NEW FEATURE — MODEL PROGRAM • CLASSROOM CONNECTION • A MODEL TECHNOLOGY EDUCATOR
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 67 • Number 1
It’s in the Numbers
The Status of Technology in the U.S.
A Triennial Report of the Findings from the States
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September • VOL. 67 • NO. 1
A Model Technology Educator:
Thomas A. Edison
Provides evidence of Thomas A. Edison as
being a remarkable visionary and exceptional
role model for today’s problem-solving and
design-focused technology educator.
William S. Pretzer, George E. Rogers,
and Jeffery Bush
It’s in the
Katie de la Paz
The Status of Technology Education in the United States
Results of current research on the status of technology education in the U.S. in 2006-07.
William E. Dugger, Jr., DTE
Model Program: Brillion High School:
Innovation in Education
Publisher, Kendall N. Starkweather, DTE
Editor-In-Chief, Kathleen B. de la Paz
Editor, Kathie F. Cluff
ITEA Board of Directors
Andy Stephenson, DTE, President
Ken Starkman, Past President
Len Litowitz, DTE, President-Elect
Doug Miller, Director, ITEA-CS
Scott Warner, Director, Region I
Lauren Withers Olson, Director, Region II
Steve Meyer, Director, Region III
Richard (Rick) Rios, Director, Region IV
Michael DeMiranda, Director, CTTE
Peter Wright, Director, TECA
Vincent Childress, Director, TECC
Kendall N. Starkweather, DTE, CAE,
ITEA is an affiliate of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science.
The Technology Teacher, ISSN: 0746-3537,
is published eight times a year (September
through June with combined December/January
and May/June issues) by the International
Technology Education Association, 1914
Association Drive, Suite 201, Reston, VA
20191. Subscriptions are included in
member dues. U.S. Library and nonmember
subscriptions are $80; $90 outside the U.S.
Single copies are $8.50 for members; $9.50
for nonmembers, plus shipping—domestic
@ $5.00 and outside the U.S. @ $11.00
The Technology Teacher is listed in the
Educational Index and the Current Index to
Journal in Education. Volumes are available on
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1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106.
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Send change of address notification promptly.
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n The Status of Technology Education in the United States
See the complete data tables online at:
T h e V o i c e o f T e c h n o l o g y E d u c a t i o n
Editorial Review Board
Dan Engstrom, DTE
California University of PA
Stan Komacek, DTE
California University of PA
n ITEA Membership is easier than ever! You can now join or renew ITEA
memberships through the new ITEA e-Store. The e-Store will let you look
up your ID number, remember your information, change/update your
account, view your history, and print invoices.
The first 25 members to join or renew using the e-Store will receive the
"Standards Poster" with a complete list of the STL standards in the left
column and an overview of the basic concepts students should learn from a
standards-based curriculum in technology education on the right. This will
be a great, FREE addition to your classroom.
Go to http://store.iteaconnect.org.
Nikolay Middle School, WI
Bayside Middle School, VA
VA Department of Education
University of Central England
Carver Magnet HS, TX
Midvale Middle School, UT
Eastern Michigan University
Salisbury Middle School, PA
Mike Fitzgerald, DTE
IN Department of Education
Appalachian State Univ.
Manteo Middle School, NC
South Fayette MS, PA
SUNY at Oswego
Valley City State University
Black Hills State University
Mary Annette Rose
Ball State University
Oasis Elementary School, AZ
Nat’l Center for Tech Literacy
Appalachian State University
Greg Vander Weil
Wayne State College
Des Plaines, IL
North Carolina State Univ.
As the only national and international association dedicated
solely to the development and improvement of technology
education, ITEA seeks to provide an open forum for the free
exchange of relevant ideas relating to technology education.
Materials appearing in the journal, including
advertising, are expressions of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the official policy or the opinion of the
association, its officers, or the ITEA Headquarters staff.
All professional articles in The Technology Teacher are
refereed, with the exception of selected association
activities and reports, and invited articles. Refereed articles
are reviewed and approved by the Editorial Board before
publication in The Technology Teacher. Articles with bylines
will be identified as either refereed or invited unless written
by ITEA officers on association activities or policies.
To Submit Articles
All articles should be sent directly to the Editor-in-Chief,
International Technology Education Association, 1914
Association Drive, Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191-1539.
Please submit articles and photographs via email
to firstname.lastname@example.org. Maximum length for
manuscripts is eight pages. Manuscripts should be prepared
following the style specified in the Publications Manual of
the American Psychological Association, Fifth Edition.
Editorial guidelines and review policies are available by
writing directly to ITEA or by visiting www.iteaconnect.org/
Publications/Submissionguidelines.htm. Contents copyright
© 2007 by the International Technology Education
Association, Inc., 703-860-2100.
• The Technology Teacher • September 2007
The 2007-2008 ITEA Board of Directors election ballot will be emailed to Professional and active Life
Members in September. The highly experienced field of candidates is pictured here. Exercise your right
to vote by completing your ballot promptly! Ballots must be completed electronically on or before
October 30, 2007.
Ed Denton, DTE
Director of Technology
Neshaminy School District
Melvin Lee Robinson
Technology and Engineering
Utah State Office of
Salt Lake City, UT
Region II Director (Supervisor)
Michael A. Fitzgerald, DTE
Indiana Department of
Office of Career and Technical
Lynn Bernard (Barney)
Assistant to the Career and
Department of Education
Region IV Director (Classroom Teacher)
Brad B. Fleener
Eagle River High School
Eagle River, AK
Technology Lab Facilitator -
Bingham High School
South Jordan, UT
• The Technology Teacher • September 2007
ITEA Launches Inside TIDE
In June of this year, ITEA launched an entirely new
electronic newsletter—Inside TIDE! Its purpose is to bring
you all the “inside” information pertaining to the world of
TIDE—Technology, Innovation, Design, and Engineering.
Inside TIDE is a free service of ITEA, the International
Technology Education Association, in an effort to support
educators from around the world who share the belief
that technological literacy is a critical component of an
education in today’s world.
Inside TIDE recognizes the natural relationship between
the fields of technology, innovation, design, and engineering
and is designed to facilitate communication between all
those who support technological literacy.
Inside Tide will regularly bring you timely information
pertaining to professional development opportunities,
assistance with marketing your program, information
about legislative efforts, opportunities to connect and share
information with other technology educators, and MUCH
You won’t be losing the features of TrendScout that you’ve
grown to depend on: Inside TIDE will bring you the same
information and even more—another way that ITEA strives
to keep its members up to date with important information
geared to assist you in your professional endeavors.
If you have news or calendar items that you feel are
appropriate to share in a future issue of Inside Tide, email
them to email@example.com. We welcome your input!
Salt Lake City 2008
Watch your mail in the next several weeks for ITEA’s
70 th Annual Conference Preliminary Program, and,
as always, check the ITEA website regularly for the
latest conference information. www.iteaconnect.org/
Free Resources for Technology Teachers
Colleague Connection is a new service intended to
allow potential professional or advocate members of
ITEA the opportunity to experience the benefits of working
together with current members to advance the teaching
The importance of teaching TIDE (Technology, Innovation,
Design, and Engineering) in our schools is becoming more
and more evident. Increasing membership in ITEA is one
way we can make our voice stronger—greatly improving our
ability to advocate the advancement of technological literacy
in our society.
Through Colleague Connection, a current ITEA member
can invite a colleague to experience ITEA membership
for a limited period at NO CHARGE. After signing up,
the potential member is permitted to share in listserv
discussions, receive up-to-date news regarding the field
and association, and have increased access to other existing
To share this unique opportunity with someone you feel
would be a good candidate in our efforts to bring technology
education into the spotlight, please visit the Colleague
Connection informational page at www.iteaconnect.org/
cc.htm. From there you can also click on the Colleague
Connection card to view printable cards that can then
The best way to strengthen the position of our field is to
increase the number of those advocating the teaching of
technology. This is a free opportunity for you to spread
the word to your colleagues and invite them to experience
ITEA, an association with the clear goal of advancing
Connect YOUR colleagues today!
• The Technology Teacher • September 2007
September 14-15, 2007 The Leadership Conference on
Aviation and Space Education (LCASE) will be held at the
Marriott Crystal Gateway in Arlington VA. Information can
be obtained at www.lcase.info/.
September 27-29, 2007 The Minnesota Technology
Education Association (MTEA) will hold its 2007 Fall
Conference, “Tech Ed – Back to the Future II,” at the
St. Cloud Holiday Inn. Visit www.mtea.net or contact
Dr. Mike Lindstrom, Fall Conference Program Chair
(763-506-1115/W; 763-506-1003/Fax) or Dan Lundborg,
Registration Chair (763-506-5467/W; 763-323-7926/H)
for general information.
October 2-5, 2007 TENZ (Technology Education New
Zealand), along with Auckland University, will hold its
2007 conference at the Waipuna Hotel, Mt. Wellington,
Auckland, New Zealand. This year’s conference will focus
on technological learning communities. Registration is now
open. Visit www.tenz2007.auckland.ac.nz for details.
October 11-13, 2007 The state of New Hampshire will
host the New England Association of Technology Teachers
(NEATT) Conference, “A NEATT Foundation to Build
Upon,” in Worcester, MA. For immediate updates, check the
NEATT website at http://www.neatt.org/.
October 16-18, 2007 Save the date for the National
Conference on Aviation and Space Education, which will
be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA.
More information will be coming soon.
October 18-20, 2007 The Florida Technology Education
Association will hold its 78th annual professional
development conference, “Inspiring today, applying
tomorrow,” at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Harbourside
in Indian Rocks Beach. Information is available at www.ftea.
October 19, 2007 The Technology Education Association
of Maryland will present its Seventh Annual Technology
Education TECH EXPO 2007 at the Baltimore Museum of
Industry. The theme this year is “TEAM’s All Star Line-Up:
CATTS, PLTW, STEM and VSC.” This is TEAM’s Annual
Conference for all technology education teachers and
supervisors in the State of Maryland. To help or present,
contact Will Johnson, EXPO 2007 Coordinator, at wdjwin@
aol.com. Additional information can be found at
October 25-27, 2007 The Society of Women Engineers
will present its 2007 National Conference, Women IN
TUNE with TECHNOLOGY, at the Nashville Convention
Center in Nashville, TN. For complete conference
information, visit www.swe.org/2007.
October 27, 2007 The Ohio Technology Education
Association (OTEA) Fall Conference will focus on the
role of technology education as a STEM partner. Contact
Timothy Tryon at Timothy878@zoominternet.net for
November 1-2, 2007 The 22nd Annual Colorado
Technology Education Conference, “Reaching New Heights,”
will take place at the Copper Conference Center in Copper
Mountain, CO. Complete information about the conference
is available at www.cteaonline.org/.
