Vol 68, No. 4 - International Technology and Engineering Educators ...

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Vol 68, No. 4 - International Technology and Engineering Educators ...

STEMmania! • MODEL PROGRAM • CLASSROOM CHALLENGE

Technology

TEACHER

The Voice of Technology Education

the

December/January 2009

Volume 68 • Number 4

Is Hydroelectricity Green?

Insert:

71 st Annual Conference

Preliminary Program

www.iteaconnect.org


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Give Yourself a Gift This Holiday Season!

Free From the Smithsonian and ITEA

Education Programs from the Smit hsonian’s Lemelson Center

The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation provides programming and resources designed to

educate young people about the role of the American inventor, both historically and in today’s world. Through the

Lemelson Center, teachers can access the vast collections and scholarship of the Smithsonian Institution and the National

Museum of American History for award-winning resources that they can use in the classroom to teach important

concepts and ideas related to history, science, and technology. Behind every invention there is a story that can

inspire young people to explore their own creativity and to see themselves as inventors. By incorporating the stories

of famous American inventors, including firsthand accounts from those still at work, the Lemelson Center has created

this series of video productions for students that explores the nature and history of invention and innovation.

The Electric Guitar: Its Makers and Its Players

The Lemelson Center presents this 1996 video field trip in cooperation with the Rock and Roll

Hall of Fame and Museum. Meet guitar maker Paul Reed Smith and guitar player G.E. Smith, who

demonstrate their crafts and share stories about some of the people involved in developing and

popularizing the electric guitar. Moderated by Bob Santelli, former director of education at the

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

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Reinventing the Wheel: The Continuing Evolution of the Bicycle

Explores the bicycle’s unique history and technology. The velocipede achieved great popularity

almost immediately when it was introduced more than a century ago. Countless inventors were

inspired to make bicycles more efficient and comfortable, and bicycle innovation continues today.

Cycling also sparked unexpected social changes, as various groups adopted bicycles for their own

needs. See historic bicycles from the collections of the National Museum of American History and

some amazing prototypes for the future. Program highlights include “high wheelers,” hand-powered

cycles for the disabled, mountain bikes, and even a bicycle that rides on snow.

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Lewis Latimer: Renaissance Man, African American Inventor

The Brewery Troupe and the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center present a puppet play that tells the

story of African American inventor Lewis Latimer. Although he was a member of the Edison Pioneers,

a group associated with the famous inventor Thomas Edison, Latimer is not a well-known

figure. The son of slaves, this self-educated man rose to become an inventor, poet, and activist.

Through the unique artistry of puppet theater, Brad Brewer’s “Crowtations” tell Latimer’s exciting

story to celebrate his 150th birthday.

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She’s Got It! Women Inventors and Their Inspirations

Curious about women inventors? Designed for use in the classroom or at home, this video features

women and girls who share a common creative spirit and have won invention prizes and awards.

Many have appeared in the Lemelson Center’s “Innovative Lives” series for middle school students.

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These educational materials are available free of charge as a joint project of the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for

the Study of Invention and Innovation and ITEA.

Call 703-860-2100 for information on how to obtain your copy.



There is a nominal $2.00 fee per DVD to cover shipping expenses.


Contents

DECEMBER/JANUARY • VOL. 68 • NO. 4

Resources in Technology

Energy Perspective:

Is Hydroelectricity Green?

page 4

Departments

10

Web News

1

TIDE News

2

3 Calendar

4 Resources

in Technology

33 Classroom

Challenge

15

20

27

Features

English Language Learner Engineering Collaborative

Details the outcome of an ELL-only class within one school’s engineering academy—

presenting a need to develop new engineering design challenges and the opportunity to reach

Hispanic students often missing from engineering classrooms at the university level.

Katy Pendergraft, Michael K. Daugherty, and Charles Rosetti

IED Cleanup: A Cooperative Classroom Robotics Challenge – The

Benefits and Execution of a Cooperative Classroom Robotics Challenge

This classroom challenge was created to incorporate a humanitarian project with the use of a

robotics design system in order to remove simulated IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) to

a detonation zone within a specified amount of time.

Mark Piotrowski and Rich Kressly

Integrative STEM Education: Primer

An examination of the history and importance of integrative STEM Education.

Mark Sanders

Model Program: Southern Lehigh High School

richard colelli

Insert: ITEA 71 st Annual Conference Preliminary Program

Publisher, Kendall N. Starkweather, DTE

Editor-In-Chief, Kathleen B. de la Paz

Editor, Kathie F. Cluff

ITEA Board of Directors

Len Litowitz, DTE, President

Andy Stephenson, DTE, Past President

Ed Denton, DTE, President-Elect

Doug Miller, Director, ITEA-CS

Scott Warner, Director, Region I

Michael A. Fitzgerald, DTE, Director, Region II

Steve Meyer, Director, Region III

Patrick McDonald, Director, Region IV

Michael DeMiranda, Director, CTTE

Peter Wright, Director, TECA

Ginger Whiting, Director, TECC

Kendall N. Starkweather, DTE, CAE,

Executive Director

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 $90; $100 outside the U.S.

Single copies are $10.00 for members; $11.00

for nonmembers, plus shipping and handling.

The Technology Teacher is listed in the

Educational Index and the Current Index to

Journal in Education. Volumes are available on

Microfiche from University Microfilm, P.O. Box

1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106.

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Fax: 703-860-0353

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All subscription claims must be made within 60

days of the first day of the month appearing on

the cover of the journal. For combined issues,

claims will be honored within 60 days from

the first day of the last month on the cover.

Because of repeated delivery problems outside

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Send change of address notification promptly.

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Now Available on the

ITEA Website:

Technology

TEACHER

T h e Vo i c e o f Te c h n o l o g y E d u c a t i o n

the

What’s in “Members Only”?

Your membership in ITEA entitles you to a variety of special services and

valuable resources. If you haven’t been to the Members Only page on the ITEA

website, you don’t know what you’re missing. The Online Library has been

expanded to include:

• The standards documents

• Past conference presentations

Technology Scholarly Articles (Technology SA)

• The TTT Archives

• Maley Graduate Student award-winning lesson plans

• White papers

• Research supporting technological literacy

• PATT Conference Proceedings

• InsideTIDE Archives

• …and more

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Go to www.iteaconnect.org/Membership/membersonly.htm. If you don’t have

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Editorial Review Board

Chairperson

Gerald Day

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Lori Abernethy

Andrew Morrison ES, PA

Byron C. Anderson

University of Wisconsin-Stout

Steve Andersen

Nikolay Middle School, WI

Stephen L. Baird

Bayside Middle School, VA

Lynn Basham

Virginia Department of

Education

Mary L. Braden

Carver Magnet HS, TX

Jolette Bush

Midvale Middle School, UT

Mike Cichocki

Salisbury Middle School, PA

Laura Morford Erli

East Side MS, IN

Jeremy Ernst

North Carolina State

University

Mike Fitzgerald, DTE

IN Department of Education

Kara Harris

Purdue University

Marie Hoepfl

Appalachian State University

Laura Hummell

Manteo Middle School, NC

Doug Hunt

Southern Wells HS, IN

Chad Johnson

West Washington HS, IN

Anthony Korwin, DTE

NM Public Education

Department

Frank Kruth

South Fayette MS, PA

Theodore Lewis

University of Minnesota

Linda Markert

SUNY at Oswego

Mary Annette Rose

Ball State University

Terrie Rust

Oasis Elementary School, AZ

Bart Smoot

Delmar MS/HS, DE

Jerianne Taylor

Appalachian State University

Editorial Policy

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.

Referee Policy

www.iteaconnect.org

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 kdelapaz@iteaconnect.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

© 2008 by the International Technology Education

Association, Inc., 703-860-2100.

1 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


TIDE News

ITEA Prepares to

Launch “Mission Green

Technology

In preparation for launching

a full-scale effort to educate

and share resources on the

topic of sustainability, ITEA

is actively looking for sources

of “green” articles, resources,

and other developments. If

you have a knowledge base that involves any of these areas,

please contact Katie de la Paz at kdelapaz@iteaconnect.org.

We can put your knowledge and experience to work!

Delivering the T & E in STEM—March 2009—

Join ITEA in Louisville!

Mark your calendar now for the one event you must

attend in the new year. ITEA’s 71 st Annual Conference

in Louisville, Kentucky—March 26-28, 2009—promises

you three days of the best professional development and

networking opportunites available. The complete conference

Preliminary Program is located in the center section of this

issue of TTT. Special preregistration pricing is available

until February 27, 2009, and special, deeply discounted

room rates are available at the ITEA official conference

hotels. You can also find the latest conference information at

www.iteaconnect.org/Conference/conferenceguide.htm.

Governing Board Awards WestEd $1.86 Million

Contract To Develop First-Ever Technological

Literacy Framework

For the first time ever, technological literacy will be part of

the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP),

also known as The Nation’s Report Card. The first step

toward this unprecedented assessment was announced

October 6, 2008 by the National Assessment Governing

Board, which awarded WestEd a $1.86 million contract to

develop the 2012 NAEP Technological Literacy Framework.

Under this new contract, awarded after a competitive

bidding process, WestEd—a national education research

and development organization based in San Francisco—

will recommend the framework and test specifications

for the 2012 NAEP Technological Literacy assessment.

Ultimately, this task will lead to ways to define and measure

students’ knowledge and skills in understanding important

technological tools. Governing Board members will then

decide which grade level—4 th , 8 th , or 12 th —will be tested in

2012.

The NAEP Technological Literacy Assessment is

the country’s first nationwide assessment of student

achievement in this area. The work comes at a time when

there are no nationwide requirements or common definition

for technological literacy. Few states have adopted separate

tests in this area, even as more business representatives

and policymakers voice concern about American students’

abilities to compete in a global marketplace and keep up

with quickly evolving technology.

Several groups will assist WestEd for this 18-month project,

including the Council of Chief State School Officers and the

International Technology Education Association. With

this assistance, WestEd plans to convene two committees

that will include technology experts, engineers, teachers,

scientists, business representatives, state and local

policymakers, and employers from across the country. The

committees will advise WestEd on the content and design

of the assessment and make recommendations to the Board

on the framework and specifications for the 2012 NAEP

Technological Literacy Assessment. In addition, hundreds

of experts in various fields and the general public will

participate in hearings or provide reviews of the framework

document as it is developed. Ultimately, the collaboration

will reflect the perspectives of a diverse array of individuals

and groups. The Governing Board is slated to review and

approve the technological literacy framework in late 2009.

The Nation’s Report Card is the only nationally

representative, continuing evaluation of the condition of

education in the United States and has served as a national

yardstick of student achievement since 1969. Through the

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP),

The Nation’s Report Card informs the public about what

America’s students know and can do in various subject areas,

and compares achievement data between states and various

student demographic groups.

The National Assessment Governing Board is an

independent, bipartisan board whose members include

governors, state legislators, local and state school officials,

educators, business representatives, and members of the

general public. Congress created the 26-member Governing

Board in 1988 to set policy for NAEP.

2 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


Calendar

Calendar

February 12-14, 2009 The Virginia Technology Education

Association will present its annual Virginia Children’s

Engineering Convention at the Holiday Inn Select – Kroger

Center in Midlothian, Virginia. Information can be found at

www.vtea.org/ESTE/convention.

February 15-21, 2009 Engineers Week 2009 will take

place nationwide. Organized by the National Engineers

Week Foundation and chaired by NSPE and Intel, the

2009 celebration will continue to enrich ongoing efforts in

Engineers Week’s large portfolio of educational programs

designed to inspire young people, such as the National

Engineers Week Future City Competition and Introduce a

Girl to Engineering Day (February 19, 2009). For complete

information, go to www.eweek.org.

February 27, 2009

Preregistration deadline for the

71 st Annual ITEA Conference

and Exposition, “Delivering

the T & E in STEM,” to be

held in Louisville, Kentucky

March 26-28, 2009. Members,

nonmembers, and students alike

will save a considerable amount over the on-site registration

rates by registering early. So register before this important

date —you’ll be glad you did! Choose online registration

or a printable registration form and access all conference

information at www.iteaconnect.org/Conference/

conferenceguide.htm.

March 26-28, 2009 ITEA’s 71 st Annual Conference

and Exhibition and 70th Birthday Celebration will

be held in Louisville, Kentucky. The 2009 conference

theme is “Delivering the T & E in STEM.” STEM is one

of the hottest education topics in America right now.

