December/January 2005 - International Technology and ...

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December/January 2005 - International Technology and ...

DECEMBER/JANUARY 2005 Volume 64, No. 4Robots Recruit Tomorrow’s EngineersAlso Inside: Kansas City 2005Preliminary Conference Programwww.iteawww.org


EDUCATION EDITION 2004-2005SolidWorks®The World’s #1 Mainstream 3D Design Software#1 in production#1 in customer satisfaction#1 in salesMechanical engineering. Industrial design. Aerospace. Robotics.Manufacturing technology. Automotive systems.No matter what the subject, the SolidWorks Education Edition makeslearning faster and easier. Powerful, innovative, easy to learn anduse, the SolidWorks Education Edition uses project-based learningand real world exercises to teach the fundamentals of 3D CAD fortoday’s design engineering technology disciplines.The SolidWorks Education Edition is available from authorizedSolidWorks Educational Resellers. To locate a Reseller in your area,please visit the SolidWorks website at:www.solidworks.com/education, or call 1-800-693-9000.SolidWorks Experience PreferredSystemRequirements:• Microsoft ® Windows ® XPProfessional / Windows 2000/Windows NT ® 4.0 (SP6 or greater)• Intel Pentium ® or AMD Athlon - class processor• 256 MB RAM or greater (512MB to1 GB or greater recommended forassemblies exceeding 1000 parts)• Pointing device• CD-ROM drive• Internet Explorer 5.5 or later• Microsoft Excel 2000, 2002,or 2003 required for Bills ofMaterial or design tables• A tested OpenGL workstationgraphics card and drivercombination.(see: www.solidworks.com/graphicscards)The SolidWorks Education Edition 2004-2005includes the following software:• SolidWorks Education Edition 2004-2005• SolidWorks Animator• SolidWorks Toolbox• eDrawings Professional• PhotoWorks • FeatureWorks ®• SolidWorks Utilities• 3D Instant Website• COSMOSXpress • COSMOSWorks Professional• COSMOSMotion • COSMOSFloWorks • Complete online documentation and “Introducing SolidWorks” tutorial• Installation option for twelve languages including: English, French,German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Traditional Chinese• Perpetual-use subscription-based licenseSolidWorks is a registered trademark and PhotoWorks, eDrawings Professional and COSMOSXpressare trademarks of SolidWorks Corporation. All other company and product names are trademarksor registered trademarks of their respective owners. © 2004 SolidWorks Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


DECEMBER/JANUARY 2005Volume 64, No. 4Publisher, Kendall N. Starkweather, DTEEditor-In-Chief, Kathleen B. de la PazEditor, Kathie F. CluffITEA Board of DirectorsAnna Sumner, PresidentGeorge Willcox, Past PresidentEthan Lipton, DTE, President-ElectDoug Wagner, Director, ITEA-CSTom Shown, Director, Region 1Chris Merrill, Director, Region 2Dale Hanson, Director, Region 3Doug Walrath, Director, Region 4Rodney Custer, DTE, Director, CTTEMichael DeMiranda, Director, TECAPatrick N. Foster, Director, TECCKendall N. Starkweather, DTE, Executive DirectorITEA is an affiliate of the American Association for theAdvancement of Science.The Technology Teacher, ISSN: 0746-3537, is publishedeight times a year (September through June with combinedDecember/January and May/June issues) by theInternational Technology Education Association,1914 Association Drive, Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191.Subscriptions are included in member dues. U.S. Libraryand nonmember subscriptions are $80; $90 outside the U.S.Single copies are $8.50 for members; $9.50 fornon-members, plus shipping—domestic @ $6.00 andoutside the U.S. @ $17.00 (surface).Email: iteacomm@iris.orgWorld Wide Web: www.iteawww.orgAdvertising Sales:ITEA Publications Department703-860-2100Fax: 703-860-0353Subscription ClaimsAll subscription claims must be made within 60 days of thefirst day of the month appearing on the cover of the journal.For combined issues, claims will be honored within 60 daysfrom the first day of the last month on the cover. Becauseof repeated delivery problems outside the continental UnitedStates, journals will be shipped only at the customer’s risk.ITEA will ship the subscription copy, but assumes noresponsibility thereafter.The Technology Teacher is listed in the Educational Indexand the Current Index to Journal in Education. Volumes areavailable on Microfiche from University Microfilm, P.O. Box1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106.Change of AddressSend change of address notification promptly. Provide oldmailing label and new address. Include zip + 4 code.Allow six weeks for change.PostmasterSend address change to: The Technology Teacher, AddressChange, ITEA, 1914 Association Drive, Suite 201, Reston,VA 20191-1539. Periodicals postage paid at Herndon, VAand additional mailing offices.DEPARTMENTS2 ITEA Online3 In the News and Calendar5 You & ITEA10 IDSA Activity14 Resources in TechnologyFEATURES6 Critical Issues and Problems in TechnologyEducationThe results of research conducted to ascertain the perspectives of classroomteachers, university professors, and supervisors of technology education todetermine the critical issues and problems facing the profession.Robert C. Wicklein, DTE19 Robots Recruit Tomorrow’s EngineersDescribes BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology), which linkseducators with industry to provide middle and high school students with a glimpseof the exciting world of robotics, with the goal of inspiring and interesting them inengineering, math, and science careers.Cheryl Cobb23 STEM Initiatives: Stimulating Students to ImproveScience and Mathematics AchievementDescribes the collaborative movement referred to as STEM—integrating instructionin science, technology education, engineering, and mathematics.Robert Q. Berry, III, Philip A. Reed, John M. Ritz, DTE, Cheng Y. Lin, Steve Hsiung,and Wendy Frazier30 Assessing for Technological LiteracyThis article is written to help the teacher and teacher educator recognize the inherentvalue of designing quality assessments to measure technological literacy in students.Daniel E. EngstromINSERT – ITEA Kansas City 2005 ConferencePreliminary ProgramTABLE OF CONTENTSPRINTED ON RECYCLED PAPER


Editorial Review BoardCo-ChairpersonCo-ChairpersonDan EngstromStan KomacekCalifornia University of PA California University of PANEW ON ITEA’S WEB SITESteve AndersonNikolay Middle School, WIStephen BairdBayside Middle School, VALynn BashamMI Department of EducationJolette BushMidvale Middle School, UTPhilip CardonEastern Michigan UniversityMichael CichockiSalisbury Middle School, PAGerald DayUniversity of MD-ESMike FitzgeraldIN Department of EducationTom FrawleyG. Ray Bodley High School, NYJohn W. HansenUniversity of HoustonRoger HillUniversity of GeorgiaAngela HughesMorrow High School, GAFrank KruthSouth Fayette MS, PAIvan Mosley, Sr.Jackson State UniversityDon MuganValley City State UniversityTerrie RustOasis Elementary School, AZMonty RobinsonBlack Hills State UniversityAndy StephensonScott County High School, KYGreg Vander WeilWayne State CollegeSteve WaldsteinDike-New Hartford Schools, IAScott WarnerMillersville University of PAKatherine WeberDes Plaines, ILEric WiebeNorth Carolina State Univ.Now Available on the ITEA Web Site:✦ “What Americans Think About Technology” -2004 Gallup Poll report, data, survey questions,and PowerPoint presentation now available onlinewww.iteawww.org/TAA/GallupPollsMainPage.htm.✦“Picture of the Week” - Get recognition for yourstudents and program. ITEA will post a “Picture ofthe Week” on its homepage each week. To submita photo from your classroom of student(s) activelylearning about technology –www.iteawww.org/PhotoOp.htm.ITEA ONLINEEditorial PolicyAs the only national and international association dedicatedsolely to the development and improvement of technologyeducation, ITEA seeks to provide an open forum for the freeexchange of relevant ideas relating to technology education.Materials appearing in the journal, including advertising,are expressions of the authors and do not necessarily reflectthe official policy or the opinion of the association, itsofficers, or the ITEA Headquarters staff.Referee PolicyAll professional articles in The Technology Teacher arerefereed, with the exception of selected association activitiesand reports, and invited articles. Refereed articles arereviewed and approved by the Editorial Board beforepublication in The Technology Teacher. Articles with bylineswill be identified as either refereed or invited unless writtenby ITEA officers on association activities or policies.To Submit ArticlesAll articles should be sent directly to the Editor-in-Chief,International Technology Education Association, 1914Association Drive, Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191-1539.Please submit photographs to accompany the article, acopy of the article on disc (PC compatible), and five hardcopies. Maximum length for manuscripts is 8 pages.Manuscripts should be prepared following the style specifiedin the Publications Manual of the American PsychologicalAssociation, Fifth Edition.Editorial guidelines and review policies are available bywriting directly to ITEA or by visiting www.iteawww.org/F7.htm. Contents copyright © 2004 by the InternationalTechnology Education Association, Inc., 703-860-2100.✦ “Best New ITEA Membership Rate in History” -Paxton/Patterson is partnering with ITEA to offer thebiggest membership deal in ITEA’s history to NEWprofessional members! (U.S. members only). Go toITEA’s homepage and click on the $25 button!www.iteawww.org.www.iteawww.org2 December/January 2005 • THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER


IN THE NEWS & CALENDARSpace Day 2005 DesignChallengesThe Space Day Design Challenges arean inquiry-based learning tool thatinspires young people to achieveacademic excellence in science,math, and technology. The DesignChallenges emphasize collaborativelearning by requiring students to usecreative problem solving, criticalthinkingskills, and teamwork tofind solutions to real challengesencountered by people living andworking in space, and are aligned tonational educational standards. Thisyear the challenges, produced byChallenger Center for Space ScienceEducation, are:• Inventors Wanted - Students arechallenged to research howhumans will live on and explore theMoon. Then they will invent,design, and build a working modelof an item that could make life orwork on the Moon easier or moreenjoyable.• Mission Explore - Students areasked to develop a mission to senda rover to one of the planets ormoons to learn more about it. Thenthey must invent, design, and builda 3-D rover model that collects dataabout three aspects of the planet ormoon.• Space Day Star - Students assumethey are astronauts living onthe Moon and must create anelectronic newspaper that vividlydescribes what it’s like to live andwork on the Moon.Each of the three Design Challengeswill be available for two separatelevels of students—Grades 4-5 and 6-8.Although they are used in classrooms,the Challenges are also an appropriateactivity for after-school groups suchas Boy and Girl Scout troops, Boysand Girls Clubs, and science clubs.Design Challenge submissions are dueby February 15, 2005. The winningteams will be selected by a committeeof education experts. Members of thewinning teams and their teacher orleader will be invited to the Space Daynational celebration on May 5, 2005,in Washington, DC, where they willparticipate in a recognition ceremony.Full details and registration forms,as well as the three new DesignChallenges for 2005, are available onthe Space Day Web site atwww.spaceday.org.National Toy DesignChallengeToys are a great way to learn aboutscience, engineering, and the designprocess. That’s why Sally Ridebrought Hasbro, Sigma Xi (TheScientific Research Society), SmithCollege, and Sally Ride Sciencetogether to launch TOYchallenge in2002. TOYchallenge is motivated bythe lack of gender and ethnic diversityin the field of engineering, and isdesigned to engage kids in anengineering activity that is fun. Asgirls and boys create a toy or game,they experience engineering as acreative, collaborative process,benefiting from a diversity of perspectives,and relevant to everyday life.To enter TOYchallenge 2005,interested students in Grades 5-8must find a coach, form a team ofbetween three and eight members—half of whom must be girls—and signup by December 15, 2004. There is a$25 registration fee per team.Teams choose from among severalthemed categories such as Build It!,Get Out and Play, or RemarkableRobots. Once a team signs up, theyuse the design process to create a toyor game to enter in the PreliminaryRound. Entries consist of a writtendescription and drawings of theircreation and must be submitted byJanuary 28, 2005. Teams will then beinvited to participate in the WestCoast or East Coast Nationalsscheduled to be held at the San DiegoAerospace Museum and the Sigma XiCenter in Research Triangle Park, NCin the spring. The top two teams fromeach National contest will be invited,all expenses paid, to the TOYchallenge2005 Awards Banquet at HasbroHeadquarters. In previous years,winners have received such prizes asa trip to Space Camp and Hasbro looka-likefigures in each team member’slikeness.TOYchallenge 2005 is also being madeinto a documentary movie. The filmbrings together an award-winningdocumentary filmmaker and Sally RideScience, a company devoted toincreasing the participation of girls inscience and engineering, in order tocreate a theatrical documentary thatwill show engineering in a differentlight. TOYchallenge: A Story AboutInspiration, Perspiration, and Toys, willfollow several teams of kids, age 10-13, as they brainstorm, conceive, anddesign entries for TOYchallenge. Thefilm will be launched at film festivalsand distributed through limitedtheatrical release, cable, andvideo/DVD. It will put a new face onengineering, changing ideas aboutwhat engineers look like and whatthey do, motivating more kids(particularly girls and minorities) toengage in science-related activities,and also changing adults’ attitudestowards girls in engineering.For more information, visitwww.TOYchallenge.com.New BooksEngineering is Elementary: Engineeringand Technology Lessons for Childrenis a set of lessons that integrateelementary school science topics withspecific fields of engineering. Eachunit is designed to engage students inthe engineering design process. Fourunits are currently available (EarthMaterials, Air and Water, Water, andBalance & Motion) and, ultimately,there are plans for 21 differentelementary science school topics andengineering fields. Contact theEngineering is Elementary staff atEiE@mos.org or 617-627-0230 forcomplete information.NEWS AND CALENDARTHE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER • December/January 2005 3


