the creative classroom • breaking boundaries with tsa • electric vehicle challenge
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 4
Also: Charlotte Conference Preview
The Mastercam Innovator of the Future Competition provides students
with a real-life manufacturing challenge, a celebrity judge, and some big
incentives. The 2009-2010 Mastercam Innovator of the Future competition
challenges students to design and machine a shift lever to be judged by
Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, and Brad Harris of Stewart-Haas racing.
• All entrants receive an exclusive Mastercam IOF shirt.
• The winner receives a $1000 scholarship.
• The winner and their instructor receive a trip to tour the
Stewart-Haas Racing headquarters
Entries Must Be Received by March 31, 2010!
To get all the details, please visit
Photos by CIA Stock Photography TM 2009 Stewart-Haas Racing
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December/january • VOL. 69 • NO. 4
Designing Technology Activities that Teach
Mathematics taught within well-designed technology
education lessons provides students opportunities to
learn math in contexts that they understand and that
can lead to cross-disciplinary connections.
Eli M. Silk, Ross Higashi, Robin Shoop, and
Christian D. Shunn
Breaking Boundaries and Sparking Enthusiasm with TSA
Presents the benefits for initiating a TSA chapter and outlines the steps required to start a
Timothy R. Hess
The Creative Classroom:
The Role of Space and Place Toward Facilitating Creativity
This article focuses the importance of space and place toward facilitating creativity in the
classroom or lab.
Scott A. Warner and Kerri L. Myers
INSERT – ITEA Charlotte Conference Preview
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
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Carnegie Mellon.......................................iii, C3
Valley City State University.......................... 34
Goodheart-Willcox Publisher...................... 37
Engineering byDesign.................................. 38
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East Side MS, IN
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1 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
Green Technology: STEM Solutions for 21st Century
Join ITEA in Charlotte
for the one event
you must attend
in the new year.
in Charlotte, NC,
March 18-20, 2010, promises you three days of the best
professional development and networking opportunities
available. A preview of the conference is located in the
center section of this issue of TTT. Special preregistration
pricing is available until February 1, 2010, and special,
deeply discounted room rates are available at the ITEA
official conference hotels. You will find the latest conference
information at www.iteaconnect.org/Conference/
ITEA Will Be “Tweeting” in Charlotte!
Attention all Twitter users! Be sure to “follow” ITEA both
before and during the conference for the latest news and
event information. Twitter is a free social networking and
micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and
read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based
posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s
profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who
are known as followers. Users can send and receive tweets
via the Twitter website or via mobile phone text. While the
service itself is free, text-message service fees may apply.
ITEA will be sending late-breaking news and helpful tips
to help you make the most of the Charlotte conference
experience. Sign up today at http://twitter.com/iteastem.
Back in Charlotte by Popular Demand: EbD Labs
The Engineering byDesign Labs (EbDLabs), having
been sell-out successes in Louisville last year, are being
continued this year in Charlotte. 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 handson
and minds-on, with the fundamentals necessary to
implement the units or courses.
Thursday, March 18 – 1:00pm – 4:50pm
• Engineering byDesign – Invention, Innovation, and
Inquiry (I 3 ) (Grades 3–5)
• Engineering byDesign – Technological Systems
• Engineering byDesign – Foundations of Technology
• Engineering byDesign – Advanced Technological
Applications (Grades 11–12)
Friday, March 19 – 2:00pm – 4:50pm
• Engineering byDesign – Exploring Technology
• Engineering byDesign – Technological Design
• Engineering byDesign – Advanced Design Applications
Saturday, March 20 - 9:00am – 11:50am
• Engineering byDesign – Technology Starters
• Engineering byDesign – Engineering Design
ITEA Member Receives Rawlings Outstanding
Distance Education Teaching Award
Mary Annette Rose, associate professor
of technology at Ball State University, has
won the Rawlings Outstanding Distance
Education Teaching Award in the School
of Extended Education. The award,
established in 2002, honors a full-time
professor who has proven to be the most dedicated to
teaching continuing education courses at off-campus sites.
Rose received the award for her ongoing commitment to
distance education and her concern for developing and
improving instructional materials. In 2009, with funding
from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Rose
orchestrated a Web-based seminar series for practicing
teachers across the country. This professional development
experience, EnviroTech, enabled 20 technology teachers
and more than 400 students to examine the environmental
and health impacts of their technological decisions. The
award was named after Joseph Rawlings, Dean Emeritus of
the School of Extended Education. Rawlings worked nearly
20 years to create and develop the university’s distance
Teachers: Share Your Passion!
Are you ready to share your passion for STEM education
at the Federal level? Bring that passion to Washington,
DC in your role as an Albert Einstein Distinguished
2 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
STEM News - Calendar
Educator Fellow. This prestigious fellowship program
brings outstanding K-12 science, technology, engineering,
and math (STEM) educators to Washington, DC for a
school year to share their practical insights and real-world
perspectives in offices of Federal Agencies or Capitol Hill.
As an Einstein Fellow, you will receive a monthly stipend, a
moving allowance, and a travel budget. You are the perfect
candidate for an Einstein Fellowship if you…
• thrive on personal and professional challenges.
• love to network with creative, passionate, intelligent
• recognize the importance of experienced educators
sharing their knowledge in the national education
• have the desire and the confidence to work on
educational programs and/or issues at a national level.
• want to learn more about the role of federal agencies in
education and influence decisions.
The program is administered by the U.S. Department of
Energy and is managed by Triangle Coalition for Science
and Technology Education. Visit www.einsteinfellows.
net to learn more about the program and meet this year’s
Fellows. You will find additional information and the
online application (under the Information tab) on the
Fellows’ website. You can access the application by clicking
on the word “apply” in the box on the left side of the page
once you link to the Department of Energy’s page. Create
an ID and password to begin, and you are on your way to
joining the elite cohort of Einstein Fellows! If you have
any other questions or would simply like to talk about the
program, please contact Kathryn Culbertson, Program
Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by
telephone at 703-519-5963.
February 14-20, 2010 ITEA will again partner
with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
for National Engineers Week. Founded in 1951 by the
National Society of Professional Engineers, this event is a
formal coalition of more than 70 engineering, education,
and cultural societies, and more than 50 corporations
and government agencies. Dedicated to raising public
awareness of engineers’ positive contributions to quality
of life, Engineers Week promotes recognition among
parents, teachers, and students of the importance of a
technical education and a high level of math, science,
and technological literacy, and motivates youth to pursue
engineering careers in order to provide a diverse and
vigorous engineering workforce. Information is available at
February 25-26, 2010 The 14th Annual Children’s
Engineering Convention will be held at the Holiday Inn
Select – Koger Center in Midlothian, VA. Convention
registration and other forms are available at the VCEC
website: www.childrensengineering.org. Contact Mary
Hurst (email@example.com) with questions.
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.
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
3 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
the Classroom on the Mall and to make a
reservation for your class trip, please visit
April 9-10, 2010 The Ohio
Technology Education Association
(OTEA) will hold its Spring Conference
at Worthington Kilbourne High School.
HTML for complete details.
May 13, 2010 The Connecticut
Technology Education Association
Spring Conference will be held at
the CCSU Student Center. Online
registration and payment: www.cteaweb.
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://
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
4 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
Resources in Technology
Producing Nuclear Power
By Vincent W. Childress
Is increasing the number of
nuclear power plants an advisable
way to meet increasing demands
just over 7 percent of the United States’ generating capacity.
Nuclear energy accounts for 9.6 percent of the United States’
electrical generating capacity but supplies about 20 percent
of the electricity in the United States (Nuclear Regulatory
Commission, 2008a). Besides the long-term storage or
redevelopment of spent nuclear fuel, another practical
disadvantage of nuclear energy is that nuclear power plants
must maintain high levels of safety regarding the ability to
control the necessary nuclear reaction.
Why Fuels Are Needed to Generate Electricity
(The following section is reprinted from Childress, 2008.)
There is a potential crisis looming related to the world’s
need for energy. On the one hand, energy demands are
growing every day, and could double by 2050 (Office of
Nuclear Energy, 2008). On the other hand, burning of
traditional fossil fuels to generate electricity is contributing
to the increase in greenhouse gases.
Would it be advisable to increase the number of nuclear
power plants as an energy source for meeting this increasing
demand for electricity?
Nuclear Energy and the Generation of Electricity
Electricity generated from nuclear energy does not produce
greenhouse gases, but it has one major problem associated
with it. Used fuel remains radioactive for centuries after
it has been used in power plants. The depleted fuel is a
potential hazard to humans and the environment and
is susceptible to terrorist interdiction. Conventional
hydroelectric is another form of electrical generation that
does not produce greenhouse gases. As of the Department
of Energy’s Energy Information Administration’s 2008(a)
accounting, traditional hydroelectric generation accounts for
Electromagnetic induction is a phenomenon by which
electrical current can be made to flow in an electrical
conductor. Copper wire is an example of an electrical
conductor, and at the atomic level, copper has an extra
electron in its outer shell. When that electron is caused to
move from one copper atom to another, you have electrical
current or the flow of electricity. Electrons in neighboring
atoms are behaving the same way, so you end up with
current flowing in all parts of the conductor. What can cause
the electron to move from one atom to another? Magnetism.
In order to induce current flow in a conductor, there must
be relative motion between the conductor and the magnetic
field. No matter what the source of energy used to generate
useable electrical current from electromagnetic induction,
the process is basically the same: move an electrical
conductor in a magnetic field, or move a magnetic field
across an electrical conductor. What creates this motion?
Steam or water is used to move the parts of a generator so
that the motion required for electromagnetic induction is
sustained. To produce the steam, fuel must be used. What
fuel is burned? Coal, natural gas, and petroleum; and for
nuclear, radiation is used to heat the water into steam.
Therefore, thermal energy is converted into mechanical
energy, which is converted into electrical energy.
5 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
ground, and the uranium is recovered by separating it from
the solution. Mined uranium is refined into yellowcake.
Yellowcake is a state in which uranium is separated from
the surrounding rock. The primary hazard related to
uranium mining is exposure to the natural radioactivity of
the ore and contaminated overburden, especially through
water that may escape the mining site (Environmental
Protection Agency, 2009).
Figure 1. Nuclear power plants such as the Calvert Cliffs facility in
Lusby, Maryland generate electricity for surrounding communities.
The cylindrical containment structures are the Unit 1 and Unit 2
pressurized light water reactors that provide a secure environment
producing the nuclear energy. The Calvert Cliffs plant is recognized
as the first plant in the United States to earn 20-year extensions
of its operating licenses from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission. (NRC file photo/Courtesy CCNPPI.)
Mining and Refining Uranium
To eventually generate electricity with nuclear energy,
a mining company must first locate, refine, enrich, and
manufacture fuel-grade uranium pellets. While the Office
of Nuclear Energy (2008) suggests that there should be
discussions on making nuclear energy a primary source
of energy for electrical generation, the Office of Energy
Statistics reports that uranium mining operations are
limited. There are currently only four mining-by-leaching
operations and one mining-ore-and-milling operation
active in the United States. Those are currently the only
plants in the United States that could supply uranium
to the nation’s 103 nuclear generators. Production of
enriched uranium is down from 2007, but it is up overall
from the earlier part of this decade (Office of Energy
There are two basic alternative processes used to mine
uranium. The more costly alternatives are conventional
open pit and underground mining in which ore is dug from
the ground. These two conventional approaches are similar
to coal mining. In-situ leaching is the second process used
to mine uranium ore. During in-situ leaching, a solvent
is pumped into the ground where it dissolves uranium
into a solution. The solution is then pumped out of the
Uranium is an element that exists in slightly different forms
in nature. All uranium atoms have the same number of
protons, but not all uranium atoms have the same number
of neutrons. The heat that is created by uranium comes
from nuclear fission, a process that causes an atom to
split into pieces. When uranium naturally decays, it emits
neutrons. Loose neutrons will collide with other uranium
atoms and cause them to split. In turn, more neutrons are
released that collide with even more uranium atoms. This
chain reaction can keep expanding exponentially until a
huge nuclear explosion takes place. However, in a nuclear
power plant, this chain reaction is controlled such that it
does not produce more heat than the containment building
and the reactor equipment can withstand.