Technology education can and does play a critical role

in helping school districts deliver all aspects of STEM

education to students, with particular emphasis on the

“T” and the “E.” The 2009 Louisville Conference will

consist of presentations that address the following five

subthemes or tracks: TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION,

DESIGN, ENGINEERING, and STEM INTEGRATION.

The discussions are sure to be of crucial importance to

those interested in the field of technology and engineering

education. Mark your calendar now for March 26-28, 2009

and join ITEA in beautiful Louisville, Kentucky for the 71 st

Annual ITEA Conference and Exhibition.

The Technology Teacher journal is currently

conducting a Call for Articles.

Articles are intended to be used as part of

a future “themed” issue of the journal and

should relate to the topic, “Teaching Green

Activities in Technology Education.”

Deadline: July 1, 2009.

Questions or submissions should be

directed to kdelapaz@iteaconnect.org.

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@

iteaconnect.org.

3 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


Resources in Technology

Energy Perspective:

Is Hydroelectricity Green?

By Vincent W. Childress

Are you thinking that air pollution

will be reduced significantly once the

United States switches to electric

vehicles? Guess again.

Introduction

The current worldwide concern over energy is primarily

related to imported oil, oil drilling and refining capacity, and

transportation capacity. However, this concern has bolstered

interest in a broader range of “green” energy technologies.

Concern over the environment is well founded. The

Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air Quality

Planning and Standards (1998) estimates that by 2010,

electrical generators in the United States will dump 182,968

tons of particulate air pollution per year. These pollutants

include mercury, lead, arsenic, hydrogen chloride, and many

more carcinogens and toxins that cause lung cancer, asthma,

and other diseases, and degrade flora and fauna. Also

released is carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas. Are

you thinking that air pollution will be reduced significantly

once the United States switches to electric vehicles? Guess

again. There may be a reduction in air pollution in busy

locations, but its significance remains to be seen. China

Figure 1-A. The conversion of most energy sources such as coal,

natural gas, oil, and nuclear follows a similar process. The fuel

source is converted into heat energy, which then is converted into

steam that is used to produce mechanical energy in a turbine.

uses coal extensively to generate electricity, and the United

States also uses large quantities of coal for electrical power

generation. In the future when your electric car runs out

of electricity, you will plug it in to a convenience outlet at

home, school, or work, and you will essentially be running

your automobile on coal, natural gas, petroleum, or nuclear

energy sources, all of which have major problems associated

with them, and all of which are the main energy sources for

generating electricity in the United States.

4 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


Concern over imported energy in the United States is well

founded. Some natural gas is imported, and natural gas

accounts for 40 percent of the United States’ electricalgenerating

capacity. Petroleum accounts for 6 percent

of electrical-generating capacity. Coal and nuclear are

major contributors to electrical generation also (Energy

Information Administration, 2007). Coal accounts for

almost all of the air pollution associated with electrical

generation (Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards,

1998), and no one knows with great certainty how to safely

store radioactive waste from nuclear power plants to the

extent that humans and the environment will be protected

one thousand years from now when that same waste will still

be radioactive.

Could hydroelectricity be part of the solution?

Hydroelectricity

Hydroelectricity is similar to nuclear electricity in that

there are very few airborne pollutants that result from the

generating process during normal operation. Nuclear power

accounts for slightly more of the United States’ generating

capacity than hydroelectric. There are currently 3,988

hydroelectric generating units in the United States—

23.5 percent of all generating units. However, that only

represents 7.7 percent of the electricity generated annually

(Energy Information Administration, 2007). There is

obviously a practical disadvantage to depending on

hydroelectricity; these power plants are not always able to

operate if the water supply is low.

Why Fuels Are Needed to Generate Electricity

Electromagnetic induction is a phenomenon by which

electrical current can be made to flow in an electrical

conductor. Copper wire is an example of an electrical

conductor, and at the atomic level, copper has an extra

electron in its outer shell. When that electron is caused to

move from one copper atom to another, you have electrical

current or the flow of electricity. Electrons in neighboring

atoms are behaving the same way, so you end up with

current flowing in all parts of the conductor. What can cause

the electron to move from one atom to another? Magnetism.

In order to induce current flow in a conductor, there

must be relative motion between the conductor and the

magnetic field. No matter what the source of energy used

to generate useable electrical current from electromagnetic

induction, the process is basically the same—move an

electrical conductor in a magnetic field or move a magnetic

field across an electrical conductor. What creates this

motion? Steam or water is used to turn a turbine that turns

Figure 1. Philpott Dam and its power plant were constructed by the Army Corp of Engineers primarily

to control flooding in the small community of Bassett, Virginia. Generating electricity is an added

benefit for this project.

5 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


the parts of a generator so that the motion required for

electromagnetic induction is sustained. To produce the

steam, fuel must be burned. What fuel is burned? Coal,

natural gas, and petroleum; and for nuclear, the radiation is

used to heat the water to produce steam. Therefore, thermal

energy is converted into mechanical energy, which is

converted into electrical energy as shown in Figure 1-A.

How Hydroelectricity Works

There are a few different configurations of hydroelectric

generation processes. For example, the motion of water

moving due to the ocean tide can be harnessed in order

to generate electricity. So can the motion of a flowing

river. However, the primary configuration of hydroelectric

generation comes in the form of dams—dams that store

massive amounts of water. When electricity is needed, water

is released from the dam.

A dam is constructed of concrete or nonorganic soil and

rock across a river or other body of water. Water backs

up behind the dam and creates a head of potential energy.

A passageway is built inside the dam that starts high on

the upstream side of the dam and leads down through the

dam to the powerhouse, where the generators are located.

See Figure 5. This passageway is called the penstock. The

penstock leads rushing water and its kinetic energy to the

scroll case. The scroll case is a spiral shaped housing that

causes the water to flow around the turbine in a more

efficient way. The turbine is a wheel with vanes on it that

is directly turned by the water. (For non-hydro induction

Figure 2. This turbine was used to harness the energy of flowing

water in the hydroelectric plant at Smith Mountain Lake in

Virginia. The plant is owned and operated by American Electric

Power.

Figure 3. A simplified diagram of a generator showing the basic

parts and the difference in single-phase and three-phase electrical

service.

power plants, the turbine is the part that is turned by the

steam mentioned above, and it looks more like a turbine in

a jet engine.) The turbine is connected to the generator by a

large flange or shaft.

The generator itself has two basic parts: the stator, which

is stationary, and the rotor, which rotates. Generators in

hydroelectric plants are usually conventional. The magnetic

field is produced using electromagnets carefully positioned

at different locations in the stator. The electricity that is used

to produce the magnetism in these “field magnets” comes

from the same power grid that serves other industries and

commercial operations in the area. Electromagnets are coils

of wire wrapped around an armature or metal frame that

helps to structure the magnetic field (The Electricity Forum,

2008). When electrical current flows through a conductor, it

produces electromagnetism. If the conductor is coiled, then

the magnetic field is much stronger. The rotor also has coils

of wire wrapped around an armature. These coils, turned by

the turbine, spin rapidly inside of the magnetic fields, and

electrical current is induced in them. Mechanical energy is

converted into electrical energy.

The electrical current flows to the power grid to be

consumed. A connection is made between the shaft of the

rotor and the power lines to the grid with slip rings that

maintain contact but still allow the rotor to rotate.

6 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


When electricity is generated by induction, current flows

when the conductor is in the magnetic field. Say the

electricity has a magnitude of 10,000 volts AC. When the

conductor is no longer in the magnetic field and no current

is flowing, the magnitude is 0 volts AC. Also, when the

conductor moves in one direction in the magnetic field,

current may be positive moving; but when the conductor

moves in the opposite direction, it may be negative moving.

The direction of the movement in relationship to the

polarity of the magnetic fields makes the current either

positive or negative.

This is a relative thing when considering electricity in the

United States. The United States uses alternating current.

Other parts of the world use direct current. Remember

the free electron moving from one atom to the other in the

description above? When alternating current is positive

moving, the electron in the copper wire is moving in one

direction. When alternating current is negative moving,

the electron starts moving back in the opposite direction.

Alternating current alternates between being negative and

positive in polarity. In the United States, electricity changes

its polarity 60 times per second. It has to be delivered that

way in order for appliances and other electrical devices to

operate correctly (Abul-Fadl, 2008).

In the United States, residential electricity is delivered

generally at 240 volts AC at 60 Hertz, and it is single phase.

The generator is designed to produce electricity that

cycles correctly when it reaches the consumer (Abul-Fadl,

2008). For a simple generator, the stator may have two

field magnets on opposite sides. If you add two more field

magnets at ninety degrees to the first two, you generate twophase

electricity, and if you arrange three field magnet pairs

at 120 degrees around the stator, you will generate threephase

electricity (The Electricity Forum, 2008). Three-phase

electricity is used by industries to run very large motors

more efficiently. Using transformers, power companies

can deliver single-phase or three-phase electricity. Where

there are three transformers together on a power pole,

three-phase electricity is available. Where there is only one

transformer on a pole, single phase is available. Three-phase

electricity is more efficient for heavy applications because

the magnitude of electricity available to run the appliance is

never dropped to zero as it is with single phase.

Is Hydroelectricity Green?

That is a good question. Compared with burning coal,

yes, hydroelectric generation produces virtually no air

pollution, and many dams around the country have been

built in order to prevent downstream communities from

flooding, so there are benefits. However, there are some

negative environmental impacts. Depending on how large

the reservoir becomes, large plant and animal habitats

can be disrupted by isolating or wiping out groups of flora

and fauna (Environmental Protection Agency, 2007). For

example, the Three Gorges Dam in China has taken a

significant amount of habitat needed for the endangered

Giant Panda (Hvistendahl, 2008). A widely known impact

of dams on river systems is the disruption that dams cause

in the spawning cycle of fish such as salmon. These fish

migrate upstream in rivers in order to lay eggs. When

they encounter dams, the fish are not able to continue

swimming upstream. Some species will not successfully

spawn as a result. As a solution to this problem, operational

dams have special stair-step channels that allow the

fish to maneuver around the dam and continue on their

migration to spawning grounds, and obsolete dams are

destroyed. In some cases, dams create reservoirs that

cause local extinctions of locally specialized endangered

species (Environmental Protection Agency, 2007; see also

Hvistendahl, 2008).

There is sometimes a bitter human toll related to

hydroelectricity and the damming of rivers. Because vast

acres of land are often flooded when dams are built, private

homes, businesses, and sometimes entire small towns have

to be condemned because they are located where the water

will eventually exist when the reservoir fills. The Three

Gorges Dam in China dislocated an estimated 22.9 million

people. This massive project has also caused landslides that

have destroyed entire towns, and now scientists fear that

the dam structure itself may be vulnerable to earthquakes

(Hvistendahl, 2008). A breach of a dam the size of the Three

Gorges would create a catastrophe downstream.

Is hydroelectricity green? Like most technologies, there

are tradeoffs with hydroelectricity. Large dam projects

tend to produce more electricity by accommodating

multiple generators, but they disrupt communities and

the environment. Smaller dam projects tend to be less

disruptive, but they produce modest amounts of electricity.

Most hydroelectric generators are not able to produce

electricity on demand 100 percent of the time. There are

restrictions on how low a reservoir can be drained, and

there is no control over rainfall levels. Given the results

of projects like the Three Gorges Dam, it seems sensible

that policymakers strike a balance among technological

ambition, the needs of people, and the environment.

Perhaps hydroelectricity is green to the extent that

small-scale hydroelectric projects are less likely to have a

damaging impact on the environment and cause extinctions,

7 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


and if hydroelectricity is used as a component in an overall

plan for clean energy, such as solar energy and wind energy,

it could be a meaningful part of the solution.

Technology, Science, Mathematics Interfaces

Technology

The following activity addresses Standards for Technological

Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology (ITEA,

2000/2002/2007) Standard 16, Benchmarks E and G.

Standard 16

Students will develop an understanding of and be able to

select and use energy and power technologies. (p. 158)

Benchmark 16E

Energy is the capacity to do work. (p. 162)

Benchmark 16G

Power is the rate at which energy is converted from

one form to another…[and is] the rate at which

work is done. (p. 162)

To address these benchmarks, the technology teacher

will challenge students to design a better water turbine in

order to increase the power output of a small DC electric

motor that is being used as a generator. The testing setup is

shown in Figure 4 (adapted from LaPorte & Sanders, 1994).