NEWS AND CALENDAREssential WebSites for EducationalLeaders in the 21st Century describesand gives instant access to more than300 of the very best Web sitesfocused on the information needs ofpeople working to improve schools.The author, James Lerman, identifiesthe 25 most vital categories ofknowledge needed by educationalleaders and gives the best of the Netin each category. The book alsoincludes a full-text CD-ROM thatenables the reader to jump immediatelyfrom the book’s table ofcontents right to the correspondingchapter, and from each listed Website instantly to its live location on theInternet. The book is available atwww.scarecroweducation.com.A Practical Guide for Crisis Responsein Our Schools: Fifth Edition is fromThe American Academy of Experts inTraumatic Stress. This dramaticallyexpanded publication provides astructure and process for effectivelymanaging the wide spectrum ofschool-based crises. It is an invaluableresource in preparation for, andduring, actual crisis situations,conveying critical information to assistschools in responding effectively to“everyday crises” as well as schoolbaseddisasters. It is also a valuableresource for administrators, supportpersonnel, and faculty. By reachingour school families early with acomprehensive Crisis Response Plan,we can potentially prevent the acutedifficulties of today from becoming thechronic problems of tomorrow. Formore information and free downloadablecrisis documents, visitwww.crisisinfo.org.A Practical Guide for University CrisisResponse provides a structure andprocess for effectively managing thewide spectrum of university-basedcrises—from the seemingly mundaneto the most severe. This guide recognizesthat crisis response cannot bedelegated solely to administrators andmembers of the Crisis ResponseTeam. Effective crisis management isthe responsibility of all universitypersonnel. This publication introducesand incorporates a practical andeffective strategy for addressing theemotional needs of people duringtraumatic events, Acute TraumaticStress Management (ATSM). ATSMcan empower all university personnelby providing a “road map” to keeppeople functioning and mitigatelong-term emotional suffering. Goto www.crisisinfo.org for moreinformation and to download freecrisis management documents.CALENDARDecember 9-11, 2004The Centre for Learning Research atGriffith University will host the ThirdBiennial Technology EducationResearch Conference, which will beheld at the Crowne Plaza Hotel SurfersParadise, Queensland, Australia. Theconference theme is “Learning forInnovation in Technology Education.”For information, contact HowardMiddleton, Conference Director, ath.middleton@griffith.edu.au.December 9-11, 2004The Association for Career andTechnical Education (ACTE) will holdits annual convention in Las Vegas,NV. Visit www.acteonline.org fordetails.February 15, 2005Space Day Design Challenge submissionsdue (www.spaceday.org).February 16-18, 2005DeVilbiss, Binks and OwensCommunity College have teamed up topresent a Spray Finishing TechnologyWorkshop in Toledo, OH. Classesmeet from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm daily,include both classroom and hands-onsessions, and offer two ContinuingEducation Units. Attendees should beinvolved with industrial, contractor, ormaintenance spray finishingapplications, or spray equipment salesand distribution. To register, or foradditional information, call 800-466-9367, ext. 7357, e-mailsprayworkshop@netscape.net, or visitwww.owens.edu/workforce_cs/index.html and click “Seminars.”February 20-26, 2005National Engineers Week, includingthe finals of the National EngineersWeek Future City Competition. Forcomplete information, visitwww.futurecity.org; or contact FutureCity National Director, Carol Rieg, at877-636-9578 orCRieg@futurecity.org.February 24-26, 2005The Association of Texas TechnologyEducation will present its conferenceat Texas A&M University. Forinformation, contact ConferenceDirector Dan Vrudny atdvrudny@sulross.edu.March 31-April 3, 2005The National Science TeachersAssociation (NSTA) NationalConvention will be held in Dallas, TX.For additional information, visit theWeb site at www.nsta.org.April 3-5, 2005The 67th Annual ITEA Conference andExhibition, “Preparing the NextGeneration for Technological Literacy,”will be held in Kansas City, MO. Withan entirely new schedule, includingexpanded registration and resourcebooth hours, several newnetworking/social events, and, yes,even a free lunch, the Kansas Cityconference promises to be one of themost exciting in years. Visitwww.iteawww.org for the most upto-datedetails.May 5, 2005Space Day national celebration inWashington, DC—the culmination ofthe yearlong “Return to the Moon”Space Day events. Full details andregistration forms are available on theSpace Day Web site atwww.spaceday.org.June 28-July 2, 2005The National Technology StudentAssociation (TSA) conference will beheld in Chicago, IL. Visitwww.tsaweb.org for additionalinformation.List your State/Province AssociationConference in TTT, TrendScout, and onITEA’s Web Calendar. Submit conferencetitle, date(s), location, and contactinformation (at least two months priorto journal publication date) toiteapubs@iris.org.4 December/January 2005 • THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER


YOU & ITEAITEA Steps Up RelationshipWith Design/Museum WorldSummer Design Institute2005 – July 11-15, 2005The International Technology EducationAssociation recently linked withthe Cooper-Hewitt, National DesignMuseum, Smithsonian Institution toincrease opportunities for its membershipand technology teachers. ITEAwill lend support to Cooper-Hewitt’sSummer Design Institute by providingscholarships to two teachers for theDesign Museum’s workshops. ITEAwill also provide presenters to thisworkshop on the topic of standardsand what is happening in theprofession in terms of curriculum andprofessional development.Summer Design Institute is a oneweekprogram that features hands-onworkshops, studio visits, and keynotepresentations that connect the schoolcurriculum with the world beyond theclassroom.• Learn ways to promote innovation,critical thinking, visual literacy,and problem solving across theK-12 curriculum.• Share activities for engaging K-12students in the design process.• Work with advisors to developaction plans and strategies forclassroom implementation andalternative assessment methods.• Experience how architectural,environmental, product, graphic,and media design can enhance theteaching of mathematics, science,environmental studies, languagearts, history, and art.For additional program and creditinformation, call Cooper-Hewitt’sEducation Department at212-849-8385 or visit the Web siteat http://ndm.si.edu/TECA Events in Kansas City• Glencoe/McGraw-Hill and TECA“Live” Communication ContestTuesday, April 5, 9-11 amDesigned for teams of collegestudents from TECA affiliatedchapters. The competing teamswill receive a description of aproduct, service, or organization,plus essential marketing ordemographic information…thenproduce a video commercial orfeature. The teams must develop astoryboard and produce therequired feature.• TECA/Pitsco Problem SolvingContestSunday, April 3, 11 am - 1 pmDesigned for teams of collegestudents from TECA affiliatedchapters. The competing teamswill receive contest details, tools,and materials necessary to developa solution to a specific problem.Each team is responsible forbringing along the tools andmaterials noted on the enclosedlist.• TECA/Kelvin TechnologiesTransportation ContestTuesday, April 5, 9-11 amThis contest is about conceptualizing,designing, andconstructing a transportationdevice or craft for optimalefficiency. The contest has severalvariations and involves conceptsassociated with air, land, sea,space, and/or intermodaltransportation. Scoring factorsinvolve craft performance (i.e.,efficiency) in addition to the designdocumentation and construction.• SME/TECA “Live” ManufacturingContestSunday, April 3, 6-10 pmSponsored by the Society ofManufacturing Engineers, thiscontest both encourages andrewards the study of productiontechnology. Each participatingteam must include college studentsfrom TECA affiliated chapters. Theteams must design, document,fabricate, and implement acontinuous manufacturing systemto produce an assigned product,using only the tools on the officiallist plus the materials provided forthe contest.• Goodheart-Willcox Publishers/TECA Technology ChallengeContestSaturday, April 2, 8-10:30 pmTECA members to demonstratetheir knowledge about the coreconcepts of technology and theprofession of technology education.• DEPCO/TECA Teaching LessonContestSunday, April 3, 2-4 pmAllows an individual or pair ofstudents to teach others about atechnological topic. The topic isprovided well in advance of theTECA competition. All preparationfor the specific lesson must bedone by the student or team.During the actual competition, thelesson is timed and instructionalmedia is reviewed. The scoring isbased on teaching/learningeffectiveness, organization,information presented, use ofmedia, and handouts. Thehandout(s) could be in the formatof a design brief, in-classworksheet, and/or similar items.Distinguished TechnologyEducator (DTE) ProgramITEA created the DTE program toprovide a means for recognizingmembers’ outstanding performanceand accomplishments. It is one of thehighest honors for professionalachievement in the field of technologyeducation. If you have been an ITEAmember for at least 10 consecutiveyears, you are eligible to apply. Theapplication package for the DTEprogram is available in MembersOnly on the ITEA Web site(www.iteawww.org). Complete andsubmit your application by January 1,2005 so that you can be recognizedand honored at the next ITEA annualconference in Kansas City, MO,April 3-5, 2005.YOU AND ITEATHE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER • December/January 2005 5


CRITICAL ISSUES AND PROBLEMS INTECHNOLOGY EDUCATIONFEATURE ARTICLERobert C. Wicklein, DTE“This is our decade, we will eitherdevelop as a strong and viableinstructional program or we will witherand die as an insignificant relic of afailed curriculum” (Custer, 2003).These prophetic words by the 2002-2004 president of the Council onTechnology Teacher Education (CTTE)seem to be ringing more true with thepassing of each school year. In thesecritical times it is imperative that weutilize every available resource to buildand establish our field of study and toaddress and solve the issues andproblems that we now face. Therefore,if we are to guide our professionsuccessfully through the myriad ofproblems and concerns that impact us,we will need to be strategic in everydecision. A crucial first step topreserve the future of the profession isto gather empirical data thataccurately identifies the critical issuesand problems facing technologyeducation.Research GoalsTo address the need of identifying acomprehensive base for the criticalissues and problems, research wasconducted to ascertain the perspectivesof classroom teachers, universityprofessors, and supervisors oftechnology education. The goal of theresearch was to determine the criticalissues and problems based on thefollowing two (2) questions:• What are the critical issues thatare currently impacting thetechnology education field ofstudy?• What are the critical problems thatare currently impacting thetechnology education field ofstudy?In order to obtain standardizedinformation from the most knowledgeablesubjects integral to this topic,If we are to guide our profession successfullythrough the myriad of problems and concernsthat impact us, we will need to be strategic inevery decision.survey-based research methodologieswere deemed appropriate to collectdata. A combination of randomsampling and total population datacollection strategies were employed.Stratified random sampling was usedto collect data from classroomteachers of technology education. Atotal of 347 middle school and highschool teachers were randomlyselected from the four regions of theInternational Technology EducationAssociation (ITEA) to participate in thisstudy. In addition, the entire populationof 132 university departmentheads/program leaders in technologyteacher education, as well as the totalpopulation of 55 state and regionalsupervisors, were selected to receivethe survey questionnaire. Theseindividuals represented an appropriatecross-sectional perspective of thecurrent needs and difficulties facingthe field of technology education.Survey ConstructionThe survey was divided into four (4)sections. Section 1 – Demographics –sought to collect data on theappropriate demographic categories,including instructional position, (e.g.,middle school teacher, high schoolteacher, etc.), years of experience,gender, and age. Section 2 –Directions – explained the proceduresfor completing the survey and definedthe terms used in the survey (e.g.,Critical – high degree of importance forthe field; Issue – a concern that mayaffect progress or development for thefield; Problem – an obstacle that ispreventing progress or development forthe field). Section 3 – Critical Issues –sought the rating and ranking on 18pre-identified critical issue items.Section 4 – Critical Problems – soughtrating and ranking on 21 pre-identifiedcritical problem items. Participantswere asked to rate their level ofagreement or disagreement on eachitem by using a likert-type scale,indicating Strongly Agree, Agree,Disagree, and Strongly Disagree. Inaddition, each participant wasasked to independently rank order thetop three (3) critical issues andproblems that they deemed the mostvital to the field of technologyeducation.ResultsOf the 534 survey questionnaires thatwere mailed, 301 were completed insome fashion and returned. Five (5)surveys were incompletely orinaccurately filled out and weredeemed unusable, therefore, 296surveys, or 55%, were analyzed forevaluation. Table 1 presents the resultsof the demographic data collected inthis study.Participants were asked to identifytheir level of agreement ordisagreement on each survey item. Alikert-type scale was utilized toascertain participant perspectives with4=Strongly Agree, 3= Agree,2=Disagree, and 1=StronglyDisagree. Table 2 represents theanalyses of the overall group mean6 December/January 2005 • THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER


Table 1Demographics of StudyParticipants N %Middle School Teachers 90 30.3High School Teachers 107 36.0University Professors 53 17.8Supervisors 47 15.8Gender N %Male 267 90.2Female 29 9.8Experience N %1-3 Years 19 6.44-8 Years 44 14.99-15 Years 53 17.9More than 15 Years 174 58.8Age N %20-25 4 1.326-45 113 38.046-65 176 59.3More than 65 4 1.3scores and standard deviations for thetop five (5) critical issues fortechnology education. Each of the topfive (5) mean score ratings ranged inthe Agree to Strongly Agree choice.Table 3 represents the analyses of theoverall group mean scores andstandard deviations for the top five (5)critical problems for technologyeducation. Again, each of the top five(5) mean score ratings ranged in theAgree to Strongly Agree choice.When asked to rank order the topthree (3) critical issues and problemsby importance and significance for thefield of technology education, theparticipants in this study provided aninteresting mixture of issues andproblems. Several of the top rankedissues and problems were consistentTable 2Overall Mean Scores/Standard Deviations – Top Five Critical Issues forTechnology EducationCritical Issue Mean SD1 Recruitment of students/teachers into teachereducation programs 3.62 0.552 Positioning technology education within the wholeschool curriculum 3.44 0.653 Identifying and procuring adequate funding sourcesfor technology education 3.35 0.664 Enhancing business and industry connection withtechnology education 3.32 0.685 Integration of technology education with otherschool subjects 3.30 0.70Table 3Overall Mean Scores/Standard Deviations – Top Five Critical Problems forTechnology EducationCritical Problem Mean SD1 Insufficient quantities of qualified technologyeducation teachers 3.60 0.612 Inadequate understanding by administrators andcounselors concerning technology education 3.52 0.693 Inadequate understanding by general populaceconcerning technology education 3.41 0.684 Increased high school graduation requirementsimpacting on technology education programs 3.29 0.735 Inadequate financial support for technology educationprograms 3.29 0.75with the overall mean scores asreported in Tables 2 and 3; however,other items surfaced as being vital tothe field, yet were not evaluated highlyin the mean scores ratings. Table 4presents the rank orders for the criticalissues.Table 5 represents the analyses of therank order for the critical problems intechnology education.There was consistency among ratingsin levels of agreement/disagreementand rank orders on some of the criticalissues and problems. Recruitment ofstudents/teachers into teachereducation programs was identified asthe highest rated critical issue as wellas the number one ranked item acrossall categories of technology educators(e.g., overall, middle school, highschool, university professor, andsupervisor). Another critical issue thathad consistency both in the meanscore ratings and rank order was,Identifying and procuring adequatefunding sources for technologyeducation. This item was rated as the3 rd highest critical issue and was alsoranked 3 rd highest on the overall statusorder. Conversely, Enhancing businessand industry connection withtechnology education was rated as the4 th highest critical issue as analyzed bymean scores but was not identified byany of the educator groups when rankordered.The matching of rating scores withrank order for the critical problems metwith much more consistency. Four (4)of the top rated critical problems werealso categorized within the top five inrank order. The critical problem items,Insufficient quantities of qualifiedtechnology education teachers,Inadequate understanding byadministrators and counselorsconcerning technology education, andInadequate understanding by generalpopulace concerning technologyeducation, were rated and rankedidentically (position 1, 2, 3) on bothmeasurements. In addition, Inadequatefinancial support for technologyeducation programs was rated as the5 th most important critical problem andranked 4 th most significant criticalproblem.FEATURE ARTICLETHE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER • December/January 2005 7


Critical IssueTable 4Rank Order of Critical Issues in Technology EducationRank OrderMS HS Univ.Overall Teacher Teacher Prof. Super.Recruitment of students/teachers into teacher education programs 1 1 1 1 1Curriculum design and development for technology education 2 2 2 3 2Identification of a knowledge base for technology education 3 2 5 2 3Positioning technology education within the whole school curriculum 4 3 3Identifying and procuring adequate funding sources for technology education 5 4Integration of technology education with other school subjects 4 4 4Revisions and development in technology teacher education 4 5FEATURE ARTICLECritical ProblemTable 5Rank Order of Critical Problems in Technology EducationRank OrderMS HS Univ.Overall Teacher Teacher Prof. Super.Insufficient quantities of qualified technology education teachers 1 2 4 1 1Inadequate understanding by administrators and counselors concerningtechnology education 2 1 1 4 2Inadequate understanding by general populace concerning technology education 3 4 3 5 3Lack of consensus of curriculum content for technology education 4 2 2Inadequate financial support for technology education programs 5 3Increased high school graduation requirements impacting on technologyeducation programs 5 5Inadequate marketing and public relations of technology education 3 5Resistance to change in technology education 4ConclusionsEach of the critical issues andproblems identified in this study bearsfurther investigation and possibleaction to correct the crisis. Clearly,some of the issues and problems aremore critical to specialized groups, atcertain times, and in particularlocations. However, other issues andproblems are serious and systemic tothe entire profession of technologyeducation. Some actions will requirethe efforts of literally every personinvolved in the profession, while otherswill need to be addressed by a selectgroup of educators. The crux of thematter is that strategic actions bytechnology educators at all ranks areneeded if the profession is to take itsrightful place within the schoolcurriculum.The most obvious conclusion from thisresearch is the concern and crisis overthe insufficient quantities of qualifiednew technology educators entering theinstructional ranks. As the strongestindicator in this research, the dilemmaover recruitment and preparation ofnew technology teachers coming fromuniversity programs dwarfs all of theother concerns. Identified as thehighest priority in both the criticalissues and problems sections of thestudy, Recruitment of students/teachers into teacher educationprograms and Insufficient quantities ofqualified technology educationteachers are vital to the current andfuture health of the technologyeducation profession. Without aserious and immediate effort toaddress these needs, the field oftechnology education, as we know it,will cease to exist in the short-rangefuture.Inadequacies seem to also plague thefield of technology education.Inadequate understanding byadministrators and counselorsconcerning technology education andInadequate understanding by generalpopulace concerning technologyeducation speak to the issue andproblem of confusion and misunderstandingof what technologyeducation is about. Technology8 December/January 2005 • THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER


educators commonly experience theinaccurate assumptions by professionaleducators and general publicalike as to the goal, purpose, andactivities of the field. Serious effortsneed to be directed at developing aclear and distinct description of theprofession that can be easily graspedand understood by those inside andoutside of the profession. The commonassumption held by many technologyeducators is that an explanation oftechnological literacy will suffice indescribing our goals and purpose. Thisis a mistaken assumption thatcontinues to confuse many decisionmakersas well as the general public.Curriculum design and developmentand the need for consensus ofcurriculum content were ranked withinthe top five (5) critical issues andproblems; however, they were notrated (mean scores) highly in thisstudy. In addition, funding oftechnology instructional programsranked high for both issues andproblems but was not rated within thetop five (5) of these categories. Theseinconsistencies may be indicative of aseparation of general needs whencompared to prioritizing considerations.In whatever capacity, curriculumdesign, development, and consensus,along with procuring adequate financialsupport for technology education,remain as high needs for the field.• Identify and communicate a clearand understandable purpose oftechnology education to allpopulations.• Reach consensus in curriculumdesign and development as highpriorities.• Evaluation of this data byprofessional leadership to aid infuture planning and focus of theprofession.• Conduct research of this type atregular intervals.“This is our decade” (Custer, 2003); ifwe are to grow into an instructionalfield that is clear, distinct, and highlyvalued, it will take the efforts of everyavailable human resource technologyeducation has—elementary teachers,middle school teachers, high schoolteachers, university professors, andsupervisors. We are all in this boattogether.ReferencesR. Custer (personal communication, March13, 2003).Wicklein, R.C. (1993). Identifying criticalissues and problems in technologyeducation using a modified-delphitechnique. Journal of TechnologyEducation, 5(1), 54-71.Wicklein, R.C. & Hill, R.B. (1996).Navigating the straits with research oropinion? Setting the course fortechnology education. InternationalJournal of Technology and DesignEducation, 6(1), 31-43.Robert C. Wickleinis a professor in theDepartment ofOccupationalStudies at theUniversity ofGeorgia in Athens.He can be reachedvia e-mail at wickone@uga.edu.This is a refereed article.FEATURE ARTICLERecommendationsThe majority of the issues andproblems that were identified in thisstudy were also evaluated assignificant in similar studies conductedin 1993 and 1996 (Wicklein, 1993;Wicklein & Hill, 1996). The uniquenessesof the issues and problemsfacing technology education at thistime in its history may very well be ata point of no return, where solutionsmust be found if the field is to survive.The following recommendations willserve to help guide our professionthrough the issues and problemsfacing us:• Undertake significant efforts aimedat recruiting and preparing newtechnology education educators atall levels.Simplify the Complex.THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER • December/January 2005 9


From IDSADESIGN EDUCATION FOR NONDESIGNERSIDSAJames Kaufman, IDSAIntroductionFew high school students will beinvolved in design or technical education,but someday they may have tounderstand what design and the applicationof technology can do for them,either personally or professionally. Thefollowing is a first look at how thismay be accomplished. Over the lastten or so years, there have been manyhigher education attempts to createinterdisciplinary courses of productdesign and development. The championof establishing these programs hasbeen and continues to be PeterLawrence of the Corporate DesignFoundation. This organization’s missionis as follows: “It is the mission ofthe Foundation to improve the qualityof life and effectiveness of organizationsthrough design. At the heart ofthis mission is a desire to expand theawareness of design through the educationof corporate leaders, managers,and public sector executives.”The mission of another equally importantdesign-promotion organization,the Design Management Institute(DMI), “is an education and researchinstitute dedicated to demonstratingthe strategic role of design in businessand to improving the management andutilization of design. DMI assists managers,executives, consultants, andeducators in their professional developmentthrough conferences, seminars,leading-edge publications, and amembership program.” These organizations,along with others like theIndustrial Designers Society ofAmerica (IDSA), are getting the wordout to enlighten executives about thevalue and processes used in design.These organizations have created anenvironment for using design byproviding publications, workshops,seminars, and case studies thatinform and instruct business leadersto the value of design.Additionally, many courses of studyhave been organized to teach productdevelopment at institutions like MITand Rhode Island School of Design,Carnegie Mellon University, StanfordUniversity, and Delft University. All ofthese programs promote design as ameans for new corporate innovationand most encourage alpha-prototypedevelopment. Some of these coursesare interdisciplinary, drawing on studentsfrom business and engineeringmajors. Most, if not all, are offered byengineering faculty within engineeringacademic units, and a few are supplementedby faculty from Business andIndustrial Design. Visually-basedindustrial design programs clearly donot lead the activities at theseinstitutions.Numerous other seminars, workshops,and books have been developed andpromoted to executives of the businesscommunity to help them becomemotivated to be more innovative withinproduct-development processes,such as the Harvard Business Reviewseries, in Cogan and Vogel’s new bookCreating Breakthrough Products, andthe publication/workshop like ROI fromBill Dresselhaus. These publicationsand events add value to the understandingof design and its usefulnesswhen considering possible tools andmethods to inspire innovation within acorporation. These materials are alsoappropriate for use in business classesand are good reading for corporateexecutives. I question if this materialis fully understood by the nondesignreader and if, contextually, it can beapplied in managerial settings usingfully integrated industrial design.Taking into consideration all of thecommunication efforts and literatureto promote industrial design within thecorporate product community, thereare several aspects that may havebeen overlooked by these effortsand/or organizations.1. Few, if any, incorporate traditionalstudio practices used for years byindustrial design educators.2. Very few of these educationalvenues or books offer anyprojects that teach the act ofdesigning (e.g., creating productartifacts), and very few offer simplemethods for drawings or diagramming,and techniques for studiodiscussion and/or critique.3. Few clearly state rationale for thedesigner being involved in theentire product design cycle—overcomingthe typical scenario ofbeing brought in during a segmentof the process to add visual acuityto the project.Nondesigners may read all of thematerial available about design, lookat the numerous pictures of successfulproduct designs, and study the manydiagrams produced explaining designprocess and research, but it is likelooking at fruit and never experiencingthe taste. Experience-based designeducation for nondesigners will movethem toward a tasting of whatdesigners really do. For the objectivesof this proposal, that taste will be10 December/January 2005 • THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER


pleasant and memorable for youngnondesign students to later recall intheir corporate careers or personallives.We need to consider a program toeducate these nondesign professionalsby the same means and techniqueswe have been using on our own industrialdesign students in their studios foryears. If the Chinese proverb is truethat “a picture is worth ten thousandwords” then we need to move designeducation to the visual education sideof things. These experiential studioofferings provide the means for addingan indelible memory of how designreally works for the nondesigner.Proposed Solution—StudioExperience is at The Heartof it All…Case studies, books on innovation,diagrams about design, lectures, orother means of teaching designpractice cannot capture the ultimateunderstanding of what happens, likeactually creating design artifacts. Thestudio experience is at the heart of itall. This fact is apparent as Hargadonand Sutton in their paper “Building anInnovation Factory,” stated, “A criticalstage of the [product development]process occurs when an idea orconcept becomes a working artifact,or prototype, which can then betested, discussed, shown tocustomers, and learned from.” And, “Itis harder to keep ideas alive whenthey’re not embedded in tangibleobjects.” This concept is also capturedin Thomas Edison’s famous saying,“99 percent perspiration and 1 percentinspiration,” the 99 percentperspiration being the studio activity.Also on building an “InnovationFactory” or design studio, “Almostimmediately after thinking of apromising concept, a developmentteam at a place like IDEO or DesignContinuum builds a prototype, showsit to users, tests it, and improves on it.The team repeats the sequence overand over.”Some of the best analytical writingabout the contemporary use of designto innovate points to the sameconclusion—someone has to takeinspired thinking and research andturn it into something real. Thisinterpretive process is what designersdo in their studios. But only after theyhave a vague understanding of what isto be designed do they formulate thissketchy idea into drawings, diagrams,visual 3-D models, and/or prototypesat appropriate communication qualitylevels. This thinking and visualizationactivity is complex and not completelyexplainable, but it can be taught in astudio-learning environment. Furthermore,within the studio experience,the process of critiquing and reincorporatingnew ideas back into amore definitive model is a welldevelopedprocess included by mostdesigners. So, for a nondesigner andsomeone trying to really understandwhat value a designer can contribute,he or she must not just understand thetalk, but must “walk the walk.”Nondesigners must actually design,act like designers, and experiencefirsthand what is involved withworking and producing in a studiosetting. For this purpose, I propose astand-alone studio design course, anda minor in design for more depth ofunderstanding for those who maywant to work in a design-relatedfield but not take roles as designprofessionals.Studio Methods: Physicalor Virtual?In the context of how the contemporaryindustrial design studio works,one should consider the use oftechnology along with traditionalmethods. As Thomke states, “Do notassume that a new technology willnecessarily replace an establishedone. Usually, new and traditionaltechnologies are best used inconcert.” This studio experience mustbring to bear both types of tools forcreating visual or real artifacts,combining them in ways that allowfor the nondesign student to gaininsight—for them a new creative leapof learning.Three simple steps to follow in anydesign studio are:1. Understanding – research anddiscovery2. Action – designing by creatingactual artifacts3. Evaluation – critique and plan forthe next design iterationThe result of these steps is newknowledge (some form of innovation)that has been produced about theproduct or problem. This knowledge isthen added (looped back) to thedesigner’s understanding and nextdesign iteration. So there is a constantgain in knowledge, and hopefullyinnovation, as the studio processcontinues. These three simple stepscapture the essence of a designer’sstudio experience.UnderstandingUnderstanding defined here is simplyall of the things designers must dobefore and during their design processto be able to have some grounding (asketchy idea in their minds andusually one that cannot be resolvedcognitively) for the production ofvisual material and/or a physicalmodel. Most designers commonlyrefer to this as design research, but itis much more that. One researchmethod that seems to work well formost designers is Dorothy Leonardand Jeffrey F. Rayport’s “EmpathicDesign Methods,” stated in thefollowing steps:• Step one: Observation• Step two: Capturing data• Step three: Reflection andanalysis• Step four: Brainstorming forsolutions• Step five: Developing prototypesof possible solutionsAlso of importance is Alan Cooper’smethod of Goal-Directed Design andIDSATHE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER • December/January 2005 11


