Tech nology TEACHER “Designer” Babies

April 2007
Volume 66 • Number 7
T h e Vo i c e o f Te c h n o l o g y E d u c a t i o n
“Designer” Babies
Teaching Engineering at the K–12 Level:
Two Perspectives
2007 Directory of Institutional Members
Mastercam X got me my dream job!
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and I love it here, even though it gets pretty stressful with those big guys
pushing to hit deadlines. Mastercam sure helps make my job easier.”
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Find out how Mastercam X works for Ty and
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Take the Challenge.
The Technology Challenge.
Proving and improving computer skills.
Sample Questions
Open the attached document to
find the 500 most commonly used
baby names last year. Alphabetize
the list and determine which name
is 402nd on the list.
How many words are in the
Gettysburg Address?
Determine which cell in the
attached spreadsheet contains
a formula.
Reduce all the margins of the
attached document to 1 inch.
Does the text fit on one page?
Which picture occupies the middle
layer of the object stack in the
attached document?
Has the picture in the attached
document been cropped? If so,
uncrop it. What do you see?
In the attached document, replace
all occurrences of the word
‘woman’ with the word ‘lady.’ How
many changes were made?
Sort the numbers in the attached
document and determine which is
the largest number.
Search the Internet to determine
the year Rachel Carson died.
Change the orientation of the
attached document from portrait
to landscape. Does the text still fit
on two pages?
How many words are incorrectly
spelled in the attachment?
What is the alignment given to the
paragraph in the attached?
Format the number in cell C12 as
a Date. What is the date shown?
Determine the Flesch-Kincaid
Readability Level of the attached
Helping You Meet NCLB Mandates
By spring of 2007, schools must begin assessing 8th grade student competencies
in computer technology with tools that provide objective evidence of performance.
A great new program, part of the Learn More Now, Do More Now, Earn More
Later Student Credentialing System, is here to help you meet that mandate.
It’s called the Technology Challenge and it offers students hundreds of questions
in dozens of formative online exercises that will hone their word processing,
spreadsheet, presentation and Internet skills. Teachers can watch students’ work
online, real time. At the end of every exercise, the Challenge generates a
diagnostic credential that details strengths and weaknesses that can be remediated.
Challenge exercises are appropriate for students as young as seventh grade, and
gradually become more difficult. The Challenge provides students with the
opportunity to solve problems and find answers using the same computer skills
they will need in college and work.
In addition to formative exercises, the Technology Challenge also offers
cumulative assessments for eighth grade students (and high school, too) that
provide objective evidence of proficiency. With the skills students learn and
demonstrate in the Technology Challenge, they will be better able to successfully
and accurately complete technology-based projects in their academic classes.
The combination of skills-based Challenge exercises and assessments, and the use
of those skills in authentic learning situations, provides the perfect combination
for schools that aspire to equip their students with knowledge and skills that go
beyond mere compliance with federal or state mandates and ensure students have
deep cognitive understanding of technology and its use.
Students like taking the Challenge. It’s fun. It’s motivating. And it’s very
inexpensive. A full year district license for all available Challenges is only 50
cents per student. New Challenges are introduced almost every month.
The Technology Challenge questions are unique, and ask students to demonstrate
what they know how to do, not just what they know. Performance-based questions
use carefully designed attachments that require students to implement some action.
After students implement the action, the reaction, or the way the document
responds, provides the proof of user skills.
The Technology Challenge is a great teacher training tool, too. Districts are also
using it to make hiring decisions for office personnel who need computer skills.
For a limited time only, get a FREE month of access to the Technology Challenge.
Visit or to find out more.
The Technology Challenge is a
product of Challenge Central LLC,
a strategic partner of the
APRIL • VOL. 66 • NO. 7
Work Measurements:
Interdisciplinary Overlap in
Manufacturing and Algebra I
Resources in
Designer Babies:
Describes a successful inter­disciplinary
activity that requires high school
manufacturing and algebra students to
take systematic work measurements and
mathematically compare costs.
MARY ANNette Rose
Eugenics Repackaged
or Consumer Options?
page 12
ITEA Online
In the News
and Calendar
You & ITEA
in Technology
Publisher, Kendall N. Starkweather, DTE
Editor-In-Chief, Kathleen B. de la Paz
Editor, Kathie F. Cluff
ITEA Board of Directors
Andy Stephenson, President
Ken Starkman, Past President
Len Litowitz, DTE, President-Elect
Doug Miller, DTE, Director, ITEA-CS
Scott Warner, Director, Region I
Lauren Withers Olson, Director, Region II
Steve Meyer, Director, Region III
Richard (Rick) Rios, Director, Region IV
Michael DeMiranda, DTE, Director, CTTE
Peter Wright, DTE, Director, TECA
Vincent Childress, Director, TECC
Kendall N. Starkweather, DTE, CAE, Executive Director
Teaching Engineering at the K–12 Level: Two Perspectives
20 Perspectives
of two leaders in the field on a variety of issues pertaining to integrating
engineering education into our schools.
Designing and Building a Cardboard Chair: Children’s Engineering at
the TECA Eastern Regional Conference
Recounts the latest TECA/Children’s Engineering competition, in which teams from
universities up and down the East Coast were required to design and produce a functional
cardboard chair.
CHARles C. LINNell
Interview with Dr. William A. Wulf
Dr. Wulf retires in July 2007 as the President of the National Academy of Engineers.
2007 Directory of ITEA Institutional Members
2007 ITEA Museum Member
ITEA is an affiliate of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science.
Microfiche from University Microfilm, P.O. Box
1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106.
The Technology Teacher, ISSN: 0746-3537,
is published eight times a year (September
through June with combined December/January
and May/June issues) by the International
Technology Education Association, 1914
Association Drive, Suite 201, Reston, VA
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T h e Vo i c e o f Te c h n o l o g y E d u c a t i o n
Editorial Review Board
2007 Product Guide Now Available
ITEA’s 2007 Technological Literacy Product
Guide is now available online. ITEA’s full line of
publications and curriculum materials is listed in
detail. See complete catalog online, with extensive
information on:
n C
urriculum Development
n Engineering byDesign™
n Center to Advance the Teaching of Technology
and Science (ITEA-CATTS)
n Human Exploration Project
Go to:
Dan Engstrom
California University of PA
Stan Komacek
California University of PA
Steve Anderson
Nikolay Middle School, WI
Frank Kruth
South Fayette MS, PA
Stephen Baird
Bayside Middle School, VA
Linda Markert
SUNY at Oswego
Lynn Basham
MI Department of Education
Don Mugan
Valley City State University
Clare Benson
University of Central England
Monty Robinson
Black Hills State University
Mary Braden
Carver Magnet HS, TX
Mary Annette Rose
Ball State University
Jolette Bush
Midvale Middle School, UT
Terrie Rust
Oasis Elementary School, AZ
Philip Cardon
Eastern Michigan University
Yvonne Spicer
Nat’l Center for Tech Literacy
Michael Cichocki
Salisbury Middle School, PA
Jerianne Taylor
Appalachian State University
Mike Fitzgerald
IN Department of Education
Greg Vander Weil
Wayne State College
Marie Hoepfl
Appalachian State Univ.