Yellowcake must be delivered to the enrichment plant.
Usable uranium 235 exists naturally in very small
quantities. In the United States, only gas diffusion is used
to enrich uranium for commercial use, and as of 2007, there
was only one plant that performed the enrichment. In its
gaseous form, uranium 235 is small and light compared
to other gas forms of uranium. The gas diffusion process
is quite simple. Uranium in gas form is passed through
hundreds of filter materials that are designed to allow more
uranium 235 to pass than heavier forms of uranium. By
the end of the filtering or diffusion process, the relative
concentration of uranium 235 has increased in the batch
from about 0.7 percent to about 5.0 percent. At that point,
the gas cools, returns to a liquid state, is cast into shapes,
and cools into a solid (Nuclear Regulatory Commission,
2007a). Uranium is a heavy metal that can be processed
like any other metal, such as steel. Typically, uranium is
oxidized and pressed into ceramic pellets. The pellets are
packed into metal tubes, and the tubes are assembled into
configurations that are ready for use as fuel in electrical
generating plants (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease
The thing that makes uranium 235 so useful for electrical
generation is that it readily sustains a chain reaction from
fission, but it is not so radioactive that it will cause a
nuclear explosion (Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 2007).
6 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
Nuclear Power Plants
There are two basic sections at the heart of a nuclear power
plant. One major part is the reactor. The second major part
is the generator.
Nuclear reactors. The reactor has a core, and the core
consists of the fuel assembly with the tubes of uranium
pellets, control rods, and circulating, highly purified water.
The function of the fuel assembly is to place uranium in
water so its nuclear fission will heat the water. The function
of the control rods is to absorb more or fewer neutrons
depending on whether more or less heat is needed. The
more the control rods absorb, the slower the rate of fission.
The closer the control rods are positioned to the fuel
assembly, the more the control rods absorb neutrons. There
are two basic types of reactors operating in the United
States. One is the boiling water reactor, and the other is the
pressurized water reactor. The pressurized water reactor
has one safety advantage over the boiling water reactor.
The water that is exposed to the reactor core never comes
into contact with the generator’s turbine, and the reactor
water, therefore, stays inside the containment building.
This is accomplished by use of a large heat exchanger. The
hot water in the reactor core travels through pipes. These
pipes are suspended in another tank of water. This other
water is never directly exposed to the reactor core. The
water from the reactor core heats this other water. Because
this second water system is under pressure, steam is readily
produced and is used to turn the turbine, which in turn
spins the electrical generator. With the boiling water system,
core water is used to spin the turbine directly. The steam
is cooled and condenses back into a liquid. Then the water
is pumped back through the system. For reactor safety,
there are redundant auxiliary cooling systems. When all
cooling systems fail, the danger of a “meltdown” becomes
extreme. In a meltdown the uranium fuel becomes so hot
that the fuel assemblies literally melt the packages that hold
them, melt any containment in the reactor core area, and
melt through the floor of the containment building. Once
the containment building is breached, the public is at risk
of exposure to high, lethal levels of radioactivity (Nuclear
Regulatory Commission, 2007a).
(The following section is reprinted from Childress, 2008.)
The generator, itself, has two basic parts, the stator, which is
stationary, and the rotor, which rotates. The magnetic field
is produced using electromagnets carefully positioned at
different locations in the stator. The electricity that is used
to produce the magnetism in these “field magnets” comes
from the same power grid that serves other industries and
commercial operations in the area. Electromagnets are coils
of wire wrapped around an armature or metal frame that
helps to structure the magnetic field (The Electricity Forum,
Figure 2. The heart of a nuclear power plant is the nuclear reactor
with its fuel rods, control system, and steam and heat exchanger.
Nuclear power is used to generate high pressure steam to turn
turbines that turn the generators to generate electricity. Unlike
fossil fuels that are burned and create undesirable emissions,
nuclear energy uses a nuclear reaction to produce heat without the
undesirable carbon emissions.
Figure 3. Single phase and three-phase or polyphase generators
operate on the same basic principle of magnetic induction. However,
polyphase generators provide multiple wave forms that reach
their peak instantaneous values at different intervals, thus improving
efficiency and reducing the size of the equipment. Polyphase
generators typically generate large amounts of power such as in a
7 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
2008). When electrical current flows through a conductor, it
produces electromagnetism. If the conductor is coiled, then
the magnetic field is much stronger. The rotor also has coils
of wire wrapped around an armature. These coils, turned by
the turbine, spin rapidly inside of the magnetic fields, and
in them is induced electrical current. Mechanical energy is
converted into electrical energy.
Is Nuclear Power Green?
The extent to which nuclear power can be considered
“green” depends on society’s tolerance of nuclear power’s
three distinct disadvantages: (1) Nuclear power requires the
very long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel, (2) When safety
systems fail, reactor core meltdown is possible, (3) Enriched
uranium and spent fuel must be guarded to prevent
terrorists from using it for dirty bombs or for recycling into
military-grade atomic weapons.
Storage of spent nuclear fuel. Spent nuclear fuel remains
radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. Nuclear
power plants have to change out about one-third of their
fuel assemblies annually, producing an estimated 2000
metric tons of radioactive waste. Thus far, the United States
has stored spent nuclear fuel deep underground in the Yucca
Mountain storage facility, but Yucca Mountain is filled to
its current legal capacity. The amount of nuclear material
that can be safely stored using current technology is limited
because the spent nuclear fuel generates significant amounts
of heat even after its initial cooling period. If technical
innovations succeed at doubling the storage capacity at
Yucca Mountain, it is estimated to reach capacity again by
2010. Argonne National Laboratory suggests that there are
three options for the storage of nuclear waste from power
plants. One option is to find another place similar to Yucca
Mountain that will be free of significant earthquakes and
cave-ins for more than 100,000 years. The other two options
are partial recycling and full recycling. Recycling nuclear
fuel means extracting remaining radioactive isotopes from
the fuel pellets, but this is an area of critical research. There
currently exists no way to prevent nuclear waste from
remaining dangerously radioactive for generation after
generation (Finck, 2005).
With Yucca Mountain at capacity, nuclear power plants are
storing their own fuel assemblies on power plant premises.
There is tons of stored fuel at plants across the country.
There are two basic ways to store fuel on premises. One
is in cooling pools, and the other is in large metal casks.
The cooling pools are about 20 feet deep with water, and
fuel assemblies are moved from the reactor to the cooling
pool by moving them along a canal. Once a fuel assembly
is sufficiently cool, it may be stored in a cask. Typical
casks are about the size of a semitrailer. They have double
metal walls and are bolted shut (Nuclear Regulatory
Meltdowns. There have been two widely known nuclear
power plant meltdowns. One was in the United States at
the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. The other was
in the Soviet Union at its Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
The Chernobyl accident had devastating and long-lasting
consequences. The events that caused the meltdown at
Chernobyl were caused by human error. Because the reactor
was to undergo testing, a safety system was manually
disabled, which was not an error. During the test, the amount
of electrical power being generated was to be reduced. The
control rods were positioned closer to the fuel assemblies to
lower the amount of heat being developed. However, when
the test was postponed, the operator failed to restore the
safety system. The operator also left the controls set for lower
power generation. When the test was postponed, the plant
was to restore the amount of power it had been generating
to serve its customers. So the control rods were moved away
from the fuel assemblies in order to increase the heat for
the purpose of increasing the amount of electrical power.
Because the controls were set for low power generation,
when increased power generation was attempted, there
was a sudden decrease in power generation instead of the
expected increase. When there is a sudden decrease in power
in this type of reactor, xenon gas is created. The xenon gas
is readily absorbed by the control rods. The control rods
become saturated with xenon gas. When the power did not
increase, the operator moved the control rods away from the
fuel assembly beyond the limits allowed. The reactor began to
overheat. When it was realized that there was a problem, the
operator attempted to position the control rods closer to the
fuel assembly, but there was already too much damage. Then
the operator tried to position the control rods all the way into
the shut-down position, but the system was too damaged. The
reactor became so hot that it was blown up by high steam and
water pressure, breaching the containment structure. Molten
fuel was thrown about the power plant site, causing fires and
allowing emission of radioactive particles across hundreds of
square miles (Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 1987).
Terrorism and security. After the breakup of the Soviet
Union, the security of its nuclear arsenal became a
worldwide safety concern. Within the borders of the United
States, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (2008c) is
responsible for keeping nuclear materials, both source
materials (meaning ore) and special nuclear materials
(enriched uranium), out of the hands of “adversaries” of the
United States. The main threat to special nuclear material is
from theft by insiders. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission
8 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
documents and physically checks the inventory of nuclear
fuel at every nuclear power plant in the United States. The
Commission is also responsible for securing nuclear power
plants against attacks. The Commission concluded that
an attack by plane similar in nature to those of September
11 would not pose a risk to the public. There are several
reasons that the Commission reached this conclusion. The
targets of the 9/11 attacks—the World Trade Center towers
and the Pentagon—were large buildings relative to the size
of a reactor containment building, a cooling pool, or a cask
storage structure. If a plane were to strike a containment
structure, its extra thick, steel reinforced, concrete outer
shell would tend to minimize the damage relative to other
buildings that are not as “hardened” from attack. To guard
against attack by personnel at a nuclear power plant, the
Commission requires the plant to staff highly trained,
armed security guards. There are guard towers, electronic
surveillance, and sensors, and barriers such as fencing and
water. Other security measures are classified.
The extent to which nuclear power is green is a matter for
debate. Like most technologies, there are tradeoffs with
nuclear power. The process does not create greenhouse
gases, but it does generate deadly waste that will have
to be stored under special circumstances for more than
100,000 years. Part of the debate might include whether
or not greenhouse gases and air pollution, in general, are
more harmful to humans and the environment than would
be nuclear waste were it to fall into the wrong hands or be
abandoned by failed civilizations, say, 5,000 years from now.
Understanding both the benefits and the risks is important
if society is to make responsible decisions about the
management of the technological world.
The following activity addresses Standards for Technological
Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology (ITEA,
2000/2002/2007) Standard 4, Benchmarks D and I.
Students will develop an understanding of the cultural,
social, economic, and political effects of technology. (p. 57)
The use of technology affects humans in various ways,
including their safety, comfort, choices, and attitudes
about technology’s development and use. (p. 60)
Making decisions about the use of technology
involves weighing the trade-offs between the positive
and negative effects. (p. 62)
Have your students conduct an abbreviated technology
assessment to estimate influences of nuclear power on
society. Students should examine the following where
• Choose a specific nuclear power plant. Many countries
around the world have commercial nuclear power
plants. This may be a plant that is local or it may be a
plant that is of interest to students that is not local.
• Determine the amount of power that the plant
• Determine what percentage of power demand is served
by the plant.
• Compare how much coal would need to be burned
in order to replace the nuclear generator were it
• Determine, if possible, what safety systems are in place
at the plant.
• Determine the location of the plant in relation to
nearby energy users for distribution convenience, to
nearby population centers for a safety perspective, and
to nearby transportation infrastructure for movement
of nuclear fuel and access in emergencies. Examine a
satellite photo of the plant to see if there are security
obstacles to deter trespassers and adversaries.
• Determine the age and licensing status of the plant.
• Identify any news coverage or special issues that are
related to the plant.
