T h e V o i c e o f T e c h n o l o g y E d u c a t i o n
Volume 69 • Number 6
Nathan Hale-Ray High School students with their award winning Connecticut Electrathon vehicle.
I choose Mastercam because:
“With Mastercam, our students learn contemporary design and
machining processes using industry proven software. Learning
experiences that challenge students’ imginations, and then enables
them to bring those new ideas to reality, are what make Mastercam
the right choice in my classroom.”
– Instructor Bruce Freeman of Nathan Hale-Ray High School, Moodus, Connecticut
Mastercam is the software Bruce’s students need to succeed in the classroom and at the competition. Mastercam expertise
is also key to their success in the job market. With industry-proven technology and unparalleled customer support, it is
clear why Mastercam is the most widely-used CAD/CAM software in both industry and education for well over a decade.
Bruce Freeman and his Mastercam class were featured on the cover of Tech Directions, January 2008. To read about their
accomplishments, visit www.mastercam.com/edarticles or contact
our Educational Division toll free at (800) ASK-MCAM.
Charlotte: We've got A LOT planned for you in March!
ITEA’s 72nd Annual Conference in Charlotte, NC on March 18-20, 2010 will address
“Green Technology: STEM Solutions for 21st Century Citizens.” STEM is one of the
hottest topics in education in America right now. Technology education plays a critical
role in helping school districts deliver all aspects of STEM education to students who
are interested in the fields of technology and engineering education.
The Charlotte preliminary program is now online and ready for you to download. Explore
the ITEA conference website to find all you need to know and more about attending
the conference. You can see all the conference details in the ITEA preliminary
program, available at www.iteaconnect.org/Conference/precon.pdf.
This is the ONE educational, professional development,
and networking opportunity event you won't want to miss.
Register now to join ITEA in Charlotte, North Carolina,
March 18-20, 2010 for the 72nd Annual ITEA Conference
and Exhibition. Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity!
Preregistration ends February 1, but you can still join us
by registering on -site
in Charlotte. Find out more today at:
NEW Courses Available from ITEA!
Scientific & Technical Visualization I and II
Scientific & Technical Visualization I and II are 36-week courses focused on the principles, concepts,
and use of complex graphic and visualization tools as applied to the study of science and technology.
Students use complex 2D graphics, 3D animation, editing, and image analysis tools to better understand,
illustrate, explain, and present technical, mathematical, and/or scientific concepts and principles.
Emphasis is placed on the use of computer-enhanced images to generate both conceptual and
data-driven models, data-driven charts, and animations. Science, math, and visual design concepts are
reinforced throughout each course.
This curriculum was originally developed to help North Carolina teachers offer a focused, demanding, and
exciting program of study addressing the core concepts and principles of scientific visualization. Scientific
visualization involves theoretical mathematics, specialized computer programming, and the development
of novel solutions to help scientists visualize and comprehend science problems of the highest order. The
goal for this course is to help high school level students gain experience using a multitude of computer
graphic software, develop problem-solving skills, become independent learners, and acquire the intellectual
confidence required to help them be successful with their post-secondary education.
Scientific & Technical
Scientific & Technical
A d v a n c i n g Te c h n o l o g i c a l L i t e r a c y
A S t a n d a r d s - B a s e d P r o g r a m S e r i e s
InternatIonal technology educatIon assocIatIon
steM±center for teachIng & learnIng
A d v a n c i n g Te c h n o l o g i c a l L i t e r a c y
A S t a n d a r d s - B a s e d P r o g r a m S e r i e s
InternatIonal technology educatIon assocIatIon
steM±center for teachIng & learnIng
1914 Association Drive
Reston, VA 20191-1539
This publication was made possible by the ITEA-steM±ctl Consortium.
For more information contact the
International Technology Education Association
steM±center for teachIng & learnIng.
t e l : (703) 860-2100
f a x : (703) 860-0353
w w w . i t e a c o n n e c t . o r g
1914 Association Drive
Reston, VA 20191-1539
This publication was made possible by the ITEA-steM±ctl Consortium.
For more information contact the
International Technology Education Association
steM±center for teachIng & learnIng.
t e l : (703) 860-2100
f a x : (703) 860-0353
w w w . i t e a c o n n e c t . o r g
Scientific & Technical Visualization 1 Topics:
• Leadership Development
• History and Impact of Scientific & Technical
• Visualization Tools
• Data Visualization
• Static and Dynamic VIsualization
(P242CD) $26.00 / Members $21.00
Scientific & Technical Visualization 2 Topics:
• Leadership Development
• Advanced Tools of Visualization
• Advanced Principles of Visualization
• Advanced Static and Dynamic Visualization
• Advanced Scientific Visualization
• Preparation for the Future
(P243CD) $26.00 / Members $21.00
Print and complete the downloadale order form
and fax it to 703-860-0353
or call 703-860-2100
March • VOL. 69 • NO. 6
What is Green?
Your students are relying on you to prepare them for
the world of work. Don’t let them down.
Exploring Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology
Through simplicity in design and functionality, and most of all environmental friendliness,
hydrogen fuel cells can make a significant contribution as an alternative solution to our
country’s energy dependence on fossil fuels.
David Brus and Doug Hotek
The Systems and Global Engineering Project
Describes the Systems and Global Engineering Project—in which students team up to
develop innovative solutions to problems of global significance.
Henry Harms, David A. Janosz, Jr., and Steve Maietta
President’s Message: Building Opportunities to Transform a Profession
ITEA’s President-Elect shares his beliefs and his intended focus for the coming year.
gARy Wynn, DTE
2010 Leaders to Watch
Publisher, Kendall N. Starkweather, DTE
Editor-In-Chief, Kathleen B. de la Paz
Editor, Kathie F. Cluff
ITEA Board of Directors
Ed Denton, DTE, President
Len Litowitz, DTE, Past President
Gary Wynn, DTE, President-Elect
Greg Kane, Director, ITEA-CS
Joanne Trombley, Director, Region I
Michael A. Fitzgerald, DTE, Director, Region II
Mike Neden, DTE, Director, Region III
Patrick McDonald, Director, Region IV
Michael DeMiranda, Director, CTTE
Andrew Klenke, Director, TECA
Ginger Whiting, Director, TECC
Kendall N. Starkweather, DTE, CAE,
ITEA is an affiliate of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science.
The Technology Teacher, ISSN: 0746-3537,
is published eight times a year (September
through June with combined December/January
and May/June issues) by the International
Technology Education Association, 1914 Association
Drive, Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191.
Subscriptions are included in member dues.
U.S. Library and nonmember subscriptions are
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The Technology Teacher is listed in the Educational
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All subscription claims must be made within 60
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claims will be honored within 60 days from
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Send change of address notification promptly.
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World Wide Web: www.iteaconnect.org
There’s Still Time to
Join Your Colleagues
Preregistration is now closed,
but don’t let that stop you! Onsite registration will be in full swing at
ITEA’s Conference in Charlotte, March 18-20. This year’s theme is “Green
Technology: STEM Solutions for 21st Century Citizens,” and the conference
focus is to increase awareness regarding how we can make strides to sustain
our environment through smart decision making, consumerism, designing,
creating, and using human ingenuity.
ITEA is the “T & E” of a STEM education and the place for you to find out
more about the national direction dealing with STEM education. When
you combine STEM directions, a conference theme on GREEN initiatives,
and the latest practices in the profession all at the same conference, it is THE
place for you to be!
Go to the Preliminary Program at www.iteaconnect.org/Conference/
conferenceguide.htm for complete conference information.
ITEA Continues Its “Green” Efforts
On February 1, ITEA launched a new area of its
website that will be completely devoted to “green”
resources for teaching professionals.
Located at www.iteaconnect.org/Green/green.htm,
this new resource offers information pertaining
to green topics such as food, biodiversity,
environment, energy/power, health, green
building, water resources, transportation, and
green funding. The “green page” also includes green rss feeds, miscellaneous
green resources, articles, presentations, activities, and more.
ITEA’s “Green Page” was launched in conjunction with the theme of
ITEA’s 72nd Annual Conference to be held March 18-20 in Charlotte, NC.
Additional resources are being actively solicited and should be sent to Andy
Stephenson, DTE at email@example.com.
T h e V o i c e o f T e c h n o l o g y E d u c a t i o n
Editorial Review Board
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Andrew Morrison ES, PA
Byron C. Anderson
University of Wisconsin-Stout
Gateway Regonal HS, NJ
Nikolay Middle School, WI
Laura Morford Erli
East Side MS, IN
North Carolina State
Indiana State University
Appalachian State University
Manteo Middle School, NC
Southern Wells HS, IN
Old Dominion University
Anthony Korwin, DTE
NM Public Education
St. Petersburg College
SUNY at Oswego
Kesling MS, IN
MO Department of Education
IL State Board of Education
Mary Annette Rose
Ball State University
Oasis Elementary School, AZ
Delmar MS/HS, DE
Andy Stephenson, DTE
Southside Technical Center,
Appalachian State University
Heritage MS, NJ
As the only national and international association dedicated
solely to the development and improvement of technology
education, ITEA seeks to provide an open forum for the free
exchange of relevant ideas relating to technology education.
Materials appearing in the journal, including
advertising, are expressions of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the official policy or the opinion of the
association, its officers, or the ITEA Headquarters staff.
All professional articles in The Technology Teacher are
refereed, with the exception of selected association
activities and reports, and invited articles. Refereed articles
are reviewed and approved by the Editorial Board before
publication in The Technology Teacher. Articles with bylines
will be identified as either refereed or invited unless written
by ITEA officers on association activities or policies.
California University of PA........................... 34
Engineering byDesign.................................. 36
Goodheart-Willcox Publisher...................... 19
Valley City State University........................... iii
To Submit Articles
All articles should be sent directly to the Editor-in-Chief,
International Technology Education Association, 1914
Association Drive, Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191-1539.
Please submit articles and photographs via email
to firstname.lastname@example.org. Maximum length for
manuscripts is eight pages. Manuscripts should be prepared
following the style specified in the Publications Manual of
the American Psychological Association, Fifth Edition.
Editorial guidelines and review policies are available by
writing directly to ITEA or by visiting www.iteaconnect.org/
Publications/Submissionguidelines.htm. Contents copyright
© 2010 by the International Technology Education
Association, Inc., 703-860-2100.
1 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
Are you planning to attend the ITEA 2010 Charlotte
Conference? Do you want to:
• Become a better teacher?
• Learn how to design the next-generation facility?
• Explore how gaming is being used by technology and
• Receive the professional development that you want, at
the pace that you want, on just about any topic taught
by technology and engineering teachers?
If your answer is “yes,” then the ITEA Charlotte
Conference is the place for you to be.
This year’s theme is “Green Technology: STEM Solutions
for 21st Century Citizens,” and the conference focus is
to increase awareness regarding how we can make strides
to sustain our environment through smart decision
making, consumerism, designing, creating, and using
A sampling of the scheduled presentations include
21st Century learning skills, NASA presentations,
Engineering byDesign workshops, action labs, and the
latest thoughts pertaining to teaching engineering at the
secondary level. If you are into technical topics, consider
presentations on biotechnology, alternative energy topics,
aquaculture, solar technology, robotics, and more. ITEA’s
trade show will provide even more learning, with a whole
new line of products and materials that are now available to
the classroom and laboratory.
Please join us March 18-20 at the Charlotte Convention
Center, to hear your colleagues and experts in your field and
also to participate in over 100 professional development
learning sessions. That’s in addition to educational tours,
workshops, and great networking opportunities. These
offerings will give you real “take home value” that you can
into your classroom
Go to the Charlotte
htm for complete
information. You can
register on-site at
the Registration Booth
Charlotte Convention Center
Photo courtesy of Visit Charlotte
in the Charlotte Convention Center. And don’t forget that
your ITEA membership must be current through March
2010 in order to quality for member rates, which offer
ITEA is the “T & E” of a STEM education and the place
for you to find out more about the national direction
dealing with STEM education. When you combine STEM
directions, a conference theme on GREEN initiatives,
and the latest practices in the profession all at the same
conference, it is THE place for you to be!
EbDLabs in Charlotte
Be sure to check out the Engineering byDesign Labs
(EbDLabs) at the Charlotte conference. These labs are
an excellent opportunity for teachers and other educators
to experience one of the EbD courses in a workshop
environment. Foundational professional development is
provided for each course or instructional component. A
small fee ($25) is requested to cover supplies and can be
paid through the conference registration form. Whether you
are in a Consortium state or not, whether you are currently
teaching an EbD course or just want to find out more—
these workshops are not to be missed. These sessions are
hands-on and minds-on, with the fundamentals necessary
to implement the units or courses.
• The offerings for Thursday, March 18 include
workshops on the following EbD courses: Invention,
Innovation, and Inquiry (I 3 ) (Grades 3–5); Technological
Systems (Grade 8); Foundations of Technology (Grade
9); and Advanced Technological Applications (Grades
• On Friday, March 19, the EbD workshops will cover:
Exploring Technology (Grade 6); Technological Design
(Grades 10–12); and Advanced Design Applications
• And on Saturday morning, March 20, EbD workshops
will be offered on: Technology Starters (elementary) and
Engineering Design (Grades 11–12).
For complete descriptions of this year’s EbDLabs, visit
EbD Booth in Charlotte
Stop by the EbD booth on the vendor floor in Charlotte
at the ITEA Annual Conference, March 18-20, 2010. Take
advantage of this opportunity to speak with teachers and
other educators about implementing EbD in the classroom.
Free raffle and goodies will be available as well. For more
information, contact email@example.com or 703-860-2100.
2 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
STEM News - Calendar
ITEA Continues Its “Green” Efforts
On February 1, ITEA launched a new area of its website
completely devoted to “green” resources for teaching
Located at www.iteaconnect.org/Green/green.htm, this new
resource offers information pertaining to green topics such
as food, biodiversity, environment, energy/power, health,
green building, water resources, transportation, and green
funding. The “green page” also includes green rss feeds,
miscellaneous green resources, articles, presentations,
activities, and more.
