September - Vol 69, No. 1 - International Technology and ...

September - Vol 69, No. 1 - International Technology and ...

Addressing mAth literAcy through tide • iteA And sociAl networking • on excellence




The Voice of Technology Education

September 2009

Volume 69 • Number 1




Raising an



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september • VOL. 69 • NO. 1


Students Engineer Eco-Smart Transportation:

2009 Supermileage Challenge Photos


Web News




4 Calendar

7 Resources

in Technology

11 Classroom







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,

and Engineering

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.

Theodore Lewis

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,

Executive Director

ITEA is an affiliate of the American Association

for the Advancement of Science.

The Technology Teacher, ISSN: 0746-3537,

is published eight times a year (September

through June with combined December/January

and May/June issues) by the International

Technology Education Association, 1914 Association

Drive, Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191.

Subscriptions are included in member dues.

U.S. Library and nonmember subscriptions are

$90; $100 outside the U.S. Single copies are

$10.00 for members; $11.00 for nonmembers,

plus shipping and handling.

The Technology Teacher is listed in the Educational

Index and the Current Index to Journal in

Education. Volumes are available on Microfiche

from University Microfilm, P.O. Box 1346, Ann

Arbor, MI 48106.

Advertising Sales:

ITEA Publications Department


Fax: 703-860-0353

Subscription Claims

All subscription claims must be made within 60

days of the first day of the month appearing on

the cover of the journal. For combined issues,

claims will be honored within 60 days from

the first day of the last month on the cover.

Because of repeated delivery problems outside

the continental United States, journals will be

shipped only at the customer’s risk. ITEA will

ship the subscription copy but assumes no

responsibility thereafter.

Change of Address

Send change of address notification promptly.

Provide old mailing label and new address.

Include zip + 4 code. Allow six weeks for



Send address change to: The Technology

Teacher, Address Change, ITEA, 1914

Association Drive, Suite 201, Reston, VA

20191-1539. Periodicals postage paid at

Herndon, VA and additional mailing offices.


World Wide Web:

On the

ITEA Website:

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

the interests and activities of others. These network services are web-based

and provide a variety of ways for users to interact, such as email and instant

messaging services. Social networking encourages new ways to communicate

and share information, and social networking websites are being used

regularly by millions of people.

• IdeaGarden Listserv – real-time dialogue

pertaining to programs, events, research,

knowledge, and resources.

• Linked in – an interconnected network of

experienced professionals from around the world.

ITEA has established a Group on Linked in.

• Facebook – build and verify online social networks

for communities of people who share interests

and activities. ITEA has a Facebook Page and has

created three Facebook Groups for ITEA Members:

“ITEA Young Professionals,” “ITEA Classroom

Professionals,” and “ITEA University Professionals.”

• ITEA Blog – delivers timely news and commentary

on subjects pertaining to technological literacy.

Utilizes text, images, and links to other sources.

• Twitter – a real-time short messaging service. All

around the world, people follow sources relevant

to them and access information via Twitter as it

happens. Sign up to follow ITEA!

For expanded information about each of these opportunities, visit ITEA’s

newly redesigned Networking page at:



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


Gerald Day

University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Lori Abernethy

Andrew Morrison ES, PA

Byron C. Anderson

University of Wisconsin-Stout

Chris Anderson

Gateway Regonal HS, NJ

Steve Andersen

Nikolay Middle School, WI

Laura Morford Erli

East Side MS, IN

Jeremy Ernst

North Carolina State


Kara Harris

Indiana State University

Marie Hoepfl

Appalachian State University

Laura Hummell

Manteo Middle School, NC

Doug Hunt

Southern Wells HS, IN

Petros Katsioloudis

Old Dominion University

Anthony Korwin, DTE

NM Public Education


Editorial Policy

As the only national and international association dedicated

solely to the development and improvement of technology

education, ITEA seeks to provide an open forum for the free

exchange of relevant ideas relating to technology education.

Materials appearing in the journal, including

advertising, are expressions of the authors and do not

necessarily reflect the official policy or the opinion of the

association, its officers, or the ITEA Headquarters staff.