• Weigh the positive and negative findings of this
Two good resources are the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission’s website and Google Earth. Google Earth is
software that allows a viewer to identify satellite imagery
for specific locations on the face of the earth. It is free, easy
to download, and easy to use. Google Earth is downloadable
at http://earth.google.com/. The Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (2007b) has a listing of all nuclear power
reactors in the United States at www.nrc.gov/reactors/
operating/list-power-reactor-units.html. The Commission
(2008d) also has a map located at www.nrc.gov/reactors/
In order to use Google Earth once it is installed on a
computer, use its “Fly to” feature by entering the name of
a locality where the plant of interest is located. The globe
will position itself and zoom in automatically over that
locality. Then enter “nuclear power plant” in the same “Fly
to” feature. Google Earth will then shift the satellite imagery
to the nearest nuclear power plant. For example, the first
power plant listed on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s
website is Russellville, Arkansas. Enter Russellville, AR.
9 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
Allow the satellite imagery to shift and zoom. Key in
“nuclear power plant,” enter, and allow the imagery to
shift again. Imagery of Arkansas Nuclear Power Plant
appears. Zoom in to examine the plant and vicinity. In this
example, students might notice that an interstate highway
is nearby for reliable transportation for the movement of
fuel or for emergencies, water is nearby for cooling and
safety obstacles. This plant is surrounded by water on three
sides. A guard house is even visible. Students may notice
that power transmission is convenient to Russellville and
vicinity. However, one can also determine exactly how close
or far a plant is to a population center by using the “Ruler”
tool. Russellville is only six miles from the plant, but it is not
a very large population center. Little Rock, a much larger
city, is about 66 miles from the plant. Other facilities related
to the nuclear fuel cycle are easy to locate, such as the Crow
Butte, Inc. in situ recovery facility visible near Chadron,
Nebraska. Finally, facilities are easy to locate worldwide,
such as nuclear power plants in France, Iran, India,
and North Korea. They are quite discernible, with their
signature cooling towers and containment buildings.
References and Resources
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. (1999).
Toxicological profile for uranium. Atlanta, GA: U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved
September 21, 2009, from www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/
Childress, V. W. (2008). Resources in technology: Energy
perspective: Is hydroelectricity green? The Technology
Teacher, 68(5), 4-9.
The Electricity Forum. (2008). Electricity generation. Geneva,
NY: Author. Retrieved September 20, 2008, from www.
Energy Information Administration. (2008a). Energy
generating capacity. Washington, DC: U.S. Department
of Energy. Retrieved September 21, 2009, from www.eia.
Energy Information Administration. (2008b). Domestic
uranium production report. Washington, DC: U.S.
Department of Energy. Retrieved September 21, 2009,
Environmental Protection Agency. (2009). Uranium mining
wastes. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved September
21, 2009, from www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/tenorm/
Finck, P. J. (2005). Statement of Dr. Phillip J. Finck, Deputy
Associate Laboratory Director for Applied Science
and Technology and National Security, Argonne
National Laboratory before the House Committee on
Science, Energy Subcommittee: Hearing on nuclear
fuel reprocessing — June 16, 2005. Washington, DC:
U.S. Department of Energy. Retrieved September 21,
2009, from www.anl.gov/Media_Center/News/2005/
Google. (2009). Google Earth [software]. Mountain View,
CA: Author. Available at http://earth.google.com/.
International Technology Education Association.
(2000/2002/2007). Standards for technological literacy:
Content for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (1987). Report on the
accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station
(NUREG-1250). Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved
September 21, 2009, from www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doccollections/nuregs/staff/sr1250/.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (2007a). Uranium
enrichment. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved
September 21, 2009, from www.nrc.gov/materials/fuelcycle-fac/ur-enrichment.html.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (2007b). List of power
reactor units. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved
September 21, 2009, from www.nrc.gov/materials/fuelcycle-fac/ur-enrichment.html.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (2008a). Power reactors.
Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved September 21, 2009,
Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (2008b). Storage of
spent nuclear fuel. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved
September 21, 2009, from www.nrc.gov/waste/spentfuel-storage.html.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (2008c). Security spotlight.
Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved September 21, 2009,
Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (2008d). Map of power
reactor sites. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved
September 21, 2009, from www.nrc.gov/reactors/
Office of Nuclear Energy. (2008). A sustainable energy
future: The essential role of nuclear energy. Washington,
DC: United States Department of Energy. Retrieved
September 21, 2009, from www.ne.doe.gov/pdfFiles/
Vincent W. Childress, Ph.D., is a professor
of Technology Education at North Carolina
A&T State University in Greensboro, North
Carolina. He can be reached at childres@
10 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
Breaking Boundaries and
Sparking Enthusiasm with TSA
By Timothy R. Hess
Through active TSA involvement,
parents, administrators, and
community members grasp the
rationale and importance behind
classroom—utilizing the resources of an organization that
promotes the importance of technological literacy (Taylor,
What is TSA?
The Technology Student Association is a student
organization that allows schools to compete against
neighboring schools in technology-related events. TSA
is dedicated to creating innovative leaders in technology,
design, and engineering (The Technology Student
Association (TSA), 2008). High school and middle school
TSA chapters are given the opportunity to apply what they
have learned in the classroom to practical, open-ended
problems. (See Figure 1.) Students present their solutions
to the design briefs at the regional, state, and national
levels. The competitions allow students to utilize their skills
in engineering, communications, materials, energy and
Imagine the pride experienced by a student who has
just heard his or her name announced throughout an
auditorium of students from around the nation. A smile
creeps onto the student’s face as he or she realizes what
it means to place in a national competition. The student
may have never been the star quarterback or the lead in the
annual high school musical, but at this moment, he or she
is overwhelmed with pride. The sense of accomplishment
that is associated with this achievement is clearly illustrated
by the joy on the student’s face as he or she holds a trophy.
As an advisor, you share the student’s honor as you reflect
on all the hard work that took place during countless hours
after school. The Technology Student Association (TSA)
provides these opportunities for all students who excel in
technology education classes. Imagine the motivational
aspects and possibilities that the scenario above offers your
students. TSA is really an excellent way to enrich your
Figure 1. Two Technology Student Association students cooperate
to complete the design brief included in the Problem Solving event.
11 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
transportation, and leadership challenges; all components
of technology are covered in comprehensive conference
schedules. (See Table 2.) Each experience opens the door to
a new level of competition where students can participate
in conferences and network with children from around
the nation. TSA offers so many academic advantages but
also incorporates social and interpersonal skills (DeLuca
& Haynie, 1991). At the end of each conference, students
leave not only with a sense of pride, but also with new
friends who share their interest in technology.
The strength of a TSA chapter is dependent on student
involvement. The size of the chapter is based on the
recruiting efforts of teachers. The best recruitment tool for
TSA is using the curriculum as an enticing preview of the
club’s content. Including TSA activities in classes highlights
popular events and stimulates class interests. Through a
competitive learning environment, you are able to expose
the students to TSA and provide excellent motivational
benefits within the classroom.
The beginning of the year is the best time to encourage
students who are curious about joining the club. A great
method for accomplishing this interest is to organize an
informative, casual meeting. Ask your officer team or
chapter leaders to be available to answer questions and
describe TSA through a student’s perspectives. During
the meeting, have a student-produced promotional film
playing that incorporates images from last year’s TSA trips.
Use this time to convey the excitement of participating
in a nationally recognized affiliation. More promotional
materials may be obtained through National TSA or your
TSA state advisor.
Convey enthusiasm by demonstrating the same level of
commitment that you request from your students. Start out
by attending a regional meeting and volunteering to help
at a regional conference. Your commitment to TSA will
illustrate to your students your belief in the importance of
its mission. It is also important to strengthen your club by
establishing strong student leadership. Consider using the
TSA Chapter Team competition as a way to run meetings
and actively promote membership. A chapter team consists
of a president, vice president, secretary, sergeant at arms,
reporter, and treasurer. This team needs to be carefully
selected to aid in club organization and completing
routine chapter tasks such as financial record keeping
and recording meeting minutes. A strong chapter team
eliminates a lot of the stress associated with being a new
advisor and also creates a collaborative environment that
produces effective chapters.
Promoting a chapter through school and local media
also increases numbers by raising awareness of the club.
Highlight recent successes at competitions by publishing
results in school newsletters and announcements. Send
articles to local newspapers describing your school’s
experiences at a conference. By using positive publicity to
raise curiosity, you entice students to join. Some students
may not be in TSA simply because they do not know what
the club entails. Educate the school about TSA competitions
by placing examples of projects on display in your school.
Bulletin boards and pictures can also be utilized to highlight
the experience of attending a conference.
What Should I Expect at the TSA Conferences?
The ultimate promotional tool for TSA is the conference. All
of the hard work prior to a conference is rewarded through
the conference experience. The best way to get students
involved is to expose them to the collaborative learning
environment of a TSA conference. TSA competitive
events are held at three levels beginning at a regional
conference. This event normally coincides with one school
day and offers a limited number of events determined by
the regional coordinator. After regionals, students may
travel to the state and national conferences. Because TSA
emphasizes technological literacy, any student may attend
all of the conferences. With the exception of qualifying
events, competitive events are open to all members.
Qualifying events require students to place during the
previous level of competition. A student who did not qualify
in any events during the state conference may still attend a
national conference and participate in any event that is not
a qualifier. Although all students may experience TSA at all
levels, individual states may initiate their own restrictions
on advancements to state conference. Contact your state
TSA advisor for your state’s conference requirements.
Each tier of competition requires students to reflect and
improve on their work as they advance to the national
conference. Students who experience the excitement
surrounding a national conference are rarely disappointed
and walk away anticipating next year’s competitions.
What are the Benefits of TSA?
The Technology Student Association’s main focus has always
been on the students. Advisors have always recognized that
this organization is for the students. To better understand
the benefits associated with implementing a chapter, it is
important to reflect on the students’ perceptions of TSA.
TSA from a Student’s View
Students’ first experience with TSA is normally through a
technology education teacher’s recommendation. When
12 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
asked why they joined TSA, most students replied that a
teacher steered them towards the club; a close second are
technology classes. Through personal experience, I have
found that the teacher and the curriculum are the best
recruitment tools. As a TSA advisor, try to continually
interject TSA into classes with project examples and stories
that relate to curriculum. Also, identify students who might
be interested in the club and recommend that they join. If
they say no at first, ask again! Most students who join the
club do so based on teacher and student suggestions; few are
There is so much to offer students through TSA that the
program sells itself once they are exposed to it. After
questioning a few students in my high school chapter, all
students identified conferences as the best part of TSA. One
student replied that the best part of TSA is getting paid back
for hard work. When asked to describe TSA, the 2008-2009
Pennsylvania state TSA Vice-President said, “A group of
highly motivated, hard-working students and advisors who
strive to accomplish great things.” Another student in my
high school chapter answered the question by stating, “A
group of young, innovative kids doing what they like.” The
camaraderie among students was also labeled as another
motivation factor for TSA. Students really enjoy meeting
other students in other schools and chapters who share
their interests. TSA is an excellent model of a collaborative
learning environment where students gain more from
working with their peers than actually competing with them.
The long-range benefits of TSA are also numerous. Students
who join TSA clearly envision their experiences in the
club as enriching their future. Students active in Pequea
Valley’s TSA chapter listed benefits such as leadership skills,
potential scholarships, being acquainted with deadlines, and
being prepared to work in a highly technological world. If
the advisor emphasizes these potential benefits to students,
parents, and school, club membership and support will
One of the most prevailing motivational pieces for
advisors would be the benefits associated with TSA.
According to Clark and Wenig (1999), in a study examining
characteristics of effective technology education programs
in North Carolina, student involvement in TSA may
promote and support your technology education program.