ITEA’s “Green Page” was launched in conjunction with the
theme of ITEA’s 72nd Annual Conference to be held March
18-20 in Charlotte, NC. Additional resources are being
actively solicited and should be sent to Andy Stephenson,
DTE at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 12, 2010 The Technology Education Association
of Massachusetts (TEAM) will hold its Annual Curriculum
Development Conference at Fitchburg State College. The
theme of this year’s conference is Invention and Innovation
Using Green Technology. Green Technology encompasses an
evolving group of materials and processes, from generating
energy to construction to nontoxic chemical products. The
conference will feature live presentations, demonstrations,
and hands-on activities that are sure to make you feel right
at home. 6 PDPs are awarded to attendees. Conference and
registration information are available at http://www.awrsd.
March 18-20, 2010 ITEA’s 72nd Annual Conference,
Green Technology: STEM Solutions for 21st Century
Citizens will be held in Charlotte, NC. This conference will
feature a series of presentations about the use of design and
technology to make a better society by using best practices
to deliver education with an eye on 21st Century learning
skills as a basis for our future citizens. Presentations will
address one or more of the following three strands: (1)
Designing the Green Environment, (2) Describing Best
Practices Through Teaching and Learning STEM, and
(3) Developing 21st Century Skills. What better way to
address these issues than through Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education.
March 27, 2010 The Technology Education Association
of Maine (TEAM) will hold its Spring Conference at
Yarmouth High School. Visit http://web.me.com/meteched/
TEAM/Conference.html for additional information.
April 2010 The EPA’s National Design Expo and P3
Sustainable Design Challenge will celebrate its 6th year in
conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day and the
40th anniversary celebration of the founding of the EPA.
The celebration will last for three days on the National Mall
in Washington, DC, and local school groups are invited
to attend, visit the student design-challenge tent, and
meet with engineers, scientists, and business leaders who
are working to develop innovations designed to advance
economic growth while reducing environmental impact.
The Beyond Benign Foundation will be hosting a Classroom
on the Mall at which you can schedule hands-on activities
designed specifically for your students in order to turn this
experience into a standards-based field trip that you can
take back to the classroom. Save the date now and reserve a
school bus for April 19, 2010. You won’t want your students
to miss this opportunity. Find out more about the National
Sustainable Design Expo and the P3 Sustainable Design
Challenge at www.epa.gov/P3/. For more information about
the Classroom on the Mall and to make a reservation for
your class trip, please visit www.p3expo.com/index.html.
April 9-10, 2010 The Ohio Technology Education
Association (OTEA) will hold its Spring Conference at
Worthington Kilbourne High School. Visit www.otea.info/
CONFERENCES.HTML for complete details.
April 14-16, 2010 The New York State Technology
Education Association (NYSTEA) will hold its 2010 Annual
Conference, Setting the Course for Technology Education,
in Poughkeepsie, New York. This will be the first time
NYSTEA has traveled to this historic area along the scenic
Hudson River that is celebrating its 400th Birthday this year.
The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel will be the host (845-485-
5300; www.pokgrand.com). Room Rates are: $110.00 double
occupancy per night (includes breakfast). Please mention
you are with NYSTEA when reserving your room and use
NYTECH as the promotional code. Reservation cut-off
date is March 22, 2010. Additional information and online
registration can be found at www.nystea.com/.
3 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
May 13, 2010 The Connecticut Technology Education
Association Spring Conference will be held at the CCSU
Student Center. Online registration and payment:
May 13-14, 2010 Save the dates for the New Jersey
Technology Education Association (NJTEA) 2010 Spring
Conference and Expo, which will be held at the Dolce
Seaview in Galloway, NJ (www.dolce-seaview-hotel.
com/). This beautiful venue is located just seven miles from
Atlantic City and minutes from the Smithville Shops (www.
smithvillenj.com/). The event will include workshops,
educational tours, recreational events, and more throughout
the weekend. Conference registration information and
programs will be available very soon. Continue to check
www.NJTEA.org for information as it develops.
June 15, 2010 Presenter application deadline for
ITEA’s 73rd Annual Conference, Preparing the STEM
to be held March
24-26, 2011 in
should address one
of the following strands:
• The 21st Century Workforce – Describe the major
characteristics of our future workplace. What STEM
teaching and learning concepts are key in such a
workforce? What will an effective program feature for
students in terms of knowledge learned and expected
outcomes? What will the global workforce look like in
• New Basics – What new content and concepts will be
important in technology and engineering courses of the
future? What will be the new technical skills and how
will they be tied to all STEM subjects? What current
basics will fade? Describe the new courses of the future.
How will STEM teaching and learning change as a
result of the new basics?
• Sustainable Workforce and Environment – How
will the sustainable workforce and environment blend
together in the future? What new technologies and
concepts will join such areas of interest as energy,
resource utilization, manufacturing, and more as a
major focus of STEM education? What educational
policies need to be adjusted to create strong STEM
sustainable education for all?
for additional information and the online application.
June 17-21, 2010 Technological Learning & Thinking:
Culture, Design, Sustainability, Human Ingenuity—an
international conference sponsored by The University of
British Columbia and The University of Western Ontario,
Faculties of Education, in conjunction with the Canadian
Commission for UNESCO—will take place in Vancouver,
British Columbia. The conference organizing committee
invites papers that address various dimensions or problems
of technological learning and thinking. Scholarship is
welcome from across the disciplines including Complexity
Science, Design, Engineering, Environmental Studies,
Education, History, Indigenous Studies, Philosophy,
Psychology, and Sociology of Technology, and STS. The
conference is designed to inspire conversation between
the learning and teaching of technology and the cultural,
environmental, and social study of technology. Learn more
about it at http://learningcommons.net.
June 28-July 2, 2010 Baltimore, MD is the site for
the 32nd Annual National TSA (Technology Student
Association) Conference, TSA, Tomorrow’s Leaders. TSA
members throughout the nation all agree that for them,
the highlight of the school year is unquestionably the
annual national conference. The TSA national conference is
packed with competitive events and challenging activities
that foster personal growth and leadership development.
Visit www.tsaweb.org/2010-National-Conference to
view a conference slide show and access competition and
August 8-11, 2010 The New York State STEM Education
Collaborative will present its 2010 Summer Institute,
STEM: Links to the Future, at State University of New York
at Oswego in Oswego, NY. The conference is coordinated
by STANYS, NYSTEA, ASEE, NYSSPE, and AMTNYS—
professional organizations representing science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics in New York State—and
hosted by SUNY/Oswego’s Department of Technology
and School of Education. Visit www.nysstemeducation.
org/2010Institute.html for complete information.
List your State/Province Association Conference
in TTT and STEM Connections (ITEA’s electronic
newsletter). Submit conference title, date(s), location,
and contact information (at least two months prior to
journal publication date) to email@example.com.
4 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
What is Green?
By Rachel Pokrandt
The alternative technologies that
are needed in the green toolbox
have not yet been invented. Your
students will be the generation
to fill it up.
So you have signed the ITEA pledge to teach green
and you have your “I Teach Green” pin . . . now
what? Well it’s going to be a journey, so strap in and
start here. A brief caveat: I am not, nor have I ever
been a technology teacher but I do consider some of your
finest my friends, and I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express
last night where I ate breakfast off a polystyrene plate with a
plastic fork. So here is some advice from a “struggling to be
green” human being and a “wannabe” technology teacher.
And if you’re short on time, I’ve even provided some “Green
Teaching CliffsNotes” on page 10.
Why You Should Teach Green
From the moment we’re born we start to have an impact
on the environment. We begin to use finite resources, to
create waste, and to pollute the renewable resources that
are ever so delicately balanced. People have a generally
depleting impact upon the resources of the earth, and as we
approach a population count of seven billion, we are seeing
Is your water bottle made from plastic that will persist in the
the negative consequences of that many people on our
environment. Anyone who teaches preteens or teenagers
knows that the urge to procreate is strong, so the ultimate
green act of helping to decrease the population by not
replicating ourselves is probably not going to save us. So
without that solution, how do we chase the mirage that is
green and why should you put energy into it?
Your Impact. A Lesson in Critical Thinking
Everything has an impact on our environment, including
biodiesel, solar energy, and carrying a reusable water bottle.
5 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
Biodiesel can negatively impact the food supply by using
valuable farmland to create fuel instead of food. One billion
of our world’s inhabitants are starving today. Solar panels
are made from highly toxic materials that will create massive
pollution at the end of their use, and your reusable water
bottle is either made from plastics that will persist in the
environment indefinitely or from aluminum that is probably
produced from an Equatorial mine that pollutes water and
harms local people. OK, bear with me—this isn’t going to
turn into a guilt diatribe at the end of which you will say,
“Forget it; I may as well buy a Hummer.” The steps toward
green that we take as we begin to use alternative fuels and
alter the way we behave as consumers are a pivotal part
of our evolution. Remember that while people talk about
saving the earth, we are really talking about saving the
human race. The earth will still exist if people don’t. If we
destroy the elements on the earth that sustain our lives—
drinking water, air that we can breathe, and food that we can
eat—then we destroy ourselves, not necessarily the earth
and everything else on it. The earth will survive, but humans
won’t. And the truth is that we don’t want to just survive, we
want to eat, drink, and be merry!
Your Students Are Ready
We are just awakening to the consequences of
industrialization. Ironically, as we enjoy the benefits of
plastics and aluminum and fossil fuels, we are questioning
their use and striving to invent the next best materials.
Humans are driven by the next best thing—as your students
will be. When I was a classroom teacher, I remember that
the greatest accolade that I could give students was to say
“Wow, I have never seen it done that way.” They are hooked
on innovation, and “greenovation” can be the hook that
makes your classroom more dynamic, your professional life
more rewarding, and at the same time helps your students
see how they can save the world. OK, it sounds a little like a
Miss Universe speech, but go with it! Students get it—this is
the generation that has grown up with the image of the polar
bear struggling to survive on the ever-melting platform of
ice; they have always recycled; and they have always lived
with forest fires. You are negating their life experience if
your green teaching consists merely of a unit you implement
once a year.
Dr. John Warner, coauthor of the twelve principles of green
chemistry, shows an illustration of a regular metal toolbox
that can be found in any garage in the U.S. and I suspect in
the classroom of every technology teacher. The toolbox is
a metaphor for every invention of the industrialized world
that makes modern human existence viable. Anyone seeking
to create a product can go to this toolbox to figure out how
to make a plastic that is durable and malleable, how to make
a conductive coating for a circuit board for your laptop
computer, how to create a medicine, how to power a car,
and how to fly—amazing inventions that have changed
the way we live, made the world smaller, and saved and
improved lives. Then there is the metaphoric “green”
toolbox. A well-meaning person, wishing to create a product
to enhance the way the world lives, may come to this
green toolbox to find a way to make a product in a more
sustainable way—but therein lies the problem. The green
toolbox is largely empty. The alternative technologies that
are needed in the green toolbox have not yet been invented.
Your students will be the generation to fill it up. It is
happening every day. Just go on websites like www.supereco.
com. There you can read about a new toothbrush that helps
squeeze all of the toothpaste out of the tube, a TV remote
that is human-powered—just shake and click—or a jewelry
line that is made from recycled glass. These additions to the
green toolbox are for everyone, and there is a way to think
green no matter what your students are into. That is why
green is a question.
Questioning is Good
Sometimes the human condition leads us to the endless
pursuit of making things without considering whether we
should. Human ingenuity can make a person breathless, and
I am guessing that the excitement of human ingenuity is one
The green toolbox is largely empty. Your students will be the generation
to fill it up.
6 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
of the reasons that you love being a teacher of technology.
But if we are making things that serve us as humans on the
earth, then we should make sure they are indeed serving us.
If we create a material that will ultimately kill us due to its
carcinogenic nature, or pollute our water or food source,
how does that really serve us? The green movement calls
for change, but that doesn’t mean we all need to give up
modern technologies and go and live in a cave. The way we
live will only improve if technology can be harnessed to
create products and processes that give us the services and
design that we want without compromising the health of
the human race.
Green is a question with varying answers and sometimes
no answer at all. I was recently teaching a house-building
unit to a group of teachers at a professional development
workshop. In this unit, students were challenged to build a
house while being asked to consider the materials they used
against the twelve principles of green chemistry. One of the
teachers wanted to know which roofing material was “the
most green” and was incensed by my answer that there is no
“best” material. He insisted that his students would want to
know which one to choose, and again I had to explain that
he wouldn’t be able to tell them. You see, there is a great
new product on the market that allows roof insulation with
a sod-like material that is low-cost, insulating, renewable,
and literally green. It works great on the east coast where
rain is plentiful and snow is not. However, where I live—a
high desert environment in the Rocky Mountains—the grass
roof would be terrible for the environment, as it requires
massive amounts of water (a resource that is like gold in
the Southwest) and holds snow in a way that could cause
the roof to cave in. So green is a question. It is a question of
location, resources, people, environment, and money.
Your Students are Relying on You to Prepare Them
for the World of Work. Don’t Let Them Down
Students without tools to join the green revolution are being
shortchanged and will ultimately be left behind. Corporate
America is embracing green building, green chemistry,
green engineering, and sustainability because there is money
to be made and saved by using these concepts, and it feels
good—secondary, but still important. In Michigan, once
the most industrial state in the union, government and
industry alike are embracing green as their salvation from
unemployment and underemployment. With an industrially
skilled workforce whose industry is fleeing to other parts of
the world, Michiganders are realizing that their new strength
will be making the stuff that serves the needs of the worlds’
consumers—but making that stuff BETTER. To learn more
about green chemistry efforts and workforce development in
Michigan, go to www.michigan.gov/deqgreenchemistry.
The green movement shouldn’t be about living in a cave
and eating tree bark and wearing a gunny sack—it should
be about being cool and innovative and trendy and cutting
edge and BETTER. Our kids can do this—you see it every
day in your classroom. Green is a struggle much like the way
you changed your own behavior by learning to recycle or
bringing your mug to the local coffee shop or bringing cloth
bags with you to the store. So be easy on yourself—start
to use resources that incorporate green questions, and set
goals for your students.