November 8-9, 2007 The Technology Education
Association of Pennsylvania (TEAP) will hold its 55th
Annual Conference at the Radisson Penn Harris Conference
Center in Camp Hill, PA. Visit the TEAP website at www.
teap-online.org/index2.htm and click on “conference” for
November 9-11, 2007 The Institute of Electrical
and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) will present a special
conference in Munich, Germany: Meeting the Growing
Demand for Engineers and Their Educators 2010-2020
Summit. Complete information can be accessed at www.
February 21-23, 2008 The 70th Annual ITEA Conference,
“Teaching TIDE With Pride” will be held in Salt Lake City,
UT. The latest information and details are available on
the ITEA website at www.iteaconnect.org/Conference/
List your State/Province Association Conference in TTT
and Inside TIDE (ITEA’s electronic newsletter). Submit
conference title, date(s), location, and contact information (at
least two months prior to journal publication date) to kcluff@
• The Technology Teacher • September 2007
By Katie de la Paz
Looking Back; Looking Ahead
Next month marks my ten-year anniversary with ITEA.
Naturally, such a milestone provides an opportunity for
reflection. For a full decade I’ve been a witness to the field
of technology education and have come to the realization
that, while certain aspects change and evolve with lightning
speed, others rarely change at all.
Let’s face it; this field is a moving target. It’s an enormous
challenge to keep up with constant innovations, a shifting
political landscape, and the advent of new measures such as
NCLB. Yet, ITEA members have done an outstanding job
of assisting one another in trying to stay on the cutting edge
of all this information as it hurtles towards us—through
The Technology Teacher as well as through more immediate
communications options such as the IdeaGarden listserv.
This brings me to my second point: that while some portions
of the field are ever-changing, there is one aspect that
remains steadfastly the same—the feeling of “community”
among ITEA members. Over the past decade, I’ve been
touched and impressed on numerous occasions by the
dedication, selflessness, and deeply held beliefs of teachers
and teacher educators in the field.
While we have made inroads into making members
understand that we simply don’t receive enough article
submissions from classroom teachers, we still can’t seem
to improve the ratio. To address that issue, we’ve worked
with PTC to create an authorship incentive program
for classroom teachers. See page 13 of this journal,
or go to www.iteaconnect.org/Publications/Promos/
PTCSponsorship.pdf for more information.
As part of the most recent readership survey, we also asked
if you would like to see the addition of a regular feature
that highlights model technology education programs. You
resoundingly answered “yes” (91%), and so we hope you’ll be
pleased to see the introduction of this new, ongoing feature
on page 32.
It has been both an honor and a privilege to work alongside
you as well as on your behalf for the past decade, and I look
forward to many more years spent together in the effort to
champion technological literacy.
Katie de la Paz is Editor-in-Chief of
the International Technology Education
Association. She can be reached at
So it is with a keen sense of responsibility each summer that
we undertake plans to “roll out” each new publishing year of
this journal. We pay very close attention to survey results in
an effort to bring you the journal that best suits your needs.
• The Technology Teacher • September 2007
Resources in Technology
Statistics: It’s in the Numbers!
By Mary M. Deal and Walter F. Deal, III
Mathematics offers a language with
which to express relationships in
science and technology and provides
useful analytical tools for scientists
Very few people would argue that mathematics and statistics
are not important tools in business and industry. Much
the same in middle and high school technology education
programs, teachers and students use math skills in solving
technical problems, testing, measurement, and calculating
resistance, current, and voltage in electrical and electronic
circuits. Many of the machines, testing equipment, and
tools that are commonly found in technology labs require
When we consider learning activities in manufacturing and
construction, we can readily see the role that math skills
play in estimating material quantities and costs. Further,
in construction, we can see examples such as calculating
area for framing, sheathing, roofing, and floor materials,
calculating cubic measure for soil and fill materials as well as
concrete and block estimates. In manufacturing, we can see
applications in material lists, material costs, and inventory
and quality control.
Figure 1. The fuel economy labels found on new vehicles provide
statistical information about city and highway fuel consumption.
However, new government regulations require that a range of mileage
data be provided that reflects more realistic and achievable fuel
consumption. The figure shown here presents a comparison of old
and new Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) mile-per-gallon
Mathematics offers a language with which to express
relationships in science and technology and provides useful
analytical tools for scientists and engineers. As we look
at the larger picture, mathematics is used by engineers,
scientists, and technicians to describe process, products,
theories, and models. But wait! People in wholesale
and retail distribution, service companies, medical
professions, and many other areas also use many of these
same skills and knowledge in mathematics, statistics, and
probability to market products, inventory, provide services,
• The Technology Teacher • September 2007
conduct research, and provide health care. Two notable
organizations associated with statistics are The Nielsen
Company and the United States Census Bureau.
By the numbers: We see numbers in the daily weather
forecast, reflecting the average temperature and rainfall over
periods of time; car manufacturers promote the fuel mileage
of their vehicles as shown in Figure 1; we see beverages by
the liter, frequency of accidents at intersections, test grade
averages, cell phones per capita, and many other numberreferenced
data. Here, we are looking at statistics and
how numbers can show the analysis of data, quantitative
relationships, and interpretation of data to provide useful
A day does not pass that people are not bombarded with
statistical information in news reports (presidential and
congressional poll numbers), advertisements (four out of
five dentists prefer sugarless gum, and choosy moms choose
Brand X peanut butter), and a consumer survey by The
Nielsen Company found that two in five (42%) global online
consumers believe governments should restrict companies’
emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants. Two in
five online consumers also said governments should invest
in research to find environmentally friendly and energysaving
As consumers, we need to be aware that statistical
methods and data must be used correctly and accurately
to present information in a meaningful and useful way.
Frequently, statistical information may be misrepresented
or incompletely presented inadvertently or on purpose.
The result is an inaccurate use of the data and perhaps false
and misleading conclusions. Having a basic understanding
of statistics can be helpful in interpreting much of the
statistical data that we encounter almost on a daily basis.
Advertisers rely heavily on statistical data to reach
consumers with their advertising messages. Advertisements
may appear in a mix of print media, broadcast radio and
television, cable, outdoor advertising, the Internet, and
other media. The top ten advertisers, according to The
Nielsen Company, are shown in Table 1 (page 8).
One of the newest advances in advertising is the digital
display billboard. Lamar Advertising has introduced fullsized
Light Emitting Diode (LED) billboards like the one
shown in Figure 2 that you may see along an Interstate
or major highway. These displays change ads about every
ten seconds. The digital images are bright and sharp as
compared with typical poster media. Advertising rates are
Figure 2. Businesses rely on advertising to promote their products
and services and brand recognition. Advertising agencies use
statistical data to set ad rates and fees. Outdoor advertising is a
very popular form of advertising, and the digital panel shown here
represents the newest technology.
determined by the number of impressions or views for a
period of time, where the rate may be expressed as cost
per thousand. The analysis of statistical data is used to
determine advertising rates. The time of day and days of the
week affect advertising rates.
Another example of statistical information in the news
indicates that hospital visits are up 20 percent over the
last five years. A survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention also found that most people who
visited emergency rooms had health insurance, but the
uninsured were almost twice as likely to use emergency
services as compared to those with insurance. Many health
care experts are worried that the 43 million people who
lack health insurance in the United States must rely on
emergency rooms for care—not the best way to prevent
serious conditions. The survey suggests this is true. “People
with no insurance are twice as likely to use the emergency
department as the privately insured,” said Catharine Burt
of the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. Nearly
28 percent of all doctors’ visits by uninsured people are to
emergency rooms, compared to 6.6 percent of visits made
by people with insurance. As we approach a presidential
election year, the significance of statistics takes on a new
meaning and may make a difference in an election outcome
(Center for Diseases and Control).
A leading online rating service, Nielsen/Net Ratings, will
change the way it rates web page traffic and activity. In the
past, Nielsen/NetRatings used “page views” as a measure of
how many times a page had been viewed and the number
of visitors. However, changes in web-page formats, with
increased video content and techniques that update data
automatically, reduce the number of page views and increase
the time spent on a page. This reduces the number of page
views but increases the number of minutes, making this a
better measure of site traffic (Jesdanun).
• The Technology Teacher • September 2007
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is the principal factfinding
agency for the Federal Government in the broad field
of labor economics and statistics. The BLS is an independent
national statistical agency that collects, processes, analyzes,
and disseminates essential statistical data to the American
public, the U.S. Congress, other federal agencies, state and
local governments, business, and labor. The BLS also serves
as a statistical resource to the Department of Labor.
BLS data must satisfy a number of criteria, including
relevance to current social and economic issues, timeliness
in reflecting today’s rapidly changing economic conditions,
accuracy, consistently high statistical quality, and
impartiality in both subject matter and presentation.
The U.S. Census Bureau is responsible for conducting a
census every ten years for the reapportionment of the House
of Representatives. Additionally the Census Bureau collects
other data such as housing, income, state median income,
health insurance, an economic census that features leading
economic indicators, maps, and other kinds of information
that describe the United States and its people. An interesting
feature of the Census Bureau is the Population Clock, which
shows the current population at 303,307,238 people. The
population count will literally change as it’s watched (Bureau
of Labor and Statistics)!
There are many cases where statistical information can
best be presented in a graphical format. The U.S. Census
Bureau provides many different kinds of tables and graphs
to provide a wealth of information that describes many
dimensions of America’s people. The demographics of the
United States are shown in a pyramid chart, (Figure 3) that
describes the population distribution by age and sex for
the year 2030. You can readily see that distribution by age
and sex is fairly close through age 70. If you were to go back
in time to 1900, or even 1950, you would see significantly
different patterns, with a larger number in the younger
population and fewer in the older populations. Why would
this be? You may wish to visit the Census Bureau’s website at
www.census.gov to explore the many kinds of data that
Statistics have many roots and may be defined as the
collection, analysis, interpretation or explanation, and
presentation of data. It is applicable to a wide variety of
academic disciplines, from the physical and social sciences
to the humanities. Statistics are also used for making
Statistical methods can be used to summarize or describe
a collection of data; this is called descriptive statistics. In
Rank Parent Company Total Ad Dollars Spent Product/Service
1 Proctor and Gamble Company $1,037,597,571 Household Products
2 General Motors Corporation $657,909,756 Cars/transportation
3 AT&T $619,780,062 Communication/Data Services
4 Ford Motor Company $579,628,558 Cars/Transportation
5 Johnson and Johnson Company $464,009,529 Household Products
6 Daimler-Chrysler AG $454,861,243 Cars/Transportation
7 Time Warner, Inc. $454,575,152 Entertainment/Information
8 Verizon Communication, Inc. $450,911,521 Communication/Data Services
9 Walt Disney Company $406,875,654 Entertainment/Information
10 Toyota Motor Corporation $393,626,600 Cars/Transportation
The top ten advertisers spend millions of dollars per year to promote their products and services. Their advertising dollars purchase
a variety of media buys that target demographic groups with the anticipation that the viewers will purchase products and services.