Katherine Weber
Des Plaines, IL
Laura Hummell
Manteo Middle School, NC
Eric Wiebe
North Carolina State Univ.
Apply to Present in 2008!
Editorial Policy
As the only national and international association dedicated
solely to the development and improvement of technology
education, ITEA seeks to provide an open forum for the free
exchange of relevant ideas relating to technology education.
Materials appearing in the journal, including
advertising, are expressions of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the official policy or the opinion of the
association, its officers, or the ITEA Headquarters staff.
The Application to Present at ITEA’s 70th Annual Conference in Salt
Lake City, UT (February 21 - 23, 2008) is now available online at
Referee Policy
n Th
eme: Teaching “TIDE” with Pride!
All professional articles in The Technology Teacher are
refereed, with the exception of selected association
activities and reports, and invited articles. Refereed articles
are reviewed and approved by the Editorial Board before
publication in The Technology Teacher. Articles with bylines
will be identified as either refereed or invited unless written
by ITEA officers on association activities or policies.
n Conference Theme Strands:
w Strand 1: Developing Professionals
w Strand 2: Realizing Excellence
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© 2007 by the International Technology Education
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w Strand 3: Planning Learning
w Strand 4: Measuring Progress
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
In the News & Calendar
Product Endorsements Announced
The States’ Career Clusters Initiative has announced a
recent agreement with the following newly endorsed
preferred product provider: International Technology
Education Association (ITEA) is a professional educational
association devoted to enhancing technology education
through technology, innovation, design, and engineering
experiences at the K–12 school levels. The Engineering
byDesign™ (EbD™) standards-based model program may
be found in electronic format at This
program consists of a series of lessons for Grades K–5, and
an articulated sequence of ten courses for middle and high
school that are standards-based. In addition, the website will
provide information regarding the Engineering byDesign™
Network of schools and teachers nationwide that are a
community of learners working collaboratively to raise
student achievement.
National Building Museum Launches National
Education Initiatives
The National Building Museum (NBM) has launched its first
design education program to national audiences, offering
a curriculum that provides math, science, and engineering
curricula connections—disciplines that decidedly support
America’s economic competitive edge in the changing
international marketplace.
The Museum’s Bridge Basics program is the first of several
education initiatives the Museum is launching nationally.
Bridge Basics teaches fifth through ninth graders about
bridge engineering and design through creative lesson
plans where students are challenged to solve transportation
problems while balancing issues of materials, cost, geog­
raphy, and aesthetics. The program helps students meet
math standards in geometry, measurement, data analysis
and probability, and problem solving. It also cultivates an
understanding of scientific inquiry, the use and ability of
technologies, and the attributes of design and engineering.
The Museum is collaborating with the U.S. Department of
Labor to introduce the Design Apprenticeship Program:
Building Blocks (DAP) to students across the country. DAP
presents high school students with a design challenge for
which they conceive, develop, test, and construct a solution.
The program fosters critical thinking, problem solving, and
communication skills necessary for life and applicable in all
settings. It meets national standards of learning in math,
science, technology, social studies, and arts. The program
has been successfully used at the Museum since 2000 and
will be available nationwide in the summer of 2007.
The national Bridge Basics and DAP launches will be
followed by the development of national curricula for City
By Design, an urban planning curriculum for kindergarten
through sixth graders, and the proposed launch of Investi­
gating Where We Live, a photography, creative writing, and
exhibition design program for secondary students.
The Museum’s programs have been supporting core
education, professional development, and the building
industries for over 25 years. Every year at the Museum,
approximately 54,000 young people participate in design
education, which integrates information with experience,
links learning to living, emphasizes thinking, promotes
socialization and cooperation, and is both inter- and multidisciplinary. As a cultural institution chartered by Congress,
the National Building Museum is uniquely poised to create,
foster, and bring added relevance to design education on a
national level, strengthening student performance in schools
across the country.
Is Edu-Gaming the Future of Scientific and
Technological Education?
Companies and organizations nationwide are worried
about the dwindling pipeline of talent to replace the retiring
scientists, engineers, and IT specialists of the baby boomer
generation. There is widespread concern that the U.S.
may be losing its edge in technology and the sciences to
emerging giants like India and China. Positive exposure to
science and technology through well-crafted educational
content is key to creating lifelong interest in children., the leading virtual world for kids and young
teenagers (ages 8 to 15), engages children in critical thinking
and investigations in science and technology through
edu-gaming. Leveraging the interactivity of the Internet,
Whyville is filled with fun educational activities that foster
curiosity and creativity.
Sponsored by NASA, the latest edu-game within Whyville
is the Spectroscopy Lab. Through a series of activities
ranging from creating your own homemade spectroscope
to reenacting the historical discovery of hydrogen, children
learn about the electromagnetic spectrum, the concept that
all materials have their own unique spectral “fingerprint,”
and how this can be used by astronomers to discover what’s
in a star from millions of miles away. Other educational
games and activities in Whyville include those sponsored by
the John Paul Getty Trust, the Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institute, NASA, and the University of Texas.
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
Free Online Resources and Content From the
National Academy of Sciences
A bone detective, space geologist, and robot designer,
among others, inspire future scientists at www. Created by the National Academy of
Sciences, encourages young people,
especially girls, to pursue an interest in science. Lia, the
teenage cartoon character who hosts the site, guides visitors
through interactive resources and activities designed for
middle school students. The site also includes science labs,
games, and a parent-teacher guide.
is the companion website to the Women’s Adventures in
Science book series. The website and book series showcase
the accomplishments of contemporary women in science
and highlight the careers of some of today’s most prominent
scientists. Visit and start inspiring
future scientists today.
are awarded for this three-day program. Attendees should
be involved with industrial, contractor, or maintenance
spray finishing applications, or spray equipment
sales and distribution. To register or for additional
information, contact Jaime Wineland at 800-466-9367 or
[email protected] Information is also available
online at
June 2-6, 2007 An international technology education
conference, Concepts and Standards of the Technology
Education in Secondary Schools, will be held in Ulaanbaatar,
Mongolia. Official languages of the conference are English
and Mongolian. Contact Professor Z. Ulziikhutag, Head
of Technology Education and Fine Art Department of the
Mongolian State University of Education, at [email protected] for details. Or visit
April 6, 2007 The Annual USM/TEAM Spring Conference
will take place at the John Mitchell Center, University of
Southern Maine, Gorham Campus. Contact this year’s
organizers, Dr. Robert Nannay at [email protected]
or Mark Dissell at [email protected], for information.
