Addressing mAth literAcy through tide • iteA And sociAl networking • on excellence
The Voice of Technology Education
Volume 69 • Number 1
Software, Curriculum and Hardware
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september • VOL. 69 • NO. 1
Students Engineer Eco-Smart Transportation:
2009 Supermileage Challenge Photos
Editorial: The Year of Social Networking
Katie De la paz
Constructing an Engineering Model for Raising an Egyptian Obelisk
Based on a recent engineering effort to raise an obelisk, this article explains how students
can simulate this task by constructing and testing a small engineering model.
Charles R. Beck
Addressing Mathematics Literacy Through Technology, Innovation, Design,
Addresses the contributions that technology, innovation, design, and engineering (TIDE)
subject matters plays in the development of students’ mathematical skills.
lEN S. Litowitz
On Excellence—Illustrated Through Four Exemplars
Excerpts from a speech delivered at the FTE Spirit of Excellence Breakfast, Louisville, KY,
March 27, 2009.
Publisher, Kendall N. Starkweather, DTE
Editor-In-Chief, Kathleen B. de la Paz
Editor, Kathie F. Cluff
ITEA Board of Directors
Ed Denton, DTE, President
Len Litowitz, DTE, Past President
Gary Wynn, DTE, President-Elect
Greg Kane, Director, ITEA-CS
Joanne Trombley, Director, Region I
Michael A. Fitzgerald, DTE, Director, Region II
Mike Neden, DTE, Director, Region III
Patrick McDonald, Director, Region IV
Michael DeMiranda, Director, CTTE
Andrew Klenke, Director, TECA
Ginger Whiting, Director, TECC
Kendall N. Starkweather, DTE, CAE,
ITEA is an affiliate of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science.
The Technology Teacher, ISSN: 0746-3537,
is published eight times a year (September
through June with combined December/January
and May/June issues) by the International
Technology Education Association, 1914 Association
Drive, Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191.
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More Opportunities for Social/Professional
ITEA has established a presence in the world of social and professional
networking in order to help its members build online communities of people
who share their interests and/or activities, or who are interested in exploring
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• Linked in – an interconnected network of
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created three Facebook Groups for ITEA Members:
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• ITEA Blog – delivers timely news and commentary
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T h e Vo i c e o f Te c h n o l o g y E d u c a t i o n
Editorial Review Board
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Andrew Morrison ES, PA
Byron C. Anderson
University of Wisconsin-Stout
Gateway Regonal HS, NJ
Nikolay Middle School, WI
Laura Morford Erli
East Side MS, IN
North Carolina State
Indiana State University
Appalachian State University
Manteo Middle School, NC
Southern Wells HS, IN
Old Dominion University
Anthony Korwin, DTE
NM Public Education
As the only national and international association dedicated
solely to the development and improvement of technology
education, ITEA seeks to provide an open forum for the free
exchange of relevant ideas relating to technology education.
Materials appearing in the journal, including
advertising, are expressions of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the official policy or the opinion of the
association, its officers, or the ITEA Headquarters staff.
All professional articles in The Technology Teacher are
refereed, with the exception of selected association
activities and reports, and invited articles. Refereed articles
are reviewed and approved by the Editorial Board before
publication in The Technology Teacher. Articles with bylines
will be identified as either refereed or invited unless written
by ITEA officers on association activities or policies.
To Submit Articles
St. Petersburg College
SUNY at Oswego
Kesling MS, IN
MO Department of Education
IL State Board of Education
Mary Annette Rose
Ball State University
Oasis Elementary School, AZ
Delmar MS/HS, DE
Andy Stephenson, DTE
Southside Technical Center,
Appalachian State University
Heritage MS, NJ
All articles should be sent directly to the Editor-in-Chief,
International Technology Education Association, 1914
Association Drive, Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191-1539.
Please submit articles and photographs via email
to email@example.com. Maximum length for
manuscripts is eight pages. Manuscripts should be prepared
following the style specified in the Publications Manual of
the American Psychological Association, Fifth Edition.
Editorial guidelines and review policies are available by
writing directly to ITEA or by visiting www.iteaconnect.org/
Publications/Submissionguidelines.htm. Contents copyright
© 2009 by the International Technology Education
Association, Inc., 703-860-2100.
1 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
The 2009-2010 ITEA Board of Directors election ballot will be emailed to
Professional and active Life Members in September. The highly experienced
field of candidates is pictured below. Exercise your right to vote by
completing your ballot promptly! Ballots must be completed on or before
October 30, 2009.
President-Elect (Teacher Educator)
Thomas P. Bell, DTE
Aaron C. Clark
North Carolina State
Math, Science, and
Region II Director (Classroom Teacher)
Kesling Middle School
La Porte, IN
Victor Stefan, DTE
Lake Middle School
Region IV Director (Teacher Educator)
Steven L. Shumway
New Britain, CT
William (Bill) Havice,
Make Plans to Attend ITEA’s
Charlotte, North Carolina – known as
the “Queen City” – will be the host city
for ITEA’s 72 nd Annual Conference.
The theme, “Green Technology: STEM
Solutions for 21st Century Citizens”
will increase awareness regarding how
we can make strides to sustain our
environment through smart decision
making, consumerism, designing,
creating, and using human ingenuity.
These are all topics about GREEN
TECHNOLOGY that need to be
addressed today to properly save and
use our resources for tomorrow. The
2010 conference will address these issues
through STEM education.
Charlotte = Captivating, Colorful,
Cosmopolitan. It’s no secret
that Charlotte delivers cultural
distractions and attractions, dining and
nightlife for every style, and a Southern
ambiance all its own. More than just the
nation’s second largest financial center,
Charlotte is a magnet for progressive
growth and smart development.
Prevention Magazine recently named
Charlotte the best “Walking City” in
North Carolina. Self Magazine also
named Charlotte one of “Five Cities with
Big Outdoor Appeal” for features like
its Public Art Walking Tour, accessible
museums such as the Mint Museum
of Craft + Design, and nearby outdoor
excursions like the U.S. National
So, make plans now to join your
colleagues in March, 2010. And don’t
forget to apply early for funding
assistance (see the article on page three).
For full conference information, visit
2 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
Need Funding for the ITEA Conference
NOW . . . is the time to start finding financial assistance to
attend ITEA’s Charlotte Conference, March 18-20, 2010.
There are numerous places to find financial support, and it
takes a certain mindset to be successful. Here are some hints:
• Compile facts on the ITEA conference, such as:
1. It is the largest technology education professional
development experience in the U.S., and you
need that experience.
2. The largest technology education trade exhibition
in the country will be available, showing the latest
in resources, materials, and equipment.
3. The nation’s educational leaders meet here
to network, determine directions, and share
decisions on issues that influence the profession.
• Create talking points (after reviewing the program)
as to how this conference program could improve
education for your students. Don’t forget to share that
you will learn more about teaching math, reading, and
• Stress to the administration that you will be attending
an international conference as a representative of the
school and district and what an honor it will be to go
as an ambassador for the school. Administrators love
to have their schools touted at functions.
• Print the preliminary program and share it with your
• Apply to be part of the program, e.g., the teacher
showcase known as the Technology Festival. Here
you can share your best ideas, activities, or teaching
strategies in a one-to-one discussion with other
• Have a small budget put together based upon travel,
registration costs, housing, etc., so when asked how
much you need, the answer is readily available. A
single source may not have all the money you need, but
coupled with another, you might get totally funded!
• Apply for the Teacher or Program Excellence Award,
bringing positive recognition to your school.
Most technology teachers have found success when applying
for professional development monies early in the school
year. Don’t wait until the last minute and expect success.
When school starts, your funding efforts should start!
Where to look for funding sources...
• Talk to your immediate supervisor about using
professional development monies. That person may
also be the principal, district curriculum specialist,
county supervisor, or a combination of any of these
• Ask your local PTA for assistance.
• Search for project monies that relate to your school
system’s special projects. Sometimes a project on
special education, special needs, or some other area
of emphasis includes professional development
funding. ITEA conferences have an array of programs
that touch on many different areas of education.
Make the relationship and seek their funding.
• Become friends with local civic groups that support
education. For example, the Lions or Rotary
Clubs often will support teachers desiring to get
professional development. Assure the group that
you would be pleased to give a small report on what
you have learned. They will be thrilled to know that
they have helped your program, and you will have an
opportunity to sell your good work to the community.
• Contact your district or state supervisor who deals
with technology education. Frequently, they know of
funding, such as the Perkins Legislation or the Math/
Science Initiatives, that can be used to help you.
You will have to complete paperwork, so start the
• Currently, the Wells Fargo Bank (if in your
community) is willing to provide limited awards for
• Do a search of local educational foundations.
For example, selected companies have national
educational funding programs that they wish to
go to state or regional company locations. A local
representative of a large organization may be able to
find funding that will help you.
• Check with your local teacher’s union. You pay dues,
and they may have a program that will help you.
Assume that you are going to get funded with every
potential source that you ask. You may be surprised to
find that your new source will be the one place where you
thought there was no funding. Remember, most of your
colleagues are not aware of the potential for funding. That
makes your opportunity for success even greater.
To stretch your budget money even farther, be sure to take
advantage of the special preregistration pricing. ITEA
Professional Members will pay $289 for a full conference
registration prior to February 1, 2010 ($329 on-site) and
Student Members will pay $74 prior to February 1 ($84 onsite).
Encourage your colleagues to become ITEA members
to take advantage of these special prices—and nonmembers
can also take advantage of ITEA’s membership promotion
discount (nonmember conference pricing is $374 prior to
February 1 and $414 after February 1). Contact Maureen
Wiley at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
3 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
October 1-3, 2009 The 2009 Southeastern Technology
Education Conference (STEC) will be held at the
Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, TN. This
will be a joint conference with the Mississippi Valley
Technology Teacher Education Conference. For more details
regarding the conference, please contact Hal Harrison at
864-656-6967 or email@example.com.