Technology education departments can use TSA to promote
all of the innovative ideas and activities occurring in the
classroom. Through active TSA involvement, parents,
administrators, and community members grasp the
rationale and importance behind technology education. To
effectively communicate the mission of TSA and promote
its membership, local newspapers and school newsletters
should be utilized to publicize chapter achievements or
events. This exposure also paints a positive image for
your department and may earn increased support from
administrators. Active involvement in TSA is a great way to
advocate for the technology education field through sharing
the innovative and academic characteristics with parents
TSA and the Standards
The Standards for Technological Literacy (STL) document
provides an excellent example of TSA’s ability to cover
Pennsylvania Science and Technology (6 of 8 Standards Addressed)
3.1 Unifying Themes – Example: SciViz
3.2 Inquiry and Design – Example: Problem Solving
3.4 Physical Science, Chemistry, and Physics – Example: Structural Engineering
3.6 Technology Education – Every area of technology is represented
3.7 Technological Devices – Example: Manufacturing Prototype
3.8 Science, Technology, and Human Endeavors – Example: Prepared Presentation
2.3 Measurement and Estimation – Most events require students to measure layouts or dimensions
2.4 Mathematical Reasoning and Connections – Example: Electronic Research and Experimentation
2.9 Geometry – Example: CAD 2-D, Architecture
Pennsylvania Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening
1.5 Quality of Writing – Most static projects require a written report
1.6 Speaking and Listening – Example: Extemporaneous Speaking – Prepare a speech on a topic 15 minutes prior to the
1.8 Research – Example: Medical Technology
Table 1. The chart above utilizes the Pennsylvania math, language arts, and science and technology standards to demonstrate how TSA
events address the various curriculums (Pennsylvania Department of Education [PDE], 2008).
13 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
content assessed on state standardized tests (ITEA,
2000/2002/2007). All twenty of the technological literacy
standards have a least one event that addresses the content
in the benchmarks. (See Table 1.) Students in TSA rely
heavily on the use of tools and materials to construct
prototypes and models for the TSA competitive events. Like
technology education, TSA competitive events encourage
inquiry and design as students fabricate and test multiple
solutions to open-ended problems. The manufacturing
prototype event requires students to use devices from
multiple areas while implementing the design process. This
challenge requires information technologies to design a
promotional enclosure for the solution as well as physical
technologies to build a working prototype. Manufacturing
prototype is just one of the many events that address design
as described in Standards 8, 9, and 10 of STL.
The structural engineering event requires students to
analyze forces present in bridge designs. (See Figure 2.) In
addition to applying the design process, this event includes
aspects of the twentieth STL standard, construction
systems. The final example of a standard integrated into
a TSA event revolves around the technology and society
standard. TSA’s writing and speaking events all require
students to analyze how technology and society interrelate;
these events address STL Standards 4 through 7. Math
and English standards are also a part of what TSA offers
TSA competitions are heavily dependent on math skills.
Some events depend on math to help students estimate
or solve complex design briefs. TSA requires students
to perform various calculations, measure materials, and
utilize shapes and angles in mechanical drawings. In
addition to math, writing standards are also addressed.
Students must complete written reports to be submitted
with most projects. These writing samples are graded on
focus, content, and organization. This assessment strategy
mirrors the rubric used to evaluate most answers on state
standardized tests. An example of an application of writing
in TSA is the recent addition of the persuasive writing
event, Essays on Technology. This event requires students to
write a persuasive essay that is supported through research;
effective written expression is also evaluated in this event.
Speaking skills are also improved through public speaking
events like Extemporaneous Speaking. This event provides
students with a topic moments before the event begins
and evaluates a student’s ability to speak on a technologyrelated
topic with little preparation. Research events like
Agriculture and Biotechnology Design require students to
conduct research to present a solution to a student-selected
research question. Similar TSA research events apply the
Figure 2. A student watches as his structural design is tested during
a state Technology Student Association conference. Students
are anxious to see if their theoretical maximum load matches the
content in Standards for the English Language Arts (NCTE,
2008). TSA reflects technology education’s desire to provide
students with a relevant application for core subjects
through the science, technology education, and math
(STEM) initiative (TSA, 2008).
How Do I Start a Chapter?
Now that all the benefits have been described, your first
question is probably how do I join? Starting a TSA chapter
is not a tremendously difficult feat but does require you to
complete a few initial steps. After identifying interested
students and obtaining administrative approval, begin
researching funds. Some chapters use fundraising ideas
like car washes to raise money. My chapter relies heavily on
printing t-shirts for other organizations, thus capitalizing
14 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
on our technology skills to raise money. Grants can also
provide some income for chapters. Although not available to
TSA chapters in Pennsylvania, Perkins Funds are instituted
to help technical educational programs in other states (U.S.
Department of Education, n.d.). Similar funds and grants
can also be found by a simple Internet search.
The primary cost to a first-year chapter is affiliating with
National TSA (The Technology Student Association, 2008).
A larger school may register the entire student population
through a CAP affiliation or reduce costs in smaller chapters
by affiliating individual students. By affiliating, you are
recognized as an official TSA chapter and receive the TSA
handbook with all of the event information (Technology
Student Association, 2008). This step is required prior to any
competition. Once you have approval and have identified
some interested students, contact a mentor to help you
through the first year. This could be your TSA State Advisor,
Regional Coordinator, or a friend at a neighboring school.
All of these resources can be found at your state’s TSA
Webpage or at www.tsaweb.org. The first year, some chapter
advisors decide to go to regional conferences as observers.
This experience is financially easier and gives the advisor
the scope of the organization without adding the stress of
registering and following the competition’s schedule. After
the first year, the rest of your TSA experience will be a lot
smoother and full of rewards.
The Technology Student Association represents the
educational benefits in a technology education classroom.
Students are motivated by competition and use that
enthusiasm to excel academically. This article highlights just
Agriculture and Biotechnology Design
Computer-Aided Design 2-D, Architecture
Computer Aided Design 3-D, Engineering
Computer-Aided Design Animation
Electronic Game Design
Electronic Research and Experimentation
Scientific and Technical Visualization
System Control Technology
Technical Sketching and Application
Technology Problem Solving
Teams research an event-related topic and display their conclusions.
Teams will design and construct an automated device to carry out a specific task.
Participants will construct plans to satisfy a design brief.
Participants research a career in technology and complete a formal job resume and
Teams conduct a business meeting utilizing parliamentary procedures.
Individuals compete using architectural skills and knowledge.
Individuals produce a 3-D drawing for a product.
Individuals use a provided sketch to produce an animated technical drawing.
Teams are tested on their construction knowledge and compete by solving a
Teams design and launch a website showcasing their school’s program.
Individuals produce an advertising scheme for a company.
Individuals produce a C0 2
Teams develop an electronic game.
Teams research and develop an innovative electronic device.
Teams solve a design brief by prototyping and displaying their solution to a societal problem.
Students speak on a topic that was provided 15 minutes prior to their time slot.
Teams develop a video on the topic of their choice.
Students develop a rubber-band-powered aircraft.
Students capture and manipulate images centered on a given theme.
Participants design and produce a prototype related to industry.
Teams research and display information regarding a medical technology.
Students present a topic discussing a preselected technology issue.
Students produce a TSA promotional poster.
Teams produce an RC vehicle that is capable of moving a load.
Teams develop an electronic visualization about a theme.
Participants construct a structure to efficiently hold a load.
Teams construct a computer-controlled model to solve a design brief.
Students write a report on an announced technology.
Teams compete against other teams’ technological knowledge.
Teams develop a device to sort parts using fluid, mechanical, and electrical systems.
Teams compete to solve an open-ended problem.
Individuals must produce a CO 2
-powered car to meet a specific design.
Table 2. Brief Summaries for High School Competitive Events Held in the 2008 National Technology Student Association Conference.
15 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
the tip of the iceberg; there is so much more to learn about
TSA and its rewards for all members involved. The only way
you can see all of the strengths of the club is to be involved
yourself. The work involved in initiating and maintaining a
chapter is easily negated the first time one of your students
thanks you for allowing them to experience TSA or places in
his or her first event.
Clark, A. C. & Wenig, R. E. (1999). Identification of quality
characteristics of technology education programs:
A North Carolina case study. Journal of Technology
Education, 11(1), 18–26.
DeLuca, D. W. & Haynie, W. J. (1991). Perceptions and
practices of Technology Student Association advisors on
implementation strategies and teaching methods. Journal
of Technology Education, 3(1).
International Technology Education Association.
(2000/2002/2007). Standards for technology literacy:
Content for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.
National Council of Teachers of English. (2008). Standards
for the English language arts. Retrieved October 29, 2008,
Pennsylvania Department of Education. (2008). State
board of education academic standards. Retrieved
May 4, 2008, from www.pde.state.pa.us/stateboard_
Taylor, J. S. (2004). An analysis of the variables that affect
technological literacy as related to selected technology
student association activities. Unpublished manuscript,
North Carolina State University at Raleigh.
Technology Student Association. (2008). Technology Student
Association homepage. Retrieved October 27, 2008, from
Technology Student Association. (2006). National TSA
conference competitive events guide (6th ed.). Reston, VA:
Goodheart Willcox Publisher.
U. S. Department of Education. (n.d.). Federal Perkins loan
program. Retrieved May 6, 2008, from www.ed.gov/
Tim Hess is a graphic communications
teacher at Pequea Valley High School in
Kinzers, PA. He has advised the schools’
TSA chapter for four years and serves as
his region’s conference coordinator. He
can be reached via email at tim_hess@
This is a refereed article.
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16 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
C O N F E R E N C E P R E V I E W
North Carolina March 18-20, 2010
Image courtesy of Visit Charlotte.
STEM Solutions for 21st Century Citizens
Keynote speaker John Warner,
President and Chief Technology Officer
Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry
17 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
On behalf of the ITEA Board of Directors, the ITEA staff,
and the North Carolina conference planning team, I
would like to invite you and your guests to Charlotte,
NC and the 72nd Annual ITEA Conference. The theme
of this year’s conference is Green Technology: STEM
Solutions for 21st Century Citizens.
Green Technology and STEM Education are hot button
issues in the education and business communities.
This year’s conference theme was selected because of
the unique ability of technology educators to educate
young citizens on the merits and benefits of Green
Technology, and provide the Technology and Engineering
components of STEM Education.
This conference will provide you
with an opportunity to recognize
and honor the accomplishments of our colleagues and best-practice programs. The conference will
also provide professional development opportunities and networking opportunities.
We hope you will join us for this stimulating and rewarding conference.
Ed Denton, DTE
ITEA President, 2009-2010
The ITEA conference offers a unique opportunity for educators,
experts, administrators, and vendors who are interested
in technology and engineering education to share experiences,
skills, and strategies.
Here are just a few of the networking opportunities
taking place in Charlotte:
• Welcome Gathering
• Program Excellence General Session
• ITEA International Luncheon
• FTE “Spirit of Excellence” Breakfast
• Teacher Excellence General Session
• Free lunch in the Exhibit Hall
• Teaching Technology Showcase (Tech Fest)
• ITEA Awards Luncheon
Additionally, there are dozens of informal opportunities to
meet and greet your colleagues. Be sure to consult the onsite
Conference Program for full details.
18 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
Professional development opportunities abound in Charlotte, including six specialized preconference workshops,
Engineering byDesign Labs , and over 125 learning sessions!
Specialized Workshop Topics:
• Introducing Renewable Energy Technology Into Your Curriculum
• Integrating the Design Process Into Video Production Activities
• Technology Education Facility Planning Guidebook
• Green Invention Road Creating Food From Waste as if Your Life
Depends on it: In Fact, It Does!
