Medical Technology: organ harvesting and Transplants

iteea.org

Medical Technology: organ harvesting and Transplants

A DIFFERENT ANGLE FOR TEACHING MATH • ALTERNATIVE FUELS IN MIDDLE SCHOOLS

Technology

TEACHER

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

the

April 2010

Volume 69 • Number 7

Medical Technology:

organ harvesting

and Transplants

Extending Engineering

Education to K-12

Also:

2010 Directory of

Institutional and

Museum Members

www.iteea.org


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Contents

april • VOL. 69 • NO. 7

5

Organ Harvesting and Transplants

Describes how, with organ harvesting, transplants,

and now stem cell research, the human body may be

repairable just as are the machines of our inventions.

Kimberly G. Baskette and John M. Ritz, DTE

Departments

Web News

1

STEM News

2

3 Calendar

5 Resources

in Technology

11

Classroom

Challenge

14

20

26

31

Features

Extending Engineering Education to K-12

Describes a project to develop a teacher professional-development program aimed at

introducing middle and high school math and science teachers to the work of engineers

and to support them in using the information and related resources in the development

and implementation of lesson plans, providing a viable way to infuse engineering into the

K-12 curriculum.

Gwen Nugent, Gina Kunz, Larry Rilett, and Elizabeth Jones

Exploring Alternative Fuels in Middle Schools

This article focuses on a new unit of study that teaches concepts relating to alternative

fuels, specifically, ethanol, and biodiesel.

John F. Donley and Gary A. Stewardson

A Different Angle for Teaching Math

Real-life demonstrations and experiences with math and science principles are best

learned in a technology education setting.

John S. Bellamy and John M. Mativo

2010 Directory of ITEEA Institutional and Museum Members

Publisher, Kendall N. Starkweather, DTE

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

Editor, Kathie F. Cluff

ITEEA Board of Directors

Gary Wynn, DTE, President

Ed Denton, DTE, Past President

Thomas Bell, DTE, President-Elect

Joanne Trombley, Director, Region I

Randy McGriff, Director, Region II

Mike Neden, DTE, Director, Region III

Steven Shumway, Director, Region IV

Greg Kane, Director, ITEEA-CS

Richard Seymour, Director, CTTE

Andrew Klenke, Director, TECA

Marlene Scott, Director, TECC

Kendall N. Starkweather, DTE, CAE,

Executive Director

ITEEA 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 and Engineering Educators

Association, 1914 Association Drive, Suite 201,

Reston, VA 20191. Subscriptions are included

in member dues. U.S. Library and nonmember

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On the

ITEEA Website:

Now Available on the ITEEA Website:

Preparing the STEM Workforce: The Next Generation

ITEEA’s 73rd Annual Conference in Minneapolis, MN on

March 24-26, 2011

Conference Strands:

• The 21st Century Workforce

• New Basics

• Sustainable Workforce and Environment

June 15, 2010 is the deadline to apply to present in Minneapolis, MN next

March 24-26, 2011. Use the easy online form to apply – www.zoomerang.

com/Survey/WEB229Y74SWMNE.

Spring Means Green

Mission green technology is ITEEA’s newest

resource to help teachers and students become

aware of how they can make a difference about

the environment. It includes teacher-reviewed

websites, articles, activities, books, videos, and

more. Submit your green resource to

green@iteea.org.

See what’s growing at www.iteea.org/Green/green.htm.

www.iteea.org

Technology

TEACHER

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

the

Editorial Review Board

Chairperson

Thomas R. Loveland

St. Petersburg College

Chris Anderson

Gateway Regional High

School/TCNJ

Steve Anderson

Nikolay Middle School, WI

Gerald Day

University of Maryland Eastern

Shore

Laura Erli

Classroom Teacher, IN

Kara Harris

Indiana State University

Hal Harrison

Clemson University

Marie Hoepfl

Appalachian State University

Laura Hummell

California University of PA

Oben Jones

East Naples Middle School, FL

Petros Katsioloudis

Old Dominion University

Odeese Khalil

California University of PA

Tony Korwin, DTE

Public Education

Department, NM

Linda Markert

SUNY at Oswego

Randy McGriff

Kesling Middle School, IN

Doug Miller

MO Department of Elementary

and Secondary Education

Steve Parrott

Illinois State Board of

Education

Mary Annette Rose

Ball State University

Terrie Rust

Oasis Elementary School, AZ

Bart Smoot

Delmar Middle and High

Schools, DE

Andy Stephenson, DTE

Southside Technical Center,

KY

Jerianne Taylor

Appalachian State University

Ken Zushma

Heritage Middle School, NJ

Editorial Policy

As the only national and international association dedicated

solely to the development and improvement of technology

education, ITEEA 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 ITEEA Headquarters staff.

Referee Policy

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 ITEEA officers on association activities or policies.

To Submit Articles

All articles should be sent directly to the Editor-in-Chief,

International Technology and Engineering Educators

Association, 1914 Association Drive, Suite 201, Reston, VA

20191-1539.

Please submit articles and photographs via email to

kdelapaz@iteea.org. Maximum length for manuscripts is

eight pages. Manuscripts should be prepared following the

style specified in the Publications Manual of the American

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Editorial guidelines and review policies are available

by writing directly to ITEEA or by visiting www.iteea.org/

Publications/Submissionguidelines.htm. Contents copyright

© 2010 by the International Technology and Engineering

Educators Association, Inc., 703-860-2100.

1 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


STEM News

ITEA Officially Becomes ITEEA

The International Technology Education Association

(ITEA) has officially become the International

Technology and Engineering Educators Association

(ITEEA) as a result of a February balloting of the

association’s voting membership. This was the association’s

second attempt to change the name. The first balloting

resulted in a 65% favorable vote (66% was needed). This

close vote prompted the Board of Directors to request a

second ballot, which resulted in 81% of those who voted

approving the name change.

This change causes the association to immediately address

curriculum and professional development that includes

both technology and engineering education at the K-12

level. The association’s membership has been comprised

of teachers who have been working in both areas and with

many of its affiliates already having “engineering” in their

association’s title.

The term engineering is not new to the technology teaching

profession; it has been used for over a century in various

course titles, discussions, and curriculum efforts. The

engineering community played a key role in the creation

of this subject area as it has gone through various name

changes as industry and technology have changed.

The name change properly positions the association to

deal with the “T” & “E” of a strong STEM education.

The association has recently produced The Overlooked

STEM Imperatives (ITEEA/ITEA 2009), a publication that

brings attention to technology and engineering as missing

components of a solid STEM education. ITEEA’s continuing

initiatives with the Engineering byDesign curriculum

work further adds to the promotion of technology and

engineering at the K-12 school level.

ITEEA’s publication titles and electronic communications

have started the transition to new names and addresses to

be in line with the association’s new name. The association’s

new primary email address is iteea@iteea.org and new web

address is www.iteea.org.

For further information, please contact ITEEA at iteea@

iteea.org or 703-860-2100.

ITEEA Minneapolis Conference Presenter

Application Now Online

ITEEA’s 73rd Annual Conference, Preparing the STEM

Workforce: The Next Generation, will be held March 24-26,

2011 in Minneapolis, MN. What better way to participate

in an event addressing this timely subject than to offer

a presentation to your fellow professionals in the field.

Presentations should address one of the following strands:

• The 21st Century Workforce – Describe the major

characteristics of our future workplace. What STEM

teaching and learning concepts are key in such a

workforce? What will an effective program feature for

students in terms of knowledge learned and expected

outcomes? What will the global workforce look like in

the future?

• New Basics – What new content and concepts will be

important in technology and engineering courses of the

future? What will be the new technical skills and how

will they be tied to all STEM subjects? What current

basics will fade? Describe the new courses of the future.

How will STEM teaching and learning change as a

result of the new basics?

• Sustainable Workforce and Environment – How

will the sustainable workforce and environment blend

together in the future? What new technologies and

concepts will join such areas of interest as energy,

resource utilization, manufacturing, and more as a

major focus of STEM education? What educational

policies need to be adjusted to create strong STEM

sustainable educators for all?

Visit www.iteea.org/Conference/apptopresent.htm for

additional information and the online application. The

presenter application deadline for ITEEA’s Minneapolis

conference is June 15, 2010.

CTTE Election Result

The nominations committee of the Council on Technology

Teacher Education (CTTE) is pleased to announce the

results of its Winter 2010 election. The recent voting cycle

involved finding a new president and secretary for the 2010-

2013 term.

Edward Reeve, DTE (Utah State University) has been

elected CTTE President, effective the end of the CTTE

Business Meeting in Charlotte. Ivan Mosley (North Carolina

A&T State University) has been elected Secretary, and will

start his duties at the same time. These professionals replace

Richard Seymour and Phil Reed, the current president and

secretary (respectively). The new officers join Chris Merrill

(Vice President, Illinois State University) and John Wells

(Treasurer, Virginia Tech), both on 2008-2011 terms.

Congratulations to these candidates and to all who sought

CTTE offices this winter.

2 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


STEM Calendar

Calendar

April 9-10, 2010 The Ohio Technology Education

Association (OTEA) will hold its Spring Conference at

Worthington Kilbourne High School. Visit www.otea.info/

CONFERENCES.HTML for complete details.

April 14-16, 2010 The New York State Technology

Education Association (NYSTEA) will hold its 2010 Annual

Conference, Setting the Course for Technology Education,

in Poughkeepsie, New York. This will be the first time

NYSTEA has traveled to this historic area along the scenic

Hudson River that is celebrating its 400th birthday this year.

The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel will be our host (845-485-

5300; www.pokgrand.com). Additional information and

online registration can be found at www.nystea.com/.

April 24-26, 2010 The EPA’s National Sustainable

Design Expo and P3 Sustainable Design Competition

will celebrate its 6th year in conjunction with the 40th

anniversary of Earth Day and the 40th anniversary

celebration of the founding of the EPA. The celebration

will take place on the National Mall in Washington, DC,

and local school groups are invited to attend, visit the

student design-competition tent, and meet with engineers,

scientists, and business leaders who are working to develop

innovations designed to advance economic growth while

reducing environmental impact. The Beyond Benign

Foundation will be hosting a Classroom on the Mall at

which you can schedule hands-on activities designed

specifically for your students in order to turn this experience

into a standards-based field trip that you can take back to

the classroom. You won’t want your students to miss this

opportunity. Find out more about the National Sustainable

Design Expo and the P3 Sustainable Design Competition

at www.epa.gov/P3/. For more information about the

Classroom on the Mall and to make a reservation for your

class trip, please visit www.p3expo.com/index.html.

May 13, 2010 The Connecticut Technology Education

Association (CTEA) annual spring conference will be held

at Central Connecticut State University Student Center in

New Britain, CT. Conference registration, and payment

information can be found at www.cteaweb.org/Events_files/

conferences_files/springconference.htm.

May 13-14, 2010 Save the dates for the New Jersey

Technology Education Association (NJTEA) 2010 Spring

Conference and Expo, which will be held at the Dolce

Seaview in Galloway, NJ (www.dolce-seaview-hotel.

com/). This beautiful venue is located just seven miles

from Atlantic City and minutes from the Smithville

Shops (www.smithvillenj.com/). The event will include

workshops, educational tours, recreational events,

and more set throughout the weekend. Conference

registration information and programs will be available very

soon. Continue to check www.NJTEA.org for information as

it develops.

June 15, 2010 Presenter application deadline for

ITEEA’s 73rd Annual Conference, Preparing the STEM

Workforce: The Next Generation, to be held March 24-26,

2011 in Minneapolis, MN. Presentations should address one

of the following strands:

• The 21st Century Workforce – Describe the major

characteristics of our future workplace. What STEM

teaching and learning concepts are key in such a

workforce? What will an effective program feature for

students in terms of knowledge learned and expected

outcomes? What will the global workforce look like in

the future?

• New Basics – What new content and concepts will be

important in technology and engineering courses of the

future? What will be the new technical skills and how

will they be tied to all STEM subjects? What current

basics will fade? Describe the new courses of the future.

How will STEM teaching and learning change as a

result of the new basics?

