bruce FuchsSherry Fuller Elmer Gaden, Jr.Michael Gadler Thomas Gaffney Sue Galayda Robert Galliher Carl Gamba Joyce Gardner Mike Gargiulo Elsa GarmireMarlane Garner Jennifer Gasser Cyndi Gaudet Brett Gehrke Peter GenereauxBradford George James Gertz Elissa Gerzog Don Getzug James Gianoli Anthony Gilberti Doran Gillie Dorothy Gleason Richard Glueck Darlene Godfrey

Adele Gomez Tom Good Linda GoodwinMorris Gordon Dave Gorham Kenneth Gornto Daniel Goroff Kevin Gotts Manny Grace Gary Graff Sandi Graff Kathrine Graham Thomas Gramza Laury Grant Wayne Grant James Graveline Donald Gray Joy Gray John Gray, DTEClark Greene David Greer, DTE Laura GrierLeah Griffies Jeff Greuel Ann Grimm Jeffrey Grimmer Richard Grimsley June Grivetti Eric Gromley Marvin GrossmanPeter Grover Mae Groves Darren Grumbine Karen Guillet Genesta Guirty Jack GundolfiJean Guzek Michael Hacker Norman Hackerman Carl Hader Jaonne Hagedorn Cindy Hager Carl Hall Jack Hall John Hall Linda Hallenbeck Christopher Halloran Dale Hanson Robert Hanson Kevin Hardy Lawrence Hardy Paul Harley Henry Harms Andrea Harpine Carroll Harr Dennis Harrand Elden Harris Myril Harrison Margaret Harsch

Jo Ann Hartge Helen Hasegawa Dean Hauenstein James Havelka Brad Hawk Shirley Hawk Lynn Hawkins Simon Hawkins Tina Hayden Daryl Hayes Douglas Hayhoe William Haynie, IIIIrene Hays Carl Healer Don Healer Roland Hebert Chad Heidorn Neil Heimburge Jan Heinrich Hal Helsley Merritt Hemenway Joyce Henstrand Tom Hession Clynell Hibbs Garth Hill Gerald Hill Jane Hill Mike Hill Robert Hinderer Lee Hipkiss Linda HodgeMarie HoepflLorna Hofer Donald Hoff William Hoffman Anne Holbrook Jim Holderfield Harold Holley Sidney Holodnick Elroy Holsopple Michael Hoots Gerd Hopken Alan Horowitz Daniel Householder,DTE Fred How Mark Howard John Howarth Tim Howes James HowlettMichael HoyeHai Hu Robert Huffman Thomas Hughes, Jr. Van Hughes Dale Hummel Damon Hummel Susan Huntleigh-Smith William Husby

Patricia Hutchinson Joseph Huttlin Steve Ickes Nicholas Iliadis Anthony Infranco Everett Israel, DTE Michael Ive Michael Izenson David Izzo Ron Jacobitz Joe Jakopic Lee James David Jarzabek Judy Jeffrey Thomas Jeffrey Susan Jeffries Gerald JenningsMike Jensen Lars Jenssen Jeffrey Jobst Hardy John Albert Johnson Arden Johnson Arthur Johnson Bud Johnson Donald Johnson Glenn Johnson Jimmie Johnson Ken Johnson Maren Johnson Richard Johnson Todd Johnson Alister Jones Docia Jones John Jones Mark Jones Patricia Jones Vanessa Jones Kathleen JordanJoe Josephs Richard Junkins James Justice Roberta Kaar Ronald Kahn Stephen KahnMarie Kaigler Lee Kallstrom Dean Kamen Tapani Kananoja Gregory Kane James Kane Anne Kanies Rolland Karlin Robert Karolyi John Karsnitz Wayne Kazmierczak Philip Keefer Rob Keeney Pat Keig

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Ed KellerMargaret Keller Christopher Kelly Colleen Keltos Michale Kemp James Kendrick Carole Kennedy James Kennedy Kenneth Kern Wanjala Kerre Scott Kessler Scott Kiesel Richard Kimbell Rene Kimura Charlene Kincaid Brent Kindred Cyril King David KingDavid Kingery Mary Kinnick James Kirkwood, DTE Kurt Klefisch Glenn Klutz James Knapp Zondra Knapp Stephan Knobloch Steve KnoxJudith Koenig Matthew Koliba Stan Komacek Kevin Konkel Holly Koon Stephen Koontz Curt Kornhaus Susan Kostuch Denny Kozita John Kraljic Phillip Krueger Gerald Kuhn M. Kunesh George Kunkle Scott Kutz Paul Kynerd Judy Lachvayder Henry Lacy John Laffey Teri Lampkins Wayne Lancaster Patricia Lancos Tabitha Landis C. Landry Alan Lang Wayne Lang James LaPorte Ted Larsen Connie Larson Gini Larson Victor Larson Stanley Lathrop

James Lauer Keith Lavin Christopher Lawn Sandra Ann Lawrence M. Lazaraton Scott LeCrone John Ledgerwood Brett Lee Evelyn Lee Hillary Lee John Lee Lung-Sheng Lee Mark Leeper Amanda Leinhos Margaret LeMone Scott Lenz Victor Leonov Bob Lesch James Levande Jane Leven ColeWalter Lewandowski Fred Lewis Jerry Lewis Peter Lewis Theodore Lewis Thomas Liao Barbara LibbyDale LiebrechtBill Lind Leah Lindblom Robert Lindemann Sue Linder William Linder-ScholerTheodore Lindquist Kerry Lintner Len Litowitz, DTE David Littlewood Chin-Tang Liu Brent Lockliear Franzie Loepp, DTE Kevin Logan Deborah Longeddy Roger Lord Susan Loucks-Horsley Gerald Lovedahl, DTE Diane Lovins Peter LowePhillip Loyd Steven Lubar Judith Luce Laura Lull Charles Lupinek Pierre Lussier Robert Lyle James Lynch Kathleen MacNaughton Lee Madrid Tara Magi G. S. Mailhot, Sr.

T. Majors Norb Malik Chiquita Marbury Roger Marchand Linda Markert Suzanne Marks Lynn Marra Benjamin Martin Corrie Martin Gary Martin Gene Martin John Martin Pete Martin Mike Maskill Katharine Mason Joanne Masone Janne Mathes Jill Mathes ProkopNancy Mathras Edward Mattner Kathleen Mau Mike MaxwellBrian McAlister Joseph McCade Tim McCarty Gerald McConaghy Robert McCormick Ann McCoy David McCready David McCrory Douglas McCue Linda McElvenny Phillip McEndree Dennis McGowan Kelli McGregor Randy McGriff Robert McGruder Robert McIntosh Heather McKenna Stephen McKenzie Charles McLaughlin Maggie McLean Tim McNamara Sue McPherson Mark McVicker Steve Megna Jeff Meide Martin Meier Sherry Meier Kathleen Melander Darcy Mellinger Frank MeoliJoseph Merenda, Jr.LaVon Merkel Jody Messinger Howard Middleton Dan Migliorini John Mihaloew Al Miller

Chip Miller Dyann Miller Kenneth Miller Kevin Miller Michael Miller Russell Miller Simon Miller Stanley Miller Kevin Milner Charles Minear Michael Mino Andrew Mitchell Sharon Miya Hidetoshi Miyakawa J. P. Mobley Annette Moders Torin Monahan Robert Montesano Perry Montoya Kevin Moorhead Bob Morris Linda MorrisLaura Morrison Mellissa Ann Morrow Tim Motherhead Denis Mudderman Sharon MuenchowJamie Mulligan Clint Mullins Shoji Murata Gregory Murphy Harrison Murphy Janet Murphy Don Musick Veny Musumecci Donald Mydzian James Myers Ilia Natali Terry Neddenriep Michael Neden Diane Neicheril Mark Nellkam George Nelson Mary Nemesh Albert Newberry Peter Newell Gerri Newnum Richard Nicholson Brian Niekamp Chris Nielsen Ken Nimchuk Ben Ninoke Scott Noles Lee Noonan Gerald Nordstrom Hana Novakova James Novotny Brian NulsanJ. Nuzzo

Kathaleen O’Bosky Karen O’Donovan Steven O’Green Tom Oahs Lynn Ochs Tom Ochs Virginia Okamoto Nancy Oppenlander Susan Oppliger William Oppliger Paul Oravetz Richard OrtegaDonna Ostrowski-Cooley Deborah Owens Clarence Owens, Sr.Ned Owings Brad Paddock Beverly Paeth Brenda Page Cathy Bradley PageWilliam Paige, DTE Russell Palumbo Ellen Pantazis Scott Papenfus Berlin Parker Jill Parker Teresa Parks James Partridge Paul Parzych Gale Passenier Lin Patty Alan Paul Alona Paydon Judy Payne Henry Paynter Mary Pearce Diana PearsonGreg Pearson Peter Pedersen Barbara Pellegrini Michael Pennick William Pennington Marjorie Pentoney Don Perkins Todd Perkins Charles Perrin James Perryman Wesley Perusek Frank Pesce Donald Peterson Michael Peterson Bruce Peto Stephen Petrina Edward Pfeifer Betty Phillips Dennis Phillips Kenneth PhillipsDavid Pickhardt Thomas Pieratt

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Alan Pierce Randal Pierce Steven Pille David Pilo Charles Pinder Liliane Pintar Theodore Piwowar Kelly Podzimek Beth Politz Gary Porter Carol Posey Paul Post Andy Potter Richard Potts Gaylon Powell J. PowellBill Powers Eldon Prawl William Pretzer Hugh Price Joseph Priola Kurt John ProctorDennis Ptak Annie Purtill Katrina Pyatt David Quinn Anna Quinzio-ZafranSidney Rader Daniel Raether William Ragiel Senta Raizen Richard Ralstin Gene Ranger Gregory Ratliff Robert Raudebaugh Martin ReardonDavid Redding Roderick Reece Ed Reed Julene Reed Philip Reed Edward Reeve David Reeves James Regilski JoAnne Reid Rondel Reynolds Jeff Rhodus Michael Ribelin Mark Richardson Barbara Riester Diana RigdenMarian Rippy Patricia Ritchey John Ritz David Roae Donna Roberson Jessie Roberts Roger Robidoux Marsha Robison