• Learning Through Electronic Portfolios: Tools, Concepts, and Logistics
• Design and Technology at the British Schools of Washington
Engineering byDesign Labs :
• Invention, Innovation, and Inquiry (I 3)
• Technology Starters
• Exploring Technology
• Technology Systems
• Advanced Design Applications
• Advanced Technological Applications
• Engineering Design
• Foundations of Technology
• Technological Design
Sampling of professional development learning sessions:
• It’s Easy to Be Green
• E-Waste: Solving a Global Problem With STEM
• Talking to High Schools About Engineering
• Harnessing Sun and Wind Energy
• Eyes on the Earth: NASA’s Unique Perspective
• Biotechnology Made Easy
• Design in Technology Education: Designing for Sustainability
• Developing a Middle School “Green Technology” Course
• Practical Tools and Lessons for Invention
• Green Technology Improves Classroom Gender Equity
• The Green Problem Solving Model
• STEMify Your Classroom
• Development of a Green Technology Teaching Module
• Design for a Practical Green Energy Education
• Getting Girls Excited About Technology Education
• Integrating Sustainability Into the Technology Education Curriculum
• Teaching “Green Building” in Construction Technology Education
• Engineering Bridges
• Mobile Phones: A Tool to Teach Digital Communications
• Lean and Green Manufacturing in Wood Technology
• A Design Course’s Connectednes s and Attitudes About Diversity
• Develop a Discipline-Saving Strategy
19 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
Gather educational materials and view the latest products from over 50 leading
vendors of technology and engineering education vendors.
And don’t forget to schedule free Action
Lab time and also join us for the free
luncheon in the exhibit hall!
For the latest list of vendors scheduled
to exhibit in Charlotte, go to
Everything you need to know to attend ITEA’s 72nd
Annual Conference in Charlotte is accessible at:
• The Complete Preconference Brochure with:
• Session Descriptions
• EbD Labs
• Council Programming
• PATT Programming
• Hotel Information
• Spouse Program
• Transportation Information
• Registration Instructions
• Housing Information
Everything you need is in one, centralized location. Can’t
find what you’re looking for? Call ITEA headquarters Monday-
Friday, 8:30-4:30pm, EST at 703-860-2100 and we’ll make
sure you get your answer.
Don’t wait to register! Preregistration pricing makes attending
this conference very affordable, but the deadline is
February 1, 2010.
ITEA’s 72nd Annual Conference is designed to offer technology
and engineering education professionals a unique professional
development and networking opportunity that you
won’t want to miss!
20 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
Designing Technology Activities
that Teach Mathematics
By Eli M. Silk, Ross Higashi, Robin Shoop, and
Christian D. Schunn
Teaching mathematics in a
technology classroom requires
more than simply using
mathematics with technology.
It requires designing the
lesson to focus, motivate, and
highlight the mathematics in a
Some teachers believe that if mathematics is integrated
into technology education lessons, then students will
become mathematically competent. We agree that many
activities commonly found in technology classrooms have
the potential to develop students’ mathematical literacy
(Litowitz, 2009). We also believe there are a number of
important benefits to targeting math within technology
instruction. When students define a technological design
problem mathematically they develop more sophisticated
solutions and understandings of those solutions.
Mathematics taught within well-designed technology
education lessons provides students opportunities to learn
math in contexts that they understand and that can lead
to cross-discipline connections. Finally, in this era of high
stakes accountability, contributing to math instruction
helps convince school and district administration that
technology education should continue to be supported.
On the other hand, research conducted by our team
suggests that, just because the math is present in an activity,
it doesn’t mean that students will learn math. Over the
past three years, our team has conducted research in
middle and high school classrooms in an effort to improve
the effectiveness of robotics to teach science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education—our
focus has been on math. We have found that subtle changes
in the design and setup of the lesson make a substantive
difference in what students learn. In this article, we share
our experiences in redesigning a lesson that uses robotics
technology to teach proportional reasoning in order to
generate some general principles for effectively teaching
math in the context of technological problem solving.
Designing and Redesigning a Robotics Unit to
As curriculum developers and learning science researchers,
we have had many experiences helping teams of
students solve technological design problems in robotic
competitions and in designing formal classroom curricula
intended to teach STEM concepts through robotics.
Building on those experiences, our goal in this project
was to design a unit that would tightly connect formal
mathematics concepts with technological design in an
integrated way, instead of developing either in isolation.
In other words, we wanted to make the students’ design
goal in the unit activities so tightly interwoven with an
important math idea that the students couldn’t help but
learn about the math in order to solve the design problem.
With that goal in mind, we designed the Robot Synchronized
Dancing (RSD) unit. RSD began as a redesign of an existing
STEM unit from the Robotics Academy, which focused
on learning the mathematics of basic robot movements
(Photo 1). We modified the activities so that they were
contextualized within a design problem and narrowed
the mathematical focus to target proportional reasoning.
21 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
Photo Credit: Eli M. Silk
Principles for Designing Technology Activities to
Principle 1 – Motivate Sustained Engagement Through
Deep learning requires challenging students to revise deepseated
beliefs about a given subject, but initial interest
alone is not sufficient to carry a student through a lengthy
renovation of beliefs. The design of the activity must both
promote student engagement at the beginning of a lesson
and actively maintain it through the unit’s end.
Robotics, like many high-tech fields, is inherently “cool.”
This is a great boost to student interest initially, and an
invaluable attention-getter for kicking off a lesson. RSD
and its precursors have long “played the robot card” to get
students’ attention for the critical first few minutes.
However, those first few minutes are all that initial
coolness buys, especially once it becomes clear that real
Photo 1. When programming the number of wheel rotations, the
distance a robot travels forward is a function of the size of its wheels.
Proportional reasoning is a foundational mathematics
concept that relates to a wide range of situations in
everyday life and in the workplace, such as those that
involve unit rates, mixtures, or scaling (Cramer & Post,
1993; Langrall & Swafford, 2000). Proportional reasoning
is also central in understanding how a robot’s movements
can be controlled, as the relationships between the physical
construction of the robot, the values used to program
the robot, and how the robot actually moves are often
proportional in nature. This led us to our initial unit design
that challenged students to program robots of different
sizes so they danced in sync with each other. (See Photo 2
and Silk, Schunn, & Shoop, 2009.)
Photo Credit: Eli M. Silk
Over the past year, we tested and redesigned the RSD unit.
We implemented the unit with middle school students in
technology education classrooms, in after-school programs,
and with teachers who came to the Robotics Academy to
learn how to teach robotics. In this article, we explain some
of the design principles that we found useful in redesigning
RSD, using examples from that redesign experience to make
the principles concrete. The principles, as summarized in
Table 1, address sustaining student engagement, targeting
key content, generalizing understanding, and explaining
to others. These principles may be helpful for any teacher
interested in redesigning his or her own technology
activities to better target mathematics.
Photo 2. Two robots of different sizes out of sync when putting
the same program on both robots. The design problem in the RSD
unit is to develop a toolkit for putting these two robots in sync with
22 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
Task Design Goal Solution RSD Initial RSD Revised
Engagement Principle 1
Contextualize in a design problem
Focused Content Principle 2
Foreground the target ideas
Solve the design problem of getting different-size robots to dance in
sync with each other
Create a dance routine, specify
the routine, then synchronize
Synchronize using given initial
prototype design that highlights
the sync problem
Generalization Principle 3
Make the process the product
Get the robots to do your routine
Create a toolkit for synchronizing
that will work for any routine
Explanation Principle 4
Communicate ideas to a client
Create routine to demonstrate to
Create toolkit for a dance team
choreographer to understand,
use, and adapt
Table 1. Features of the RSD problem setup and framing that were redesigned from the initial version to the current version.
work is involved. In one implementation of the STEM
unit that preceded RSD, a student had a revelation part
way through the activity: “This is math!” he said, and
subsequently dropped out of the discussion. This is not to
say that math is diametrically opposed to interest. On the
contrary, the student had been participating quite willingly
in the math-based activity up until that point. We should
instead interpret the student’s comment to mean that our
treatment of the subject had exhausted its initial “coolness”
and not done enough to replenish that interest.
In order to increase the level of “coolness” retention
over time, the original STEM activity was redesigned
from an inquiry activity in which students verified given
mathematical relationships to a dance synchronization
activity. The addition of music styling and dance
choreography provided a positive reminder of the
“coolness” of the project every time students ran their
robots to the music—even as their intermediate solutions
didn’t yet get their robots to dance fully in sync!
Additionally, RSD included a second level of interestretention
as part of a larger structural revision toward
being a design-based activity. In the original STEM activity,
students performed a series of simple tasks in a predefined
order, with a discussion of mathematics principles after
each. This produced an ordered series of concepts, but
lacked a strong common thread or end goal.
The redesigned RSD unit, by contrast, is design-based
(Sadler, Coyle, & Schwartz, 2000). Students are given a
“cool” theme up front as their design goal—robots that
dance together—and reminded and encouraged to connect
their efforts back to this theme at every step. Doing so is
an important part of the design process (aligning work to
goals), but also reinforces the connection of the work to
the context. In essence, the design process’ insistence on
contextualization helps the new RSD problem to continue
to dispense “cool” over time.
The dual problems of attaining and sustaining student
interest should be addressed deliberately but naturally
through the design of the activity’s problem and structure.
RSD builds on strong, attractive themes (robotics and
dance) to get students’ attention, and then employs a
student design-based structure to actively ensure that the
activity remains connected to those themes.
Principle 2 – Motivate On-Target Thinking Through
Maintaining interest—difficult and requisite though it
may be—is not all that is necessary to achieve the learning
objectives of the lesson. Students also need to become
cognitively engaged with the target math ideas.
Designing effective learning activities so that they align
with target objectives requires more than just a checklist
matched to a list of standards. In fact, the fewer boxes you
try to check off in a lesson, the better. Instead, the content
must be targeted, precise, and narrow (Silk & Schunn, 2008).
One way to do this is to repeatedly “foreground” the desired
content while temporarily pushing other concepts into the
background. This helps to ensure that students are devoting
their time and effort to the parts of the problem that will be
most beneficial to their learning of the target ideas.
In the initial RSD design, students were asked to design
a robot dance routine and to implement it on several
robots with different wheel sizes. In doing so, we believed
students would have to address the underlying proportional
relationships between robots with different-sized wheels.
23 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
Instead, students focused on specifying dance routines.
Students spent up to 12 hours developing precise
choreography and measuring each dance move individually.
Only after this lengthy process was completed did they
begin to think about the issue of synchronizing across
Certainly, measurement is relevant, related, and
contextually appropriate, but was not the target of the
unit. Allowing students to focus on measurement added
instructional time without doing anything to address the
target ideas. Measurement did not receive the proper
The revised version of RSD attempts to foreground the
challenging aspects of the synchronization problem, while
moving to the background the related but noncentral
problems. We do this by providing an initial prototype
design in the form of a “given” dance routine specification
and a “control” robot that they can compare their results
against side-by-side. Additional “givens” include a working
program (to minimize programming as a distraction)
and a careful choice of robots that makes the lack of
synchronization obvious (Photo 2). See Sadler et al. (2000)
for other examples of providing initial prototype designs
and the advantages of doing so.
The initial prototype design intentionally makes the desired
focal problem (lack of synchronization) very salient to
students, thus pushing it to the foreground as all the other
concepts are being pulled to the background. In the revised
RSD design, students are able to begin thinking about the
target content—proportionality—on the very first day
of instruction. They recognize right away that different
robots are not in sync and begin the key work to solve that
problem using ideas related to proportionality.
Effective learning requires that content be targeted
and specific. The target content must be brought to
the forefront, and other concepts—even closely related
ones—subsumed into the background. RSD uses an initial
prototype design to foreground the target proportionality
content, and provides “givens” to keep related-but-notcentral
concepts from competing for attention.