Make a Statement
If you announce at the beginning of the year that your
classroom is green and put up posters (email me and I’ll
send you some) to that effect, your students will keep you
honest. They will question your methods and practices,
and you will have to be willing to be caught out often. A
student loves nothing better than to catch his or her teacher
messing up. Green is a new way of thinking, and new ways
of thinking take a generation to change. It always starts in
the K-12 setting, and you are responsible for it! Though keep
in mind that you don’t have to be perfectly green to talk the
talk in your classroom. If green remains a question, you will
be doing a lot of self-evaluating in time as you use green to
innovate. Be easy on yourself—we are right there with you!
Using Green as a Question
As green really has no end point, your goal should be to
teach students to question and consider green. Teach them
what green is and then constantly look at the way they do
everything using a green compass. Continually ask yourself,
“How does this thing that I’m making, activity that I am
engaged in, or concept that I’m thinking about, stack up to
the principles of green?” Below are several useful metrics to
help you answer the green question.
Metric #1: The Twelve Principles of Green
* A special note on why chemistry matters to you and your
students: You make stuff, and chemists make the molecules
that make the stuff that you make stuff out of. Technology
is where molecules synthesized by chemists are made into
products that enhance the human experience. We are in bed
together for better or worse—let’s make the sheets green!
Metrics are unavoidable for teachers. We have metrics for
students and metrics for teachers, and we need a metric
for green. If you say you are a great teacher of technology,
do you just instantly get that DTE designation? No, you
must prove you are a great teacher of technology with
7 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
your portfolio of work and your activity in ITEA. The
twelve principles of green chemistry are a metric for
green. Green is about raising all of the expectations of a
generation of students.
Using the metric that is offered in the twelve principles
of green chemistry, your students can design in a greener
way. Remember that two of the most important principles
of green chemistry are efficacy and economics. Green is
cheapened if it involves designing a process or product that
doesn’t work as well and is exponentially more expensive.
Green should be inherently better, not just greener.
1. Pollution Prevention
Does the creation of this product or process create
2. Atom Economy
Does everything that goes into this product or process
get incorporated in the final product, or am I creating
3. Less Hazardous Synthesis
Could I make this product or conduct this process in a
way that makes it safer for people or the environment?
4. Design Safer Chemicals
Am I designing products and processes that are safe for
people and the environment?
5. Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries
Could I use any materials in my product or processes
that have less impact on human health or the
6. Energy Efficiency
Am I using the least energy possible in my creation of
this product or process?
7. Renewable Feedstocks
What is the lifecycle of this product or process, and
could I use materials that are renewable?
8. Reduce Derivatives
Have I reduced waste as much as possible in this
product or process?
Have I used a renewable catalyst to create a product or
process rather than a toxic chemical?
10. Design for Degradation
Am I designing a product that will biodegrade in the
environment after its useful life?
11. Real-Time Analysis
What plan do I have in place to constantly monitor
my process and make sure I am doing it in the best way
12. Accident Prevention
Have I designed a process and product that reduces the
possibility of accidents occurring when workers might
be making it in a manufacturing facility?
Metric #2: The Sustainability Triangle
What is sustainability? Everyone seems to be using that
word lately. Sustainability, in fact, is meeting the needs of
current generations without compromising the needs of
future generations. Most people, when they see the word
sustainability, immediately jump to visions of the trees
and the rainforests and everything environmental, but
sustainability, in its true form, is a larger concept—the
sweet spot between concern with the environment, social
equity, and economics. You can’t save the rainforests
unless it makes financial and social sense, so looking
at environmental responsibility through the “three Es”
of sustainability is essential. For a full explanation of
how to use the sustainability grid below, check out the
“Measuring Sustainability” lesson at www.beyondbenign.
org/K12education/highschool.html. Here you can learn
how to use this triangle in your classroom to get students to
evaluate everything they do in terms of sustainability and to
show them that sustainability has to happen in a way that is
positive for the economy, people, and the environment.
Metric #3: The Nine Principles of Green
1. Engineer processes and products holistically, use
systems analysis, and integrate environmental impact
Am I looking at everything I am doing in regard to
2. Conserve/improve ecosystems while protecting
human health and well-being.
Am I helping the environment and society when I am
creating a product or process?
8 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
3. Use life-cycle thinking in all engineering activities.
Have I considered where the materials I am using
come from and where they end up when we are
finished using them?
4. Ensure all material and energy inputs and outputs are
as inherently safe and benign as possible.
Am I creating a product and process that are safe for
the environment and humans?
5. Minimize depletion of natural resources.
Have I considered whether the product or process I am
developing or using is deleting natural resources in an
6. Strive to prevent waste.
Have I looked at my product and every step of my
process to make sure I have prevented the creation of
7. Develop and apply engineering solutions while
being cognizant of local geography, aspirations, and
Have I considered local resources and thinking in my
process or product?
8. Create engineering solutions beyond current or
dominant technologies; improve, innovate, and
invent (technologies) to achieve sustainability.
Have I thought out of the box about the way I have
decided to produce or design my product or process?
Maybe I can think about doing it in a way that has
not been thought of before.
9. Actively engage stakeholders in development of
Who else could I ask to help me make my product or
process more sustainable?
Metric #4: Toxicity and Impact on the Environment
If you do nothing else, you can do this: just have your
students consider toxicity and impact on the environment
of everything they design or make. Don’t change any of
the units you already teach. Don’t add a dedicated green
unit, don’t go onto the Beyond Benign website at www.
beyondbenign.org and download our hands-on curriculum
units for free. (Okay, I admit that was a shameless plug.)
All you have to do to each of the already exciting and
inventive curriculum units that you use is to add the
consideration of toxicity and impact on the environment.
What if each student had to consider toxicity and impact
on the environment every time he or she considered,
designed, developed, or created a material or process
in your classroom? You can extend the cross-curricular
learning aspects even further by asking students to write
evaluations of these aspects of their work.
Metrics are important. Technology and engineering teachers
often struggle to prove the worth of their classroom work
in comparison to subjects like math and English, so connect
your green themes to the technology standards. The STL
(ITEA 2000/2002/2007) technology and society standards
are a natural fit with green concepts. The standards in this
section relate directly to the concepts of sustainability,
incorporating concepts of economy and social equity
into their core. The design standards are directly relatable
to everything you read in the twelve principles of green
chemistry and engineering, and Standard 13, “assessing the
impacts of products and systems,” can be woven through
every unit you do using the questioning pertaining to
toxicity and impact on the environment.
You are Uniquely Positioned to Make an Impact
As teachers of technology, you don’t have to just talk about
green—you can “do” green. So much of green flows in the
minds and hearts of well-meaning people and policy wonks,
but this is not where green happens. You have a chance
to actually do green through technology. My dad worked
at a coal-fired power plant, and he never let us forget that
each time we switched on a light or made a cup of coffee,
someone had made the electricity that made those actions
possible. He taught us to relentlessly turn off lights and
save energy. He did those things not because he was into
green, but because he cherished the technology, materials,
and people power that had created the electricity, and he
knew how precious it was. People who make materials and
work with technology are uniquely placed to cherish the
product and process that are brought to us, and this will
naturally lead to responsible action and better design for
I regularly work with math and science teachers who are
envious of your opportunity to teach science and math in
technology and engineering’s uniquely hands-on way. You
are uniquely positioned to teach green. You could move the
green revolution along in a way that no other teachers have
the opportunity to do.
A Few Words of Caution
centricity. The very real threat of climate change is
often a difficult sell to students, and even though it is a vital
part of the discussion of green, it can be a difficult message
and not a very dynamic one. If you only teach a unit on
green energy and CO 2
emissions, you are not teaching
green. Pollutants kill people and ecosystems all over the
world on a daily basis. Consideration of toxic materials and
processes is a part of green that is vital in order for us to
9 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
e better human beings. This can often be a much more
compelling message to students, as it is more personal
and immediate for us all than what we will do when there
are no more polar bears. As much as we all love a polar
bear, they are not part of our everyday experience—people
are, and everyday examples of green issues can galvanize
students in a way that polar ice cap melt may not, but with
the same outcomes. Teach about energy usage and fossil
fuel emissions through the year, but don’t make it your only
Don’t buy any lesson plans. Question any textbook that is
written to address teaching green. Green is happening every
day, and way before that book has even gone to print it will
be outdated. Use what you already know, and do everything
through that new lens. Use free web resources and the
ingenuity of yourself and your students to teach green.
You already teach units about design and creating
products and processes that serve society—just add a
green lens to those projects. A great example of this is
ITEA’s Invention, Innovation, and Inquiry (I 3 ) Project.
There is one unit in which students design gadgets in
5th and 6th grades in order to explore the concept of
inventions. Use this existing unit to have students think
about the materials they are using to design their gadget
or how much energy their gadget might use, or to look
at the lifecycle of the object they create. There is a unit
on building design and the strength of beams that could
easily incorporate building materials and energy-efficiency
considerations. And another one on transportation
that could incorporate a look at the use of fossil fuels in
infrastructure. You don’t need to stop and teach something
completely new, because what you teach as educators in
technology already lends itself so well to these topics; just
do it all a little differently.
The Last Item on Your “To Do” List: See Dr. John
Warner Speak in Charlotte!
This month, at ITEA’s annual conference in Charlotte, my
mentor in all things green, Dr. John Warner, author of the
twelve principles of green chemistry, will speak. Be there!
John is our blue collar chemist—a Princeton Ph.D. who
has the unique ability to take chemistry out of the musty
research lab and into your heart. He connects chemistry to
making stuff, and that is why, when he speaks, I finally feel
like I know something about chemistry—a subject almost
universally hated by all but a few people who ever made it
through high school. Dr. Warner makes chemistry sexy and
understands that technology teachers are uniquely placed to
provide a conduit for the teaching of green chemistry, and
he believes that green will happen in the design, production,
and development of products and materials that enhance
the human experience.
Anastas, P. T. & Warner, J. C. (1998). Green chemistry:
Theory and practice. New York: Oxford University Press.
International Technology Education Association.
(2000/2002/2007). Standards for technological literacy:
Content for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.
Green Teaching CliffsNotes:
1. Ask your students to consider toxicity and impact
on the environment every time they design or make
2. Remember, green is about people and money as
well as the rainforests and ice caps!
3. Be easy on yourself. . .we are all struggling to get
green right, but don’t wimp out on the struggle.
Rachel Pokrandt has been developing
multidisciplinary sustainable science
curricula for middle and high school
students for seven years, working on
programs with Pfizer, the U.S. Department
of Energy, NASA, DuPont, and DOW
Chemical. Rachel has been involved
in Green Chemistry Education through the “Recipe for
Sustainable Science” and “Solutions in Green Chemistry”
programs of Beyond Benign and has trained over 340
teachers in the use of these materials through summer
institutes and weekend workshops in the U.S., Ireland,
England, and Puerto Rico. Prior to her curriculum
development work, Rachel was a classroom teacher for seven
years. She can be reached via email at rachel_pokrandt@
Beyond Benign is a nonprofit organization that provides
open access to education materials as well as teacher,
industry, and community training in sustainability and green
chemistry. Please visit our website (www.beyondbenign.org)
for numerous free lesson plans and to find out where and
when you could attend a training.
Many thanks to “Team Pachera” for letting me be an
honorary technology teacher! You know who you are.
10 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
Resources in Technology
A Place to Stay: Building Green
By Walter F. Deal
Efficiencies, economies, and
impacts on the environment can
be readily realized through careful
A Look at the Past: Introduction and History
Nearly all living things may be called artisans, designers,
and builders. We need only to look around us in our
environment. We can see that birds, animals, insects,
and marine or aquatic life build “homes” for many of the
same reasons that humans do. We can see nests of all
kinds, burrows, and tunnels that are carefully designed
using the materials that nature has provided in an efficient
and resourceful manner. They provide many of the same
benefits that we, as humans, expect from our homes. These
expectations include shelter from the weather—to keep us
warm and provide a measure of safety. In the case of many
animals, shelter also provides a measure of protection
Looking back in time, the earliest of humans were thought
to have been cave or cliff dwellers and nomads. Ancient
artifacts reveal that in many parts of the world early
humans were hunters and gatherers of food as a means
of survival. Nomadic peoples traditionally designed and
constructed tents from animal hides, wool, and other
natural materials. No matter what the societal organization
was at the time, whether cave dweller or nomad, the focus
of shelter needs was a natural process and complementary
to the environment. Cave and cliff dwellers may have
changed the properties of a cave or cliff to more readily
meet their needs or perhaps added a fire pit to generate
warmth, roast food, or fire ceramic wares, but their impact
was probably minimal.
Much like humans, animals and insects construct structures
to meet their needs. Look at a squirrel’s nest and you will
see that it consists of leaves and twigs that are carefully
assembled to tie the nest to the limbs of a tree for warmth
and security. Many species of birds are magnificent builders
that use materials close at hand and readily available to
build nests. Some birds will use twigs and needle-like leaves
from pine trees, while others may make a composite of
dried grasses and mud that makes for a strong and durable
nest. Yet other large birds of prey may use large and heavy
sticks to build a nest, while a sparrow prefers the soft texture
of lichens. In the end, most all of these animal structures
complement the ways of nature and are reclaimed in time or
even recycled and used by other birds!
In time, humans began to develop societal organizations
that eventually would become what we know as towns and
cities. As people began to develop societal organizations,
we can see an increase in the sophistication in the design of
their structures. Some of the oldest structures that remain
are very impressive—such as the Great Pyramids in Giza,
the Roman Coliseum, and the Parthenon of Greece, built
on the Acropolis in Athens. Stonehenge, a massive circular
megalithic monument on the Salisbury Plain in southern
England, is the most famous of all prehistoric structures
While many of these famous structures still survive, most
were temples or monuments recognizing rulers and elite
classes of the past. However, the Greeks are noted for their
focus on the comforts of the living. They used their time
and resources to invent what we call necessities today—
such as flush toilets and running water. (Ross, p. 36) Today
there are few remains of dwellings used by common folk
from ancient times. What we do know is that early humans
11 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
made extensive use of natural materials that were readily
available to them. Additionally, many early dwellings
capitalized on the passive nature of the sun’s energy,
geography, and climate.