• Sustainable Workforce and Environment – How

will the sustainable workforce and environment blend

together in the future? What new technologies and

concepts will join such areas of interest as energy,

resource utilization, manufacturing, and more as a

major focus of STEM education? What educational

policies need to be adjusted to create strong STEM

sustainable educators for all?

Visit www.iteea.org/Conference/apptopresent.htm for

additional information and the online application.

June 17-21, 2010 Technological Learning & Thinking:

Culture, Design, Sustainability, Human Ingenuity—an

international conference sponsored by The University of

British Columbia and The University of Western Ontario,

Faculties of Education, in conjunction with the Canadian

Commission for UNESCO—will take place in Vancouver,

British Columbia. The conference organizing committee

invites papers that address various dimensions or problems

of technological learning and thinking. Scholarship is

welcome from across the disciplines, including Complexity

Science, Design, Engineering, Environmental Studies,

Education, History, Indigenous Studies, Philosophy,

Psychology, and Sociology of Technology, and STS. The

conference is designed to inspire conversation between

3 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


STEM Calendar

the learning and teaching of technology and the cultural,

environmental, and social study of technology. Learn more

about it at http://learningcommons.net.

June 28-July 2, 2010 Baltimore, MD is the site for

the 32nd Annual National TSA (Technology Student

Association) Conference, TSA, Tomorrow’s Leaders. TSA

members throughout the nation all agree that for them, the

highlight of the school year is unquestionably the annual

national conference. The TSA national conference is packed

with competitive events and challenging activities that foster

personal growth and leadership development. Visit www.

tsaweb.org/2010-National-Conference to view a conference

slide show and access competition and accommodation

information.

August 8-11, 2010 The New York State STEM

Education Collaborative will present its 2010 Summer

Institute, STEM: Links to the Future, at State University

of New York at Oswego in Oswego, NY. The conference

is coordinated by STANYS, NYSTEA, ASEE, NYSSPE,

and AMTNYS—professional organizations representing

science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in New

York State—and hosted by SUNY/Oswego’s Department

of Technology and School of Education. Visit www.

nysstemeducation.org/2010Institute.html for complete

information.

November 11-12, 2010 The 68th Annual Four State

Regional Technology Conference, 21st Century Technology

Showcase, will take place at Pittsburg State University/

Kansas Technology Center. For information, contact 620-

235-4365 or Kylie Westervelt at kwesterv@pittstate.edu.

List your State/Province Association Conference in

TTT and STEM Connections (ITEEA’s electronic

newsletter). Submit conference title, date(s), location,

and contact information (at least two months prior to

journal publication date) to kcluff@iteea.org.

Mission Green Technology is ITEEA's

commitment to helping our teachers and

students become aware of how they can make

a difference in sustaining our planet.

Students taking K-12 technology, innovation,

design, and engineering (TIDE) courses are

using their ingenuity to design, invent, and

engineer solutions to technological problems

related to the use of natural and human

resources , improving planet Earth and our

quality of life.

Check out ITEEA’s Mission Green Technology at

www.iteea.org/Green/green.htm

Have a Green resource to share? Email it to green@iteea.org.

4 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


Resources in Technology

Organ Harvesting and Transplants

Kimberly G. Baskette and John M. Ritz, DTE

Like other technologies, medical

technology has been changing

human life.

Humans and animals need healthy organs to live. Due

to medical conditions and accidents, some organs fail

to function properly. For these reasons, the medical

community has experimented and can now perform

successful organ transplants, allowing patients to continue

to live their lives. Many countries have medical programs

where individuals can donate their organs and tissue

(bones, tendons, skin, cornea, etc.) to assist those in need

of transplants. These practices and medical miracles have

become possible during the last decades.

Almost anyone can sign up to become an organ donor, as

no age limit exists. From newborns to senior citizens, the

procurement of organs has helped to save many lives. People

under the age of 18, however, must have permission from a

parent or guardian (Who Can Donate, http://organdonor.

gov/donation/who_donate.htm). To become a donor, all

an individual has to do is complete a Uniform Donor Card

similar to the one shown in Figure 1 (often available as part

5 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


Figure 1. Donor Card (Source: OrganDonor.Gov)

http://organdonor.gov/donor/index.htm

Signing up to be an organ and tissue donor is easy and may save

and improve the lives of many. You may register online with your

state donor registry through http://organdonor.gov/donor/registry.shtm

or designate your desire to be an organ donor on your

driver’s license. You may also fill out and carry an organ donor

card with you, ftp://ftp.hrsa.gov/organdonor/newdonorcard.pdf,

until you have the chance to register online or designate it on your

driver’s license.

of a driver’s license application) that permits medical teams

to harvest organs or tissues when you are about to die or

very shortly after death. Few medical exclusions exist, with

the exception of HIV, active cancer, and systemic infections

being the only absolute exclusions. Organs and tissues from

individuals with other medical conditions will be evaluated

by doctors to determine if they are suitable for donation.

The key in organ donation is the condition of the organ, not

the age. Even though it takes little effort to become an organ

donor, many people spend years on the waiting list due to

the shortage of organs.

Although physicians from earlier times attempted human

limb transplants, successful transplants began with the

eye cornea and were first reported in 1906 by Edward

Zirm, MD (www.ulleb.org/history_of_corneal_transplan.

htm). The major drawbacks to early transplants were organ

rejections and infections. Research during the 1940s gave

scientists a better understanding of the role the immune

system played in organ donation. Their discoveries led to

the development and use of the first immunosuppressive

drugs in the hopes that by suppressing the normal

immune reaction, the chances of organ rejection would

decrease. However, the first drugs used also killed the

patient’s bone marrow cells, leaving patients, “vulnerable

to all kinds of infections” (Grace, 296, p. 61). As a result,

survival rates were very low. During the 1970s though,

transplant success greatly improved as the discovery of

the immunosuppressive drug, cyclosporine, solved this

problem and transformed the world of organ donation.

Produced by a fungus that actually lives in soil, cyclosporine

works by only inactivating a person’s T-cells, a type of

white blood cell involved in the immune response, leaving

the remainder of the immune system intact. Few side

effects are associated with taking cyclosporine, and those

that do occur go away when the patient stops taking the

medication. Since the first use of cyclosporine in humans

in 1978, survival rates for liver and kidney transplants

have doubled, and rejection of heart transplants has been

virtually eliminated (Grace, 2006). The increased survival

rates due to the use of cyclosporine, however, brought

about a new problem with organ donations—lack of organ

supply. This Resources in Technology piece will explain

organ and tissue transplants currently being performed

throughout the medical community.

What is Organ Harvesting?

Organ harvesting is the taking of a healthy organ from a

human body that is dying or clinically dead (Reference.MD,

2007, www.reference.md/files/D019/ mD019737.html).

Organs and tissue are usually harvested from people who

volunteer as organ donors upon their death. The person must

be breathing and their heart must be beating; however, they

have been medically determined to be brain dead. Organs

that can be donated by an individual who has died include

the kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas, and intestines. Not

all transplants are made from donors who are brain dead.

Some organs or tissue can be harvested and transplanted

from the living, such as a kidney, part of the intestines, lungs,

and liver. You might have heard of a family member donating

a kidney to keep another family member from dying. Various

types of tissues can be donated as well and include corneas,

skin, bone, heart valves, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and

even tissue from the middle ear. These tissues have been

successfully used to restore a person’s sight, repair a damaged

heart, fix tendons and ligaments, replace veins, and help in

the healing process for burn patients.

Multiple organs can also be transplanted at the same

time. While kidney/pancreas transplants and heart/

lung transplants are the most common multiple-organ

transplants, other combinations of organ transplants have

also been performed. In addition to organs and tissues,

healthy adults aged 18-60 may donate stem cells, which

may be obtained from the bone marrow or peripheral

blood (Who Can Donate, http://organdonor.gov/donation/

who_donate.htm). Stem cells from the cord blood of an

infant may also be harvested and donated to a public cord

blood bank to be placed on a national registry list. New

parents can opt to have their child’s cord blood stored by a

private company in the event that it is needed later to help

6 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


healthy organ. A video on the processing of tissue can be

viewed at LifeNet Health at www.accesslifenet.org/home/

virtual_tour_video/.

Organ and Tissue Transplants

Figure 2. Medical helicopter. (Source: Sentara Hospitals) From its

base at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, the Nightingale Regional

Air Ambulance has reached out to more than 16,000 patients since

its inception in February 1982. The Sentara service provides rapid

transport of the critically ill or injured from a scene of an accident

or incident, or from one medical facility to another with more

specialized critical care capabilities.

save that child or the child’s sibling. Stem cells have been

used to treat many diseases including various cancers and

leukemia.

Timing is very critical to harvesting organs. Prior to the

organs being removed from the donor, they are flushed

with an ice-cold preservative solution that removes all of

the blood from the organs and begins the preservation

process. Once the organs are removed, they are packaged

in wet ice, placed in a sterile container, and transported

to the designated transplant center. It is imperative that

organs be transported as quickly as possible as each organ

is only viable for a specified amount of time. Medical

helicopters are frequently used to transport organs from

donor locations to a transplant center like the one shown

in Figure 2. When the organs no longer receive oxygen and

blood, they lose their ability to regenerate and function.

Hearts and lungs must be transported within 4-6 hours,

livers between 18-24 hours, and intestines within 8

hours (Organ Donation Process, www.donatelifeny.org).

Kidneys have the longest transport time of 24-48 hours

(Organ Donation Process, www.donatelifeny.org). Corneas

must be removed within 12 hours following the donor’s

death in order to be viable for transplant. The intent is

to transplant the healthy organ into a living human with

a damaged or failing organ, thus replacing it with the

As stated above, a major problem of organ and tissue

transplanting is the lack of needed organs for transplant.

Individuals in need of an organ transplant may spend many

years on the waiting list, and some may die before an organ

becomes available. During 2009 (UNOS, 2009), there were

104,296 U.S. residents awaiting transplants. These numbers

show that only 27% of the U.S. population was able to get

needed transplants. The number continues to grow, as every

11 minutes another name gets added to the national waiting

list. (See Table 1.) About 18 deaths occur each day due to

lack of an available organ(s). These percentages increase as

one moves around the globe because of a lack of information

and medical resources. Additionally, more detailed data

both at the national and state level can be accessed through

the UNOS website at www.unos.org.

How We Harvest

Transplant Numbers

Waiting list

candidates 105,327 as of 01/12/2010

Transplants

January - October

2009 23,846 as of 01/08/2010

Donors

January - October

2009 12,180 as of 01/08/2010

Table 1

Many hospitals and companies specialize in surgery,

storage, and transplant of organs and tissues. The process is

complex, as patients need to be diagnosed and subsequently

put onto waiting lists, donors have to be identified, organs

must be harvested, stored, and transported, and then the

transplant surgery must take place. Before the organs and

tissues may be harvested for future transplant, the patient

and family must complete the appropriate paperwork,

approving the procedures and usage of the donated organs

and/or tissues.

Therefore, the procurement of organs and tissues takes

the coordination and cooperation of many individuals

including nurses, hospital staff, the donor’s family,

transplant coordinator, and the surgery team performing

the transplant. Figure 3 shows a surgical team operating

7 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


Figure 3. Operating room. Doctors and support staff are shown

here preparing a patient for delicate hand surgery. Similar to complex

organ transplants, OR surgeons and support staff function as a

team using sophisticated surgical tools and monitoring equipment.

(Photo Credit: www.randysmithphoto.com)

on a patient’s hand using precision surgical techniques and

sophisticated equipment in an operating room environment

similar to what we may expect see in a transplant OR room.

The donation process begins with a representative from

the hospital where the patient donor has died contacting

the designated organ donor network and providing the

information needed to determine if the patient is a viable

donor. A transplant coordinator from the OPO (organ

procurement organization) then travels to the site, at which

time he or she will evaluate the potential donor by obtaining

detailed medical information and will, at that time,

determine whether the organs are suitable for donation. The

transplant coordinator also meets with the patient’s next of

kin to explain the donation process and obtain consent for

which organs and/or tissues they wish to be donated.