George Rockhold Rose Rodd Mark Rodriguez Nelson Rodriquez John Roeder Steve Rogers Harry Roman Ruben Romero Douglas Root Mary Rose Linda Rosen Becky Ross Raymond Ross Jerry Roth Zipora Roth Christopher Rowe Rob Roy Ruth Rozen Robert Rudolph James Rutherford Ernest Ruiz John Ryden Betsy Rymes Matt Sabin Marsha Sagmoe Nicasio Salerno Esteban SalinasGerhard Salinger Frank San FeliceVern Sandberg Mark Sanders Karen Sanko Richard Sanko Gary Santin Scott Sassaman Richard Satchwell B. D. SatterthwaiteErnest Savage,DTE Randy Schaeffer Barry Schartz Arthur Schattle Glenn Schenenga Jo Schiffbauer K. Schipper Brian Schmidt Rick Schmidt Diane Schmidtke Laurie Schmitt Jane Schmottlach Tonia Schofield Frederick Schroedl Jerome Schultz Anthony Schwaller,DTE Robert Scidmore Mark Sebek Debra Seeley David Seidel

Marvin Selnes Bolivar SeniorMarty Sexton Robert Sexton Ray Shackelford Rich Shadrin Richard Shadrin Don Shalvey Theodore Shatagin Kathy Sheehan Jeenson Sheen John Sheley Leonard Shepherd Rick Shepker Mark Sherman George Shield Mary Shield Geoffrey Shilleto Scott Shook Thomas Shown Deborah Shumate-Wesbrook Matt Sinclair Ron SkalskyDennis Skurulsky Jeffrey Smith Robert Smith Rus Smith Terrel Smith Theresa SmithThomas Smith Woodrow SmithBart Smoot William Snelson Kyo Song Valerie Sorensen Lawrence Soscia Linda Southworth Joseph Spadavecchia Loretta Speed Ken Spellman John Spencer Mark Spoerk Kevin Squires Kay Stables Cathy Stacy Richard Stacy Craig Stahly Jan Stark Ken Starkman Kendall Starkweather Gregg Steele, DTE Nicholas Steill Sam Steindel Paul Stengel Katherine StephensLeonard Sterry Mike Stevens Gary Stewardson Lori Stewart

Howard Stob Ken StovallKevin Stover Scott Stowell Henry Strada Nancy Strada Jason Strate Beth Stroh Eric Suhr Gregory Sullivan Kazuhiro Sumi Gary Surratt Kris Swanson Darlina Swartz Rick Swartz Andrew SweeneyNeal Swernofsky John Sylvester Mary SzokaJudy Tamfu Ed Taylor Rick Taylor Terrance Taylor Becki Teague Jim Teicher Jeffrey Testa Paul Thallner Charles Theis George Thomas John Thomas Daniel Thompson Duren Thompson Eric Thompson Kristy Thompson Steven Thompson Carole Thomson Charles Thorneycroft Kathy Thornton Kathy Tibone Wade Tischner Barbara Todd Donald Todd Ronald Todd Norman TomazicDale Toney Steven Topp Sherri Torkelson Dorothy Towler Alicia Townsend Bernie Trilling Leon Trilling Hardy Trolander Dan Troshynski Dan Troxel Philip Trudeau John Truxal Teri Tsosie Dave Tundo Robert Turnbull

Bill Turner Hank TurnerWilliam Turner Matthew Uibel Scott Underwood Brian Uslan Charles Utz John Vaglia Richard Valencia Edward Valentukonis Joyce Valenza Linda Valenzuela Brigitte Valesey, DTE Dean VanderbylEric Van DuzerArvid Van DykePaul Van HulleCarol VanSpybrook Marguerite Vavalla Steve Vergara Margaret Vescio Paul Vetrano David Vignery Chris Vodopich Daniel Vrudny Scott Vugteveen Walter WaetjenDoug Wagner Vincent Walencik Carmen Walker Terry Walker Mark Wallace Gregg Walls Kathleen Walters Cathy Walton Kin Kwok WanChanghua Wang Daniel Wang Ding Ming WangMichael Warner Scott Warner Shelly Wasson-McRel Peggy WatsonGina Webber Brian Webberley Robert Weber Jerry Weddle Paul Weir Barry Weisberg Cheryl Welch Malcolm Welch Sandra Wellens Chris Weller Jack Wellman John WellsKen Welty Rob Weneck Daniel Weselak Geoffrey Westervelt

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Gerald Wheeler Jane Wheeler Mary White Bill Whited Bruce Whitehead Petrina Whiteside Jack Whiting Lorraine Whitman Mike Whittaker Skip Wiarda Robert Wicklein, DTE Chris Widmer Sandy Wiegers Emerson Wiens Flint Wild Jim WiljanenGeorge Willcox Darrell Williams Deborah Williams John Williams Marcia Williams David Wilson Mark Wilson Melissa Wing-Ronca George Winner John Wirt Jane WisniewskiKendra Wofford Leonard Wolf Chris Wonderly Bobby Woods

Barbara WordenWes Worley Charles Wright John WrightMichael Wright, DTE Thomas Wright, DTE William Wulf Connie Wyant Mary WyattGary Wynn, DTE Rusty Wynn John Wyrick Dorothy Yager Joseph Yarbrough Connie Yeatts Wallace Yoho, DTE Deanna Young Posey Young Robert Young LaVerne Young-Hawkins Chien YuRonald Yuill, DTE John Zahn Edward Zak Ron Zanini Kimberly Zeidler Eric Zelanko Pamela Zelaya Fredele Zouzounis Jim Zucchetti Karen Zuga

Vignette Creditspage 29. Creating a safer working environment. Adapted from a vignette

written by James Graveline, Agawam Junior High School.

page 37. The bicycle as a vehicle for learning. Written by Michael Wright,

Southwest Missouri State University.

page 47. Helping out Stuart Little. Adapted from a Project UPDATE vignette.

page 53. A hands-on experience. Adapted from a vignette written bySharon Brusic, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

page 64. Students plan new airport site. Written by Sharon Brusic,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

page 70. The best bag in Agawam. Adapted from a vignette written byJohn Burns, Agawam Junior High School.

page 75. The development of the button. Adapted from a vignette writtenby Sharon Brusic, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

page 82. A time line comparison of communicating a message. Written byCatherine Ney, Christiansburg Middle School.

page 96. Designing a gift of appreciation. Adapted from a vignette writtenby Sharon Brusic, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

page 101. Can you help Mike Mulligan? Adapted from a vignette writtenby Marie Kellam-Cook and Amy Hackett, students of JamesKirkwood, Ball State University.

page 109. Navigational technology. Adapted from a vignette written byDavid Bixby and Bruce Whitehead, Hellgate Elementary School.

page 117. Building something to float. Adapted from a vignette written byCarole Thomson, Northern College, Scotland.

page 122. The great paper car race. Adapted from a vignette written byBob Galliher, Hobart Middle School.

page 125. The America’s cup challenge. Written by Rob Cronk, reprintedwith permission from International Technology EducationAssociation. (1995). Technology Learning Activities II. Reston, VA:International Technology Education Association, 22.

page 129. Take it apart. Reprinted with permission from Wells, J. G. andS. A. Brusic. (1993). Mission 21: Launching technology across thecurriculum. New York: Delmar Publishers, Inc., 128-131.

page 136. Clean up an oil spill. Adapted from a vignette written byTiffany Cupp, Cassie Fugiett, Sarah Meyers, and Jenny Shumowskystudents of James Kirkwood, Ball State University.

page 144. A Pharmacy connection. Suggested by J.G. Wells, WestVirginia University.

page 157. Hydroponics system. Written by Franzie Loepp, DTE, IllinoisState University.

page 161. Developing and producing a product or system collaboratively.Adapted from the work of Linda Gostomski and Pat Ward-Mytinger,Roosevelt Elementary School.

page 172. Communication through a home page on the web. Adapted froma vignette written by Scott Kutz, Westlake High School.

page 188. A team approach to plastics. Adapted from a vignette written bySharon Brusic, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

page 197. A look at energy efficient homes. Adapted from a vignettewritten by Scott Kutz, Westlake High School.

page 215-219. Articulated curriculum example from Grades K-12. Writtenby Sharon Brusic and Mark Sanders, Virginia Polytechnic Instituteand State University.

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Agriculture — The raising of crops and animals for food,feed, fiber, fuel, or other useful products.

Agroforestry — Land management for the simultaneousproduction of food, crops, and trees or the intentionaldesigning of land through a system of planting trees, shrubs,crops, or forage in order to improve habitat values, access byhumans and wildlife, and woody plant products.

Alternative energy source — Any sources or resources ofenergy that are renewable through natural processes, can berenewed artificially, or that are regarded as practically inex-haustible. These include solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, andwood resources. Also referred to as renewable energy.

Alternative fuel — Transportation fuels other than gaso-line or diesel. Includes natural gas, methanol, and ethanol.

Articulate — A planned sequence of curriculum andcourse offerings from Grades K-12.

Artifact — A human-made object.

Artificial ecosystem — Human-made environment orsystem that functions as a replication of or to produce theequivalent of the natural environment.

Assessment — 1. An evaluation technique for technologythat requires analyzing benefits and risks, understanding thetrade-offs, and then determining the best action to take inorder to ensure that the desired positive outcomes outweighthe negative consequences. 2. An exercise, such as an activity,portfolio, written test, or experiment that seeks to measure astudent’s skills or knowledge in a subject area. Informationmay be collected about teacher and student performance, stu-dent behavior, and classroom atmosphere.