As the world’s population grew, there also was an increase
in the demand for buildings and homes. Perhaps the
industrial revolution may have, in part, been responsible
for the change in the way that homes and buildings were
constructed. During the industrial revolution, the engines
of industry expanded their quest for technology and energy.
The invention of the steam engine, discovery of low-cost
petroleum, improvements in coal mining, and the invention
of rail transportation helped provide an environment that
changed the way that people designed and constructed
buildings and other products because of the benefits of
Buildings and homes could be built in climates that were
cold and seemingly inhospitable because they could be
heated with wood, coal, and oil. Energy supplies seemed to
be limitless, and little thought was given to the impact that
the extractive and refining processes of fossil fuels would
have on the environment and geography. This would change
in time as the price of energy increased and it was realized
that consuming large quantities of fossil fuels could prove
costly and damaging to the environment.
Construction can be defined as the planning and design
of structures for shelter and meeting human and other
needs. The primary purpose of construction is to build
structures that provide shelter and storage, transportation,
and utilities that service the day-to-day activities of people.
Today we see a much broader description of construction.
We see such terms as sustainable construction, green
building, climate change, and environmentally friendly
building being used in defining and describing building and
construction projects. As we look more closely at how these
terms are being used, we can see that they address building
processes and practices that are resource-efficient and
environmentally responsible in the planning, design, and
construction of structures as well as their demolition at the
end of their life cycle. We see that the key elements highlight
the resources and the environment and are consistent with
traditional building activities where durability, economy,
utility, and comfort have been major concerns. “Green
building is ultimately about the relationship of a house and
its occupants to the world around them. It’s a process of
design and construction that fosters the conservation of
energy and other natural resources and promotes a healthy
environment” (Johnson & Scott p. 6). Reflect if you will, on
the example of shelter practices of early humans and animals
when building materials were selected based on availability
and compatibility with their needs and the environment.
Typically, construction activities and projects are classified
into three major areas. These areas include commercial
and residential construction, industrial construction, and
civil construction. Shopping centers, office buildings,
malls, and homes are examples of commercial and
residential construction projects (Figure 1). Typically,
these kinds of projects are located on sites based on the
availability and cost of property, zoning ordinances, and
demand or need. Transportation access is an important
consideration for these kinds of projects. Retail and office
commercial building locations require access to easy
modes of transportation for consumer access and delivery
of goods and services. Historically, commercial buildings
were located in the central parts or business districts of
cities, with residential areas close by on the periphery of
the business districts. Easy transportation to and from the
business areas was convenient and accessible. With the
invention of the automobile and the mobility it brought
about, large numbers of people were able to move away
from central cities and towns. This was an outward
migration of people that would change the landscape into
a system of roads and highways that would have a major
impact on land use and development. However, today we
see that many commercial developments and projects are
being constructed near residential communities as part
of planned community development where residences,
businesses, and certain types of industries are developed—
for example, planned communities with sustainable
Figure 1. Today many homes are built in planned communities
called subdivisions. Subdivisions include water, sewer, electrical
utilities, and site development that address road and street systems
as well as drainage. Shown here is a newly constructed home that
employs contemporary energy-saving features such as efficient
insulation, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, appliances,
12 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
approaches where living, working, and recreation are
integrated into a community that highlights benefits of
central cities and suburban living and is complementary
with the environment.
Most communities have some type of planning board
that addresses planning and development needs of the
community. Today we see that, in addition to planning and
Figure 2. Building codes and sustainability boards provide a
framework for planning and designing integrated land-use
principles to complement residential and business activities within
a community. Multifamily homes provide many of the same
features and conveniences of single family homes, but do so with a
smaller land-use footprint.
development, such boards address sustainability needs
and concerns. Planning and sustainability boards typically
promote integrated land use planning and development that
is based on sustainability principles and practices. (Figure 2)
Sustainability boards also develop and implement policies
and programs that provide environmental, economic, and
social benefits to residents, businesses, and government,
which can strengthen a community’s position as a model of
sustainable practices for its residents and commerce partners.
Planned communities capitalize on modest land use and
minimal conflict with the surrounding environment.
Figure 2 illustrates multifamily construction practices
that highlight efficient use of the property with off-street
parking and streets with water run-off capture capabilities
that minimize road run-off into streams and rivers that
degrade these waters. Additional features that we now see
in planned communities are strategies to reduce the impact
and inconvenience of animal wastes along sidewalk areas
and activity areas (Figure 3) bike routes, and walkways for
joggers and pedestrians.
Building Codes—The Purpose of Code Compliance
The purpose of building codes is to protect the general
safety, welfare, and health of the public in buildings and
other regulated structures. Building codes are regulations
that govern minimal acceptable construction practices and
materials used in the construction of buildings. There are
four major code compliance areas. This includes the building
code such as the BOCA or Building Officials Code and
Administrators code, electrical code NEC (National Electrical
Code), plumbing, and mechanical codes. Usually, a locality
will adopt a national or regional code standard and amend it
as appropriate to meet local needs and requirements.
Building codes are very important documents when
considering new and innovative building materials,
appliances, practices, and techniques. Approvals and
variances are required on new construction projects or
renovations that incorporate materials and practices not
identified or addressed in building code regulations. This
becomes an issue when a material such as recovered or
recycled lumber or other material is selected and intended
for use as part of a green building project.
Figure 3. Thoughtful planning and design for consumers and the
environment alike can result in benefits for both. Walkways, bike
paths, and receptacles for animal waste are designed to meet the
lifestyles and needs of area residents. Shown here is an animal
waste receptacle along a walkway.
Defining Green Construction
Today we see a paradigm shift in planning and developing
green construction projects. Building green does not
necessarily mean major sacrifices in comfort, convenience,
or even safety in the design and construction of homes or
buildings. Minor changes in site planning and layout can
significantly alter water runoff and eliminate subsequent
13 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
pollution issues. Orienting a home or building so that
there is a passive solar gain in the wintertime can reduce
heating costs. Roof overhangs can provide shading in the
summertime and can offer budget savings on energy costs.
The net impact reduces heating and cooling costs for the
Homes and buildings should be viewed as systems. There
are a number of subsystems that are part of the building
system. These may include the site, foundation, framing,
roof, electrical, ventilation—heating and cooling, door
and window systems, insulation, plumbing, and even the
landscaping details. Each of these systems contributes to
the overall building design, form, and function. Efficiencies,
economies, and impacts on the environment can be readily
realized through careful planning. The addition of efficient
heat pumps or geothermal heating and cooling systems can
provide comfortable interiors at lower energy costs and
impact on the environment. Solar panels and photovoltaic
arrays can provide heat and electricity. Figure 4 shows a rooftop
solar installation that was retrofitted to an older home.
Door and window construction, along with building
insulation, can provide significant savings and comfort.
Doors, windows, and insulation renovations can provide
savings to existing homes and are not limited to new
construction work. Windows and doors make a significant
visual impact on a building and its energy costs. Traditional
single-pane windows have little insulating value but may have
significant visual appeal. Changing window specifications
to Energy Star-rated windows with reflective coatings can
provide the same visual appearance while providing good
“R-Value” and energy cost efficiency. Today we see windows
with Energy Star ratings that rival wall “R-Values.” Products
and appliances that have Energy Star ratings may qualify
for special tax incentives that encourage their use. Figure
5 shows typical savings benefits of Energy Star windows as
compared to traditional single-pane windows.
Figure 5. Building or upgrading green can provide savings on
energy costs such as shown in this chart comparing single-pane
windows to double-pane windows. The annual cost reductions can
be significant. Performance may vary according to local weather
patterns and conditions (Screen Capture energystar.gov).
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced
that market share of Energy Star new construction homes
was nearly 17% for 2008. There are strict guidelines for
homes that are Energy Star rated. The guidelines include the
following areas (EPA):
• Effective Insulation Systems
• High-Performance Windows
• Tight Construction and Ducts
• Efficient Heating and Cooling Equipment
• ENERGY STAR Qualified Lighting and Appliances
Figure 4. With increasing energy costs, alternative energy resources
become more attractive as a cost efficiency and environmental
benefit. Shown here is a solar panel array for heating hot water.
A substantial portion of a home energy budget is consumed by
heating water. This solar array provides heat energy for home
heating and hot water usage.
What are the benefits of Green Construction? Consumers
can see the benefits of green construction and Energy
Star-rated homes through reduced utility costs while
reducing the carbon footprint. Reduced heating and
cooling costs can be realized immediately. Energy Star
appliances such as washing machines, clothes dryers,
water heaters, faucets, and toilets consume less water and
energy, which provides further economic benefits to the
consumer and environment.
Johnson and Gibson provide a perspective about building
14 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
What we alternately call green building or sustainable
building is a way for people to make a positive difference
in the world around them—if not reversing, then at least
reducing the impact of humankind on the planet. Not
coincidently, it has its own practical rewards on a scale
that all of us can immediately understand. If becoming
model citizens of Planet Earth is too much to get our
arms around, living in healthier, more comfortable
houses that are less expensive to operate and last longer
is certainly an attractive idea (Johnson and Scott, p. 5).
As we look at the benefits in building green, we can see
that there are benefits to people as well as the environment.
By making good planning and design choices in preparing
to construct buildings or renovating and maintaining
buildings, we can realize a cost saving and at the same time
reduce and perhaps improve our environment.
The following activity addresses Standards for Technological
Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology (ITEA,
2000/2002/2007) Standards 5 and 20.
Students will develop an understanding of the effects of
technology on the environment (p. 65).
The management of waste produced by technological
systems is an important societal issue. (p. 68)
Decisions to develop and use technologies often
put environmental and economic concerns in direct
competition with each other. (p. 69)
Humans can devise technologies to conserve water,
soil, and energy through such techniques as reusing,
reducing, and recycling. (p. 71)
When new technologies are developed to reduce
the use of resources, considerations of tradeoffs are
important. (p. 71)
With the aid of technology, various aspects of
the environment can be monitored to provide
information for decision making. (p. 72)
The alignment of technological processes with natural
processes maximizes performance and reduces
negative impacts on the environment. (p. 72)
Humans devise technologies to reduce negative
consequences of other technologies. (p. 72)
Students will develop an understanding of and be able to
select and use construction technologies (p. 191).
Modern communities are usually planned according
to guidelines. (p.193)
The selection of designs for structures is based
on factors such as building laws and codes, style,
convenience, and function. (p. 194)
Buildings generally contain a variety of subsystems.
The design of structures includes a number of
requirements. [Common design restraints used by
engineers and architects in the design of structures
include style, convenience, safety, and efficiency.]
Home Energy Audit and Green Recommendations
Today, home sales and home construction are at a nearly
all-time low because of the housing bubble in 2008 and
2009. Residential construction is at nearly a standstill, with
few homes being planned or built because of the downturn
in the economy. However, according to the Environmental
Protection Agency, there is a significant interest in green
home construction, which is actually taking place even in
difficult economic times.
The current housing market may be poor in many areas of
the nation and other parts of the world. However, as we talk
about green building and construction, we also begin to see
that “going green” can be realized through simple no-cost
or low-cost activities that we can undertake to reduce living
costs. Specifically, the consumption of energy represents a
major cost to those persons who live in homes, apartments,
and condominiums. A simple energy audit can reveal
important savings to the family budget. Economies in home
operation and maintenance can be realized by analyzing
how and where energy is being used inefficiently and
perhaps in a wasteful manner. Additionally, our energy audit
can reveal where simple enhancements and maintenance
activities can pay dividends to the family budget and the
15 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
The task is to conduct an energy audit of each student’s home,
apartment, or place where he or she stays. As a team, students
will develop an energy audit survey that addresses each of
the major building code compliance areas, e.g., building,
mechanical (heating and cooling), electrical, and plumbing. It
is important to emphasize that the energy audit is noninvasive
and is an “observe and record” process.
Getting started in preparing an energy audit checklist can
begin with the typical building code compliance areas to
organize audit categories. Under the building code area,
drafts and poorly weather-stripped openings such as doors
and windows are a major concern. The mechanical or
heating and cooling compliance area could address air filters
and thermostat settings—both heating and cooling—as
appropriate. The electrical compliance area can be addressed
through a plan for reducing electricity consumption with
a “turn the lights off when not using a room” reminder,
reviewing the lightbulb wattages as needed. Make
recommendations and comparisons with CFLs (compact
fluorescent lamps) and Energy Star-rated appliances. The
plumbing area deserves attention too. Leaking or dripping
faucets and toilets that continue to leak after the tank is
full are representative of big water users that can easily be
maintained and repaired and reduce water consumption.
Green building is not limited to how energy is used or
buildings constructed but also what we do with waste
materials. There are many waste materials that can be
recycled or recovered. Materials such as paper, cardboard,
and other paper products can be recycled or repurposed.
Plastic containers can be recycled and recovered and
processed into new materials and building products.
Just as a professional auditor would do, student auditors should
plan their audit form carefully and conduct the audits in a safe
and professional manner. The energy auditors should prepare a
written report that identifies and prioritizes recommendations
that would be shared with the family. For example, the report
could address what or where the “big energy” users are. Make
recommendations how to reduce the home energy picture
without making big sacrifices in comfort and convenience
to family members but also to realize budget savings and
improvement of the environment. It is recommended that
the audit teams visit websites such as the U. S. Department
of Energy’s Energy Saver website (www.energysavers.gov/) to
learn how to conduct an energy saver audit.
Shelter has been a concern of humans and animals alike
for the millennia. Animals, through their natural instincts,
build nests and shelters to meet their needs for protection
against predators and seasonal changes in the weather. Early
humans sought shelter in caves and cliff dwellings and later
began to design and build shelters based on the availability
of natural materials. With the discovery and development
of concentrated forms of energy such as fossil energy
resources, humans began to design structures to suit their
needs and comfort.