IDSAResearch, which is a modeling methodcreating theoretical users or personas.This is a critical step in creating adesign tool for students that takes the“the designer—me or ego” out of theprocess, making it an empathicunderstanding process rather than aself-centered creation. If these designresearch principles and methods areused up front in this “understanding”phase of the design process,nondesign students should achieve atrue sense of “user-centered design.”ActionAction (design action) as definedhere, is at the heart of thiscurriculum/instructional proposal fornondesigners. It is essential for all ofthese nondesign students to bequalified at some working level ofdrawing skill and/or proficient at threedimensionalphysical modeling. Somemay bring computer skills to thedesign studio, such as engineeringstudents who may have threedimensionalcomputer modeling skills.Students with low skill levels mustaccept the fact that they, to somedegree, can participate in a nonintimidatingstudio environment.Everyone must learn to express his orher ideas visually and not be afraid toexpress their ideas using thesecommunication devices.EvaluationFrom Thomke’s paper, entitled“Enlightened Experimentation”: “IDEOAdvocates the development of cheap,rough prototypes that people areinvited to criticize—a process thateventually leads to better products.”Evaluation establishes how much youhave accomplished and maps orbenchmarks where you still need to goin the design process. It is not aboutassessing quality, it is about hittingthe mark, “getting it right,” or lining upyour understanding with youroutcomes of design actions. Evaluationtechniques in the studio areaccomplished by critiques anddiscussion sessions. These sessionspoint out many things about thedesign that hit the mark in regard tosolving a problem or innovating a newproduct or feature. From Hargadon andSutton: “Brokers also benefit fromfailures because, in learning aboutwhy an idea failed, they get hintsabout problems the idea might solvesomeday.” Making action plans fromthe discussion data is important torediscover where the design will go inthe next iteration and recognize wheremore understanding needs to bediscovered.The PlaceOver my long career as a designer andeducator, I cannot stress enough howimportant it is to have the correctenvironment in order for designinnovation to take place. One mustproperly prepare the garden tocultivate design action. Again fromHargadon and Sutton’s paper “Buildingan Innovation Factory”: “Many brokersalso use a physical layout that enables[perhaps “forces” is a better word]such interaction.”… “All of ThomasEdison’s inventors at the Menlo ParkLaboratory in New Jersey worked ina single large room where, as one putit, ‘we are all interested in what wewere doing and what others weredoing.’” And, “Company-widegatherings, formal brainstormingsessions, and informal hallwayconversations are just some of thevenues where people share theirproblems and solutions.”Two Models forImplementation: A SingleCourse and a Minor CourseOfferingI propose that the single instructionalmodel works well for those studentswho have an interest but cannot worka minor into their tight curriculumschedule. This one course will be anexperiential snapshot of the designprocess. My experience has shownthat this type of course may leadmany toward a decision to minor indesign and may even lead some toswitching professional programs toindustrial design.Snapshot of a sixteen-weekcourse module:• Weeks one and two—What isdesign and product innovation?• Weeks three, four, and five—Design understanding• Weeks six, seven, eight, nine—Design action (making things)• Week ten—Evaluation and makingan action plan• Week eleven—More understanding• Weeks twelve and thirteen—Action(redesign)• Week fourteen—Evaluation• Week fifteen—Presentationpreparation• Week sixteen—Final coursepresentationSnapshot of an eight-courseminor:• Introduction to Design and DesignHistory• Design Methods, Research, andProfessional Practices• Drawing and Visual CommunicationPractices Studio• Three-Dimensional Modeling Studioand Human Factors• Computer Modeling• Introduction to Studio Practices• Product Design Studio• Interdisciplinary Project StudioConclusionDesign professionals realize that theaction of creating visual artifacts tocreate innovative products becomessecond nature. Most important iswhat is experienced by activities in adesign studio—making numerousartifacts in an interactive process,accomplished while interacting withother designers. Quality design12 December/January 2005 • THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER


education is based on this coreassumption and is what gives us theability to envision and produceproducts from understanding. Forothers to enjoy the qualities of gooddesign, they must experience thisphenomenon themselves, firsthand ina studio experience led by design ortechnical educators.Cooper Interaction. www.cooper.comDresselhaus, Bill. (2001). ROI: Return onInnovation.Hargadon, Andrew, & Sutton, Robert I.(2001). Building an Innovation Factory.Harvard Business Review on Innovation.Thomke, Stefan. (2001). EnlightenedExperimentation: The New Imperativefor Innovation. Harvard BusinessReview on Breakthrough Thinking.Goodheart-Willcox.................9Hearlihy & Company............36Master Visions.....................37NCETE..................................36ReferencesCorporate Design Foundation.www.cdf.org/frameset.htmlDesign Management Institute.www.dmi.org/dmi/html/index.htmCenter for Innovation in ProductDevelopment.http://web.mit.edu/cipd/education/undergraduate.htmCarnegie Mellon University—Integratedproduct development course.www.cdf.org/frameset.htmlJames Kaufman,IDSA is Professorof Design at TheOhio StateUniversity,Columbus, Ohio.He can be reachedvia e-mail atKaufman.9@OSU.edu.AD INDEXNSTA/NASA ........................13Pearson Prentice Hall...........34Printed Circuits Corp............35Solidworks .........................C-2Tech Ed Concepts................22Utah State University ..........36WAMC NortheastPublic Radio.......................37IDSATHE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER • December/January 2005 13


RESOURCES IN TECHNOLOGYBIOPROSPECTINGPhilip A. ReedThe product applications of bioprospecting are almost limitless.RESOURCES IN TECHNOLOGYThe gold rush is on! No, prospectorsare not scrambling for the preciousmetal in northern California circa the1840s. The new rush involves thecollection of biological materials, andthe prospectors are biologists,chemists, and corporations. This areaof biotechnology has been labeledbioprospecting, and it is a practice thatis creating worldwide controversy.Defined simply, bioprospecting is“scientific research that looks for auseful application, process, or productin nature” (National Park Service,2004). However, as with mostbiotechnologies, the definition doesnot address the complexities ofbioprospecting. The history, regulations,and products associated withbioprospecting can help us understandthese complexities.History of BioprospectingHumans have always looked for plantsand animals they could use to makelife easier. However, they discoveredthat certain foods and beasts ofburden could be used for more thanbasic subsistence. Archeologists arefinding that some biotechnologies,such as the use of herbs for medicineand the use of fermentation and yeastin food products, date back 5,000 to10,000 years (De Miranda, 2004).Many of the historical uses ofenzymes, proteins, and otherbiological materials have beenunderstood by scientists, physicians,and nutritionists for quite some time,while others are still being discovered.For example, eating chicken soup toFigure 1: Thermus aquaticus, a bacterium found in Yellowstone National Park, produces anenzyme, polymerase, that is vital to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) DNA fingerprinting. PCRfingerprinting is widely used by criminal investigators, hospitals, and other researchers.suppress a cold has been advocatedby caring mothers for generations, butit wasn’t until 1993 that scientificevidence supported this claim(Discover, 1993).Genetic engineering and otherscientific and technological advancesare continually giving us a deeperunderstanding of the natural world.We are not only learning how chickenbroth interacts with enzymes in thebody, but we are also still discoveringnew organisms. Where do theseorganisms come from and who ownsthem?The National Park Service has facedthese questions and responded withmixed results. In the 1960s abacterium was found in the hotsprings of Yellowstone that has beenkey in the production of one of themost important enzymes in molecularbiology (Figure 1). The applicationsstemming from Thermus aquaticus(Taq) draw in hundreds of millions ofdollars annually.Unfortunately, the National ParkService did not require a contract withthe researcher who discovered Taq,so none of the application revenues14 December/January 2005 • THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER


are flowing back to Yellowstone. Toget in on the gold rush, the NationalParks Omnibus Management Act of1998 was created to help the NationalPark Service contract withbioprospectors. Specifically, the actallows for benefits-sharing agreements“between researchers, theirinstitutions or companies, and theNational Park Service that returnbenefits to the park when the resultsof cooperative research lead to thedevelopment of something that iscommercially valuable” (National ParkService, 2004).Do not worry; benefits sharing doesnot open the parks for large-scalemining or other environmentaldamage. One of the key points ofbioprospecting is that most samplesfit in a vial and are microscopic.Benefits sharing is a way to keep ournatural parks pristine while potentiallyproviding funding for their upkeep.The obvious attraction to the nationalparks is the abundance of specimens;however, bioprospectors are also luredby extremophiles. Extremophiles areorganisms that live in some of theharshest environments on earth. Taq,for example, was found in the hotsprings of Yellowstone and thrives intemperatures up to 76.67° Celsius(170° Fahrenheit). Many of thesehardy organisms are single-cellcreatures that prosper in protectedenvironments such as very alkaline oracidic water, tar pits, magma, andeven the cold of Antarctica.Extremophiles are typically classifiedaccording to the environment in whichthey live:• Thermophile: An organism havinga growth temperature optimum of50°C (122° Fahrenheit) or higher. Inthe case of hyperthermophiles theoptimum may be between 80°C and110°C (176°-230° Fahrenheit).• Halophile: An organism requiring atleast 0.2 M (3-30%) salt for growth.• Psychrophile: An organism havinga growth temperature optimum of15°C (59° Fahrenheit) or lower,(some can survive at –10°C [14°Fahrenheit]), and are unable togrow above 20°C (68° Fahrenheit).• Alkaliphile: An organism withoptimal growth at pH values above10.• Acidophile: An organism with a pHoptimum for growth at, or below,pH 2.• Piezophile: (previously termedbarophile) An organism that livesoptimally at high hydrostaticpressure (Maloney, 2004).These organisms obviously do not justreside in the United States. Globalcontroversies over who has the rightto biological materials are taking placein the United Nations and the worldcourts. To address this, manycountries and organizations areinvolved in establishing newregulatory practices.RegulationsDifferent cultures and regions of theworld have created different regulatorymethods for biotechnology. The UnitedStates and Canada have developed aproduct-based process of regulatingbiotechnology. This approach placesexisting organizations, such as theU.S. Food and Drug Administration(USFDA) and the U.S. Patent &Trademark Office (USPTO), in chargeof oversight (Figure 2). Certainexceptions are made for verycontroversial processes like the U.S.ban on human cloning.In the European Union, however, theyprimarily utilize a process-basedapproach for regulation. The Europeanculture overwhelmingly resistsbiotechnology because they do notwant to take unknown risks—especially in the area of geneticengineering. Therefore, the EuropeanUnion has created strong regulationsthat restrict the most basic levels(processes) of biotechnology (Morris,1995).Ironically, the northern hemispherehas been the most proactive inregulating biotechnology, but it is thesouthern hemisphere that faces thegreatest threats of bioprospecting. Theabundance of raw materials is invitingfor bioprospectors, and the nature ofthird world and developing nations isinviting for biopirates. Biopiracy orFigure 2: The U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,and the Department of Health and Human Services, USFDA have teamed to create adatabase that assesses the risk of new genetically engineered crop plants(http://usbiotechreg.nbii.gov/database_pub.asp).RESOURCES IN TECHNOLOGYTHE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER • December/January 2005 15