Batch production — The process of producing partsor components in quantity to be assembled into largerproducts.

Benchmark — 1. A written statement that describes thespecific developmental components by various grade levels(K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12) that students should know or beable to do in order to achieve a standard. 2. A criteria bywhich something can be measured or judged.

Biodegradable — The ability of a substance to be brokendown physically and/or chemically by natural biologicalprocesses, such as by being digested by bacteria or fungi.

Bioengineering — Engineering applied to biological andmedical systems, such as biomechanics, biomaterials, andbiosensors. Bioengineering also includes biomedical engi-neering as in the development of aids or replacements fordefective or missing body organs.

Biological processes — The processes characteristic of, orresulting from, the activities of living organisms.

Biotechnology — Any technique that uses living organ-isms, or parts of organisms, to make or modify products,improve plants or animals, or to develop microorganismsfor specific uses.

Brainstorming — A method of shared problem solving inwhich all members of a group spontaneously and in anunrestrained discussion generate ideas.

Bronze Age — The stage or level of development ofhuman culture that followed the Stone Age and was char-acterized by the use of bronze tools and weapons andended with the advent of the Iron Age; about 3000 1100 B.C.E.

Build — To make something by joining materials or com-ponents together into a composite whole.

By-product — Something produced in the making of some-thing else; a secondary result; a side effect.

CAD (computer-aided design or computer-aided drafting) —1. (Design) The use of a computer to assist in the process ofdesigning a part, circuit, building, etc. 2. (Drafting) The useof a computer to assist in the process of creating, storing,retrieving, modifying, plotting, and communicating atechnical drawing.

Capital — One of the basic resources used in a technolog-ical system. Capital (money) is the accumulated financesand goods devoted to the production of other goods.

Category — As used in this document, the large organizersfor the study of technology. The categories are: The Natureof Technology, Technology and Society, Design, Abilities fora Technological World, and The Designed World.

Chemical technology — Any technological process thatmodifies, alters, or produces chemical substances, ele-ments, or compounds.

Closed-loop system — A system that uses feedback fromthe output to control the input.

Cognitive knowledge — The level of understanding justbeyond comprehension (basic understanding of meaning).This may include the application of rules, methods, con-cepts, principles, laws, and theories.

Combining — The joining of two or more materials bysuch processes as fastening, coating, and making composites.

Communication — The successful transmission of informa-tion through a common system of symbols, signs, behavior,speech, writing, or signals.

The terms defined and described in this glossary apply specifically to Standards forTechnological Literacy. These terms may have broader meanings in different contexts.

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Communication system — A system that forms a linkbetween a sender and a receiver, making possible theexchange of information.

Complex system — A system consisting of intercon-nected or interwoven parts that interact in such a wayas to produce a global output that cannot always bepredicted.

Component — A part or element of a whole that can beseparated from or attached to a system.

Compost — Substance composed mainly of partlydecayed organic material, used to fertilize the soil andincrease its humus content. Usually made from plantmaterials (e.g., grass clippings and leaves), manure, andsoil, and can include chemical fertilizers and lime.

Computer — A machine for carrying out calculations andperforming specified transformations of information, suchas storing, sorting, correlating, retrieving and processingdata.

Conditioning processes — Processes (using force, heat,cold, electricity, etc.) in which the internal structure of amaterial is changed to alter its properties to make itstronger, improve its function or appearance.

Consequence — An effect that naturally follows and iscaused by a previous action or condition; referred to as anoutcome.

Conservation — The preservation and protection of theenvironment and the wise use of natural resources.

Constraint — A limit to the design process. Constraintsmay be such things as appearance, funding, space, materi-als, and human capabilities.

Construction — The systematic act or process of build-ing, erecting, or constructing buildings, roads, or otherstructures.

Control — An arrangement of chemical, electronic, electrical,and mechanical components that commands or directs themanagement of a system.

Control system — An assemblage of control apparatus coordi-nated to execute a planned set of actions.

Convention — A technique, practice, or procedure that isestablished by usage and widely accepted.

Creative thinking — The ability or power used to pro-duce original thoughts and ideas based upon reasoningand judgment.

Credentialed teachers — Teachers who are licensed by astate department of education in a particular area of com-petence in order to be qualified to teach a particular sub-ject or group of subjects.

Criterion — A desired specification (element or feature)of a product or system.

Critical thinking — The ability to acquire information,analyze and evaluate it, and reach a conclusion or answerby using logic and reasoning skills.

Culture — The beliefs, traditions, habits, and values con-trolling the behavior of the majority of the people in asocial-ethnic group. These include the people’s way ofdealing with their problems of survival and existence as acontinuing group.

Curriculum — The subject matter that teachers and stu-dents cover in their studies. It describes and specifies themethods, structure, organization, balance and presentationof the content.

Curriculum development — The process of planneddevelopment of curriculum pedagogy, instruction, andpresentation modes.

Custom production — A type of production in whichproducts are designed and built to meet the specific needsand wants of an individual.

Data — Raw facts and figures that can be used to draw aconclusion.

Data processing system — A system of computer hard-ware and software to carry out a specified computationaltask.

Decision making — The act of examining several possi-ble behaviors and selecting from them the one most likelyto accomplish the individual’s or group’s intention.Cognitive processes such as reasoning, planning, and judg-ment are involved.

Decode — To convert a coded message into understand-able form using ordinary language.

Design — An iterative decision-making process that pro-duces plans by which resources are converted into prod-ucts or systems that meet human needs and wants or solveproblems.

Design brief — A written plan that identifies a problemto be solved, its criteria, and its constraints. The designbrief is used to encourage thinking of all aspects of a prob-lem before attempting a solution.

Design principle — Design rules regarding rhythm, bal-ance, proportion, variety, emphasis, and harmony, used toevaluate existing designs and guide the design process.

Design process — A systematic problem-solving strategy,with criteria and constraints, used to develop many possi-ble solutions to solve a problem or satisfy human needsand wants and to winnow (narrow) down the possiblesolutions to one final choice.

Design proposal — A written plan of action for a solu-tion to a proposed problem.

Develop — To change the form of something through asuccession of states or stages, each of which is preparatory tothe next. The successive changes are undertaken to improvethe quality of or refine the resulting object or software.

Developmentally appropriate — Educational programsand methods that are intended to match the needs of stu-dents in the areas of cognition, physical activity, emotionalgrowth, and social adjustment.


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Diagnose — To determine, by analysis, the cause of aproblem or the nature of something.

Discipline — A formal branch of knowledge or teaching(e.g., biology, geography, and engineering) that is system-atically investigated, documented, and taught.

Drawing — A work produced by representing an objector outlining a figure, plan, or sketch by means of lines. Adrawing is used to communicate ideas and provide direc-tion for the production of a design.

Durable goods — An item that can be used for manyyears.

Economy — The system or range of economic activity,such as production, distribution, and consumption in acountry, region, or community that manages domesticaffairs and resources.

Educational technology — Using multimedia technolo-gies or audiovisual aids as a tool to enhance the teachingand learning process.

Efficient — Operating or performing in an effective andcompetent manner with a minimum of wasted time,energy, or waste products.

Emergent — Occurring as a consequence.

Encode — To change a message into symbols or a formthat can be transmitted by a communication system.

Energy — The ability to do work. Energy is one of thebasic resources used by a technological system.

Engineer — A person who is trained in and uses technologi-cal and scientific knowledge to solve practical problems.

Engineering — The profession of or work performed byan engineer. Engineering involves the knowledge of themathematical and natural sciences (biological and physi-cal) gained by study, experience, and practice that areapplied with judgment and creativity to develop ways toutilize the materials and forces of nature for the benefit ofmankind.

Engineering design — The systematic and creative applica-tion of scientific and mathematical principles to practical endssuch as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficientand economical structures, machines, processes, and systems.

Ergonomics — The study of workplace equipment design orhow to arrange and design devices, machines, or workspace sothat people and things interact safely and most efficiently. Alsocalled human factors analysis or human factors engineering.

Ethical — Conforming to an established set of principlesor accepted professional standards of conduct.

Evaluation — 1. The collection and processing of infor-mation and data in order to determine how well a designmeets the requirements and to provide direction forimprovements. 2. A process used to analyze, evaluate, andappraise a student’s achievement, growth, and perfor-mance through the use of formal and informal tests andtechniques.

Experimentation — 1. The act of conducting a con-trolled test or investigation. 2. The act of trying out a newprocedure, idea, or activity.

Fact — A statement or piece of information that is true ora real occurrence.

Feedback — Using all or a portion of the informationfrom the output of a system to regulate or control theprocesses or inputs in order to modify the output.

Figure — A written symbol, other than a letter, represent-ing an item or relationship, especially a number, design, orgraphic representation.

Forecast — A statement about future trends, usually as aprobability, made by examining and analyzing availableinformation. A forecast is also a prediction about howsomething will develop usually as a result of study andanalysis of available pertinent data.

Forming — The process that changes the shape and sizeof a material without cutting it.

Grade level — A stage in the development of a child’s educa-tion; an acceptable grouping of different grades in school (e.g.,K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12).

Guidance system — A system that provides informationfor guiding the path of a vehicle by means of built-inequipment and control.

Human factors engineering — See Ergonomics.

Human wants and needs — Human wants refers tosomething desired or dreamed of, and human needs refersto something that is required or a necessity.

Hydroponics — A technique of growing plants without soil,in water or sometimes an inert medium (e.g., sand) containingdissolved nutrients.

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) — The com-puter language used to create World Wide Web pages,with hyperlinks and markup for text formatting.

Impact — The effect or influence of one thing onanother. Some impacts are anticipated, and others areunanticipated.