Advertisers and ad agencies make extensive use of statistical methods and data to arrive at costs and reach of advertising messages
January 2007–April 2007 (Adapted from Nielsen Monitor-Plus).
Source: Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Based on spending estimates in the following media: Network TV, National Cable TV, Spot TV, Syndicated TV,
Hispanic TV, National/Local Magazine, Network/Spot Radio, Outdoor, FSI (Free Standing Inserts - CPGs only), National/Local Newspapers
(display ads only), National/Local Sunday Supplement.
• The Technology Teacher • September 2007
Notable Figures in the Field of Statistics
Historically, one of the most notable and influential
statisticians was Dr. William Deming. He is widely credited
with improving production for the war effort during World
War II. However, he is probably better known for his work
in Japan where he introduced innovative management
practices to improve design, product quality, testing, and
sales through statistical methods such as the analysis of
variance (ANOVA) and hypothesis testing. Dr. Deming
made a significant contribution to Japan’s moving into
global markets and becoming renowned for high-quality
products. Additionally, Dr. Deming is regarded as having
had more impact on Japanese manufacturing, production,
and business than any other individual who was not of
Figure 3. Charts and graphs can be used to display complex information
clearly and emphasize relative measures between the data.
This pyramid graph shows the population distribution by age and
sex for the year 2030. You can readily see that distribution by age
and sex is fairly close through age 70.
addition, patterns in the data may be modeled in a way
that may account for randomness and uncertainty in the
observations, and then used to draw inferences about the
process or population being studied; this is called inferential
statistics. Both descriptive and inferential statistics are
a part of the larger field that is called applied statistics.
There is also a discipline called mathematical statistics,
which is concerned with the theoretical basis of the subject
There are a number of excellent documents that describe the
need for a technologically literate citizenry. One of these is
Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study
of Technology (ITEA, 2000/2002). Here we can see that
these standards address the knowledge and skills needed to
assess the impact of technology, measurement, testing and
analysis, interpretation of data that support decision-making
processes, problem solving, and critical thinking. These
kinds of skills and knowledge are similar to those skills and
expectations found in the standards for mathematics. These
expectations include understanding the differences among
various kinds of studies and which types of inferences
can legitimately be drawn from each, recognizing the
characteristics of well-designed studies, including the role of
randomization in surveys and experiments, understanding
the meaning of measurement data and categorical data, and
computing basic statistics and understanding the distinction
between a statistic and a parameter (NCTM).
Early in Dr. Deming’s career, he was introduced to Walter A.
Shewhart of the Bell Telephone Labs by Dr. C. H. Kunsman
of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He found great
inspiration in the work of Shewhart, who was the originator
of statistical process control and the related technical
tool of the control chart. Dr. Deming moved toward the
application of statistical methods to industrial production
and management. Accordingly, he saw that statistical
methods could be applied not only to manufacturing
processes but also to processes by which businesses may be
led and managed. This insight made possible his significant
influence on the economics of the industrialized world
Deming advocated that all managers need to have what he
called a System of Profound Knowledge, consisting of four
parts (Wikipedia: W. Edwards Deming):
• Appreciation of a system: understanding the overall
processes involving suppliers, producers, and customers
(or recipients) of goods and services.
• Knowledge of variation: the range and causes of
variation in quality, and use of statistical sampling in
• Theory of knowledge: the concepts explaining
knowledge and the limits of what can be known (see also:
• Knowledge of psychology: concepts of human nature.
Dr. Deming’s principles support the global success of
Toyota, Proctor & Gamble, The Ritz-Carlton, Harley-
Davidson, and many other leading organizations. His
teachings are essential for the effective application of
Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, Loyalty/Net Promoter
and other quality improvement, customer retention, and
business-growth methods (Managementwisdom.com).
• The Technology Teacher • September 2007
Another notable figure in the field of statistics was John W.
Tukey (1915-2000), a chemist who became a mathematician
and then a statistician. During the Second World War,
Tukey worked on the accuracy of range finders and gunfire
from bombers. After the war, he continued to work
with government agencies and joined the mathematics
department at Princeton University and Bell Laboratories.
Tukey remained concerned that mathematical statistics
were ignoring real-world data analysis. He developed
exploratory data analysis using modern computer methods.
As a result of his studies, he developed two entirely new
graphic designs: the stem-and-leaf plot and the box-andwhisker
plot (commonly called the box plot). The stem-andleaf
plot simply arranges a series of data points in rows and
columns. From this plot, judgments can be made about the
data, similar to actual bar plots.
Among Tukey’s most far-reaching contributions was
his development of techniques for “robust analysis,” an
approach to statistics that guards against wrong answers
in situations where a randomly chosen sample of data
happens to poorly represent the rest of the data set.
Tukey also pioneered approaches to exploratory data
analysis, developing graphing and plotting methods that
are fixtures of introductory statistics texts, and authored
many publications on time series analysis and other aspects
of digital signal processing that have become central to
modern engineering and science.
Key 3 | 1 means that there are 31 computers.
The numbers are now listed from smallest to largest and
the median can quickly be located. With 21 data points,
the 11th number is the median. The median for this
example is 27.
The mean is the sum of the numbers, 554, divided by
the number of data points, which is 21. The mean equals
Box Plot Example
Box plots are based on a five-number summary:
the median, the first quartile, the third quartile, the
maximum, and the minimum.
An example of a box plot—given 14 quiz grades: 86, 84,
91, 75, 78, 80, 74, 87, 76, 96, 82, 90, 98, 93.
First, rearrange the numbers in order from smallest to
74 75 76 78 80 82 84 86 87 90 91 93 96 98
Then locate the median. The median is the number in the
middle. In this case, with an even number of data, there is
no number in the middle. The two numbers in the middle
must be averaged; this gives 85 as the median. The first
While there are many notable individuals in the field of
statistics, W. Edwards Deming and John W. Tukey especially
stand out because of their work in developing statistical
methods and tools and their significant influence on other
individuals, governments, and corporations.
Assume that a group of students has been assigned to
determine the number of computers used in the city
government offices. The students prepared a “contact person
call list” to collect the data shown below.
Given the data set (numbers of computers in each
20, 15, 23, 29, 23, 15, 23, 31, 28, 35, 37, 27, 24, 26, 47, 28,
24, 28, 28, 16, 27
1 5 5 6
2 0 3 3 3 4 4 6 7 7 8 8 8 8 9
3 1 5 7
Figure 4 shows an example of a box plot using an online Java
applet. This screen illustrates the concept of a Box Plot. Additional
data is shown that includes the following statistical measures:
median, upper and lower quartiles, minimum and maximum
data values. The box plot was originally published by John Tukey
(National Library of Virtual Manipulatives).
10 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
quartile number is found by locating the middle number
of the seven numbers below 85, it is 78. The third quartile
number is found by locating the middle number of the
seven numbers above 85, it is 91. The maximum number
is 98; the minimum number is 74.
A box plot can be easily illustrated using a “Nutrition Facts”
panel from a box of breakfast cereal. Each student brings to
class the “Nutrition Facts” panel from their favorite cereal.
Students collect the data for calories per serving from each
cereal and make a box plot of the data. Students then write
a summary about the results, including how their favorite
Statistics Activity in the Technology Lab
There are many local, regional, and global issues that
technology students can identify and study that parallel
technology and statistics. Examples of study topics and
issues may include global warming, renewable energy
resources and conservation, food and nutrition, food origins
and distribution, mass transportation attitudes and use,
attitudes toward recycling materials, and many other topics.
Study topics may be addressed as class- or team-project
studies. For example, the class teams would select a study
area in the context of the current unit of study, such
as communication, biotechnology, manufacturing and
construction, transportation, etc. The study teams would
identify a research area and title for the project, state the
objectives of the study and its purposes, identify the survey
population and sample, and identify the study limitations.
Each of the teams would plan and prepare survey questions
that address its topic, objectives, and purposes (Figure 5).
Students would conduct their surveys according to the
population and sample they identified and analyze the
collected data using statistical tools such as mean and
median. The teams would report their findings to the class
in a presentation format using appropriate graphs and
The evaluation of the research activity should focus on team
skills, planning and conducting the survey, analyses of the
data and use of statistical methods, formatting of the data
for presentation, and presenting the data to the class.
Mathematics and statistics play important roles in our lives
today. A day hardly passes that we are not bombarded with
many different kinds of statistics. As consumers we see
statistical information as we surf the web, watch television,
listen to our satellite radios, or even read the nutrition facts
Figure 5. Team skills are an important dimension in planning,
designing, and preparing a survey project. These same skills are
desirable and applicable in the workplace.
panel on a cereal box in the morning. Learning how to
recognize and interpret mathematical and statistical data
is an increasingly important skill toward technological and
quantitative literacy. We should be aware that statistical
information is sometimes misrepresented, and we should
carefully consider the facts being presented and how they
are being presented.
Applying statistical methods and analyses in technology
activities can provide new insights in using technology
and information. As we look at statistics, the messages and
meanings are all in the numbers!
Burt, C. W., McCaig, L. F., & Rechtsteiner, E. A. (2007).
Ambulatory Medical Care Utilization Estimates for
2005. Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics,
Number 388. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Retrieved June 29, 2007 from www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/
Jesdanun, Anick. (2007). Nielsen to rank Web sites by visit
lengths. Retrieved July 9, 2007 from www.msnbc.msn.
ManagementWisdom.com. (2007). What Deming Taught
Toyota: Every 21st Century Manager Needs to Know.
Retrieved June 25, 2007 from www.managementwisdom.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2000-2004).
Data Analysis and Probability Standards for Grades 9
– 12. Retrieved July 5, 2007 from standards.nctm.org/
11 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
The Nielsen Company. (2007). Global Nielsen Survey:
Consumers Look to Governments to Act on Climate
Change. Retrieved June 30, 2007 from www.nielsen.com/
The Nielsen Company. (2007). Top Tens and Trends.
Retrieved June 30, 2007 from www.nielsen.com/media/
U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
(2001). Mission Statement. Retrieved July 8, 2007 from
Glossary of Common Statistical Terms
Population: the entire group of people or products that
we want information about.
Sample: a part of the population that we actually
examine to gather information.
Random: a method of selection of the sample
members in such a way that every set of data is a true
representation of the population.
Central Tendency: measures that reflect averages such
as the mean or median.
Data: numerical information that is collected.
Mean: add the data values and divide by the number of
Median: the mid-point of the distribution.
Range: the differences between the maximum (largest)
value and the minimum value. For a distribution with a
continuous random variable, the range is the difference
between the two extreme points on the distribution
curve, where the value of the function falls to zero.