October 6-8 2009 Don’t miss TENZ 2009. TENZ’s seventh
biennial conference will offer a first-class professional
development opportunity to all those interested in
technology education. The conference will be held in Napier,
where Napier’s stunning War Memorial Conference Centre
is the venue for many events. The programme will include
a broad range of activities for all educators. Register now at
www.tenz.org.nz, where you will also find information on
possible accommodation. To find out more about TENZ
2009, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 16, 2009 The Technology Education Association
of Maryland will present its Fall Conference for technology
teachers and other professionals. This year’s conference will
include presentations on STEM, integrating technology
education into elementary classes, middle school CATTS
courses, PLTW, and more. TEAM has complete conference
resources online at www.techedmd.org. This year’s
conference location is minutes west of downtown Baltimore
at Marriott’s Ridge High School. Contact Christopher
Putnam, Conference Chair, at email@example.com for details.
October 16, 2009 The Massachusetts Technology
Education/Engineering Collaboration (MassTEC) will
hold its Tenth Annual Conference, From Manual Arts to
Technology Education/Engineering: 100 Years of PROGRESS,
at Fitchburg State College. The main speaker will be
Nate Ball, the host of the PBS TV show Design Squad.
For additional conference information please go to www.
November 5-7, 2009 The Technology Education
Association of Pennsylvania (TEAP) will have its 57 th
annual conference at the Radisson-Penn Harris Hotel and
Conference Center in Camp Hill, PA. Current members
of state Technology Education Associations outside
of Pennsylvania are invited to attend without joining
TEAP. (Registration costs apply.) "Technology: The Core
Discipline" is the conference theme. See the TEAP website
for more details: www.teap-online.org/.
November 6, 2009 The New England Association of
Technology Teachers (NEATT) will hold its annual
conference at Fitchburg State College. Stay tuned to
November 11-13, 2009 ICTE 2009 (International
Conference on Technology Education in the Asia-Pacific
Region) will hold its fall conference, “Less is More:
Searching Solutions to Facilitate Technology Education with
Limited Resources,” in Taipei, Taiwan. ICTE is a biennial
conference in which the most representative technology
associations/societies in seven countries in the Asia-Pacific
Rim participate. The conference website is www.ite.ntnu.
edu.tw./~icte2009/. Or email Dr. Chi-Cheng Chang at
firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
February 25-26, 2010 The 14th Annual Children’s
Engineering Convention will be held at the Holiday Inn
Select – Koger Center in Midlothian, VA. If you have ideas
to share, some really good design briefs that others could
use, success in the classroom through children’s
engineering, a children’s engineering component in your
school that has made a difference, an engineering project
that involved a “green” theme, why not present them at the
2010 Virginia Children’s Engineering Convention! Deadline
for submissions is November 10, 2009. Convention
registration and other forms are currently being updated
and will soon be available at the VCEC website:
www.childrensengineering.org. Contact Mary Hurst
(email@example.com) with questions.
March 18-20, 2010 ITEA’s 72 nd Annual Conference, Green
Technology: STEM Solutions for 21 st Century Citizens, will be
held in Charlotte, NC. This conference will feature a series
of presentations about the use of design and technology
to make a better society by using best practices to deliver
education with an eye on 21 st Century learning skills as
a basis for our future citizens. Presentations will address
one or more of the following three strands: (1) Designing
the Green Environment, (2) Describing Best Practices
Through Teaching and Learning STEM, and (3) Developing
21st Century Skills. What better way to address these
issues than through Science, Technology, Engineering, and
Mathematics (STEM) education.
4 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
June 17-21, 2010 Technological
Learning & Thinking: Culture, Design,
Sustainability, Human Ingenuity—an
international conference sponsored by
The University of British Columbia and
The University of Western Ontario,
Faculties of Education, in conjunction
with the Canadian Commission for
UNESCO—will take place in Vancouver,
British Columbia. The conference
organizing committee invites papers that
address various dimensions or problems
of technological learning and thinking.
Scholarship is welcome from across the
disciplines including Complexity Science,
Design, Engineering, Environmental
Studies, Education, History, Indigenous
Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, and
Sociology of Technology, and STS.
The conference is designed to inspire
conversation between the learning and
teaching of technology and the cultural,
environmental, and social study of
technology. Learn more about it at http://
List your State/Province Association Conference in TTT and Inside TIDE
(ITEA’s electronic newsletter). Submit conference title, date(s), location,
and contact information (at least two months prior to journal publication
date) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
California University of Pennsylvania............i
Carnegie Mellon.......................................... i, 34
3D Drawing Board.......................................... 28
Design Squad................................................... 31
Forrest T. Jones and Co.................................C4
Valley City State University.......................... 26
5 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
The Year of Social Networking
By Katie de la Paz
Two years ago I created a Facebook account and, other
than some perfunctory poking around, promptly
forgot all about it. Fast forward to today. Checking
in with my Facebook “friends” is now something I do
on a daily basis. More recently I have added “Tweeting” to
my networking routine. For the uninitiated, it’s difficult to
understand the attraction of social networking, but the best
explanation I’ve read to date appeared in a Time Magazine
article by Steven Johnson. Johnson, describing the Twitter
phenomenon, states, “By following these quick, abbreviated
status reports from members of your extended social
network, you get a strangely satisfying glimpse of their
daily routines. The social warmth of all those stray details
shouldn’t be taken lightly.”
It’s true, and I do get that “social warmth” from hearing
about my niece’s soccer exploits in Mississippi or about
certain technology teachers’ classroom experiences. It
makes me feel closer to them, a part of their lives—as they
have become a part of mine. It’s rewarding to be a part of the
larger social fabric comprised of old high school friends, farflung
relatives, and, in my case, quite a few ITEA members.
Another experience that left an impression with me
occurred while I was attending a publishing conference. I
received “Tweets” that alerted me about conference events
and updates throughout the day. The immediacy, informal
tone, and just the “wow factor” made the applicability of
Twitter in a conference setting very obvious to me. If I have
my way, ITEA WILL be “Tweeting” in Charlotte!
Social networking is huge because it is literally changing the
landscape of how we are able to interact with one another.
We “Tweet,” “Update our Status,” or “Comment” rather than
talk, and yet it’s now easier than ever to stay in touch with
people we haven’t seen or heard from in years.
As part of a membership organization, this is great news
for all of us. One of the biggest benefits of being part of an
organization like ITEA is the sense of community, shared
experience, and helping one another. Eight years ago, ITEA
launched IdeaGarden, a listserv for members that ultimately
turned out to be ahead of its time in terms of creating a way
for members to connect, ask questions, and share resources.
As an organization, we want to embrace these new ways
of connecting and communicating with our members—
while being selective about which applications truly fill
a need. We’ve chosen to focus on four: Facebook (social
networking), Linked in (professional networking), Twitter
(quick, news-related updates), and Blogger (behind-thescenes
of how we run the association). At the same time,
however, we’re keeping our minds open to whatever else
may be just over the horizon.
Participation in any or all of these applications is completely
voluntary, but there seems to be tremendous interest. Based
on the results of our recent Communications survey, many
of you are open to new ways of connecting with your fellow
members. Meanwhile, many ITEA members have already
taken the plunge into this rapidly changing world of social
and professional networking—not surprising since being
part of a field like technology education requires an ability
to keep an open mind and adapt—often very quickly.
We’re hopeful that you’ll keep that open mind and join us
as we venture into “what comes next.” For the full listing of
social networking opportunities available through ITEA,
please visit our newly refurbished “Networking” web
page at www.iteaconnect.org/Networking/networking.
htm. However, if you’re not quite ready to take the social
networking step, we certainly won’t forget about you and
will continue to do our utmost to provide the same services
you’ve come to count on.
Best of luck for a successful year.
Katie de la Paz is Editor-in-Chief of the International
Technology Education Association (ITEA). She can be
reached via email at email@example.com.
6 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
Resources in Technology
Transportation of the Future:
Understanding Port Logistics
By Petros J. Katsioloudis
By 2020, even at moderate rates of
domestic growth, the international
container trade will double from
which left the Port of Newark New Jersey in April of 1956
and headed for the Port of Houston, Texas. (Maersk, 2009).
This was to begin a revolution in shipping large quantities
of goods at substantially lower costs than in the past. Today
there are major container ports in Long Beach, California,
New York, Newark, New Jersey, and Singapore.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) forecasts
that by 2020, even at moderate rates of domestic growth,
the international container trade will double from current
levels (Maritime Transportation System Task Force, 1999).
This cargo flow surge has placed significant stress on
the U.S. transportation network. Major coastal ports are
currently operating near maximum capacity, suffering from
bottlenecks and delays in container movements.
Transportation is one of the most critical components
in civilian and military logistics operation. Freight
transportation is a vital component of the economy, an
indicator, and a contributor to economic growth and
stability. Transportation networks facilitate the movements
of goods and people to markets and are essential for the
prosperity of a society and the competitiveness of an
economy (Denisis, 2009). Efficient transportation generates
logistical savings for businesses through economies of scale,
production, and distribution flexibilities. The success of
business and industry, as well as the military, relies heavily
on efficient air and sea transportation systems (Goldsman
& Kang, 2002). Even though it can be argued that the most
efficient means of civilian transportation and cargo delivery
is via air, most military transportation is accomplished by
some combination of air, sea, and land methods. A ship for
example, although slow, moves a large amount of material at
a very low cost (Goldsman & Kang, 2002).