Industrial Revolution — A period of inventive activity,beginning around 1750 in Great Britain. During thisperiod, industrial and technological changes resulted inmechanized machinery that replaced much of which waspreviously manual work. The Industrial Revolution wasresponsible for many social changes, as well as changes inthe way things were manufactured.

Information — One of the basic resources used by tech-nological systems. Information is data and facts that havebeen organized and communicated in a coherent andmeaningful manner.

Information Age — A period of activity starting in the1950s and continuing today in which the gathering,manipulation, classification, storage, and retrieval of infor-mation is central to the workings of society. Information ispresented in various forms to a large population of the

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world through the use of machines, such as computers,facsimile machines, copiers, and CD-ROMs. TheInformation Age was enhanced by the development of theInternet; an electronic means to exchange information inshort periods of time, often instantaneously.

Information system — A system of elements that receiveand transfer information. This system may use differenttypes of carriers, such as satellites, fiber optics, cables, andtelephone lines, in which switching and storage devices areoften important parts.

Infrastructure — 1. The basic framework or features of asystem or organization. 2. The basic physical systems of acountry’s or a community’s population, including trans-portation and utilities.

Innovation — An improvement of an existing technologi-cal product, system, or method of doing something.

Inorganic — Lacking the qualities, structure, and composi-tion of living organisms; inanimate.

Input — Something put into a system, such as resources,in order to achieve a result.

In-service — 1. A full-time employee. 2. Workshops andlectures designed to keep practicing professionals abreastof the latest developments in their field.

Instructional technology — The use of computers, multi-media, and other technological tools to enhance the teachingand learning process. Sometimes referred to as educationaltechnology.

Integration — The process of bringing all parts togetherinto a whole.

Intelligence — The capacity to acquire knowledge andthe skilled use of reason; the ability to comprehend.

Intelligent transportation system — Proposed evolutionof the entire transportation system involving the use ofinformation technologies and advances in electronics inorder to revolutionize all aspects of the transportation net-work. These technologies include the use of the latestcomputers, electronics, communications, and safety sys-tems to provide traffic control, freeway and incident man-agement, and emergency response.

Interdisciplinary instruction — An educational approachwhere the students study a topic and its related issues in thecontext of various academic areas or disciplines.

Intermodalism — The use of more than one form oftransportation.

Internet — The worldwide network of computer links,begun in the 1970s, which today allows computer users toconnect with other computer users in nearly every coun-try, and speaking many languages.

Invention — A new product, system, or process that hasnever existed before, created by study and experimentation.

Iron Age — The period of human culture characterizedby the smelting of iron and its use in industry beginningafter the Bronze Age somewhat before 1000 B.C.E. inwestern Asia and Egypt.

Irradiation — Treatment through the use of ionizingradiation, such as X-rays or radioactive sources (e.g.,radioactive iridium seeds).

Irrigation system — A system that uses ditches, pipes, orstreams to distribute water artificially.

Iterative — Describing a procedure or process that repeat-edly executes a series of operations until some condition issatisfied. An iterative procedure may be implemented by aloop in a routine.

Just-in-Time (JIT) manufacturing — A systems approachto developing and operating a manufacturing system, inwhich manufacturing operation component parts arrive justin time to be picked up by a worker and used.

Kinetic energy — The energy possessed by a body as aresult of its motion.

Knowledge — 1. The body of truth, information, andprinciples acquired by mankind. 2. Interpreted informa-tion that can be used.

Laboratory-classroom — The formal environment inschool where the study of technology takes place. At theelementary school, this environment will likely be a regu-lar classroom. At the middle and high school levels, a sepa-rate laboratory with areas for hands-on activities as well asgroup instruction, could constitute the environment.

Literacy — Basic knowledge and abilities required tofunction adequately in one’s immediate environment.

Machine — A device with fixed and moving parts thatmodifies mechanical energy in order to do work.

Maintenance — The work needed to keep something inproper condition; upkeep.

Management — The act of controlling productionprocesses and ensuring that they operate efficiently andeffectively; also used to direct the design, development,production, and marketing of a product or system.

Manufacturing — The process of making a raw materialinto a finished product; especially in large quantities.

Manufacturing system — A system or group of systemsused in the manufacturing process to make products foran end user.

Market — 1. A subset of the population considered to beinterested in the buying of goods or services. 2. A placewhere goods are offered for sale.

Marketing — The act or process of offering goods or ser-vices for sale.

Mass production — The manufacture of goods in largequantities by means of machines, standardized design andparts, and, often, assembly lines.

Material — The tangible substance (chemical, biological,or mixed) that goes into the makeup of a physical object.One of the basic resources used in a technological system.

Mathematics — The science of patterns and order andthe study of measurement, properties, and the relation-ships of quantities; using numbers and symbols.


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Measurement — The process of using dimensions, quan-tity, or capacity by comparison with a standard in order tomark off, apportion, lay out, or establish dimensions.

Medical technology — Of or relating to the study ofmedicine through the use of and advances of technology,such as medical instruments and apparatus, imaging sys-tems in medicine, and mammography. Related terms: bio-medical engineering and medical innovations.

Medicine — The science of diagnosing, treating, or pre-venting disease and other damage to the body or mind.

Message — 1. The information sent by one source toanother, usually short and transmitted by words, signals,or other means. 2. An arbitrary amount of informationwhose beginning and end are defined or implied.

Micro-processing system — A computer made up ofintegrated circuits that is capable of high speed electronicoperations.

Middle Ages — The period in European history betweenantiquity and the Renaissance, often dated from A.D. 476to 1453.

Mixed-natural materials — Natural materials modifiedto improve their properties. Mixed-natural materials maybe leather, plywood, or paper, for example.

Mobility — The quality or state of being mobile; capableof moving or being moved.

Model — A visual, mathematical, or three-dimensionalrepresentation in detail of an object or design, oftensmaller than the original. A model is often used to testideas, make changes to a design, and to learn more aboutwhat would happen to a similar, real object.

Module — A self-contained unit.

Multimedia — Information that is mixed and transmittedfrom a number of formats (e.g., video, audio, and data).

Natural material — Material found in nature, such aswood, stone, gases, and clay.

Network — An interconnected group or system. TheInternet is a network of computers.

Noise — An outside signal that interrupts, interferes, orreduces the clarity of a transmission.

Non-biodegradable — The inability of a substance to bebroken down (decomposed) and therefore retaining itsform for an extended period of time.

Non-durable goods — Items that do not last and areconstantly consumed, such as paper products.

Nonlinear — Not in a straight line.

Nonrenewable — An object, thing, or resource thatcannot be replaced.

Nuclear power — Power, the source of which is nuclearfission or fusion.

Obsolescence — Loss in the usefulness of a product orsystem because of the development of an improved orsuperior way of achieving the same goal.

Open-loop system — A control system that has no means forcomparing the output with input for control purposes. Controlof open-loop systems often requires human intervention.

Optimization — An act, process, or methodology used tomake a design or system as effective or functional as possi-ble within the given criteria and constraints.

Output — The results of the operation of any system.

People — One of the basic resources in a technological sys-tem. Humans design, develop, produce, use, manage, andassess products and systems.

Plan — A set of steps, procedures, or programs, worked outbeforehand in order to accomplish an objective or goal.

Political — Of or relating to the structure and affairs of agovernment, state, or locality and their related politics.

Pollution — The changing of a natural environment,either by natural or artificial means, so that the environ-ment becomes harmful or unfit for living things; especiallyapplicable to the contamination of soil, water, or theatmosphere by the discharge of harmful substances.

Portfolio — A systematic and organized collection of a stu-dent’s work that includes results of research, successful andless successful ideas, notes on procedures, and data collected.

Potential energy — The energy of a particle, body, or sys-tem that is determined by its position or structure.

Power — 1. The amount of work done in a given period oftime. 2. The source of energy or motive force by which aphysical system or machine is operated.

Power system — A technological system that transformsenergy resources to power.

Pre-service — Undergraduate coursework taken by thoseintending to teach.

Problem solving — The process of understanding a prob-lem, devising a plan, carrying out the plan, and evaluating theplan in order to solve a problem or meet a need or want.

Procedural knowledge — Knowing how to do something.

Process — 1. Human activities used to create, invent,design, transform, produce, control, maintain, and useproducts or systems; 2. A systematic sequence of actionsthat combines resources to produce an output.

Produce — To create, develop, manufacture, or construct ahuman-made product.

Product — A tangible artifact produced by means of eitherhuman or mechanical work, or by biological or chemicalprocesses.

Product lifecycle — Stages a product goes through fromconcept and use to eventual withdrawal from the market-place. Product life cycle stages include research and devel-opment, introduction, market development, exploitation,maturation, saturation, and finally decline.

Production system — A technological system thatinvolves producing products and systems by manufacturing(on the assembly line) and construction (on the job).

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Propulsion system — A system that provides the energysource, conversion, and transmission of power to move avehicle.

Prototype — A full-scale working model used to test adesign concept by making actual observations and neces-sary adjustments.

Quality control — A system by which a desired standardof quality in a product or process is maintained. Qualitycontrol usually requires feeding back information aboutmeasured defects to further improvements of the process.

Receiver — The part of a communication system thatpicks up or accepts a signal or message from a channel andconverts it to perceptible forms.

Recycle — To reclaim or reuse old materials in order tomake new products.

Renaissance — The transitional movement in Europebetween medieval and modern times beginning in the14th century in Italy, lasting into the 17th century, andmarked by a humanistic revival of classical influenceexpressed in a flowering of the arts and literature and bythe beginnings of modern science.

Renewable — Designation of a commodity or resource,such as solar energy or firewood, that is inexhaustible orcapable of being replaced by natural ecological cycles orsound management practices.