Stem and Leaf: A stem-and-leaf plot is a display that
organizes data to show its shape and distribution. In a
stem-and-leaf plot each data value is split into a “stem”
and a “leaf.” The “leaf” is usually the last digit of the
number, and the other digits to the left of the “leaf”
form the “stem.” The number 123 would be split as stem
12 and the leaf 3.
Box Plot: an efficient method for displaying a fivenumber
data summary. The graph is called a box plot
(also known as a box and whisker plot) and summarizes
the following statistical measures: median, upper and
lower quartiles, minimum and maximum data values.
The box plot was originally published by John Tukey.
Utah State University, National Library of Virtual
Manipulatives. (1999-2006). Data Analysis & Probability:
Box Plot. Retrieved July 5, 2007 from nlvm.usu.edu/en/
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (2007). W. Edwards Deming.
Wikipedia. Retrieved June 25, 2007 from en.wikipedia.
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (2007). Statistics. Wikipedia.
Retrieved June 30, 2007 from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Mary M. Deal, M.A., is a mathematics
teacher and chairperson of the mathematics
department at York High School, Yorktown,
Walter F. Deal, III, Ph.D., is an associate
professor at Old Dominion University in
Norfolk, VA. He can be reached via email at
12 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
Classroom teachers whose submitted manuscripts are accepted and published by way of The
Technology Teacher’s peer-review process will receive the following:
Your Classroom is Already Full of Good Ideas!
A Free Teacher Certification Workshop from PTC—upon completion, you will receive 300
seats of PTC’s Pro/Engineer Schools Edition software, classroom materials, project-based activities,
student certification and assessments, discussion groups, and web-based resources.
A Technology Teacher authorship pin
A Technology Teacher authorship certificate
For more information about submitting a manuscript to The Technology Teacher, go to
www.iteaconnect.org/Publications/ttt.htm for support materials to help you get started.
Questions? Ready to submit an article? Contact Katie de la Paz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This offer is brought to you by ITEA and PTC, who recognize the importance of classroom
teachers sharing their experiences with others. To learn more about PTC’s educational outreach,
visit: www.ptc.com/go/education. This offer is currently extended to the first 10 classroom
teachers whose manuscripts are accepted.
The Status of Technology Education
in the United States
A Triennial Report of the Findings from the States
By William E. Dugger, Jr., DTE
The increase in the number of
states that include technology
education in the state framework
may indicate that, as a nation,
we are placing increasing
importance on technology
education as part of the overall
The International Technology Education Association
(ITEA) conducted research on the status of technology
education in the United States in 2006-07. This was
the third study conducted by ITEA on the condition of
the study of technology in all 50 states. The previous studies
were completed by ITEA’s Technology for All Americans
Project in 2000-01 and 2003-04. The reports of the previous
two studies were published in The Technology Teacher
(ITEA, 2001), (ITEA, 2004).
Questionnaires were sent via email in October, 2006 to all
50 state technology education supervisors. In cases where
no supervisor was available, alternate contacts in the state
education departments were used. Two additional follow-up
surveys were emailed in January and March 2007 to those
states that did not return their responses. Telephone followup
calls were conducted in April and May 2007 to attempt
to gather unreported data from those states that had not
responded and to clarify responses as necessary.
ITEA utilized the services of Zoomerang, an online webbased
firm, to provide the respondents a questionnaire
to complete on their computer screen and return
electronically. The survey consisted of 10 questions.
Questions 1, 2, and 4 were duplicated from the Newberry
2000-2001 study (a total of three questions) and questions
5 and 6 were added in the 2004 survey (a total of five
questions). Questions 3 and 7 through 10 were added to the
2006-07 instrument. The specific questions were:
1. Is technology education in your state framework?
(Yes or No)
2. Is technology education required in your state?
(Yes or No)
3. If you answered Yes to question #2, is it:
__ Under local control
__ An elective
__ A requirement that is pending/proposed
__ At what grade level? _______________________
4. How many technology education teachers are in your
5. Have you used Standards for Technological Literacy:
Content for the Study of Technology (STL) in any of the
following ways? (Select all that apply.)
__ Not used at all
__ Placed in your state standards
__ Adopted “as is” for your state standards
__ Used in your curriculum guides
__ Conducted workshops using the standards
__ Other, please specify _________________
6. Have you used Advancing Excellence in Technological
Literacy: Student Assessment, Professional Development,
14 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
and Program Standards (AETL) in any of the following
ways? (Select all that apply.)
__ Not used at all
__ Placed in your state standards
__ Adopted “as is” for your state standards
__ Used in your curriculum guides
__ Conducted workshops using the standards
__ Other, please specify _________________
7. Are you doing Standards for Technological Literacy
assessments in your state at this time? (Yes or No) (If
Yes, please share how used). _____________________
8. What course title(s) best describe the secondary school
level technology education curriculum being taught in
your state? ___________________
9. Do you have a technology education state curriculum
guide(s)? (Yes or No)
10. What best describes where technology education
program funding comes from in your state (i.e.,
relationships to local, state, national programs)?
The data tables that follow this report are abbreviated. (See
Figures 1-9 and Tables 1A and 1B. The full data tables with
comments are viewable online at www.iteawww.org/TAA/
Forty-six (46) states responded to the 2006-07 survey, which
represents a 92 percent response rate. The states that did
not respond were: Montana, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and
Question 1: Technology Education in State Frameworks
In 2006-07, the data indicate that 40 states (87%) include
technology education in their state framework. This is an
increase of two states from 2004 and an increase of 10 states
(57.7%) over what states reported in the study done by
Newberry in 2001 (See Figure 1).
In 2007, six states (13%) reported that technology education
was not included in their state education framework. Four
states did not respond to this question.
Question 2: Technology Education Being Required
In the 2006-07 survey, the same question from the ITEA/
TfAAP 2004 study was used: “Is technology education
required in your state?” There were 12 states (26% of those
reporting) that responded “Yes” to this question. This is
similar to the results from the 2004 study in which 12 states
(23.1%) reported that technology education was required.
Both the 2007 and 2004 data were slightly lower than the 14
states (27%) that were reported in 2001. See Figure 2 for a
comparison of data from these three surveys.
The probable reason why there were very few “No”
responses shown in the 2004 data is that most states
reported technology education as an elective. Another
reason could be that the requirement for technology
education could be a local school district decision rather
than a state one.
2001 2004 2007
30 38 40 18 12 6 3 1 4 1 0 0 0 1 0
Yes No No Response No Answer Proposed
Figure 1. Summary of 2001, 2004, and 2007 responses to, “Is technology education in your state framework?”
15 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
2001 2004 2007
14 12 12 10 0 34 3 1 4
Yes No No Response
Figure 2. Summary of 2001, 2004, and 2007 responses to, “Is technology education
required in your state?”
Question 3: Further elaboration on Question 2
In the 2006-07 status survey, ITEA wished to find out more
details to Question 2. Question 3 was created to do this and
stated “If a state answered ‘Yes’ to Question 2, it is:
• Under local control
• An elective
• A requirement that is pending/proposed
• At what grade level? _______________”
Results from the 2006-07 survey showed, from the limited
data being reported, four states (24% of those reporting) said
that requiring technology education was under local school
district control. Five states (29%) reported technology
education as an elective. Only two states (12%) answered
that technology education is being proposed as an elective
and that this action is pending.
When asked at what grade level technology education
is required, there were 13 responses. One state reported
that technology education was required at the elementary
through middle school levels. Five other states responded
that it was required at the middle school level only, while
four other states indicated that technology education was
required for graduation at the high school level.
Question 4: Number of Technology Teachers in States
Question 4 was “How many technology teachers are in
your state at the secondary (MS and HS school) level?”
Several states indicated that the data they submitted about
the number of technology education teachers was an
approximation. The number of teachers reported by 40
states (86.9% of those reporting) in 2006-07 was 25,258
teachers. This number is much lower than was reported
in 2004 and 2001. This number is partly attributable to
the fewer number of states that provided data. A graphic
comparison of the 2006-07 data is given in Figure 3,
and state-by-state data is found in Table 1A, which
can be accessed online at www.iteaconnect.org/TAA/
In 2003, Hassan Ndahi, DTE and John Ritz, DTE reported
on follow-up research conducted by Old Dominion
University based on the study conducted by Shirley Weston
in 1997. The Weston research focused on technology
teacher demand. The Weston figures for 1997 estimated that
there were 37,968 technology teachers who were employed
in the United States, with one state unreported. Ndahi and
Ritz reported that there were 36,261 teachers employed in
2001. This is different from the results from the 2000-01
academic year findings of Newberry, which reported 38,537
technology teachers. Potentially this inconsistency is due
to the sources used: the Weston and Old Dominion studies
used state supervisors and state boards of education for
their figures, while the Newberry study reportedly made use
of alternative sources. In any case, the 2004 study, which
relied upon state supervisors and state boards of education
similar to the methods used in the Weston and Old
Dominion studies, indicated 35,909 technology education
teachers with one state unreported. This 2006-07 study
relied on data reported by state supervisors of technology
16 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
1997 Weston Study 2000-2001
2003 Ndahi and Ritz
Study (*only 40
Figure 3. Summary of 1997 Weston study, 2001 Newberry study, 2003 Ndahi and Ritz study, 2004 ITEA-TfAAP study, and the ITEA 2006-
2007 study on the number of technology education teachers in the United States.
Question 5: Utilization of ITEA’s Standards for
Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of
Technology (STL) in States
Question 5 stated “Have you used Standards for
Technological Literacy, Content for the Study of Technology
(STL) in any of the following ways? (Select all answers
In response to Question 5, there were 42 states (91.3% of
those reporting) in 2006-07 that reported using STL either
at the state or local school district level. Two states (4.3%)
stated that they did not use STL; two states reported they
were not sure whether they used it or not; and four states
did not report. In 2004, 41 states (78.8%) reported using
STL, with two states reporting “unknown.” This compares
very favorably to the Ndahi and Ritz 2003 findings that 43
states (83%) were using STL. Both the 2004 survey and the
Ndahi and Ritz survey showed that seven states (13.5%)
were not using STL. Averaging these data indicates that STL
is used by over four out of every five states across the nation.
Refer to Figure 5 for a description of how STL was used in
Only one state (2%) reported that STL was not used at all.
There were 14 states (30%) that said that STL was placed in
their state standards. When asked if STL was adopted “as
is” for their state standards, 11 states (24%) reported that it
was. There were 22 states (48%) that reported that STL was
used in their state curriculum guides. When asked if they
conducted workshops using STL, 18 states (39%) answered
that they had.
State supervisors were also asked other ways that STL
was used in their states. There were 13 responses (28%)
provided, and STL was used primarily as a resource or
reference and as a guideline for technology and engineering.