The beginning of containerized cargo shipping began with
the shipping of a Sea-Land container aboard the SS Ideal-X,
Photo 1. Complex logistics operations pave the way for food aid
to Darfur. The provision and delivery of food commodities to this
country in need as well as its distribution to recipients is a complex
process. USAID is the largest donor of food assistance to Darfur.
The typical turn-around time is 14 days from initial discussions
with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to vessel loading.
The Darfur operation is one of the quickest in USAID history.
Photo Credit: United States Agency for
7 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
Dealing with large cargo ships and trying to manage
thousands of containers to their final destination can cause
several kinds of logistical problems. Problems associated
with dispatching and routing vehicles and locating items
or facilities arise frequently in logistic systems (Bramel &
Simchilevi, 1997). According to the American Association
of Port Authorities (AAPA), the average “dwell time” of
containers sitting idle in the yard is six to seven days for
U.S. ports, compared with only one to two days or even
hours in some Asian ports. Therefore a system is necessary
to promote stability and organization in the process.
Transportation logistics problems have been studied in the
operations research and management science literature
under different settings including vehicle fleet, truck
routing, warehouse management, and facility location. Yet
the amount of research that deals specifically with port
logistics is limited (Korular, 1999). Most of the existing
research is not directly applicable to a container terminal
due to its unique characteristics. One of the first detailed
analyses of port operations appears in Atkins (1983), who
documented landside operations at the ports. Usually when
a ship arrives at the terminal, containers are first unloaded
from the ship and loaded on vehicles using the quay cranes
and then moved to various locations for storage in the yard.
These types of vehicles usually travel on a complex network
of lanes within the terminal area.
Typically, after most or all containers have been discharged
from the ship, other containers are loaded. It is well known
that speed is the major contributing factor in today’s
transportation industry; therefore, the main intention of
every port is to increase its throughput, or in particular,
to reduce ship turnaround times (McKinsey & Company,
1967). Thus, an efficient port is one that allows speedy
transshipment to and from the ships (Korular, 1999). Both
the carrier and the port benefit from speedy operation.
Unfortunately, in many regions around the globe, the ports
or terminals are now working at or close to capacity, and
there is significant pressure from the political and business
sectors to increase terminal throughput and in particular
decrease ship turnaround time at the port (Korular, 1999). In
most cases this requires the development of methodologies
and tools that allow the efficient coordination of activities
within the terminal area. Even though the global economic
picture has softened substantially in 2008, the volume
of worldwide container traffic is significant. The United
States remains the world’s largest economy, with one in ten
containers originating in the United States or in-bound from
other nations around the world (Research and Innovative
Technology Administration, 2009).
Photo 2. Port logistics can be complex and challenging. The Elly
Maersk is one of the largest container cargo ships in the world.
While the Elly Maersk is a super container ship, it is also environmentally
friendly, with silicone hull paint that reduces friction and
improves fuel economy. The Elly Maersk can carry 11,000 twentyfoot
containers. In theory, a ship the size of the Elly Maersk could
carry 528 million bananas!
Norfolk, Virginia hosts the largest naval base in the nation
and houses one of the largest civilian ports. The need
for individuals to deal with port logistics is great, and
promoting individuals for such jobs is essential. The first
step necessary to feed the pipeline of the port logistics
profession is the exposure of young individuals to the world
of port logistics and transportation.
Design Initiative for Students
The activity described below will emphasize modeling,
simulation, and the application of port logistics to
familiarize individuals and promote the exploration of
STEM-related careers. The activity will emphasize modeling
and simulation of physical systems in the port environments
in order to bring real-world problems closer to students who
may be interested in pursuing STEM-related careers. The
activity will include modeling and simulation of typical port
As a part of this activity, students will simulate port logistic
applications according to specifications and under guidance
of the instructor, who in this case will serve as the manager
of the port authority. To be able to complete this activity,
students need to be able to read technical specifications to
determine different types of cranes and other transportation
vehicles required in a port environment. A week of research
on the related topic is suggested. In starting the activity,
students will receive an overview and instructions from the
port authority, including the number and type of cargo ships
Photo credit: Maersk Lines
8 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
that will be visiting the port. As a second step, they will
plan and design a logistics operation plan to be distributed
to crane and transportation vehicle operators. Once the
plan layouts are made, students will simulate the arrival
of a cargo ship and coordinate the different applications
under specific time and space constraints. Logistic materials
consisting of timers, signs, and communication devices
can also be used so that students can better communicate
and correspond with each other during the loading and
unloading process. Once operation is complete, the
students should prepare a report identifying glitches during
the operation process and suggesting alternative ways of
operation for future applications. Students should use at
least one type of port logistics software during the plan
layout process. At the end of the activity the instructor
should evaluate the operation and specify positive and
Upon the observation of several complex port logistic
systems and by using the engineering design process (see
Figure 1), students will identify potential problems found on
the port site. Following the second step of the engineering
design process, students will generate potential ideas and
then, using modeling and simulation techniques (M&S), all
potential ideas will be analyzed and tested. Depending upon
the results, the best idea will be chosen and executed during
the port logistics activity. Upon completion of the activity,
an evaluation will take place for the students to draw
conclusions and identify design flaws they encountered.
Activities such as the one described above are easy to
correlate with Standards for Technological Literacy: Content
for the Study of Technology, created by the International
Technology Education Association in 2000. See Table 1 for
correlations with ITEA’s technological literacy standards.
Figure 1. The engineering design process begins with stating the
problem and ends with presenting the results. This model can be
used to solve simple problems around the home or in complex logistics
and operations management scenarios. Today’s jobs require
competent people who can identify problems, select solutions, and
deliver results in a timely and efficient manner. Engineering Design
Process Model. Adopted from: www.nasa.gov/.../183835main_edc_
Table 1. Correlation with Standards for Technological Literacy
The Nature of Technology
Standard 1: Students will develop an
understanding of the characteristics and scope
Standard 2: Students will develop an
understanding of the core concepts of
Standard 3: Students will develop an
understanding of the relationships among
technologies and the connections between
technology and other fields of study.
Technology and Society
Standard 4: Students will develop an
understanding of the cultural, social,
economic, and political effects of technology.
Standard 5: Students will develop an
understanding of the effects of technology on
Standard 6: Students will develop an
understanding of the role of society in the
development and use of technology.
Standard 7: Students will develop an
understanding of the influence of technology
Standard 8: Students will develop an
understanding of the attributes of design.
Standard 9: Students will develop an
understanding of engineering design.
Standard 10: Students will develop an
understanding of the role of troubleshooting,
research and development, invention and
innovation, and experimentation in problem
Note. Adapted from the International Technology Education Association. (2006). Technological Literacy for All: A Rationale
and Structure for the Study of Technology. Reston, VA: Author.
9 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
Photo 3. Mariners on cargo ships such as the Emma Maersk rely
on harbor masters, tugboats, and port logistics operators to get in
and out of ports in a timely manner. The ships must be piloted into
a harbor and docked for loading and unloading. Specialized cranes
load and unload ships very efficiently acccording to a plan.
Sea shipping is a sustainable transportation mode and
an environmentally friendly solution for the capacity
and mobility problems of the U.S. freight transportation
system (Denisis, 2009). However, combining sea and land
transit by utilizing complex port logistics can promote
more sustainable freight transportation and, according to
the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), is “a form
of commercial waterborne transportation that does not
transit an ocean and utilizes inland and coastal waterways
to move commercial freight.” However, being able to
create an efficient system of transportation that is also
friendly to the environment and prevents pollution is a
major goal of this activity—to enhance understanding of
young individuals so they make intelligent and informed
career decisions and protect the environment for future
generations will remain vital.
Photo Credit: Maersk Lines.
Atkins, W. H. (1983). Modern marine terminal operations
and management. The Port of Oakland. Oakland.
Bish, E.K. (1999). Theoretical analysis and practical
algorithms for operational problems in container
terminals. Ph.D. dissertation, Northwestern University,
Evanston, IL. Retrieved July 11, 2009, from Dissertations
& Theses: Full Text. (Publication No. AAT 9953244).
Bramel, J. & Simchilevi. (1997). The logic of logistics: Theory,
algorithms and applications for logistics management.
Springer Series in Operations Research.
McKinsey & Company. Inc. (1967). Containerization: The
key to low transport. A report by McKinsey, Inc. for the
British Transport Docks Board.
Denisis, A. (n.d.) An economic feasibility study of short
sea shipping including the estimation of externalities
with fuzzy logic. Ph.D. dissertation, University of
Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Retrieved July 12, 2009, from
Dissertations & Theses: Full Text. (Publication No. AAT
Goldsman, D., Pernet, S., & Keebom, K.(2002). Simulation
of transportation logistics. Simulation Conference, 2002.
Proceedings of the Winter, Vol. 1, 8-11, Dec. 2002, 901-
904. Retrieved (n.d.) from http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/
Maersk Line, (n.d.) 80th anniversary of Maersk Line
milestones, Retrieved July 12, 2009, from www.
Maritime Transportation System Task Force. (1999). An
assessment of the U.S. Marine Transportation System
(MTS): A report to Congress. Washington, DC: U.S.
Department of Transportation. Retrieved (n.d.) from
U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and
Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of
Transportation Statistics. (2009). America's U.S.
Department of Transportation. America’s container ports:
Freight hubs that connect our nation to global markets.
Retrieved July 12, 2009, from www.bts.gov/publications/
Petros J. Katsioloudis, Ph.D is an
ambassador to Cyprus for the International
Technology Education Association. He is
an assistant professor in the Department of
Occupational and Technical Studies at Old
Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.
10 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
The Old Railroad
By Harry T. Roman
As is often the case in life
and communities, the social
concerns can be tough and often
hard to resolve.