All needed information about the donor, including

blood type and body size, are entered into a national

computerized network maintained by UNOS (United

Network for Organ Sharing) located in Richmond, VA

(Organ Donation Process, www.donatelifeny.org). UNOS

serves as the link between all of the organ procurement

organizations (OPOs) and the local transplant centers.

Using this information, the system will match the medical

characteristics of the donor to the characteristics of

individuals on the waiting list. Many factors are taken

into consideration when determining how the donated

organs are to be distributed. Age, medical urgency, time

spent on the waiting list, geographical distance between

donor and recipient, blood type, size of the organ relative

to the potential recipient, and type of organ needed are

just a few of the factors that are looked at prior to the

dissemination of the organ. Based on these factors, a

ranked list of potential recipients, called a “match run” is

generated (About Organ Allocation, www.transplantliving.

org/beforethetransplant/allocation/matchingOrgans.aspx).

The available organ is first offered to the top candidate on

the waiting list. However, this patient is not always the one

to receive the organ as several things must fall into place for

a transplant to occur. The patient must be available, willing

to have the transplant right away, and healthy enough for

the surgery to be performed. If any one of these does not

occur, the organ will then be offered to the next person on

the waiting list.

Once a viable recipient is identified, the transplant center

in the area where the potential recipient resides is then

contacted by the transplant coordinator. The transplant

coordinator provides the transplant center with the

needed information about the donor. The final decision

as to whether the donor and recipient are a good match is

ultimately made by the transplant surgeon. Information

regarding donated tissues is sent to the tissue bank affiliated

with the hospital. The tissue bank evaluates the information

to determine the viability of the tissues being donated. Most

tissues can be stored frozen for extended time periods. Each

U.S. state has one or more regional tissue banks for the

storage and retrieval of tissues.

Recovery of donated organs and/or tissues occurs in the

hospital where the potential donor is located. Surgeons,

nurses, the transplant coordinator, and an organ preservation

technician all have an important role in ensuring that

the recovery process occurs smoothly and efficiently.

Identification of potential recipients for a heart, lung, or

liver transplant occurs before the organs are removed from

the donor. In cases of kidney and pancreas transplants,

compatibility testing between the donor and the potential

recipient must be performed after the organs are removed.

For the testing to be performed, a tube of blood is drawn and

the sample is tested to determine which human leukocyte

antigens (HLA), genetic markers found on a person’s

white blood cells, are present. The results are analyzed to

determine how close the donor’s HLA matches those of

the recipient. Matching six or more antigens increases the

chance that the transplant will be a success and greatly

8 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


educes the chance for rejection (The Kidney Transplant

Process, www.utmb.edu/renaltx/process.htm). However,

successful transplants have occurred with lesser matches

between antigens. Other compatibility testing is performed,

along with the HLA testing, in order to lessen the likelihood

that the organ will be rejected.

Types of Transplants

There are three types of transplants that can be performed

between donor and recipient. Autologous transplants

involve donations in which the donor is the same as

the recipient, e.g., blood donations or vein transplants.

Homologous donations or allografts are donations from

a genetically identical twin, a living person, or deceased

donor unrelated to the recipient or a parent or sibling

genetically similar to the recipient. Xenotransplants are

transplants in which the donor is from a different species

than the recipient, i.e., pig valves and baboon hearts being

transplanted in humans.

Heart transplants in adults are most often required in

patients with coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy,

and congestive heart failure. In infants and young children,

the need for a new heart most often occurs in cases of

congenital heart disease, which is the most common

lethal birth defect. Lung transplants are often needed in

individuals suffering from such diseases as Cystic Fibrosis,

emphysema, and pulmonary hypertension. Cirrhosis of

the liver is the most common cause of liver failure, which

subsequently results in the need for a new liver. Intestinal

transplants may be required in patients with irreversible

intestinal failure due to twisted and/or blocked intestines.

Diabetes is the leading cause of both kidney and

pancreatic failure and is therefore the reason why a patient

with the disease may need a kidney/pancreas transplant

in order to survive. Kidney failure also occurs with other

diseases that directly damage the kidney and are unrelated

to the pancreas.

Ethical Considerations

In developed countries, the harvesting of organs and tissue

is highly regulated, and ethical practices are followed. At

times the ethics are questioned, such as when a celebrity

moves up on a list and gets a transplant before others. News

media will often bring these issues to the attention of the

public and raise ethical questions.

Different people with different beliefs sometimes question

organ and tissue transplants. They argue that this is not

a natural process, and speak out against such practices.

However, there are positive sides of organ and tissue

transplants. Although they do not cure a condition that

exists in the human, the transplant enables the person

to live more years. This is why there is a waiting list for

organ transplants. In some parts of the world, the selling

of organs is practiced. According to new reports (Vaknin,

2007), it is illegal to sell organs, but cases have been

reported in India, Ukraine, and China. One village in India

has many residents who have sold kidneys because their

fishing livelihood was destroyed by a tsunami. Reports

of organ snatching have also been documented. Some

countries take organs of convicted prisoners and use them

for transplants. There have also been reports of captured

soldiers who have had their organs snatched and used for

transplants (BBC, 2009) among the citizens of the country

that captured them.

To reduce the organ deficit supply for transplant use

and meet the transplant need, medical researchers are

experimenting with the growth of replacement organs—

regenerative medicine. Medical researchers take the stem

cells from the patient and cultivate them in petri dishes.

As they grow, the researchers layer the cell growth and

then grow the cells in a mold the shape of the organ.

As the replacement organ matures, it is implanted back

into the person (Wake Forest University Baptist Medical

Center, 2006). These organs, because they were made

from the recipient’s own cells, will not require the use of

immunosuppressive drug therapy, and that greatly reduces

the likelihood of organ rejection. Through the use of stem

cells, researchers may be able to find a solution to the

shortage of organs and tissues available for transplant.

Activities

As this Resources in Technology has shown, medical surgery

has made it possible to keep humans alive as a result of

organ and tissue transplants. As an activity, select an

organ or tissue transplant that you feel would be vital to

keep a friend alive. Do web research to find answers to the

following questions.

• How many people are on the waiting list from your

nation or state for the organ/tissue you have selected?

• What is the time your friend will likely have to wait for

the transplant?

• Determine the steps that your friend will have to go

through during the donation process.

• What are the potential complications for the

transplant?

• What is life expectancy after the transplant?

• What would be the projected costs of the transplant

surgery?

9 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


Another activity is for students to research stem cells for

the potential growth of new organs without the setbacks of

organ rejection. Research the latest developments in the use

of stem cells to grow a particular organ.

Have students explore the Department of Health and

Human Services at www.organdonor.gov/student/activities.

asp. This site has information about organ profiles (useful in

the above activities), transplantation timelines, crossword

puzzles, etc. There is much information that can be used

directly in the classroom.

Summary

Like other technologies, medical technology has been

changing human life. Breakthroughs in surgery and

medicines have enabled humans in developed nations

to live long and productive lives. With organ harvesting,

transplants, and now stem cell research, the human body

may become repairable just as are the machines of our

inventions. With developments in medical technology,

humans will need to continue to make decisions as to which

paths to follow.

References

BBC. (2009, August 26). China admits death row organ use.

Message posted to news. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asiapacific/8222732.stm

Donate Life. (2009). Organ and Tissue Donation. From

http://www.donatelifeny.org

Donate Life America. (2010). Commit to Donation. From

http://www.donatelife.net

How stuff works. (2008). How Organ Transplants Work.

From http://health.howstuffworks.com/organ-transplant.

htm

Grace, E.S. (2006). Biotechnology unzipped: Promises and

realities, revised second edition. Washington, DC: Joseph

Henry Press.

LifeNet Health. (2009). LifeNet Health virtual tour video

[Video file]. Available from LifeNet Health website,

http://www.accesslifenet.org/home/virtual_tour_video/

National Marrow Donor Program. (2010). Donate Umbilical

Cord Blood. From http://www.marrow.org/HELP/

Donate_Cord_Blood_Share_Life/index.html

OrganDonor.Gov. (n.d.). Be an organ and tissue donor.

From http://organdonor.gov/donor/index.htm

OrganDonor.Gov. (n.d.). Decision: Donation. From http://

www.organdonor.gov/student/access/organs.asp

OrganDonor.Gov. (n.d.). Who can donate? From http://

organdonor.gov/donation/who_donate.htm

Reference.MD. (2007). Transplants. From http://www.

reference.md/files/D019/mD019737.html

The Donor Project. (n.d.). From http://www.the

donorproject.com/organ_transplant_history.html

Transplant Living. (2010). About organ allocation. From

http://www.transplantliving.org/beforethetransplant/

allocation/matchingOrgans.aspx

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). (2009). Data

waiting list. From http://www.unos.org/

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.).

Donation matching system. From http://optn.transplant.

hrsa.gov/about/transplantation/matchingProcess.asp

University of Michigan Transplant Center. (2008). What

causes organ failure? From http://www.med.umich.edu/

trans/transweb/faq/q32.shtml

University of Texas Medical Branch. (2001). The kidney

transplant process. From http://www.utmb.edu/renaltx/

process.htm

Vaknin, S. (2007). Organ trafficking in Eastern

Europe. American Chronicle. From http://www.

americanchronicle.com/articles/view/37057

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. (2006).

Wake Forest physician reports first human recipients of

laboratory-grown organs. From http://www.wfubmc.edu/

AboutUs/NewsArticle.aspx?id=7087

Kimberly G. Baskette, M.Ed., is a Ph.D.

student at Old Dominion University and

has education and experience working in

medical laboratories. Kim can be reached at

kbaskett@odu.edu.

John M. Ritz, Ph.D., DTE, is a graduate

program director in STEM Education and

Professional Studies at Old Dominion

University. John can be reached at jritz@

odu.edu.

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10 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


Classroom Challenge

A Radio-Controlled

Car Challenge

By Harry T. Roman

Robot engineers do not buy a

robot first and force it to fit the

application.

task location and once there extend human presence into

the remote work environment, allowing humans to work

safely at a distance. Such rugged machines have been used

in the monitoring of nuclear power plants, hazardous spill

cleanups, security patrols, and inspection tasks. A great deal

of literature is available on the Internet and through library

sources for your students to investigate and understand.

Students will ultimately select an application for their

radio-controlled car, but first they must understand what

their little machines are capable of. Using a purchased or

available car, students should develop plans for testing

the car’s capabilities. Here they should be thinking like

engineers to evaluate and assess the range of operational

capability of this simple battery-operated system. Start by

Watching a radio-controlled car zip along a sidewalk

or street has become a common sight. Within this

toy are the basic ingredients of a mobile robot,

used by industry for a variety of important and

potentially dangerous tasks. In this challenge, your students

will consider modifying an off-the-shelf, radio-controlled

car, adapting it for a robotic task.

Understanding the Problem

Over the last 20 years, a whole new class of robot has

emerged, the mobile robot. These machines are driven to the

Radio-controlled cars have become a common sight.

11 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


specially constructed obstacle courses in which their robots

can exercise. Based on what engineers observe and learn,

they can then improve and modify robot designs, reducing

the risks of using the machines in possibly hazardous areas.

Students should wrap up this phase of activity with their

prototype robot with a written discussion of the good and

bad aspects of their little machine—an objective assessment

of its capabilities and potential.

An Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit robot is used to inspect a

suspicious package during a force protection/anti-terrorism training

exercise in Japan.

making a list of things they should think about assessing

concerning the vehicle’s capability:

• Payload-carrying capacity

• Maximum operating distance via radio

• Attaching working appurtenances like:

• A small arm

• Lights

• Video camera

• Sensors

• Gripper or end effector

• Microphone

• Ability to send information to and from appurtenances

• Battery operating time

• Climbing over obstacles without tipping

• Cleaning of vehicle if it becomes contaminated

• Retrieving vehicle if it becomes disabled

In the classroom or outside on the school grounds, student

teams can try some experiments such as:

• Loading the vehicle with known weights to assess its

performance

• Maneuverability under a variety of conditions and road

surfaces

• Resistance to tipping over when various obstacles are

encountered

• Response to commands at long distances or when the

radio signal is partially blocked

• Timing of useful operational work time with a fresh

battery pack

These activities mimic what engineers do on the job . . .

assessing the potential performance capability of robots

under a variety of conditions the machines may encounter

in real-world applications. Some robot designers use

Adapting the Little Machine

Now students are to return to their researched information

about how mobile robots are applied in industry and

identify a task they believe their robot can perform. They

must take the time to carefully describe and understand

that task—and evaluate it against what they know their

robot can do . . . or be realistically adapted to do.