June 15, 2007 Deadline for applications to present at
the 70th Annual ITEA Conference, February 21-23, 2008.
The conference theme is “Teaching TIDE With Pride.”
Information is available on the ITEA website at www.
April 10-11, 2007 The Triangle Coalition for Science and
Technology Education will host its annual legislative update
conference at the Hilton Hotel in the heart of Old Town
Alexandria, VA. General and reservation information may
be obtained at
June 21-27, 2007 The PATT-18: Pupils’ Attitudes
Towards Technology, International Design and Technology
Education Conference, “Teaching and Learning Tech­
nological Literacy in the Classroom,” will be held in
Glasgow, Scotland. For further information about the
conference or presentation opportunities, contact the
Con­ference Director, John Dakers, at [email protected]
April 13-14, 2007 The Great Moonbuggy Race, sponsored
by Northrop Grumman. Visit http://moonbuggy.msfc.nasa.
gov/index.html for information, or contact Coordinator,
Durlean Bradford, at 256-961-1335 or [email protected]
May 3-4, 2007 The 2007 TEANJ Technology Conference
& Expo, Enhancing Technology, Engineering, Science,
and Mathematics, will be held at the Teaneck Marriott
at Glenpointe. Workshop descriptions and registration
information can be found at
TEANJ/index.htm. All NJ teachers, counselors, supervisors,
administrators, and other professionals are welcome and
encouraged to attend.
June 24-28, 2007 The 29th Annual National TSA
Conference, TSA, Breaking Down the Boundaries,
will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort
and Convention Center in Nashville, TN. The
conference will feature high school and middle
school competitive events, a one-day Education
Fair, and the DuPont Leadership Academy. Visit
for complete information. Or contact Donna
Andrews, TSA Conference Manager, at:
[email protected]; 703-860-9000 (ex. 15);
703-758-4852 fax.
May 16-18, 2007 DeVilbiss, Binks and Owens Com­
munity college will present a Spray Finishing Technology
Workshop in Toledo, OH. Two continuing education units
June 29-July 3, 2007 The sixth CRIPT
International Primary Design and Technology Conference
will be held in Birmingham, England. It brings together
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
educators from all continents to discuss
the latest developments in this worldwide
developing area. Papers for publication
must be sent by March 31, 2007. Contact
Professor Clare Benson at [email protected] for further details or visit www.
July 8-13, 2007 The World Conference
on Science and Technology Education,
hosted by the International Council
of Associations for Science Education
(ICASE) and the Australian Science
Teachers Association (ASTA), will be held
in Perth, Western Australia. Information
can be found at
July 16-19, 2007 The Texas CTE
Professional Develop­ment Conference
for the Clusters of Science, Technology,
Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)
and Manufacturing—“AchieveTexas,
Embracing The Challenge”—will be held
at the Wyndham Arlington-DFW Airport
South Hotel in Arlington, Texas. For more
information, visit www.ingenuitycenter.
com or contact Julie Moore at 903-5667378 or [email protected]
July 25-28, 2007 The National Board for
Professional Teaching Standards’ NBPTS
National Conference & Exposition, Making
Connections: Linking Teach­ing and
Leadership, will take place at the Hilton
Washington Hotel in Washington, DC.
Details are available at
October 11-13, 2007 The state of
New Hampshire will host the NEATT
conference in Worcester, MA. For
immediate updates, check the TEAM
website at
List your State/Province Association Con­
ference in TTT and TrendScout (ITEA’s
electronic newsletter). Submit conference
title, date(s), location, and contact in­
formation (at least two months prior
to journal publication date) to [email protected]
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
You & ITEA
Mark Your Calendar Now for ITEA’s 70th Annual Conference!
Plan to attend this historic 70th ITEA Conference in
beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah. Conference dates are
February 21-23, 2008. The conference theme is Teaching
“TIDE” with Pride! Technology, Innovation, Design,
Engineering—four simple words forming the acronym
TIDE. TIDE indicates that technology education is not just
about computers. The concepts and principles underlying
TIDE, while not designed as preparation for any one
specific career or area of future study, articulate the content
and strategies included in the study of technology and
engineering. These concepts and principles provide a base
for the pursuit of a wide range of future endeavors that
utilize the TIDE knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
Now is also the time to consider presenting at the Salt Lake
Conference—the deadline for submission of the Application
to Present is June 15, 2007. The form can be accessed from
the ITEA website at
When developing presentation proposals for the 2008
ITEA Conference, applicants should focus on the TIDE
concept as they address one of the following conference
theme strand areas:
• Strand 1: Developing Professionals
• Strand 2: Realizing Excellence
• Strand 3: Planning Learning
• Strand 4: Measuring Progress
ITEA Council Leadership
Current officers for the ITEA Councils:
Council for Supervisors
Greg Kane
Lynn Basham Barry Burke, DTE
Council on Technology Teacher Education
Richard Seymour
Marie Hoepfl
Vice President
Brian McAlister
Phillip Reed
Michael DeMiranda
Past President
Technology Education for Children Council
Jared Berrett
Janis Churchill
Wendy Ku
Terri Varnado
VP Communications
Sharon Brusic
VP Program
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
Work Measurements: Interdisciplinary
Overlap in Manufacturing and Algebra I
By Mary Annette Rose
Carefully planning, estimating,
and controlling manufacturing
costs requires engineers to
employ a variety of algebra
concepts and skills.
anufacturing and pre-engineering curricula help
students develop knowledge and skills directly
relevant to the roles and responsibilities of industrial
and manufacturing engineers. According to the
Occupational Outlook Handbook (Bureau of Labor
Statistics, 2005),
…industrial engineers determine the most
effec­tive ways to use the basic factors of
production—people, machines, materials,
information, and energy—to make a product or
to provide a service… To solve organizational,
production, and related problems efficiently,
industrial engineers carefully study the product
requirements, use mathematical methods to
meet those requirements, and design manu­
facturing and information systems. They
develop management control systems to aid in
financial planning and cost analysis, and design
production planning and control systems to
coordinate activities and ensure product quality
(Nature of the Work, p.16).
Students analyzed drilling procedures by measuring the
performance time and calculating the labor costs
associated with three different drilling tools.
Curricular content within high school manufacturing
courses familiarize students with many of the techniques
that engineers use to optimize productivity while mini­
mizing costs, such as designing fixtures, planning work
flow, and taking work measurements. The knowledge and
skills required to mathematically model and analyze data
generated from these activities are taught within high school
algebra curriculum. This timely coincidence presents an
opportunity for technology and algebra teachers to plan and
coordinate interdisciplinary learning activities that reinforce
mutual goals for their students.