Does your community have an abandoned rail line or spur line
You have seen them: rusted rails, trash strewn about,
and tall weeds…an old railroad line that has been
abandoned. They all have that lonely look. A long
slender piece of land no longer used, meandering
through neighborhoods whose inhabitants may have never
seen a train pass. Surely there could be another use for this
seemingly useless stretch of land.
Understanding the Resource
It’s important for the class to realize this previously cast-off
length of land is now to be viewed as a resource. Can they
identify the pros and cons of this unusually shaped land
surface It starts with an itemization of its characteristics:
• The right-of-way cuts across a large area and may
connect cities and towns.
• The tracks still exist and might be used for another railtype
• The public already understands what the area was once
used for—there is no need to educate the public about
its previous use.
• It is a transportation corridor.
• It does cross streets, which is an important safety issue.
• Children may have access to the right-of-way—another
• Other towns have used this type of land area before;
there is a history that can be consulted.
• Use of this land area may become a revenue source for
the town or city it passes through.
This obviously is not an exhaustive list by any means but is
presented here to show how to organize student thinking.
The literature may contain additional items that have been
listed by others who considered this problem before. One
past popular application has been to remove the tracks and
11 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
One popular application has been to remove the tracks and build
hiking and bike trails.
build hiking and bike trails for local citizens to enjoy—as a
way to create a more environmentally friendly area.
Does your community have an abandoned rail line or spur
line Might your class visit it Students could take pictures,
measure the land area available, and make maps of where
these long land areas lead to and from, and note proximity
to other community areas. Maybe a town councilperson
or alderman might want to meet with the class at the site,
discussing how he or she sees this potential resource.
Local offices of the railroad company are a great source
of information about abandoned rail lines. A company
representative could discuss what happens to abandoned
rail lines and the concerns people have with them—and how
they have been given a new lease on life. How do they come
to be abandoned in the first place How can towns obtain
permission to use these rights-of-way
Are the abandoned land areas safe to use as soon as the rails
and ties are removed; or are there environmental concerns
Could the land possibly be contaminated with spillage from
rail cars that must be cleaned up What factories, industries,
or commercial businesses did the rail line previously serve
How does a town find out about the safety of the abandoned
property What is involved in detecting any contaminants
and removing them
Generating Use Applications
Using the knowledge gained via research into what others
may have done with utilizing old rail lines along with team
creative efforts, the students should begin generating ideas
for how to use these land areas. Brainstorming sessions
should be employed to generate a number of raw ideas that
can later be boiled down to a few really good ones. Students
can work individually or in teams on this activity—and
out-of-the-box ideas should be encouraged. Students might
suggest the land areas be used for:
• Hiking and biking paths
• Light rail jitney service for commuters
• Sightseeing and leisure rail rides
• Pocket playgrounds for neighborhood children
• Green areas with special plant and flower plantings
• Tree plantings for decorative walkways
• Underground rights-of-way for power, telephone, water
• Trails for dirt bikes
• Basketball courts
• Bocce courts for senior citizens
• Shuffleboard courts for seniors
Again, this is certainly not a complete list but serves to
illustrate what you might expect for possible applications.
Could the land possibly be contaminated with spillage from rail
cars that must be cleaned up
12 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
This is an excellent interdisciplinary problem for your class
to consider. I am sure they can generate some great ideas for
using the land. As is often the case in life and communities,
the social concerns can be tough and often hard to resolve.
The impact on neighboring property, property value, and
quality of life is uppermost in most peoples’ minds.
See what your creative class can come up with. Invite town
planners and leaders in to talk with the class about how
they solve interdisciplinary problems like redeveloping
vacant land or rezoning areas for new uses. It will make
your students better citizens for having tried to see the
opportunity from many perspectives.
One possible use for the land would be a playground.
Challenge the class to think also about what it means to
make such areas available for general use:
• Who will maintain the newly used land areas
• What might it cost
• What about trash and litter pickup
• Who is responsible if someone gets hurt
• How is safety maintained during the day and after dusk
• Will permits be needed to use the facilities
• Is it only for town citizens
These are not trivial questions—both from a cost and society
standpoint. Often these can be major hurdles with trying to
make a raw resource into something everyone can enjoy.
Should all citizens have a say in how the land is used
Should public hearings be held How do such issues get
It would be most instructive for the students to construct
evaluation matrices that list the concerns associated with
each promising application that is identified. Don’t forget,
there could be:
• Noise issues impacting nearby neighbors.
• Kids and others cutting through neighbors’ yards to
• Increased traffic flows.
• Parking limitations.
• Summer pest and possibly wildlife intrusions.
• Police and ambulance access for emergencies.
Should there be water fountains and lavatory facilities
provided for the land area users…just like a park
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.
13 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
Constructing an Engineering Model
for Raising an Egyptian Obelisk
By Charles R. Beck
Even though ancient civilizations
used simple machines and
forces to accomplish their tasks,
students need to realize that
these machines and forces are
incorporated in much of our
One of the greatest mysteries of ancient times is
how the Egyptians managed to raise huge obelisks
using very simple technology. Obelisks were tall
monuments dedicated to the pharaoh and the
sun god. Each obelisk was quarried from a single piece of
granite weighing up to 500 tons and reaching as high as 100
feet. Even an entire army of Egyptians lacked the physical
strength to lift or pull these enormous stones upright. There
are no written records to reveal how the Egyptians raised
their obelisks. This remarkable task puzzled engineers for
thousands of years. After failing to raise an obelisk with
simple machines, such as levers and pulleys, a team of
modern engineers solved the mystery using a sandpit and
the force of gravity. (Students can view a series of pictures
and passages describing how the task was accomplished by
going to: www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/egypt/raising.) Based on
this recent engineering effort to raise an obelisk, this article
explains how students can simulate the task by constructing
and testing a small engineering model. Upper elementary
and middle school students will find designing the model
and raising the obelisk a challenging, rewarding, and
The technological task of raising an obelisk contributed to
the religious and political stature of the Egyptian empire.
Obelisks stood at temple entrances and were inscribed
14 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
with pictographs (hieroglyphs). Each obelisk contained
many pictographs dedicated to the pharaoh, including
vertical rectangles with curved corners called “cartouches.”
Each cartouche was dedicated to a royal family. For
example, in the photograph, the upper cartouche is a
phonetic spelling for the Pharaoh Ptolemy, and the lower
cartouche spells his wife’s name, Cleopatra. Egyptian
hieroglyphs remained a secret language for centuries until
the French linguist, Champollion, deciphered Ptolemy’s
name inside a cartouche.
Engineering Design Process and ITEA Standards
The task of constructing and testing a classroom model
follows the basic engineering design process: identifying the
problem, developing a solution, constructing a prototype,
and testing the solution. Having students apply this process
addresses several technological literacy standards (ITEA,
2000/2002/2007). For example:
• Standard 7 refers to the “influence of technology on
• Standard 8 calls for an understanding of the “attributes
• Standard 9 refers to the need for students to be involved
in “engineering design.”
• Standard 11 calls for students to “apply the design
The design and testing of models also addresses the
technology and engineering standards required by most
states. These standards call for a constructivist approach,
including the testing of prototypes in the classroom.
Key Concepts for the Engineering Model
The students should be introduced to the following key
concepts before they begin designing the model for raising
an obelisk. The concepts will help the students focus on the
importance and interdependence of the materials and forces
• Obelisk—a tall, tapered, four-sided monument with a
pyramid at the top.
• Rigging—ropes to pull the obelisk up the incline and
brake its descent onto the pedestal.
• Sandpit—an enclosure that contains sand, a pedestal,
and inclined plane.
• Release holes—holes on opposite sides of the sandpit
for releasing sand.
• Pedestal—a base with a turning groove for raising and
supporting the obelisk.
• Turning groove—a v-shape carved on the top of the
pedestal to help position the obelisk.
• Inclined plane—a slanted surface for moving the
obelisk upward or downward.
• Mechanical advantage—a machine that makes it
possible to use less effort.
• Pivot point—upper edge of the sandpit wall for rotating
the obelisk downward.
• Gravity—a force that pulls the obelisk downward.
Materials and Procedures for Constructing the
The teacher may want to divide the class into engineering
teams and assign each team a different element to construct,
such as the obelisk, sandbox, pedestal, and outer and inner
inclined plane. Before beginning this construction stage,
have the students discuss the comparative sizes of each
element. For example, should the top of the pedestal be
larger than the bottom of the obelisk The teams will need to
follow a set of established measurements (see Figures 1 and
2) so that the elements are comparable and proportional in
size for raising the obelisk successfully. After the teams have
constructed the elements, a critical-thinking session should
follow to discuss the function and position of each element
(see section: “Questions for Encouraging Critical Thinking”).
As students discuss the positioning of the elements, they are
contributing their ideas to the engineering design process.
For example, how close or far should the pedestal be from
the base of the inner inclined plane
15 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
The model can be constructed of simple materials available
in most hobby supply stores. Figures 1 and 2 illustrate
the size and position of each element in the model. The
suggested measurements may be increased or decreased in
size, but there are two considerations to keep in mind. First,
if any of the elements vary from the suggested sizes, the
other elements should be altered proportionally. Second, the
suggested size for the sandpit requires about 20 pounds of
sand or litter after the elements are in position. Obviously, a
larger sandpit will require a greater amount of sand or litter
and a larger collection box.
• Obelisk—A strong cardboard (such as a mailer) or
balsa is required to keep it from bending or collapsing.
The pattern in Figure 1 shows the four tapered sides,
a square base, and a pyramid at the top. All the edges
should be sealed with packaging tape or glue. Before
sealing the bottom, the obelisk should be filled with
sand to add weight.