This is absolutely crucial in the world of mobile robots.

If there is a place a robot application is going to fail, it

is where engineers did not fully understand the task at

hand compared to the capability of a robot’s design. Robot

engineers do not buy a robot first and force it to fit the

application. They take a great deal of time to understand

what the task entails and then match a robot’s capability as

closely as possible to that operating environment.

Students are allowed to contact robot manufacturers and

designers to learn more about robot design. There may

be a company near you that can send a representative to

the school to speak to your students. There may also be

a company that has used such mobile machines and can

discuss their experience and expectations for such robots.

Many colleges now offer courses in robotic design and

Robot designs can be mocked-up on an actual radio-controlled car

if time and resources permit.

12 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


applications. Perhaps a professor or graduate student can

visit the site, speaking to the students and offering advice.

After students understand the task they have selected,

their next step is to design the adapted robot on paper,

using computer-assisted techniques or simple handdrawn

pictorials, if necessary, to convey their thoughts

and concepts. While doing this, all students should keep

in mind the capabilities of their machines—based on the

experiments they conducted. This is essential to a good

engineering design. The machine must be able to perform

as intended.

During the design phase, the students or teams of students

may make design changes to the vehicles if they can justify

them within the capabilities they tested for. Some examples

of this would be:

• Addition of a larger battery pack to extend operational

time

• Installation of a flat superstructure to support sensors,

grippers, etc.

• Smaller diameter wheels to prevent tipping

• Communications interface for sensors and grippers

Robot designs can be mocked-up on an actual radiocontrolled

car if time and resources permit; but detailed

drawings and representations are acceptable. Poster

board displays are also another fine way to discuss what

advantages are offered by particular student designs. Let

the teams review each others’ ideas and offer constructive

comments. Oral presentations to their student peers are

also to be encouraged among the teams.

Student teams are to estimate what the costs of their

vehicles with modifications will be, and develop some basic

advertising for their products.

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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13 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


Extending Engineering Education

to K-12

By Gwen Nugent, Gina Kunz, Larry Rilett,

and Elizabeth Jones

Teachers significantly increased

their knowledge of engineering,

developed more positive

attitudes towards technology,

increased their self-efficacy

in using and developing

technology-based lessons, and

increased their confidence in

teaching math and science.

The United States is facing a crisis in terms of meeting

demands for a highly skilled technical workforce

(Porter & van Opstal, 2001). Workforce preparation

must begin in primary and secondary educational

settings. Teachers are perfectly positioned to increase

student awareness of and interest in careers in engineering

and technology; unfortunately, they are often not well

informed about jobs in these fields. Our project brought

together faculty from the College of Engineering and

Technology and the College of Education and Human

Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to develop a

teacher professional development program aimed at middle

and high school math and science teachers. The goal was to

introduce teachers to the work of engineers and to support

them in using this information and related resources in

the development and implementation of lesson plans,

providing a viable way to infuse engineering into the K-12

curriculum. A secondary goal was to provide teachers with

the information and resources needed to help stimulate

students’ awareness of and interest in engineering and

technology career fields.

Background and Context

Increasing demands in workforce requirements means

that the next generation of workers will need even more

sophisticated skills in science, mathematics, engineering,

and technology. Scientific and engineering occupations are

expected to increase by 70%, with 1.25 million additional

jobs by 2012 (National Science Board, 2006). Unfortunately,

according to the latest available results from the Trends in

International Science and Math Study (TIMSS) conducted

in 46 countries, on average, students from 15 countries

are higher achieving in math, and students from eight

countries are higher achieving in science than students

in the U.S. (NCES, 2003). Additionally, while the U.S. is

producing fewer engineering and technology professionals,

other countries are increasing the number of graduates in

these fields (Porter & van Opstal, 2001). If technological

and scientific innovation is to continue to drive the U.S.

economy, there is a vital need for our educational system

to engage in innovative practices that increase science,

technology, engineering, and math learning and encourage

14 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


students to pursue engineering and technology careers.

Attracting students to engineering-related careers is

particularly challenging because engineering is not a subject

area typically addressed in K-12 curriculum.

The Nebraska Project

To address these critical shortages in engineering and

technology fields and to provide a means for K-12

teachers and students to become more informed about

engineering and technical careers, faculty from the

College of Engineering and Technology and the College

of Education and Human Sciences at the University of

Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) collaborated to develop a teacher

professional development program aimed at middle and

high school math and science teachers. This collaboration

was actively supported by participating K-12 school districts

and the Nebraska Department of Education – Section

of Industrial, Manufacturing, and Engineering Systems.

Many universities, including the University of Nebraska-

Lincoln, conduct summer engineering camps for students.

However, we felt that the most strategic approach was to

impact teachers, who would, in turn, impact their students.

In recruiting teachers, we also developed critical alliances

with K-12 school administrators, furthering our long-term

goal of supporting and diversifying the K-12 pipeline into

engineering and technology.

The goals of the project were to introduce teachers to

the work of engineers and support them in using this

information and related resources in the development

and implementation of lesson plans in middle and high

school classrooms. The centerpiece of the program was

a Summer Institute, conducted over two separate weeks.

The first week was devoted to presentations by engineering

faculty focusing on how they approach and solve realworld

engineering problems. Over the course of the two

years of the project, teachers have had the opportunity to

learn about issues of traffic control and bridge and highway

design; environmental engineering, including issues of

water treatment, waste management, and impacts of

surface runoff and de-icing on transportation systems; and

designing safe barriers for use on NASCAR race tracks. The

presentations demonstrated research datasets, simulations,

and videos that teachers could integrate into their lesson

plans. Faculty in the UNL College of Engineering and

Technology have a large quantity of engineering-related

video demonstrating numerous science and math concepts

and principles, as well as the capacity to translate the

video into formats useful and pertinent to meet the needs

of middle- and high-school students in their math and

science education. Such interactive, simulation multimedia

demonstration modules support math and science concepts

Figure 1. Teacher participants at the UNL Crash Test Facility.

currently in the K-12 math and science curriculum. For

example, a web-based, multimedia resource unit would

allow all teachers to access NASCAR crash-testing video

and associated problems/answers to supplement units

on acceleration, speed, and impact. This computer-based

interactive program would allow users to manipulate

variables and observe the differing outcomes.

The Summer Institute also included industry field trips as

well as visits to the university’s engineering labs and facilities

(e.g., the University of Nebraska crash testing site; see Figure

1). These presentations and field trips were interspersed

with time for teachers to begin preparation of a lesson plan

integrating the engineering content and resources. This

introduction to specific engineering problems and research

was intended to provide teachers with real-world local,

state, and national examples that could be integrated into

their middle and high school math and science curricula.

During the Institute, both Engineering and Education

faculty, supported by graduate assistants, were available to

assist teachers. In the second year of the project, assistance

was also provided by peer teachers who had participated in

the Institute the previous year.

During the second week of the Institute, a major portion of

the time was devoted to teachers presenting their lessons

to the entire group, with their peer teachers as well as

15 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


videotapes of traffic patterns around the school. (See

Figure 2.) This lesson helped students experience the

scientific inquiry process, including developing hypotheses

about traffic flow, conducting observations and collecting

data, analyzing data, reaching conclusions, and generating

further questions.

Figure 2. Students using a Lydar Gun to measure traffic speed for a

lab activity developed at the Institute.

Engineering and Education faculty providing brief, written

feedback using specially prepared feedback forms. This

feedback was invaluable in helping teachers refine their

lessons prior to actual classroom implementation during

the following school year. Teachers commented that they

seldom have the opportunity to be observed by fellow

teachers and receive useful feedback.

Assistance provided to teachers by peer teachers, faculty,

and graduate students extended beyond the two weeks of

the Summer Institute portion of the project. For example,

engineering faculty and their graduate assistants were

available to develop simulations and videos of traffic

patterns in specific Nebraska communities or schools.

An engineering team also helped one teacher carry out

an experiment with her middle school students related

to traffic flow around their own school. The school was

in the middle of a construction project, and the project

focused on how traffic flow might be improved to promote

safety. Graduate students assisted students in using Lydar

guns to gauge speeds of individual cars to verify students’

calculations using the distance formulas. The university

civil engineers also brought out a traffic van and produced

Another lesson example is from two middle school teachers

who developed a multi-lesson unit connecting middle

school math to real-world transportation engineering

problems. The lesson focused on collecting and graphing

data, measuring, computing proportions, ratios and

percents, and understanding capacity and capacity overflow.

The data collection and graphing activity used a video

developed by the university engineers showing traffic flow

around one of the teachers’ schools. Students divided into

groups and tallied the numbers of various kinds of cars

to provide the raw data for construction of bar and line

graphs. They then used these counts to determine ratios

of the various kinds of cars. The unit opened the door for

discussion of critical transportation issues such as car

safety, alternative fuels, alternative means of transportation

(subways, monorails, elevated railroads, bus), highway

construction, etc. The unit is building towards a culminating

project focusing on the use of distance formulas to design a

traffic-flow plan around the school.

In addition to developing and implementing a lesson plan

using engineering examples, teachers were also asked to

review and critique the lesson plan of one of the other

teachers aimed at teaching the same subject area and

grade level. Because we were developing (and continue

to develop) an online repository of lesson plans, it was

important that the instructional objectives and procedures

be clear to fellow teachers. To aid in the consistency in

form and intent, we asked the teachers to develop their

lesson plans using a specific lesson plan template. After

teachers received peer feedback, they were asked to make

final revisions to their lesson plan and post it on the

project website. This website is currently only available to

teachers participating in the project, but we are working on

updates and revisions so that it is in a format that will be

useful to teachers nationally. We believe that these lessons,

with their focus on real-world engineering examples

illustrating math and science principles, will provide a

viable way to infuse engineering into the middle and high

school curriculum.

Project Impact

Teacher Impact. The project has undergone extensive

testing to assess the impact of the professional

development experiences in terms of teachers’ increased

16 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


understanding and knowledge of engineering concepts

and processes, technology, and pedagogy. A series of

instruments were administered in a pre/post/follow-up

timeframe, with pre measures completed prior to the

Summer Institute, post measures completed on the last

day of the Summer Institute, and follow-up measures

completed approximately seven months following the

institute (after teachers had the opportunity to implement

the lesson they designed in their classroom). We have

found that teachers significantly increased their knowledge

of engineering, developed more positive attitudes towards

technology, increased their self-efficacy in using and

developing technology-based lessons, and increased their

confidence in teaching math and science.

In both years of the Institute teachers showed significant

increases in engineering knowledge both immediately

following the Institute, and seven months later (as measured

by a multiple-choice assessment covering the engineering

content presented during the Institute). Teachers were

also asked to provide direct feedback about the Institute’s

impact in increasing their knowledge and interest in applied

engineering concepts (mean = 4.70 on a 5-point Likerttype

scale from low to high), understanding of the job

responsibilities of engineers (mean = 4.82), and introducing

them to valuable new teaching resources and techniques

(mean = 4.59). Results confirm the project’s impact in

introducing teachers to the work of engineers and providing

them with engineering-related resources that could support

their teaching of fundamental and advanced math and

Figure 3. Jerel Welker, recipient of 2007 Presidential Award for

Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

science concepts and principles, simultaneously increasing

students’ awareness of and interest in engineering fields.

Regarding the technology measures, teachers began the

Summer Institute with confidence in their technology skills

(“good” to “very good” chance of performance); however,

their participation in the Summer Institute significantly

increased their confidence, and this confidence was

maintained throughout the following school year. Their

average stage of technology adoption moved from Stage

5 (“I can use technology in many applications and as an

instructional aid”) to Stage 6 (“I am able to use technology as

an instructional tool and integrate it into the curriculum”).