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
Interdisciplinary Project
The following interdisciplinary learning activity was
originally implemented as a Tech Prep project at Norview
High School, Norfolk, Virginia. The project occurred over
three days within 1 ½-hour blocks; total activity time was
4 ½ hours. This cooperative learning project required
students enrolled in Manufacturing Technology and Algebra
I to share their technical and mathematical expertise
for the purpose of demonstrating how this knowledge
and skill applies in real-world contexts. As with other
interdisciplinary projects (Wicklein & Schell, 1995, for
example), the goal was to require students to actively apply
their content knowledge outside their respective disciplinary
boundaries, and thereby increase their interest in studying
manufacturing and algebra.
Initial discussions between the manufacturing and algebra
teachers generated a substantial list of key opportunities to
apply algebra concepts within the manufacturing technology
curriculum. Consideration of students’ developing expertise
and a comparison of semester calendars quickly identified
a window of opportunity to mutually enhance curricular
goals by solving equations relevant to methods, planning,
and work-measurement tasks of manufacturing engineers.
Specifically, groups of students compared the performance
and cost characteristics of three increasingly sophisticated
manufacturing processes by using symbolic representation
and algebraic processes. For example, students analyzed
drilling processes by measuring the performance time and
calculating the labor costs associated with three different
drilling tools, including a human-powered hand drill, a
portable electric drill, and a drill press.
Learning Objectives
Upon completion of the interdisciplinary activity, Manu­
facturing Technology and Algebra I students were able to:
1.Identify and discuss the responsibilities of manufacturing
engineers regarding methods, planning, and work
2.Safely perform manufacturing processes using three
different tools that vary in their level of technical
3.Organize real-time data gathered through work
measurements of manufacturing processes into matrices.
4.Apply formulae and solve equations and inequalities.
5.Discuss the interconnected nature of manufacturing
engineering and algebra.
6.Draw conclusions about the appropriateness of tool
selection based on the results of work measurements.
Standards for Technological Literacy
(ITEA, 2000/2002)
Standard 12. Students will develop the abilities
to use and maintain technological products
and systems.
Standard 19. Students will develop an under­
standing of and be able to select and use
manufacturing technologies.
Selected Expectations from Standards for
School Mathematics (NCTM, 2000)
In Grades 9-12 all students should—
• Recognize and apply mathematics in contexts
outside of mathematics
• Communicate their mathematical thinking
coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and
• Use symbolic algebra to represent and explain
mathematical relationships
• Develop fluency in operations with real numbers,
vectors, and matrices, using mental computation
or paper-and-pencil calculations for simple cases
and technology for more complicated cases
Figure 1. Alignment to national standards.
As indicated in Figure 1, these objectives reflect Standards
for Technological Literacy (ITEA, 2000/2002) and Standards
for School Mathematics (NCTM, 2000).
Planning the Activity
Preparing for this activity involved several logistical
concerns, such as planning the optimal sequence of content,
evaluating safety precautions, and envisioning efficient and
understandable strategies for coordinating 40 students. The
most time-consuming aspect of planning, however, was
preparing multiple workstations to accommodate groups
of four to five students within the manufacturing lab. Each
workstation included the tools, tooling, and materials to
perform an operation, such as drilling or irregular sawing.
Three workstations were aligned to demonstrate three
different levels of sophistication of the same process; Table 1
illustrates five such combinations of tools. In addition, each
workstation included a stopwatch for measuring process
time, safety glasses and safety guards, a calculator, and a
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
time-analysis sheet that incorporated prompts for student
names and a 3 x 3 table for recording the operation cycle
time for three tools. A customized methods instruction
or operation sheet was included at each station. As
illustrated in Table 2, methods sheets included step-by-step
instructions taken to perform a specific process.
Day 1—Building Expertise
Instruction on the first day of the activity occurred within
separate classrooms. The two teachers independently:
(1) introduced the interdisciplinary learning activity; (2)
enhanced students’ knowledge, skills, and confidence
within their own content domain; and (3) assigned students
to roles. Within the manufacturing class, this meant that
students were assigned to the role of methods engineer,
industrial trainer, and maintenance supervisor. As methods
engineers, students prepared and tested the tooling
(fixtures or templates) for three interrelated workstations.
As trainers, students prepared to teach their algebra
peers how to safely perform three operations according
to the methods instruction sheet. Students also served as
maintenance supervisors by learning how to repair and
return workstations to preoperation setups.
Concurrently, algebra students were informed that they
would apply their new algebraic understanding of variables
and inequalities to real-time data that would be acquired
during a joint project with manufacturing students. To
prepare for this activity, algebra students:
1. Reviewed the formula and variables for computing a
mathematical average or mean.
2. Identified the variables, equations, and inequalities
employed for this time and cost activity.
3. Reviewed axioms for transforming equations and solving
4. Applied the rules for organizing a matrix (e.g., each
variable forms a column) to the variables of this activity.
In addition, algebra students were informed that during
the activity they would assume the role of a workstation
operator, time analyst, or cost estimator. Workstation
operators would learn how to safely perform an operation
from a manufacturing student, and then perform this
operation a minimum of three times. Time analysts
would measure the time it takes to complete three cycles
(performances) of an operation, then demonstrate how to
represent and calculate the average time it takes to complete
an operation. Cost estimators would teach manufacturing
students how to organize data into a matrix and how to
solve for an unknown variable using a formula (is that
inequality) for comparing the cost of capital investment in
tools to the costs of labor.
Time analysts would measure the time it takes to complete
three cycles of an operation.
Technological Sophistication Level
Drilling a hole
Hand Drill
Power Drill
Drill Press
Driving a screw
Brace and Bit
Screw Shooter
Irregular cutting
Coping Saw
Saber Saw
Band Saw
Hand Saw
Back Saw - Miter Box
Radial Arm Saw
Ceramic cutting
Tile Saw
Roto-Zip Spiral Saw
Circular Tile Saw
Table 1. Process stations.
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• April 2007
Drill hole in Spacer
Drill Press
Part Name and Number
Spacer, F-3
Tool Cost
Part Description
¾" x 2" x 4" pine with centered 1/8" hole
1/8" Twist Drill Bit
Fixture (positions stock on table)
Safety Rules
1. Always wear eye protection.
2. Secure long hair, necklaces, and dangling objects away from the chuck.
3. Secure the stock to the table before drilling.
4. Stay at the drill press until all parts have reached a dead stop.
Step Number and Description
1. With the power on, select standard stock and secure stock against the fixture.
2. Rotate the crank handle to move the drill bit completely through the stock.
3. Reverse the crank handle to extract the bit from the hole.
4. Remove the workpiece.
Table 2. Example of methods instruction or operation sheet.