• Rigging—A strong string will be needed to pull the
obelisk up an inclined plane and brake its descent into
the sandpit. To pull the obelisk, tack or tape two strings
on opposite sides about one inch below the pyramid. To
brake the obelisk, attach two strings on opposite sides
about one inch from the base. The strings should be a
few inches longer than the obelisk.
• Sandpit—The walls can be made of a strong cardboard,
thin wood such as balsa, or plastic. On opposite sides
of the pit, there are two holes for releasing the sand and
allowing the obelisk to descend onto the pedestal. The
two holes are located just below the top of the pedestal
on opposite walls of the sandpit. This allows the sand
to flow evenly from both sides of the sandpit. All the
edges of the sandpit should be carefully sealed because
they must withstand the sand pressure after the pit
is filled. The photograph on page 17 shows a sandpit
made of Plexiglas (clear plastic). Although it is easier
to construct the sandpit from cardboard or wood, the
Plexiglas makes it easier for the students to observe the
sand flow and rotating obelisk. A glass supply shop can
cut the Plexiglas and drill the holes, but this means that
the students will be less involved in constructing the
model. The degrees marked on the wall show the angle
of the descending obelisk.
• Collection box—The bottom part of a plastic litter box
is ideal, or a strong cardboard box can be used to catch
the sand as it flows out of the sandpit. The container
should measure at least 15” x 18” to hold the outpouring
sand/litter. The sides should not be more than 6” in
height to allow the students to view the flowing sand
and rotating obelisk. The sandpit will sit inside the
collection box, and the outer inclined plane will extend
outside the box.
• Pedestal—A square wooden block or a cardboard box
filled with sand or litter that must be strong enough
to support the weight of the obelisk. The top of the
pedestal should be a little larger than the base of the
obelisk. It should have a v-shape on one side to serve
as a turning groove and to prevent the obelisk from
sliding across the pedestal. If the pedestal is made of
Figure 1. Obelisk Pattern and Suggested Measurements
Figure 2. Engineering Model and Suggested Measurements
6” 1 /2”
3 /4” Release Hole
Length of slant
should be equal to
or longer than the obelisk
Inclined Plane to Position the Obelisk Above the Sandbox
16 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
cardboard, extra layers of cardboard with a v-shape cut
into one side can be glued to the top of the pedestal. The
pedestal should be located in the center of the sandpit.
• Inner inclined plane—A block of wood or strong
cardboard, shaped like a right triangle, should be
placed against the inside wall of the sandpit. To allow
the obelisk to slide down into the turning groove, the
angle of the inclined plane should be carefully aligned
with the outer edge of the turning groove. The surface
of the incline should be about the same width as the
base of the obelisk. The incline need not rest against the
pedestal. The inclined plane and pedestal need not be
attached to the sandpit because the sand should help
hold them in position.
• Outer inclined plane—A sturdy plane, such as plywood
or strong cardboard, should be placed against the
outside wall of the sandpit. The plane should be at least
as long as the obelisk and at least 2” wider than the base
of the obelisk. The top of the plane should reach the edge
of the wall. It can be supported from below or attached
to the wall, but it must be strong and secure enough to
support the obelisk when it’s pulled up the incline.
Questions for Encouraging Critical Thinking
The teacher should encourage the students to discuss the
following questions before they test the engineering model.
The questions will encourage the students to hypothesize
and give prior thought to solving the problem before
arranging the materials and raising the obelisk. These
questions, in the form of a question sheet, can also be
repeated after raising the obelisk to evaluate the students’
• How will the outer inclined plane, next to the side of the
sandbox, help position the obelisk on the pedestal
• Why is it important to place the lower part of the
obelisk on the upper part of the outer inclined plane
• Why is it important to pull the obelisk straight up the
outer inclined plane and directly above the pedestal
• Why is it important to pull the lower part of the obelisk
just far enough for it to pivot and rest on the sand
• Why is it important to open the release holes at the
same time on the opposite walls of the sandbox
• Why is it important to keep the outpouring sand from
blocking the release holes
• How do the brake strings help to raise the obelisk and
control its downward rotation
• How does the inner inclined plane help to position the
obelisk on the pedestal
• How does the turning groove help to position the
obelisk on the pedestal
• Why is it important to pull gently on the pull strings
after the obelisk is resting on the pedestal at about a 60-
• How can a spring scale be used to determine the
mechanical advantage of using an inclined plane
• If the outer inclined plane was longer and not as steep,
how would this affect the amount of force required to
slide it to the top
• How do you think modern technology would be used
to raise an obelisk without a sandbox, flowing sand, and
the force of gravity
Directions for Testing the Engineering Model
After the materials have been constructed and positioned,
the students should follow these directions carefully to raise
the obelisk. Students can take digital photos and/or video
record the steps for further analysis.
• Use corks or masking tape to seal the release holes
on opposite sides of the sandbox. The seals should be
secure but not difficult to remove.
• With the sandbox sitting inside the collection box, pour
the sand gently and try not to move the pedestal and
inclined plane from their set positions. If necessary,
they can be reset before they are covered in sand. Fill
the sandbox to the very top and level the sand or litter
with a ruler.
• Place the obelisk on the outer inclined plane with the
base facing the raised end of the incline.
• Use the strings attached below the pyramid to pull the
obelisk up the inclined plane. Pull the obelisk slowly and
try to keep it centered on the plane.
• Pull the obelisk until the lower part tilts, using the top
edge of the wall as a pivot point, and rests on the sand.
17 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
inclined plane may not have been properly aligned. Perhaps
the sand did not flow evenly because one or more of the
release holes were partly blocked.
Mechanical Advantage Activity
As an extended activity, have the students experiment with
inclined planes of different lengths and angles to determine
how they influence the amount of effort needed to pull
the obelisk up the inclined plane. The Egyptians probably
used an inclined plane that was considerably longer than
the obelisk. The students can measure and compare the
mechanical advantage of each incline by attaching a spring
scale to the obelisk. Finally, by trying to lift the obelisk with
the spring scales, the students can begin to understand why
a 500-ton obelisk was too heavy for humans to lift.
Upright Obelisk on Pedestal After Releasing the Sand.
• Open the release holes on opposite sides of the sandpit
at the same time to create a balanced flow of sand.
• As the sand flows into the collection box, it should
be raked aside to prevent it from blocking the release
• As the obelisk slowly sinks into the sandbox, hold the
brake strings tight to prevent the obelisk from sliding
toward the far wall and past the pedestal. The brake
strings, attached to the lower part of the obelisk, should
pass over the pivot wall toward the outer inclined plane.
• To keep the sand flowing out until the top of the
pedestal is visible, tap lightly on the walls between the
• When the base of the obelisk is nearly touching the
pedestal, rake the sand off the top of the pedestal to
help the obelisk land in the turning groove.
• After the obelisk touches down on the pedestal, it will
be at about a 60-degree angle. Use the pull strings to
gently upright the obelisk to a 90-degree angle.
Retesting the Engineering Model
If the directions for testing the model were followed
carefully, the obelisk should stand upright on the pedestal.
If the obelisk does not land in the turning groove or is
standing somewhat off the pedestal, the students may want
to retest the model. Before doing so, ask the students why
they think the obelisk failed to square itself on the pedestal.
There may be several reasons why this happened. For
example, the brake strings may not have been secure enough
to control the obelisk’s descent. The pedestal and the
The task of constructing an engineering model for raising
an obelisk gives students the opportunity to work together
in teams and share ideas on how to solve this ancient
engineering task without the use of modern machinery.
Discussion sessions, based on problem-solving questions,
will encourage students to engage in critical thinking
and consider hypothetical solutions. Finally, even though
ancient civilizations used simple machines and forces to
accomplish their tasks, students need to realize that these
machines and forces are incorporated into much of our
The History Channel. (2006). Engineering an empire: Egypt.
DVD on Egyptian pyramids, temples, obelisks, etc. Brief
obelisk section confirms the use of a sandbox.
International Technology Education Association.
(2000/2002/2007). Standards for technological literacy:
Content for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.
NOVA. (1991). Mysteries of the Nile: Raising an obelisk.
Retrieved (n.d.), from www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/egypt/
Charles R. Beck, Ph.D. is a Professor of Education at
Framingham State College. He can be
reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a refereed article.
18 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
Addressing Mathematics Literacy
Through Technology, Innovation,
Design, and Engineering
By Len S. Litowitz
As a subject area, we are often
not given the credit that we
rightfully deserve for helping
to deliver basic skills in the
Once upon a time math teachers taught math, and
technology teachers taught technology. . . (and of
course, technology teachers also taught math, not
to mention some science, often a bit of history,
usually some economics, and elements of other subjects
as well). Those of us who teach technology have always
known this. Perhaps because technological content is so
inextricably linked to other subjects, we take the notion of
interdisciplinary instruction for granted as a routine part
of our teaching. But do other teachers realize this Maybe a
few. Do most school administrators recognize this I doubt
it. Does the general public recognize this I don’t think so.
Do lawmakers and those who author educational policy,
like the individuals who wrote the No Child Left Behind
legislation, know this I am reasonably sure they have no
clue. So, I will begin with my conclusion.
In an era when so much emphasis is being placed on the
high-stakes standardized testing of fundamental subjects
such as reading, writing, and math, it makes sense to
demonstrate the role technology educators play in
developing such fundamental knowledge and skills in youth.
While I believe that technology education contributes to the
development of all fundamental skills, this article specifically
addresses the contributions that technology, innovation,
design, and engineering (TIDE) subject matter plays in
the development of students’ mathematical skills. Such an
inextricable marriage between mathematics and TIDE is, in
my mind, an easy relationship to articulate.