Principle 3 – Motivating Generalization by Making the
Process the Product
Even after students are actively interested and thinking
about the target aspects of the design problem, challenges
remain in getting them to think about the mathematics at
a deep level. The essence of mathematics understanding is
to be able to describe the general aspects of situations—
referred to as generalization. In many lessons, once
students solve a concrete problem, there is rarely an
Photo Credit: Eli M. Silk
Photo Credit: Eli M. Silk
Photo 3. Examples of student solutions to synchronizing straight distances. A guess-and-check solution (left) and a more general
24 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
inherent incentive for figuring out the more general
problem. For example, after a student successfully
programs a robot to move forward 50 centimeters, that
experience rarely motivates him or her to figure out a
general relationship between the size of the robot’s wheel
and how far it moves. We found that if we really want this
mathematical generalization to happen, then we can’t just
ask for it as an additional thing to do. Instead, we make
mathematical generalization the primary focus from the
beginning and make the generalization itself be the actual
We designed our initial RSD unit assuming that by asking
students to make a dance routine that would incorporate
a range of different moves (at different distances, angles,
and speeds) and a range of different size robots (that
varied on their wheel size and track width), that they
would need to generalize their understanding to solve the
problem. Contrary to our expectations, students spent their
efforts getting their dance routine to “look” synchronized.
Consistent with this, the majority of synchronization
solutions that students developed were versions of guessand-check
in which they continually tweaked parameters in
their program until the robots looked visibly in sync with
each other (Photo 3). These solutions did not give them
insight into the underlying general relationships.
In the RSD redesign, we revised the problem setup so
that the generalization task wasn’t just an add-on, but
was an essential part of any solution. We were inspired by
model-eliciting activities (MEAs)—developed originally
for middle school mathematics classrooms, but used
increasingly in undergraduate engineering settings
(Hamilton, Lesh, Lester, & Brilleslyper, 2008). A main
principle of MEAs is that authentic, real-world situations
are carefully chosen such that the situation itself motivates
a need to create a general mathematical model. To this
end, we made a subtle, but substantive change to how
the problem was presented to students. Instead of a
synchronized dance routine being the final product, the
students’ goal was to make a “mathematical toolkit” for
synchronizing dancing robots with any dance routine. In
doing so, from the start of the unit, we emphasize that the
end goal is a general solution, and that the particular dance
routines and robots we were using were just examples
to help us get to that more general end goal. Solving the
immediate, concrete goal (i.e., getting the two example
robots to be in sync for the given example routine) was
desirable, and probably also a necessary
step along the path, but was no longer sufficient as an
Principle 4 – Motivating Explanation by Incorporating
As a final concern, even when we were successful at getting
students to develop general mathematical solutions, it
continued to be challenging to get them to communicate
their ideas explicitly. Students can learn a lot by simply
explaining their ideas to themselves and to others
(Lombrozo, 2006). But explanations are also important
because they are the primary way teachers can assess what
students understand. Similar to generalization, too often in
classroom activities students see requests to explain their
thinking as an additional thing to do without being centrally
important for solving the problem. Our fourth design
principle was to modify the problem setup so that students’
end goal wasn’t to design something that they understood,
but rather, to design something that someone else, a client,
Photo 4. Example of a complete solution, but one that only provides
the steps to follow rather than explaining why the quantities used
were included and why they have the relationships that they do.
Photo Credit: Eli M. Silk
25 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
could understand. Again, we were inspired by MEAs, which
make use of client-driven tasks to motivate communication
of ideas. (For an excellent example of the redesign of an
activity according to MEA principles see Lesh, Hoover,
Hole, Kelly, & Post, 2000.) By incorporating a client into the
design goal, the activity provides an authentic reason for
students to explain their thinking.
In RSD, the original design goal was for each team of
students to create its own dance routine that would work
on all of the robots. Although we asked each team to share
resulting ideas, there was nothing in the problem itself
that made explaining those ideas necessary. Our revised
design challenges students to design a synchronized
toolkit for a fictional client—a dance team captain who
choreographs routines for robots. The client is requesting a
synchronization toolkit that will be easy to understand and
adaptable to many different dance routines. This change
combines aspects of generalization from Principle 3 with
the need to communicate the ideas in a way that the client
will understand and be able to use effectively.
In addition to how the problem is presented, our experience
suggests that we need to provide further support for
students in providing these explanations as the activities
are enacted. That is, even though the problem is now
better framed to motivate explaining, actual forming of
high-quality explanations will still be difficult. In many
cases, students generate explanations that are limited to
descriptions of what steps to do (i.e., what to measure,
what to calculate, what to put in the program and where.
(See Photo 4.) These types of explanations don’t clarify
what the steps mean, why and how they work, or how
they could be adapted, which would be much more
useful for communicating understanding to the client.
To help students, we need to provide them with multiple
opportunities to explain their ideas, to have real clients
that the students must explain to (especially clients who
aren’t familiar with the robots), to model higher-quality
explanations they can use as examples, and to provide
timely feedback. When these resources are provided,
students are able to generate higher-quality explanations
that communicate deep understanding.
Overall, this process of redesigning robotics problems
according to these principles takes time and effort. But
we believe that it is doable and worth the effort because
of the payoff in learning mathematics at a deep level.
Robot Synchronized Dancing
Bots-N-Sync is a robot dance team that specializes in
doing synchronized dances—many robots doing the
same dance moves at the same time. They are hugely
popular thanks to the power of the Internet. They record
videos of their routines and post them on YouTube.
Although they have only completed two routines so far,
both videos have gone viral with millions of viewers.
The team is growing a large and devoted fan base by
encouraging their fans to submit dance routines online
on the team’s website. The captain of the Bots-N-Sync
team likes to see if a routine is good by getting the entire
dance team do the routine together. The problem is that
each dance routine is designed for the team’s original
robot, Justin Timberlake, but the robots on the dance
team are all different. When the captain first downloads
a dance routine to all the robots, each robot moves in
different ways, and they are definitely not in sync with
each other. In the past, when the team worked on just
one dance routine at a time and with only their original
team of robots, “guess-and-check” to adjust each move
individually for each robot was tiresome but did work.
Now, though, with routines being submitted each day
and the increasing pressure from fans to put out fresh
videos, they need a much better solution.
Create a “how to” toolkit that the Bots-N-Sync captain
can use to modify submitted dance routine programs so
that all of the dancers do the routines in sync with each
other. New dance routines are submitted often, and new
dancers will be joining the team regularly. So, a good
toolkit would work for the current dance routine, but
an ideal toolkit would be easy to use or adapt for new
routines and new robots. An ideal toolkit would also
include explanations of why the solution works, so the
captain can easily understand how it works and how it
can be adapted later for other similar situations. Your
toolkit can utilize words, numbers, graphs, pictures,
and/or any other form that effectively conveys your
ideas and meets the needs of your client, the Bots-N-
26 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
And, because this occurs in the context of a technology
education activity, it effectively bolsters both subjects.
As you redesign your technological design problems,
the iterative redesign attitude is a good one to hold. The
principles provide some clues regarding whether changes
have improved the task and where critical improvements
are still needed: (1) Are students interested to see the
problem through?; (2) Do they talk about the math that
you are trying to teach?; (3) Is the math simple, numerical
equations obtained by guess-and-check, or do the students
develop general equations?; and (4) Do students provide
explanations about the math in their solutions?
Cramer, K. & Post, T. (1993). Proportional reasoning. The
Mathematics Teacher, 86(5), 404-407.
Hamilton, E., Lesh, R., Lester, F., & Brilleslyper, M. (2008).
Model-eliciting activities (MEAs) as a bridge between
engineering education research and mathematics
education research. Advances in Engineering
Langrall, C. W. & Swafford, J. (2000). Three balloons for two
dollars: Developing proportional reasoning. Mathematics
Teaching in the Middle School, 6(4), 254-261.
You are invited to explore the power and
promise of a STEM education!
The Overlooked STEM Imperatives:
Technology and Engineering, K–12 Education
Take this opportunity to gain a better
understanding of the need for
STEM education and its critical role
in creating a technologically literate
society. The rationale for the “T”
and “E” has been specifically addressed
in order to gain support for
these subjects as part of the overall
You are invited to explore the power and promise of a
STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)
education through this publication, but more importantly,
to seek to understand the importance of ensuring
that the “T” and “E” are equal partners within STEM
to adequately prepare the next generation workforce
as well as valued contributors to our communities and
NEW from ITEA. Electronic publication.
P240CD. $15.00/Members $13.00
To order, call 703-860-2100 or download an order form
Lesh, R., Hoover, M., Hole, B., Kelly, A., & Post, T. (2000).
Principles for developing thought-revealing activities
for students and teachers. In A. E. Kelly & R. A. Lesh
(Eds.), Handbook of Research Design in Mathematics and
Science Education (pp. 591-646). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence
Litowitz, L. S. (2009). Addressing mathematics literacy
through technology, innovation, design, and engineering.
The Technology Teacher, 69(1), 19-22.
Lombrozo, T. (2006). The structure and function of
explanations. Trends in Cognitive Science, 10(10),
Sadler, P. M., Coyle, H. P., & Schwartz, M. (2000).
Engineering competitions in the middle school
classroom: Developing effective design challenges.
Journal of the Learning Sciences, 9(3), 299-327.
Silk, E. M. & Schunn, C. D. (2008). Using robotics to
teach mathematics: Analysis of a curriculum designed
and implemented. Paper presented at the American
Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference,
Silk, E. M., Schunn, C. D., & Shoop, R. (2009).
Synchronized robot dancing: Motivating efficiency
and meaning in problem solving with robotics. Robot
Magazine, 17, 42-45.
Eli M. Silk is a graduate student in
education research at the University
of Pittsburgh’s Learning Research and
Development Center. He can be reached via
email at email@example.com.
Ross Higashi is a content developer for
the Robotics Academy at Carnegie Mellon
University’s National Robotics Engineering
Center. He can be reached via email at
Robin Shoop, a thirty-year technology
teacher, is the director of the Robotics
Academy at Carnegie Mellon University’s
National Robotics Engineering Center.
He can be reached via email at rshoop@
Christian D. Schunn is a psychology
professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s
Learning Research and Development Center.
He can be reached via email at schunn@
27 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
The Creative Classroom:
The Role of Space and Place
Toward Facilitating Creativity
By Scott A. Warner and Kerri L. Myers
All teachers, including
technology educators, should
examine what is being taught,
how it is being taught, and how
the development and growth
of creativity should be woven
into the educational fabric of
teaching and learning.
Introduction: The Emerging Paradigm of Teaching
As we become more sophisticated in our understanding of
the workings of the human mind, it becomes increasingly
clear that the processes of teaching and learning are
more complex and subtle than was once thought. Models
of education that were appropriate in the past are now
obsolete. Cornell (2002) proposed an emerging paradigm
of teaching and learning that moves from the model for
an industrial economy to one that is appropriate for a
knowledge economy. (See Figure 1.) Pink (2005) shifted the
paradigm even further by moving beyond the knowledge
economy to what he referred to as “the conceptual age”
(p. 2). According to Pink,
We are moving from an economy and society built
on the logical, linear, computerlike capabilities of the
Information Age to an economy and a society built
on the inventive, empathic, big-picture capabilities of
what’s rising in its place, the Conceptual Age (pp. 1-2).