Power in watts equals the electrical current multiplied

by its voltage. To determine the electrical power of the

generator, you must measure the current and the voltage

simultaneously. The first turbine design that can be used

Figure 4. Testing setup for DC generator.

as a demonstration of the testing setup and as the baseline

wattage may simply be a model gear fixed to the shaft of the

DC generator. Allow students to design turbine vanes that

capitalize on increased vane surface area. Students should

also be allowed to design turbines that are contained in

housings that help to channel the water over the turbine

just like a scroll case. Such a housing would have to fit the

tubing the teacher uses to simulate the penstock. However,

it is important that students be constrained to a specific

volume within which their turbines and scroll cases must fit.

The amount of water flowing over or into the turbine is up

to the technology teacher, but accommodations will have to

be made to protect the small generator from contact with

the water and to collect the water as it exits the turbine. Use

a small one-volt DC electric motor for the generator and

about a 10-ohm power resistor. The current and voltage

generated will be small and safe.

Get the mathematics teacher involved by asking him or her

to teach students how to optimize their turbine size using

the volume of a cylinder (∏r 2 ). Get the science teacher

involved by asking him or her to help students equate the

head and the kinetic energy of the rushing water to the

power output of the generator and the losses involved.

References

Abul-Fadl, A. (2008). Personal communication.

The Electricity Forum. (2008). Electricity generation.

Geneva, NY: Author. Retrieved September 20, 2008, from

www.electricityforum.com/electricity-generation.html.

Energy Information Administration. (2007). Energy

generating capacity. Washington, DC: U.S. Department

of Energy. Retrieved September 30, 2008, from www.eia.

doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/page/capacity/capacity.html.

Environmental Protection Agency. (2007). Clean energy:

Hydroelectricity. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved

September 20, 2008, from www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/

energy-and-you/affect/hydro.html.

Hvistendahl, M. (2008). China’s Three Gorges Dam: An

environmental catastrophe? Scientific American [online].

Retrieved September 20, 2008, from www.sciam.com/

article.cfm?id=chinas-three-gorges-dam-disaster.

International Technology Education Association.

(2000/2002/2007). Standards for technological literacy:

Content for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.

LaPorte, J. E. & Sanders, M. E. (1994). Capture the wind.

Unpublished learning activity written with a grant

from the National Science Foundation. Blacksburg, VA:

Virginia Tech.

Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. (1998).

Study of hazardous air pollutant emissions from electric

utility steam generating units: Final report to Congress.

8 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


Figure 5. The parts of a typical hydroelectric dam.

Washington, DC: Environmental Protection Agency.

Retrieved September 20, 2007, from www.epa.gov/ttn/

oarpg/t3/reports/eurtc1.pdf.

Design Brief: Hydroelectricity –

Consuming Power

Background

By this point, you’ve already learned about the forms of

energy. Hydroelectric dams have generators that convert

the mechanical energy of rushing water into electrical

energy through electromagnetic induction. See Figure 5 to

get a better understanding of how hydroelectric dams are

constructed. Your teacher will have taught you more about

dams and hydroelectricity. Hydroelectric dams are a cleaner

way of generating electricity as compared with coal or gasfired

power plants. However, for hydroelectric plants to be

as efficient as possible, their generators must be turned by

well-designed turbines.

Context

You are a mechanical engineer who has been asked to help

an electrical engineer improve the design of a hydroelectric

plant.

Problem Statement

Not enough electrical power is being generated from the

hydroelectric plant.

Challenge

You must design a better turbine to capture the force of the

water flowing from the dam’s penstock.

• Energy is the ability to do work.

• Force makes an object move.

• Work is force multiplied by distance. For electricity, the

force is the voltage, and the distance is accounted for by

the electrical current reading that you will make with an

electrical meter. There is movement in electrical circuits—

the movement of electrons—but you cannot see this

movement directly with your own eyes.

• Power is the amount of work done in a given time. Power

in electricity is voltage times current when electricity

is being consumed. The time is accounted for by the

electrical current reading.

Requirements

Use your understanding of math and science to develop a

better turbine for the hydroelectric generator. Your turbine

must fit within a volume of _______ cubic centimeters, and

it must be able to attach to the shaft of the generator.

Objectives

• Demonstrate that you know how to use mathematics

and knowledge of volume to maximize the size of your

turbine.

• Explain the relationship between the energy of the rushing

water and the energy of the electricity that is generated.

• Explain how a generator works.

• Explain how a hydroelectric dam and power plant work.

• Explain how work was being done in the electrical circuit

used to test your turbine.

• Explain how you know how much power was generated by

the generator with your turbine.

Assessment of the Solution

Your solution and related paperwork should meet the

requirements specified above and should help you address

the objectives.

Vincent W. Childress, Ph.D., is a professor

in Technology Education at North Carolina

A&T State University in Greensboro, North

Carolina. He can be reached at childres@

ncat.edu.

Thanks to Ali Abul-Fadl, Ph.D., Associate Professor

of Electrical Engineering at North Carolina A&T State

University for consulting on this article.

By this time in your schooling you may not have yet learned

about the relationship among energy, work, and power.

9 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


English Language Learner

Engineering Collaborative

By Katy Pendergraft, Michael K. Daugherty, and

Charles Rossetti

The elementary students were

engaged in an unusual setting

for learning and will remember

the positive experience in future

years as they select classes in

both core and elective studies.

Introduction

Faculty members in the Engineering Academy at Springdale

High School in Springdale, Arkansas have been using

engineering design activities to introduce students to the

open-ended and multidisciplinary nature of engineering for

several years. Working with challenging engineering design

problems provides academy students with opportunities to

apply the science, math, and technology concepts that they

have been studying in associated classes (Charles Rossetti,

personal communication, January 15, 2007). Recent engineering

design problems have been created to include high

levels of math, science, and technology—as well as a healthy

dose of reality. Practicing engineers are routinely faced with

challenges that go far beyond the core fundamentals taught

in the average classroom (Sepulveda, 2001), and in many

cases these challenges are societal in nature.

In the past seven years, Springdale, Arkansas has transitioned

from a community of 45,790, of whom 19.7% were

of Hispanic origin, to a community of 62,459 citizens, of

whom 32.8% are of Hispanic origin. This rapid population

shift has resulted in substantial growth of English Language

Learners (ELL) at Springdale High School. ELL students are

language minority students who have been assessed in four

areas—reading, writing, speaking, and listening—using an

English language proficiency assessment and are not proficient

in any of the four areas. In 2006, faculty at Springdale

initiated an ELL-only class within the Engineering Academy.

This new course presented a need to develop new engineering

design challenges as well as the opportunity to reach

Hispanic students often missing from engineering classrooms

at the university level. To illustrate the growing number

of students in this population, in the year 2000 minority

students represented 39 percent of all public school students

nationally in kindergarten through 12th grade—and 44 percent

of those minority students were Hispanic (17 percent of

total enrollment) (National Center for Educational Statistics,

10 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


2003). Additionally, between 1972 and 2000, the percentage

of Hispanic students in public schools increased 11 percentage

points, and the overall percentage of minority students

increased 17 percentage points. By comparison, the percentage

of black students in public schools increased only

about 2 percentage points between 1972 and 2000 (National

Center for Educational Statistics). This vast increase in

Hispanic population trends has created a need to invest in

tools that meet their individual needs.

It is imperative that more Hispanics be recruited into

engineering and technology fields if the United States is

to stay competitive in the global market. The composition

of the American workforce is changing. According to

Noeth, Cruce, and Harmston (2003), between 2003 and

2010 the number of people in the United States aged 18-24

will increase by 10 million, and minorities will account

for 60% of this population increase. Chubin (2003) states

that by 2050 non-Hispanic white males will make up 26%

of the workforce, and Hispanics will make up 24% of the

workforce. In 2002, Hispanics represented only 6.9% of all

engineering majors in colleges, while non-Hispanic Whites

represented 77.8% (Noeth et al.). Without increasing the

numbers of minorities in engineering and technological

fields, as the percentage of white males in the workforce

decreases, the number of engineers will decrease.

Background and Project Goals

In an effort to develop an engineering design project that

would deliver the necessary content and reach out to the

ELL community, faculty in the Engineering Academy

instituted the ELL Engineering Collaborative. The ELL

Engineering Collaborative has four primary goals; they

include: (1) delivering engineering content in a practical,

hands-on, contextual manner, (2) reaching out to ELL and

Hispanic communities through parental involvement,

(3) encouraging Hispanic students to consider a future

in engineering or teaching; (4) Drawing connections

between primary, secondary, and tertiary students in

STEM fields.

Delivering engineering content in a practical, hands-on

manner engages students in learning and provides the

students with real experiences they can use later to solve

engineering problems. Students prefer classes that allow

them to work with others to plan and complete design projects.

Also, students believe courses that include practical

and hands-on experiences provide them with the creativity

and problem-solving skills they need to be successful in

STEM fields (Doppelt & Barak 2002). The ELL Engineering

Collaborative gave the high school students the hands-on

experience of teaching elementary students the skills needed

to solve design problems.

Parental involvement is one of the keys to student success

in school. According to Steinberg, et al. (as cited in Murphy,

2007), parental involvement sends the message to students

that school is important to their parents, so it should be

important to them. Parents of all the students involved in

the ELL collaborative were invited and encouraged to attend

the activities at the high school. The general community

was informed of this collaborative effort through newspaper

articles and television interviews with the local Hispanic

media.

With such a need for young Hispanics to enter the engineering

field, how do we pique their interest in engineering?

The ELL Engineering Collaborative not only had the high

school students working on design projects, but elementary

students as well. The high school students may already have

career aspirations in mind, but the young elementary students

are still forming opinions about career fields. Through

the collaborative, young Hispanic students are planning,

designing, and constructing projects that solve engineering

design problems and are becoming familiar with core engineering

concepts at a very young age.

The ELL Engineering Collaborative allows students from

different schools and of different ages to meet and work

together on a central engineering design problem. The

elementary Hispanic students are paired with high school

Hispanic student mentors, and in some cases other minority

The Collaborative not only had the high school students working

on design projects, but elementary students as well.

11 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


groups are paired (i.e., Marshallese, Philippine, etc.). The

Collaborative introduces elementary students to the idea of

engineering, high school students to the idea of teaching,

and both to the idea of collaborating with others.

The ELL Engineering Collaborative

Secondary Engineering Academy students in the ELL

Engineering Collaborative are actively involved in teaching

technology education to younger students in the community.

The two ELL classes in the Engineering Academy

at Springdale High School teach ELL third graders from

elementary schools in Springdale how to draw by hand, draft

using a computer, and construct a design. Each high school

Hispanic student is paired with one elementary Hispanic

student. The high school students teach the elementary

students three engineering design lessons over a period of

several months. The elementary school teachers are encouraged

to spend some time introducing their students to some

of the key vocabulary used in each lesson before they travel

to the high school for the individual lesson. The concepts

taught during the three lessons can be difficult to comprehend

in any language other than one’s native language.

Pairing ELL high school students with ELL elementary

students helps both students feel confident in what they are

teaching or learning.

Hispanic students are paired with high school Hispanic

student mentors.

During the first lesson, the third grade students are taught

how to accurately measure in feet and inches, how to identify

basic geometric shapes, and how to identify computeraided

drafting tools and demonstrate their use in drawing a

design that solves an engineering problem. The second lesson,

which takes place a few months later, focuses on teaching

the elementary students how to identify various types

of technology used in manufacturing and construction and

helps the elementary students understand the technological

processes used in manufacturing and construction. During

this lesson, the elementary school students are given a tour

of the drafting and engineering/architecture classrooms

and labs. The students see a demonstration of a prototyping

machine, CIM milling machine, robotics, plotters, and a

stress analyzer. It is also during the second lesson when the

elementary students, with the help and instruction of the

high school students, produce and plot a CADD drawing of

the design they are going to build.

Observation of the second lesson showed students actively

involved in both teaching and learning. The elementary

students were engaged in the design activity and actively

conversed in both the English and Spanish languages with

their high school mentor. The level of understanding in the

elementary students was apparent by their attentiveness and

ability to complete the assigned tasks quickly. One university

observer noted that the elementary students were creating

design solutions using CAD software as if they had always

drawn things using a computer.

The third and final lesson consisted of the prototyping and

construction of the students’ design solutions. Once the

CAD drawing had been completed, a prototyping machine

was used to create a scaled model of the final design solution,

and this prototype was used as a model of the final

design solution. The elementary students used their prototype

as a guide when constructing by hand their final solution.