The influence of increasing energy prices and the prospect
of climatic changes has caused people to design buildings
and structures that are more energy efficient and less
intrusive on the environment. Today there are incentives
to building construction projects that emphasize “green”
materials and efficiencies. Interestingly enough, “going
green” does not mean enduring hardships or lessening of
the convenience and comfort that we have come to expect in
modern homes and buildings. Building codes and practices
are being developed that foster intelligent use of materials
and resources to design and build desirable and energy
efficient buildings and structures.
Info Please. Famous buildings and structures, prehistorical
and ancient. Retrieved: January 2, 2010, from www.
Ross, David A. (1994). Construction in technology education,
43rd Yearbook, Council on Technology Teacher Education.
Peoria, IL: Glencoe Division, McMillian/McGraw-Hill.
Johnson, David & Gibson, Scott. (2008). Green from the
ground up. Newtown, CT: The Taunton Press.
International Technology Education Association.
(2000/2002/2007). Standards for technological literacy:
Content for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.
EPA, United States Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d.).
EPA announces energy star homes reach nearly 17 percent
market share for 2008. Retrieved January 2, 2010, from
Chart Screen Capture – Upgrade to Energy Star. Retrieved
January 10, 2010, from www.energystar.gov/ia/products/
Walter F. Deal, PhD is an adjunct associate
professor and Emeriti at Old Dominion
University in Norfolk, Virginia. He can be
reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
16 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
The Dynamic Greenhouse
By Harry T. Roman
Can this dynamic state be
Greenhouses are marvelous devices, allowing one to enjoy
the flower spectacle of summer all year round. At night,
greenhouses use supplemental heat to keep the fragile
plants warm. Usually a greenhouse has a large volume
above the plants that is not used. Could this volume be
somehow utilized? The idea here is to envision a multilevel
arrangement of greenhouse plants that are exposed to the
sun during the midday warmth by having the greenhouse
structure itself unfold, roll back, or somehow transform
its shape so all the plants inside experience sun on a warm
day—then refold back up during the night into a compact
energy-saving arrangement. This is what I mean by a
Over the last 30 years, greenhouse technology has
undergone many changes, with the structures being
automated and monitored and low-cost plastic structures
emerging as a serious challenge to traditional glass
greenhouse designs. Low-cost greenhouses use plastic
sheeting instead of expensive glass and also employ
various energy-saving devices to keep the heat of the day
retained as much as possible at night, using only a fraction
of the supplemental heat. This design challenge is about
developing an idea for a new type of greenhouse, one
that opens (perhaps like a flower or some sort of opening
structure) and closes at night—effectively increasing the
volume of plants under protective cover at night, through an
efficient packing process.
Usually a greenhouse has a large volume above the plants that is
Our first stop is to search the Internet and the library/
school media center for an update on where greenhouse
technology is today. There are plenty of greenhouse builders
and designers out there to get some basic information about
what is currently being offered. A variety of colleges with
agricultural programs in place are also places to learn about
17 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
greenhouse design and innovative practices. It may also be
worth a road trip to a nearby greenhouse or greenhouse
complex to get a tour and firsthand look at what is state-ofthe-art.
Time should be taken to delve a bit into the math and
science surrounding greenhouse design. How is heat
loss from the structure calculated by design engineers?
What technologies are now being used to retain the heat
that is captured during the day to minimize the need for
supplemental heating? Some greenhouse designs use
artificial lighting to stretch out the growing time for the
plants. How is this accomplished, and why does it work?
What are its limitations?
Time should be taken to delve a bit into the math and science
surrounding greenhouse design.
• Slide apart
• Or any combination of the above
Students are the masters of their own design. To the greatest
extent possible, they should have sound reasons for doing
this and justifying it as a means for increasing the packing
density of the greenhouse.
Careful attention should be given to how much area is
required for the greenhouse design, both closed and in
its dynamic outstretched form. Can this dynamic state be
• Is the technology proposed available?
• Will the dynamic action be performed by humans or
• When, during the day and season, does the dynamic
• Are there specific areas of the country that limit the
daily dynamics of the greenhouse by season?
• Can the greenhouse remain in the dynamic mode
during the summer?
• Are there any special conditions for the foundation or
floor of the dynamic greenhouse?
• What happens if bad weather persists for an extended
period and the greenhouse cannot be opened?
• With many plants packed so close together, how would
disease infestations and breakouts be handled?
• What technologies might the greenhouse employ to
stimulate greater plant growth?
• Are there certain plant species that might grow best
within this dense or concentrated-volume greenhouse?
Your students will find quite a variety of concepts and
ideas for innovating greenhouse design, from new low-cost
materials through unusual ways to provide supplemental
heating to the structures. This is all grist for their creative mills
when trying to fulfill the design charge as described above.
Designing a Dynamic Greenhouse
I suggest you consider this activity as a team-based one where
students have plenty of time to brainstorm and interact,
bouncing ideas around and building and combining them.
Lots of diagrams and illustrations are welcome to enhance
the understanding of what your students are envisioning.
There should be no limits as to how dynamic the greenhouse
may be. Students are not bound in any way. Their
• Reshape itself
• Fold down
Are there certain plant species that might grow best within this
dense or concentrated-volume greenhouse?
18 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
Q: What Do YOU Need
in Today’s High-Tech
A: Everything YOU Need Is at
It is now increasingly popular to have small greenhouses attached
to a home.
These are but a few quick ways to challenge student teamthinking.
They should be thinking about how the greenhouse
will operate as much as how they can design and build it. If
the class is able to visit a greenhouse and talk to someone
experienced with greenhouses, make sure that person
discusses the daily and seasonal routines that typically occur
in a greenhouse, and why. Also learn about the kinds of
skills and manpower normally employed in a commercial
greenhouse and what can and cannot be automated.
Cardboard models should be allowed so concepts may be
envisioned in three dimensions. To the extent that your
class has access to computerized modeling software, graphic
representations of their concepts are another excellent way
to get ideas across to other class members.
It is now increasingly popular to have small greenhouses
attached to a home. Could some of the ideas generated
by your students be employed on a smaller scale in these
add-on greenhouses? Have a sunny time with this design
Harry T. Roman recently retired from
his engineering job and is the author of
a variety of new technology education
books. He can be reached via email at
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Technology Design Challenges
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This publication contains
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19 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
Exploring Hydrogen Fuel Cell
By David Brus and Doug Hotek
Through simplicity in design
and functionality, and most of
all environmental friendliness,
hydrogen fuel cells can make
a significant contribution as
an alternative solution to our
country’s energy dependence on
One of the most significant technological issues of
the 21st Century is finding a way to fulfill our energy
demands without destroying the environment through
global warming and climate change. Worldwide human
population is on the rise, and with it, the demand for
more energy in pursuit of a higher quality of life. In the
meantime, as we use up our fossil fuel energy supplies, the
quality of our environment is diminishing. By finding a
way to provide clean, sustainable, environmentally friendly
energy, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help
reverse the negative trends afflicting our planet (Sweet,
2006). One very promising technology that is currently
being utilized and is continually being improved is the
hydrogen fuel cell (HFC). It is an energy-conversion device
that converts hydrogen fuel into usable electricity. HFC
technology has the potential to help satisfy the rapidly
growing energy demands of the world, and in turn, improve
the quality of our environment. With this kind of potential,
research and development in HFC technology continues to
produce viable energy alternatives through the combined
efforts of many scientists, engineers, and technologists
The aim of this article is to provide an overview of HFC
technology, and with it, a description of its simplicity in
design and functionality. In addition, a rationale for HFC
content and several strategies for teaching about this
exciting technology are presented.
What is a Hydrogen Fuel Cell?
An HFC is an electrochemical device that acts to convert
chemical energy directly into electrical energy. The entire
electrochemical conversion process is accomplished cleanly
and efficiently without the use of any moving parts. During
the process, a fuel of hydrogen-rich compounds is converted
into electricity in the form of direct current that can be used
much like a battery, as long as the fuel is supplied to the
cell. A combination of fuel cells can be connected in series
or parallel circuits in order to increase electrical voltage or
current output. Stacking cells together in series or parallel
creates what is termed a fuel-cell stack. A variety of fuel cell
designs are being pursued and developed for a wide variety
of applications. Many of these designs have already been
implemented and continue to gain acceptance as effective
means of providing electrical power.
The multitude of HFC designs are classified by the type of
electrolyte that they employ. Electrolyte types determine
how the HFC functions, specifically, the temperature range
at which they operate, the catalysts they utilize, the fuel
they require, and other factors upon which they depend
(USDOE, 2007; Hoogers, 2003). Of all currently utilized
HFC designs, the Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel
20 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
cell can serve as the focus of beginning HFC instruction,
“because of [its] simplicity, viability, quick start-up, and
ability to be utilized in almost any conceivable application,
from powering a cell phone to a locomotive” (Sammes,
2006, p. 27). The PEM fuel cell functions through the use
of a specially designed and produced polymer that acts to
create a voltage difference with the addition of hydrogen
fuel and oxygen (Basu, 2007; Hoogers, 2003; Sammes, 2006).
A complete breakdown of the PEM fuel cell can be seen in
Figure 1, illustrating the simplicity of its components in both
design and functionality.
an adequate amount of electrical power for practical
applications. From a system viewpoint, the functional
simplicity and associated environmental benefits of HFC
technology can be examined in Figure 2.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Functionality
PEM HFC Components
PEM HFC Assembled
Anode collector plate
Hydrogen flow plate
Cathode, PEM, Anode
(Membrane Electrode Assembly)
Oxygen flow plate
How do Hydrogen Fuel Cells Function?
PEM fuel cells run on hydrogen and oxygen and produce
only electricity, water, and excess heat as by-products of
their operation. The production of electricity happens
through an electrochemical process known in science
as an oxidation-reduction (redox) reaction, which
takes place at the anode and cathode of the fuel cell.
In this type of reaction, what actually occurs are two
simultaneous half reactions. At the anode of the fuel cell,
hydrogen is being oxidized (losing electrons), and at the
cathode, oxygen is being reduced (gaining electrons).
Fuel cells function by capitalizing on the movement of
the electrons that takes place in this redox reaction. This
is accomplished by routing the electron flow through an
external circuit that can be used to power electrical loads
(Kotz 1999). The end result of this reaction is an efficient
conversion of hydrogen fuel into usable electricity. PEM
fuel cells have a theoretical maximum efficiency of 83%;
however, to obtain a usable amount of power, fuel cells
operate at lower efficiencies, usually between 30 and
60% (Barbir, 2005). In this way, the fuel cell can produce
Although the science embedded in the functionality of the
PEM fuel cell is more complex than can be covered in the
scope of this article, the following seven steps (Basu, 2007;
Hoogers, 2003; Sammes, 2006) are illustrated in Figure 3 to
provide a quick summary of how the technology works.
1. Gaseous hydrogen fuel enters on the anode (-) side
of the PEM fuel cell. Here at the anode, hydrogen is
oxidized and gives up electrons. Prior to use, hydrogen
gas is either stored in a compressed gas cylinder
or obtained from water on the spot through the
electrolysis process. In the production of hydrogen
through electrolysis, electricity is used to break water
into hydrogen and oxygen gas.
2. Gaseous oxygen enters on the cathode (+) side of the
PEM fuel cell. Here at the cathode, oxygen is reduced
and gains electrons. Oxygen can be introduced to
the cathode side of the fuel cell via exposure to the
atmosphere (using a compressor or blower) or by piping
compressed oxygen to the cathode side of the cell, much
like hydrogen was introduced to the anode in Step 1.
The major benefit of feeding fuel cells pure oxygen is
that each cell achieves a 50-millivolt gain in potential
as opposed to cells operating on air. Additionally, as a
system, pure oxygen-fed fuel cells have greater power
output and higher efficiencies because they do not
have to power a pump or compressor to obtain oxygen
for the fuel cell; it is already available in storage tanks
(Barbir 2005). Pure oxygen-fed fuel cells, however, are
limited to stationary power applications due to the
difficulty of handling compressed oxygen.
21 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
3. The hydrogen gas interacts with the platinum-based
catalyst on the anode side of the fuel cell, and this acts
to break hydrogen into the one proton and one electron
of which it is composed. This is the oxidation reaction
4. The hydrogen protons are able to diffuse through
the polymer-based electrolyte, which is sandwiched
between the anode and cathode, but the hydrogen
electrons cannot. The polymer electrolyte’s ability
to restrict the flow of hydrogen electrons while
simultaneously supporting the flow of protons is how
the voltage difference is created by the PEM fuel cell.
It is this separation of charges made possible by the
platinum catalyst and specially designed polymer that
produces all of the electricity for the PEM fuel cell.
5. A voltage difference is created between the anode
and cathode side of the fuel cell as negative charges
accumulate at the anode and positive charges at the
cathode. Each individual cell has a limit as to how
much charge it can maintain. Therefore, the cells must
be connected in series or parallel in what is known as
a “fuel cell stack.” Cells are stacked until the desired
voltage or current from the PEM cell can be achieved.
6. A conductor is connected between the anode and
the cathode, and a flow of electrons, or electricity, is
produced as the electrons flow from the anode to the
cathode through an external circuit. This process can be
thought of quite simply as hooking up a battery. HFC
technology can, in fact, be used to power anything a
7. As the electrons and protons reunite at the cathode
side of the fuel cell they combine with the oxygen that
has been introduced on the cathode side to form clean,
potable, water. Oxygen is necessary in the function of
the PEM cell because it provides the oxidant required
to complete the oxidation-reduction reaction that takes
place in the fuel cell. Without oxygen, the PEM cell
would not function.