The Institute impacted teachers’ confidence in their math

and science teaching. Questions on this measure included

such items as promoting student motivation to learn

science, math, and/or engineering, teaching process and

inquiry skills, teaching students to formulate and develop

an experiment or scientific investigation, and assisting

learners who are having difficulties mastering math, science,

and/or engineering.

The quality of the teacher-developed lessons is evident from

the fact that three of the teachers have given presentations

at regional and national math and industrial technology

conferences based on the materials they developed during

the Institute. In addition, one high school mathematics

teacher who participated in the first year of the Summer

Institute incorporated information he received during the

Summer Institute as part of his successful application for the

2007 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and

Science Teaching. (See Figure 3.)

Student Impact. Teachers were also asked about the impact

of the lessons they developed on their students. Teachers

reported that the lessons were effective in encouraging

student interest in math, science, and engineering (mean

= 4.10 on 5-point scale from low to high) and increasing

student learning in those areas (mean = 4.12). Teachers

were also asked to indicate the percentage of students

scoring at the basic, proficient, and advanced levels on the

lesson. Overall, teachers reported that 80% of their students

either met or exceeded the established learning objectives

for their lesson.

In the second year of the Institute, specific feedback was

solicited from students after the teachers had presented

their lesson. Overall, 86% of students responded that they

either “strongly agreed” or “agreed” that they learned

something from the lessons and activities, and 75%

reported that the lessons were interesting. Qualitative

responses from both teachers and students confirmed the

17 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


impact of the lessons in increasing engineering interest

and knowledge.

Teacher Responses:

• Students were impressed with the work occurring

at UNL in the engineering department and found it

fascinating to see the actual intersection camera views

of the vehicles that have been used in field studies. They

enjoyed calculating their data and commented on how

they felt like engineers.

• If I asked, my students would say it was a great lab

that helped us see how real-world situations relate to

physics.

• I used the materials to teach a lesson that is currently

“dry” and boring for the students. This was meant to

teach the curriculum that I HAVE to teach but made

the subject matter more interesting because of the

demo material and lessons.

• I already blend a high level of math into my science,

but never have I understood the broad variety of

engineering impacts, careers, and opportunities

available.

Student Responses:

• I liked the chance to make a model and get away from

the everyday reading and writing work.

• All the fun we had on making a project from something

of our choice with all of it done by ourselves.

• We got to use computers and do hands-on work;

learned stuff I didn’t know before.

• I like that it’s a lot easier to understand by putting the

math to something that we see in real life.

• We didn’t just do it on the board.

• It was a fun way to learn. It was a hands-on activity and

wasn’t coming from the book.

• I liked learning about geometry in my everyday life.

Summary and Conclusions

Our experience working with teachers across two years

has convinced us that the Summer Institute activities have

impacted teacher awareness and knowledge of engineering,

particularly the wide variety of options available to students

as future engineers and technology professionals. We also

believe that our project structure can be used by other

institutions with similar goals related to K-12 engineering

and technology education. To support such efforts, we have

identified several key elements to maximize the impact of

teacher professional development activities:

1. Allow adequate time during the institute for teachers

to work on lesson plans. More than 25% of the total

Institute time was allocated for teachers to work on

their lesson plans. Work was done in computer labs,

with each teacher having access to his or her own

computer. They also had ready access to participating

Education and Engineering faculty and graduate

assistants for help.

2. Use peer teachers to provide support and guidance. The

use of peer teachers in the second year of the Institute

contributed to the project’s success. These teachers

shared their experiences during the previous Institute

and provided help and feedback to the new teachers

as they developed their lesson plans. We believe that

developing and involving this cadre of experienced

teachers will help us improve future Summer Institutes

and extend their impact.

3. Focus on real-world engineering problems and solutions.

The project’s focus on real-world issues kept the

Institute from becoming a theoretical exercise. Instead,

teachers were exposed to real-world engineering

applications that were specifically selected to be

relevant to middle and high school science and math

curricula and to motivate and excite their students.

This professional development opportunity introduced

teachers to a means of increasing the applied nature

of classroom instruction, which will hopefully boost

student math and science performance and increase

students’ interest in pursuing engineering and

technology careers.

4. Provide ongoing support of peer teachers, faculty, and

graduate students in the school year following the

Institute. This ongoing dialogue between faculty and

teachers was critical to extend the Summer Institute

into lesson-plan development and delivery once

teachers returned home. The Institute support was not

just a one-shot experience, but was a continual process

throughout the school year.

5. Ensure collaboration of Education and Engineering

faculty in development and implementation of the

Institute. Expertise from both disciplines was critical.

Engineering faculty provided the needed content

expertise and research examples; education faculty

structured the Institute based on effective professional

development research and practice and provided

pedagogical support to teachers as they developed their

lesson plans.

Future Directions

In the future, we will add a student component to the

Summer Institute, bringing in local middle and high school

students. Students will have the opportunity to interact with

engineering faculty, visit labs and facilities, and participate

in field trips designed to provide firsthand experiences. In

addition, teachers involved in the Summer Institute will

18 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


present their lessons to the participating students, providing

an opportunity to test their lesson with representative

students before implementing in their actual classroom.

This project will continue to assess student impact, with the

goal of attracting and preparing more students to pursue

engineering and technology careers.

References

National Center for Education Statistics. (2003). TIMSS

2003 results. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/timss/

results03.asp

National Science Board. (2006). A companion to science and

engineering indicators, 2006. Arlington, VA: National

Science Foundation.

Porter, M. E. & van Opstal, D. (2001). U.S. competitiveness

2001: Strengths, vulnerabilities and long-term priorities.

Washington, DC: Council on Competitiveness.

This is a refereed article.

Gwen Nugent is a research associate

professor in the Nebraska Center for

Research on Children, Youth, Families and

Schools (CYFS), University of Nebraska-

Lincoln. She can be reached at gnugent@

unl.edu.

Gina Kunz is a research assistant professor

in CYFS.

Larry Rilett is a professor of civil

engineering and Director of the Mid-

America Transportation Center at the

University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Elizabeth Jones is an associate professor

of civil engineering at the University of

Nebraska-Omaha.

Q: What Do YOU Need

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ITEEA’s Minneapolis Conference Presenter

Application is Now Online!

ITEEA’s Minneapolis Conference Presenter

ITEEA’s 73rd

Application

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is Now " Online!

Preparing the

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ITEEA’s 73rd Annual Conference, " Preparing the

held

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March

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The Next Generation, " will be

held March 24-25, 2011.

Presentations should address one of the following

strands: Presentations should address one of the following

• strands: The 21st Century Workforce

••

New The Basics 21st Century Workforce

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Sustainable New Basics Workforce and Environment

• Sustainable Workforce and Environment

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and

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The The application application deadline deadline is is June June 15, 15, 2010.

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19 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


Exploring Alternative Fuels in

Middle Schools

By John F. Donley and Gary A. Stewardson

Students were given the

opportunity to learn about a

current, global issue and how

they might have an impact.

$160.00

$140.00

$120.00

$100.00

$80.00

$60.00

$40.00

$20.00

Price per barrel of crude oil

$-

Oct-07 Jan-08 Apr-08 Jul-08 Oct-08 Jan-09

Table 1. Fluctuation of crude oil prices.

Introduction

Alternative energy sources have become increasingly

important as the production of domestic oil has declined

and our dependence on foreign oil has increased. Pickens

(2008) believes the greatest threat to ever face the United

States is “our crippling dependence on foreign oil” (p. 3).

Historically, there have been four time periods during which

the United States was in fact crippled by oil shortages. These

time periods include: the early 1900s, World War II, the

early 1970s, and most recently, a fifteen-month period from

2007-2009 (Energy Information Administration, 2008b).

During this most recent time period, oil prices doubled

in only nine months and then fell to half the original price

in the next six months (see Table 1). Americans felt the

effects of this phenomenon in many aspects of their lives:

travel to work, vacations, groceries, buying products that

required shipping, and the cost of heating their homes. This

uncontrollable change in oil prices will happen again as

our nation’s demand continues to increase while domestic

production and future foreign production diminish

(Pickens, 2008, pp. 127-131). The general population needs

to be technologically literate concerning alternative fuels in

order to make intelligent decisions on meeting our energy

needs.

This article focuses on a new unit of study that teaches

concepts relating to alternative fuels—specifically, ethanol

and biodiesel. Also covered will be the responses from

students, parents, and administrators concerning the

new unit of instruction. This article does not claim to be

20 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


the definitive answer to alternative fuels, but the unit has

proven successful and will, hopefully, encourage teachers to

explore curricular activities covering all aspects and types of

alternative fuels.

In 2007, experiments with biodiesel were suggested during

an experimental laboratory class at Utah State University.

The term “biodiesel” was made familiar through media

exposure. However, little was known about its applications,

attributes, or the process of producing the fuel. Through

guidance and a demonstration from a graduate student,

students learned that biodiesel could be produced at a skill

level appropriate for middle school students. After the

purchase of required equipment, the class experimented

with the process of making and testing biodiesel. At that

point, the author realized he had his next unit of instruction

idea. He had been looking for a unit that would cover the

Standards for Technological Literacy (STL) area, “Students

will develop an understanding of technology and society,”

which consists of standards four through seven (ITEEA/

ITEA, 2000/2002/2007, p. 15). Learning about and

introducing a new technology that represents a current

global issue has been exciting. Before this experience, the

author had not taught anything on alternative fuels but

realized how vital this topic is for today’s students.

Methodology

The development of a standards-based unit of instruction

for middle school students on alternative fuels was used as a

project for an MS degree at Utah State University. This unit

was structured using the backwards-design approach. In the

first stage, the following standards were selected from the

Standards for Technological Literacy document:

• Standard 3—The relationships among technologies and

the connections between technology and other fields.

• Standard 4—The cultural, social, economic, and

political effects of technology.

• Standard 5—The effects of technology on the

environment.

• Standard 6—The role of society in the development

and use of technology.

• Standard 7—The influence of technology on history.

• Standard 15—Agricultural and related biotechnologies.

• Standard 18—Transportation technologies.

(ITEEA/ITEA, 2000/2002/2007, p. 15)

After these standards were selected, lesson objectives and

student outcomes were established. The scope of the unit

covered history, production, use, and impacts of ethanol

and biodiesel. A pretest/posttest was developed to evaluate

student knowledge before and after instruction to measure

their increased knowledge from the unit of instruction.

Finally, learning activities were developed to bridge the

standards and objectives to the evaluation outcomes.

A variety of instructional strategies were utilized to

appeal to various learning styles. Probing questions and

classroom discussion were used to facilitate a Socratic

learning environment. Some classroom discussions

involved having the students survey their parents and

report back to the class. Direct instruction and PowerPoint

presentations were used to present factual information.

Demonstrations and laboratory activities were used for the

hands-on learners, and video clips were used for the more

visual learners. The video clip resources included: twostroke

engine (Howstuffworks, n.d.), four-stroke engine

(Howstuffworks , n.d.), diesel engine (Howstuffworks, n.d.),

The 3/27 Methanol Test (Bowen, n.d.), The Ethanol Solution

(60 Minutes, 2006), and Live Green Go Yellow (General

Motors Corp. 2006).

To quantify the effectiveness of the unit of instruction, the

sensitivity to instruction (SI) index was calculated for each

test question using the following formula:

SI= R – R a b

T

SI - Sensitivity to Instruction Index

Ra - Number correct after instruction

Rb - Number correct before instruction

T - Total number of students tested

(Gronlund, 1998, pp. 127-128)

SI scores can range between -1.0 and 1.0. (A 1.0, and an ideal

score would result from a situation in which all students

missed the test item before instruction, and all students

were able to answer the item correctly after instruction.)