RESOURCES IN TECHNOLOGYbiocolonialism is used to describethe exploitation of these nations’resources for financial gain (Rifkin,1998).In any gold rush there are unscrupulouscharacters. In California, SamBrannan became extremely wealthyby running through the streets andyelling that he had found gold.Although he had a small sample in hishand, Brannan planned to makemoney from other prospectors, notpanning. Brannan had purchased all ofthe shovels and other panningequipment in the area. Biopiracy isjust as deceptive but is primarilyattempted by large multi-nationalcorporations—sometimes without anation’s consent.At the beginning of the bioprospectingrush, companies hurried to collectsamples and applied for patents.Fortunately, courts and regulatoryagencies have, for the most part,taken a tough line on biopiracy. Thegeneral consensus is that if abiological material has not beenaltered or used in a novel way (i.e.new industrial process), then it doesnot constitute intellectual property(IP). Patent policy has been shaped bythese rulings, and attempts to claimherbs and homeopathic remedies usedfor centuries by natives have beensignificantly slowed by this stance(Graham, 2002).Organizations have also stepped in tohelp third world and developingnations. The United Nations educatesthird world and developing nations in anumber of ways. The United NationsUniversity, Institute for AdvancedStudies (UNU/IAS) regularly publishesreports and presents regionalseminars to teach these nations howto manage their resources. Topicsinclude overviews of the biotechnologyindustry, safety,intellectual property, and methodsfor negotiating with bioprospectors.From Raw Materials toFinished ProductsBy manipulating proteins, usingenzymes, and altering genes—thebasic building blocks of life—we canuse natural materials in a variety ofways. To learn how these buildingblocks are used, it is helpful toorganize them into groups. The fourmain categories of biotechnologies areagriculture, pharmaceutical,environmental, and industrial (DeMiranda, 2004).Agricultural biotechnologies arearguably the oldest and most widelyused. Rather than traditional methodsof animal husbandry and seedselection, however, newer methodsare more controlled. For example,Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is abacterium that was initiallyprospected from flower moths andused as an insecticide. However,agriculture companies now engineerstrains of Bt into crops such as corn,potatoes, cotton, and soybeans(Figure 3). These crops target aspecific pest and are formulated sothey do not damage other insects. Onepotential drawback, however, is thatthe prolonged exposure mayeventually lead to insect resistance ofthe toxins.Pharmaceutical companies areinvesting heavily in bioprospecting. Inone example, heavyweights Pfizer,Pharmacia, and Upjohn have allinvested in a firm (Incyte) thatallegedly contains a database of nearly100,000 genes (Rifkin, 1998). Whenyou consider that over half of thecancer drugs approved by the U.S.Food and Drug Administration are ofnatural origin or are modeled onnatural products, you can see why thepharmaceutical companies areprogressive bioprospectors.Surfactants (Surface active agents)are a significant environmentalbioprospecting achievement.Surfactants are wetting agents thathelp with the spreading of liquids. Ifyou have ever read the label on yourlaundry detergent, you have probablyseen surfactants as an ingredient.Surfactants are also used for theextraction of oil. Researchers haveprospected microorganisms fromwells and used them in variousmixtures to obtain oil. Thesesurfactant “cocktails” drasticallyincrease output because most oil isFigure 3: Crops modified with Bt toxins offer protection against pests that targetroots, foliage, or bore. Traditional pesticides are sprayed on and generally onlyprotect crop foliage.16 December/January 2005 • THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER


contained in small interconnectedpockets rather than large open pools(Morris, 1995).Bioprospectors have foundtremendous industrial applications,especially in the form of chemicals.Various fungi, bacteria, and othermicrobes are often used to createindustrial chemicals. Several commonchemical examples and their microbialsources include acetic acid(acetobacter), acetone (clostridium),and ethanol (saccharomyces)(Barnum, 1998).SummaryBioprospecting is a very old biotechnologythat involves some verynew techniques. Genetic engineeringand other processes allow biologists,chemists, and biotechnologists tocollect microorganisms and changethem in ways that previously were notpossible. Organisms that thrive underadverse conditions, extremophiles, arehighly sought after and have a widerange of applications.Early bioprospectors tried to exploitthe nations of the southernhemisphere because they contain anabundance of natural materials. Worldcourts, regulatory agencies, and otherorganizations have helped shapepolicies and continue to work onequitable policies that allow benefitsharingof natural resources.The product applications ofbioprospecting are almost limitless.Products and processes that stemfrom bioprospecting are alreadyabundant in areas of agriculture,pharmaceutical, environmental, andindustrial biotechnology.Table 1:Extremophiles and their applications (Maloney, 2004).Thermophiles & HyperthermophilesDNA polymerasesLipases, pullulanases, and proteasesAmylasesXylanasesHalophilesBacteriorhodopsinLipidsCompatible solutes e.g. Ectoinγ-Linoleic acid, β-carotene, and cell extracts, e.g. Spirulinaand DunaliellaPsychrophilesAlkaline phosphataseProteases, lipases, cellulases, and amylasesPolyunsaturated fatty acidsIce nucleating proteinsAlkaliphiles & AcidophilesProteases, cellulases, lipases, and pullulanasesElastases, keritinasesCyclodextrinsAcidophilesSulphur oxidizing acidophilesAcidophilesApplicationsDNA amplification by PCRDetergentsBaking and brewingPaper bleachingApplicationsOptical switches and photocurrent generatorsLiposomes for drug delivery and cosmeticsProtein, DNA, and cell protectantsHealth foods, dietary supplements, food colouring, andfeedstockApplicationsMolecular biologyDetergentsFood additives, dietary supplementsArtificial snow, food industry e.g. ice creamApplicationsDetergentsHide de-hairingFoodstuffs, chemicals, and pharmaceuticalsFine papers, waste treatment, and de-gummingRecovery of metals and de-sulphurication of coalOrganic acids and solventsRESOURCES IN TECHNOLOGYTHE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER • December/January 2005 17


RESOURCES IN TECHNOLOGYClass Activity: Become ASavvy BioconsumerStandards for Technological Literacy(ITEA, 2000/2002) explains theimportance of bio-related technologieswith regard to technological literacy.Unfortunately, the study of biotechnologyat the secondary levelwithin the United States is almostnon-existent (Sanders, 2001). Perhapsthis is because areas such as modernbioprospecting are evolving at a rapidpace. Another reason might be thecomplex relationships that make upthe field of biotechnology (i.e.interaction of agriculture, biology,chemistry, medicine, and engineering).The two following activities aredesigned to help teachers andstudents learn how bio-relatedtechnologies are used commercially.Product labels do not often listspecific organisms because manytimes the ingredients are proprietary.Therefore, you must develop adifferent set of bioprospecting skills byusing research to learn about theseproducts and processes. Have fundigging!1. Review Table 1 and search forproducts that fit one or more of thedescriptions in the applicationscolumn. Try to determine whichextremophile(s) were used in theproduct or manufacturing process.For example, Shout ® Gel is alaundry detergent that usesenzymes to remove stains fromclothing. This means it probablyincorporates alkaliphiles,acidophiles, and/or thermophileseither directly in the product or theextremophiles were used duringmanufacture of the product.Learning about these organismswill not only help you withimportant things like removingtough grass stains; it will greatlyincrease your technological literacyin the area of bio-relatedtechnologies!2. Visit the United States RegulatoryAgencies Unified BiotechnologyWeb site that is highlighted inFigure 2. Search the database forgenetically-modified crop plants.Brand names are typically notprovided, but the database listsmanufacturers and describesproduct traits. As you review thisdatabase and manufacturers’ Websites you will learn howbioprospectors alter biologicalmaterial for use in products. Forexample, Monsanto’s RoundupReady® line of seeds makes theplants in that line more receptive toRoundup Ultra® herbicide.Monsanto has altered a gene to be“herbicide tolerant” rather thanmaking the plant stronger via thetraditional method of crosspollination.The benefits arestronger plants and greater yields,but a drawback is the continueddependence on herbicide.ReferencesBarnum, S. R. (1998). Biotechnology: Anintroduction. Belmont, CA: WadsworthPublishing Company.De Miranda, M. A. (2004). Ethical issues inbiotechnology. In R. B. Hill (Ed.) Councilon Technology Teacher EducationYearbook: Volume 53. Ethics forcitizenship in a technological world.Peoria, IL: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.Discover. (1993). For this you need anM.D.? (chicken soup proven effectiveagainst cold and flu). New York, NY:The Walt Disney Company.Graham, J. R. (2002). Bioprospecting orbiopiracy? Fraser Forum, December, 19-20. Retrieved September 28, 2004 fromwww.fraserinstitute.ca/admin/books/chapterfiles/Bioprospecting or Biopiracy-Graham.pdf#International Technology EducationAssociation (ITEA). (2000/2002).Standards for technological literacy:Content for the study of technology.Reston, VA: Author.Malony, S. (2004). Extremophiles:Bioprospecting for antimicrobials.Antiviral Chemistry and Chemotherapy,August. Retrieved September 28, 2004from www.mediscover.net/Extremophiles.cfmMorris, B. (1995). Biotechnology. HongKong, China: Cambridge UniversityPress.National Park Service. (2004). Benefitssharing in the national parks:Environmental impact statement.Retrieved September 28, 2004 fromwww.nature.nps.gov/benefitssharing/index.htmRifkin, J. (1998). The biotech century. NewYork, NY: Penguin Putnam, Inc.Sanders, M. E. (2001). New paradigm orold wine? The status of technologyeducation in the United States.Retrieved September 28, 2004 fromhttp://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JTE/v12n2/sanders.htmlPhilip A. Reed,Ph.D. is an assistantprofessor in theDarden College ofEducation at OldDominion Universityin Norfolk, VA. Hecan be reached viae-mail atpreed@odu.edu.18 December/January 2005 • THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER


ROBOTS RECRUIT TOMORROW’S ENGINEERSCheryl CobbThe United States has long enjoyed aposition of technological leadership onthe world stage. But declining interestin careers such as engineeringthreatens to undermine that position.Currently, only five percent of USstudents choose to pursue degrees inengineering and the sciences—compared with 30 percent in China.In an effort to reverse this trend,educators are calling in the robots.BEST (Boosting Engineering, Scienceand Technology) links educators withindustry to provide middle and highschool students with a glimpse of theexciting world of robotics, with thegoal of inspiring and interesting themin engineering, math, and sciencecareers. “BEST helps students getexcited about technological careers atan age when they are makingsecondary school course choices,”says Janice Borland, sciencedepartment chair and BEST roboticscoach at Austin Academy forExcellence in Garland, Texas. “Ifstudents aren’t exposed to these sortsof programs early, it may be moredifficult for them to decide to pursuethe advanced curriculum pathways inmath and science that help ensuresuccess in higher education such asengineering.”This year, 6,500 students from morethan 600 high schools and middleschools will compete at 26 BEST sitesin 10 states. The students have sixweeks to design and build a remotecontrolledrobot from a sponsorprovidedkit of standardized parts thatconsists of returnable materials suchas remote controllers, as well as otheritems such as plywood, hardware, andPVC pipe. Some teams compete onlyin the robotics competition; othersIn 2002, interest in pursuing a career inengineering increased 25 percent as a resultof the [BEST] program.choose also to compete for the BESTAward that encompasses performanceon the game field as well asperformance in communications,spirit, and sportsmanship. Teams varyin size from 10 to more than 50students.Making a DifferenceBEST attracts a wide variety ofstudents—from techies to motorheadsto communicators to artists—manywho would otherwise have passedA BEST Robotics Competitor.one another without talking in theschool hallways. According toteachers, BEST makes a realdifference in the lives of many of itsstudents. When Carlos Castillo firstsigned up for Sandra Schulz’s artclass, he was a good but somewhatdisinterested student with littledirection. He started to come byoccasionally after school to watch theBEST robotics team Schulz advisesand eventually became a regular. Theteam gave Castillo a focus, helpinghim to graduate first in his class. HeFEATURE ARTICLETHE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER • December/January 2005 19


detailed specifications that includesize and weight limits. “Students learnthat it takes many people workingtogether to pull off a complex project,”says Cox. “This real-world approach—from fundraising to design toproduction to marketing to publicrelations—adds a great deal ofexcitement to the project.”It’s an excitement that George Blanksand Mary Lou Howard, South’s BESTRegional Robotics Championshipco-directors, work hard to buildthroughout the contest, which is heldat Auburn University, in Auburn,Alabama. In 2003, that meant afanciful, lighted game floor designedand built by Auburn Universityarchitecture students. Music filled thecoliseum as student volunteers fromthe Samuel Ginn College of Engineeringand the College of Sciencesand Mathematics worked the crowdto build excitement.Robots earn points by successfullycompleting specific tasks as theynavigate the game floor. Four teamscompete at a time in a series of threeminutematches. The excitementbuilds as the highest point total teamsadvance to championship roundsconsisting of four three-minutematches. “From start to finish, wenever forget that the students involvedare middle and high school students,”says Howard, director of outreach forthe College of Sciences and Mathematics.“Our goal is to ensure that thestudents are having fun while they arelearning.”FEATURE ARTICLEThe “fanciful, lighted game floor.”currently attends the University ofTexas, majoring in architecturalengineering.“The robotics program has helped mystudents learn more about engineering,physics, math, research, andpresentation skills than any otherprogram in our school,” says Schulz,who teaches at Thomas JeffersonHigh School in Dallas. “It exposesthem to adult engineering role models,deadlines, and professionalism in away that is fun, exciting, and exhilarating.My kids form a bond like noother group at school,” she continues.“They become a very tight-knit familythat watches out for one another, helpstutor one another, and acts as peercounselors when things get tough.”That exposure to teamwork is one ofthe reasons industry has embracedthe BEST program. Team mentors,recruited from area businesses, are acrucial element of the program’ssuccess. “Our company participatesfor a number of reasons,” saysMichael Wienen, Brazos BEST Co-Chair, from College Station, Texas.“Students realize that succeeding inengineering, science, or technologyrelateddisciplines will take a lot ofhard work. That can make engineeringa tough sell. This program aims toshow students that this learningprocess can be fun. “We have avested interest in seeing that the bestand brightest students considerengineering,” he continues. “They areour future.”Wienen explains that pre-event andpost-event participant surveys provethat BEST works. In 2002, interest inpursuing a career in engineeringincreased 25 percent as a result of theprogram. The numbers show that thestrength of this response is tiedclosely to the level of mentorinteraction. “Our mentor wasawesome—not at all what I expectedan engineer to be like,” says RajuPaka, a student at Vestavia HighSchool, in Birmingham, Alabama. “Hewas really excited about engineering,and that excitement rubbed off on allof us. In fact, I’m now consideringAuburn University because I recentlylearned that it is the only school in thenation offering an undergraduatedegree in wireless engineering.”Real-World ExcitementStanhope Elmore High School teacherJennifer Cox, from Montgomery,Alabama, believes that one of thereasons the BEST competition is sosuccessful is it is designed to mirror areal-world engineering productionproject, complete with limitedresources, a tight deadline, andMaking It AccessibleThe affordable nature of thecompetition is another importantfactor for many schools. There is noregistration fee for BEST, so the onlycost to the school is travel to thecompetition site and supplies for theBEST Award presentations anddisplays. These costs range from $800to $1,200 and are generally easilycovered by local sponsors. The gamefloor and theme vary each year andare kept secret until kick-off day when20 December/January 2005 • THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER


the teams pick up their parts kits.“BEST provides an affordable avenuefor schools to participate in roboticscompetitions,” says Borland. “Wewithdrew from another roboticscompetition after six years because itbecame financially unrealistic tocompete.” According to Blanks, thegoal is to reach a broad variety ofstudents, especially those in schoolsthat may not have the resources foundin some large suburban areas. “Ourgoals are simple and our approachstraightforward,” he says.That emphasis on the basics is whatmakes the program work so well.“BEST captures the essence of realworldengineering,” says RandyAusbern, BEST mentor and systemsengineer with Lockheed MartinAeronautics Company in Fort Worth,Texas. “It encourages analyticalthinking and the ability to focus on asmall part of a problem withoutforgetting the big picture. Most realworldengineering problems arelimited by timelines, a fixed budget, ortechnology that prohibits us fromthinking too big,” he continues. “BESTteaches students to think and becreative within reasonableboundaries.”Blanks and Howard know that manyof the students who participate in theprogram will choose careers otherthan engineering, math, or thesciences. However, they believe thatno matter what career studentschoose, they will have benefited fromthe program.According to Wienen, nearly 70percent of students believe that BESTis a better learning tool than is offeredin the classroom. More than 80percent indicate that they gain insightinto engineering as a profession thatthey don’t get anywhere else. “In myopinion, this program is the best thingthat has happened to education in avery long time,” says Auburn HighSchool science teacher StanArrington. “For an educationalprogram to generate the same level ofexcitement as a sporting event isunheard of. This program does that.”Nearly 70% of students believe that BEST is a better learning tool than is offered in theclassroom.One competitor navigates the game floor.Cheryl Cobb isAssistant Director inthe Office ofCommunications andMarketing at theSamuel Ginn Collegeof Engineering,Auburn University,Alabama. She can bereached via e-mail atccobb@eng.auburn.edu.FEATURE ARTICLETHE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER • December/January 2005 21


FEATURE ARTICLETHE BIRTH OF BESTFun and excitement is exactly what BEST founders and Texas Instruments engineersTed Mahler and Steve Marum had in mind when they created the program. Whilewatching a video of students building a robot at a corporate engineering day, bothwere struck by how excited the students were. Mahler and Marum approachedmanagement with a proposal to start a local hands-on robotics program aimed athigh school students.Texas Instruments agreed to pilot the project. After learning about a similar programat Texas A&M, Mahler and Marum arranged a competition, and BEST was born. By2001, BEST had expanded to 20 regional competition hubs in eight states involving400 teams and thousands of students. Alabama BEST, based at Auburn University,was one of the newest and fastest growing of these hubs.By 2003, the program had grown so fast it was split into two units—finals for teamswest of the Mississippi remained in Texas; teams east of the Mississippi would headfor Auburn and the new South’s BEST finals.“BEST has taken off like a shot,” says Blanks, director of business and engineeringcontinuing education for AU’s Ginn College of Engineering. “I’ve been involved inoutreach programs for many years and have never experienced anything like this.Representatives from state departments of education in 10 states—ranging fromMassachusetts to Michigan to Ohio to Georgia—have approached us about makingBEST a part of their curricula.”In 2004, approximately 165 teams—more than 3,500 students—from nine hubs inseven states including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana will advance to theSouth’s BEST Robotics Championship. “I first attended Alabama BEST in 2002 andwas blown away by the energy,” says Gail Morrow, an education specialist in careertechnologies with the Alabama State Department of Education’s Technical EducationDepartment. “It’s hard to get students interested in taking that extra calculus orphysics class. This program opens the door. I couldn’t wait to get back to the officeto begin to figure out a way to make this program available to more students.”Blanks points out that BEST has also generated strong interest from other engineeringinstitutions and corporate sponsors interested in hosting and supportingcompetitions. NASA has signed on, and this year its Space Flight Center in Huntsvillewill host the Tennessee Valley BEST competition, joining the ranks of Johnson SpaceFlight Center in Houston that has been a BEST hub for eight years. In fact, it wascorporate sponsor Alabama Power/Southern Company that provided the initialfunding Blanks and Howard needed to jumpstart the program in Alabama. Thecompany remains a strong financial supporter; they also supply mentors and judgesfor the competition. “We are proud of the part we played in getting Alabama BEST offthe ground,” explains Paula Marino, manager of environment and retrofit projects—Alabama Power projects, for Southern Company. “We hire a lot of engineers. Thesuccess of our company depends on having a good pool of qualified individuals tochoose from. The program is a perfect match for us. BEST fosters student interestin math and science, which can open the door to careers in engineering,” shecontinues. “I am particularly impressed that BEST works to bring the program toall schools—including rural and inner city systems. We value diversity, and thisprogram reaches out to a broad spectrum of students.”The South’s BEST is hosted by Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College ofEngineering and the College of Sciences and Mathematics. To learn more aboutthe South’s BEST contact George Blanks at (334) 844-5759 or atblankgw@eng.auburn.edu, or log on to the BEST Web site at: www.best.org/.22 December/January 2005 • THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER


STEM INITIATIVESSTIMULATING STUDENTS TO IMPROVE SCIENCE ANDMATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENTRobert Q. Berry, IIIPhilip A. ReedJohn M. Ritz, DTECheng Y. LinSteve HsiungWendy FrazierTeachers and subject matterspecialists are concerned withimproving students’ performanceduring standards testing. Initiativeshave been undertaken at the local,state, and national levels in attemptsto better enable learners to masternew knowledge and perform complextasks. Curriculum developers andresearchers are interested in contextualizinglearning situations toassociate students with the utility ofwhat one is learning. Transfer learningis being explored within the realm ofproblem solving and engineeringapplications. This makes a strongcase for the integration of science,technology, and mathematics, sostudents can improve theirunderstanding and application ofcomplex but usable knowledge.Learning theorists believe that, throughdesigned learning environments(contexts) and learning with hands-onprojects, new knowledge can not onlybe learned, but learned in such a waythat the knowledge can be transferredfor other applications (Singley &Anderson, 1989). Student interest andmotivation can also be piqued throughhands-on learning.Scholars in the applied sciences(school science, technology, andmathematics) believe that thesesubjects have transfer amongConcepts in science, technology education,and mathematics show powerful relationshipswhen it comes to student learning. Byusing the context of engineering, additionalmeaning can be brought to the curriculumand student learning and achievement.themselves and that engineeringactivities can establish the contexts tolearn these subjects, plus aid in thetransfer of knowledge. Thiscollaborative movement is referred toas STEM—integrating instruction inscience, technology education,engineering, and mathematics. It hasbeen a focus of National ScienceFoundation research on learning andstudent career choices in the sciencesand engineering.According to American Society forMechanical Engineering:There appears to be a logicaleducational continuum withinwhich the knowledge of science,technology, engineering, andmathematics is cumulative. Thisimplies that, without a strong andvibrant K-12 education system, thepotential educational and economicimpact is severely diminished.Yet…the cumulative benefits ofscience, technology, engineering,and mathematics are less thanthey could be (ASME PositionStatement – 2002, ID #2-32,www.asme/org/gric/ps/2002/02-32.html, March 24, 2004).Through academic collaborations ofmathematics, science, and technologyeducation in a contextual engineeringenvironment, programs should:1. Build cumulative STEMcompetencies in students bybuilding on the foundation ofknowledge established at eachlevel in education, from elementarygrades where students have innatecuriosity about their world and howit works through middle school,high school, and beyond.2. Provide students with hands-on,open-ended, real-world problemsolvingexperiences that are linkedto the curriculum, using science,engineering, and technologymodules, and grouping suchexperiences and modules bydiscipline and level of difficulty.3. Promote hands-on activities forstudents, including researchorientedclasses…appealing tostudents through authentic[contextual] research projects thatemphasize the use of mathematicsin reporting results, and promotingengineering and technology…inhigh school (ASME PositionFEATURE ARTICLETHE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER • December/January 2005 23


FEATURE ARTICLEStatement – 2002, ID #2-32,www.asme.org/gric/ps/2002/02-32.html, March 24, 2004).STEM is recognized in the science,education, and engineering professionsand their associated researchsocieties. It is a unique way to mapcurriculum and attempt to build andstrengthen student skills in thosesubjects that can lead to scientific andtechnological career pursuits. This isthe authors’ intent with this writing.We wish to show how the schoolsubjects of science, technologyeducation, and mathematics can betaught in collaboration and useengineering concepts and activities tomotivate students to succeed.Science, technology education, andmathematics have had standardsdeveloped by their professions andendorsed by such prestigiousorganizations as the NationalAcademies of Science and Engineering.Teachers, textbook writers,and educational hardware andsoftware companies are using thesestandards. They also serve as thebasis for state standards tests. Formore information on the nationalstandards, conduct a Web search forNational Science Education Standards(1996), Standards for TechnologicalLiteracy: Content for the Study ofTechnology (2000/2002), andPrinciples and Standards for SchoolMathematics, (2000).Subject Integration andSupportMany school systems are requiringthe study of algebra in the ninth grade.For this and other reasons, the authorsdecided to work with the subjects ofearth science, algebra, andfoundations of technology and useengineering concepts and activities tocreate standards-based learningactivities. The authors will show howwe have used contextual learning andconcept mapping to assist us in ourendeavors.Contextual LearningThe predominant view of learningtoday posits that “people constructnew knowledge and understandingsbased on what they already know andbelieve” (Bransford, Brown, &Cocking, 1999, p. 10). This philosophy,known as constructivism, isbased on the foundations laid by JohnDewey, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky,and other educators. Constructivistteachers actively engage students in avariety of ways. In fact, nationalresearch on recognized mathematicsand science teachers show that theyutilize five strategies:• Relating – learning in the context ofone’s life experiences or preexistingknowledge.• Experiencing – learning by doing, orthrough exploration, discovery, andinvention.• Applying – learning by putting theconcepts to use.Figure 1. Concept Map of a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Activity24 December/January 2005 • THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER


• Cooperating – learning in thecontext of sharing, responding, andcommunicating with other learners.• Transferring – using knowledge in anew context or novel situation—one that has not been covered inclass (Crawford, 2001, p. iii).The Center for Occupational Researchand Development (CORD) identifiedthese five strategies (REACT) ascontextual learning strategies becausethey help teachers put teaching andlearning into context. CORD hasdeveloped a series of resources oncontextual learning that are researchbasedand include classroom lessons(see CORD, 1999a and b).The first two REACT strategies are themost important and lie at the root ofconstructivist methodology. Ifstudents do not relate learning toexisting knowledge and experiences,then higher levels of learning will bedifficult to achieve. Applying,cooperating, and transferring are thethree levels that STEM initiativesunite. Concept mapping illustratesthese REACT strategies in a visualmanner that can help teachers plan forinstruction. See Figure 1.Aligning and IntegratingScience, TechnologyEducation, andMathematics ContentAlignment of the standards inEarth Science, Algebra, and thetechnological literacy standards inFoundations of Technology coursesillustrates the means through whichcontextual learning can addresscontent standards in the three subjectareas. With respect to studentunderstanding of the origin andevolution of the earth system, theemphasis is on student understandingof the ongoing dynamic equilibrium ofearth that results in both short-termand long-term change on earth. Keyideas include the relationship betweenthe dynamic crust and atmosphere,the resulting environment, and theenvironment’s impact on life.Mathematics is key to students’understanding of how the earthoriginated and its change over timethrough micro-scale activities, whichallow students to concretely exploreresulting phenomena within adynamic, evolving earth system.Through micro-scale activities,students quantify this change overtime, recognize patterns and relationships,and come to understand thatmathematics can be a useful way ofrepresenting ideas via functions thatcan be graphed, charted, andrepresented through other graphicorganizers. In this case, technologyeducation plays a pivotal role in termsof data collection tools and aidinghumans in their understanding of thedynamic earth so that informeddecisions can be made. An example ofa micro-scale activity related to thedynamic earth is the design andconstruction of structures capable ofsurviving a simulated earthquake.Through this engineering experience,students learn not only the principlesof design and construction, but alsoprinciples of earthquakes in terms ofwave and media properties that canthen be quantified at the micro-leveland extrapolated to decisionsregarding current and proposedarchitectural plans.As reviewed in this discussion,concepts in science, technologyeducation, and mathematics showpowerful relationships when it comesto student learning. With each ofthese subjects, transfer learning isvery natural. By using the context ofengineering, additional meaning canbe brought to the curriculum andstudent learning and achievement.The Importance ofEngineeringEngineering is “the profession inwhich knowledge of the mathematicaland natural sciences…are applied…todevelop ways to utilize, economically,the materials and forces of nature forthe benefit of mankind” (ABET, 1979).It can also be stated that engineeringis the means by which people makepossible the realization of humandreams by extending our reach in thereal world (Babcock & Morse, 2002).It is composed of multiple fields suchas electrical, mechanical, chemical,civil, etc. engineering, which usescience, mathematics, and technologyto reach these outcomes. Engineersare the practitioners of the art ofmanaging the application of science,mathematics, and technology.Integration of Science,Technology, andMathematics throughEngineering ActivitiesThere are two types of activities thatthese authors have developed toassist students in learning science,technology education, andmathematics content throughengineering activities. These includeintroductory activities that are quickand create excitement for theupcoming unit of study. Somedisciplines refer to these asexperimenting activities. Again,examples would include thosesuggested in Table 1. Anexperimenting activity for earthquakescould be breaking a candy bar, suchas a Milky Way, by pushing ittogether or twisting it. This wouldshow how the earth layers are movedby such forces.The second type of activities that wesuggest is unit or applying activities.These take longer to develop and forstudents to participate in theircompletion. In this article, we havedeveloped a unit activity that used aconstructed device to measure theeffects of earthquakes on structures.Earthquake ActivityThe following unit, or applying activity,is one sample of STEM initiativesdesigned and developed for thepurpose of integrating science,technology education, andFEATURE ARTICLETHE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER • December/January 2005 25