Day 2—Work Measurements
On the second day of the activity, all students met in
the manufacturing lab for an overview of the roles and
responsibilities of manufacturing engineers, especially as
they relate to methods engineers, planning specialists, and
time standard analysts. Koenig (1994) differentiates these
Methods engineers create the broad-based
sequence for producing the part. The planning
specialists then create the detailed instruction
sheet from which the operator will do the
work. The time standard analysts work with the
method sheets to determine the time it should
take to perform each operation. (p. 171)
It was further explained that the manufacturing students
had performed several tasks of the methods engineer in
preparation for this interdisciplinary activity. Specifically,
manufacturing students made and tested tooling (e.g.,
fixture or template), which helped workstation operators
produce consistent results (size and shape). An example of
a methods instruction sheet was presented and its elements
were discussed. It was noted that a primary function of a
methods instruction sheet was to standardize the conditions
of an operation, thus facilitating the measurement of
performance and the coordination of many operations.
The orientation concluded by challenging students to work
in cooperative groups to conduct time analyses of three
operations in order to determine the average cycle time it
takes for a trained worker to complete an operation. A cycle
was defined as a chronological sequence of steps for a single
operation outlined on the methods instruction sheet.
At this time, students were directed to move to their colorcoded workstations. Upon arrival, they were directed to
introduce themselves to their group and record their names
on the group’s time analysis sheet. After quickly reviewing
their roles, the students assumed their responsibilities.
Specifically, manufacturing students alternated between
roles as the industrial trainer and maintenance supervisor.
The trainer demonstrated the proper and safe performance
of an operation according to the methods instruction
sheet and monitored the performance of the operator.
After completion of the operation, the trainer served as
maintenance supervisor and reorganized the workstation
to a startup condition for the next group. Algebra students
alternately served as workstation operators and time
analysts. The operator learned the operation from the
trainer and then safely performed the step-by-step operation
through three complete cycles. The time analyst used a
stopwatch to accurately time and record three cycles of
the operation on the time analysis sheet. Student groups
continued this sequence until time measurements had been
conducted on three tools.
After time measurements were complete, algebra students
were directed to present and explain the formula for
computing an arithmetic average or mean:
where M = mean, ∑ = the sum of, T = time of operation,
and N = number of operation cycles. Under the guidance
of the algebra students, the manufacturing students applied
the formula to solve and record the average operation time
for all three operations. It was emphasized that the value of
calculating the average time to complete an operation was
to generate data that a manufacturing engineer could use
for further mathematical analyses that could inform cost
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
estimates and decisions about tool purchases, workstation
design, and production flow.
Day 3—Estimating Costs Using Applied Algebra
An overview of the final day’s activities included a review
of manufacturing engineering roles and an examination
of how algebra skills are used to inform cost-related
decisions in manufacturing engineering. The review
consisted of questions that guided group discussion,
1. What are the primary goals of a manufacturing engineer?
How do the responsibilities and skills of a methods
engineer, planning specialist, and time analyst differ?
2. What strategies do engineers use to ensure the
consistent and efficient manufacture of products?
Discuss tooling (fixtures and templates) and a methods
instruction sheet.
3. What algebra concepts and procedures do time analysts
employ? Discuss symbolic representation, variables,
and equations.
After ample time for discussion, students were reminded
that a primary goal of a manufacturing company is to sell
their manufactured products to make a profit. Typically,
the finance department of a company oversees the balance
of costs (e.g., materials, energy, labor, and equipment),
market price, and profits. However, estimating, reducing,
and controlling the costs of manufacturing a product lie
within the purview of manufacturing engineers. So, in
addition to the technical aspects of processing materials,
engineers must possess the skill to apply many mathematical
processes (e.g., capacity or break-even analysis) to inform
(in secs)
Labor Rate2
(per hour)
cost decisions. For instance, the decisions engineers make
about which equipment will be purchased for a workstation
directly impact the cost of the labor required to perform the
operation. Carefully planning, estimating, and controlling
manufacturing costs requires engineers to employ a variety
of algebra concepts and skills, including using symbolic
expressions to represent costs, organizing costs into
matrices, and solving equations to estimate costs.
At this point, workstation groups were offered the following
challenge: Conduct a cost analysis of three tools that could
be selected for a manufacturing operation. Specifically,
this analysis should determine at what point (i.e., number
of cycles) the cost of labor is greater than the cost of the
tool, then offer recommendations about the purchase of
equipment or the process of conducting a cost analysis.
Students were reminded to assume the role of cost
estimators. Specifically, algebra students explained and
demonstrated how to identify the variables of the problem,
assign symbols to all variables, organize the data into a
matrix, represent the problem as an inequality, and then
solve the inequality. Manufacturing students constructed
a matrix, recorded proper values, and then calculated the
solution to the problem as represented in Table 3.
Upon completion of the calculations, each group discussed
and responded to the following questions:
1. When might a manufacturing engineer select a less costly
or more costly tool for an operation?
2. What workstation costs were not included in this cost
analysis? Discuss costs related to the characteristics
Labor Cost3
(L) (per sec)
Labor Cost
(LC) (per
R / 3600
Tool Cost
Time = Average or mean time of three trials
Labor Rate = Minimal Wage
3600 seconds = 60 minutes = 1 hour
Table 3. Matrix of process time, labor costs, and tool costs.
10 •
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When is Labor Cost
≥ Tool Cost?
LC(N) ≥ TC
N = # of operations
of the tool, including reliability (maintenance costs),
learnability (training costs), and energy efficiency
(energy costs).
3. How might the inequality change to account for these
other cost factors?
Student learning was assessed using three strategies: a group
performance assessment, a group product assessment,
and an individual objective test. The performance of
workstation groups was assessed using a rubric. The rubric
included criteria for each major responsibility related to
student roles, i.e., methods engineer, industrial trainer,
maintenance supervisor, workstation operator, time analyst,
and cost estimator. For instance, the explanations and
demonstrations offered by the manufacturing students
during their stints as industrial trainers were assessed for
the accurate and complete description of the procedure
to safely operate a specific tool. The workstation group
was also assessed on the accuracy and completeness of its
matrix (see Table 3), as well as the group’s response to the
discussion questions. Finally, newly formed understandings
of manufacturing (e.g., tooling and cycle time) and algebra
concepts (e.g., matrix and variables) and procedures (solving
inequalities) were assessed through an objective test
implemented separately within their respective classrooms.