Hydrogen Fuel Challenges
As promising as HFC technology may be, it will still face
some of its largest challenges in the establishment of a
hydrogen fuel infrastructure. Making hydrogen available
to consumers involves a variety of obstacles that include:
production, distribution, storage, and handling. Hydrogen
is not an energy source, and it is not a fuel that is naturally
available in usable quantities. The hydrogen fuel supply
must be manufactured. Currently, hydrogen is primarily
obtained from fossil fuels through processes that include
steam reforming of natural gas, gasification of coal, and
the partial oxidation of hydrocarbons (Barbir, 2005; Spiegel
2007). Clearly, with most hydrogen being produced from
these sources, the concept of independence from fossil fuels
is unattainable. Hydrogen, however, also can be produced
by clean sources such as the electrolysis of water, with
electricity provided by nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, or solar
power (Barbir, 2005; Spiegel 2007).
Manufacturing hydrogen is only one of the obstacles that
must be surmounted in order to utilize hydrogen fuel.
Additionally, new systems to safely distribute, store, and
handle hydrogen fuel on a large scale must be established
(Hoogers, 2003). Overcoming each of the aforementioned
obstacles in providing hydrogen fuel will require a
concerted effort by scientists and engineers. Furthermore,
a transition such as the move to hydrogen fuel will depend
upon strong support from the government and a welleducated
class of end users.
A Rationale for Fuel Cell Education
In today’s energy-driven technological world, one of the
most prominent obstacles that must be overcome is the
need to find and develop a clean and sustainable energy
22 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
supply that can support our modern lifestyle without
destroying the environment (Sweet, 2006). Hydrogen
fuel cells represent a very promising energy conversion
technology that may help drive the transition from
dependence on fossil fuels to energy independence with
hydrogen fuel. In fact, the United States Department of
Energy believes that, in the future, hydrogen will join
electricity as the primary energy carrier, and that hydrogen
technology will supply every end-use energy need
(USDOE, 2007). The government looks at hydrogen as an
energy carrier because of the fact that it is not an energy
source or a readily available fuel; it is an intermediary form
of energy (Barbir, 2005).
Advocates of HFC technology, such as the California Fuel
Cell Partnership and the South Carolina Hydrogen and
Fuel Cell Alliance, suggest that if HFC technology is fully
developed with an infrastructure to support it, the world
energy market, as we know it, may completely evolve
into what is being billed as the coming of the “hydrogen
economy.” In this scenario, HFC technology will be
capable of powering our homes, cars, lawn mowers, laptop
computers, and even our cell phones (Sammes, 2007).
HFC technology may contribute to a transformation of our
personal and working lives. We have a chance to decrease
the threat of global warming as we implement more of
our clean energy technologies such as HFC, and fewer of
our dirty, carbon-emitting technologies of old to fulfill our
energy demands (Sweet, 2006). Theoretically, in a “hydrogen
economy,” our country could experience seemingly endless
new expansion opportunities through new jobs in business,
industry, and customer service as we work to support the
integration of fuel cell technology into our lives (USDOE,
2006). Envision this awesome picture of a booming economy
intertwined with a more environmentally friendly world.
However, without the help, hard work, and education of the
public to develop, produce, and utilize these technologies,
this dream of our future will go unfulfilled.
Educating our country’s youth about the functionality
of HFC technology is of great importance. It is today’s
students who will help drive the needed changes toward
clean alternative energy, for they will be the ones to feel the
future positive or negative environmental impacts resulting
from the energy choices we make today. It will also be their
choice as to whether to support the development and use
of new, clean, alternative-energy technologies. Therefore,
it is in the best interest of all that we educate our youth
about HFC technology and its potential as an energy source.
We are dependent upon the help of our young people
to overcome the many obstacles found along the way to
fuel-cell implementation, and by fully educating them we
can make the transition to hydrogen fuel cells a reality. As
technology educators, the responsibility falls upon us to
provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills
regarding HFC technology and its capability to supply
energy for our future.
The future of HFC-based energy will require a welleducated
general public in order to properly and safely
utilize the technology. It is this need for education that
provides an excellent opportunity for technology teachers
throughout the United States. HFC technology is a subject
area that aligns very well with Standards for Technological
Literacy, Chapter 7, Standard 16—“Students will develop
an understanding of and be able to select and use energy
and power technologies” (ITEA, 2000/2002/2007). In
fact, even if not featured in a unit of its own, in order to
successfully fulfill Standard 16 today, students would almost
certainly need to be exposed to HFC technology. With the
rising importance of environmental and energy education,
technology teachers may better cement their positions
and boost the significance of technology education for
all students by adding an alternative energy topic to their
curriculum (ITEA, 1996).
Instructional Strategies for Fuel Cell Technology
HFC technology can be taught through a variety of
instructional strategies, such as design and problem
solving, cooperative learning, inquiry-based instruction,
web-based instruction, interdisciplinary instruction, and
modular instruction (Helgeson, 2003). The PEM fuel
cell can be explored in an electronics class that utilizes
laboratory experiments to explore the principles of voltage
or current. It also can be employed in a power and energy
course by investigating the functionality and feasibility of
HFC technology as a portable or stationary power source.
23 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
HFC technology can even be studied in an environmental
science course to examine its potential for reducing
harmful greenhouse gas emissions while increasing power
production. These are but a few of many strategies that
represent effective ways to immerse students’ minds in the
exciting and challenging content of HFC technology.
Another great way to expose students to HFC technology is
to employ a class project in which students build a PEM fuel
cell from scratch. Using basic hand tools and readily available
materials to individually or collaboratively make a PEM cell,
such as that shown in Figure 4, students learn the simplicity
and functionality of fuel cell technology. By the time students
complete the project, they have a thorough understanding of
what a PEM cell is made of and how it works.
The PEM cell-build project can be adapted to a wide variety
of technology classes. It is possible to dedicate anywhere
from two weeks to an entire semester to constructing the
PEM cell, depending upon the depth of study and detail
desired by the instructor. In conjunction with building the
PEM cell, students can be emerged in multiple disciplines
of study, including physics, chemistry, and advanced
algebra, as they work to obtain an understanding of
its construction and functionality. Once the fuel cell is
constructed, students are afforded the opportunity to gain
even greater knowledge by investigating electrical current,
voltage, and power capabilities. Keeping this in mind,
students can explore potential end uses for HFC technology
and modifications that can be made to the design to
improve or make fuel cells more feasible for future use.
Introducing students to HFC technology through project
and laboratory experiences will expose them to the types of
energy-related issues that today’s generations will have to
combat in the future.
The future of hydrogen fuel cell technology seems very
promising. Through simplicity in design and functionality,
and most of all environmental friendliness, hydrogen fuel
cells can make a significant contribution as an alternative
solution to our country’s energy dependence on fossil
fuels. For this to happen, more public knowledge and
skills in the area of HFC technology are needed. Indeed,
technology teachers have an opportunity to help fulfill
these educational needs. HFC technology can be taught
in compliance with Standards for Technological Literacy
in a number of different courses, and through a variety of
instructional strategies students can even build a functional
fuel cell of their own. By engaging our youth in the study of
the HFC, we help insure its full potential as an alternative
Barbir, F. (2005). PEM fuel cells: Theory and practice.
Burlington, MA: Elsevier Academic Press.
Basu, S. (Ed.). (2007). Recent trends in fuel cell science and
technology. New York, NY: Springer.
Borowitz, S. (1999). Farewell fossil fuels: Reviewing America’s
energy policy. Massachusetts: Perseus.
Helgeson, K. R., & Schwaller, A. E. (Eds.). (2003). Selecting
instructional strategies for technology education. 52 nd
Yearbook of Council on Technology Teacher Education.
Peoria, IL: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.
Hoogers, G. (Ed.). (2003). Fuel cell technology handbook.
Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
International Technology Education Association. (1996).
Technology for all Americans: A rationale and structure
for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.
International Technology Education Association.
(2000/2002/2007). Standards for technological literacy:
Content for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.
Kotz, J. C. & Treichel, P. (1999). Chemistry and chemical
reactivity (4th ed.). Orlando, FL: Saunders College
Sammes, N. (Ed.). (2006). Fuel cell technology: Reaching
towards commercialization. Germany: Springer.
Spiegel, C. (2007). Designing and building fuel cells. New
York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Sweet, W. (2006). Kicking the carbon habit. New York, NY:
United States Department of Energy. (03/08/2007). Types of
fuel cells. Retrieved, February 05, 2008, from http://www.
United States Department of Energy. (03/22/2006). News,
DOE seeks applicants for a solicitation of a transition to
a hydrogen economy. Retrieved, February 12, 2008, from
David Brus is a high school industrial
technology teacher at Waukee High School
in Waukee, Iowa. He can be reached via
email at email@example.com.
Doug Hotek is Associate Professor of
Technology Education and Training at the
University of Northern Iowa at Cedar Falls.
He can be reached via email at doug.hotek@
This is a refereed article.
24 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
The Systems and Global
By Henry Harms, David A. Janosz, Jr., and Steve Maietta
Students who participate in
this module are interacting in a
way that 21st Century careers
will require, as they will likely
have to rely on information and
contributions of others for their
Imagine having your students collaborate with others
from around the world to model solutions to some of
today’s most significant global problems. That’s the
goal of the Systems and Global Engineering (SAGE)
project. Stevens Institute of Technology and the New Jersey
Technology Education Association (NJTEA) have teamed
up to develop innovative instructional materials during the
three-year SAGE project.
During the spring and early summer of 2008, Stevens faculty
and staff worked with six NJTEA lead teachers to develop
instructional modules focusing on global sustainability.
Each module is designed to engage students in developing
innovative solutions to problems of global significance. In
the Biodynamic Farming module, students are challenged
to design and operate a system that combines hydroponics
(growing plants without soil) and aquaculture (fish farming)
to produce food. The Home Lighting module is based upon
the integration of LED and solar technologies to produce
safe and cost-effective lighting for use in homes that do
not have access to the electric grid. More than two billion
people do not have access to clean drinking water. Students
participating in the Water Purification module develop
an understanding of this problem and are challenged to
develop model systems to meet the needs of people in
One additional module, Introduction to Core Concepts of
Systems Engineering, was developed and designed to be
used by all participating schools prior to the content-specific
modules described above. In this module, students learn
about systems and systems engineering as they reverseengineer
a common device such as a single-use camera
that contains both electrical and mechanical components.
Schools electronically swap reassembly instructions and
diagrams and attempt to reconstruct the device.
In August of 2008, twenty pilot teachers attended a fourday
workshop. All received an introduction to systems
and global engineering from Stevens faculty, as well as
an overview of each module. Then they spent two days
learning how to implement one module within their own
classroom and in collaboration with other schools. Pilot
teachers used the Introduction to Core Concepts of Systems
Engineering module in their classes during the fall of 2008
and then implemented one additional module during the
spring of 2009.
Many aspects of the projects featured within the four
project modules may seem familiar to technology educators.
Yet, what makes this endeavor more unique is how students
end up working together with students from other schools.
Four paradigms have emerged as collaborative models for
students to work with others through the course of the
projects. Each of the four modules reflects one of these
four different models for student collaboration: Sharing,
Mentorship, Workflow, and Interdependent Subsystems.
The “Introduction to the Core Concepts” module provides
an opportunity for students to share their work and
25 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
outcomes with other classes and schools. While the level
of interaction can be considered relatively low as students
generate most of the work for the module independently,
the students do rely on the information provided by
other schools to continue at certain points of the project.
Students post to message boards and share files as they
orient themselves to “Collaboration Central,” a web-based
system designed to facilitate communication between
students and schools.
As the students work through the “Water Purification”
module, they use collaboration more as a resource for
information. The thought is that schools and teachers that may
participate in this module year-to-year would become mentors
to new classes that want to engage in the project. Students will
eventually be able to post questions and experiences and have
more experienced teams of students respond to inquiries. The
mentorship model of collaboration becomes beneficial to all
students. Those who have less experience benefit from the
information provided by peers and student mentors, which
may lead to better long-term retention.
A workflow-type process is employed in the “Home
Lighting” module as different groups of students work on
different aspects of the project in a more linear fashion.
Different student teams are responsible for design,
modeling, production, and marketing, and the idea is that
each team passes its work on to the next team for the next
stage in the logical development of the project. This sort
of model is used naturally and quite often in business and
industry; each stage of development is reliant on others.
This requires a high level of student interaction throughout
the project, but does not necessarily require certain teams
to wait for other work to be complete. Again comparing
this work to the way business takes place, planning for
marketing of a product may take place long before the final
product is developed.
This model of student collaboration is perhaps truest to a
systems engineering model of technological development.
Just as with the design, development, and production of
a very complex device such as a jetliner, students in the
“Biodynamic Farming” module develop subsystems of a
larger system that need to work with and fit together with
other items in the larger system. Student leaders, facilitators,
and orchestrators must emerge through the project—all roles
that are akin to those of a systems engineer. Students who
participate in this module are interacting in a way that 21st
Century careers will require, as they will likely have to rely
on information and contributions of others for their success.
To work in the ways described above undoubtedly presents
a number of challenges to the typical classroom and school
schedules. One of the main goals of the SAGE project is
to facilitate the expected challenges and provide support
for the unexpected. Ultimately, the hope is that students
will work both synchronously and asynchronously in some
fashion with students from across the globe. “Collaboration
Central” has been designed to help make the collaborative
aspects of the project easier by providing a repository for
information, questions, files, and other resources directly
available to the teacher and students.
One technology education teacher describes how he
implemented the project in collaboration with students from
six other New Jersey high schools. Over the course of the
six-week Home Lighting in Developing Countries module,
I was able to witness students collaborating on levels that
I had never seen before. The students enjoyed reading and
reacting to the daily updates on the Collaboration Central
web forum, and working with other schools pushed them to
produce work that was clear and to the best of their abilities.
As with any project that is being run for the first time, it
was not without its hiccups and required flexibility from
both students and teachers. Fortunately, the small issues
were worked around, and the fact that there were six other
schools involved meant that the project as a whole was able
to continue on schedule.