The classroom was filled with the sounds of materials

being cut to size and shape, hammers hitting nails, wood

being sanded, and students enjoying themselves. Although

the elementary teachers had a limited background in STEM,

they did note that the collaborative fit the needs of the

elementary curriculum and that the participating elementary

students gained a great deal from the experience (Jerri

Hughey, personal communication, March 6, 2007). The

collaborative allowed the participating elementary teachers

to introduce basic design principles, simple manufacturing

and engineering processes, geometric shapes, and vocabulary

in an engaging and exciting manner. One participating

elementary school teacher noted that some of her students

were struggling with measuring and fractions prior to the

collaborative, but when they were paired with a high school

student they picked up the new skills quickly (Jerri Hughey,

personal communication, March 6, 2007).

12 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


Summary and Conclusions

The focus of the English Language Learner Engineering

Collaborative was on two populations of students—high

school and elementary ELL students. The high school ELL

students developed engineering activities based on the class

content in their pre-engineering classes. The charge was to

compare the engineering curriculum to the frameworks of

the third grade students and to identify the STEM components

that would be used in the collaborative experience

of the two groups. The third grade students experienced

components of their frameworks, such as measuring and

basic geometry, through the applied activities and mentoring

of high school students. Because of the nature of this

collaboration with the two age groups, parental involvement

was mandated and initiated at the beginning of this project.

Parents were kept informed of the activities throughout the

year and were able to attend all of the collaborative activities.

The media involvement kept the Hispanic community

informed, stimulating parent conversations and sharing in

the Hispanic community. Placing the responsibility of success

on the efforts of the high school students gave them

a clear understanding of what teaching involves, and the

subject area focused all the students on design and development.

The elementary students were engaged in an unusual

setting for learning and will remember the positive experience

in future years as they select classes in the core and

elective studies. This might result in the younger students’

willingness to take courses that involve them in more rigorous

STEM curricula. Having these positive experiences in

elementary and high school may result in the students considering

teaching and/or engineering as a career or helping

them decide that these two careers are not for them. Either

way it narrows their decision-making choices for postsecondary

education.

In the end, both the high school and elementary students

indicated that they benefited from this collaborative experience.

The elementary students were able to see firsthand

how the vocabulary, geometry, and fractions they learn

at their school are applied. Meanwhile, the high school

students are introduced to teaching and mentoring—which

takes them to a higher level of understanding and creates a

need to understand the material in more depth. While the

final impact of the collaborative won’t be known for some

time, observations indicate that the high school engineering

academy students came away from the experience with

irreplaceable teaching and mentoring experiences related

to technology education and engineering design. Observing

the students during activities in the ELL Engineering

Collaborative revealed the elementary students’ ability

to participate in engineering activities at a high level.

Hopefully, this experience will encourage both elementary

and secondary students to consider future opportunities in

STEM fields.

One of the technology teachers from the Springdale

Engineering Academy indicated that over the past several

years faculty have implemented several large-scale engineering

projects, but without exception, the Engineering

Collaborative has engaged high school students in a way that

no other activity has (Charles Rossetti, personal communication,

January 15, 2007). The collaborative effort brings

together core concepts from several disciplines including

language, math, technology, and science, but the motivating

force for high school students is their responsibility to teach

a group of third grade students. If the third graders are successful

in learning the content, it is because the high school

students have done their job. The collaborative allows students

to engage in problem solving, use their creativity, and

feel a sense of accomplishment upon completion of their

project. For the elementary students, what could be more

exciting than working on a major project with high school

students, whom they idolize, and solving an engineering

design problem as a member of the team?

The challenges that technology teachers face sometimes

seem overwhelming. Faced with large class sizes, diverse

student groups requiring a variety of teaching strategies,

students for whom English is a second language, and

high-stakes tests that seem to drive the curriculum, many

teachers may be reluctant to initiate yet another project.

Technology teachers, however, are encouraged to consider

Both the high school and elementary students indicated that they

benefitted from this collaborative experience.

13 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


adapting the ELL Engineering Collaborative and engaging

students in an experience that will both motivate and

inspire students at almost any level within the public

school system.

References

Doppelt, Y. & Barak, M. (2002). Pupils identify key aspects

and outcomes of a technological learning environment.

Journal of Technology Studies, 28(1), 12-18.

May, G. S. & Chubin, D. E. (2003). A retrospective on

undergraduate engineering success for underrepresented

minority students. Journal of Engineering Education,

January, 2003.

Murphy, A. S. (2007). An analysis of parental involvement in

secondary students’ education: The relationship to selective

educational leadership theories and implications for

school leaders. (Doctoral dissertation, The University of

Arizona, 2007). Dissertation Abstracts International, 68

(05).

National Center for Education Statistics. (2003). Status

and trends in the education of Hispanics. Retrieved June

7, 2007, from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2003/hispanics/

Section1.asp.

Noeth, R. J., Cruce, T., & Harmston, M. T. (2003).

Maintaining a Strong Engineering Workforce, ACT Policy

Report, 2003.

Sepulveda, D. A., (2001). Reality based education: A key to

railroad engineering success. Unpublished manuscript.

Katy Pendergraft is a graduate assistant in

Curriculum & Instruction at the University of

Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR. She can be reached

via email at khuens@uark.edu.

Michael K. Daugherty is Head, Curriculum

& Instruction at the University of Arkansas,

Fayetteville, AR. He can be reached via email

at mkd03@uark.edu.

Charles Rossetti is Lead Teacher,

Engineering/Architecture, at Springdale High

School, Springdale, AR.

This is a refereed article.

Ad Index

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PITSCO............................................................ 37

PTC..................................................................C-3

State University of New York at Oswego... 36

Valley City State University.......................... 26

14 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


IED Cleanup: A Cooperative

Classroom Robotics Challenge

The Benefits and Execution of a Cooperative Classroom

Robotics Challenge

By Mark Piotrowski and Rich Kressly

Robotics with a social

conscience has not only

energized our students with the

desire to improve our world,

but it has also begun to bring

teachers from mathematics,

science, and even English to

the technology education lab at

Lower Merion where true STEM

integration is growing.

“Students used to ask, ‘Why don’t you just give us something

to analyze?’ What we really want to hear is, ‘Show

us someone who needs help.’ [In order for that to occur]

culture shift is required.”

Dr. Woodie C. Flowers

MIT Pappalardo Professor of

Mechanical Engineering (2005)

Introduction

Real-world problem solving, addressing societal needs,

and improving the quality of life are all synonymous with

technology education and its standards. In Pennsylvania,

standard 3.8.12 encourages students to, “Apply the use of

ingenuity and technological resources to solve specific

societal needs and improve the quality of life” (Pennsylvania

Department of Education, 2002). At the national level,

Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study

of Technology (STL) Standards 4, 5, 6, and 13 all relate to the

effects and impacts that development and use of technology

have on the environment and society in general (ITEA,

2000/2002/2007). However, the problem for the classroom

teacher lies within the creation of those engaging, current,

and relevant STEM-related problem-solving activities that

will have the most impact on students. In our program,

we have recently developed an activity that addresses the

above stated standards but also has strong interdisciplinary

connections. The following classroom challenge was created

to incorporate a humanitarian project with the use of

the Vex Robotics Design System to remove simulated IEDs

(Improvised Explosive Devices) to a detonation zone within

a specified amount of time. The relevance of this activity to

students is obvious given the deluge of war coverage in the

15 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


news media. Some of this media coverage may actually be

used as an anticipatory set and as part of the research phase

of the design process. Wired Magazine’s article titled, “The

Baghdad Bomb Squad” (Shachtman, 2005) documents a true

humanitarian need for smart machines that can save the

lives of soldiers and civilians in a combat zone.

Throughout this activity, named “IED Cleanup,” students

work in pairs to design and build robots to perform appropriate

tasks. However, the entire class works together to

develop a strategy, a set of complimentary designs, and a

collective plan for implementation to safely dispose of the

IEDs. There within lies one of the unique aspects of this

activity. Rather than competing against one another, teams

of students are cooperating together to solve a problem.

They quickly learn that the success of the team/class is

dependent upon efforts and communication skills of each

individual, which are real-world life skills that apply to college,

work, and life within our global society. Most importantly,

students are learning the overarching goal of STEM

and technology education, which is to use one’s skills and

knowledge to improve the world in which we live.

crucial to our future, implementation of a robotics challenge

such as the one described below may just provide the magic

mix of ingredients that helps produce the kind of contributing

citizens that our world so sorely needs. An added

benefit is that teachers can take advantage of the natural

student enthusiasm that comes with robotics projects. Such

activities position students to discover a great deal about

engineering, technology, teamwork, and their place in

society. Also, the teacher has the added benefit of addressing

a variety of related standards at an in-depth level.

Overview of the Classroom Challenge

IED Cleanup is performed on a 20-foot by 5-foot elevated

rectangular surface (adjacent tables) that we call “The

Flats.” The Flats are divided into equal sectors plus a 2-foot

“Detonation Zone” separated from the sectors by a 5.5-inch

wall. The challenge simulates a combat zone or post-war

scenario in which there is unexploded ordnance. Only

recently have robotic solutions to these types of problems

become viable. The object of the mission is for multiple

robotic inventions to safely pass and remove the simulated

IEDs across the sectors to the Detonation Zone where the

Robots in the classroom are not a new

idea, and it’s true that projects involving

the creation of these multisystem creatures

can consume entire semesters in a

heartbeat. However, our experiences have

revealed to us that robotics projects and

challenges in the classroom just might be

one of the best ways to deliver meaningful

STEM instruction and address standards

while purposefully helping to develop a

more socially conscious student. We’re not

building toys; we’re designing and building

complex systems that serve an intended

purpose, a humanitarian purpose! And

best of all, a diverse range of students is

“getting it.” They see the interdisciplinary

connections of math, science, engineering,

and the value of effective communication

and strategy. They see the need and “role of

society in the development and use of the

technology,” and the “effects of technology

on the environment” as stated in STL 6 and

STL 5, respectively. In addition, students

quickly come to realize that personal

biases and differences are of no use in solving

the problem at hand; they must work

together. In order to invite the culture

shift that Dr. Flowers and others see as so

“The Flats.”

16 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


IED before “detonation.”

IED with separated “pin” and “base.”

ordnance can be safely disposed of without harm to local villages

or people. Each IED has a “pin” and a “base,” and separation

of these two components is equivalent to detonation.

Model villages in various locations must remain safe and

undisturbed by IEDs and robots. The entire class must work

together to develop a plan for safe and timely execution of

the mission. Each team is assigned a sector and is solely

responsible for building and operating its robot, but strong

communication and design collaboration between teams

is essential to mission success. Point values are assigned

for tasks, and scores are tabulated. A “perfect” score is the

ultimate goal for the class and can only be obtained through

appropriate use of all robots to safely remove all IEDs within

the prescribed time limits. Initial full challenge rules, along

with other pertinent files, may be found at: www.chiefdelphi.

com/media/papers/1897.

Students document their design and process in an engineering

notebook.

In addition to building and competing, the paired teams

of students document their design and process in an engineering

notebook, complete with sketches. As a reflective

exercise, they also must create a presentation that evaluates

their own design and process utilizing the Rubric

and Evaluation Criteria for Standards-Based Robotics

Competitions & Related Learning Experiences developed

by TSA through an NSF grant as part of the 2006 Robotics

Education Symposium (TSA, 2006). The details of the challenge

rules (specific makeup of robots, time constraint, etc.)

were altered slightly in the second semester to better engage

a slightly different group of students, but the essence of

the challenge remained the same, and these two important

metacognitive exercises provided for an enriched learning

experience in both semesters of the 2006-07 school year.

Reflections and Future Plans

Our class’s first semester attempt with this activity was

successful in the sense that our students grasped the big

picture. They realized that there was a true purpose to their

learning and a connection to the skills, knowledge, and hard

work involved. The notion that design skills and inventions

in general should be used to better the world in which we

live came through loud and clear. Their notebooks showed

purpose and genuine desire to think outside the box to collectively

solve a unique problem. However, this first class

was not able to successfully remove all of the IEDs to the

Detonation Zone before the semester ended. Video of the

fall 2006 inventions at work is available at http://video.

google.com/videoplay?docid=-1014414722787281429.