Manufacturing engineering provides a relevant context from
which to envision interdisciplinary learning experiences
because engineers integrate their knowledge and skills of
manufacturing and algebra processes in order to plan the
efficient manufacture of products. The interdisciplinary
activity described here required manufacturing and algebra
students to alternately share (teach) their disciplinary
expertise and apply this new skill directly to an engineering
scenario. This project enabled manufacturing and algebra
students to take systematic measurements of manufacturing
operations and then analyze this data using algebraic
Casting students in the role of teachers appeared to have
a positive influence upon the students’ motivation and
achievement. For instance, manufacturing students who had
previously demonstrated apathy toward course goals rose
to the challenge of teaching algebra students how to safely
operate equipment. Undoubtedly, this positive teaching
experience boosted self-confidence and contributed to
manufacturing students’ willingness to accept instruction
from other students as well as their persistence in learning
how to accurately apply algebraic processes.
11 •
Although there were several learning benefits to
implementing this interdisciplinary project, there were
also challenges. Planning interdisciplinary projects
requires additional planning time to negotiate a mutually
agreeable learning activity with mathematics teachers.
Familiarizing oneself with the algebra curriculum prior to
initial discussions will facilitate this process. Additional
time is also needed to prepare instructional materials and
make adjustments in the learning environment to safely
accommodate increased class size.
Interdisciplinary learning activities are well worth the
effort because they offer excellent opportunities to enhance
student learning while positioning the technology program
as a strong advocate for mathematics education.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.
(2005). Engineers. Occupational outlook handbook, 200607 Edition. Retrieved May 18, 2006, from
International Technology Education Association.
(2000/2002). Standards for technological literacy: Content
for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.
Koenig, D.T. (1994). Manufacturing engineering: Principles
for optimization, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: Taylor &
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2000).
Principles and standards for school mathematics: An
overview. Reston, VA: Author.
Wicklein, R.C. & Schell, J.W. (1995). Case studies of
multidisciplinary approaches to integrating mathematics,
science, & technology education. Journal of Technology
Education, 6(2). Retrieved May 20, 2006, from http://
Mary Annette Rose, Ed.D., is an assistant
professor in the Department of Technology
at Ball State University, Muncie, IN. She
can be reached via email at [email protected]
Special thanks are extended to Risa Gatlin,
algebra teacher, who jointly implemented
this project with the author.
This is a refereed article.
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• April 2007
Resources in Technology
Designer Babies:
By Stephen L. Baird
Base pair
The forces pushing humanity towards
attempts at self-modification, through
biological and technological advances,
are powerful, seductive ones that we
will be hard-pressed to resist.
lmost three decades ago, on July 25, 1978, Louise
Brown, the first “test-tube baby” was born. The world’s
first “test-tube” baby arrived amid a storm of protest
and hand-wringing about science gone amok, humananimal hybrids, and the rebirth of eugenics. But the voices
of those opposed to the procedure were silenced when
Brown was born. She was a happy, healthy infant, and her
parents were thrilled. The doctors who helped to create her,
Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards, could not have been
more pleased. She was the first person ever created outside
a woman’s body and was as natural a baby as had ever
entered the world. Today in vitro fertilization (IVF) is often
the unremarkable choice of tens of thousands of infertile
couples whose only complaint is that the procedure is too
difficult, uncertain, and expensive. What was once so deeply
disturbing now seems to many people just another part of
the modern world. Will the same be said one day of children
with genetically enhanced intelligence, endurance, and other
traits? Or will such attempts—if they occur at all—lead to
extraordinary problems that are looked back upon as the
ultimate in twenty-first century hubris? (Stock, 2006.)
12 •
Artist Darryl Leja
Courtesy of National Human Genome Research Institute (NNGRI)
Eugenics Repackaged or Consumer Options?
Figure 1. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The chemical inside
the nucleus of a cell that carries the genetic instructions, or blueprints, for making all the structures and materials the body needs
to function.
Soon we may be altering the genes of our children to
engineer key aspects of their character and physiology.
The ethical and social consequences will be profound.
We are standing at the threshold of an extraordinary, yet
troubling, scientific dawn that has the potential to alter the
very fabric of our lives, challenging what it means to be
human, and perhaps redesigning our very selves. We are fast
approaching the most consequential technological threshold
in all of human history: the ability to alter the genes we
pass to our children. Genetic engineering is already being
carried out successfully on nonhuman animals. The gene
that makes jellyfish fluorescent has been inserted into mice
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
embryos, resulting in glow-in-the-dark rodents. Other mice
have had their muscle mass increased, or have been made to
be more faithful to their partners, through the insertion of
a gene into their normal genetic make-up. But this method
of genetic engineering is thus far inefficient. In order to
produce one fluorescent mouse, several go wrong and are
born deformed. If human babies are ever to be engineered,
the process would have to become far more efficient, as
no technique involving the birth of severely defective
human beings to create a “genetically enhanced being” will
hopefully ever be tolerated by our society (Designing, 2005).
Once humans begin genetically engineering their children
for desired traits, we will have crossed a threshold of no
return. The communities of the world are just beginning
to understand the full implications of the new human
genetic technologies. There are few civil society institutions,
and there are no social or political movements, critically
addressing the immense social, cultural, and psychological
challenges these technologies pose.
Until recently, the time scale for measuring change in the
biological world has been tens of thousands, if not millions
of years, but today it is hard to imagine what humans may
be like in a few hundred years. The forces pushing humanity
toward attempts at self-modification, through biological
and technological advances, are powerful, seductive ones
that we will be hard-pressed to resist. Some will curse these
new technologies, sounding the death knell for humanity,
envisioning the social, cultural, and moral collapse of
our society and perhaps our civilization. Others see the
same technologies as the ability to take charge of our own
evolution, to transcend human limitations, and to improve
ourselves as a species. As the human species moves out of
its childhood, it is time to acknowledge our technological
capabilities and to take responsibility for them. We have
little choice, as the reweaving of the fabric of our genetic
makeup has already begun.
The Basic Science
Biological entities are comprised of millions of cells. Each
cell has a nucleus, and inside every nucleus are strings of
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). DNA carries the complete
information regarding the function and structure of
organisms ranging from plants and animals to bacterium.
Genes, which are sequences of DNA, determine an
organism’s growth, size, and other characteristics. Genes
are the vehicle by which species transfer inheritable
characteristics to successive generations. Genetic
engineering is the process of artificially manipulating these
inheritable characteristics.
13 •
Genetic engineering in its broadest sense has been around
for thousands of years, since people first recognized that
they could mate animals with specific characteristics to
produce offspring with desirable traits and use agricultural
seed selectively. In 1863, Mendel, in his study of peas,
discovered that traits were transmitted from parents to
progeny by discrete, independent units, later called genes.