Requirements — The parameters placed on the develop-ment of a product or system. The requirements includethe safety needs, the physical laws that will limit the devel-opment of an idea, the available resources, the culturalnorms, and the use of criteria and constraints.

Research and development (R&D) — The practicalapplication of scientific and engineering knowledge fordiscovering new knowledge about products, processes, andservices, and then applying that knowledge to create newand improved products, processes, and services that fillmarket needs.

Resource — The things needed to get a job done. In atechnological system, the basic technological resources are:energy, capital, information, machines and tools, materi-als, people, and time.

Risk — The chance or probability of loss, harm, failure,or danger.

Sanitation — The design and practice of methods forsolving basic public health problems, such as drainage,water and sewage treatment, and waste removal.

Scale — A proportion between two sets of dimensionsused in developing accurate, larger or smaller prototypes,or models of design ideas.

Schematic — A drawing or diagram of a chemical, electri-cal, or mechanical system.

Science — The study of the natural world through obser-vation, identification, description, experimental investiga-tion, and theoretical explanations.

Scientific inquiry — The use of questioning and closeexamination using the methodology of science.

Sender — A person or equipment that causes a message tobe transmitted.

Separating — The process of using machines or tools todivide materials.

Service — 1. The installation, maintenance, or repairsprovided or completed by a dealer, manufacturer, owner,or contractor. 2. The performance of labor for the benefitof another.

Side effect — A peripheral or secondary effect, especiallyan undesirable secondary effect. Some side effects becomethe central basis for new developments.

Sketch — A rough drawing representing the main featuresof an object or scene and often made as a preliminary study.

Skill — An ability that has been acquired by training orexperience.

Society — A community, nation, or broad grouping ofpeople having common traditions, institutions, and collec-tive activities and interests.

Solution — A method or process for solving a problem.

Standard stock items — A supply of items that are com-monly used and kept in inventory for quick access.

Standardization — The act of checking or adjusting bycomparison with a standard.

Stone Age — The first known period of prehistorichuman culture characterized by the use of stone tools.

Structural system — A system comprised of the frame-work or basic structure of a vehicle.

Structure — Something that has been constructed or builtof many parts and held or put together in a particular way.

Subsystem — A division of a system that, in itself, has thecharacteristics of a system.

Support system — 1. A network of personnel or profession-als that provides life, legal, operational, maintenance, andeconomic support for the safe and efficient operation of asystem, such as a transportation system. 2. The technical sys-tem that supports the operation of a system, as in a life sup-port system on board the Shuttle.

Suspension system — A system of springs and otherdevices that insulates the passenger compartment of avehicle from shocks transmitted by the wheels and axles.

Sustainable — 1. Of, relating to, or being a method ofharvesting or using a resource so that the resource is notdepleted or permanently damaged. 2. Relating to ahuman activity that can be sustained over the long term,without adversely affecting the environmental conditions(soil conditions, water quality, climate) necessary to sup-port those same activities in the future.

Symbol — An arbitrary or conventional sign that is usedto represent operations, quantities, elements, relations, orqualities or to provide directions or alert one to safety.


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Synthetic material — Material that is not found innature, such as glass, concrete, and plastics.

System — A group of interacting, interrelated, or interde-pendent elements or parts that function together as awhole to accomplish a goal.

Systems-oriented thinking — A technique for looking ata problem in its entirety, looking at the whole, as distinctfrom each of its parts or components. Systems-orientedthinking takes into account all of the variables and relatessocial and technological characteristics.

Technological design — See Engineering design.

Technological literacy — The ability to use, manage,understand, and assess technology.

Technological literacy standard — A written statementthat specifies the knowledge (what students should know)and process (what students should be able to do) studentsshould possess in order to be technologically literate.

Technology — 1. Human innovation in action thatinvolves the generation of knowledge and processes todevelop systems that solve problems and extend humancapabilities. 2. The innovation, change, or modification ofthe natural environment to satisfy perceived human needsand wants.

Technology education — A study of technology, whichprovides an opportunity for students to learn about theprocesses and knowledge related to technology that areneeded to solve problems and extend human capabilities.

Technological studies — See Technology education.

Technological transfer — The process by which prod-ucts, systems, knowledge, or skills, developed under fed-eral research and development funding, is translated intocommercial products to fulfill public and private needs.

Telemedicine — The investigation, monitoring, andmanagement of patients and the education of patients andstaff using systems which allow ready access to expertadvice and patient information, no matter where thepatient or the relevant information is located. The threemain dimensions of telemedicine are health service,telecommunications, and medical computer technology.

Test — 1. A method for collecting data. 2. A procedurefor critical evaluation.

Thematic unit — Set of lesson presentations that orga-nize classroom instruction around certain texts, activities,and learning episodes related to a topic(s). A thematic unitmight integrate several content areas.

Tool — A device that is used by humans to complete a task.

Trade-off — An exchange of one thing in return foranother; especially relinquishment of one benefit oradvantage for another regarded as more desirable.

Transmit — To send or convey a coded or non-codedmessage from a source to a destination.

Transportation system — The process by which passengersor goods are moved or delivered from one place to another.

Trend — 1. A tendency; 2. A general direction.

Trend analysis — A comparative study of the componentparts of a product or system and the tendency of a productor system to develop in a general direction over time.

Trial and error — A method of solving problems inwhich many solutions are tried until errors are reduced orminimized.

Troubleshoot — To locate and find the cause of problemsrelated to technological products or systems.

Use — The act or practice of employing something to putit into action or service.

Vignette — A brief description or verbal snapshot of how astandard or group of standards may be implemented in thelaboratory-classroom.

Virtual — Simulation of the real thing in such a way that itpresents reality in essence or in effect though not in actual fact.

Vocational education — Training within an educationalinstitution that is intended to prepare an individual for aparticular career or job.

Waste — Refuse or by-products that perceived as useless,and must be consumed, left over, or thrown away.

Work — The transfer of energy from one physical system toanother, expressed as the product of a force and the distancethrough which it moves a body in the direction of that force.

World Wide Web (WWW) — An abstract (imaginary)space of information, which includes documents, colorimages, sound, and video.

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AAbilities for a technological world, Standards 11-13;

see under StandardsAbstract thinking, 104–105Accuracy, of data, 137Administrator guidelines, 19Advertising, 28, 78, 190Agricultural Revolution, 149Agricultural waste, 152, 153Agriculture, 79, 149

Standard 15; see under Standardstransportation and, 180

Architects, 191Articulated curriculum examples, 215–219Artifacts, 9Artificial ecosystems, 150, 152, 154, 156Artificial intelligence, 148The Arts, 86Assessment

of products/systems, 33of students, 13, 18, 19

Attitudes, 60Availability, of resources, 42

BBack-to-basics movement, 3Batch production, 190Benchmarks, 3, 14–16, 18; see also individual

Standards by Grade levelcontent concepts of, 16format of, 17

Benefits of technology, 4Beverages, 155Bidders, 191Biochemistry, 148Bioengineering, 150Biotechnologies, 149

Standard 15; see under StandardsBody parts, repair/replacement, 143Brainstorming, 97–98, 99, 103, 116Bronze Age, 57, 86Builders, 191Building codes, 194Buildings; see ConstructionBusiness, call to action for, 204By-products, 65

CCalculators, 130, 132Call to action, 199–206

business and industry, 204the community, 202–203curriculum development, 200educational community, 202engineering profession, 203–204instruction materials, 201learning environments, 201parents, 202–203

Contrasting information, 135Controlling (management process), 43Controls, as core concept, 33, 40Control subsystems, vehicles, 178Conventions, 174, 179Core concepts of technology, Standard 2; see under


cultures in, 78demand created by, 28, 73goals of, 78

Costs, 42cost/benefit analysis, 5

Creativity, 26, 27–28, 42, 106design and, 91–92, 93, 95, 99, 102, 104–105,

106Criteria, 33, 91, 95, 97–98, 120–121, 123–124Critical thinking, 99Cultures

cultural landscape, 85–86influences on development, 26priorities of, 77technology and society, 61unique technologies and, 78

Curriculum, 13, 18, 90articulated examples of, 215–219development/revision, 200

Customized construction, 191Customized production, 190

DData; see Information/dataData-storage devices, 166Decoder, 171, 174Dehydration, 154Delivering, 179Demand for products

created by corporations, 28, 73market-driven; see Market-driven demand for

productsDesign, 89–112, 91, 139–198

abstract thinking, 104–105applying design processes, Standard 11; see

under Standardsbrainstorming; see Brainstormingcommunication of ideas, 100, 102constraints; see Constraintscreativity and; see Creativitycriteria; see Criteriacritical thinking, 99the designed world, defined, 140evaluating; see Evaluationsexperimentation, 90feedback and; see Feedbackidea generation; see Ideasinvention/innovation, 90knowledge; see Knowledgemanufacturing and, 187

researchers, 204–205students, 201technology educators, 201technology professionals, 204textbooks, 201

Capital, 32, 35Carpenters, 191Characters, 169Chemical energy, 165Chemical technologies, 187, 190Circular design models, 99Civilization, evolution of, 85Classification, of information, 135Classification system, technology, 140Closed-loop systems, 39Cognitive knowledge, 14

design and, 90Comfort, personal, 60Communication, 179

electronic, 174fiber-optic, 166graphic, 174of ideas, 100, 102of processes/procedures, 131Standard 17; see under Standardssystems, 57, 86–87telecommunications; see Telecommunicationstransportation and, 180

Community concernscall to action for, 202–203technological development and, 76

Comparisons, of information, 135Compendium,

Standards for Technological Literacy, 19,211–214

Competition, 73Complex systems, 43, 114Computer engineering, 148Computers, 79, 128, 130, 132, 148, 166, 169Conceptual models, 124Concrete workers, 191Consequences, of technology, 59Conservation, 65, 71, 155–156

of energy, 71, 158, 163, 165Constraints, 56

design, 90, 91, 95, 97–98, 120–121, 123–124monetary, 90resource, 90time, 90

Constructionbuilding codes, 194practices, advanced, 86–87technologies, Standard 20; see under Standardstransportation and, 180