The people who control and oversee this conceptual age will
be those who are able to “detect patterns and opportunities,
to create artistic beauty, to craft a satisfying narrative, and
to combine seemingly unrelated ideas into something new”
(pp. 2-3). They will also be those who are able to “empathize
with others” (p. 3), find joy for themselves and bring it out
in others, and pursue activities that provide purpose and
meaning to their lives and the lives of others. In describing
the types of individuals who will hold the keys to the
conceptual age, Pink stated,
The future belongs to a very different kind of person
with a very different kind of mind-creators and
empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning
From an Industrial Economy
• Passive Learners
• Directed Learning
• Knowledge Revealed
• Explicit Knowledge
• Knowledge is Discrete
• Single Assessment
• Single Intelligence
• Instructor Technology
• Just in Case
• Linear and Planned
To a Knowledge Economy
• Active Learners
• Facilitated Learning
• Knowledge Discovered
• Explicit and Tacit
• Knowledge is Embedded
• Multiple Assessments
• Multiple Intelligence
• Ubiquitous Technology
• Alone and Together
• Just in Time
• Content and Process
• Planned and Chaotic
Figure 1: The emerging paradigm of teaching and learning as
defined by Cornell. The paradigm shift is from an industrial
economy to one that is based on knowledge. From The impact of
changes in teaching and learning on furniture and the learning
environment The importance of physical space in creating supportive
learning environments (pp. 33-42). San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass.
28 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
makers. These people—artists, inventors, designers,
storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big-picture
thinkers—will now reap society’s richest rewards and
share its greatest joys (p.1).
Fundamental to living in the conceptual age will be the use
of creativity. Creativity can be described as any “human act
or process that occurs when the key elements of novelty,
appropriateness, and a receptive audience in a given field
comes together at a given time to solve a given problem”
(Warner, 2000). It is clear that the type of people Pink
identified as becoming the owners of the world of the
future use the tools of creativity now, or should be taught
how to do so. The ideas advocated by writers such as
Cornell and Pink make for a persuasive argument that all
teachers, including technology educators, should examine
what is being taught, how it is being taught, and how the
development and growth of creativity should be woven into
the educational fabric of teaching and learning.
Limited space does not permit addressing each of
these issues in this article. Instead, we will focus on
one important component of the dynamics of making
creativity an integral part of the teaching and learning
experience. That component is the importance of space
and place toward facilitating creativity in the classroom
or lab. Van Note Chism (2002) observed that in the
school environment “Room design influences the social
context of the classes, student-instructor and studentstudent
relations, instructional design options, and the
overall effectiveness of instructional technology” (p. 7).
Unfortunately, all of us have experienced classrooms that
are drab and institutional in appearance. If examined with
emotional detachment, these classrooms, and the
buildings they are in, are often not much more than
educational warehouses. Given that the body of literature
dealing with the importance of space and place in
education has a history that goes back more than a century
(Woodward, 1887), it is tragic that the warehouse paradigm
In her seminal book, The Power of Place, Gallagher (1993)
stated, “Throughout history, people of all cultures have
assumed that environment influences behavior. Now
modern science is confirming that our actions, thoughts,
and feelings are indeed shaped not just by our genes
and neurochemistry, history, and relationships, but
also our surroundings”(p. 12). In this article, we would
like to propose how to apply some of that knowledge to
every classroom, to every school building, and to every
technology education facility.
Examples of Historical Precedence
The recognition of the role of space and place toward
facilitating the study of technology goes back as far as Calvin
Woodward and the study of manual training. Woodward
(1887) noted that manual training schools needed to provide
a “physical shop and laboratory…full of apparatus and
tools for making more physical apparatus” (p. 336). “The
walls of the various shops are generally of plain brickwork,
which is whitewashed if there is any lack of light” (p. 337).
Furthermore, “the study and recitation rooms should be
separated from the shops” (p. 340).
The leaders of industrial arts also saw the importance of
space and place toward implementation of the curricula.
Moon (1975) perhaps best summarized this recognition by
stating that industrial arts facilities “should be designed to
provide a learning environment in which the understandings
and applications of the principal commonalities [wood,
metal, drafting] can be implemented with all materials,
processes and energies of technologies” (p. 18).
Technology education has also had research efforts to
identify the characteristics of classroom and lab facilities
that encourage the creative spirit. Doyle’s (1991a) research
identified “facility factors that affect technological problemsolving
activities” (p. 1). A summary of Doyle’s findings can
be found in Figure 2. Doyle’s research clearly indicated that
a variety of environmental factors influence the creative
Technology Education facilities should provide:
An information-rich environment, that
Extends beyond the normal laboratory confines, that
Provides equipment and materials for modeling and
Includes an area appropriate for designing and drawing, that
Includes such ambient features as space for small group
conferencing, and an inviting and stimulating color scheme,
Resources for testing and measuring are readily accessible,
Is flexible for reconfiguration and adaptation to changing
Has space for displays and storage, and
Is environmentally inviting.
Figure 2: Doyle’s research involved 25 teachers and 13 inventors
and problem-solving authorities from across the United States.
His findings provide technology educators with a valuable list of
ideal characteristics to be found in a technology education lab/
classroom that encourages creativity. Adapted from Facility factors
for technological problem-solving by M. Doyle, 1991a. Unpublished
29 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
culture that exists within a technology education facility. So,
if environment does in fact influence our behavior, what are
the variables that at some level cause the behavior to occur?
The Environmental Variables
A review of the literature has provided us with a broad
list of the environmental variables. The primary examples
include such things as lighting, color, decorations, furniture,
resources, sensory variables, space configurations, and
class size. An analysis of the literature about each of these
environmental variables can be summarized as follows:
Nuhfer (n.d.) felt that “colors best suited for classrooms
reduce agitation, apprehension, and promote a sense of wellbeing”
(pp. 2-3). According to Nuhfer, the classroom colors
that were most appropriate included light yellow-orange,
beige, pale or light green, or blue-green. Lloyd (2001) made
a persuasive argument that “loud colors cultivate loud ideas”
According to Lloyd (2001) the best option is natural lighting.
(See Figures 4 and 5.) Unfortunately, in most schools the
typical lighting source is fluorescent lights. Indications are,
however, this type of lighting can cause students to become
hyperactive and agitated, which diminishes productivity. It
may not be practical to change the entire lighting system in
a classroom or lab facility, but a compromise can be found
in changing traditional fluorescent lights to full-spectrum
tubes, which can improve visual performance and decrease
fatigue (Mahnke, 1996).
As a society we have trumpeted the value of encouraging
creativity in every new generation. Unfortunately, the color
of the walls in most of the classrooms across America do
not speak of creativity, they speak of institutional blandness.
Figure 4: A language arts classroom at the Charter High School
for Architecture and Design is supplied with lots of natural light
from large windows. The room is also decorated with colorful
displays and posters that encourage creative effort. (Photograph by
Figure 3: Cue-rich environments provide plenty of opportunities
for stimulation of creativity. Displays of student work fill the walls,
floors, and ceiling space of the commons area of the Charter High
School for Architecture and Design in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Photograph by authors.)
Figure 5: Any classroom environment can be configured to help
bring out creativity in students. This room in the Lampeter-Strasburg
School District in Pennsylvania uses lots of natural light, has
plenty of student work on display, has a flexible arrangement of
furniture, and even has splashes of color in the wall cabinets. The
teacher has made significant efforts to make this typical classroom
into a creative place. (Photograph by authors.)
30 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
(p. 16); however, Thompson (2003) noted that the use of
color in a classroom, especially loud colors, should be well
planned according to the age of the student population
served and the function of the classroom or lab. (See Figures
7 and 8.)
A freshly painted room, an empty office, or a newly
remodeled classroom represents a clean canvas upon
which the occupants can leave their mark. Decorations on
the wall, including student work, can serve the purpose
of prompting student creativity. (See Figures 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,
and 8.) Amabile (1996) in a meta-study entitled Creativity
in Context noted that, “cue-rich environments…simply
provide a level of cognitive stimulation necessary for
[students] to engage their domain-relevant and creativityrelevant
skills” (p.228). However, it is important for the
teacher to recognize that he or she must teach students
how to tap into those environmental cues. On this point
Amabile later wrote, “the physical environment can provide
visual stimulation for creative performance, but only if
[students] already know or can be taught how to use cues in
the environment effectively” (p. 228).
Our physical environments are filled with a lot of artifacts.
The artifact with which we perhaps have the most intimate
contact is furniture. We sit and wrap our bodies in our
chairs. We place our other belongings in or on other
pieces of furniture (e.g., tables, bookshelves, file cabinets).
Unfortunately, the best that can be said about furniture
used in most American schools is that it is functional.
Being primarily made out of hard plastic and metal, it
could also be said to be durable, but it certainly is not
comfortable. Furthermore, the aesthetic appeal of much
of this furniture is questionable at best. In a classroom
that facilitates creativity, furniture design should address
several issues. These should include not only usability and
durability, but also psychological appeal (aesthetic issues)
as well as comfort, safety, and health (Cornell, 2002).
Having a well-decorated room, inviting colors, and natural
light are all aspects of a good classroom, but none of
these will make a difference toward facilitating a creative
classroom environment without the availability of lots
of student resources. Arguably, resources serve as the
infrastructure for creativity. They should be so readily
available and usable that they become transparent to
the creative process. Resources are more than just sheet
metal, lumber, vellum, and breadboards. Examples of the
wide range of things that should be considered valuable
resources in a creative classroom can be found in Figure 9.
Kelly (2001) described one way that his design firm, IDEO,
provides designers with resources for creativity through
an assortment of miscellaneous parts, supplies, and oddsand-ends
stored in a “Tech Box” (p. 143). The Tech Box
serves as a collection center for things that do not have
specific applications (e.g., screws, hinges, electric motors,
Figure 6: A technology education lab has lots of potential for being
a creative environment. This high school lab in Lampeter-Strasburg
provides plenty of workspace while still displaying student work.
The lab can be easily reconfigured as circumstances and needs
change. (Photograph by authors.)
Figure 7: A hallway in the Washington, D.C. building for the British
Schools in America shows how color, lighting, and configuration
can add energy and excitement to any space. (Photograph by
31 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
plastic parts), but which could serve as creative cues for
developing new designs. Many teachers may already have
a “junk box” in their classroom for collecting things. The
Tech Box concept is simply one way of formalizing the
organization and function of that junk box for student use.
Anyone who has been in a warm room knows that he
or she can quickly become lethargic. To overcome these
natural tendencies, studies indicate that classrooms
should be kept slightly cool to help keep an edge on
students’ creative energies and to encourage movement
and activity. Compounding the negative effects of a room
temperature that is too high would be a sense of stuffiness
and confinement. The availability of a reliable flow of fresh
air is another example of a sensory variable that is critical
to the creative potential of a classroom. Lloyd (2001)
addressed the need for fresh air best by stating, “Nothing
happens without oxygen” (p.16).
Another sensory variable with which people are familiar
is the presence of music. Whether it is playing the radio
in the car, using an MP3 player while jogging, or listening
to music from the Internet, music is used to set the
mood in the environment. “Music [in the environment]
has the power to affect people’s mood, and mood affects
performance” (Lloyd, 2001, p.16). The use of appropriate
music, used at the right time and at the right volume can
further enhance the creative atmosphere of any classroom
The basic configuration of the space has its own influence
on the creative atmosphere of the classroom or lab.
Short of a complete renovation of the building, in most
places it is rare that significant structural changes can
be made. However, even the most difficult of existing
space configurations can still offer possibilities for the
determined educator. As a target to shoot for, the ideal
classroom should be configured with high ceilings and
few walls to help communicate openness, plenty of room
for freedom of movement, allowances for flexibility/
mobility, and places where students can talk and confer
(Lloyd, 2001; Kelly, 2001). Techniques that can be used to
make existing space configurations amenable to a creative
environment include the use of wall and ceiling colors
that convey the sense of openness, and putting machines,
benches, and cabinets on wheels so that they can be moved
to reconfigure the room as circumstances require and
needs change. (See Figure 5 and 6.)