Using multiple-choice test items increases the possibility

of guessing and lowers the potential SI score. On a fouroption

multiple choice item, one fourth of the students are

expected to guess the answer correctly before instruction,

lowering the potential SI score to 0.75

The qualitative evaluation of the unit was established by

inviting parents, school and district administrators, and

the regional newspaper into the classroom to observe and

provide feedback. In addition, student reactions to the new

unit were observed and noted.

The Unit of Instruction

Field-Testing. This unit was field-tested at Orion,

Snowcrest, and Wahlquist middle schools in the Weber

School District, Utah. The entire unit of instruction lasted

ten days, or ten class periods. Five class periods were

devoted to ethanol, one-half period was devoted to internal

21 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


combustion engines, and four and one-half periods were

devoted to biodiesel.

Summary of Instruction. Two of the STL standards,

Standard 6—role of society in the development and use of

technology and Standard 7—the influence of technology on

history, were included in the unit through a brief history

on the development and use of ethanol and biodiesel. One

of the main ideas presented was that ethanol and biodiesel

were both used as fuels over 100 years ago, yet they were

only developed and used during the early 1900s, WWII, and

the early 1970s when there were oil shortages or unusually

high prices for petroleum-based fuels. Socratic questions

were used during classroom discussion to encourage

students to analyze why, after 100 years, the general public

does not know about or have an understanding of these

alternative fuels.

Additionally, Standard 4—the cultural, social, economic,

and political effects of technology and Standard 5—effects of

technology on the environment, were included by focusing

on the environmental impacts of using petroleum fuels

versus alternative fuels. Standard 3—the relationships

among technologies and the connections between technology

and other fields and Standard 15—agricultural and related

biotechnologies, were included by examining the various

types of resources and crops used in the production of

ethanol and biodiesel. Student knowledge was, typically,

limited to the concept that ethanol is produced from corn

and biodiesel is produced from used restaurant oil. In reality,

ethanol can be produced from at least eleven different

sources, including switch grass, potatoes, garbage, and wood

chips; and the use of used restaurant oil to produce biodiesel

is primarily limited to small personal operations. The unit

helped students realize that engineers and technologists are

looking at a variety of sources for alternative fuels and that it

takes an array of expertise to create a viable fuel.

The last STL standard, Standard 18—transportation

technologies, was included by covering where and how these

fuels are used within the transportation industry. J. Glancy

(personal communication. August 7, 2007) pointed out that

Indy cars in 2006 used ten percent ethanol (E10) to evaluate

its feasibility as a race fuel, and, consequently, in 2007

pure ethanol (E100) became the official fuel for Indy cars

(IndyCar Series, n.d.).

Making Biofuels. Two good resources were found online to

assist in the teaching of ethanol production. The American

Coalition for Ethanol (n.d.) has a useful simulation on

its website showing an ethanol plant and a simulation of

each stage of the process. The Clean Fuels Development

Coalition (2007), in cooperation with the Nebraska Ethanol

Figure 1. Fermentation experiment.

Board, has a fermentation experiment that was modified

for this project. The modified version added corn flour to

demonstrate how corn is used to help the yeast grow. Figure

1 demonstrates that yeast grows with sugar in warm water

(110°F), while boiling water kills the yeast. Also shown is

CO 2

, a commercially viable byproduct, being captured using

a latex glove.

As for biodiesel, safety practices for handling chemicals

were taught initially, and the process to make biodiesel was

demonstrated using vegetable oil, methanol, and potassium

hydroxide. The class was split into groups of three students

each to make their own biodiesel. The process takes the

students two full 45-minute class periods. The chemical

Figure 2. Separating the glycerin from the biodiesel.

22 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


eaction and separation of the biodiesel and glycerin

requires several hours, and for the classroom environment,

it is best to let the reaction sit overnight. Figure 2 shows

students using a separating funnel to separate the heavier

glycerin from the biodiesel. Figure 3 shows the biodiesel

after the glycerin has been removed. Figure 4 shows students

using warm water to wash the soaps out of the biodiesel.

If shaken too vigorously during the washing process, the

water will mix with the soaps and create an emulsion. This

could take weeks to separate out. The exact procedure used

to make biodiesel can be found at the following url: http://

blog.weber.k12.ut.us/jfdonley/jr-high-technolog/exploringtechnology/alternative-fuels-1/.

Figure 4. Washing the biodiesel.

ethanol, and 10% castor oil in a traditional RC engine. Enya

also said that he milled the engine head 0.5mm to increase

the compression ratio. Hobby Products International (HPI

Racing) was contacted and subsequently donated a Savage

X RC truck for experimentation (see Figure 5), and Utah

State University machined the head according to Enya’s

specifications. The expertise of local hobby RC stores was

implemented since the authors had little prior experience

with RC engines. Currently, the truck runs on the biodiesel/

ethanol fuel with intermittent success, but without an expert

to fine-tune and maintain the engine, a reliable setup has not

yet been established. Further modifications and experiments

will continue to be performed to improve the reliability of

the RC truck.

Figure 3. Examining biodiesel after the glycerin was separated.

Testing Biofuels. There are numerous ways to test the

biodiesel depending on the student age level and teacher

interests. A colleague posed the idea of running the fuel in a

radio-controlled (RC) truck. The attraction of the RC truck

is its ability to catch students’ attention. As students enter

the classroom, they immediately ask if they could drive the

truck. The opportunity for a student to drive the RC truck

became dependent on his or her ability to produce biodiesel,

which increased attentiveness and motivation.

K. Enya (personal communication, July 20, 2007) from

Enya Metal Products Company was contacted to determine

whether his company made a diesel engine that would fit in

a regular RC vehicle. Enya said they did not produce such

a motor, but he had used a mixture of 50% biodiesel, 40%

Figure 5. Students filling the RC Truck with Biodiesel/Ethanol fuel.

23 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


For the 2008-2009 school year, fuels were tested in our

school’s small Kubota tractor with a diesel engine. This is a

perfect, real-life application for the fuel the students make.

The Kubota tractor was modified with a second small fuel

tank (approximately 100 mL) for our biodiesel and a valve

to switch between tanks. This allowed starting and stopping

the tractor using petroleum diesel and enabled students to

switch over to biodiesel for data collection.

Unit of Instruction Results

The SI index was calculated using the pretest and posttest

results to determine the effectiveness of the unit of

instruction. Considering that the test was comprised of

twenty multiple-choice and four completion questions,

after factoring in guessing, a realistic high of .79 could be

expected. The results showed an average SI score of .51.

The SI scores indicate a good unit of instruction, perhaps

requiring minor revisions on selected areas. Table 2 shows

the calculated SI score for each test item, the average SI

score, and the number of students correctly answering each

item before instruction (Rb) and after instruction (Ra).

Test items 4, 6, 19, 20, and 24 all received SI scores below

0.30. These items were examined to determine where

the unit, instruction, or evaluation could be improved.

Item 4—instruction on the item’s distracters, was not

thoroughly covered, but has been enhanced in the unit to

increase student comprehension. Item 6 received the lowest

number of correct answers after instruction. It is believed

the material was covered; however, the question may have

been confusing to the students. The stem of the item was

originally written in negative form, and will be rewritten

in positive form. The next time the unit of instruction is

taught, the SI will be recalculated to see if this resolves the

problem. Item 19 was a general safety question. Nineteen

students answered correctly on the pretest, with everyone

answering correctly on the posttest. As a safety item, this

was prior knowledge for many of the students, resulting

in a low SI score. Since everyone answered the question

correctly on the posttest, no changes were made to the

lesson plans. Item 20 was a difficult item. Students should

not have had any prior knowledge and should have received

very few correct answers on the pretest. The test item was

rewritten to minimize guessing. The unit of instruction

did not fully cover Item 24. The activity sheet for testing

the biodiesel has been modified to better cover this

concept. Utilizing this process, each time the unit is taught,

improvements can be made.

Positive feedback on the unit of instruction was received

from a variety of observers and participants. Students

were excited to learn about these alternative fuels and to

Type Item # Category Ra Rb SI

Fill-in-blank 1

18 2 0.70

M/C 2 Renewable 12 5 0.30

M/C 3 fuels 16 7 0.39

M/C 4 15 9 0.26

M/C 5

21 0 0.91

M/C 6 9 3 0.26

Fill-in-blank 7 21 0 0.91

M/C 8 22 7 0.65

M/C 9 Ethanol 22 9 0.57

M/C 10 21 6 0.65

Fill-in-blank 11 15 0 0.65

M/C 12 14 3 0.48

M/C 13 19 8 0.48

M/C 14 Internal 20 7 0.57

M/C 15

Combustion

20 5 0.65

M/C 16

19 9 0.43

Fill-in-blank 17 18 0 0.78

M/C 18 21 13 0.35

M/C 19 23 19 0.17

M/C 20 Biodiesel 19 16 0.13

M/C 21 13 2 0.48

M/C 22 19 9 0.43

M/C 23 22 6 0.70

M/C 24 11 6 0.22

Table 2. Sensitivity to instruction (SI) index scores.

Average 0.51

continue experimenting. Parents insisted their children

take the class because of the importance and timeliness of

the topic. Counselors reported many positive comments

received from girls who had participated in the alternative

fuels unit. School administrators were excited to have a

teacher creating a new unit on current issues. The regional

newspaper was impressed and published a feature story

covering the alternative fuels unit on the front page with

pictures of students making biodiesel (Nelson, 2008).

All reports and feedback indicated strong interest and

excitement for the unit of instruction on alternative energy.

24 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


Conclusion

This unit of instruction has been a positive experience

for everyone involved. Most importantly, students were

given the opportunity to learn about a current, global

issue and how they might have an impact. The teachers

were given a new and exciting unit to generate renewed

student and community involvement. The administration

was excited to see new interest in their technology classes.

The parents’ support of their children’s participation in the

alternative fuels unit was indicative of community interest.

I will continue to teach this unit and will seek methods by

which to examine other alternative fuels. I encourage all

technology teachers to look seriously into teaching about

alternative fuels. For further information, including lesson

plans, PowerPoint Presentations, video links, resource list,

and links, please visit my blog under the junior high section

(http://blog.weber.k12.ut.us/jfdonley/jr-high-technolog/

exploring-technology/).

References

60 Minutes. (2006). Rosenbaum, M. (producer). The ethanol

solution [DVD]. (Available through Amazon.com).

American Coalition for Ethanol. (n.d.). The dry mill process:

A step-by-step interactive tour. Retrieved from www.

ethanol.org/index.php?id=73& parentid=8.

The Clean Fuels Development Coalition. (n.d.)

Ethanol blended fuels. Retrieved from www.

ethanolacrossamerica.net/EthanolCurriculum93003.pdf

Daniel Bowen of AGR Energy. (n.d.) The 3/27 methanol

test. Retrieved from www.utahbiodieselsupply.com/

videos/327test/

Energy Information Administration. (2008b, July). Weekly

all countries spot price FOB weighted by estimated export

volume. Retrieved from http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/

pet/hist/wtotworldw.htm

General Motors Corporation (producer). (2006). Live

green go yellow [DVD]. (Available at www.youtube.com/

watch?v=BSm2WeJ4ZRE).

Gronlund, N. E. (1998). Assessment of student achievement,

(6th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. From W. J. Dryspin

and J. T. Feldhusen (1974). Developing classroom tests.

Minneapolis, MN: Burgiss, p166.

Howstuffworks. (n.d.). How car engines work. Retrieved

from http://auto.howstuffworks.com/engine1.htm

Howstuffworks. (n.d.). How 2-stroke engines work. Retrieved

from http://auto.howstuffworks.com/engine1.htm

Howstuffworks. (n.d.). How diesel engines work. Retrieved

from http://science.howstuffworks.com/two-stroke2.htm.

IndyCar Series. (n.d.). Ethanol fuel program. Retrieved from

www.indycar.com/tech/ethanol.php

International Technology and Engineering Educators

Association. (2000/2002/2007). Standards for

technological literacy: Content for the study of technology.

Reston, VA: Author.

Nelson, B. (2008, May 22). Cookin’ without gas. The

Standard Examiner, pp.1A, 4A.

Pickens, T. B. (2008). The first billion is the hardest:

Reflections on a life of comebacks and America’s energy

future. New York: Crown Business.