Consumption of goods, 185Content concepts, of benchmarks, 16Content standards; see under StandardsContinuous manufacturing, 86–87, 190

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measurability, 91Design (continued )

models; see Modelsperfection and, 95principles of, 104problem definition; see Problem definitionprocess, 4, 5–6, 33proposals, 97–98prototypes; see Prototypesrequirements; see Requirementsresearch and development (R&D), 31, 90, 99,

106–112, 187resourcefulness and, 104–105solutions, 92–94, 100, 102specifications, 97–98Standards 8–11; see under Standardssteps in, 103systematic, 91testing; see Tests, of productstroubleshooting; see Troubleshootingvignette, “Can You Help Mike Mulligan?”, 101visualization and, 104–105

Desirability, 42Destination, 171, 174Development, 4, 27–28, 51

cultural influences on, 26economic influences on, 26personal choices and, 60rate of, 31

Devices, medical, 143Diagnoses, of malfunctioning systems, 131Diffusion, rate of, 31Directions, following, 128Disasters, environmental, 71Diseases, Standard 14; see under StandardsDistribution, 190Documentation, 121, 131Drawings, 171Durable goods, 187, 190

EEconomic concerns

economic landscape, reshaping, 85–86economy, strength of, 78environmental effects of technology, 69technological development and, 26, 76technology and society, 61

Ecosystems, 151artificial, 150, 152, 154, 156

Education; see also individual Grade levelsimproved, 86–87

Educational community, call to action for, 202Educational technology, 3Efficiency, 91, 124

of transportation systems, 177Electrical energy, 165Electricians, 191Electronic communications, 174Electronic media, 169Elementary schools, 7–8; see also Grades K-2;

Grades 3–5Encoder, 171, 174Endangered species, 65Energy, 32, 35, 155

Standard 16; see under Standards

Standard 14: Medical technologies, 142Standard 15: Agricultural and related

biotechnologies, 151Standard 16: Energy and power technologies,

159Standard 17: Information and communication

technologies, 167Standard 18: Transportation technologies, 176Standard 19: Manufacturing technologies, 183Standard 20: Construction technologies, 192

Grades 3–5articulated curriculum example, 217Standard 1: Characteristics and scope of

technology, 25–26Standard 2: Core concepts of technology, 35–37Standard 3: Technology and other fields, 48Standard 4: Cultural, social, economic, and

political effects of technology, 59Standard 5: Environmental effects of

technology, 67Standard 6: Impact of society on technology, 76Standard 7: The history of technology, 81Standard 8: Attributes of design, 94Standard 9: Engineering design, 102Standard 10: Problem-solving approaches,

design and, 108Standard 11: Applying design processes,

118–119Standard 12: Use and maintenance of

products/systems, 128Standard 13: Impacts of products/systems, 135Standard 14: Medical technologies, 143Standard 15: Agricultural and related

biotechnologies, 152Standard 16: Energy and power technologies,

160Standard 17: Information and communication

technologies, 168–169communication technology defined, 169

Standard 18: Transportation technologies, 177Standard 19: Manufacturing technologies,

184–185Standard 20: Construction technologies, 193

Grades 6–8articulated curriculum example, 218Standard 1: Characteristics and scope of

technology, 27–28Standard 2: Core concepts of technology, 38–40Standard 3: Technology and other fields, 49–50Standard 4: Cultural, social, economic, and

political effects of technology, 60–61Standard 5: Environmental effects of

technology, 68–69Standard 6: Impact of society on technology,

77Standard 7: The history of technology, 83–84Standard 8: Attributes of design, 95Standard 9: Engineering design, 103Standard 10: Problem-solving approaches,

design and, 110Standard 11: Applying design processes,

120–121Standard 12: Use and maintenance of

products/systems, 130Standard 13: Impacts of products/systems, 137

Engineering design, Standard 9; see under StandardsEngineers, 23, 191

call to action for, 203–204Engine of history, technology as, 56Engines, performing work, 165Environment/Environmental concerns, 42, 155

effects of technology, Standard 5; see underStandards

Equipment, 154; see also MachinesEstimators, 191Ethics, 61, 63

of medical safety, 145Evaluations

of products/designs, 103, 119, 121, 124transportation systems, 179

Evolutionof civilization, 85of inventions/innovations, 83, 85

Experimentation, 90, 106–112, 138

FFactories, 79Fads, 78Failure of products, 107Family, development and, 76Feedback, 33, 38–39, 42, 43, 99Fiber-optic communications, 166Financial incentives, 73Foods, 155

preservation of, 154production of, 154quality of, 149year-round availability, 151yield of, 149

Forecasting techniques, 138Fossil fuels, 158Foundations, structural, 194Freezing, 154

GGenetics, 146–148, 155Global economy, 182Goods, transportation of, 177, 178Government, impact of, 73, 178Grades K–2

articulated curriculum example, 216Standard 1: Characteristics and scope of

technology, 24Standard 2: Core concepts of technology, 34Standard 3: Technology and other fields, 46–47Standard 4: Cultural, social, economic, and

political effects of technology, 58Standard 5: Environmental effects of

technology, 66Standard 6: Impact of society on technology,

74Standard 7: The history of technology, 80Standard 8: Attributes of design, 93Standard 9: Engineering design, 100Standard 10: Problem-solving approaches,

design and, 107Standard 11: Applying design processes, 116Standard 12: Use and maintenance of

products/systems, 127Standard 13: Impacts of products/systems, 134

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Standard 14: Medical technologies, 145–146Standard 15: Agricultural and related

biotechnologies, 153–154Standard 16: Energy and power technologies,

162–163Standard 17: Information and communication

technologies, 170–171Standard 18: Transportation technologies,

178–179Standard 19: Manufacturing technologies,

186–187Standard 20: Construction technologies, 194

Grades 9–12articulated curriculum example, 219Standard 1: Characteristics and scope of

technology, 30–31Standard 2: Core concepts of technology, 41–43Standard 3: Technology and other fields, 51–52Standard 4: Cultural, social, economic, and

political effects of technology, 62–63Standard 5: Environmental effects of

technology, 71–72Standard 6: Impact of society on technology, 78Standard 7: The history of technology, 85–87Standard 8: Attributes of design, 97–98Standard 9: Engineering design, 104–105Standard 10: Problem-solving approaches,

design and, 111–112Standard 11: Applying design processes,

123–124Standard 12: Use and maintenance of

products/systems, 131–132Standard 13: Impacts of products/systems, 138Standard 14: Medical technologies, 147–148Standard 15: Agricultural and related

biotechnologies, 155–156Standard 16: Energy and power technologies,

164–165Standard 17: Information and communication

technologies, 173–175Standard 18: Transportation technologies,

180–181Standard 19: Manufacturing technologies,

189–190Standard 20: Construction technologies,

195–196Gradual changes, caused by technology, 62Graphics, 174Guidance subsystems, vehicles, 178

HHands-on activities, 34Hand tools, 127Health and safety, transportation and, 180Healthcare, 145

Standard 14; see under StandardsHigh schools, 8; see also Grades 9–12Highways, 180History of technology, The, Standard 7; see under

StandardsHolding process, transportation and, 179Humanities, 86Human-made world, natural world vs., 23, 24

production and, 25systems and, 34

Landfills, 65, 67Languages, 174Law of Conservation of Energy, 165Learning; see also individual Grade levels

about technology, 4–5to do technology, 5–6environments for, 201

Leisure time, 86–87Letters, 169Lifecycles of products, 65, 68Life expectancy, 141Life support systems, 141Linear design models, 99Loading, transportation and, 179Loads, power systems and, 165Logic, 42

MMachines, 32, 35–36

energy use by, 160as helpful or harmful, 58, 59, 60–61the history of technology and, 86for systems repair, 130

Maintenance, 4, 6, 25, 33, 40Standard 12; see under Standardsof structures, 193, 196

Malfunctioning systems, 32, 39diagnosing, 131

Management, 33, 43of transportation processes, 179

Manuals, 130Manufacturing, 25, 44, 51

Standard 19; see under Standardstransportation and, 180

Market-driven demand for products, 31, 73–77Marketing, 28, 179, 187, 190Market research, 190Mass production, 79Materials, 25–26, 32, 34, 35

construction, 196history of technology and, 79, 85, 86manufacturing and, 182, 186–187, 189–190materials science, 148for systems repair, 130

Materials science, 148Mathematical models, 124Mathematics, 44, 52, 124Measurements, 171, 174Mechanical energy, 165Medicine/Medical technologies, 155

Standard 14; see under StandardsMessages, design of, 171The Middle Ages, 86Middle schools, 8; see also Grades 6–8Mixed materials, 189–190Models, 33, 97–98, 102, 103, 121, 124Molecular biology, 148Monetary constraints, 90Moving, transportation and, 179Multidisciplinary approach, to problem-solving,


NNatural disasters, damage repair after, 69Natural materials, 189–190

Human needs and wants, 2, 74, 76

IIcons, 169, 174Ideas

communication of, 100, 102generation of, 49, 52, 97–99, 118

Impacts of products/systems, Standard 13; see underStandards

Incentives, for environmental responsibility, 65Individuals

technological development and, 76, 138technological literacy and; see Technological

literacyIndustrial Age, The, 57, 79, 86–87Industrial Revolution, 86–87Industry, call to action for, 204Informatics, 148Information Age, 57, 87, 166Information/data, 32, 35, 167

accuracy of, 137classifying, 135collection of, 134, 138

instruments for, 137comparing, 135contrasting, 135storage devices, 166synthesis of, 138use of, 130