Yes 41 43 42 22 29
No 7 7 2 23 13
Unknown 2 0 2 5 2
No Response 1 0 4 1 4
No Answer 1 0 0 1 2
* Data from Ndahi & Ritz report in 2003.
Figure 4. Summary of this 2007 study, the 2004 ITEA-TfAAP study, and the 2003 Ndahi and Ritz Report on the usage of national
technological literacy standards in the United States.
17 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
5. Have you used Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology in any of the
Not used at all 1 2%
Placed in your state standards 14 30%
Adopted “as is” for your state standards 11 24%
Used in your curriculum guides 22 48%
Conducted workshops using the standards 18 39%
Other, please specify 13 28%
Figure 5. Responses from state supervisors on Question #5.
0% 50% 100%
Question 6: Utilization of Advancing Excellence in
Technology Education: Student Assessment, Professional
Development, and Program Standards (AETL) in States
State supervisors were asked in Question 6: “Have you used
Advancing Excellence in Technology Education: Student
Assessment, Professional Development, and Program
Standards (AETL) in any of the following ways? (Select all
answers that apply.)”
As one may expect, Advancing Excellence in Technology
Education: Student Assessment, Professional Development,
and Program Standards (AETL) shows less usage than STL.
In response to Question 6, AETL was reported as being used
in 29 (63% of those reporting) of the states. Only 13 states
(28.3%) of those reporting have not used AETL yet. The
difference between STL and AETL usage is not unexpected,
considering that AETL had been published four years prior
to the time that that this survey was conducted. Refer to
Figure 4 to see how AETL was used in 2004 and 2007.
Refer to Figure 6, which provides some of the ways that
AETL may be used in states. Eleven states (25% of those
reporting) said that they did not use AETL at all. Five states
(11%) reported that they were using AETL in their state
standards. Three states (7%) stated that AETL was adopted
“as is” in their state standards. Eight states (18%) reported
that AETL was used in their state curriculum guides,
while nine other states (20%) said that they had conducted
workshops for teachers on AETL.
When asked what other ways AETL was being used, 15
(34%) of the state supervisors stated that it was used as
a reference or resource and as a document to provide
guidance to local school districts.
Question 7: Assessments Based on STL in States
Question 7 asked “Are you doing Standards for
Technological Literacy (STL) assessments in your states at
this time?” The responses are presented in Figure 7.
Seven states (15% of those reporting) stated that they were
doing STL assessments in their state at this time. There
were 39 states (85%) that reported they were not doing STL
assessments in their state currently.
6. Have you used Advancing Excellence in Technological Literacy: Student Assessment, Professional Development,
and Program Standards (AETL) in any of the following ways?
Not used at all 11 25%
Placed in your state standards 5 11%
Adopted “as is” for your state standards 3 7%
Used in your curriculum guides 8 18%
Conducted workshops using the standards 9 20%
Other, please specify 15 34%
0% 50% 100%
Figure 6. Responses from state supervisors on Question #6.
18 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
7. Are you doing Standards for Technological Literacy assessments in your state at this time?
Yes 7 15%
No 39 85%
Total 46 100%
0% 50% 100%
Figure 7. Responses from state supervisors on Question #7.
State supervisors were asked to provide elaborations to their
responses on assessments, which were:
• We have code that indicates all non-standardized tested
areas by standards have to be assessed at the local level
and results available for public inspection.
• We test technology/engineering at Grades 5, 8, and high
• Assessment is done at the high school level when
students complete a sequence of 3-4 courses in a career
• By April 2008, concentrator exams will be developed.
• Assessments are done at the individual school level.
• Some schools use STL assessments.
• This supervisor was concerned about this and needs
ITEA’s help on what to do in the future.
• Using Aims test.
• No statewide assessments of TE. Local school districts
are working to develop their own assessments.
• Voluntary assessments.
• We are working on this now.
Question 8: Descriptions of Secondary School Level
Technology Education Curriculum in States
When asked, “What course titles best describe the secondary
school technology education curriculum taught in your
state?”, state supervisors provided a wide variety of answers.
Many stated that the local school districts have the
responsibility to provide course titles. The most frequent
response was “technology education.” Some states reported
that they used the ITEA/CATTS course titles at the middle
and high schools. See Table 1B and the state “notes section”
after Table 1B for some state-by-state course titles.
Question 9: State Curriculum Guides in Technology
Question 9 was “Do you have a technology education state
curriculum guide(s)?” The responses provided are given in
Twenty-seven states (59% of those reporting) answered that
they had technology education curriculum guides. There
were 19 states (41%) that reported they did not have any
curriculum guides for technology education.
Question 10: Sources of Technology Education Funding
ITEA wished to determine the source(s) of funding for
technology education programs in states. Question 10 was
“What best describes where technology education program
funding comes from in your state (i.e., relationships to local,
state, and national programs)?”
All of the 46 state supervisors (100%) who responded
provided input to this question (four states did not respond).
The largest response provided, by a great majority, was
that states receive a combination of local, state, and federal
(Perkins) funds for their technology education programs
(20 states or 43.5% reported this). (See Figure 9.) Eight
states (17.4%) reported that they used local funds solely
for funding technology education programs. There were
9. Do you have a technology education state curriculum guide?
Yes 27 59%
No 19 41%
Total 46 100%
0% 50% 100%
Figure 8. Responses from state supervisors on Question #9.
19 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
10. What best describes where technology education program funding comes from in
your state (i.e., relationships to local, state, national programs?
Technology Education Funding Sources # %
Local (only) 8 17.4 %
Local and State 4 8.7 %
Local and Federal 1 2.2 %
State (only) 2 4.3 %
State and Federal 7 15.2 %
Federal (only) 4 8.7 %
Local, State, and Federal 20 43.5 %
TOTAL 46 100 %
Figure 9. Sources of funding for technology education programs in states.
seven additional states (15.2%) that reported using state
and federal funds for technology education programs. Four
states (8.7%) use local and state funds, while four other
states (8.7%) reported using only federal dollars to fund
technology education programs. There were two states
(4.3%) that reported using state funds only for technology
education programs. Finally, there was one state (2.2%)
that used local and federal dollars to fund its technology
It was disappointing that all states did not respond to the
2006-07 ITEA Status Study. Even with 46 states (92%)
reporting, some questions were skipped or not fully
The increase in the number of states that include technology
education in the state framework may indicate that, as a
nation, we are placing increasing importance on technology
education as part of the overall learning experience. This
trend is likely instigated by research on the increasing need
for a technologically literate populace. (ITEA, 1996; ITEA,
2006; ITEA, 2000/2002; ITEA, 2003, ITEA, 2004; ITEA,
2005, ITEA, 2006; NAE & NRC, 2002; and the two ITEA
Gallup Polls: Rose and Dugger, 2002 and Rose, Dugger,
Gallup, and Starkweather, 2004).
As was stated in the 2004 article on this ITEA research,
requiring technology education is another issue. The
same number of states (12 in 2004 and 12 in 2007) require
technology education (either at the state level or the local
level). This is somewhat disappointing since ITEA has a
vision that the study of technology is important and vital for
all students. The bottom line is that technology education is
still an elective in most states.
The number of technology teachers in the U.S. reported in
this 2007 study was 25,258. This number was based on input
from 40 states. In the 2004 study, 49 states provided data
that there were 35,909 teachers. Naturally, with the data
missing from 10 states in 2007, the number of technology
education teachers was much lower than what was reported
earlier. An unofficial estimate of teachers, based on the data
provided by the states that reported in 2004, indicates that
probably we may have had approximately 30,500 technology
teachers in the U.S. in 2006-2007. Again, it was very
disappointing that 10 states could not or would not provide
a more accurate count of the number of technology teachers
in their state.
STL is being used by a majority (over 91%) of states as a
model for developing state technology education standards.
Additionally, 11 states reported that they had adopted STL
“as is” for their state technology education standards. It is
positive news that 22 states used STL in their curriculum
guides for technology education, and 18 states reported that
they had conducted workshops on STL. Only one supervisor
reported that STL was not being used at all in her/his state.
AETL is not being used as widely as STL at the state level.
There were 29 states (63%) that reported using AETL in
2007. STL was published in 2000 (and reprinted in 2002)
and AETL was published in 2003. Only 13 states reported
that they were not using AETL at all in their state.
Assessing technological literacy based on STL is only
being done by seven states. There were 39 states reporting
20 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
that they were not doing standards-based assessments at
this time. Several states said that they were working on
There were a myriad of responses on course titles for
technology education curriculum at the secondary school
level. The most frequent “umbrella” name given was
Twenty-seven states reported that they have technology
education curriculum guides. There were 19 states that said
they did not have curriculum guides.
Regarding sources of funding for technology education
programs in states, 20 states out of the 46 reporting stated
that they use a combination of funding from the local,
state, and federal (Perkins) levels. The next most frequent
listing (by eight states) was the use of local (only) funding.
Additionally, two other states use state (only) funding for
their technology education programs. The other sources of
funding are presented in Figure 9.
Another replication of this research needs to be done in
This 2006-07 survey data and the implications of that
data reinforce the need for continued dissemination and
implementation of STL and AETL, with an emphasis on
professional development and outreach efforts. There
are now valuable new tools available to help the states
in the implementation of STL and AETL. These are the
four “Addenda” for the ITEA standards on assessing
students, professional development of teachers, structuring
standards-based technology education programs, and
developing standards-based technology education
curriculum. (See References.) Additionally, ITEA has
developed a new video series on STL, AETL, and the
Addenda, available at www.iteaconnect.org.
ITEA. (1996). Technology for all Americans: A rationale and
structure for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.
ITEA. (2000/2002). Standards for technological literacy:
Content for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.
ITEA. (2003). Advancing excellence in technological literacy:
Student assessment, professional development, and
program standards. Reston, VA: Author.
ITEA. (2004). Measuring Progress: A Guide to Assessing
Students for Technological Literacy. Reston, VA: Author.
ITEA. (2005) Developing Professionals: Preparing Technology
Teachers. Reston, VA: Author.
ITEA. (2005) Planning Learning: Developing Technology
Curricula. Reston, VA: Author.
ITEA. (2005) Realizing Excellence: Structuring Technology
Programs. Reston, VA: Author.
ITEA. (2006). Technological literacy for all: A rationale and
structure for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.
Meade, S. & Dugger, W. E. (2004). Reporting on the status of
technology education in the U.S. The Technology Teacher,
64(2), pp. 29-35.
National Academy of Engineering (NAE) & National
Research Council (NRC). (2002). Technically speaking:
Why all Americans need to know more about technology.
(G. Pearson & T. Young, Eds.). Washington, DC: National
Ndahi, H. B. & Ritz, J. M. (2003). Technology education
teacher demand, 2002-2005. The Technology Teacher,
62(7), pp. 27-31.