This is a refereed article.

John F. Donley is a technology education

teacher at Snowcrest Junior High in Eden,

UT. He can be contacted at jfdonley@

weber.k12.ut.us.

Gary A. Stewardson, Ph.D. is an assistant

professor in the Department of Engineering

and Technology Education at Utah State

University. Gary has developed additional

curriculum in the area of biodiesel that

can be viewed at www.etcurr.com. He can

be reached at gary.stewardson@usu.edu.

NEW ITEEA LOGO

AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD

As of March 1, 2010, ITEA officially became ITEEA—

the International Technology and Engineering Educators

Association. If you are an affiliate representative, state

newsletter editor, or use the ITEA logo in any way,

please be certain to replace it with the new ITEEA logo,

which is available for download from:

http://www.iteea.org/Resources/

PressRoom/pressroom.htm

Questions can be directed to kdelapaz@iteea.org.

25 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


A Different Angle for Teaching Math

By John S. Bellamy and John M. Mativo

In the field of technology, we

are dealt a unique hand in

this teaching game, and it will

be up to us to play this hand

accordingly.

At a high school level, sometimes students can perceive

math as simply another step towards graduation and

learn just what is needed to get by. For example, if pi

(π) is presented to be a fraction (22/7) or a decimal

(3.14…) it doesn’t make much sense to many students.

Many just learn it as a constant and have no realistic

understanding of what it is. However, once demonstrated as

a relationship between a diameter and a circumference of a

circle, then pi can come to life. In this experience, pi depicts

the ratio between the circle’s circumference and its diameter.

If realistic examples were used more often in classroom

settings, then teachable moments would happen—and that

is where inspiration can be fostered.

The purpose of this article is to provide thoughts and

ideas behind the goals and lasting achievements of the

technology curriculum. It focuses on creative ways to

address subjects and teaching methods for middle school

students. Furthermore, it will provide ideas that can take the

classroom from the basics of learning to read a ruler to more

advanced steps like performing the Pythagorean Theorem.

On a regular basis, it is easy to find oneself listening to

arguments about the advancement of teaching. As future

technology teachers, we ought to wholeheartedly believe

that it will be our duty to the students to make sure basic

fundamentals are learned and understood. So, however

valid these individual arguments might be (and some

are), a bridge between the basic and the advanced must

be met. When we look to the left and to the right of the

STEM initiative, we see structured curriculums that have

historically built off one another. That is, science and

mathematics in particular; these curricula build off of what

was taught every year. In the field of technology, we are dealt

a unique hand in this teaching game, and it will be up to us

to play this hand accordingly. In one particular classroom

discussion a colleague stated an absurd, but relatively true

statement: “Not all students necessarily learn in a classroom

focused on standardized tests, most ‘sit, spit, and forget.’”

Participants in the classroom concurred with this statement,

as they themselves had experienced such in the recent past

during their secondary education. One of the authors of this

paper states:

“It wasn’t until I found myself in the real world that I first

encountered anything I learned in a geometry classroom.

Just the thought of using something I once thought

completely useless and mundane was an inspiring

moment. For me this moment came too late in my early

years of academia. It did, however, inspire convictions

I thought never possible; that is, to become a teacher

of technology. If students had such breakthroughs like

mine at an early age, the extension of our field could be

increased dramatically. That is to say, if we as educators

26 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


can spur the minds of the youth in a path conducive to

technology education, our jobs would become much

easier, and the creative and intellectual minds of the

students would take over and learning itself would teach

the class. Moreover, I am suggesting that students can

learn by themselves and be excited about new frontiers in

the technology field.”

He continues, “While doing some construction work, I was

assigned to build a wall as a room divider. The contractor

was teaching us basic things as we progressed, and one

thing in particular stood out: the Pythagorean Theorem.

As everyone knows, in construction, accuracy in square

is vital, and in this case the same principles held true. For

the first time in my life outside of my classroom, I used

the Pythagorean Theorem, as shown in Figure 1, without

realizing its principle.”

a

a

area = a x a = a 2 a

c

b

a

b area = b x b = b 2

Figure 1: Pythagorean Theorem

c

area = c x c = c 2

From the edge of the wall, we measured out three feet one

way and four feet the other. The distance in between was five

feet, and our wall was square and construction was ready

to commence. Often it is said that to hear something is one

thing, but to use it is to learn it forever. The Middle School

Science Systemic Change Partnership (2003) and Mourtos

(2003) project this idea in practical engineering education.

For me, in particular, learning is done by experiencing useful

information and being able to reference the experience at a

later date.

As an Engineering and Technology Education major at

The University of Georgia, I find myself pondering ways

to incorporate that type of learning into a classroom. For

example, the following is an approach to practical teachings

b

c

b

c

of the Pythagorean Theorem that can be applied at the

middle-school level. This example incorporates the use of

statics to my experience in wall building. The example also

incorporates the use of basic fundamentals such as reading a

ruler. Though it is hard to keep advanced students interested

and others in constant understanding, it is important

that the trivial steps are not overlooked. In the case of the

Pythagorean Theorem, it is important to explain what it is.

However, it is more important to explain where and how to

use it. For instance, when a teacher wants to explain how

things around the classroom are made or constructed, this

can be done with items that exist in every classroom, such

as walls or tables. Keep your subject matter in the real world

and remember to show tangible real-world applications.

Furthermore, remember to talk with other colleagues

throughout the school to know what concepts students are

learning in the mathematics and science classes in order to

plan relevant experiences.

The technology classroom is the ideal place for

reinforcement of other subjects throughout the entire

school. Other subjects teach on paper how things work, and

ideas and theories behind why things work. As technology

teachers, we can show students hands-on examples of

the actual processes that comprise the theories or ideas. I

think that it is important not to forget that we can inspire

students while teaching them. Students want to learn, and

it is our duty to provide them with the tools they need to

accomplish their goals. Again, we are in a unique position

as technology teachers. Our hands are not as bound as is

the case in other areas of study. Regardless of what you

think about standardized tests, there are many teachers

who teach students what they need to know to pass these

types of tests and push them to learn only those things.

Since our society is built around what looks good on paper,

the results continue to look the way they are meant to

look to powers that be. However, the level of retention is

questionable at best.

Real-life situations are the key to learning; that’s

why it is important to remember the importance of

communication in our classrooms. If there is a subject

that wasn’t particularly clear in the past, try explaining

how it was learned and think of ways to get the students’

hands on tangible items that replicate that learning

process. Though impressive, learning doesn’t have to take

the form of expensive wind tunnels and CNC machines.

Learning can be accomplished by using something as

simple as two 2x4s and a tape measure as described in

Figure 2 and as shown in Figure 3 or another appropriate

device. Appropriate technologies are catching on and

carry a wide definition. As educators we must take an

27 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


active role in helping our students understand these

points without taking the fun out of learning. An arduous

task though it may be, simple, straightforward, creative,

and most importantly, realistic ideas can be incorporated

into the technology classroom. Placing oneself in the

shoes of a student and thinking the same way he or she

would, ideas can be attained and goals accomplished.

In an effort to further real-world examples into the

classroom, try to incorporate real-world professionals from

time to time. Whenever knowledgeable people describe

their jobs, students pay special attention and are given a

way to relate what they have learned. Invite experts to your

classroom whenever possible. There are many ways in which

students learn, and our job as educators is to challenge our

students in ways that make them want to learn. Take time

with your students to listen to what they have to say; if we’re

not careful, we may find ourselves becoming the students.

Class projects Teaching aids Homework

Pythagorean

Theorem

Reading a ruler

2x4s with different

measurement points

2x4s marked like

a ruler in different

fractions

Have the students

measure things

around their house

Measure different

items to the smallest

fraction of an inch

A

B

C

X Y Z

Conclusion

Real-life demonstrations and experiences with math and

science principles are best learned in a technology education

setting. Students will both learn and retain the concepts

through applying them in a practical setting. Technology

teachers should be satisfied that they can facilitate complex

concept learning by students through regular curricula.

The laboratory setting should be looked upon as a critical

learning area in which sound math and science concepts and

principles are brought to life.

Figure 2: Sketch for teaching triangles

References

Middle School Science Systemic Change Partnership.

(2003). The inquiry continuum. Retrieved from the

Middle School Systemic Change Partnership website:

www.seattlescience.com/INQCONTINUUMposter.pdf

Mourtos, N. J. (2003). From learning to talk to learning

engineering: Drawing connections across the disciplines.

World Transactions on Engineering & Technology

Education, Vol.2, No.2.

John Bellamy is a student at the University

of Georgia. He can be reached via email at

bellamy@uga.edu.

John M. Mativo, Ed.D. is an assistant

professor at the University of Georgia. He

can be reached via email at jmativo@uga.

edu.

This is a refereed article.

Figure 3: A 2 x 4 teaching aid for triangles

28 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


You are invited to explore the power and promise of a STEM education!

The Overlooked STEM Imperatives: Technology and Engineering, K–12 Education

Take this opportunity to gain a better understanding of the need for

STEM education and its critical role in creating a technologically literate

society. The rationale for the “T” and “E” has been specifically

addressed in order to gain support for these subjects as part of the

overall STEM effort.

Chapters cover the following topics:

• Background and History of the STEM Movement

• The Power and Promise of a STEM Education: Thriving in a

Complex Technological World

• The “T” and “E” in STEM

• The Contributions of Science and Mathematics to STEM

Education: A View from Beyond the Disciplines of Technology and

Engineering

Technology and Engineering Program in Action

• Basic Resources in Support of STEM Education

• A Call to Action

This publication addresses the point that the superiority of a country as a leader in technology is a desired

quality and that the ability of an educational system to produce individuals with these abilities is

also a desired quality. Providing support for a meaningful STEM education is critical in order to perpetuate

a thriving society, contribute in a meaningful way towards building our own future, and provide students

with a need to achieve.

Viewpoints are given by leaders in the field, including

• Gerhard Salinger, National Science Foundation

• Karen Zuga, The Ohio State University

• William Havice, Clemson University

• Michael K. Daugherty, University of Arkansas

• Sharon Brusic, Millersville University of Pennsylvania

• William F. McComas and Kim K. McComas, University of Arkansas

• Kendall N. Starkweather, DTE, International Technology and Engineering Educators Association

• Krista Jones, Bellevue Elementary School, Bellevue, ID

• Brian Lien, Princeton High School, Cincinnati, OH

• Lemuel “Chip” Miller, DTE, Cody High School, Cody, WY

• Marlene C. Scott, J. B. Watkins Elementary School, Chesterfield, VA

• Gary Wynn, DTE, Greenfield-Central High School, Greenfield, IN

• Tom Zerr, Pittsburg Community Middle School, Pittsburg, KS

You are invited to explore the power and promise of a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and

mathematics) education through this publication, but more importantly, to seek to understand the importance

of ensuring that the “T” and “E” are equal partners within STEM to adequately prepare the next

generation workforce as well as valued contributors to our communities and society.

NEW from ITEEA. Electronic publication.

P240CD. $15.00/Members $13.00

Call 703-860-2100 to order.

www.iteea.org

29 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


Now Available from ITEEA!

Facilities Planning Guide

While not all technology education laboratories will look exactly the same, there are certain

laboratory requirements that should be included in any technology education laboratory

design. These designated areas are defined in this standards-based ITEEA Facilities Planning

Guide and provide logical and specific guidelines for designing and implementing a standards-based

laboratory in your local school, no matter what the size.

While the primary focus of this guide is on the senior high school laboratory requirements,

the elements and recommendations are appropriate and relevant to any middle school-level

laboratory and should be incorporated in any laboratory design.

Some of the topics covered in the Guide:

• Curriculum Considerations

• “Center of Applied Learning” Sample Floor Plan

• “Center of Applied Learning” Facility Criteria

• Laboratory Design Considerations:

• Class Size/Laboratory Size/Laboratory Design

• Lighting/Aesthetics/Decor

• Safety

• Security/Noise Control

• Environment Control/Utilities

• Furnishings/Special Needs Considerations

• Laboratory Cost Considerations

Technology Education Vendors List

• Laboratory Design Model Programs

International Technology and Engineering Educators Association

Centers of Applied Learning

Integrated Applications in

Science, Technology,

Engineering, and Mathematics

Facilities

Planning

Guide

Technology Education

Facility Standards

(P244CD) $18.00 / Members $15.00

Order today!