This first class did, however, set the bar for the next class of

spring students who took the course and attempted to surpass

their predecessors. In semester two, the decision was

17 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


Sample IED-removal robots.

made to share the designs from the previous class. If cooperation

and a better society are indeed end goals, as teachers

we needed to model those principles and resist the urge to

“hide” what had been done before and overcome our fears

of “copycat” designs. Some of the challenge rule changes we

made addressed that issue, and we also discovered the real

value in sharing the designs. There was a real-world learning

that took place, and students truly embraced design as an

iterative process. Just as STL 13 intended, students saw firsthand

how their designs and reflective practice helped them,

“develop the abilities to assess the impact of products and

systems” (ITEA, 2000/2002/2007). The access to previous

designs and the desire to “outdo” the previous class led to

dramatic improvements in just one semester of a brand-new

course. Video from the spring 2007 semester’s successful

mission is available at http://video.google.com/videoplay?do

cid=-3547260733346320301.

The future of the IED Cleanup activity holds wonderful

possibilities. The Vex Robotics Design System provides

affordable solutions, and the platform has proven to be very

flexible and reusable in the classroom setting. As the next

group of students comes in to take on IED Cleanup, there

is no doubt that the bar will be raised even higher. We look

forward to adding to the challenge by integrating a higher

level of programming and autonomous operation and using

more sensors. Given our successes, we plan to incorporate

even more content related to the “cultural, social, economic,

and political effects of technology” to keep STL 4 at the forefront

(ITEA, 2000/2002/2007) along with increased sophistication

in robotic systems. We will also build upon the

STEM approach, continuing to emphasize the big picture.

Robotics with a social conscience has not only energized

our students with desire to improve our world, but it has

also begun to bring teachers from mathematics, science,

and even English to the technology education lab at Lower

Merion where true STEM integration is growing. We have

a long way to go, as the project and our robotics course are

still educational infants, but it’s certain that we are on our

way to using robots in the classroom to make a powerful

difference in the lives of our students while increasing their

technological literacy skills.

References

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. (2006).

DARPA grand challenge. Retrieved September 10, 2007,

from www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge/.

Dixon, G. W., Ford, E. J., & Wilczynski, V. (2005). Table

top robotics for engineering design, Journal of STEM

Education: Innovations and Research 6(1 & 2).

FIRST: For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and

Technology. (January 2007). 2007 FIRST Robotics

competition manual. Retrieved September 10, 2007, from

www.usfirst.org/community/frc/content.aspx?id=452.

Flowers, W. C. (Oct. 2005). Developing future leaders.

Retrieved September 15, 2007, from http://mitworld.mit.

edu/video/305.

Innovation First, Inc. (2006). Vex Robotics Design System

inventors guide. Retrieved September 14, 2007, from

www.vexlabs.com/vex-robotics-downloads.shtml.

International Technology Education Association.

(2000/2002/2007). Standards for technological literacy:

Content for the study of technology. Retrieved September 10,

2007, from www.iteaconnect.org/TAA/PDFs/xstnd.pdf.

Pennsylvania Department of Education. (2002). Academic

standards for science and technology. Retrieved

September 12, 2007, from http://www.pde.state.pa.us/

k12/lib/k12/scitech.pdf.

18 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


Shachtman, N. (November 2005). The

Baghdad Bomb Squad. Wired Magazine,

13(11). Retrieved September 15,

2007, from www.wired.com/wired/

archive/13.11/bomb.html.

Technology Student Association (TSA).

(2006). 2006 robotics education symposium

curriculum framework. Retrieved

September 17, 2007, from http://www.

tsarobotics.org/roboticsframework.

html.

Mark Piotrowski has

taught technology education

for 12 years at the

high school level and

education at the graduate

level. He currently serves

as a regional president

of the Technology Education Association

of Pennsylvania. He recently received

the ITEA Teacher Excellence Award

for Pennsylvania. He can be reached at

piotrom@lmsd.org.

Rich Kressly has been

a public educator for 14

years, currently serving

Lower Merion High

School’s Technology

Education and English

departments while also

acting as an educational consultant for

Innovation First, Inc. He’s served FIRST

Robotics as a Regional Senior Mentor and

has also been part of the yearly international

robotics challenge design for FIRST’s

intermediate program. He has played

roles in designing robotics curriculum and

support materials at the local, state, and

national levels and has received Who’s

Who Among America’s Teachers honors

twice. He can be reached at kresslr@lmsd.

org.

This is a refereed article.

19 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


Integrative STEM Education: Primer

By Mark Sanders

A series of circumstances

has once more created an

opportunity for technology

educators to develop and

implement new integrative

approaches to STEM education

championed by STEM education

reform doctrine over the past two

decades.

In the 1990s, the National Science Foundation (NSF)

began using “SMET” as shorthand for “science, mathematics,

engineering, and technology.” When an NSF

program officer complained that “SMET” sounded

too much like “smut,” the “STEM” acronym was born. As

recently as 2003, relatively few knew what it meant. Many

that year asked if the STEM Education graduate program I

was beginning to envision had something to do with stem

cell research. That was still very much the case in Fall 2005,

when we—the Technology Education Program faculty at

Virginia Tech—launched our STEM Education graduate

program. 1 But when Americans learned the world was flat

(Friedman, 2005), they quickly grew to believe China and

India were on course to bypass America in the global economy

by outSTEMming us. Funding began to flow toward all

things STEM, and STEMmania set in. Now, nearly everyone

seems somewhat familiar with the STEM acronym.

And yet, it remains a source of ambiguity. Technology educators

proudly lay claim to the T and E in STEM. But so, too,

do Career and Technical educators, who (in my home state,

at least) seem to have claimed the “E” as their own. Most,

even those in education, say “STEM” when they should be

saying “STEM education,” overlooking that STEM without

education is a reference to the fields in which scientists,

engineers, and mathematicians toil. Science, mathematics,

and technology teachers are STEM educators working in

STEM education. It’s an important distinction. In addition,

there is the common misconception that the “T” (for technology)

means computing, thereby distorting the intended

meaning of the STEM acronym. Suffice it to say, STEM is

often an ambiguous acronym, even to those who employ it.

The National Science Foundation knows what it means. For

nearly two decades, NSF has used STEM simply to refer

to the four separate and distinct fields we know as science,

technology, engineering, and/or mathematics. Yet, some

1

We added this as new graduate program at Virginia Tech,

complementing our Technology Education graduate program,

which we have no intention of relinquishing.

20 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


have suggested that STEM education implies interaction

among the stakeholders. It doesn’t. For a century, science,

technology, engineering, and mathematics education have

established and steadfastly defended their sovereign territories.

It will take a lot more than a four-letter word to bring

them together.

For those reasons, I am skeptical when I hear STEM education

used to imply something new and exciting in education.

Upon close inspection, those practices usually appear suspiciously

like the status quo educational practices that have

monopolized the landscape for a century. Pending evidence

to the contrary, I think of STEM education as a reference

to business as usual—the universal practice in American

schools of disconnected science, mathematics, and technology

education…a condition that many believe is no longer

serving America as well as it should/might.

Introducing…Integrative STEM Education

In Fall, 2007, we realized the acronym’s ambiguities were

inescapable, and thus retitled our new Graduate Program

“Integrative STEM Education.” That was important to us

because, from the onset, we intended the program to focus

squarely upon new integrative approaches to STEM education

and to investigate those new integrative approaches

(Sanders, 2006; Sanders & Wells, 2005). 2 Our notion of integrative

STEM education includes approaches that explore

teaching and learning between/among any two or more of

the STEM subject areas, and/or between a STEM subject

and one or more other school subjects. Just as technological

endeavor, for example, cannot be separated from social and

aesthetic contexts, neither should the study of technology be

disconnected from the study of the social studies, arts, and

humanities. Our Integrative STEM Education graduate program

encourages and prepares STEM educators, administrators,

and elementary educators to explore and implement

integrative alternatives to traditional, disconnected STEM

education.

2

From the onset in 2005, Virginia Tech’s Integrative STEM Education

Graduate Program has offered the MAED, EdS, EdD, and

PhD degree options. In Fall 2008, we added a 12 semester-hour

Integrative STEM Education Graduate Certificate Program. All of

the Integrative STEM Education coursework was newly conceptualized

and developed explicitly for these new degree options, and

is available online. Programs in other universities will, increasingly,

carry the “STEM Education” moniker. But to date, we are aware of

no other programs—graduate or undergraduate—that focus specifically

upon integrative approaches to STEM education.

A pedagogy we refer to as “purposeful design and inquiry”

(PD&I) is a seminal component of integrative STEM education.

PD&I pedagogy purposefully combines technological

design with scientific inquiry, engaging students or teams

of students in scientific inquiry situated in the context of

technological problem-solving—a robust learning environment.

Over the past two decades of educational reform,

technology education has focused on technological design,

while science education has focused on inquiry. Following

the PD&I approach, students envisioning and developing

solutions to a design challenge might, for example, wish

to test their ideas about various materials and designs, or

the impact of external factors (e.g., air, water, temperature,

friction, etc.) upon those materials and designs. In that

way, authentic inquiry is embedded in the design challenge.

This is problem-based learning that purposefully situates

scientific inquiry and the application of mathematics in the

context of technological designing/problem solving. Inquiry

of that sort rarely occurs in a technology education lab, and

technological design rarely occurs in the science classroom.

But in the world outside of schools, design and scientific

inquiry are routinely employed concurrently in the engineering

of solutions to real-world problems.

Many technology teachers are fond of saying they teach

science and math in their technology education programs.

In truth, it is exceedingly rare for a technology teacher to

explicitly identify a specific science or mathematics concept

or process as a desired learning outcome and even rarer

for technology teachers to assess a science or mathematics

learning outcome. Technology education students might

very well do some arithmetic or recognize a scientific principle

at play en route to completing a design challenge, but

those design challenges are almost never conceived to purposefully

teach a desired science or mathematics learning

outcome. Thought of in this way, the notion of “purposeful

design and inquiry” represents a new frontier in education—

a frontier toward which integrative STEM education

research and practice are targeted.

Integrative STEM education is not intended as a new standalone

subject area in the schools accompanied by new

“integrative STEM education” licensure regulations, as some

might suspect. Given the amount of content knowledge necessary

to be an effective science, mathematics, or technology

educator, it’s very difficult to imagine a new teaching/

licensure program that would prepare individual pre- and/

or in-service teachers with sufficient science, mathematics,

and technology content expertise—and the pedagogical

content knowledge—to teach all three bodies of knowledge

effectively.

21 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


Rather, Virginia Tech’s Integrative STEM Education graduate

program offers a new body of knowledge for current and

preservice STEM educators, introducing them to the foundations,

pedagogies, curriculum, research, and contemporary

issues of each of the STEM education disciplines, and

to new integrative ideas, approaches, instructional materials,

and curriculum. In doing so, the program prepares/enables

them to better understand and integrate complementary

content and process from STEM disciplines other than their

own. Integrative STEM education is implemented in various

ways. In some cases, STEM educators implement integrative

approaches within their own STEM courses/facilities. In

some cases, STEM educators begin working together across

their disciplines in pairs or teams. In some cases, school

divisions are beginning to think about systemic changes to

STEM education that incorporate integrative approaches to

STEM education.

Two progressive school divisions in Virginia—Arlington

County and Loudoun County public schools—have (combined)

enrolled more than 20 high school teachers and

administrators in our online Integrative STEM Education

courses/certificate program this semester, to assist them in

transforming the culture of STEM education in their school

divisions. In this way, our integrative STEM education

courses represent a robust professional development opportunity,

wholly consistent with a new body of research that

concludes professional development is most effective when

site-based and sustained over an extended period of time.

In effect, our courses engage STEM educators in reflecting

upon integrative practice continuously from one semester

to the next. Moreover, they introduce STEM educators to

one another across disciplines through course assignments

that require cross-discipline collaboration. Several or more

semesters working with STEM educators beyond one’s own

discipline is a powerful means of facilitating new integrative

alliances and approaches, and for developing understanding

of other STEM education cultures. STEM administrators

and elementary educators are also enrolling in our online

courses/programs. This is exciting to us because elementary

grades offer unique opportunities for integrative approaches

to STEM education and are absolutely the place to begin

these integrative approaches. If America hopes to effectively

address the “STEM pipeline” problem, we must find ways of

developing young learners’ interest in STEM education and

must sustain that interest throughout their remaining school

years. Therein lies the real potential and promise of integrative

STEM education.

Why Integrative STEM Education?