Table 1. Correlation of Standards for Earth Science, Algebra, and Foundations of TechnologyEarth Science Algebra Foundations of Technology Sample STEM ActivityD.1 Energy in the EarthSystemA.1 Understand Patterns,Relations, and FunctionsD.2 Geochemical Cycles A.1 Understand Patterns,Relations, and FunctionsA.4 Analyze Change inVarious Contexts16. Students will develop anunderstanding of and be ableto select and use energy andpower technologies.16.J Energy cannot be creatednor destroyed; however, itcan be converted from oneform to another.3. Students will develop anunderstanding of the relationshipsamong technologiesand the connections betweentechnology and other fieldsof study.3.J Technological progresspromotes the advancementof science and mathematics.Energy can be measuredover time, and rates ofchange in temperature canbe measured in terms of thevariables that influence therate of change (for example,wind. Students can cut paperspirals and attach them to astring. Use a flashlight toproduce heat to move thespiral.)Rate of change with respectto changes that occur to elementswithin the geochemicalcycle over time (forexample, rock cycle, whichdescribes the relationshipbetween different types ofrocks via applying pressureand heat to corn starchputty).FEATURE ARTICLED.3 Origin and Evolution ofthe Earth SystemA.1 Understand Patterns,Relations, and FunctionsA.3 Use MathematicalModels to Represent andUnderstand QuantitativeRelationships3.J Technological progresspromotes the advancementof science and mathematics.5. Students will develop anunderstanding of the effectsof technology on the environment.5.I With the aid of technology,various aspects ofthe environment can bemonitored to provide informationfor decision-making.Graphic representation ofrates of change with respectto changes that occur to elementswithin the geochemicalcycle over time (forexample, mass of sedimentaryrock via erosion throughchalk soaking in vinegar).Rate of change as measuredby radioactive decay isexpressed exponentially (forexample, fossil dating).Atmospheric and geologicaldata are used to determinethe age and history of theearth based on reasonableconclusions drawn fromquantitative measures andare used to predict futureevents (for example, rate ofsedimentation and layers ofrock or geologic events suchas earthquakes. Break layeredcandy bars to simulatethe cracking of the earth’ssurface).D.4 Origin and Evolution ofthe UniverseA.3 Use MathematicalModels to Represent andUnderstand QuantitativeRelationships3.J Technological progresspromotes the advancementof science and mathematics.5.I With the aid of technology,various aspects of theenvironment can be monitoredto provide informationfor decision-making.Space/Time data are used todetermine the age of the universebased on reasonableconclusions drawn fromquantitative measures (forexample, measure of expansionof a substance containingraisins).Note: Numbers have been assigned to standards for communication purposes. The Standards for Technological Literacy document (ITEA,2000/2002) has assigned these numbers.26 December/January 2005 • THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER


mathematics through different handsonengineering activities to improvelearners’ understanding and interest inscience. It is the result of science,mathematics, and technologyeducators working with engineers toshow how engineering can synthesizethe academic content so important tohelping students make reality out oftheoretical knowledge.Engineering Project:Earthquake Simulation – Measurementand PreventionGoal: Experiment/learn the effect thatearthquake displacement and itsresulting twist angles have on buildingstructures and resulting destruction.Activity:1. Construct the testing apparatususing the pictures (Figures 2 and 3)and materials list.2. Use K’NEX Primer Set to constructthree different shapes of buildingstructures (three stories and a basesize of 6”).3. Obtain different linear plots untilthe destruction of these threeshapes occurs.a. Place one or two food cansinside the top of the structure.b. Pull the moving table in X or Ydirections to a recordeddisplacement value (inch units),then let the bungee cordsretract and bounce the movingtable.i. Allow for three tries each oruntil the structures collapse.ii. Obtain three plots of thelinear displacement forreliability.iii. Obtain different twistedangular plots until thedestruction of these threeshapes (pull base to 45degrees and to distinctretraceable routes).4. Determine the strength of differentshapes of the structures vs.different displacements and twistangles.5. Predict and recommend the shapesvs. earthquake destruction(construct hypotheses).Science Relationship: Origin andEvolution of Earth SystemsTechnology Education Relationship:Design, Construction TechnologyMath Relationship: Equality,Inequality, StatisticsSuggested Experiment/ConstructionMaterial List:1. 1 plywood base - 3 ⁄4” x 4’ x 4’2. 1 plywood section for movingtable - 1 ⁄2” x 10” x 10”3. 4 pieces of wood to form thesides of the moving table - 1” x2”x 10”4. 4 pieces of wood to form thesides of the base frame - 1” x 6”x 4’5. 8 eye hooks for elastic bungeeconnection6. 4 bungee cords for elasticbouncing7. 3 ball casters to support movingtable8. 2 holding mechanisms to supportthe plotting pens’ position (holesthrough the supported platformwill do, but a top needs to be inplace to hold the pens down)9. 1 K’NEX Primer Set for structureconstruction or other constructionsets, i.e., Lego10. 2 regular pens for tracingdisplacement recordings11. White card stock for padding thetracing table12. Several graphing sheets forrecording the moving table traces13. Wood screws for construction14. Two different-sized unopenedfood cans for structuredestruction tests (Resembleelevators, water tower, or boilerswithin the building)Material Cost: Approximately $40.00from local home centerFigures 2 and 3 present the fullyassembled and constructed earthquakesimulation platform and moving table withplot pen-holding mechanisms.Figure 2. Platform, Moving Table, andStructureFigure 3. Moving Table and Plot PenHoldersThe Calculations andHypothesesThe plot pen holder mechanismdesigned for this experimental movingtable can be easily substituted with a90 0 angle made of wood (Figure 3). Aregular ball pen with spring tensionthat is adjustable with a collar andsetscrew will provide enough tensionfor better plotting on the movingtraces.The moving plots presented in Figures6 and 8 are hand re-traces of theoriginal table movements for bettervisibility. The linear displacement plots(Figure 5) have equal lengths in the Xand Y axes. This means there is notwist angle involved. The twistdisplacement plots (Figures 6 and 7)have different lengths in both the Xand Y axes. This means there is adegree of twist angle involved.According to the experimentations,the most destructive damage to thesimulated building structure is theFEATURE ARTICLETHE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER • December/January 2005 27


FEATURE ARTICLEFigures 4 and 5 show a linear movement of X or Y-axes plots during an earthquakesimulation.Figure 4. Table Linear DisplacementFigures 6 and 7 show the curved movement of X and Y-axes displacement plots thatproduce twist angles on the Z-axis during an earthquake simulation.Figure 6. Table Twist Displacementmovement with twist angles. Theforce displacement is based on thecalculation: F (Force) = K (BungeeCord Spring Constant) x X(Displacement); and the energycalculation is based on: K (KineticEnergy) = ? K (Bungee Cord SpringConstant) x X 2 (Displacement 2 ) (Hu,Liu, & Dong, 1996). Due to the designconstraint, the twist angle in thissimulation does not include the up anddown motion (Z axis). There are twistangles on X, Y, and Z-axes, and anycombination of those create theharshest damages from naturalearthquakes on buildings.SummaryActivities can be used to increasestudents’ understanding of knowledgein science, technology education, andmathematics. By using such activities,students apply different intelligences.Through hands-on learning usingengineering activities, students shouldFigure 5. Linear Displacement PlotsFigure 7. Twist Angle DisplacementPlotsbe able to gain more knowledge andtransfer this learning among schoolsubjects. The science and engineeringcommunities are familiar with STEMinitiatives. Through these activities,educators may notice that students’standards test scores can improve.ReferencesAmerican Society of MechanicalEngineering. (2002). Position statement– 2002. Retrieved March 24, 2004.from http://www.asme.org/gric/ps/2002/02-32.htmlBabcock, D. & Morse, L. (2002). Managingengineering and technology. EnglewoodCliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Bransford, J. D., Brown, A.L., & Cocking,R.R. (Eds). (1999). How people learn:Brain, mind, experience, and school.Washington, DC: National AcademyPress.Bjork, R.A. & Richardson-Klavhen, A.(1989). On the puzzling relationshipbetween environmental context andhuman memory. In C. Izana (Ed.)Current Issues in Cognitive Processes:The Tulane Floweree Symposium onCognition (pp. 313-344). Hillsdale, NJ:Erlbaum.Cormier, S. & Hagman, J. (1987). Transferof learning. San Diego, CA: AcademicPress.CORD. (1999a). Teaching mathematicscontextually. Retrieved April 8, 2004,from www.cord.org/lev2.cfm/87CORD. (1999b). Teaching sciencecontextually. Retrieved April 8, 2004,from www.cord.org/lev2.cfm/87Crawford, M.L. (2001). Teachingcontextually: Research, rationale, andtechniques for improving studentmotivation and achievement inmathematics and science. Waco, TX:CCI Publishing, Inc.Hu, Y-X., Liu, S-C., & Dong, W. (1996).Earthquake engineering. London:Chapman & Hall.International Technology EducationAssociation. (2000/2002). Standards fortechnological literacy: Content for theStudy of Technology. Reston, VA:Author.National Council of Teachers ofMathematics. (2000). Principles andstandards for school mathematics.Reston, VA: Author.National Research Council. (1996). Nationalscience education standards. , DC:National Academy Press.Singley, M.K., & Anderson, J.R. (1989).Transfer of cognitive skill. Cambridge,MA: Harvard University Press.Dr. Robert Q.Berry, III is anassistant professorof MathematicsEducation in theDepartment ofEducationalCurriculum andInstruction at theDarden College ofEducation at OldDominion University, Norfolk, VA. Hespecializes in equity in MathematicsEducation.Dr. Philip A. Reedis an assistantprofessor ofTechnologyEducation in theDepartment ofOccupational andTechnical Studiesat the DardenCollege ofEducation at OldDominion University, Norfolk, VA. Hespecializes in communication technologyand technology teaching methodsand curriculum development.28 December/January 2005 • THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER


Dr. John M. Ritz,DTE, is professorand Chairman of theDepartment ofOccupational andTechnical Studies atthe Darden Collegeof Education at OldDominion University,Norfolk, VA. Hisinterests includecurriculum development andapproaches to teaching technologyeducation.Dr. Cheng Y. Lin isan associateprofessor in theDepartment ofEngineeringTechnology at theBatten College ofEngineering andTechnology at OldDominion University,Norfolk VA. Hisspecialties includeautomation control,robotics, andmachine design.Dr. Steve Hsiung isan associateprofessor in theDepartment ofEngineering Technology at theBatten College of Engineering andTechnology at Old DominionUniversity, Norfolk, VA. His specialtyis microprocessor systems design.Dr. Wendy Frazieris an assistant professorin ScienceEducation atGeorge MasonUniversity inFairfax, VA. Herspecialties are inearth science,chemistry,and teacherpreparation.Join the following exhibitors* at ITEA’s AnnualConference in Kansas City, Missouri, April 3-5, 2005:Amatrol, Applied Educational Systems, Autodesk, AXYZAutomation, Inc., Ball State University, Bentley Systems, Inc., BESTRobotics Competition, Central Missouri State University, CESIndustries, CNC SOFTWARE/Mastercam, Denford, Inc., EnergyConcepts, Inc., Forest Scientific Corporation, Fort Hays StateUniversity, Gears Educational Systems, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill,Goodheart-Willcox Publisher, Graymark International, Inc.,Hearlihy & Company, intelitek, Kelvin Electronics, Lab VoltSystems, Inc., LJ Technical, Midwest Technology Products & Svcs,NASA, Nida Corporation, NC State University, The Parke System,Paxton/Patterson, Pearson Prentice Hall/DDC, Penn StateIndustries, Pitsco/Lego Educational Division, Printed CircuitsCorporation, Prince William County Schools, PTC, SAEInternational, SolidWorks Corporation, St. Cloud State University,Synergistic Systems/ PITSCO, Pathways, Tech Ed Concepts, Inc,Techno, Inc., Universal Laser Systems, Inc., VMS, Inc., WelshProducts, Inc., Z CorporationFEATURE ARTICLEAll these vendors and a free lunch, too! Complimentary lunchwill be offered to fully-registered attendees on Monday, April 4th,sponsored by Pitsco.*exhibitors confirmed as of 10/29/04.THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER • December/January 2005 29