His observations laid the groundwork for the field of
genetics (Genetic, 2006).
Modern human genetic engineering entered the scientific
realm in the nineteenth century with the introduction
of Eugenics. Although not yet technically considered
“genetic engineering,” it represented society’s first attempt
to scientifically alter the human evolutionary process. The
practice of human genetic engineering is considered by some
to have had its beginnings with in vitro fertilization (IVF)
in 1978. IVF paved the way for preimplantation genetic
diagnosis (PGD), also referred to as preimplantation genetic
selection (PGS). PGD is the process by which an embryo
is microscopically examined for signs of genetic disorders.
Several genetically based diseases can now be identified, such
as Downs Syndrome, Tay-Sachs Disease, Sickle Cell Anemia,
Cystic Fibrosis, and Huntington’s disease. There are many
others that can be tested for, and both medical and scientific
institutes are constantly searching for and developing new
tests. For these tests, no real genetic engineering is taking
place; rather, single cells are removed from embryos using
the same process as used during in vitro fertilization. These
cells are then examined to identify which are carrying the
genetic disorder and which are not. The embryos that have
the genetic disorder are discarded, those that are free of
the disorder are implanted into the woman’s uterus in the
hope that a baby will be born without the genetic disorder.
This procedure is fairly uncontroversial except with those
critics who argue that human life starts at conception
and therefore the embryo is sacrosanct and should not be
tampered with. Another use for this technique is gender
selection, which is where the issue becomes slightly more
controversial. Some disorders or diseases are genderspecific, so instead of testing for the disease or disorder, the
gender of the embryo is determined and whichever gender
is “undesirable” is discarded. This brings up ethical issues
of gender selection and the consequences for the gender
balance of the human species.
A more recent development is the testing of the embryos for
tissue matching. The embryos are tested for a tissue match
with a sibling that has already developed, or is in danger of
developing, a genetic disease or disorder. The purpose is
to produce a baby who can be a tissue donor. This type of
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
procedure was successfully used to cure a six-year-old-boy
of a rare blood disorder after transplanting cells from his
baby brother, who was created to save him. Doctors say the
technique could be used to help many other children with
blood and metabolic disorders, but critics say creating a
baby in order to treat a sick sibling raises ethical questions
(Genetic, 2006).
The child, Charlie Whitaker, from Derbyshire, England,
was born with Diamond Blackfan Anemia, a condition that
prevented him from creating his own red blood cells. He
needed transfusions every three weeks and drug infusions
nearly every night. His condition was cured by a transplant
of cells from the umbilical cord of his baby brother Jamie,
who was genetically selected to be a donor after his parents’
embryos were screened to find one with a perfect tissue
match. Three months after his transplant, Charlie’s doctors
said that he was cured of Diamond Blackfan Anemia, and
the prognosis is that Charlie can now look forward to a
normal quality of life (Walsh, 2004). Is this the beginning of
a slippery slope toward “designer” or “spare parts” babies, or
is the result that there are now two healthy, happy children
instead of one very sick child a justification to pursue
and continue procedures such as this one? Policymakers
and ethicists are just beginning to pay serious attention.
A recent working paper by the President’s Council on
Bioethics noted that “as genomic knowledge increases and
more genes are identified that correlate with diseases, the
applications for PGD will likely increase greatly,” including
diagnosing and treating medical conditions such as cancer,
mental illness, or asthma, and nonmedical traits such as
temperament or height. “While currently a small practice,”
the Council’s working paper declares, “PGD is a momentous
development. It represents the first fusion of genomics and
assisted reproduction—effectively opening the door to the
genetic shaping of offspring (Rosen, 2003).
In one sense PGD poses no new eugenic dangers. Genetic
screening using amniocentesis has allowed parents to test
the fitness of potential offspring for years. But PGD is poised
to increase this power significantly: It will allow parents
to choose the child they want, not simply reject the ones
they do not want. It will change the overriding purpose of
IVF, from a treatment for fertility to being able to pick and
choose embryos like consumer goods—producing many,
discarding most, and desiring only the chosen few.
The next step in disease elimination is to attempt to refine a
process known as “human germline engineering” or “human
germline modification.” Whereas preimplantation genetic
diagnosis (PGD) affects only the immediate offspring,
14 •
germline engineering seeks to affect the genes that are
carried in the ova and sperm, thus eliminating the disease or
disorder from all future generations, making it no longer
inheritable. The possibilities for germline engineering go
beyond the elimination of disease and open the door for
modifications to human longevity, increased intelligence,
increased muscle mass, and many other types of genetic
enhancements. This application is by far the more
consequential, because it opens the door to the alteration of
the human species. The modified genes would appear not
only in any children that resulted from such procedures, but
in all succeeding generations.
The term germline refers to the germ or germinal cells, i.e.,
the eggs and sperm. Genes are strings of chemicals that
help create the proteins that make up the body. They are
found in long coiled chains called chromosomes located
in the nuclei of the cells of the body. Genetic modification
occurs by inserting genes into living cells. The desired gene
is attached to a viral vector, which has the ability to carry
the gene across the cell membrane. Proposals for inheritable
genetic modification in humans combine techniques
involving in vitro fertilization, gene transfer, stem cells, and
cloning. Germline modification would begin by using IVF
to create a single-cell embryo or zygote. This embryo would
develop for about five days to the blastocyst stage (very early
embryo consisting of approximately 150 cells. It contains
the inner cell mass, from which embryonic stem cells are
derived, and an outer layer of cells called the trophoblast
that forms the placenta. (It is approximately 1/10 the size of
the head of a pin.) At this point embryonic stem cells would
be removed. (Figure 2) These stem cells would be altered by
adding genes using viral vectors. Colonies of altered stem
cells would be grown and tested for successful incorporation
of the new genes. Cloning techniques would be used to
transfer a successfully modified stem cell nucleus into an
enucleated egg cell. This “constructed embryo” would then
be implanted into a woman’s uterus and brought to term.
The child born would be a genetically modified human
(Inheritable, 2003).
Proponents of germline manipulation assume that once
a gene implicated in a particular condition is identified, it
might be appropriate and relatively easy to replace, change,
supplement, or otherwise modify that gene. However,
biological characteristics or traits usually depend on inter­
actions among many genes and, more importantly, the
activity of genes is affected by various processes that occur
both inside the organism and in its surroundings. This
means that scientists cannot predict the full effect that
any gene modification will have on the traits of people or
other organisms.
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
Artist Darryl Leja
Courtesy of National Human Genome Research Institute (NNGRI)
Egg (ovum)
Fertilized egg
Inner cell
in cross section
Figure 2. A preimplantation embryo of about 150 cells produced by
cell division following fertilization. The blastocyst is a sphere made
up of an outer layer of cells (the trophoblast), a fluid-filled cavity
(the blastocoel), and a cluster of cells on the interior (the inner
cell mass).