Conventional STEM Education Leaves too Many

Students Behind

The fact that each of the four STEM education communities

has engaged in massive and ongoing educational reform

efforts over the past 20 years (e.g., AAAS, 1989, 1993; ABET,

2000; ITEA, 1996, 2000; NCTM 1989, 2000; NRC, 1996) is

convincing evidence of the serious STEM education challenges

to be addressed. The STEM education establishment

has long believed STEM education hasn’t been working as

well as it should, and has been toiling steadfastly to make

improvements. But instead of praising their successes,

public concern has escalated. In recent years, the “STEM

pipeline” problem—the decrease in the number of students

pursuing STEM fields, particularly those from historically

underrepresented populations—has been widely publicized.

Much of the attention has focused on addressing the shortage

of qualified science and mathematics teachers, a problem

the No Child Left Behind Act (2001) has targeted. The

NCLB legislation has resulted in increased attention to science

and mathematics teacher education, alternative routes

to licensure, and new avenues for attaining “highly qualified”

teaching status.

Less attention has been paid to the infrastructure and pedagogy

of conventional STEM education. Integrative STEM

education challenges the assumption that more STEM

educators prepared in conventional ways to teach in conventional

settings is the best way to approach the problems

of STEM education. Too many students lose interest in

science and mathematics at an early age, and thus make an

early exit from the so-called “STEM pipeline.” Conventional

approaches to science and mathematics education have,

in fact, prepared some students to be as capable in science

and mathematics as any in the world. But, at the same time,

there is widespread concern regarding the large percentage

of students who opt out of “rigorous” science and mathematics

middle and high school courses, and for the many

students who graduate high school with relatively low science

and/or mathematics ability.

There is sufficient evidence with regard to achievement,

interest, and motivation benefits associated with new integrative

STEM instructional approaches to warrant further

implementation and investigation of those new approaches.

Seasoned educators understand the importance of interest

and motivation to learning, constructs validated by the findings

of cognitive scientists over the past three decades. It

follows, therefore, that integrative STEM instruction, implemented

throughout the P-12 curriculum, has potential for

22 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


greatly increasing the percentage of students who become

interested in STEM subjects and STEM fields. There is a distinct

possibility that “STEM literacy for all” may pay greater

dividends in the long run than “STEM preparedness for college

entrance examinations.”

Exemplar of STEM Education Reform

The implementation of new integrative STEM education

approaches is a logical extension of the past two decades

of STEM education reform efforts. The central theme

of Science for All Americans (AAAS, 1989), which was

designed to guide educational reform through 2061, is the

critical importance of addressing the inherent connections

among science, mathematics, and technology. Benchmarks

for Science Literacy (AAAS, 1993) rewrote those ideas in

terms that provide the fundamental rationale for integrative

STEM education: “The basic point is that the ideas

and practice of science, mathematics, and technology are so

closely intertwined that we do not see how education in any

one of them can be undertaken well in isolation from the

others” [italics added]. These ideas led to the “Science and

Technology” standard in the National Science Education

Standards (NRC, 1996), which very clearly stipulates that

“technological design” be taught in the science curriculum

throughout grades K-12 as a way of acquiring “abilities of

technological design.” Some, including me, might challenge

the idea of technology as science, but there can be no doubt

that the ideals underlying science education reform promote

integrative STEM education.

Standards for Technological Literacy.

Similarly, the technology education community has,

throughout its history, promoted curricular connections

with science and mathematics education. These “TSM

connections” became a primary focus for technology

educators in the 1990s (e.g., LaPorte & Sanders, 1995;

Sanders & Binderup, 2000), and manifested in Standard

#3 of Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the

Study of Technology (ITEA, 2000/2002/2007), which reads:

“Students will develop an understanding of the relationships

among technologies and the connections between technology

and other fields of study,” with subtext that focuses specifically

upon connections with science and mathematics.

The flavor of integrative STEM education resonates in several

of the engineering accreditation standards that grew out

of the engineering education reform efforts: “(a) an ability

to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering,

(b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as

well as to analyze and interpret data, and (d) an ability to

function on multidisciplinary teams” (ABET, 2000). The

national mathematics standards—Principles and Standards

for School Mathematics (NCTM, 2000)—aren’t as explicit

with regard to “integrative” approaches as are science, technology,

and engineering education, but language throughout

the mathematics standards encourages the teaching

and learning of mathematics in the context of real-world

problems. Looking beyond STEM education reform, the

“Science, Technology, and Society” standard in the national

social studies standards also very clearly supports connections

with both science and technology education (NCSS,

1994).

Grounded in the Findings of the Learning Sciences

Integrative STEM education is grounded in the tenets of

constructivism and the findings of three decades of cognitive

science. Bruning, Schraw, Norby, and Ronning (2004)

identified the following set of cognitive themes that resonate

with integrative STEM education:

• Learning is a constructive, not a receptive, process.

• Motivation and beliefs are integral to cognition.

• Social interaction is fundamental to cognitive

development.

• Knowledge, strategies, and expertise are contextual.

In accordance with these cognitive themes growing from the

learning sciences, integrative STEM (e.g., PD&I) activities

are exemplars of constructivist practice in education. They

provide a context and framework for organizing abstract

understandings of science and mathematics and encourage

students to actively construct contextualized knowledge

of science and mathematics, thereby promoting recall and

learning transfer. Integrative STEM education pedagogy

23 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


is inherently learner-centered and knowledge-centered

(Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000), and when used with

groups of learners, provides a remarkably robust environment

for the social interaction so critical to the learning

process.

Moreover, there is growing evidence that integrative

instruction enhances learning. Hartzler (2000) conducted

a meta-analysis across 30 individual studies of the effects

of integrated instruction on student achievement. Her

conclusions included: (1) students in integrated curricular

programs consistently outperformed students in traditional

classes on national standardized tests, in state-wide testing

programs, and on program-developed assessments, and (2)

integrated curricular programs were successful for teaching

science and mathematics across all grade levels and

were especially beneficial for students with below-average

achievement levels. Similarly, studies of science and/or

mathematics taught in the context of design have been

shown to improve achievement, interest, motivation, and

self-efficacy.

Consistent with Technology Education’s General

Education Philosophy

The ideology of the field now called technology education

has always been grounded in general education (Bonser &

Mossman, 1923; ITEA, 1996, 2000; Richards, 1904; Savage &

Sterry, 1990; Warner, et al., 1947; Wilber, 1948; Woodward,

1890). Interest in curricular connections with science, mathematics,

and engineering dates to the 1870s, when Calvin

Woodward—a mathematics professor—began employing

manual training methods with mathematics and engineering

students. The field’s mantra—“technological literacy for

all”—clearly reflects its general education philosophy. For

these reasons, integrative STEM education, which promotes

learning through connections among science, mathematics,

technology education, and other general education subjects,

is wholly consistent with the ideology of the profession.

The Zeitgeist is Right for Integrative STEM Education

Half a century ago, the launch of Sputnik precipitated major

educational reform across all of education. Maley (1959)

recognized the opportunity for the profession to be more

integrative:

It is at this point as never before in the history of education

that industrial arts can enter into its own with one

of its true values recognized. Where else in the school is

there the possibility for the interaction and application

of mathematical, scientific, creative, and manipulative

abilities of youngsters to be applied in an atmosphere of

references, resources, materials, tools, and equipment so

closely resembling society outside the school?

Maley responded to the opportunity by developing his

“Research and Experimentation” course, which situated

mathematics and science in the context of technological

activity, while most of the field then, as now, focused their

energies on redefining itself as a stand-alone discipline, in

relative isolation from the rest of education (Herschbach,

1996).

Here we are again. A series of circumstances have once

more created an opportunity for technology educators

to develop and implement new integrative approaches to

STEM education championed by STEM education reform

doctrine over the past two decades. Is this opportunity

somehow different from the previous opportunities? Is there

any reason to believe integrative STEM education practices

might emerge in the decades ahead?

Absolutely. First, “technological literacy for all” has begun

to resonate widely throughout STEM education. Science

education is looking for ways to address their “Science and

Technology” standard. In 2009, the National Assessment

of Educational Progress (NAEP) will begin to assess technological

literacy across the U.S. for the first time. The

Sputnik.

24 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


National Academy of Engineering (NAE) thought enough of

the Standards for Technological Literacy content standards

to endorse them enthusiastically in the Foreword: “…ITEA

has successfully distilled an essential core of knowledge and

skills we might wish all K-12 students to acquire.” Moreover,

NAE produced “Technically Speaking: Why All Americans

Need to Know More about Technology (Pearson & Young,

2002) and conducted a two-year study that culminated

in the publication of Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing

Technological Literacy (NAE, 2006). Four years ago, after

111 years of operating, the American Society of Engineering

Education established a new K-12 Engineering Division,

which passed a resolution two years ago expressing its interest

in collaborating with the technology education community

in K-12 education.

But far more powerful than these “shared interests” among

the STEM education fields is the rapidly emerging awareness

in America that technology is not just a ubiquitous

component of contemporary culture, but also one of the

critical keys to global competitiveness. The publication

The World is Flat (Friedman, 2005) convinced Americans

that the U.S. is losing ground to China and India in the

global economy. Friedman pointed squarely at the roles

that STEM and STEM education play in the global competition

for wealth and power. Corporate America heard

the message, and political machinery began to grind. The

National Science Board’s October 2007 report—A National

Action Plan for Addressing the Critical Needs of the Science,

Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education System

references “STEM” 20 times as often as it references “science

and mathematics” (or “mathematics and science”). Similarly

the “America Competes Act” focuses attention on the T

and E in STEM, as suggested by its formal title: “America

Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence

in Technology, Education, and Science Act.” In 2007, the

National Governor’s Association targeted STEM education

for funding. And so on and so forth.

Amidst the realization that the T and E will play a critical

role with regard to our welfare in the twenty-first century,

the call for support has shifted from “science and mathematics”

to “STEM and STEM education.” That’s what is different

about the twenty-first century, and that is why integrative

STEM education is more compelling today than in decades

past.

Relevance to 21st Century Education

Technology education is nonexistent in the K-5 curriculum.

The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES, 2008)

reports that the average 2005 high school graduate earned

only 0.08 technology education credits in high school

(compared to 3.67 in mathematics and 3.34 in science). The

National Academy of Engineering’s Report, Technically

Speaking, recommended that federal and state educational

policymakers “encourage the integration of technology content…

in non-technology subject areas” [italics added]. The

“Science and Technology” standard of the National Science

Education Standards (NRC, 1996) promotes the teaching of

technological design in science class from Grades K-12.

Technology education’s future in American education will

depend upon its ability to demonstrate relevance to the

school curriculum. I believe “technological literacy” will

find a home in the twenty-first century school curriculum.

The question is: What role will technology education play

with regard to “technological literacy for all”? Some believe

pre-engineering courses have a bright future in the K-12

curriculum. It’s more likely that pre-engineering courses will

be perceived as too “vocational” for Grades K-10. Moreover,

pre-engineering courses in Grades 11 and 12 add relatively

little to American education, simply because most of those

enrolling in such courses have already chosen the engineering

pathway.

In contrast, “technological literacy” delivered through integrative

STEM education offer enormous potential for all

students throughout K-12 education. In addition to addressing

the “technological literacy for all” challenge, it has the

potential to motivate young learners with regard to the

STEM subjects as never before and the potential to maintain

their interest in STEM subjects throughout the middle and

high school years. If so, integrative STEM education would

add enormously to American education, culture, and global

competitiveness. Technology education has a key role to

play in integrative STEM education, and could play a significant

role in twenty-first century American education if it

can demonstrate relevance in this way.

References

ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission. (2004).

ABET criteria for accrediting engineering programs.

Baltimore, MD: ABET, Inc. Author.

American Association for the Advancement of Science.

(1993). Benchmarks for science literacy, Project 2061.

Washington, DC: Author.

American Association for the Advancement of Science.

(1989). Science for all Americans. Washington, DC:

Author.

Bonser, F. G. & Mossman, L. C. (1923). Industrial arts for

elementary schools. New York: Macmillan.

Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (Eds.).

(2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and

school. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

25 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


Bruning, R. H., Schraw, J. G., Norby, M. M., & Ronning,

R. R. (2004). Cognitive psychology and instruction.

Columbus, OH: Pearson.

Friedman (2005). The world is flat. A brief history of the

twenty-first century. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Garmire, E. & Pearson, G. (Eds.). 2006. Tech tally:

Approaches to assessing technological literacy.

Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Hartzler, D. S. (2000). A meta-analysis of studies conducted

on integrated curriculum programs and their effects on

student achievement. Doctoral dissertation. Indiana

University.

Herschbach, D. R. (1996). What is past is prologue:

Industrial arts and technology education. Journal of

Technology Studies, 22(1). 28-39.

International Technology Education Association.

(2000/2002/2007). Standards for technological literacy:

Content for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.

International Technology Education Association. (1996).

Technology for all Americans: A rationale and structure

for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.

LaPorte, J. & Sanders, M. (1995). Technology, science, mathematics

integration. In E. Martin (Ed.), Foundations

of technology education: Yearbook #44 of the council

on technology teacher education. Peoria, IL: Glencoe/

McGraw-Hill.

Maley, D. (1959). Research and experimentation in the

junior high school. The Industrial Arts Teacher, 18, pp.

12-16. Reprinted in Lee, R. and Smalley, L. H. (1963).

Selected Readings in Industrial Arts. Bloomington, IL:

McKnight & McKnight, 258-266.

National Center for Educational Statistics. (2008). Career

and technical education in the United States: 1990 to

2005. Retrieved September 23, 2008, from nces.ed.gov/

pubs2008/2008035.pdf.

National Council for the Social Studies. (1994). Expectations

of excellence: Curriculum standards for social studies

teachers. Silver Spring, Maryland: Author.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2000).

Principles and standards for school mathematics. Reston,

VA: Author.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (1989).

Curriculum and evaluation standards for school mathematics.

Reston, VA: Author.

National Research Council. (1994). National science education

standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Pearson, G. & Young, A. T. (Eds.). (2002). Technically speaking:

Why all Americans need to know more about technology.

Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Richards, C. (1904, October). A new name. Manual Training

Magazine, 6(1), 32-33.

Sanders, M. (2006, November). A rationale for new

approaches to STEM education and STEM education

graduate programs. Paper presented at the 93rd

Mississippi Valley Technology Teacher Education

Conference, Nashville, TN.

Sanders, M. & Wells, J. (2005, September 15). STEM graduate

education/research collaboratory. Paper presented

to the Virginia Tech faculty, Virginia Tech.

Sanders, M. E. & Binderup, K. (2000). Integrating technology

education across the curriculum. A monograph. Reston,

VA: International Technology Education Association.

Savage, E. & Sterry, L. (Eds.). (1990). A conceptual framework

for technology education. Reston, VA: International

Technology Education Association.

Warner, W. E., Gary, J. E., Gerbracht, C. J., Gilbert, H. G.,

Lisack, J. P, Kleintjes, P. L., & Phillips, K. (1947, 1965).

A curriculum to reflect technology. Reprint of a paper

presented at the annual conference of the American

Industrial Arts Association (1947). Epsilon Pi Tau.

Wilber, G. O. (1948). Industrial arts in general education.

Scranton, PA: International Textbook Company.

Woodward, C. M. (1890). Manual training in education.

New York: Scribner & Welford.

Mark Sanders is Professor and Program

Leader, Technology Education, at Virginia

Polytechnic Institute and State University,

Blacksburg, VA. He can be reached via

email at msanders@vt.edu.

26 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


Model Program: Southern Lehigh

High School, Center Valley, PA

Submitted by Richard Colelli

Testing a tower.

Conceptual Context

It is a true honor to be recommended to author a Model

Program article for The Technology Teacher. Our

school district is presently providing an educational

program known for its excellence and forward-looking

perspective, which is sensitive to the changing needs of our

students. The community, faculty, parents, and students

have joined together in striving to maintain and enhance

that excellence. Our students have access to a plethora of

technologies throughout the district. Students have access

to wireless Internet, teacher and student laptops, and in

the near future, all students will have a personal laptop for

their academic learning. Students and teachers have access

to video streaming and Internet II, which has a variety of

curriculum-enhancing software programs. Within our

technology education curriculum, students have a variety

of interactive CAD software programs, and computernumerical-controlled

equipment, as well as desktop rapid

prototyping equipment, robotic programming software

with Mindstorm Robotic activities, pneumatics, hydraulics,

electronic activities, and desktop publishing. We also

provide two extracurricular clubs, the Technology Student

Association (TSA) and the FIRST organization (robotics).

A few years ago our high school experienced a $23 million

renovation, which included new technology education

laboratories. The new labs, along with new equipment and

software purchases, have enabled our students to achieve a

greater number of state and national science and technology

standards.

27 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


Department’s Mission

The Technology Education Department at Southern

Lehigh High School believes that the study of technology

must place emphasis on developing the student’s ability

to discover, experience, share, and use knowledge rather

than simply retain it. Experiences in technology education

courses encourage our students to be responsible for

creating, monitoring, and evaluating their learning

processes. The teachers use differentiated instruction

techniques throughout the learning process. We

incorporate learning strategies that extend past structured

time periods and free students to inquire and create, as

stated by science and technology standards. Our courses

emphasize social interaction and teamwork. Students who

study technology learn about the technological world that

inventors, engineers, and other innovators have created.

Because technology changes quickly, we believe that our

department’s teachers should spend less time on specific

details and more on concepts and principles. The goal is to

produce students with a more conceptual understanding of

technology and its place in society, students who can then

grasp and evaluate new bits of technology that they might

never have seen before.

Teacher Bio

I arrived at Southern Lehigh High School in 1999 and

found the quality and competence of my fellow technology

education faculty members at the highest level. We

joked with one another other about who had received a

better undergraduate education. My former colleague,

ARCH model homes.

Travis Lehman, graduated from Millersville University of

Pennsylvania, and I graduated from California University

of Pennsylvania. I mention Travis because he helped to

establish our quality technology education program at

Southern Lehigh High School. His replacement, Rob

Gaugler, also received his undergraduate degree from

Millersville University and his master’s degree from Ball

State University, and now takes the brunt of my jokes. It

is a “Pennsylvania thing.” Rob has brought a huge shot

in the arm of enthusiasm to our students within the

Technology Education Department through innovative

projects and activities. I received my master’s degree

from North Carolina A&T State University, and then

completed all supervisory certification course work from

Millersville University. This November the National Board

of Professional Teachers will notify me of my attainment of

National Board Certification. Starting the spring semester

of 2009, I will begin my Educational Specialist degree,

majoring in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and

mathematics) education through Virginia Tech.

During the 2005-2006 school year, we were informed that

our technology education department had been selected

as the Pennsylvania outstanding program of the year. The

application process was a bit grueling but well worth it. It

enabled me to evaluate the technology education program

from top to bottom and make changes to the curriculum.

It has brought us in line with most of the technology

and STEM standards. This award is also a feather in the

cap of our school district. Without the support of our

administrators and a school board member writing letters

of recommendation in support of our department,

this honor may not have been possible. Receiving this

award at the national ITEA conference, in front of my

peers in Baltimore, Maryland, was a memory I will not

soon forget.

Professional Conferences and Curriculum

Yearly, the technology education faculty attend professional

conferences that are directly associated with our curriculum.

The Technology Education Association of Pennsylvania

holds its annual conference in Camp Hill, PA. The TEAP

conference provides the opportunity to network with

teachers, professors, vendors, leaders from the Department

of Education, and other individuals about the exciting

instruction taking place within their school districts, which

are outside of our little bubble that we call Southern Lehigh.

Attending this conference also enables teachers to attend the

special interest sessions, which are very informative. Some

of these topics discuss strategies to implement exciting

activities in our curriculum. They also provide teachers with

28 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


a wealth of information that can be very useful in

the classroom.

During the summer of 2007, the high school technology

education faculty attended the Carnegie Mellon University

Robotics Academy in Pittsburgh. The robotics conference

was held at the Butler County Community College in

Butler, PA. The conference consortium, better known as

the Western Pennsylvania Robotics Corridor, consists

of Carnegie Mellon University, California University of

Pennsylvania, and Westmoreland, Beaver, Butler, and

Fayette County community colleges. The robotic conference

consisted of learning how to construct the Lego®

Mindstorms® robot and comprehend the software and

curriculum that would enable us to teach our students to

program the robot and to develop the necessary tools that

make it easier to implement the robotics curriculum into

our classrooms. The curriculum is researched-based, aligns

with STEM standards, and focuses on the development of

twenty-first century skill sets in students.

The purpose of our attendance at this conference was

two-fold. First, our district’s school board provides

opportunities for teachers, at all levels, to complete a

minigrant application process, which is intended to

financially supplement a department’s curriculum budget.

We have been very successful in recent years in purchasing

standards-based equipment and software that parallels

the science and technology standards and is STEM-based.

The district awarded us a $10,000 grant for the purchase

of the Lego® Mindstorms® robotic kits and software. We

introduced this activity into our required Foundations of

CADD lab.

Technology I semester course during the 2007-2008 school

year. Secondly, we were able to network with professors

from CMU, California University of Pennsylvania,

professionals from the Pittsburgh Robotics Institute, and

many teachers from around the country who attended.

Sharing ideas with these professionals has resulted in

additional robotic activities for our students that were not

embedded in the Mindstorms® curriculum.

Our ninth grade students became very excited when we

introduced the robotic kits at the beginning of the school

year. The programming software is user-friendly, which

helps our students adapt and become successful in this

class. We invited our administration to view our students

in action as they programmed and ran their robots. They

were very pleased that the minigrant was successful and

Robotic Mindstorms® 2.

VEX robot.

29 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


that the students were attaining additional science and

technology standards that were previously not being met

by our students. Through this project, the students have the

opportunity to comprehend and understand responsibilities

of a robotic programmer and engineer. They are able to roleplay

activities of these careers.

Using our department budget, the second tier of robots and

the more in-depth robotic programming software has been

purchased and implemented into our engineering course

curriculum. This type of robot is called a VEX Robot. The

VEX Robotic Design System contains everything the teacher

and our students needed to design a robot. The FIRST

Robotics Competition, “the world’s leading high school

robotics program,” inspired the system. “The curriculum

is designed to encourage students and teachers to explore

the exciting world of robotics by bringing real-world

experience and hands-on learning to STEM teaching and

lessons.” The VEX robot gives our students a fun way to

learn about STEM courses. Our students work together to

create robots that perform exciting challenges that require

problem solving, higher-order thinking skills, and acceptable

social skills. According to Paul Mailhot, senior director of

worldwide education programs for Autodesk, “Robotics is

an integrated and exciting way to teach and learn STEM. It

is unique in this respect, and educational robotics is having a

significant positive impact in STEM around the world.”

The Lego® Mindstorms® Robotic activities, coupled with

the VEX Robotic activities, help our students understand

and comprehend technical information that will assist

them in accomplishing the goals of one of our two exciting

extracurricular organizations. Rob is the advisor of the

FIRST organization at Southern Lehigh High School. The

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and

Technology) organization’s mission is “to inspire young

people to be science and technology leaders by engaging

them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science,

engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation,

and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including selfconfidence,

communication, and leadership”.

One of the goals of FIRST is to actively secure corporate

financial sponsorship that will help offset the financing of

the local FIRST chapter. We have received tremendous

financial support from local businesses and larger

corporations within our school district as well as

outside of our district. Our superintendent, high school

administration, and our school board have been very

supportive of the FIRST organization. Another goal of

FIRST is to involve parents and also successful professionals

from industry to help and teach our student members

engineering techniques and problem-solving skills—vital

in the world’s global business and industrial economy and

requiring skills associated with mathematics, engineering,

FIRST Robotics group.

30 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


Engineering drafting.

CNC milling of F1 dragster.

production, and marketing careers. Our FIRST organization

competes annually in a number of tournaments including

the regional competition at Drexel University. Our students,

advisor, and parents have been very successful competing,

and our school district and community have been proud

of them.

We received a second minigrant for use during the 2007-

2008 school year, in the amount of $16,000. The intent of

this grant was for the purchase of a Denford Compact 1000

computer-numerical-controlled (CNC) milling machine.

The reason behind the purchase of this piece of equipment

was to update our present manufacturing processes. We

had purchased two Roland Modela machines, capable of

handling small job-lot production, a few years ago. Our

students have gained many design standards through the

designing, programming, and operation of this equipment.

An additional reason to purchase the new equipment was

to eliminate possible safety concerns we might encounter in

the future and to give our students the experience of roleplaying

industrial programming machinists. The equipment

will also let our students design and produce more intricate

products. The skills and knowledge attained will help our

students become technologically literate.