Does technology education really make a contribution to
mathematical literacy In order to answer this question,
a basic review of the mathematical standards that define
math literacy may be one logical place to start. In 2000 the
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
published its most recent version of Principles and
Standards for School Mathematics (PSSM) (NCTM, 2000).
Like our own Standards for Technological Literacy: Content
for the Study of Technology (STL) (ITEA, 2000/2002/2007),
the authors articulate what students should know and
be able to do with math at various grade levels including
pre-K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Like many standards
documents, the mathematics standards are ramped,
meaning that the same standards exist at almost all grade
levels, but the difficulty level and the expectations grow
more challenging as the grade levels increase. The national
PSSM are comprised of 10 different standards in total,
including five content-oriented standards and five processoriented
standards. What follows is a brief explanation of
each content standard along with examples from technology
education laboratories like your own, where you may be
helping students to achieve competence toward a math
literacy standard that perhaps you never even knew about.
For the sake of time and space, examples and dialog are
limited in two ways. First, only the content standards are
discussed and not the process standards. Second, examples
are limited to the middle and high school levels where most
TIDE programs exist.
19 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
NCTM Standard 1: Number and Operations
• Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers,
relationships among numbers, and number systems
• Understand meanings of operations and how they relate
to one another
• Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates
Some Examples from Technology Classrooms
• Students in a manufacturing class are required to
calculate the break-even point for a mass production
project. The raw material costs $2.30 per product.
There are 19 students in the class. If the product is sold
for $5.00, then how many products must be sold so
that each of the 19 students can take home one product
• Students in an electronics class construct a digital clock
out of light-emitting diodes. The clock reads in binarycoded
decimal as follows: OXXOX : OOOXXX. What
time is the clock reading
• Students in a materials and processes class are going
to produce chessboards out of walnut and maple. The
chessboard will measure 24” X 24” X 1” thick including
the 3” frame that will wrap the playing surface.
Assuming that the frame is made of maple, about
60% of the chessboard will be made of maple, and the
remaining 40% will be made of walnut. Calculate the
necessary board feet of both the maple and the walnut
that are needed to produce the chessboard. Be sure to
add an additional 20% for each type of wood to your
total estimate in order to account for loss due to cuts
and to provide some overage so that imperfections in
the wood can be eliminated.
• Students in a high school communications class are
storing pictures of school activities throughout the
school year to save to a CD for the graduating seniors.
Each picture consumes approximately 35 to 40kb of
memory. If the students wish to burn a CD that has
about 680mb of useable space, then how many pictures
can be saved to one CD
NCTM Standard 2: Algebra
• Understand patterns, relations, and functions
• Represent and analyze mathematical situations and
structures using algebraic symbols
• Use mathematical models to represent and understand
• Analyze change in various contexts
Some Examples from Technology Classrooms
• Students in an energy and power course are asked to
determine how many BTUs will conduct through a 20-
foot section of exterior wall area that is insulated to a
value of R16 when the average temperature difference
on each side of the wall is 25ΔT˚F.
• Students in an electronics class are asked to calculate
the resistance in a circuit that contains three resistors in
parallel. The resistive values are as follows: 25 Ω, 75 Ω, &
100 Ω. What is the total resistance of the parallel circuit
• Students in a transportation course are challenged to
calculate the cubic inch displacement of a six-cylinder
engine with three-inch cylinder bores and four inches of
displacement per stroke for each cylinder. What is the
total CID for the engine
NCTM Standard 3: Geometry
• Analyze characteristics and properties of two- and
three-dimensional geometric shapes and develop
mathematical arguments about geometric relationships
• Specify locations and describe spatial relationships using
coordinate geometry and other representational systems
• Apply transformations and use symmetry to analyze
• Use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric
modeling to solve problems
Some Examples from Technology Classrooms
• A construction class is building a work shed that
measures 12’L X 10’W X 8’ tall. The shed has a roof that
stands 16’ tall at the ridge and tapers down. Assuming
that the windows and door are equivalent to 80 square
feet, how much siding would be required to side the
shed, assuming allowance for 10% waste
• A middle school technology class is constructing paper
tower structures by rolling single 8.5” X 11” sheets
of printer paper into columns, using up to 10 sheets
maximum. The teacher offers the students a challenge.
Using the formula to calculate volume of a cylinder,
determine how much concrete each team’s structure
would consist of if the paper columns served as forms
• An architecture student must determine the volume of
a home she is designing in order to provide information
to an energy provider to help size a heating and cooling
system. The exterior dimensions of the house are
provided in the drawing on page 21. How many cubic
feet of air must be conditioned within the living space
in the house depicted in the drawing (light gray area
indicates conditioned space)
20 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
NCTM Standard 5: Data Analysis & Probability
• Formulate questions that can be addressed with data
and collect, organize, and display relevant data to
• Select and use appropriate statistical methods to
• Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that
are based on data
• Understand and apply basic concepts of probability
NCTM Standard 4: Measurement
• Understand measurable attributes of objects and the
units, systems, and processes of measurement.
• Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to
Some Examples from Technology Classrooms
• A student in an energy, power, and transportation
course is checking an engine valve stem for wear with a
micrometer. The repair manual provides a specification
that the valve should be discarded if it is worn to less
than .249”. The micrometers reads as shown below. Is
the part good or bad
Some Examples from Technology Classrooms
• Students in a construction class are asked to calculate
the cost of insulation that is rated at R13 costing $.30/
square foot versus insulation that is rated at R23 costing
$.50/square foot for use on the exterior walls of a
propane-heated work shed they have built. The wall area
is 440 square foot. The average temperature between
inside the shed and outside is 30˚F over a 210-day
heating season, and the shed is heated all winter long.
If the cost of propane is $1.75/gallon, is spending the
money on the better insulation justified
• Students in an alternative energy course are required
to construct a solar collector of their own design
and analyze the BTU/SF/HR gain of the collector
over a one-month period. The students must create
a daily chart indicating the BTU gain and a graph
that compares heat gain to weather conditions. The
students in each team are required to give a brief
presentation about their collector design, share the
data they have collected, and use that data to provide
recommendations about how to improve their
• Students in a manufacturing course are asked to
survey at least 100 classmates about the best color for a
particular item they would like to mass-produce. Each
student surveyed is to rank-order five potential colors
• A middle school student is using an analog
multimeter shown at right to measure battery voltage
during a unit on basic electricity. What is the reading
on the multimeter
• A drafting student is required to take the dimensions
from an existing building and redraw each side to scale.
The building measures 60’ L X 40 ’ W X 20’ H. Each
view of the building, including the front view, must
fit on its own 8” X 10” piece of paper due to supply
limitations. What scale should the building be drawn in
21 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
ased upon their personal preference. The students
in the manufacturing class are asked to input the data
into a simple statistical analysis program that calculates
measurements of central tendency along with standard
deviations. The class then discusses the results of the
statistical analysis, including all measures of central
tendency, prior to selecting a color for the product.
What the Standards for Technological Literacy
Content Standards Say about Math
The Standards for Technological Literacy document clearly
indicates that while technology and science are inextricably
linked, mathematics also has a similar relationship to science
and technology. The standards describe mathematics as
offering a “language to express relationships in science and
technology” and go on to explain that mathematics provides
useful analytical tools for technologists, scientists, and
engineers (ITEA, p. 45). Standard 3, “Students will develop
an understanding of the relationships among technologies
and the connections between technology and other fields of
study,” further explains that technological progress promotes
the advancement of science and mathematics, and that the
opposite is also true. For instance, the development of the
mathematical binary language that consists of only ones and
zeros is at the heart of modern digital technologies like the
computer and digital communication. Without this form of
mathematical communication, new technologies would not
have been possible. Likewise, mathematical modeling can
be used to enhance existing technologies. For instance, a
popular technology and engineering activity has been bridge
building. The bridges are typically load-tested to the point of
failure. Modern software provides mathematical modeling
that can now be used to predict failure points, thereby
serving as a diagnostic tool in helping students to recognize
the forces that act upon a bridge and allowing the students
to build better structures. In this sense, mathematics is
being used to enhance an existing technology that has been
around for centuries. Standard 11, “Students will develop
abilities to apply the design process,” even recommends the
use of such mathematical modeling as an integral part of the
design process (ITEA, p. 126).
Summary and Conclusions
Fundamental mathematics is a core subject that is
essential to further studies in other content areas such as
the technologies, engineering, and sciences. NCTM has
established national standards regarding what all K–12
students should be able to know and do with regard to
mathematics at various grade levels. This article provided a
glimpse at the recommended national content standards for
teaching mathematics. It also provided some examples from
technology and engineering labs and classrooms with regard
to the everyday use of mathematics in various technologies.
Contrary to the belief of some from within and many from
outside of our field, teaching about mathematics has always
been an integral part of technology education.
As technology educators we have always been required
to teach some aspects of mathematics, but we have
not done a particularly good job of articulating our
contributions to mathematic literacy to the public at
large. This is unfortunate for several reasons. As a subject
area, we are often not given the credit that we rightfully
deserve for helping to deliver basic skills in the classroom.
This is simply unfortunate for our field from a political
standpoint, especially in an era of high-stakes testing that
places emphasis on basic skills. But beyond any political
implications, perhaps the greatest reason it is unfortunate
is that when students learn mathematics in a technology
education laboratory, they are learning it in a valuable
context through learning by doing. The skills they learn
and master while measuring, estimating, designing,
and calculating are likely to stay with them for life. As
technology educators we all know this. Now if we can only
present this message coherently to others!
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2000).
Principles and standards for school mathematics. Reston,
International Technology Education Association.
(2000/2002/2007). Standards for technological literacy:
Content for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.