Information technologies, Standard 17; see underStandards

Infrastructure, 195Innovations; see Inventions/innovationsInputs, 38–39, 173Instruction materials, 201Instruments, for data collection, 137Integrators, technological studies as, 6–9Intelligent transportation systems, 181Interchangeability of parts, 190Intermodalism, 180Internet, 5, 6, 172Inventions/innovations, 23, 25, 28, 51, 52, 90,

106–112evolution of, 83, 85as results of research, 31, 90, 99

The Iron Age, 57, 86Irradiation, 154Isolated abstractions, education using, 16

JJunior Engineering Technical Society (JETS), 201Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing, 180, 182

KKnow-how, 86Knowledge, 52, 99

cognitive, 14as function of the setting, 31gained from other fields, 50procedural, 14; see also Processes

LLaboratory-classroom, 2, 8, 34; see also individual

Gradesapplying design processes, 120

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Natural world, 138, 140human-made world vs., 23–25, 34

Natural world (continued )modifications to, 23

Nature of technology, Standards 1-3; see underStandards

Negative effects of technology, 57–59environmental, 65, 67, 72, 138impacts of products/systems, 60–61, 134, 135,

137, 138product usage and, 60–61reducing, 72trade-offs with positive effects, 62, 72, 135

Nondurable goods, 187, 190Nonintelligent transportation systems, 181Nonrenewable energy sources, 165Nuclear energy, 158, 165Nutrition, 141

OOpen-loop systems, 39Operation of systems, 132Optimization

as core concept, 33, 42design and, 99the environment and, 65

Organizational culture, 73Organizing, 43Outputs, 38–39, 173

PParents, call to action for, 202–203Patents, 52People resources, 32, 35Perceptual psychology, 148Perfection, design and, 95Performance, process alignment and, 72Permanent structures, 191, 194Personal computers, 56Pharmaceuticals, 141, 147, 155Physical environment, development and, 56Physical models, 124; see also ModelsPlanning, 34, 43Plumbers, 191Political issues, 61, 85–86Pollution, 65Population, movement of, 181Positive effects of technology, 57–59, 135

environmental, 65, 67, 72, 138impacts of products/systems, 134, 137, 138product usage and, 60–61trade-offs with negative effects, 62, 72, 135

Power technologies, Standard 16; see underStandards

Prefabricated construction materials, 196Preservation, of food, 154Preventive medicine, 141, 147Primary users, Technology Content Standards, 18Printing, 166, 169Problem definition, 97–100, 102, 123Problem solving, 5–6, 9, 27, 90

design; see DesignProcedural knowledge, 14; see also Processes

design and, 90Procedures

Resourcefulness, design and, 104–105Resource(s)

constraints, 90as core concept, 32, 35, 42managing, 65, 71–72

Retrieval, 174Reusing, conservation and, 71Robotics, 148Robustness, 33

SSafety, personal, 60Sales, 190; see also MarketingSanitation, 145Science, 44, 52Scientific knowledge, rise of, 79, 84, 86Second Law of Thermodynamics, 165Self-care products, 142Servicing, of products, 187, 189Settings, knowledge as function of, 31Side effects, environmental, 71Signs, 169Skills, 25–26, 52Social landscape, reshaping, 85–86Social priorities, 77Social systems, 42Social world, 140Society; see Technology and societySoil conservation, 71Solutions, to design problems, 92–94, 100,

102Source, 171, 174Specialization, 79, 83Specifications, design, 97–98Spin-offs (technology transfer), 51–52, 63Stability, of systems, 42Standardized competency tests, 3Standards, 3, 4, 14

Std. 1: Characteristics and scope of technology, 23–31

Grades K–2, 24Grades 3–5, 25–26Grades 6–8, 27–28Grades 9–12, 30–31vignette, “Creating a Safer Working

Environment,” 29Std. 2: Core concepts of technology, 32–43

controls, 33, 40Grades K–2, 34Grades 3–5, 35–37Grades 6–8, 38–40Grades 9–12, 41–43optimization, 33, 42, 65

design and, 99processes; see Processesrequirements, 32–33, 36, 39, 42; see also

Designresources, 32, 35, 42systems; see Systemstrade-offs, 5, 33, 39, 42vignette, “The Bicycle as a Vehicle for

Learning,” 37Std. 3: Technology and other fields, 44–54

Grades K–2, 46–47Grades 3–5, 48

communication of, 131construction, 196documentation of, 131surgical, 147

Processes, 49, 173alignment of, 72construction and, 196as core concept, 33, 38–40design and, 90as function of the setting, 31manufacturing, 184–185power systems and, 165

Processing, of information, 168Processing (manufacturing), 184Production, 25, 51; see also ManufacturingProductivity, 124Products, 4, 49–50

assessment of, 33careful consideration of, 57criteria for; see Criteriaenergy use by, 160environmental effects of, 65impacts of, Standard 13; see under Standardsmarket-driven demand for, 31, 73–77meeting needs and wants, 2, 74, 76for problem solving, 27use and maintenance of, 4, 6, 25, 33, 40

Profit motive, 31Proposals, for designs, 97–98Propulsion subsystems, vehicles, 178Protocols, 130Prototypes, 97–98, 99, 105, 124Psychology, perceptual, 148

QQuality/quality control, 42–43, 106, 124

of foods, 149of information/data, 138

RRadiant energy, 165Railways, 180Rapid changes, caused by technology, 62Real-world problems, 9, 42, 90Receiver, 171, 174Receiving, transportation and, 179Recommendations for use, Technology Content

Standards, 18Recycling, 65–67

of agricultural waste, 152, 153conservation and, 71

Reducing, conservation and, 71Refinements, to products, 83, 85Refrigeration, 154Regulations, 73Rehabilitation, 147The Renaissance, 86Renewable energy sources, 165Renovation, 196Requirements

as core concept, 32–33, 36, 39, 42for design, 91, 94, 95, 98, 99, 196

Research and development (R&D), 31, 90, 99, 106–112, 187

Researchers, call to action for, 204–205

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Grades 6–8, 49–50Grades 9–12, 51–52vignettes

“A Hands-on Experience,” 53“Helping Out Stuart Little,” 47

Std. 4: Cultural, social, economic, and politicaleffects of technology, 57–64

ethical issues and, 61, 63Grades K–2, 58Grades 3–5, 59Grades 6–8, 60–61Grades 9–12, 62–63negative effects of technology; see Negative

effects of technologypositive effects of technology; see Positive

effects of technologytechnology transfer (spin-offs) and, 51–52,

63vignette, “Students Plan New Airport Site,”

64Std. 5: Environmental effects of technology,

65–72, 99economic concerns and, 69environmental disasters, 71environmental monitoring, decision making

and, 72Grades K–2, 66Grades 3–5, 67Grades 6–8, 68–69Grades 9–12, 71–72negative effects of technology; see Negative

effects of technologypositive effects of technology; see Positive

effects of technologyprocesses, alignment of, 72vignette, “The Best Bag in Agawam,” 70

Std. 6: Impact of society on technology, 73–78corporate cultures, 78cultural priorities, 77Grades K–2, 74Grades 3–5, 76Grades 6–8, 77Grades 9–12, 78market-driven demand for products, 31, 73–77social priorities, 77societal changes, 77unique technologies, 78vignette, “The Development of the Button,”

75Std. 7: The history of technology, 79–87

Bronze Age, 57, 86evolution of civilization and, 85evolution of inventions/innovations, 83, 85Grades K–2, 80Grades 3–5, 81Grades 6–8, 83–84Grades 9–12, 85–87Industrial Age, 57, 79, 86–87Industrial Revolution, 86–87Information Age, 57, 87, 166Iron Age, 57, 86machines and, 86materials and, 79, 85, 86; see also MaterialsMiddle Ages, 86The Renaissance, 86scientific knowledge, rise of, 79, 84, 86

applications of, 155for commercial products, 154

conservation, 155–156food, 154Grades K–2, 151Grades 3–5, 152Grades 6–8, 153–154Grades 9–12, 155–156vignette, “Hydroponics System,” 157year-round food availability, 151

Std. 16: Energy and power technologies, 158–165

energyas capacity for work, 162conservation, 71, 158, 163, 165defined, 158, 162forms of, 159, 160, 165nonrenewable, 165renewable, 165wasting of, 159, 163

engines performing work, 165Grades K–2, 159Grades 3–5, 160Grades 6–8, 162–163Grades 9–12, 164–165power defined, 162–163power systems, 163, 165trade-offs in, 158vignette, “Developing and Producing a

Product or System Collaboratively,”161

Std. 17: Information and communicationtechnologies, 166–174

communication systems components, 171Grades K–2, 167Grades 3–5, 168–169Grades 6–8, 170–171Grades 9–12, 173–175information defined, 167information transfer, 171, 173–174vignette, “Communicating Through a

Home Page on the Web,” 172Std. 18: Transportation technologies, 174–181

Grades K–2, 176Grades 3–5, 177Grades 6–8, 178–179Grades 9–12, 180–181intermodalism, 180transportation systems, 176vehicles, 176–177, 178

Std. 19: Manufacturing technologies, 182–190Grades K–2, 183Grades 3–5, 184–185Grades 6–8, 186–187Grades 9–12, 189–190manufacturing defined, 182vignette, “A Team Approach to Plastics,”

188Std. 20: Construction technologies, 191–197

Grades K–2, 192Grades 3–5, 193Grades 6–8, 194Grades 9–12, 195–196vignette, “A Look at Energy Efficient

Homes,” 197

specialization, 83Stone Age, 57, 86structures, 83–84technological know-how, 86tools and, 79, 81, 85, 86vignette, “A Time Line Comparison of

Communicating a Message,” 82Std. 8: Attributes of design, 91–98

Grades K–2, 93Grades 3–5, 94Grades 6–8, 95Grades 9–12, 97–98vignette, “Designing a Gift of