By the end of the project it became obvious that the students
gained an understanding of how important it is to produce
documents and ideas that are clear when dealing with people
in remote locations. Whether it was a paragraph written to
communicate an idea or design concept, or a CAD rendering
done in SketchUp, through the course of the project their
work became more clear, concise, and descriptive of their
intent. Another positive aspect that surfaced as the project
progressed was the students’ firsthand knowledge of the
“real-world” workings and relationships of designers,
marketing teams, engineers, and manufacturers.
The project’s workflow was consistent throughout. Typically,
the class would read and discuss the week’s goals, then split
into specific groups to come up with ideas and documents.
Every student came up with ideas of his or her own, which
the group then sifted through, voted on, and reworked. The
group then presented the class with its three final ideas.
The class as a whole would then discuss and vote on which
of the three would be posted to Collaboration Central
26 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
for the other schools to review. We asked questions and
critiqued other schools’ work, just as our own work was
being critiqued. Threads would be started to which every
school would post votes to determine which concept should
move forward and be further developed. This is a great
framework because, even if a school cannot participate in
one section of the project due to a lack of space, equipment,
or software, they can contribute in other sections. They will
gain the satisfaction and learning experience associated with
contributing to the project and also learn from watching the
development of other sections.
For most of the project, my class was broken up into three
groups. The Marketing and Advertising (M&A) group, the
Industrial Design (ID) group, and the Electrical Engineering
(EE) group. The M&A group was in charge of brand identity.
This included company name and logo, letterhead, business
cards for every student, and all educational, advertising,
and packaging materials. The ID group was in charge of the
form and function of the product. They produced design
sketches, computer renderings, and initial prototypes. The
EE group was assigned with finding the best arrangement
of solar cells, LEDs, and rechargeable batteries to meet
the project’s requirements. The EEs produced working
circuits for charging and lighting, reflectors for the LEDs,
and schematic diagrams to post on Collaboration Central.
With such a wide scope of tasks available and deliverables
needed, students were able to find something they were
comfortable doing and then enthusiastically contribute ideas
and solutions to the project.
One of the most important parts of the project was coming
up with a System Requirements Document. This list of
requirements was the guiding voice for all aspects of the
project. We worked as a class to brainstorm ideas regarding
product inputs and outputs. We discussed the product’s
operating environment and what that meant in terms of
materials and design. Our target market was considered and
factored into this document. As with all phases of the project,
the Systems Requirements Document went through several
revisions as all the schools contributed to and reworked the
document into its final form. Students were surprised, as
every school brought new, valid ideas to the table, and the
value of collaboration was experienced firsthand. Some other
aspects of the project that we designed, critiqued, voted on,
and posted were company name and logo, final form of the
product, and final circuit design.
The successful implementation of the project hinged greatly
on a continued exchange of constructive criticism in the
online forum. This project format allowed students to see
and compare many ideas about one problem. Encouraging
my students to explore and question other groups’ ideas
proved to be a very powerful way to improve their own
ideas, designs, and solutions. And this worked both ways.
When students read comments and answered questions
posted about their own ideas, they began to increase their
objectivity and see the importance of considering all aspects
when designing solutions.
Throughout the project some typical student habits required
management. For example, it was difficult to direct students
away from the habit of voting for their own ideas. Again
and again we would see this trend from most classes. In
order to promote more objective voting, I discussed with
the class the pros and cons of each idea as related to the
systems requirements document. By doing this, I was able to
distance the students from their own ideas and their desire
to “win,” giving them a structure from which to make an
informed, logical vote.
The SAGE Project has demonstrated how students can use
collaborative problem solving to address the challenges
facing today’s society and environment. Students learn
a variety of skills used by technologists and engineers to
identify problems, determine possible solutions, test and
select the best solutions, reach conclusions, and make
recommendations for further study.
During the 2009-10 school year, teachers in New Jersey
and across the U.S., as well as internationally, have been
invited to participate in this intensive systems and global
engineering project. To learn more, please visit the project
Henry Harms is Manager of Engineering
& Technology Programs in the Center
for Innovation in Engineering & Science
Education at Stevens Institute of
Technology. He may be reached at henry.
David A. Janosz, Jr. is a Supervisor in
the Northern Valley Regional High School
district and the Managing Director of
Partnership Initiatives for NJTEA. He can
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Maietta is a technology teacher
at Northern Valley Regional H.S. in
Old Tappan NJ. He may be reached at
This is a refereed article.
27 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
Building Opportunities to
Transform a Profession
By Gary Wynn, DTE
As teachers, we have the
opportunity to be the school
and community leaders of the
educational process that creates
a more sustainable environment
for the next generation of
It will be an honor to serve as ITEA President for 2010-
2011. Serving as part of the Indiana ITEA Affiliate
organization and the ITEA Board of Directors has led to
some of the major highlights of my professional career.
I would recommend that each of you become involved in
leading your association. Through your involvement, you
have the opportunity to share your gained knowledge with
your students, community, and colleagues.
Through the years my professional involvement has
influenced my beliefs as a teacher and a leader locally and
nationally. With this in mind, let me share some of those
• In the power and promise of all the students in my
• That ALL students should experience technology,
innovation, design, and engineering as a part of their
• That the uniqueness of our subject area to the entire
school curriculum allows us the ability to teach about
ingenuity and innovation in a way that no other subject
• That as teachers we should never stop striving to be
• That we should design teaching and learning
experiences for our students that surpass the teachers’
• That we must constantly promote, advocate, and
demonstrate excellence in our programs in order
for them to be considered a strong component in a
student’s educational experience.
• That we should consider the whole student in the
development of his or her abilities.
• That our discipline is an essential component of a wellrounded
• That student experiences through a K-12 technology
and engineering education program can lead students
into all kinds of career and workforce opportunities
(including teaching) with infinite opportunities.
These beliefs are what I am about and describe my
educational philosophy. I have a deep passion for our field
and hope that you share that passion! I know that if we work
together, we can make a difference in our country through
the education of our next generation.
28 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
Throughout the last year our country has been trying to
work through a tough economic recession—one of the
deepest since the Great Depression of the 1920s. Every one
of us has had to make sacrifices and adjustments to the way
that we live, both in our personal and professional lives.
ITEA is no different in that the association has had to make
prudent adjustments in the way it conducts business. As we
look forward, it may require a couple more years for us to
get back to where we were before. However, each of us must
have a passionate desire and drive to move forward so that
our voice and vision of the future for students is heard.
Every association president goes through a mental exercise
of identifying the key initiatives or directions that he or
she might want to start or accomplish during his or her
presidency. I am no different and would like to share several
directions that I believe to be important and that will be my
focus during this coming year.
As the ITEA Charlotte Conference approaches, I hope
that you are aware of this year’s theme: Green Technology:
STEM Solutions for 21st Century Citizens. It is an important
theme that is relevant for some of the activities that
technology and engineering teachers are working on in
their classrooms. As teachers, we have the opportunity to
be the school and community leaders of the educational
process that creates a more sustainable environment for the
next generation of learners.
This year’s ITEA Conference is just the beginning of the
work the association will complete on this topic. We have
established a mission and have been developing an ITEA
Web page called Mission Green Technology. We ask ITEA
members to help make this initiative spread by feeding
information through the website. Many of us feel that
we need a place where professionals can contribute new
ideas, resources, and information for teachers to use in
To lead this Web-based project, I have asked ITEA Past
President, Andy Stephenson, DTE, to be the “Green Guru”
who keeps this initiative organized. He also is leading
a Committee of 100 in helping to build this important
Web-based resource. Andy can be reached at green@
iteaconnect.org. Please consider joining the Committee of
100, being a leader in your state, sharing your information
with the website, and making your own contribution to our
profession by helping other teachers.
Another important part of the Mission Green initiative is
to have ITEA state Affiliates join us in this effort through
the work of ITEA’s Membership Committee. Committee
Chairs Bill Bertrand, John Singer, DTE, and Jared Bitting
are leading this initiative. So far, Pennsylvania (with leaders
Bill Bertrand and Joanne Trombley) has been our lead state
in this initiative. As the Mission Green initiative grows,
we look forward to having other states become a part of
this information-building effort. If your State Affiliate is
interested in becoming a Mission Green Partner, please
contact ITEA Membership Cochair Bill Bertrand at
Are you a blogger, a Tweeter, or some kind of electronics
networking hard hitter? Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn,
or some other kind of social networking site where you can
electronically drop in? Most of our ITEA members are!
We know that our members are expecting more electronic
interaction. In fact, trends with other publications show
journals are becoming totally electronic. We will be
working hard during this next year to provide you with
as much interaction as you can absorb through our
The most important benefit that you can get from an
association is the ability to give to and share with others
as well as learn from their experiences. We will continue
to work to provide ITEA members with these important
opportunities. Maybe I will see you on ITEA’s electronic
highway (see ITEA’s website at www.iteaconnect.org).
The coming year will bring many exciting opportunities for
ITEA membership to become engaged. At the present time,
four ITEA Taskforces are at various stages of development
and will be reporting their progress to the membership in a
timely fashion. The Taskforces are:
• TF 08-04/09-04 Green Design Challenge/Creating a
High-Profile Event for TE – Scott Warner
• TF 09-01 Improving the Public Perception of TE –
• TF 09-02 Developing Future Leaders – Bill Havice, DTE
and Roger Hill
• TF 09-05 Developing Business and Industry
Partnerships – Tony Korwin, DTE
An example of our progress has been the work of the
Developing Future Leaders Taskforce. I am pleased to
announce it has launched a unique ITEA program designed
to deliberately create leaders for our profession. This effort,
called ITEA’s 21st Century Leadership Program, is being
led by members Bill Havice, DTE and Roger Hill. An initial
preconference workshop will be held in Charlotte for this
first cadre of leaders, and we plan to make that workshop
a tradition in the years ahead. We will continue with year-
29 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
ound experiences for this and future cadres of leaders.
If you are interested in becoming a part of the leadership
development efforts, please let me, Bill Havice, or Roger
Hill know of your interests (email@example.com or
firstname.lastname@example.org). We will become a stronger association and
field when every one of us becomes a leader.
The initiatives that I have outlined will provide many
exciting opportunities to create stronger educators and
human beings. Many in our field don’t know about ITEA
and all that it can do for each of us. Therefore, I challenge
you to get one more person to join us in our effort to be
the best subject area association in existence. With larger
numbers, we become stronger, can do more to help others,
and strengthen the profession that we love. Please encourage
others to be a part of the ITEA opportunity. Serious
educators, through joining ITEA and working through
the professional opportunities, can gain a new friend and
professional colleague for life.
Finally, do not hesitate to contact me with your concerns,
ideas, and talent. The knowledge of each member can and
will drive the direction ITEA takes over the next year. We
hope that you are willing to make your thoughts known and
will step up to become involved with the other leaders of the
profession. I wish you continued success with your personal
and professional experiences.
Gary Wynn, DTE is President-Elect
of ITEA and a technology educator
at Greenfield-Central High School in
Greenfield, IN. He can be reached via email
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30 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
2010 Leaders to Watch
Those who have contributed to the technology and engineering education field for many years are known for
their teaching, written work, presentations, research, and recognition received from professional groups. The
selected individuals who are highlighted here have shown outstanding leadership ability as educators early in
This list is by no means inclusive. There are many other professionals in the field with similarly impressive
Individuals who want to recognize other technology and engineering educators with outstanding qualifications
should forward their vitae and a sponsoring letter to ITEA for consideration.
The leaders of our field are our future; we should promote and encourage them to realize their potential.
Aaron C. Clark, DTE
Technology, Engineering, and Design
Director of Graduate Programs for
the Department of Mathematics,
Science, and Technology Education
North Carolina State University
Aaron Clark currently teaches primarily graphics-related
courses for engineering and technology students as well as
many graduate courses within his program at NCSU. His
background includes both business and industry, as well as
community college, regional universities, and land-grant
research institutions. He attended East Tennessee State
University (ETSU) and received both BS and MS degrees in
Technology and Technology Education. His emphases, while
in graduate school at ETSU, were robotics and computeraided
design (CAD), which he later taught in the community
college system in Maryland.
Aaron completed his doctorate in Technology Education
at NC State University, with an emphasis in research
methods and a minor in Training and Development. Upon
graduation, he continued at NC State University within the
Graphic Communications program where he taught 3D
modeling, simulation, and animation within the department
of Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education.
Recently, the Graphic Communication program merged
with technology education to form the current program
titled Technology, Engineering, and Design Education and
has restructured technology teacher education at both the
undergraduate and graduate levels.
He has been the recipient of the William E. Warner
Research Award and Laureate Citation from Epsilon Pi
Tau, AutoDesk Faculty of Distinction from AutoDesk,
Inc., and ITEA’s Distinguished Technology Educator
(DTE) designation. He has held elected offices in both
engineering and technology education. Aaron is an active
member of the American Society of Engineering Education
(ASEE) and holds a number of leadership roles in the
Engineering Design Graphics Division, Technological
Literacy Constituent Committee, and as a charter member
of the K-12 & Pre-College Engineering Division. He is
currently or has been a Principle Investigator (PI) or
Co-PI for national grants related to both education and
engineering. He has over 80 publications and 90 national
and international presentations, and seven commercially
produced products. He lives in Cary, North Carolina with
his wife Dr. Pooneh Lari.
31 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
Roger B. Hill
Department of Occupational Studies
University of Georgia
Roger Hill is the Department Head for
Workforce Education, Leadership, and
Social Foundations; a professor in the
Program of Workforce Education; and an affiliate member
of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Georgia.
He holds an undergraduate degree from North Carolina
State University and a Master’s degree from Northern
Illinois University. Dr. Hill received a Ph.D. in 1992 from the
University of Tennessee with a major in Technological and
Dr. Hill’s professional experience includes four years
teaching at the high school level; he joined the faculty at the
University of Georgia in 1993. He is recognized nationally
for his writing, online materials, and scholarly work related
to work ethic and work attitudes. His research agenda
focuses on affective characteristics necessary for success
in Information-Age occupations. He has integrated this
line of research with instructional responsibilities related
to engineering and technology education and computer
Michael Neden, DTE
Pittsburg State University
Michael received his undergraduate and
graduate degrees from Pittsburg State
in 1978 and serves as the Director of
Technology Education. He and his wife Karren have three
children, who have all decided to become teachers.