ASSESSING FOR TECHNOLOGICAL LITERACYFEATURE ARTICLEDaniel E. EngstromImagine yourself on trial for notproperly validating that your studentshave attained the standards set forthby the curriculum. You have beencalled as the key witness to try togive a plausible defense. Thequestions begin to fly from theprosecution, and it seems that you donot even have time to think. “Whatevidence can you provide that willshow that your students have indeedmet the standards that are required?”Your mind races, and you reply: “Igave a 15-question, multiple-choicetest.” “Not enough!” shouts theprosecutor. The questioning continues,now quicker than ever, “It seems thatall the students made the sameproject, how was this assessed?What criteria did you use? How didyou use the results? How do youknow for sure that their groupcooperation was plausible? Are thestudents satisfied with their work?”You begin to slump in the witnessbox, hoping all of this is a bad dream.For some technology educationteachers, the scenario above mayseem far fetched and unreasonable,but for others it is exactly what theythink through when designingassessment for standards-basedinstructional units. Designingstandards-based assessment is a keycomponent of a quality technologyeducation program. For students tobecome technologically literate, it isimportant that the teacher understandshow to measure studentunderstandings and abilities in thestudy of technology. This article iswritten to help the teacher andteacher educator recognize theinherent value of designing qualityassessments to measure technologicalliteracy in students. This article isA five-step approach to defining assessmentindicators is described in Measuring Progress.based on the publication, MeasuringProgress: A Guide to AssessingStudents for Technological Literacy(ITEA, 2004).Technological Literacy andAssessmentFor the past few years technologyeducators across the United Statesand in many other countries haveheard the call to design curriculumthat will promote technologicalliteracy for all children. In some partsof the country, a vast majority of theschools have grasped this vision andmade remarkable changes to theirtechnology education curriculum,while others continue to pressforward. From my experience as ajunior high technology teacher anduniversity faculty member, developingappropriate curriculum and instructionthat aligns with both state andnational standards is not nearly asdifficult as measuring studentachievement of the standards and,ultimately, progress towardtechnological literacy.Technological literacy has beendefined in various ways. In 2000, theInternational Technology EducationAssociation (ITEA) stated thattechnological literacy is “the ability touse, manage, assess, and understandtechnology” (p. 9). This definitionwas put forth in Standards forTechnological Literacy to challengeeducators, specifically those in thefield of technology education, toredirect their curriculum to focus onstudents becoming technologicallyliterate. More recently, the bookTechnically Speaking: Why AllAmericans Need to Know More AboutTechnology, described technologicalliteracy in terms of three dimensionsthat include “knowledge, capabilities,and ways of thinking and acting”(Pearson & Young, 2002, p. 15). Thesethree dimensions of technologicalliteracy are shown in Figure 1.Pearson and Young (2002, p. 17)describe each of the three dimensionswith recognizable explanations. Tosummarize, they indicate that withinthe study of technology, knowledgerefers to the “content” that studentsare expected to learn, the impacts andpervasiveness of technology onsociety, how to use an engineeringdesign process to solve problems, andthat all technology entails risk andhas benefits and consequences. Itis important to recognize thatknowledge, as it is referred to inFigure 1, does not simply refer to therecall of facts and data but goesbeyond that to an understanding oftechnology. Ways of thinking andacting enables students to askpertinent questions about technology,learn about new technologies, andbecome active participants, as muchas possible, in decisions abouttechnology. Finally, the termcapabilities references hands-on skilldevelopment and utilizes technology,math, science, and other concepts tosolve technological problems.For many teachers, assessment tendsto be an afterthought. Students finish30 December/January 2005 • THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER


their activity, turn in the results, andexpect a score from the teacher. Iremember clearly when I was in ninthgrade and received a grade of B+ ona project from my wood shop teacher.When I asked why the grade was aB+ and not an A, he simply said,“Because what you did was not Awork, it was only B+ work.” I pressedthe issue a little further and asked,“What would A work look like?” Hethought for a minute and said, “Well, Ican tell you it is not that,” and hepointed to my project. It was obviousthat assessment of student work wasan afterthought and not part of theinitial instructional design process.Designing quality assessment beginsbefore an instructional unit is started,not afterwards.Measuring Progress recommends thatassessment be viewed as a scrapbookrather than a single snapshot. In otherwords, viewing one particular sourceof evidence (e.g., a test, a project,notes, or observations) will notgive a complete picture of studentdevelopment. Evidence, whenspeaking of assessment, “refers tothe information collected thatdemonstrates or proves studentunderstanding” (ITEA, 2004, p. 10).This evidence will be varied anddifferent for all instructional units.Giving a 15-question, multiple-choicetest will not provide sufficientevidence that the concepts have beenattained. Costa and Kallick stated that,“We are more likely to observeindicators of achievement if we firsttake the time to specifically definethose indicators” (2000, p. 1).Defining the AssessmentIndicatorsA five-step approach to definingassessment indicators is described inMeasuring Progress (see pages 12 to21). This process has been adaptedand expanded from the “BackwardsDesign Process” written about byGrant Wiggins and Jay McTighe(1998). These steps include:Figure 1. Dimensions of a Technologically Literate Person1. Identify content standards andappropriate benchmarks. Thesestandards should include both stateand national standards. Statestandards, in many cases, providethe necessary documentation ofstandards that may be legallybinding to achieve. The nationalstandards, although not law,provide teachers with additionalexternal validation of theircurriculum.2. Extract and organize content.Wiggins and McTighe refer to thisas “unpacking the standard.”Extracting and organizing thecontent allows the standards todrive the educational process, andnot the teacher’s or student’s ownlikes and dislikes for a favoriteproject or activity. The materialthat is extracted is framed in termsof “big ideas” that are “coreconcepts, principles, theories, andFigure 2. Assessment Criteria Examplesprocesses that should serve as thefocal point of…assessment”(Wiggins & McTighe, 1999, p. 275).3. Define assessment criteria. Thisstage is key to the process and canbe easily overlooked. It requiresthat the teacher carefully establishset criteria by which evidence ofstudent learning can be compared.It is suggested that the teacheridentify the number of and titles forthe criteria level. Some suggestedlevels are identified in Figure 2. It isimportant to recognize that somebig ideas will require uniqueassessment criteria levels.4. Select and use assessment toolsand/or methods. At this stage theteacher should align the activities,content, and big ideas of theinstructional unit with a variety ofassessment methods. Thisalignment is explained in the nextsection of the article.FEATURE ARTICLETHE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER • December/January 2005 31


FEATURE ARTICLEFigure 3. Aligning Assessment Purpose With Assessment TechniquesNote: The page numbers referenced refer to content in Measuring Progress.5. Make use of assessment results.Finally, once students havecompleted the assessments, theteacher has to carefully examinethe results and determine what theresults show. The results (i.e.,evidence of learning) can be usedin a variety of ways, as indicated inMeasuring Progress. Somepossibilities include:a. Improving teaching andlearningb. Assigning gradesc. Monitoring progressd. Identifying levels oftechnological literacye. Determining instructionaleffectivenessf. Communicating the resultsg. Marketing and promotionh. Guiding professionaldevelopment decisionsi. Guiding program enhancementdecisionsAssessment AlignmentOne of the most challenging parts ofcreating quality assessment devices isalignment. It is certainly notappropriate to assess higher-orderthinking skills with a multiple-choicetest. In the same light, an essay exammay not be appropriate to gatherevidence of understanding facts.Figure 3 may help to clarify the rangeof assessments that are appropriatewith expected learning outcomes.In Figure 3, (adapted from Wiggins &McTighe, 1998) curricular prioritiesare aligned with assessment methods.Curricular priorities are items that areextracted and organized from thecontent and the standards. The largestcircle identifies items that are “worthbeing familiar with.” This material islikely to be forgotten by the student indays or weeks to come, but isnevertheless good for them to knowwhen solving a design challenge. Forexample, in a design unit dealing withthe flight, students should be familiarwith terms related to aviation, dates,important people, and possibly aircraftnames. This information provides thestudent with a more well-roundedunderstanding of aviation. Thismaterial is easily assessed with moretraditional assessment methodsincluding true/false, multiple-choice,and matching tests. This type ofassessment is easy to construct andeasy to grade, but it gives a veryincomplete picture of student learning.The center ring identifies items thatare “important to know and do.” Thismaterial provides a foundation forlearning the “big ideas” and isnecessary to successfully solve thedesign challenge. Following the sameexample about aviation, studentswould learn about wing design,aerodynamics, Bernoulli’s principle,and the forces on a plane. Assessingthese items is more difficult. Itrequires students to construct aresponse, demonstrate a performance,and answer more complexquestioning.The inner ring contains the “big ideas”that are essential to understand andthat will have lasting value. These “bigideas” are the items that lead studentsto becoming technologically literateand require the most challenging andvaluable form of assessments. Theseinclude authentic performance,presentations, and the development ofdesign solutions. Each of these itemscan be assessed with a rubric or otherauthentic assessment tool.Finally, with all good educationalpractices, the teacher must maintain abalance of assessment methods andtechniques. Using only traditionalpaper/pencil tests or just authenticactivities does not provide a completepicture of a student understanding oftechnology.ReferencesCosta, A. & Kallick, B. (2000). Assessingand reporting on habits of mind.Alexandria, VA: Association forSupervision and CurriculumDevelopment.International Technology EducationAssociation. (2000/2002). Standards fortechnological literacy: Content for thestudy of technology. Reston, VA:Author.International Technology EducationAssociation. (2004). MeasuringProgress: A Guide to AssessingStudents for Technological Literacy.Reston, VA: Author.National Academy of Engineering &National Research Council. (2002).Technically Speaking: Why allAmericans need to know more abouttechnology. (A. Pearson & T. Young,Eds.). Washington, DC: NationalAcademy Press.Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (1998).Understanding by design. Alexandria,VA: Association for Supervision andCurriculum Development.Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (1999).Understanding by design handbook.Alexandria, VA: Association forSupervision and CurriculumDevelopment.Dr. Daniel E.Engstrom is anassociate professorat CaliforniaUniversity of PA andthe Project Directorfor the NSF-fundedInvention, Innovation,and Inquiry Project.He can be reachedat engstrom@cup.edu.32 December/January 2005 • THE TECHNOLOGY TEACHER


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Setting New Standards!PRENTICE HALLTechnology EducationLearning by DesignPrentice Hall's Technology Education: Learning byDesign is the first middle school Technology Educationprogram to completely integrate the ITEABenchmarks. In fact, it was co-authored by MichaelHacker, a member of the Standards writing team.The text incorporates critical math and scienceskills, key to completing design projects anddeveloping technological literacy.Informed Design, Not Trial and ErrorTechnology Education: Learning by Designintegrates a unique Informed Designapproach to design projects. Rejectingtrial-and-error methods, the InformedDesign approach prompts research, inquiry,and analysis; fosters student and teacherdiscourse; and cultivates language proficiency.Bringing Technology Concepts to Life...Each chapter in Technology Education:Learning by Design contains a “HowTechnology Works” feature linked toan engaging, 3-D Web activity that bringstechnological concepts to life.Please stop by booth #612 at ITEA!Call toll-free at 1-866-326-4259 or email us atvotechonline@phschool.com


Department HeadEngineering and Technology EducationWe invite applications and nominations forcandidates for the position of department head.The Department of Engineering and TechnologyEducation will continue its highly successfulprogram of preparing technology educationteachers as well as taking on new rolesincluding improving retention of freshman andsophomore engineering students and improvingthe K-12 preparation of potential engineeringstudents. The department head will lead thefaculty in developing strong research programsthat improve our understanding of learning andteaching engineering and technology subjectsand ways to assess student understanding. Formore information visit our web site:http://www.usu.edu/hr/W1-110-04.htm


You Don’t Want to Miss This One!ITEA is “goin’ to Kansas City,” so make plans now to join us in April for what will be four days filled witheducation, exploration, networking, and just plain fun.The 67th Annual Conference is going to be different, very different than conferences of the past. Join yourfellow teachers and colleagues for our 2005 theme, “Preparing the Next Generation for Technological Literacy.”Some highlights of the many changes include:• A Saturday evening Welcome Reception—your chance to socialize with your fellow teachers, renew pastacquaintances and make new ones.• General Session programs scheduled for 9:00am on Sunday and Mondayat the Convention Center. The “Tech Talk” Cafe, a casual way to enjoycoffee and continental breakfast, will open at 8:00am each morning prior tothe start of the General Sessions.• Dedicated exhibit hours on Sunday and Monday, with buffet lunchservice available in the hall each day.Complimentary lunch will be offered tofully registered attendees on Monday.• Over 120 special interest sessions tochoose from, in addition to seven preconferenceworkshops.• Monday evening’s A Taste of Kansas Citydinner and jazz tour is a fun way to see the city,taste the famous Kansas City barbeque, and enjoysome of the best of three of Kansas City’s unforgettablejazz clubs.This is one event you don’t want to hear about fromyour colleagues after it’s over. So make plans now toattend.Complete conference information is available atwww.iteawww.org.See you there!

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