Newberry, P. B. (2001) Technology education in the U.S.: A
status report. The Technology Teacher, 61(1), pp. 1-16.
Rose, L. C. & Dugger, W. E. (2002). ITEA/Gallup poll reveals
what Americans think about technology. The Technology
Teacher, 61(6) (Insert).
Rose, L. C., Gallup, A. M., Dugger, W. E., & Starkweather,
K. N. (2004). The second installment of the ITEA/Gallup
poll and what it reveals as to how Americans think about
technology. The Technology Teacher, 64(1) (Insert).
William E. Dugger, Jr., Ph.D., DTE is the
Senior Fellow at ITEA and was formerly
Director of ITEA’s Technology for All
Americans Project from 1994-2005. He
can be reached via email at wdugger@
Special thanks to Catherine James at ITEA for her
considerable work in utilizing Zoomerang, sending out
questionnaires, and compiling data for this research.
Complete data tables may be accessed at: www.
Reprints may be ordered by calling 703-860-2100 or by
Goodheart-Willcox Publisher...................... 38
Kelvin Electronics........................................... 31
Valley City State University.......................... 12
White Box Robotics Inc................................ 36
21 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
Think You’re Prepared?
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Advancing Excellence in Technological Literacy is the companion document
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vision that all students can and should become technologically literate.
For the month of September, when you
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Ms. D. and Harry and the “Single
Sheet of Paper” Challenge
By Ginny D’Antonio and Harry T. Roman
Ms. D. and Harry have been working together for seven
years. She is an eighth grade science teacher at Abington
Avenue Grammar School in Newark, NJ, and he is a retired
research engineer and inventor who went to the school back
in the 1950s. Together they motivate students to stretch
beyond the normal classroom activities into the realm of
open-ended problem solving, hands-on demonstrations, and
team-based design challenges.
Nothing sticks in the mind of a student like a topically
relevant example of how to use what was just learned.
Several times a year, we team up to drive educational points
home in an unforgettable fashion. Over the last five years a
variety of special two-hour programs have been conducted
with the students:
• Measuring and analyzing the output of a solar-electric
• Statistical analysis of student physical dimensions
• Design of a new board game
• Design of an anti-theft car system
• Design of a robot to assist the handicapped
• Famous NJ inventions and inventors and their impacts
However, the all-time favorite activity of the students is the
“single sheet of paper challenge,” which is the main subject
of this article. Here is an account of the activity as we most
recently conducted it in May 2007.
This team activity is best served with four to five members
per team. Make sure to divide your students into equally
balanced teams with both head- and hand-learners on each
team, so they can learn from each other.
It’s a simple design challenge…
Each team may do whatever it wants to a single sheet of
paper, just so long as it supports their history book one inch
off the table.
We suggest using some Xerox-machine-quality paper for
the exercise and also have some scissors, a little tape, and
some things like rulers, pencils, and other readily available
objects. It will be okay for them to use a little tape, but not
excessive amounts of it. The key is to get the paper to do
Making It Happen
All teams usually begin by trying to manipulate the paper
so as to increase its strength. There is not a great deal of
deductive reasoning at this point as most teams are anxious
to crumple, fold, twist, and bend paper to get the challenge
underway. The teams are running on instinct at this point
and flying by the seat of their pants. In almost all cases,
students ignore the “one inch” criteria…but for now that
23 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
Team prepares to start stacking books. Two students dream of setting a record. Author steadies book-stacking student.
Generally, students end up crumpling the paper and trying
to see if that will let them support the book. We usually
walk around with a ruler, doling out the bad news about that
pesky “one inch” request. It seems most students are much
more concerned with simply supporting the book, rather
than meeting the “one inch” requirement.
Students also often fold the paper into a long strip and
usually tape it into a cylindrical form and then attempt to
balance the book on this shell of paper. Again, our trusty
ruler reveals a continued lack of respect for the “one inch”
criteria. Some students, at this stage, will try to add more
books to their paper foundation to see how many books they
can support. The urge to compete is great. We keep pushing
them to meet that “one inch” criteria.
A team or two may, just by luck, hold a book off the table at
one inch or maybe a bit more—but purely by luck. They may
also become adept at balancing about four to eight books
on a shell of paper. Here is where they resort to the tape to
make the paper immune to crumpling. Eventually they fail
at maybe 10-12 books. At this point we call a breather and
inject some tips about thinking the problem through…
“All teams….listen-up! That ‘one inch’ request is
important. You need to pay attention to it. We notice
that many of you are having trouble balancing the
books on your single paper support. Think about
how you can make that book more stable. How are
things supported in the real world? What makes a
table so strong? We said you must use no more than
a single sheet of paper. We set an upper limit on
what you can use—not a lower limit. Now let’s resume
Trying Even Harder
At this point some lights go on, and the students realize they
can cut the single sheet of paper to make supports for the
corners of their book. Some teams choose a triad design as
well, using three supports instead of four.
Away we go again with the urge to pile books up. Alas, the
“one inch” request still gets little serious play. Teams are
back to crumpling and folding paper furiously. Now they
might by luck get 12-18 books off the table, but they are far
from the “one inch” criteria. Frustration starts to set in as
teams bend the rules, trying to force a solution. Lots of
tape will be used in a vain effort to make the paper very
strong. Or some students will try using more than one sheet
It’s now time for Harry’s talk on engineering. Tearing a piece
of cardboard, students see why the cardboard is so strong.
The inside is a rolled and glued column-like structure.
We discuss how this type of construction provides great
strength—emphasizing that the columns of paper running
through the sheets of cardboard perform the same function
as columns in a building. Engineers have built cardboard
structures so strong that they can hold up battle tanks.
Surely, this class can design some paper structure that can
hold up some books…one inch off the table.
We now focus hard on the “one inch” criteria. This is where
engineers start—with the specifications about exactly
what is needed. The “one inch” is what gets the planning
process started, because planning comes before building
anything. In fact, more than 50% of any project is analysis
and planning. The rest is pretty straightforward. But here in
class, it seems to be all building and no planning.
Soon the teams are experimenting with columns, and
eventually they begin constructing columns from one inch
strips of paper they measure and cut from a single sheet of
paper. As they learn how to make the columns nice and tight
and seal them with a little tape, the number of books they
can support radically increases…all while meeting the
24 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
Uh-oh. Things are getting a bit wobbly! Teamwork in progress. A new record is set!
“one-inch” criteria. Flushed with success, the kids now
scramble for books; and if they don’t get over-anxious—and
load them up carefully…we’re talking something like 25-
40 books nicely piled up and still exactly “one inch” off the
table. We use the floor at this point for the column test,
as it is much easier to stack the books that way. Desks can
wobble under the weight of the books.
In the pictures accompanying this article, readers can
see that the enthusiastic students were able to support
a new record of 52 books. The old record was 42 books,
established back in 2004 by an all-girl team. In establishing
this new record, we almost ran out of books, so innovative
students figured out how many five-pound history books
equal the weight of a small student, and up that student
went onto the existing pile of books—with several more
books in hand as well!
The Summing Up
This exercise reinforces the following points:
1) The key to success is in the details and the specifications
given about what the solution must satisfy.
2) Those specification details drive the design challenge, and
hence the analysis and planning for a successful project.
3) We all want to “do” the challenge, and get caught up
in the excitement. The right thing is to step back and
understand the problem.
4) Jumping around, trying one thing and then another, just
wastes time and makes for frustration.
5) Real creativity starts with understanding exactly what the
specifications are and innovating around them.
This is an exercise where hand-learners can often shine—
able to see solutions before their book-learner counterparts.
In the challenge activity discussed here, one student almost
immediately started making columns. When asked what
made him think of that, he replied, “I saw a TV show about
how buildings are built, and that is the first thing I thought
of when you challenged us to support a book.” In his mind,
the activity was akin to building a structure, an exact
analogy. This is why it is so important to have both headand
hand-learners on each team.
Have fun with this activity, and remember…the key is in the
details and that one-inch specification; and have plenty of
books on hand!
Book-stacking champs pose for a picture.
Ginny D’Antonio Livingston grew up
in East Orange, NJ and attended Kean
University. She is the mother of four children
and has coached boys baseball and soccer.
She is a former president of the Livingston
Babe Ruth League and Big L Booster Club.
Ginny has taught eighth grade science and
social studies at Abington Avenue for 12 years. Additional
hobbies include running, kickboxing, bicycling, and hiking.
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.
25 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
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A Model Technology Educator:
Thomas A. Edison
By William S. Pretzer, George E. Rogers, and
incorporation of team-based,
cooperative learning into his
development process is essential
to appreciating his success and
his influence today.
In Ann Arbor, Michigan, there is a software design firm
called Menlo Innovations. Rich Sheridan, the founder,
has modeled his firm’s operations after Thomas Edison’s
practices at his Menlo Park, New Jersey laboratory
between 1876 and 1882; thus, the firm’s name. Sheridan
was inspired, he says, by visiting the installation of Edison’s
Menlo Park laboratory in Greenfield Village in Dearborn,
Michigan. He has gained further insight by closely reading
Working at Inventing: Thomas A. Edison and the Menlo Park
Experience (Pretzer, 1989), a collection of essays on Edison’s
work practices. Sheridan walks around with copies of Edison
biographies and excitedly points out where he has marked
ideas, practices, events, or experiences that his firm shares
The firm is housed in a single-room storefront, with walls
festooned with posters and insightful quotes from various
inventors. A small library with comfortable chairs faces the
street. Workers sit at long tables stretching the length of the
room in full view and hearing of others. Pairs, sometimes
trios, of young programmers share a single computer,
batting ideas back and forth as quickly as a Pong machine.
Students from the University of Michigan wander in and
are invited to sit in on work sessions. Sometimes they show
up repeatedly, taking advantage of the informal internship
opportunity. More than one has been contacted months
later and offered work. The three-year-old firm now does
more than $3 million a year in business and is expanding
from its one-room storefront space to a large, open loft that
Sheridan calls his “West Orange” (Edison’s second and much
larger laboratory established in West Orange, New Jersey in
1886). Sheridan himself has been featured on the cover of
Fortune magazine. Are there lessons in this Edison-inspired
environment for today’s technology educators?
Thomas Edison: role model for today’s technology educator.
Edison: An Inspirational Role Model
Reflecting back over a century ago to the small village of
Menlo Park, New Jersey provides insight into a remarkable
27 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
visionary and an exceptional role model for today’s problemsolving
and design-focused technology educator: Thomas A.
Edison, inventor, innovator, and model technology educator.