Michael began his teaching career in 1979 at the Pittsburg
Middle School in Pittsburg, Kansas. Michael has been
recognized nationally and internationally for his innovative
and creative approaches to the design and development of
Technology Education facilities, curriculum, and student
management systems. Michael held several summer
workshop sessions for ITEA and hosted over 3000 visitors to
the Pittsburg Middle School. During his tenure at Pittsburg
Middle School, Michael received many awards including
the ITEA Program of the Year Award in 1985 and the ITEA
Teacher of the Year Award in 1987 for the State of Kansas.
In 1984, Michael initiated the Kansas Technology Education
Association and was elected the first President of that
association. Michael also was a candidate for the NASA
Teacher in Space program.
In 1988, Michael accepted an administrative position
in the Delta County Public Schools in Delta County,
Colorado where he served as the Director of Technology
Education. While serving in this position, Michael was
responsible for the design, development, and construction
of seventeen different Technology Education facilities in
the district’s elementary, middle, and senior high schools.
These facilities and programs were recognized by ITEA
as outstanding Technology Education Programs. Michael
also served as the President of the Colorado Technology
Education Association in 1993 and served on the ITEA
Board of Directors as the representative from Region 4
from 1990 to 1993.
Since accepting his current position at Pittsburg State
University, Michael has been instrumental in the design and
development of one of the premier Technology Education
Teacher Educator programs in the country and has
provided leadership in the preparation of future Technology
Education teachers for the State of Kansas. His state-of-theart
Technology Education facilities feature a wide array of
capabilities including CNC milling, turning, and routing
centers, a flexible and mobile manufacturing and fabrication
center, a communications technology center, and a power
and energy laboratory.
Michael currently serves on the ITEA Board of Directors as
a representative for Region 3. He has authored a strategic
planning document entitled, “Project Clear Way Forward”
that provides a framework for the implementation of
Technology Education programs throughout the country.
Department of Technology
State University of New York (SUNY)
Mark Springston received his
Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. from
Virginia Tech. During his doctoral studies, he instructed
several laboratory-based technical courses designed by
Drs. Mark Sanders and Jim LaPorte. It is through teaching
these courses that Mark further refined his problem-based
approach to teaching. He views team-based learning as an
important pedagogy for contextual learning in technology
32 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
education. His research interests include technological
problem solving and design in the context of student teams.
Before pursuing doctoral studies, Mark was a technology
teacher at Brooke Point High School in Stafford VA, where
he was selected twice as “teacher of the quarter” and
served as a TSA advisor. His decision to pursue a degree in
technology education was influenced by his late uncle, Bill
Springston, who majored in industrial arts on a GI bill after
Mark is currently in his fourth year at SUNY Oswego, where
he instructs Communication Systems and Teaching Methods.
For the Teaching Methods course, he started a program
where the technology majors plan and lead technology
activities for local secondary students identified as at risk for
dropping out of school. Mark also serves as graduate faculty
for his department. Mark has made several professional
presentations at different conferences. Mark’s technical
area is multimedia, and he has created several multimedia
instructional products and websites.
Mark serves on several committees on the Oswego
campus, including the Scientific and Quantitative Literacy
Committee, Information Technology Council, and
SUNY Conference on Instructional Technology Planning
Committee. He is also serving on the CTTE Research and
Scholarship Committee and the ITEA Improving Public
Perceptions of Technology Education Task Force. Mark lives
in Oswego with his wife, Patricia, and their four-year-old
Sylvia Tiala, DTE
Undergraduate Program Director for
University of Wisconsin-Stout
Sylvia Tiala is an assistant professor
at the University of Wisconsin-Stout where she has served
as the undergraduate program director for Technology
Education since the fall of 2007.
After earning her undergraduate degree at St. Cloud State
University, Sylvia taught technology education at the middle
and high school level in South Dakota, Minnesota, and
Iowa. At Iowa State University she completed a masters
degree and subsequently a doctorate degree under the
advisement of Daniel Householder, DTE and Dennis Field.
During her studies at Iowa State University, Sylvia worked
with Judy Vance to study the impact of virtual reality
on training and teaching environments. This included
investigating hardware and software for implementing
virtual reality in technology educational laboratories
under an NSF Research Experience for Teachers grant.
She was selected to participate in NASA’s Summer Teacher
Enrichment Program where she investigated head-mounted
displays for virtual environments. Sylvia is currently working
on researching the impact of computer games in educational
environments. She has served as a review panelist for NSF
and is promoting campus-wide undergraduate research at
UW-Stout as the cochair of the Creative Original Research
Sylvia has been actively involved in working with students
and student organizations. At the secondary level, she
advised the Technology Student Association. At UW-Stout,
she serves as a TECA Advisor.
Sylvia has been active in the Technology Education
profession, serving as a 1995 reviewer for the Technology for
All Americans Project. She served as the 2005 president of
the Iowa Technology Education Association and is currently
a board member of the Wisconsin Technology Education
Association. She has also served on the ITEA Elections
Committee, and in 2009 Sylvia was invited to be a member
of ITEA’s Long-Range Plan Task Force on Improving the
Public Perception of Technology Education.
ITEA recognized Sylvia as a Distinguished Technology
Educator in 2006. The Council on Technology Teacher
Education recognized Sylvia in 2007 as a Twenty-First
Century Leader Associate.
33 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
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students by becoming an expert educator
in integrating technology and engineering
(the T&E of STEM) by earning your Master’s
C A L I F O R N I A U N I V E R S I T Y O F P E N N S Y LVA N I A
BUILDING CHARACTER. BUILDING CAREERS.
A proud member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
G L O BA L
O N L I N E
This 100% online program will enhance
your ability to prepare your students with
a conceptual understanding of technology
and its place in society:
• Dedicated, world-class faculty
• Asynchronous program with
• No residency requirement
• Competitive tuition
• 31 credits
The National Academy of Engineering
developed an action plan to address the
“technology” and “education” components
of STEM (science, technology, engineering
and math) with representatives from
business, government and education to
address growing employment demands.
Strengthen the “T&E” pipeline to address
the looming shortage of talent prepared to
enter these careers. Prepare your students
by being the best.
How do you get the latest news, announcements, and resources pertaining
to the field of technology and engineering education?
Follow ITEA on
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It's free, easy, and quick. It's a tool you can no longer afford to overlook.
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take advantage of all that ITEA has to offer. We do the work for you,
you receive valuable information on your phone, in the nick of time.
It's that simple.
Sign up for Twitter today at www.twitter.com. The service is free, but
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ITEA by going to http://twitter.com/iteastem.
Look for SPECIAL OFFERS via ITEA “Tweets” at the Charlotte
34 • The Technology Teacher • March 2010
Want to know why YOU can’t afford
to miss the ITEA Charlotte
conference on March 18-20, 2010?
Here are just two reasons: GREEN and STEM.
We’ve got dozens of sessions scheduled that will bring you up-to-speed on these two
topics that are critical for the professional development of today’s technology and
YOU ASKED FOR GREEN AND ITEA IS DELIVERING!
“Green Technology: STEM Solutions for the 21st
Our Program Excellence General Session speaker is John
Warner, president and chief technology officer of the Warner
Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry. John’s presentation
will address the theme of the ITEA conference, which is
“Green Technology: STEM Solutions for 21st Century Citizens.”
The Warner Babcock Institute is staffed with a diverse team
of scientists and engineers focused on developing nontoxic,
environmentally benign, and sustainable technological solutions
for society. These solutions must be as cost effective
and perform as well or better than the existing technology they
replace. Recent innovations at the Institute have drawn from
the research areas of crystal engineering, molecular recognition,
Named one of the most influential people impacting the global
chemical industry, John’s presentation is sure to be a highlight
of the Charlotte Conference.
Also focusing on “Green” themes are the following presentations:
• It’s Easy to Be Green
• E-Waste: Solving a Global Problem with STEM
• Harnessing Sun and Wind Energy
• Eyes on the Earth: NASA’s Unique Perspective
• Biotechnology Made Easy
• Design in Tech Ed: Designing for Sustainability
• Developing a Middle School “Green Technology” Course
• Green Technology Improves Classroom Gender Equity
• The Green Problem Solving Model
• Development of a Green Technology Teaching Module
• Design for a Practical Green Energy Education
• Integrating Sustainability into the Tech Ed Curriculum
• Teaching “Green Building” in Construction Tech Ed Pgms
• Lean and Green Manufacturing in Wood Technology
This is a once-in-a-lifetime professional development experience
for anyone involved in STEM education, one of the
hottest topics in education in America. Technology and
engineering education can and does play a critical role in
helping school districts deliver all aspects of STEM education
to students with particular emphasis on the T and E.
Discussions in Charlotte are sure to be of crucial interest to
those in the field of technology and engineering education.
There are over TWO DOZEN STEM-focused sessions to
choose from, including:
• STEM Teachers Preparation for the Global Age
• Report from the "Stepping in STEM Shoes"
• E-Waste: Solving a Global Problem With STEM
• STEM Integration Within a Case Study Approach
• How Students Think and Learn With STEM Design
• Integrative STEM Education: The Prescription for STEMmania
• EbD - What is it? The Primary Source for STEM
• STEM Female Faculty Persistence and Success
• Infuse Engineering Design Into your STEM Classes
• Instructional Strategies Promoting STEM and Technological
• Sustainable STEAM: STEM Social Arts Standards
• Extending your Robotics Paradigm: A True STEM
• Opportunities for Females in STEM
• EbD's New Robotic Pathway Extension STEM Partnership
• Implementing STEM Through Inquiring Minds
• Pedagogical Content Knowledge in STEM Classroom
• Using STEM Curric.to Create Interdisciplinary Classrooms
• STEM Institutes, A Middle School Initiative
• Reinforcing STEM Concepts Through Hands-On Activities
• Your Senses and STEM
• Bringing STEM Home to Your State/District/School
• Putting the E in STEM Education (K-8)
• Professional STEM Collaborative in New York State
• STEM Across the Curriculum: Meeting the Standards
• STEM Through Turbulent Times
• STEMify Your Classroom
• Curious George: Using STEM to Entertain
• STEM-Based Elementary Ed Teacher Prep Program
• Building Partnerships: A STEM Initiative Case Study
It’s not too late! See all the conference details on the ITEA website at
www.iteaconnect.org/Conference/conferenceguide.htm and register on-site in Charlotte!
(Ahem.) EbD Has Always Been Green.
Entrepreneurs of the Future.
Are your students prepared to
make decisions about
EbD Events at ITEA’s Charlotte Conference:
Thursday, March 18 - 11:00am - 11:50am
• Session: ITEA’s EbD - What is it?
The Primary Source for STEM
Thursday, March 18 - 1:00pm - 4:50pm
• EbDLab: Invention, Innovation, and Inquiry (I3)
• EbDLab: Technological Systems
• EbDLab: Foundations of Technology
• EbDLab: Advanced Technological Applications
Thursday, March 18 - 2:00pm - 2:50pm
• EbD’s New Robotics PathwayExtension STEM
Partnership with intelitek
Friday, March 19 - 11:00am - 11:50am
• Session: EbD Professional Development and
Curricular Services for all States
Friday, March 19 - 2:00pm - 4:50pm
• EbDLab: Exploring Technology
• EbDLab: Technological Design
• EbDLab: Advanced Design Applications
Saturday, March 20 - 10:00am - 10:50am
• Session: EbD: A Rallying Focal Point for the Profession
Saturday, March 20 - 9:00am - 11:50am
• EbDLab: Technology Starters
• EbDLab: Engineering Design
Visit the the EbD EbD
Booth - #306
Booths - #304 and 306
Engineering byDesign is the only comprehensive K–12 Solution
for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
Standards-Based. Comprehensive. Hands-On.
www.engineeringbydesign.org, email@example.com, 703-860-2100
ITEA Conference Action Lab:
For middle school, high school, & college educators.
FREE for all ITEA Conference attendees.
We can’t predict the future, but we can confidently predict that
future innovation will involve computer programming, embedded
systems, & engineering design.
Come to the Action Lab session
and receive a free copy of ROBOTC
Room 216, Thursday, March 18 / 3:00 - 4:15 pm.
See You in Charlotte!
See the ITEA website for more conference details
Teachers who attend this
FREE session will learn:
• How to find free Carnegie Mellon
developed resources that teach
how to program robots
• How to access and use ROBOTC’s
real time debugger
• Why ROBOTC is found in the winners
circle at VEX and FTC competitions
• About Carnegie Mellon developed
• How to use ROBOTC to program the
Arduino controller - NEW!
• How to receive discounts on Carnegie
Mellon summer training
ROBOTC is the premiere programming language for educational and
competition robotics. It is a C Programming language with a development
environment that has been optimized for execution speed and ease of us. It
supports multiple robot hardware platforms, including LEGO MINDSTORMS,
Innovation First VEX, and the Arduino Controller (and more coming...!)
• Support for TETRIX and LEGO ® MINDSTORMS ®
• Support for IFI VEX ® (VEXnet compatible)
• Tabbed Programming Interface
• Improved Help Systems
• 100+ Sample Programs
• Motors & Sensors Configurator
• Basic, Expert & Super User Modes
• Extensive Multitasking Capabilities
• Built-in Real Time Program Debugger
• Support for Multiple Robot Platforms
• 3rd Party Sensor Support
• Free Web Forums & Learning Resources
• CMU Robotics Academy Training Aids
• VEX & FTC Competition Approved
STEM-focused Curriculum Products from
the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy
Our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of middle school,
high school, career & technical center, and college educators
who want to use the motivational effects of robotics to excite
students about technology and engineering education. Visit
the Robotics Academy website to review our complete line of
curriculum products. ( Search for “robotics curriculum” in
Google and you will find us. )
Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy www.education.rec.ri.cmu.edu 412 681-7160
LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT, TETRIX, ARDUINO, and IFI INNOVATION FIRST VEX are registered trademarks of their respective companies.