Referee Policy

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

Thomas Loveland

St. Petersburg College

Linda Markert

SUNY at Oswego

Randy McGriff

Kesling MS, IN

Doug Miller

MO Department of Education

Steve Parrott

IL State Board of Education

Mary Annette Rose

Ball State University

Terrie Rust

Oasis Elementary School, AZ

Bart Smoot

Delmar MS/HS, DE

Andy Stephenson, DTE

Southside Technical Center,


Jerianne Taylor

Appalachian State University

Ken Zushma

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 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

Publications/Submissionguidelines.htm. Contents copyright

© 2009 by the International Technology Education

Association, Inc., 703-860-2100.

1 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009


Election Candidates

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

Associate Professor

Millersville University

of Pennsylvania

Millersville, PA

Aaron C. Clark

Associate Professor

North Carolina State


Department of

Math, Science, and

Technology Education

Raleigh, NC

Region II Director (Classroom Teacher)

Randy McGriff


Technology Education


Kesling Middle School

La Porte, IN

Victor Stefan, DTE

Technology Education


Lake Middle School

Hartville, OH

Region IV Director (Teacher Educator)

Scott Davis

Associate Professor

Montana State


Bozeman, MT

Steven L. Shumway

Associate Professor

Brigham Young


Technology and

Engineering Education

Provo, UT

Michele Dischino

Assistant Professor

Technology and

Engineering Education

Central Connecticut

State University

New Britain, CT

William (Bill) Havice,


Professor and

Associate Dean

Clemson University

Clemson, South


Make Plans to Attend ITEA’s

Green-Themed Conference

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

Whitewater Center.

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

science concepts!

• 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

potential funder.

• 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

process now!

• Currently, the Wells Fargo Bank (if in your

community) is willing to provide limited awards for

professional development.

• 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 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

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, where you will also find information on

possible accommodation. To find out more about TENZ

2009, email

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 This year’s

conference location is minutes west of downtown Baltimore

at Marriott’s Ridge High School. Contact Christopher

Putnam, Conference Chair, at 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:

November 6, 2009 The New England Association of

Technology Teachers (NEATT) will hold its annual

conference at Fitchburg State College. Stay tuned to for

full details.

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. Or email Dr. Chi-Cheng Chang at 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: Contact Mary Hurst

( 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

Ad Index

California University of Pennsylvania............i

Carnegie Mellon.......................................... i, 34

3D Drawing Board.......................................... 28

Design Squad................................................... 31

Forrest T. Jones and Co.................................C4

Goodheart-Willcox Publisher......................C3



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

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

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

current levels.

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

International Development

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

negative components.

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:


Table 1. Correlation with Standards for Technological Literacy

The Nature of Technology

Standard 1: Students will develop an

understanding of the characteristics and scope

of technology.

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

the environment.

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

on history.


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


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


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

Classroom Challenge

The Old Railroad

Right-of-Way Challenge

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

safety consideration.

• 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

pipes, etc.

• 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

gain access.

• 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

modern technology.

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: 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

exciting project.

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

of design.”

• 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

at work.

• 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

Engineering Model

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

2 1/2”

2 1/4”

Brake String



Pivot Point

Pull String

13 1/2”



6” 1 /2”


3 /4” Release Hole










Length of slant

should be equal to

or longer than the obelisk


1 /2”


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-

degree angle

• 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

release holes.

• 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

modern technology.


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


Charles R. Beck, Ph.D. is a Professor of Education at

Framingham State College. He can be

reached via email at

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

for free

• 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

quantitative relationships

• 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

mathematical situations

• 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

for concrete.

• 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

answer them

• Select and use appropriate statistical methods to

analyze data

• 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

determine measurements.

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

collector design.

• 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,

VA: Author.

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

email (

This is a refereed article.

22 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009

On Excellence—

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

for excellence.

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.

Donald Lux

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

transparencies again.

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.

Jerome Moss

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

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

own exemplariness.

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


Thank you.

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

seminar room.

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

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31 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009

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32 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009

33 • The Technology Teacher • September 2009




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