The final environmental variable to be discussed, class size,
may be the most important. Research findings indicate that
the ideal class size is 25 students or less (Ohio Education
Association, n.d.). Research performed in Tennessee
and documented by the American Educational Research
Association (Resnick, 2003) would push that number
even lower, to between 13 and 17 students in a classroom.
Smaller class size results in improvements in a variety of
important learning factors, including creative behavior,
Figure 8: A space outside the Design and Technology facilities in the Washington, D.C. building for the British Schools in America contains
displays of student work, appropriate signs, colorful surroundings, and focused lighting: all good examples of how to use to use space to
encourage creativity. (Photograph by authors.)
32 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
problem-solving abilities, retention of material learned,
and an increase in opportunities for participation and
expression (Ohio Education Association, n.d.; Resnick,
2003). For the teacher, the improvements also involve
classroom management through a reduction in learning
and behavior problems (Ohio Education Association, n.d.;
Resnick, 2003). In the technology education classroom
and lab, a reduction in these problems is exponentially
more important because of safety issues related to
tools and machines. For reasons of both safety and the
creative potential of students in the classroom and lab,
the technology education teacher must work closely with
school administrators to keep this variable at the lowest
Teachers who address these variables as they organize,
decorate, and arrange their classroom and lab will be
more likely to draw out the full measure of the creative
potential of their students (Teachers can download a
Creativity in the Classroom Checklist at www.millersville.
edu/~swarner). The very act of encouraging creativity in
students indicates that the teacher already has embraced
a progressive philosophy of education that is studentcentered.
This philosophical stance may represent the next
chapter in American public education as it moves through
and beyond the constraints of legislation like No Child
Writing to an international audience of design educators,
Hutchinson (2005) expressed her anxiety regarding recent
changes occurring in technology education by stating:
I’ve become increasingly concerned about the direction
that technology education is taking in the U.S.
...Contextual problems are valuable, but the range of
appropriate contexts is narrow. Working with materials
is good, but some materials are more acceptable than
others. Creativity is not an important value. (p. 16)
This assessment may be an important warning to the
profession about the nature of the values we embrace, in
particular the value placed on creativity. Creativity is an
important part of the ideals expressed in Standards for
Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology
(ITEA, 2000/2002/2007). To fully apply those ideals so that
we can better prepare our students to be active participants
in the conceptual age, the profession must be willing to
take the lead in demonstrating the application of creativity
toward our curricula and our classrooms and labs. When
considering whether it would be worthwhile to modify the
environmental variables in your classroom to encourage
Printed material, such as books and magazines
Office supplies, tools, and equipment, including a copier
Computers, printers, scanners, and Internet connections
A telephone and digital cameras
Audio and video tapes and players/recorders
A refrigerator with a stock of fresh food and drink
A box or kit full of odds and ends for idea development
Figure 9: The resources that will facilitate creativity in a classroom
or lab can run across a wide spectrum. The physical supplies
that are common in a technology education facility should be
supplemented with information and communication resources for
research as well as things such as fresh food and drink to help focus
activities such as design conferencing. From Creative Space by
P. Lloyd, 2001. Retrieved January 28, 2004 from www.gocreate.
com/articles/cspace.htm and The Art of Innovation by T. Kelly,
2001, New York: Currency.
and enhance the creative potential of your students, ask
yourself the following questions:
1. Why do we expect our students to be creative in
environments that we, as adults, would never tolerate?
2. Why are we still building schools and outfitting
classrooms that look like industrial warehouses when
the literature and research, for quite some time,
has been telling us how to make creative spaces in
3. Does technology education truly embrace creativity in
its curricula and its classrooms and lab facilities?
The answers you come up with to each of the previous
questions will influence how you face the following
challenge: If you value creativity in your students, then
you have a responsibility and an obligation to shape your
teaching and learning environment to nurture that creativity.
So, what will you do?
Amabile, T. (1996). Creativity in context. Boulder, CO:
Cornell, P. (2002, Winter). The impact of changes in
teaching and learning on furniture and the learning
environment. In N. Van Note Chism and D. Bickford
(Eds.), The importance of physical space in creating
supportive learning environments (pp. 33-42). San
Doyle, M. (1991a). Facility factors for technological problem
solving. Unpublished raw data.
33 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
Doyle, M. (1991b). Physical facility factors for technological
problem-solving activities in secondary technology
education programs. Unpublished doctoral dissertation,
West Virginia University, Morgantown.
Gardner, H. (1993). Creating minds. New York: Basic Books.
Gallagher, W. (1993). The power of place: How our
surroundings shape our thoughts, emotions, and actions.
New York: Poseidon.
Hutchinson, P. (2005). Design and technology for the
conceptual age. Design and Technology Education: An
International Journal, 10(3) pp. 11-21.
International Technology Education Association (ITEA).
(2000/2002/2007). Standards for technological literacy:
Content for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.
Kelly, T. (2001). The art of innovation. New York: Currency.
Lloyd, P. (2001). Creative space. Retrieved January 28, 2004,
Mahnke, F. (1996). Color, environment, and human response.
New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
Moon, D. (1975). Introduction. In D. Moon (Ed.) A guide
to the planning of industrial arts facilities (pp.15-20).
Bloomington, IL: McKnight.
Nuhfer, E. (n.d.). Some aspects of an ideal classroom: Color,
carpet, light and furniture. Retrieved November 2,
2007, from www.isu.edu/ctl/nutshells/IdealClass_files/
Ohio Education Association. (n.d.). The question of class size
[Abstract]. (ERIC Document Reproducation Service No.
Pink, D. (2005). A whole new mind: Moving from the
information age to the conceptual age. New York:
Resnick, L. (Ed.). (2003, Fall). Class size: Counting students
can count. Research Points, 1(2) pp.1-4. Retrieved June
25, 2008, from www.aera.net/uploadedFiles/Journals_
Thompson, S. (2003). Color in education. Retrieved April 2,
2008, from www2.peterli.com/spm/resources/articles/
Van Note Chism, N. (2002, Winter). A tale of two
classrooms. In N. Van Note Chism and D. Bickford (Eds.).
The importance of physical space in creating supportive
learning environments (pp. 5-12). San Francisco: Jossey-
Warner, S. (2000). The effects on students’ personality
preferences from participation in Odyssey of the Mind.
Unpublished doctoral dissertation, West Virginia
Woodward, C. (1887). The manual training school. Boston:
•Based on the STL
•Designed for Certification
•Master of Education
•BS in Education
Online Masters & Bachelors
Technology Education Programs
800-532-8641 Ext 37444
This is a refereed article.
Scott A. Warner, Ed.D., IDSA, is an
assistant professor in the Department of
Industry and Technology at Millersville
University of Pennsylvania. He can be
reached via email at scott.warner@
Kerri L. Myers is an undergraduate
student in the Department of Industry and
Technology at Millersville University of
Pennsylvania. She can be reached via email
34 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
The Electric Vehicle
By Harry T. Roman
This design activity should
provide your students with a
solid understanding of the many
issues involved with alternate
energy system design.
The eBox electric vehicle by AC Propulsion.
More and more, it looks like Thomas Edison was right.
Electric vehicles in some form are the best way to
move around for short distances. His legendary
nickel-iron storage battery was a rugged power
source for his vision. Things would be very different today if
we had started out back in 1910 or so using electric vehicles
instead of gasoline-powered ones.
In this challenge, your students will be able to learn about
electric vehicles and have the opportunity to design a
way to recharge the batteries while the cars are parked
in a commuter garage. The recharging process will use a
renewable energy source . . . the sun!
The Basics First
The challenge is to design a multistory electric vehicle
parking lot in a business district where parked electric
vehicle batteries could be recharged using solar cell panels.
Solar cell panels are often referred to as photovoltaic panels,
i.e., the direct conversion of sunlight to electricity. The first
order of business is for you and the students to study and
understand how solar-electric panels can be arranged to
convert the sun’s energy directly to electricity. This garage
35 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
could be a place where city workers park their cars during
the day and then leave at night to rejoin their families—a
commuter parking garage.
How solar-electric panels work is well known, and the
literature extensive. Battery charging is a popular task for
this technology. Internet and library materials should be
consulted, from which the students may develop a series
of drawings and diagrams illustrating how the solarelectric
panels and batteries may be arranged. Some solarelectric
panel manufacturers already sell simple systems
to charge the batteries onboard small sailboats. Students
should have no trouble finding out about this basic
recharged at any given time. Thus, an important piece of
information to know is . . . how many solar-electric panels
does it take to recharge a car’s battery pack if operating
during the workday, typically over an eight-hour period?
Also, knowing the number of panels . . . how large a surface
area on the roof will these panels require?
Perhaps the most interesting way to start this challenge may
be to pick a small pilot case situation and see where that
gets your students in terms of size of the panel array needed
and the surface areas required to support the panels. Why
not choose 25 cars as your starting point and determine
how big a surface area will be required to recharge those car
batteries? Could you construct a roof of that size easily over
the 25 cars if they were compactly parked, or would you
need a larger area?
This will further challenge your students to learn more
about how electric vehicles are operated and charged; and
also about solar system design, panel sizing, how to install
the photovoltaic array, and other associated concerns. There
is “tons of information” out there on these technologies as
well as numerous organizations that provide information
to professionals involved in both the electric vehicle and
Solar energy panels convert sunlight to electricity.
This 25-car design module can be used to help your students
visualize how many levels this parking garage might be
before there is no longer enough roof space upon which
to locate the solar-electric panels. By the way, what is the
average size of a parking garage in a city’s business district?
Once this application is understood, the next important
task is to see how this simple battery-charging idea can be
enlarged to make the system able to recharge a number of
car batteries. An electric vehicle’s battery pack may contain
quite a number of batteries that will need recharging.
Here it may be necessary to look further into the literature
to see what technology and systems have been used in
the past for large-scale battery recharging. Certainly
the number of solar-electric panels must be increased,
meaning a larger area will be required to place the panels
to do the recharging. In fact, many times one of the chief
drawbacks to using solar-electric panels for any application
is determining where all the panels should be physically
located; and this will be a challenge in this design activity
Designing the Parking Structure
At first it may seem obvious that the roof of this parking
deck must be used to support the solar-electric panels. This
roof size needed is also related to how many cars must be
What is the average size of a parking garage in a city’s business
36 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
This simple exercise may point to the need to rethink how
a parking lot is designed so as to maximize roof space or
available surface area facing the sun. Your students are to
have maximum freedom here to design the parking garage
in as conventional or unconventional a way as they desire.
Think about these roof-related concerns:
• Are there ways solar design engineers typically get
around roof space limits?
• Can other portions of the parking garage be used to
collect solar energy?
• What kinds of problems might this lead to?
• What about shading problems from other tall city
• Can you see how this would be a problem for solar
electricity being used in high-rise apartment buildings
• How might a town view this?
• Might special zoning ordinances be required to build
this type of structure?
• Who would plug the cars into the charging system—the
owners or a special attendant(s)?
• How much might a large solar system like this cost to
install and maintain?
This design activity should provide your students with
a solid understanding of the many issues involved with
alternate energy system design. Using the free energy of the
sun is not simply about hooking some panels together. There
are some important engineering-type issues to address.
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 htroman49@aol.
Q: What Do YOU Need
in Today’s High-Tech
A: Everything YOU Need Is at
An electric vehicle charging station in Brazil.
There are other concerns too:
• If your parking garage is in a winter zone, what about
• Can it reduce your ability to collect solar energy?
• How does all that solar panel weight affect the roof
• What does adding snow to the roof weight do to the
• Do the panels need to be cleaned periodically?
• Will you need lightning protection for your design?
• Has anyone tried to do this before?
In print, on CD, or online, G-W products
give YOU the tools to succeed in today’s
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37 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010
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40 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2010