Print and complete the downloadable order form

(www.iteea.org/Publications/pubsorder.pdf)

and fax it to 703-860-0353

or call 703-860-2100

30 • The Technology Teacher • april 2010


2010 Directory of ITEEA Institutional and Museum Members

For further information, contact the faculty member listed.

LEGEND

Degrees

1 Bachelor’s Degree

2 Master’s Degree

3 Fifth-Year Degree

4 Sixth-Year Degree

5 Advanced Standing Certificate

6 Doctoral Degree

7 Continuing Education Seminars/

Workshops/Conferences

Financial Aid Offered

A. Undergraduate Scholarships

B. Research Assistantships

C. Teaching Assistantships

D. Scholarships

E. Fellowships

F. Other

ARKANSAS

1,2,6 A,C

University of Arkansas

Curriculum and Instruction

Fayetteville, AR 72762

479-575-3076

http://cied.uark.edu/tech_ed.htm

vcarter@uark.edu

Vinson Carter

AUSTRALIA

1,2,5,6,7 D

Griffith University

School of Education and Professional

Studies

Mt. Gravatt Campus

176 Messines Ridge Road

Brisbane, Qld 4122

Australia

61-7-3735-5840

www.griffith.edu/au/education/

industrial-technology-design

i.chester@griffith.edu.au

Dr. Ivan Chester

CONNECTICUT

1,2,3,4,7 A

Central Connecticut State

University

Technology & Engineering Education

1615 Stanley Street

New Britain, CT 06050-4010

860-832-1850

ccsu.edu

delaura@ccsu.edu

Dr. James A. Delaura

GEORGIA

1,2,5,6,7 A,B,C,D,E

University of Georgia

Workforce Education, Leadership, and

Social Foundations

223 River’s Crossing Building

850 College Station Road

Athens, GA 30602

706-542-4503

www.uga.edu/teched

wickone@uga.edu

Dr. Robert Wicklein

ILLINOIS

1,2,6,7 A,B,C,D

Illinois State University

Department of Technology

210 Turner Hall

Normal, IL 61790-5100

309-438-7862

www.tec.ilstu.edu

cpmerri@ilstu.edu

Dr. Chris Merrill

1,2,7 A,C,D

Eastern Illinois University

School of Technology

600 Lincoln Avenue

Charleston, IL 61920

217-581-3226

www.eiu.edu/~tech

mizadi@eiu.edu

Dr. Mahyar Izadi, Chair

INDIANA

1,2, A,B

Ball State University

Department of Technology

Applied Technology Building, AT 131

Muncie, IN 47306-0255

765-285-5642

www.bsu.edu/technology

rshackelford@bsu.edu

Dr. Ray Shackelford

1,2,6,7 A,B,C,D,E

Indiana State University

Technology Management

650 Cherry Street

Terre Haute, IN 47809

812-237-3377

indstate.edu/tm

jim.smallwood@indstate.edu

Dr. James Smallwood, Chair

IOWA

1,2,6 A,C,D

University of Northern Iowa

Department of Industrial Technology

Industrial Technology Center 25C

Cedar Falls, IA 50614

319-273-2561

www.uni.edu/indtech

bergquist@uni.edu

Dr. Bart Bergquist

KANSAS

1,2,5 A

Fort Hays State University

Technology Studies

600 Park Street

Hays, KS 67601-4099

785-628-4315

www.fhsu.edu/tecs/

fruda@fhsu.edu

Dr. Fred Ruda, DTE, Chair

31 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


KENTUCKY

1,2,6,7 A,C,D

Eastern Kentucky University

Department of Technology

302 Whalin Technology Complex

Richmond, KY 40475

859-622-3232

www.technology.eku.edu

Tim.Ross@eku.edu

Dr. Larry Tim Ross

MARYLAND

Baltimore Museum of Industry

Maryland Center for CTE Studies

1415 Key Highway

Baltimore, MD 21230

410-887-8926

www.thebmi.org

mshealey@thebmi.org

Mike Shealey

1,2,7 A

University of Maryland Baltimore

Campus (UMBC)

Mechanical Engineering

1000 Hilltop Circle

Baltimore, MD 21250

410-455-3308

www.umbc.edu/engineering/me/

research.htm#eelab

aspence@umbc.edu

Dr. Anne Spence

1,2,5,7 A,D

University of Maryland Eastern

Shore (UMES)

Technology Department

11931 Art Shell Plaza

Princess Anne, MD 21853

410-651-6468

www.umes.edu/tech

llcopeland@umes.edu

Dr. Leon L. Copeland, Sr., Chair

MICHIGAN

1,2,6,7 A,B,C,D,E

Eastern Michigan University

School of Technology Studies

122 Sill Hall

Ypsilanti, MI 48197-2243

734-487-4330

www.emich.edu/sts/

jboyless@emich.edu

John Boyless

NEW JERSEY

1,2,7 A,F

College of New Jersey

Department of Technological Studies

PO Box 7718

Ewing, NJ 08628-0718

609-771-2782

www.tcnj.edu/~tstudies/

karsnitz@tcnj.edu

Dr. John Karsnitz, Professor and Chair

NEW YORK

2 D,F

The College of Saint Rose

Applied Technology Education

432 Western Avenue

Albany, NY 12203

518-454-5279

www.strose.edu/academics/

schoolofeducation/appliedtechnology/

appliedtechologyeducation

technologyeducationk12

plowmant@strose.edu

Travis Plowman, Chair

1,2,6 A,B, E

Hofstra University

Center for Technological Literacy

773 Fulton Avenue

Hempstead, NY 11549-7730

516-463-5550

www.hofstra.edu/ctl

M.D.Burghardt@hofstra.edu

Dr. David Burghardt

1 A,F

New York City College of

Technology,

The City University of New York

Department of Career and Technology

Teacher Education

300 Jay Street, Room M-201

Brooklyn, NY 11201

718-260-5373

www.citytech.cuny.edu

Gnwoke@citytech.cuny.edu

Dr. Godfrey I. Nwoke

NORTH CAROLINA

1,2,7 A,B,C,D,E,F

Appalachian State University

Department of Technology

ASU Box 32122

Katherine Harper Hall

Boone, NC 28608

828-262-3110

www.tec.appstate.edu

taylorjs@appstate.edu /

hoepflmc@appstate.edu

Jerianne Taylor – Undergraduate

Coordinator

Marie Hoepfl – Graduate Coordinator

Jeff Tiller – Department Chair

1,2,6,7 A,B,C

North Carolina State University

Technology, Engineering, and Design

Education Program

P.O. Box 7801

510-D Poe Hall

Raleigh, NC 27695-7801

919-515-1740

http://ced.ncsu.edu/mste/tech_

programs/index.php

jim_haynie@ncsu.edu /

william_deluca@ncsu.edu

W.J. Haynie / William V. DeLuca

NORTH DAKOTA

1,2,7 A

Valley City State University

Department of Technology

101 College Street

Valley City, ND 58072

701-845-7444

http://teched.vcsu.edu

teched@vcsu.edu

Dr. James Boe

OHIO

1,2, A,B,C

Bowling Green State University

Visual Communication and

Technology Education

College of Technology

Bowling Green, OH 43403-0301

419-372-7574

www.bgsu.edu/colleges/technology/

undergraduate/teched/index.html

Lhatch@bgsu.edu

Dr. Larry Hatch

32 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


1,2 A,B,C

Kent State University

College of Technology

PO Box 5190

Kent, OH 44242-9920

330-672-2040

www.technology.kent.edu

lzurbuch@kent.edu

Dr. Lowell S. Zurbuch

1,7 A,D,F

Ohio Northern University

Department of Technological Studies

Room 208, Taft Memorial Building

Ada, OH 45810

419-772-2170 * FAX 419-772-1932

www-new.onu.edu/academics/

d-rouch@onu.edu

Dr. David L. Rouch

2,3,6 A,B,C,D,E

Ohio State University

School of Teaching and Learning

1945 North High Street, Room 237

Columbus, OH 43210-1172

614-292-7471

http://ehe.osu.edu/edtl/academics/

tech-ed/

post.1@osu.edu

Dr. Paul E. Post

OKLAHOMA

1, 7 A, D

Southwestern Oklahoma State

University

Industrial & Engineering Education

100 Campus Drive

Weatherford, OK 73096-3098

580-774-316

www.swosu.edu

bradbryant@swosu.edu

Mr. Brad Bryant

PENNSYLVANIA

1,2,3,7 A,B,C,D

Millersville University

Department of Industry & Technology

PO Box 1002

Millersville, PA 17551-0302

717-872-3316

www.millersville.edu/itec

itec@millersville.edu

Dr. Barry G. David

RHODE ISLAND

1,2 A,D

Johnson & Wales University

School of Technology

8 Abbott Park Place

Providence, RI 02903

401-598-2500

www.jwu.edu

frank.tweedie@jwu.edu

Francis X. Tweedie, Dean

1,2,7 A

Rhode Island College

Technology Education Program

600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, HBS 220

Providence, RI 02908

401-456-8793

www.ric.edu/educationalstudies/

technology.php

Cmclaughlin@ric.edu

Dr. Charles H. McLaughlin,

Coordinator

UTAH

1,2,7 A

Brigham Young University

Technology and Engineering Education

230 SNLB

Provo, UT 84602

801-422-2021

http://sot.et.byu.edu/frontpage

steve_shumway@byu.edu

1,2,6,7 A,B,C,D,E

Utah State University

Engineering and Technology Education

6000 Old Main Hill

Logan, UT 84322

www.ete.usu.edu

eteinfo@usu.edu

Dr. Kurt Becker

VIRGINIA

1,2,5,6 C,E

Old Dominion University

STEM Education and Professional

Studies

228 Education Building

Norfolk, VA 23529

757-683-4305

http://education.odu.edu/ots/

preed@odu.edu

Dr. Philip A. Reed

WASHINGTON

1,2,7 A,B,C,D

Central Washington University

Hogue Technology

400 East University Way

Ellensburg, WA 98926-7584

509-963-3218

www.cwu.edu/~iet/programs/ie/

teched.html

calahans@cwu.edu

Scott Calahan

WEST VIRGINIA

1,7 A

Fairmont State University

College of Science and Technology

1201 Locust Avenue

Fairmont, WV 26554

304-367-4934

www.fairmontstate.edu/academics/

collegeofscitech.default.asp

Anthony.Gilberti@fairmontstate.edu

Dr. Anthony F. Gilberti

WISCONSIN

1,2 A,F

University of Wisconsin-Stout

Technology Education Program/School

of Education

224 D Communications Technology

Menomonie, WI 54751

715-232-5619 / 715-232-2757

www.uwstout.edu/programs/bste

www3.uwstout.edu/programs/mste/

index.cfm

tialas@uwstout.edu /

strickerd@uwstout.edu

Dr. Sylvia Tiala (Undergrad Program)

Dr. David Stricker (Graduate Program)

WYOMING

1 A,D

University of Wyoming/Casper

College

Department of Secondary Education

125 College Drive

Casper, WY 82601

307-268-2406

www.uwyo.edu/uwcc/info.asp?p=1234

rodt@uwyo.edu

Rod Thompson

33 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


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34 • The Technology Teacher • april 2010


Are You Cutting Off STEM at the Roots?

EbD helps students, teachers, and programs grow.

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Learn how we can help you achieve your program goals today.

www.engineeringbydesign.org, ebd@iteea.org, 301-482-1929.

35 • The Technology Teacher • April 2010


Manufacturing is Cool!

Through creativity and teamwork,

engineers make the world

a better place.

Peek into a world that inspires

students to embrace this industry

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manufacturingiscool.com is an

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Students will enjoy fun activities

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interesting industry interviews

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opportunities and much more!

Let’s help our children live their

dreams and be original thinkers!

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