Len S. Litowitz is ITEA Past-President and
Professor and TE Program Coordinator at
Millersville University of Pennsylvania. He
can be reached via email at len.litowitz@
Dr. Litowitz will provide answers to the
problems posed in this article if contacted with a request via
This is a refereed article.
22 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
Illustrated Through Four Exemplars
By Theodore Lewis
Excerpts from the FTE Spirit
of Excellence Breakfast
presentation in Louisville, KY.
In the United States I have noticed that workers who are
pouring concrete on sidewalks take great care to brush and
trim the final surface, always leaving behind a work of art. I
get great pleasure from looking at newly finished sidewalks,
and wish workers in my country could take that same pride
when they pour concrete. Going back to boyhood, I got
the same pleasure seeing the Wembley soccer ground in
England on TV—the pitch always mowed in a chequered
pattern that is pleasing to the eye.
I once saw the great Pelé in his waning years in Trinidad. It
was good to see the man in person, though he was past his
prime. I have in recent times gone to the Internet to
access video of him in action in his prime, and it is pure
delight. I shared some of this with my 18-year old nephew
last summer, and in one clip he could not believe the
audacity of Pelé, flicking the ball to his shoulder in the
penalty box, eluding three players, before dropping it to his
feet and scoring. My nephew kept saying “in the box, uncle!
In the box”!
I get pleasure from reading about the exploits of very
talented people. About the five defining papers that Einstein
wrote in the course of a year. Feynman’s, The Pleasure of
Finding Things Out is in my library. In it he spells out the
challenge he gave to graduate students at Caltech that was
the origin of nanotechnology. As a graduate student at
Princeton he got an offer from the federal government he
could not refuse. He was told to pack his bags right away
for a trip to New Mexico, with no other explanation. When
he arrives, he finds himself in a room with the leading
mathematicians and physicists in the world. He immediately
hears something from one of the luminaries that he thought
was wrong, and he, a graduate student, said so and offered
a corrective. It was the Manhattan Project. Once back at
Princeton, his doctoral advisor asked him to give a seminar,
and that he was going to invite a few people to sit in, among
them Albert Einstein. I enjoy reading about exploits of this
order, for the humility it bestows. What must it be like to
breathe that kind of rarified air
Then there is the Double Helix, the account of Crick and
Watson’s journey in their discovery of DNA. At the end,
they take wire mesh and devise a mock-up of the DNA
molecule, and they call in Linus Pauling from Berkeley,
their prime competitor in the race to the discovery, to come
to Cambridge University to see it. He flies to England,
arrives on campus, walks into their lab, sees it, and
concedes immediately. And they publish this discovery by
collaborating on a one-page letter submitted to the journal
Nature, maybe while sipping tea.
In Trinidad we have a hero called Brian Lara, and his claim
to fame is that he is currently the holder of two iconic
records in the game of cricket. One is for scoring the most
runs in an inning in a Test game (400), and the other for
scoring the most runs ever in a single inning (500) in any
23 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
game at any level. One of my great regrets is that while he
was in his prime I was at Minnesota and never saw him play.
Americans do not appreciate cricket, but I have 25 years
of experience watching baseball. I like baseball. But there
is nothing in baseball to compare with a great batsman in
cricket on the go—when he is on your team. If he happens
to be on the opposing team, there is no greater torment.
I was in Beijing, and a group of young Indians were on
the tour, and one of them came up to me and introduced
himself, and we started talking about cricket, which we
in the West Indies and India have in common. And I told
him that there was a song in Trinidad, a calypso written
about the exploits of Sunil Gavaskar, a former great Indian
player, who had scored more than 300 runs in a game at our
expense at the Queens Park Oval. And he said, “My favorite
player is Brian Lara, actually.”
Two years ago I went to a Conference at Oxford-Brookes
Business School in England. My main purpose in going
to that conference was to see Oxford University and
to breathe the Oxford air. I took the bus down to the
university, then got off and walked around the grounds on
the periphery. There was something completely magical
about this, filled with mystery. It was somewhat inaccessible,
unlike American campuses. Students walked by gates and
disappeared. Some of the buildings looked like cathedrals.
I was inspired. There were basement windows that seemed
not to have been opened for centuries. On the train to
Oxford I had thought about Eric Williams, former Prime
Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, who in his youth in the
1930s had gone there to study, leaving with a Ph.D. in
history. His thesis, now the iconic book Capitalism and
Slavery, showed a fundamental connection between the
growth of the British slave trade in the Americas, including
the Caribbean, and the rise of British prosperity. What
effontry it would have taken to propose this to an Oxford
don, and how great of a place that they allowed him to
demonstrate this argument by research.
Four Influences on My Journey
Li (2001) notes that contemporary Western concepts of
excellence in people are based on mental acuity, personality
traits, and sociohistorical context, but that the “Good Work”
project of Howard Gardner, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and
William Damon, focuses on people whose work reflect
excellence and social responsibility. Li contends that the
inspiration for this conception of excellence is the Chinese,
for whom excellence includes cultural considerations. The
Chinese icon of excellence is Zhuge Liang (AD 181-234)
who led people into battle without losing forces, was a
scholar in politics and military science, wrote anthologies
of Chinese literature, invented vehicles that could transport
cargo, could forecast weather, and invented weapons. All
this he did, but what really makes him heroic in the eyes of
the Chinese even today, is that he was also known for moral
character—for treating people with respect.
But Gerald Lara (1998), in an examination of Aristotle’s
Nicomachean Ethics, concludes that Aristotle’s view was that
questions of human excellence cannot be separated from
questions of good citizenship. So the concept that excellence
and social responsibility are of a piece might actually also be
a pillar of western liberalism.
I would like to use this frame of excellence and social
responsibility to reflect upon three individuals and an
institution that I have encountered along the way. The
individuals are Donald Lux, Jerome Moss, and Karen Zuga.
The Institution is Wisconsin-Stout.
University of Wisconsin-Stout
Stout is my Alma Mater. I arrived in 1972 and left in
1975 with two degrees. The legend of Stout, the myth of
this Mecca of skill, had been passed on to us by Roland
Maunday, the first Trinidadian to have studied there, and
who was now industrial arts lecturer at Mausica Teachers’
College, a somewhat exclusive elementary Teachers College.
Part of the legend was the cold weather of Menomonie.
We landed in Minneapolis in mid-January. I noticed the
thermometer said 18. It was about 85 when I left home two
days before. When we got to Menomonie, it had gotten to
zero on the thermometer there, and I was thinking we could
not walk. We were told that there was no taxi in the town,
but that the Admin building was across the street. We did
get to the Admin building and soon were in the presence
of Don Osegard, the international student advisor. He had
made a lasting impression with Leo Arthur, another Stout
graduate from Trinidad. And he did not disappoint. This
was the first face-to-face contact with a person at Stout, and
it was as warm as was the sun back home. This man knew
exactly how to put a foreign student at ease. He was the face
of Stout, and that face said “Welcome”! Leo Arthur had told
me that “Osegard” would take care of you, and he was right.
By the end of the morning he had worked out the transfer
credits, using experience he had gleaned from working with
other Caribbean students he had encountered. By the end of
the day we had checked into housing. This was Menomonie
in the middle of January, 1972, and I had no car. There is a
lake in Menomonie, which freezes in winter, and as one goes
by, a brisk walk automatically turns into a trot. I had to walk
by that lake every day that first winter.
24 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
My first surprise at Stout was that more than half of the
degree was comprised of liberal studies. I was not familiar
with the American model of the first degree, and had come
with the view that I was going to have a degree filled mostly
with shop courses. This liberal studies component gave me
a chance to strengthen my academic background. I took
several mathematics and physics courses and a very exacting
chemistry course. But most of all, I took two writing
courses, from Solem and Gardner, that have provided skills I
still draw upon. I took a speech course from Dr. Zieman that
I draw upon as I address you.
But the main event in the Stout curriculum was craft, and I
did get that in spades. Each of the shop professors was a star.
And each name I call here I took one or more courses from:
Edwin Dyas, Hank Thomas, George Soderberg, Speidel,
Klatt, Spinti. Then there were the drafting professors:
Moegenberg, Timper, Nysteun. Soderberg was legendary,
getting Teacher of the Year multiple times. He was, of
course, the guru of finishing and had written the definitive
text on it. He had his own lab, just for finishing. Soderberg
himself had his own project—he finished an old violin. On
the last day of the class he played it, accompanied by much
desk thumping and yelling. Craft at Stout was a metaphor
Craft is not an outdated idea. We have the Volkswagen
and the Mercedes Benz, and we have the troubles of the
American auto industry. You have Korean cars offering
ten-year warranties. You have the decline of American
manufacturing. Technology education has gotten it wrong.
We have glorified design at the expense of making.
There was also a new breed of shop professor at Stout who
came with the winds of change, teaching American Industry
concepts and bringing in the new revolution in curriculum,
teaching subjects like processes and communications. I
had these courses too, from Rich Peter and Chuck Yost.
These new courses showed Stout to be a place that could
metamorphose. It was in one of these new classes that I
came to the idea that Ohio State was the best place to take a
doctorate. Rich Peter had come from there.
There was another class of professor there, those who taught
the professional subjects: I had classes from most of them:
Wiehe, Lee Smalley, Jim Bensen, Dick Gephardt, Roger
Schaefer, and Rudiger. Rudiger would say “The sun never
sets on a Stout graduate.” I learned here that it was possible
to be an intellectual in industrial arts. Here we reviewed
articles and wrote papers. The Trinidadian contingent could
not get enough of these men. We loved them.
I took a class called Research Foundations, to which was
attached research tutors, people to whom each class
member was assigned. By the luck of the draw I got William
Micheels, who had just stepped down from being President
at Stout and had a grand office in the library. I made
appointments to see him. He spent time with me on writing
the research problem statement and research questions, and
ways to write research.