Appreciation,” 96Std. 9: Engineering design, 90, 91, 99–105

of agricultural systems, 156Grades K–2, 100Grades 3–5, 102Grades 6–8, 103Grades 9–12, 104–105

Std. 10: Problem-solving approaches, 90, 99,106–112Grades K–2, 107Grades 3–5, 108Grades 6–8, 110Grades 9–12, 111–112vignette, “Navigational Technology,” 108

Std. 11: Applying design processes, 115–125Grades K–2, 116Grades 3–5, 118–119Grades 6–8, 120–121Grades 9–12, 123–124vignettes

“The America’s Cup Challenge,” 125“Building Something to Float,” 117“The Great Paper Car Race,” 122

Std. 12: Use and maintenance ofproducts/systems, 126–132

Grades K–2, 127Grades 3–5, 128Grades 6–8, 130Grades 9–12, 131–132vignette, “Take It Apart,” 129

Std. 13: Impacts of products/systems, 133–138Grades K–2, 134Grades 3–5, 135Grades 6–8, 137Grades 9–12, 138negative effects of technology; see Negative

effects of technologypositive effects of technology; see Positive

effects of technologytrade-offs of use, 135vignette, “Clean Up an Oil Spill,” 136

Std. 14: Medical technologies, 141–148Grades K–2, 142Grades 3–5, 143Grades 6–8, 145–146Grades 9–12, 147–148vignette, “A Pharmacy Connection,” 144

Std. 15: Agricultural and relatedbiotechnologies, 149–157

agricultural waste, 152, 153agriculture as a business, 155artificial ecosystems, 150, 152, 154, 156biotechnology

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Standards for Technological Literacy, 4, 6, 9, 12administrators guidelines, 19assessment of students, 13, 18, 19benchmarks; see Benchmarkscall to action for; see Call to actioncompendium of, 19features of, 13format of, 14, 16, 17listing of, 15overview of, 11–20primary users of, 18recommendations for use, 18standards explained, 14vignettes, 16

Steam engine, 79Stone Age, 57, 86Storage, communications systems, 174Storing process, 179Structural subsystems, vehicles, 178Structures, 83–84Student(s)

assessment of, 13, 18, 19benchmarks; see Benchmarkscall to action for, 201preparing, for technological world, 1–10

Subsidies, government, 73Subsystems, 35, 178, 194Subtle changes, caused by technology, 62Support subsystems, vehicles, 178Surgical procedures, 147Suspension subsystems, vehicles, 178Symbols, 127, 128, 167, 169, 171, 174Synthetic materials, 189–190Systems, 32, 49–50

as building blocks, 42used in buildings/structures, 193, 194closed-loop, 39complex, 43components of, 34as core concept, 32energy use by, 160environmental, 42impacts of, Standard 13; see under

Standardsmissing parts, 35natural vs. human-made, 34open-loop, 39for problem-solving, 27social, 42subsystems, 35, 178, 194systems thinking, 32, 39, 42

TTaxonomy, of technology, 140Techniques, for doing things, 24Technological design; see DesignTechnological diffusion, rate of, 31Technological know-how, 86Technological knowledge; see KnowledgeTechnological literacy, 9–10, 114, 126; see also Call

to actionneed for, 2–4Standard 12; see under Standards

VVaccinations, 142–147Values and beliefs, 73Vehicles, 176–178, 178Vignettes, 16

Standard 1: “Creating a Safer Working Environment,” 29

Standard 2: “The Bicycle as a Vehicle for Learning,” 37

Standard 3:“A Hands-on Experience,” 53“Helping Out Stuart Little,” 47

Standard 4: “Students Plan New Airport Site,” 64

Standard 5: “The Best Bag in Agawam,” 70Standard 6: “The Development of the Button,”

75Standard 7: “A Time Line Comparison of

Communicating a Message,” 82Standard 8: “Designing a Gift of Appreciation,”

96Standard 9: “Can You Help Mike Mulligan?”,

101Standard 10: “Navigational Technology,” 108Standard 11:

“The America’s Cup Challenge,” 125“Building Something to Float,” 117“The Great Paper Car Race,” 122

Standard 12: “Take It Apart,” 129Standard 13: “Clean Up an Oil Spill,” 136Standard 14: “A Pharmacy Connection,” 144Standard 15: “Hydroponics System,” 157Standard 16: “Developing and Producing

a Product or System Collaboratively,” 161

Standard 17: “Communicating Through aHome Page on the Web,” 172

Standard 19: “A Team Approach to Plastics,” 188

Standard 20: “A Look at Energy Efficient Homes,” 197

Virtual presence, 148Visualization, 104–105Visual presentations, 119

WWaste, 42, 65

agricultural, 152, 153breaking down of, 69disposal of, 67of energy, 159, 163management, 68reduction, 69

Water conservation, 71Waterways, 180Work, capacity for, energy as, 162Writing, 166

YYear-round food availability, 151Yield, of foods, 149

Technological studies; see Technology educationTechnological world, preparing for

Standards 11–13; see under Standardstechnological literacy, need for, 2–4

Technology, 2, 9, 22, 23; see also individual topics

Technology and society, 55–88, 99societal expectations of products, 77society defined by technology, 57Standards 4–7; see under Standards

Technology education, 3as an integrator, 6–9profession, 201

Technology Education Collegiate Association (TECA), 201

Technology for All Americans Project, history of, 208–209

Technology Student Association (TSA), 201Technology transfer (spin-offs), 51–52, 63Telecommunications, 167, 169

healthcare delivery and, 141, 148networks, 79

Telemedicine, 141, 148Temporary structures, 191, 194Tests, of products, 83, 85, 97, 103, 119, 121Textbooks, 201Thermal energy, 165Three-dimensional models, 121Time, 32, 35

constraints, 90Tools, 24–26, 32, 34–36

energy use by, 160hand tools, 127as helpful or harmful, 58, 59

product usage and, 60–61the history of technology and, 79, 81, 85, 86medical, 143as parts of ecosystems, 151safely using, 128for systems repair, 130

Trade-offsin choosing energy sources, 158as core concept, 5, 33, 39, 42positive vs. negative effects of technology, 62,

72, 135resource reduction and, 71–72

Transformations, driven by technology, 79Transmitter, 171, 174Transportation

Standard 18; see under Standardssystems, 57, 86–87

Trend analysis, 138Troubleshooting, 32, 90, 106–112, 132Two-dimensional models, 121

UUnloading, 179Use and maintenance of products/systems, Standard

12; see under Standards

Stl standards - [PDF Document] (259)

Stl standards - [PDF Document] (260)

International TechnologyEducation Association

Technology for All Americans Project1914 Association Drive, Suite 201Reston, VA 20191-1539

Phone (703) 860-2100Fax (703) 860-0353Email [emailprotected] ISBN: 1-887101-02-0

Standards forTechnologicalLiteracyContent forthe Study ofTechnology

� ird Edition

Standards for Technological Literacy Content for theStudy of Technology

Stl standards - [PDF Document] (2024)


What is information literacy and technology literacy? ›

Information and Technology Literacy is the ability of an individual, working independently or with others, to use tools, resources, processes, and systems responsibly to access and evaluate information in any medium, and to use that information to solve problems, communicate clearly, make informed decisions, and ...

What is digital literacy in education? ›

Digital literacy is the comprehensive capability to access, manage, comprehend, integrate, communicate, assess, and produce information effectively and securely using digital technologies.

What is ICT in education? ›

Information and Communication Technology, or ICT classroom, integrates digital technologies to enhance learning and teaching processes. Its rise has transformed education significantly by providing access to vast resources, interactive learning platforms, and personalized learning experiences.

What are the big six information literacy skills? ›

This document discusses information literacy and models for teaching it to primary school students. It introduces the Big6 model, which breaks information literacy into six steps: task definition, information seeking strategies, location and access, use of information, synthesis, and evaluation.

What is an example of information technology literacy? ›

For example, a technology-literate individual might use a spreadsheet program to track and analyze data, design a website to share information with others, or create a presentation using multimedia tools.

What are the top 5 problems or challenges in integrating ICT in teaching and learning? ›

Other challenges include lack of effective training, lack of resources, lack of time, lack of technical support and leadership, lack of knowledge and skills, lack of internet, lack of electricity, technical breakdown, low government funding, and lack of an effective strategy for ICT use in teaching and learning .

What are the four types of ICT? ›

Different types of ICTs have been identified in the abstracts provided. These include computers, the internet, broadcasting technologies (such as radio and television), telephony, and digital technologies such as smartphones and tablets.

How to integrate ICT in the classroom? ›

How to Integrate Technology in the Classroom
  1. Power Points and Games. ...
  2. Internet Homework Assignments. ...
  3. Online grading Systems. ...
  4. Classroom Tablets. ...
  5. Listserv. ...
  6. Keeping students engaged. ...
  7. Helps students with different learning styles. ...
  8. Prepare students with life skills.

What is information literacy in simple words? ›

What is Information Literacy? Information literacy is the ability to find, evaluate, organize, use, and communicate information in all its various formats, most notably in situations requiring decision making, problem solving, or the acquisition of knowledge.

What is technology literacy in simple words? ›

Similar to media literacy, technology literacy is the ability to use, understand, manage and assess technology effectively, safely and responsibly. This includes evaluating, creating and integrating information via technology.

What are key differences in information technology and information literacy? ›

Information literacy is understanding what information is fact vs. opinion or affirmation vs information. Understanding citations and sources will help in any intellectual pursuit especially on the internet. Information technology is the storing and moving the data but by itself creates no value.

What is the difference between technological literacy and digital literacy? ›

This distinction is a good example of the difference between someone being technologically literate (i.e. those that have appropriate skills and competence with using technology) and those that are digitally literate (i.e. those that can communicate, manipulate and function comfortably in an immersed digital ...


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