The students love to race the CO 2

dragsters and the Formula

One dragsters that incorporate many design standards.

In years past, our students would print out a CAD design,

cut it out, and tape it onto their balsa or basswood model

block. Then, after thorough safety instructions, the students

would cut out their dragsters using the traditional band saw

and drill press. There is always a possibility for a student

injuring himself/herself operating the equipment. The

minigrant purchase enables us to eliminate the possibility

of student injury because the work piece being processed

is self-contained within the milling machine. Also, the

Technology Student Association, for which I am the local

chapter advisor, and their partnership sponsors designed a

competitive event in which students are encouraged to learn

CNC programming and computer-aided drafting in the

design phase of the competition.

Experiencing Engineering

From a design and manufacturing perspective, students

use CAD (computer-aided design) software to create virtual

3-D models of their cars and translate their designs into

reality by means of CNC milling machines.

• Team organization is critical to the project. Teams

must have a minimum of three to a maximum of six

members who fill the following roles: team manager,

resources manager, manufacturing engineer, design

engineer, and graphic designer.

• Teams must also promote their cars through a

variety of marketing efforts, such as procuring

sponsors (if possible); developing sponsorship decals

and a consistent color scheme; and producing a design

folder with initial design ideas, design development

information, testing evidence, and graphical

renderings.

The minigrant process, in previous years, helped our

department update our drafting and design courses by

purchasing professional 2-D and 3-D CADD software that

has been implemented into our Introduction to Drafting &

Design class and also our Architectural Drafting & Design

course. Our TSA students have competed at our regional,

state, and national conferences utilizing these programs.

They have done very well in the TSA CADD events, and

31 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


our students are achieving many Pennsylvania and national

science and technology design standards. The students

are learning that their completed CADD renderings are

used for industrial purposes other than to communicate

the shape description of products. They are now learning

to import their CADD geometry into a different software

program, which in turn changes their CADD geometry into

a stereolithography-coded file for milling purposes. The

students are now learning new processes and realizing how

their favorite games are produced. Again, design standards

and technological literacy are being achieved as a result of

the minigrant committee’s selection of our proposals.

Guidance Counselors

It is a very good feeling when one or all three of our

guidance counselors ask if they can enroll one or more

additional students into our classes. Normally, the request

is for Advanced Placement students whose post-secondary

goal is to major in an engineering field or another area

closely associated with technology. The counselors at

Southern Lehigh High School have been very supportive

of our elective classes because they understand the impact

that we provide our students through our courses and our

extracurricular organizations. The benefits to the students

are numerous, and the real-world applications that they

are experiencing cannot be found in many other academic

disciplines at Southern Lehigh. The entire school has a

reputation for academic excellence, but our department goes

beyond the normal lecturing and laboratory experiments

and projects. Students taking courses in our department

are given opportunities to put the skills they have attained

into real-world applications in various competitive events

through our Technology Student Association and our FIRST

organization. The counselors also know that the general

education students and the special education students can

benefit greatly by enrolling in our courses as well.

Across the hall from my CADD lab is an Inclusive

Partial Hospitalization classroom full of 20 students

with psychological issues pertaining to their social and

educational skill levels. Our Intermediate Unit houses these

children in our school. Every year, I voluntarily give up my

preparation period for about three weeks, take a handful of

these kids into my classroom, and give them the opportunity

to become technologically literate as it pertains to CADD

activities and also small job-lot rapid prototyping projects.

These students have behavior issues that they are dealing

with, but I believe that they should also be given every

chance to experience an education that is afforded to all of

our students at Southern Lehigh. Our technology education

department has established an outstanding reputation for

excellence. The guidance department, the high school in

general, and the entire school district community realize

that we are providing a quality education for our students.

All of our courses are at maximum capacity, yet on a daily

basis more students are trying to change their elective

courses and asking to enroll in our courses.

One of our goals is to make education fun. I believe that we

are accomplishing this goal. Often the students are enjoying

our classes and do not even realize that they are learning.

I do not think that I would enjoy teaching as much as I do

if I were teaching a different discipline. Word of mouth,

monthly principal’s newsletters, district-wide newsletters,

and local newspapers are sources that provide information

about our department’s activities. And now, through The

Technology Teacher, teachers across the nation can learn

about our technology education program. I am very proud

of our department. More information about our department

can be found by visiting our two teacher-produced websites

at www.slsd.org/webpages/rcolelli/ and www.slsd.org/

webpages/rgaugler/.

ARCH CADD.

32 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


Classroom Challenge

The Speeding Car Design

Challenge

By Harry T. Roman

Use the real world to stimulate and

promote problem solving in your

classroom.

How can police stop speeding cars without high-speed chases?

All too often, we read about high-speed police chases in

pursuit of stolen cars that result in death and injury to

people and innocent bystanders. Isn’t there another

way to accomplish the apprehension of the thieves

that does not put people at such great risk?

That is exactly what this design challenge is about: using

technology to remotely shut down speeding cars so they

cannot generate high-speed chases in the first place, and

also to allow police to capture them.

Understanding the Problem

Thieves who steal cars want to get away as quickly as

possible, but in that escape process they become detected,

and a police chase ensues. How might police be able to

disable the car without getting involved in a protracted

chase through city streets?

Certainly inventors have been thinking about this problem,

so a look at the technical literature and perhaps an Internet

patent search may be an appropriate way to start this design

challenge. What techniques do the inventors and companies

that might be involved seem to favor?

What first ideas might be generated by your students? Let’s

try a list to get the creativity flowing. We’ll assume the police

have a way to somehow “point at the car” or perhaps access

the car through a computer to:

• Shut off the electrical system to the engine.

• Interrupt the flow of fuel to the engine.

• Blow out the tires.

• Lock the wheels or brakes on the car.

This is pretty standard stuff when it comes to stopping

the car—very traditionally envisioned things based on

our rudimentary knowledge of how cars work. But how

33 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


Could an ignition key be made to

recognize valid drivers?

might they actually

accomplish this piece

of technological

magic? Can your

students brainstorm

ideas and systems

that might make this

possible?

There have been

reports of devices

that, when fired at

a speeding car by

police, hit the car

and disable it. This

is a pretty dynamic

solution, though

subject to misses and difficulties getting a clear line of sight

to a speeding vehicle in an urban environment. Are there

more subtle or sophisticated ways to foil a car theft . . .

maybe ones that use imagination, a little high tech, and

some computer-age software?

Envisioning a Solution

Sometimes it is helpful to envision how one can accomplish

a task if everything could be built into a product from

the beginning, with total control over the design process

achieved from the outset. Once this works, then retrofit

systems could be made for the population of products

already out there. The same is true for cars. How would your

students equip a car today with systems that prevent, thwart,

or minimize stolen car chases?

With a new car it is possible to make it very difficult to

steal the car in the first place. How do you make the car

smart enough to know someone is fooling around with it or

has stolen it? How about some sample ideas to jumpstart

student thinking:

• The driver wears or has on his person a microchip

recognized by the car, allowing him or her to drive it

without question.

• Locate all the ignition-related electrical wiring in a safe

enclosure inside the engine compartment and lock the

hood down, making access difficult to anyone other

than the owner.

• A car being stolen emits an ear-piercing sound inside

the vehicle, making it impossible for the thieves to

concentrate on driving it.

• The ignition key lock “looks” at the driver’s fingerprint

first to recognize him as a valid driver.

• Do away with the ignition key altogether—as it seems

to be the way many cars are stolen—by electrically

bypassing it.

Let the class use some computer-related instincts or

knowledge to allow the car to make decisions based on what

it is experiencing with the person sitting in the driver’s seat.

If the driver does not have the above-described microchip

on his person, maybe the car does not even let him or her

into the car at all and takes measures to secure the car

from being entered or started. Encourage your students

to develop visual and written materials to share with each

other as they discuss and learn from each other.

Could some of these new car features also be packaged

into a retrofit format for add-on application to the huge

inventory of cars already out there? Use some out-of-thebox

thinking to come up with ways to accomplish this.

Perhaps some discussions with automotive experts that

you invite to the classroom can help with this . . . consider

representatives of the auto industry, automotive security

companies, car mechanics, and automotive engineers.

Shift gears now with this creative activity and return to the

earlier aspects of this problem. Can the police remotely

disable a car that has already been stolen, even the new hightech

one designed from the beginning to be theft-proof?

If you are doing high-tech building from the start, how

might you do this to new and retrofitted cars? Again, get

those creative juices

flowing, and you may

encounter some ideas

such as:

• As a stolen car

zooms by, it

emits a special

emergency

signal that can

be detected

by police cars.

The police send

out another

programmed

signal that the

speeding car

detects, and

in response,

shuts its critical

systems off. . . .

the car stops.

• If a car is stolen, A stolen car could be disabled by polemounted

it contacts the

detectors.

34 • The Technology Teacher • December/January 2009


On-Star feature in the car and On-Star generates a

signal to shut down the car’s critical systems.

• Police have a laser gun they can point at a speeding car

that allows them to hit one of several targets on the car

that shut the car’s critical systems down.

These passive, high-tech solutions highlight the use of

computerized technology to defeat thieves rather than

chasing them through crowded streets or in high-speed

highway chases. A stolen car emitting the emergency

signal could be stopped by pole-mounted detectors along

streets, roads, or highways . . . and the shut-down frequency

automatically emitted to disable the car. The police car

does not even have to be nearby. It could be done without

police intervention. The roadside sensors could then notify

police after sealing the doors shut on the vehicle, leaving the

thieves inside to ponder their fate.

Some towns are experimenting with remote cameras and

gun-shot directional detectors to catch lawbreakers. The

automatic car disable technology we have been talking about

might be part of that futuristic network to protect citizens.

Your computer-savvy students no doubt will have some

interesting ideas about how to protect cars from being

stolen. Bring their creativity to bear on the problem. This is

a challenge that can easily be done singly or in teams. There

may be some technology now coming out on the market to

address these very concerns. Comb the literature and be on

the lookout.

Also, check into some military or Homeland Security

literature to see what kinds of systems are being discussed

or developed to thwart would-be terrorists. Perhaps some

adaptations of this technology could be applied to car theft.

This is a very real problem, just the kind engineers wrestle

with every day. Use the real world to stimulate and promote

problem solving in your classroom.

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.

com.

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State University of New York at Oswego

Department of Technology

The Department of Technology at the State University of New York at Oswego announces the opening of three tenure track positions. The

date of appointment for each is August 2009.

Associate Professor/Department Chair: The Chair reports to the Dean of the School of Education. This is a ten month senior faculty position.

Description of Responsibilities: As the department continues to expand its mission to establish new directions in curriculum and facilities

for the 21st century, the Chair must be a leader with vision and an interest in developing and implementing curricula that includes multicultural

issues and perspectives. Strengths in communicating, marketing and planning are essential. It is common to have other assignments

including teaching, student teaching supervision, and/or other administrative duties.

Assistant Professor of Technology Education

Description of Responsibilities: Teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Transportation Systems including: land, marine, air and space

transportation

Assistant Professor of Technology Education

Description of Responsibilities: Teach graduate courses in foundations of teaching, curriculum development, assessment, teaching methodology,

facilities planning, and emerging technologies

For complete information about the position and application procedures, visit our website at www.oswego.edu/vacancies.

Review Date: Review of application materials will begin January 12, 2009 and continue until the positions are filled.

Description of Department: The Department of Technology, organized within the School of Education, offers programs in Technology

Education and Technology Management. Ten full-time faculty deliver these programs to 300 undergraduate students, and 50 graduate students.

The School of Education Diversity Policy addresses the commitment to preparing students for multicultural and global communities.

Please visit our website at www.oswego.edu/tech before submitting your application.

SUNY Oswego is an Affirmative Action Employer

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experiences that challenge students’ imginations, and then enables

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the right choice in my classroom.”

– Instructor Bruce Freeman of Nathan Hale-Ray High School, Moodus, Connecticut

Mastercam is the software Bruce’s students need to succeed in the classroom and at the competition. Mastercam expertise

is also key to their success in the job market. With industry-proven technology and unparalleled customer support, it is

clear why Mastercam is the most widely-used CAD/CAM software in both industry and education for well over a decade.

Bruce Freeman and his Mastercam class were featured on the cover of Tech Directions, January 2008. To read about their

accomplishments, visit www.mastercam.com/edarticles or contact

our Educational Division toll free at (800) ASK-MCAM.

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