Since Edison could not simply apply existing knowledge
to industrial ends, he was forced to develop a system for
creating new knowledge, disseminating it amongst his team,
and then discovering how to apply that new knowledge. His
was not just a research and development operation, it was a
The key to capitalizing on Edison’s success as an inventor
and educator is to recognize that he pioneered a systematic,
but flexible, team-based approach to inventing, designing,
and problem-solving. Edison was famous for once
commenting about his Menlo Park facility, “We don’t have
any rules here; we’re trying to get something done.” Edison
nevertheless followed a general pattern in his work.
Choosing to tackle a technological project, Edison first
determined that there was indeed public demand for a
solution. Early in his career, he learned that there was no
need to invent something that no one was willing to pay
for. Market research was still unheard of, so Edison gauged
interest from the public reactions to other inventors’
activities and the level of support from investors.
He then researched what was known and previously
attempted in addressing the issues at hand. Often this
entailed sending a young associate to the library he
maintained at Menlo Park to research a topic in technical
literature and public media, with instructions to report
directly to Edison everything the associate had learned
about a topic in two weeks or so. Many technology
educators today employ a similar, project-based system
for directing student research.
Next, Edison determined a general research direction—a
mental model—that seemed, based on his own and others’
experience, to offer the most promise. Breaking the
problem down into discrete pieces but never losing sight
of the systemic character of technology, Edison’s team
members learned from each investigational experiment and
narrowed their approach as they went. Edison organized
space at the laboratory to facilitate this process. The first
floor was segmented into specific rooms for specific
analytical processes: chemistry, ore assays, photometric
measurements, etc. The second floor utilized open-space
architecture, with tables and equipment organized so that
his dozen or so closest associates were constantly seeing and
hearing what others were doing. Edison moved from table to
table discussing progress and offering ideas.
Once solutions were developed and proven, Edison
investigated methods of manufacturing the product and
redesigned the product for manufacturability. He was never
interested in the unique scientific finding but rather in
the ubiquitous use of his inventions. He refined the initial
invention to simplify and standardize its parts as much as
possible, often using ideas developed during work on other
inventions. He often developed and patented innovative
mechanisms for the mass-production of his breakthrough
technologies: the telephone microphone, the phonograph,
and the electric lighting system. Students using design
journals in class will find this practice very familiar. They
also may find additional methods for making the most of
their journals by studying Edison’s actual journals, available
on the web from The Thomas A. Edison Papers Project at
Rutgers University (http://edison.rutgers.edu/).
Finally, Edison recognized from the beginning that
he needed to promote his projects through the use of
appropriate language and other symbols in exhibitions and
demonstrations, technical journals, the popular press, and
the artifacts themselves. He modeled new technologies,
such as the electric lighting system, after well-known and
widely accepted systems, such as the gas lighting system. He
described his inventions in idioms that mirrored commonly
understood language. He insisted on high levels of visual
fit-and-finish (craftsmanship), even when the item was
for display purposes only and, of course, his recognizable
signature became the brand icon for his innovations.
In all of this, Edison seldom acted alone. In fact, Edison’s
insights into the diverse resources needed for competitive
inventing were as important as his technical virtuosity.
Edison’s role was to articulate the opportunity and the
obstacles, acquire the financing, procure the equipment,
materiel, and skilled labor, provide technical insights at
critical times, and orchestrate the entire process. It was a
bravura performance over a 50-year career of productive
innovation. And it not only produced technological
innovations, but completely new industries (such as electric
utilities and equipment manufacturers) and an entire
generation of electro-mechanical technologists.
Recognizing Edison’s incorporation of team-based,
cooperative learning into his development process is
essential to appreciating his success and his influence
today. Edison’s attention to communicating clearly about
his inventions in a variety of technical and popular media
established a pattern that continues to this day. Steeping
students in professional design journals, technical and
marketing manuals, and patent office records as well
28 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
as other technological literature is an effective method
of illustrating different communication systems and
introducing learners to contemporary technological
issues. As leader of his learning community, Edison saw to
it that his associates had access to an unending series of
challenging projects and intriguing questions. He also made
sure that they had sources of reliable information as well as
the tools and equipment and raw materials they needed to
address those questions.
Just as technology continually evolves, so do the
characteristics of effective technology educators. From
their beginnings as unit shop teachers in Victor Della Vos’s
Imperial Moscow Technical School to Lois Mossman’s
vision of industrial arts as a social science to the multiactivity
teachers of the Industrial Arts Curriculum Project
to facilitators of problem-solving-based contemporary
technology education, technology educators have adjusted
to the dynamic content of the discipline and the changing
needs of their students. In today’s world of rapid innovation,
technology education programs are emphasizing process
skills as much as content knowledge. Accordingly, the
technology education curriculum and instructional
methodology increasingly focus on developing capability
in knowing how to design and develop an idea to satisfy
One characteristic of technology education teachers
throughout these various curricular changes has been the
teacher’s focus on allowing his or her students to expand
their knowledge and skills via creative and innovative
activities and projects. As technology teacher educators
strive to develop “highly qualified” teachers for the twentyfirst
century, it may serve the profession well to learn from
the past rather than focus on the current challenges posed
by legislative mandates.
Long considered the “inventor’s inventor,” Edison has
become a role model for various other “real world”
activities. As Brown (1985) documented in Inventors at
Work, many contemporary inventors and technologists have
drawn inspiration and lessons from Edison’s work. More
recently, Edison’s “invention factory” has been redubbed a
“solution factory.” Jack Harich, a former computer systems
analyst, is developing social and political ideas in support
of environmental sustainability. On his organization’s
website, Harich proposes a complex but creative application
of Edison’s work processes at Menlo Park as a model
for developing emergent ideas responding to issues of
sustainability and social decision-making (Harich, 2006).
Business consultants have found Edison to be a bountiful
source of ideas and approaches, useful in the everyday
world of companies, high or low tech, large or small,
technologically innovative or not. In The Edison Effect:
Success Strategies for the Information Age, Ploof (1995)
focused on the speed of information flow and processing
engendered by modern electronic systems, which he traces
back to Edison’s discovery of the flow of electrons across a
vacuum. In this context, Ploof asserts that individual workers
need to learn what to learn and what to filter out, how to
learn quickly, how to use the scientific method to problemsolve
and how to “use technology, rather than being used
by it” (Ploof, back cover). In Edison in the Boardroom: How
Leading Companies Realize Value from Their Intellectual
Assets, on the other hand, Davis and Harrison (2001)
examined the process of corporate intellectual asset
management. They rightly suggest that Edison’s image as
a technical genius working alone on little sleep should be
replaced with the image of Edison, the originator of profitdriven,
team-based, corporate “research and development”
labs. They focus on the issues that Edison’s career brought to
the fore in terms of business strategy and practice: the utility
of developing and controlling intellectual property, especially
technological knowledge, through patents, trademarks, and
copyright. Edison was a master at using these techniques to
Effective Teacher Characteristics
The U.S. Department of Education (2004) noted that “highly
qualified teachers matter” (p. 1). Through its legislative
channels, the U.S. Department of Education has provided
a definition of a highly qualified teacher as one who has
earned a bachelor’s degree, demonstrated a high level of
competency in the subject matter, and has passed a rigorous
state licensing examination. While these characteristics may
be easily quantified for statistical purposes, are these the
descriptors of technology education teachers who truly have
an impact on students?
Ryan (1992) noted that effective teachers engaged
students actively in the learning process, provided creative
environments conducive to learning, encouraged students to
learn independently, and provided problem-solving learning
experiences. Meanwhile, McEwan (2002) noted that
highly effective teachers were creative, open to new ideas,
empowered their students, collaborated with colleagues,
and expected the best from each student. An additional
education study indicated that human characteristics of
teachers, such as the ability to show understanding, were
rated at the top of effective teacher characteristics by high
school students (Koutsoulis, 2003).
29 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
Is it a coincidence that the characteristics noted by both
Ryan (1992) and McEwan (2002) coincide with Edison’s
effective characteristics as noted by McCormick and Keegan
(2001)? McCormick and Keegan indicated that lessons
learned from Edison’s style included: innovators must be
prepared to fail; environments must encourage creativity,
stretching intellectually but not to the point of burnout;
and that play is to the innovative process as rules are to
Strangely enough, where Edison’s role as technological
inventor had once occupied a significant place in American
history texts, he now barely merits a mention. In part,
at least, this disinterest is encouraged by the national
history standards’ focus on the broad social impacts of
technological change rather than the causes and creators
of technological innovation. This is another reason to be
cautious in allowing national standards to unilaterally drive
teaching and learning. Edison continues to inspire scholarly
and popular works of history, but these generally fail to find
their way to middle school and high school students. This is
unfortunate, for understanding Edison’s experience clearly
has much to offer individuals interested in technology and
Implications for the Profession
The overlapping themes in Edison’s disposition and style
depict highly desirable characteristics of technology
education teachers. Ideally the technology education
teacher will have the mindset that he or she is not
satisfied with repeating the same activity, but rather,
is continuously seeking different contexts to enhance
the realism and authenticity of the learning experience.
The practicing teacher should strive to set parameters that
cause the journey through the process to be as unique as
possible for each learner. The instructional approach and
methods should reflect patterns of proven strategies and
techniques, but the intimacy of the learner’s experience
should be as unique for each student as possible.
Teachers should allow, even encourage, failure in the design
and innovation process. By allowing failure, technology
education teachers are encouraging creativity and critical
thinking. They are positioning their students to develop
an understanding of the characteristics and nature of
technology, the rationale for science, and the need for
mathematics so well that innovative applications develop
when circumstances demand it. Technology education
teachers should establish learning environments that
promote student creativity and imagination, and include
real-world problems related to their community.
Characteristics of an Edison-Inspired Technology
• Encourages cooperation and teamwork
• Provides open communications
• Provides a non-restrictive learning environment
• Provides reference and resource materials
• Supports, even encourages, failures in order to
analyze and learn from them
• Involves analytical analysis
• Emphasizes quality and craftsmanship
• Incorporates lateral thinking and comparisons
between technological systems
• Insists on prototyping and authentic testing of
Technology education teachers are versed in
design, problem-solving, invention, innovation, and
experimentation, plus research and development
(International Technology Education Association, 2003).
In order for the discipline to take the lead in educational
reform, technology education might benefit by mentoring
its future educators on the experiences of innovators like
Thomas A. Edison. This standard for the profession will
overshadow the current legislation’s definition of a “highly
qualified teacher” and provide the nation’s students the
environment to develop the requisite skills for today’s
Brown, K. A. (1988). Inventors at work. Buffalo, NY:
Davis, J. L. & Harrison, S. S. (2001). Edison in the
boardroom: How leading companies realize value from
their intellectual assets. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Accessed March 27, 2007 from http://thwink.org/sustain/
Harich, J. (2006). Analytical activism: A new approach to
solving the sustainability problem. Clarkson, GA: Thwink.