One day Allison and I got a phone call, and it was Mrs.
Swanson, wife of Robert Swanson, President of Stout,
calling to invite us to a function at the house. Instinctively
I thought, “This is too big for us,” and I should try to find
a way to get out of it. On the day of the function we called
and said that our car had broken down, we couldn’t come.
She said no problem. Bob will come to get you! Now we are
in too deep. And indeed, the President of Stout did come to
pick us up.
I could go on. That place at that time yielded people who
exuded excellence in all they did. And on top of that was this
wonderful, transcending humanity.
Lux was a Stout graduate. So he had an intuitive feel for
me. A letter he wrote to me stated that Jim Bensen had
recommended me and that was good enough for him, and so
he was offering me a teaching assistantship if I would come
to Ohio State. I went. This is 1980. On the first day that I
landed in Columbus, I went to the department and knocked
on his door. I said I was Theodore Lewis. He ceremoniously
threw down his pen, as he was to do a thousand times
more whenever I showed up at his door to talk. He shouted
“Willis, come here!” And a tall figure emerged from his
corner office and came to us. This was Willis Ray. They
surrounded me with their aura, welcomed me in a thousand
ways. Soon Lux was helping me choose courses for that
quarter, and I was to make my first mistake there. He asked
what my interest was. I said, “vocational education”! He said
“Okay, I will enroll you in a history of Vocational Education
taught by Dewey Adams. I have always straddled vocational
and technology education.” Lux was that big of a man. The
correct answer was “technology education,” a term I really
did not know when I arrived there. Lux followed students,
even as he led them. My doctoral dissertation was a
vocational education follow-up study.
The department was home. One day I asked him about how
the process of choosing an advisor worked, and he said he
would be honored to be my advisor, and there and then I
had an advisor.
25 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
Lux was never hard to find. His classes were pure joy. We
would all be there, arguing with the great man, competing
with each other. One day in class he said there was a famous
politician on campus giving a talk that evening and that if
we wanted to go after the break, we were free to do so. I
thought about it, but at the break I noticed that everyone
was still milling around, and no one was leaving. Soon they
were all back in class, me likewise.
Lux would say that all technology could be expressed in
gerund form...baking, riding, drilling...and that there was no
exception to that rule. One night in class I said “Professor
Lux; I have an exception to your ‘ing’ rule. It is ‘surgery.’” He
said, “Ted, that will be ‘operating.’” The room went quiet.
Lux respected the other greats in the field in his time. He
wanted us graduate students to interact with them. Once he
sent the entire shop of us to University of Maryland to spend
a weekend with Don Maley. We drove overnight to get to
Maryland. It was a trip well worth it: Maley, with his two
transparency projectors, his graphs showing exponential
growth of technology, and his energy and scholarship.
Alfred North Whitehead features in many of my writings,
and it started at Maryland that weekend. Similarly, Lux
arranged for the entire crew of graduate students to go to
a conference with him to Oswego, where he, Maley, and
DeVore were going to have a curriculum smack-down
in a rural farmhouse. The three of them got there, each
with his disciples. What joy! Maley with his tall stack of
One more thing about Lux. He had greater success
recruiting and retaining black Ph.D. candidates than most
other leaders. He recruited personally, going to the black
colleges on trips and always coming back with a list of
candidates. He told me a story about that a few years ago
when I went to Columbus. He said he went to Alabama A
& M to recruit and visited the dining room in the cafeteria,
and when he showed up at the entrance, the place went
completely silent, all eyes on him. That sort of thing did not
faze him. Lux had social conscience. I knew this, because
in my three years at Ohio State, all I knew was joy, and that
must have taken something. In those years, I was as militant
as I could be. And never a day did Lux show me anything
other than a warm smile and willingness to engage again.
Lux was very bright. And compassionate. It was not what
he wrote. It was how he came at things, and the passion and
humanity with which he did.
Although Jerry Moss retired from Minnesota in the
mid 1990s, he remains my most trusted colleague still.
We continue the dialogue. When Jerry was the head at
Minnesota, one of his major accomplishments was to get
the department its own building. I went to Minnesota in
1989 to interview for a temporary position, and I made
a presentation and in addition handed out a paper that
reported some research I had done back in Trinidad. After
the presentation, it was lunchtime, and the first faculty
member I was to meet with after lunch was Jerry. When
I got to his office, he had already read the paper. Jerry is
a quantitative guy, and he was taken by my regression
approach. We spent the whole time talking about some
work he had just done in which the predictive power of
a leadership instrument he had designed was found to
be quite high. He delighted in telling me about the high
variance explained by the instrument.
At Minnesota he was in preretirement mode and spent his
time heading the National Research Center for Vocational
Education. In my first year, he found out I had been having
publishing success. He invited me to lunch and asked
questions about what I was writing. That was the first of
literally a thousand lunches with him that stopped only
when he left Minnesota about six years ago for California.
Jerry was the talent at Minnesota, the brightest, wisest,
most collegial faculty member there. At 11:15am every day
he would round up as many faculty members as he could,
and we would walk to lunch somewhere on campus. In his
eighties, he was still reading and providing me feedback to
manuscripts I was writing. And while a faculty member, he
liked bouncing ideas off me and having me read his own
manuscripts. Jerry is the only person I know in our general
field who has published in an AERA journal. Though he
was a vocational educator, he has one of the earliest pieces
on technological literacy, and he was earliest in our field in
addressing the question of creativity. And what is incredible
is that he did this work in collaboration with Torrance, who
was then at Minnesota—Torrance of course being the biggest
contemporary name in creativity theorizing and research.
Karen Zuga has been one of the brightest people we have
had in our field and she, more than any other graduate
student, showed me the ropes of survival and basic
humanity. I found we were fellow travelers who reveled in
ideas. She took a different set of courses from the rest of us,
especially in curriculum theory. She altered the conversation
in the department by bringing back larger curriculum
26 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
conceptualizations she could glean from her classes. Then
she brought the idea of naturalistic research, which was
completely against the grain, not just of the department but
the College of Education as a whole. No one was talking
about qualitative. In the early 1980s at Ohio State, graduate
students strove to become proficient in quantitative
methods. So this was not a small thing. Zuga also brought
back a primary school focus that had been there in the
time of Bonser and Mossman, two of her heroes. She has
a deeper understanding of Bonser than the rest of us. And
then there is the question of gender, to which she directed
the field by calling attention to the silences that have
attended the contribution of Mossman, and of course by her
As a student, I started paying attention to this question of
naturalistic inquiry and found Rutter’s Fifteen Thousand
Hours, a qualitative account of life in a secondary school. I
took a class from Licata in which we discussed The Man in
the Principal’s Office, a classic ethnographic account of the
lived experience of one principal who was shadowed for one
year. I did not take any qualitative coursework at Ohio State.
I have had no greater friend and champion in this country
than Karen Zuga. I have the greatest respect for her. She is
one of our quality markers. It was no surprise that Lux, and
then Blankenbaker, wanted her to be the successor as leader
of the department at Ohio State.
Wisconsin-Stout, Donald Lux, Jerome Moss and Karen Zuga
have been beacons of light along my way. Touchstones of
Theodore (Ted) Lewis, Ph.D., is a
professor at the University of Trinidad and
Tobago. He can be contacted via email at
Karen was respected and feared by both Lux and Ray. She
brought a refreshing feistiness that I think they enjoyed,
because in general this is a conservative field. In the summer
of 1982 we were taking Willis Ray’s research seminar. This
was high church. We each reviewed and critiqued three
dissertations of the field sitting in a tight circle in the
Ray was Zuga’s doctoral advisor. And he was a straight-laced
traditionalist. He had his volumes of JITE arranged in the
exact order of issue. Zuga told him that her dissertation
was going to be qualitative, in the naturalistic paradigm,
take it or leave it. And Ray said OK. This was the great
Professor Willis Ray, with his famous red pen and exquisite
handwriting, finding grammatical and other errors
everywhere. And this was the first time in the whole history
of the department, and probably our field, that someone was
going to do a doctoral dissertation by sitting in a classroom
and observing children and their teachers as they enacted
learning. No statistics. And Ray was going along with this,
and the reason is that it was Zuga, and he knew intuitively
that it would be excellent. Ray was to blink again later after
she defended. He had a wall of framed photographs of his
doctoral graduates in his office, all buttoned down in their
suits. And Zuga was now going to be the next addition, the
first female, and she insisted on casual clothes, and I think
she had a special T-Shirt made in his honor for this. Karen
Zuga broke the mold and the monotony.
27 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
28 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
What do you see
Engineering byDesign is the only comprehensive K–12 Solution for
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Learn how we can help you achieve your program goals
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29 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
States’ Career Clusters Initiative, 2006, www.careerclusters.org
An ITEA Social/Professional Networking "Tutorial"
30 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
31 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
Since 1995, IMSTEA and dedicated partners from Ball State
University, Engineering/Technology Educators of Indiana,
Indiana Department of Education, Indiana State University,
Purdue University, O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis,
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Students are challenged to create vehicles that achieve
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Greenfield Central High School with 1,048.79 mpg and
(Unlimited Class Champion) Mater Dei High School with
1,293.09 mpg. To learn more visit: www.doe.in.gov/octe/
32 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
33 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
• Live access to instructors during online hours
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Register on the web or call 412 681-7160
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Curriculum, Hardware, Training Materials, Workbooks,
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Classroom with educational resources developed at the
Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Academy
34 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
Goodheart-Willcox strives to provide you and your students
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35 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009
Goodheart-Willcox Publisher • 800.323.0440 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.g-w.com
36 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009