International Technology Education Association. (2003).
Advancing excellence in technological literacy: Student
assessment, professional development, and program
standards. Reston, VA: Author.
Koutsoulis, M. (2003). The characteristics of the effective
teacher in Cyprus Public High School: The students’
perspective. Paper presented at the annual meeting of
30 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
the American Educational Research
Association. Chicago, IL. (ERIC
Document Reproduction Service No.
McCormick, B. & Keegan, J. P. (2001). At
work with Thomas Edison. New York:
McEwan, E. K. (2002). Ten traits of highly
effective teachers. Thousand Oaks, CA:
Ploof, R. (1995). The Edison effect: Success
strategies for the information age.
Leawood, KS: Cypress Publishing
Pretzer, W. S. (1989, reprint 2002).
Working at inventing: Thomas A.
Edison and the Menlo Park Experience.
Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins
Ryan, C. (1992). Advising as teaching.
Paper presented at the annual meeting
of the National Academic Advising
Association. Atlanta, GA.
U.S. Department of Education. (2004).
The secretary’s third annual report
on teacher quality: Meeting the
highly qualified teachers challenge.
Washington, DC: Author.
Jeffery Bush is the design
and technological studies
consultant for Oakland
Schools in Waterford, MI.
He can be reached at Jeff.
William S. Pretzer,
Ph.D. is associate
professor of History and
Director of the Museum
of Cultural and Natural
History at Central
Mount Pleasant, MI. He can be reached at
This is a refereed article.
George E. Rogers,
Ph.D. is professor
and coordinator of
teacher education at
Purdue University in
West Lafayette, IN. He can
be reached at rogersg@
31 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
Brillion High School, Brillion, WI
Submitted by Steve Meyer
The rebuilding proved
successful, as enrollment in
the program has tripled in the
past two years.
The Brillion School District is located in Brillion,
Wisconsin, approximately 20 miles south of Green
Bay in the heart of the Fox Valley. Brillion High School
(BHS) has approximately 330 students in Grades
9–12. Brillion is home to approximately 3000 residents.
Interestingly, Brillion also serves as the headquarters of
three major manufacturing companies (Ariens Company,
Endries International, and Brillion Ironworks). Collectively
these companies employ almost as many workers as the
entire city’s population. This, coupled with the proximity to
the manufacturing-rich Fox Valley Area (Neenah, Menasha,
Appleton, Kaukauna, Green Bay, etc.) and the extremely
innovative Fox Valley Technical College, lends itself to many
rich resources to use in the teaching of a contemporary
technology and engineering curriculum. According to
technology and engineering instructor Steve Meyer, the
community of Brillion is “a technology and engineering
The driving force of the Brillion Technology and
Engineering Department is:
To Create Innovative Thinkers and Doers!
The goal of the program is to create technologically literate
young people who have the skills, knowledge, and innovative
ways of thinking that will allow them to be successful
in all future employment, citizenship, and education
opportunities. The curriculum and facility are continually
developing to meet this ever-changing goal.
Brillion High School’s entry at the Fox Valley Technical
College Supermileage Challenge.
In the past four years, the district has gone through a major
philosophical change. Just four years ago, the curriculum
was based mainly on traditional skill development in the
areas of auto mechanics and woods. The curriculum is
now based on design, engineering, and innovation, with
over two-thirds of the school population taking classes
32 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
in automation, invention, engineering design, computeraided
modeling and manufacturing, robotics, electronics,
material science, etc. The curriculum has been developed
and is continually improving with the aid of Standards for
Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology
(ITEA 2000/2002) as a guide. With the use of the content
standards, virtually all student experiences are based on the
following curriculum model:
Brillion School District Curricular Framework
Technology and Engineering Education
• Introduction to new content
• New content experience
• New content application: students given open-ended
design problem or opportunity to solve
• Research and modeling of solutions to the problem/
• Fabrication of a prototype
• Presentation and Reflection
A typical student experience following this pattern may
include (example from automation class):
1. Students receive new content covering control
technology and the use of microcontrollers in society.
2. Students program microcontrollers to control a stoplight,
using computer simulation software.
3. Students are given the problem/opportunity to create a
new automated device.
4. Students research current automated devices, electronics,
etc. and invent a new device to solve a human need or
5. Students develop and test a working prototype of the
6. Students present the device to the class as though they
were proposing their product to a board of directors at an
By following this pattern, students are continually
exposed to innovation and the integration of technology,
engineering, and other disciplines such as mathematics,
the sciences, English, and history. Examples of automated
devices invented by students include the examples listed
• Gas grill that weighs the cut of meat and cooks it for the
appropriate amount of time
• Guitar trainer
• Duck decoy system
• Parallel-parking vehicle
• Can crusher
• Vehicle lighting system
• Livestock feeding system
In order to meet the needs of this curriculum and the
number of students involved in the program, the BHS
Technology and Engineering Department is receiving a
Students present the flow process of their
product during an enterprise class.
Cardboard prototype of a supermileage
designed and fabricated
in the Robotics and
33 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
Dan Ariens of Ariens Company sits on a chopper motorcycle
designed and built by BHS students.
major revamping and additional technology wing. A local,
award-winning manufacturing company, Ariens Company,
is playing a major role in developing the Brillion program
and promoting our field across the nation.
This spring, the Ariens Company Foundation is completely
funding the construction of a new, multimillion dollar
Technology and Engineering Education Center to be added
to Brillion High School. This is an incredible gesture and an
unbelievable addition to the Brillion community. Because
of the wonderful people at Ariens Company, young people
attending Brillion High School for years to come will have
the opportunity to use one of the most state-of-the-art
facilities in Wisconsin.
The BHS Technology and Engineering Department and the
school board have been working on this initiative for the
past three years. It began with the complete revamping of
the department to create a contemporary curriculum to
reflect the content standards for technological literacy. The
rebuilding proved successful, as enrollment in the program
has tripled in the past two years. A larger, more diverse
group of students take multiple classes and are continuing
their post-secondary education at local technical colleges
and engineering universities across the state. Students
in the Brillion Technology and Engineering program are
involved in numerous state and national initiatives including
the National Center for Technology and Engineering
Education (NCETE), MIT-Lemelson InvenTeams Grant
Program, Wisconsin Supermileage Competitions, Fox
Valley Technical College Mini-Chopper Program, and many
others. The number of students in the program, along with
the innovative curriculum requirements, have created this
need to expand the current facility.
The new facility will have a 58-seat tiered lecture room, a
design room that will house computers, CNC machines,
laser engravers, electronics and robotics stations, materialtesting
equipment, and a large 4-plex material processing
lab. The renovation and addition of this facility will allow
teachers to hold multiple classes at one time, and allow
students to work on larger, more complex activities and to
work on integrated class projects with other disciplines such
as mathematics and the sciences. The facility is designed
around the curricular framework described above, not the
types of equipment available. The improved arrangement
will also create a better environment for classroom
supervision and safety.
The new addition is on track for completion for the start
of the 2007-2008 school year. A grand opening ceremony,
including renowned technology speaker Dr. Jim Bensen, is
planned for late September. Key people from industry, postsecondary
education institutes, and government will partake
in the grand opening of the new facilities. “It is my hope
and dream that this facility and grand opening event will be
the catalyst for other industries to make commitments to
the development of technology and engineering education
programs across the country,” says Steve Meyer.
The philosophy of the technology and engineering program
is not to create craftspeople, but to create individuals who
are innovative thinkers and doers. “We want the young
people who go through our program to have the skills,
knowledge, and methods of thinking that will allow them to
be successful in any future career or education opportunity,”
says Steve Meyer. The future of manufacturing and
engineering in Wisconsin and the United States requires
all workers to continually be more efficient and innovative
than the competition. The Brillion School District, along
with its industry and post-secondary education partners,
is continuously striving to provide young people with an
innovative curriculum and exciting atmosphere to meet
this important need. A special thank-you is extended to
the International Technology Education Association for its
efforts and dedication towards helping the cause. For further
information, please contact Steve Meyer at smeyer@brillion.
To submit information about your program for
publication consideration, please email kdelapaz@
34 • The Technology Teacher • September 2007
Coming in the next issue of The Technology Teacher....
“The space shuttle Endeavour blasted
off August 7, carrying seven astronauts
to orbit on a complex flight to
continue the assembly of the International
Space Station and fulfill a longstanding
human spaceflight legacy.
The 119th flight in space shuttle
history and the 22nd to the station
is unique to ITEA because one of its
crew is one of our own, ITEA member
Barbara R. Morgan.”
In the October issue of TTT, we take
a closer look at Morgan’s career, the
STS-118 mission, and the design challenges
in which ITEA has taken part.
ALSO, make plans to attend ITEA’s
70th Annual Conference in Salt
Lake City, Utah, where Barbara
Morgan will address attendees
during a special keynote address.
for more details!
Photograph by Jason Mathis.
GEICO could save you $500
a year on car insurance.
ITEA members could receive a special discount on GEICO car insurance.
Visit geico.com for your free rate quote and be sure to select ITEA when
asked for your affiliation.
GEICO offers you:
• Outstanding, 24-hour service online or on the phone.
• Fast, fair claim handling.
• Guaranteed claim repairs at GEICO-recommended shops.
To find out how much you could save
visit geico.com or call 1-800-368-2734 today.
Average savings information based on GEICO New Policyholder Survey data through August 2005.
Discount amount varies in some states. Some discounts, coverages, payment plans, and features are not available in all states or in all GEICO companies. One group discount
applicable per policy. Government Employees Insurance Co. • GEICO General Insurance Co. • GEICO Indemnity Co. • GEICO Casualty Co. These companies are subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway
Inc. GEICO auto insurance is not available in Mass. GEICO, Washington, DC 20076. © 2005 GEICO
Image use courtesy of Korean Railroad Technical Corporation (KRTC), an Autodesk customer.
At Autodesk, we’re committed to preparing the next generation of engineers for successful, exciting careers.
We provide educators and students access to industry-leading software and curriculum resources.
Introduce middle school students to the design process through fun and motivating projects such as designing
a skate park or jewelry line. The Autodesk Design Kids curriculum is an exploratory program that covers Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) concepts.
Engage students in real-life projects that develop STEM skills. The Autodesk Design Academy is
a comprehensive pre-engineering, pre-architecture, and cross-discipline program for high school
students that includes the Introduction to Engineering Foundation course from Project Lead The Way.
Equip your high school and middle school students for future success.
Download free* student editions of Autodesk 3D design software, use
new curricula, participate in Q&A forums, and invite your students to join!
*Free products are subject to the terms and conditions of the end-user license agreement that
accompanies download of the software.
Autodesk and DesignKids are registered trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., in the USA and/or other
countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective
holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time
without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in
this document. © 2007 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.