There is no universally accepted ideal of biological
perfection. To make intentional changes in the genes that
people will pass on to their descendants would require
that we, as a society, agree on how to classify “good” and
“bad” genes. We do not have the necessary criteria, nor
are there mechanisms for establishing such measures.
Any formulation of such criteria would inevitably reflect
particular current social biases. The definition of the
standards and the technological means for implementing
them would largely be determined by economically and
socially privileged groups (Human, 2004).
“Designer babies” is a term used by journalists and
commentators—not by scientists—to describe several
different reproductive technologies. These technologies have
one thing in common: they give parents more control over
what their offspring will be like. Designer babies are made
possible by progress in three fields:
1. Advanced Reproductive Technologies. In the decades
since the first “test tube baby” was born, reproductive
medicine has helped countless women conceive and
bear children. Today there are hundreds of thousands
of humans who were conceived thanks to in vitro
fertilization. Other advanced reproductive technologies
include frozen embryos, egg and sperm donations,
surrogate motherhood, pregnancies by older women, and
the direct injection of a sperm cell into an egg.
2. Cell and Chromosome Manipulation. The past decade
has seen astonishing breakthroughs in our knowledge
of cell structure. Our ability to transfer chromosomes
(the long threads of DNA in each cell) has led to major
developments in cloning. Our knowledge of stem cells
will make many new therapies possible. As we learn more
about how reproduction works at the cellular level, we
15 •
will gain more control over the earliest stages of a baby’s
3. Genetics and Genomics. With the mapping of the
human genome, our understanding of how DNA affects
human development is only just beginning. Someday
we might be able to switch bits of DNA on or off as we
wish, or replace sections of DNA at will; research in that
direction is already well underway.
Human reproduction is a complex process. There are
many factors involved in the reproduction process: the
genetic constitution of the parents, the condition of the
parents’ egg and sperm, and the health and behavior of the
impregnated mother. When you consider the enormous
complexity of the human genome, with its billions of DNA
pairs, it becomes clear that reproduction will always have
an element of unpredictability. To a certain extent we have
always controlled our children’s characteristics through
the selection of mates. New technologies will give us more
power to influence our children’s “design”—but our control
will be far from total (Designer, 2002).
Since the term “designer babies” is so imprecise, it is difficult
to untangle its various meanings so as to make judgments
about which techniques are acceptable. Several different
techniques have been discussed, such as screening embryos
for high-risk diseases, selecting the sex of a baby, picking
an embryo for specific traits, genetic manipulation for
therapeutic reasons, and genetic manipulation for cosmetic
reasons. Although, to date, none of these techniques are
feasible, recent scientific breakthroughs and continued
work by the scientific community will eventually make each
a possibility in the selection process for the best possible
embryo for implantation.
Arguments for Designer Babies
1. Using whatever techniques are available to help prevent
certain genetic diseases will protect children from
suffering debilitating diseases and deformities and reduce
the financial and emotional strain on the parents. If we
want the best for our children, why shouldn’t we use the
2. The majority of techniques available today can only be
used by parents who need the help of fertility clinics to
have children; since they are investing so much time and
money in their effort to have a baby, shouldn’t they be
entitled to a healthy one?
3. A great many naturally conceived embryos are rejected
from the womb for defects; by screening embryos, we are
doing what nature would normally do for us.
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
4. Imagine the reaction nowadays if organ transplantation
were to be prohibited because it is “unnatural”—even
though that is what some people called for when
transplantation was a medical novelty. It is hard to see
how the replacement of a defective gene is any less
“natural” than the replacement of a defective organ.
The major difference is the entirely beneficial one that
medical intervention need occur only once around the
time of conception, and the benefits would be inherited
by the child and its descendants.
Arguments Against Designer Babies
1. We could get carried away “correcting” perfectly
healthy babies. Once we start down the slippery slope
of eliminating embryos because they are diseased, what
is to stop us from picking babies for their physical or
psychological traits?
2. There is always the looming shadow of eugenics. This was
the motivation for some government policies in Europe
and the United States in the first half of the twentieth
century that included forced sterilizations, selective
breeding, and “racial hygiene.” Techniques that could
be used for designing babies will give us dangerous new
powers to express our genetic preferences.
3. There are major social concerns—such as: Will we breed
a race of super humans who look down on those without
genetic enhancements? Will these new technologies only
be available to the wealthy—resulting in a lower class that
will still suffer from inherited diseases and disabilities?
Will discrimination against people already born with
disabilities increase if they are perceived as genetically
4. Tampering with the human genetic structure
might actually have unintended and unpredictable
consequences that could damage the gene pool.
5. Many of the procedures related to designing babies
involve terminating embryos; many disapprove of this on
moral and religious grounds.
As our technical abilities progress, citizens will have to
cope with the ethical implications of designer babies, and
governments will have to define a regulatory course. We will
have to answer some fundamental questions: How much
power should parents and doctors have over the design of
their children? How much power should governments have
over parents and doctors? These decisions should be made
based on facts and on our social beliefs.
16 •
What better place to expose our students to a developing
technology that could eventually change the genetic makeup
of the human species and affect the dynamics of politics,
economics, morals, and cultural beliefs of our society than
the technology education classroom?
Winoa Morrissette-Johnson, a high school teacher in
Alexandria, Virginia has designed an excellent two-day
lesson plan that will allow students to:
1. Discover ethical issues surrounding the practice of
genetic engineering in reproductive medicine.
2. Understand key terms and concepts related to the science
of genetic engineering.
This lesson plan can be accessed at: http://school.discovery.
Designer Babies. (2002). The Center for the Study of
Technology and Society. Retrieved September 14, 2006
Designing Babies: The Future of Genetics. (2005). BBC News.
Retrieved September 22, 2006 from
Genetic Engineering and the Future of Human Evolution.
(2006). Future Human Evolution Organization. Retrieved
September 19, 2006 from
Human Germline Manipulation. (2004). Council for
Responsible Genetics. Retrieved October 18, 2006 from
Inheritable Genetic Modification. (2003). Center for
Genetics and Society. Retrieved October 05, 2006 from
Rosen, C. (2003). The New Atlantis. A Journal of Technology
and Society. Retrieved October 14, 2006 from www.
Stock, G. (2005). Best Hope, Worst Fear. Human Germline
Engineering. Retrieved October 05, 2006 from http://
Walsh, F. (2004). Brother’s Tissue “Cures” Sick Boy. BBC
News. Retrieved September 27, 2006 from http://news.
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
Stephen L. Baird is a technology education
teacher at Bayside Middle School, Virginia
Beach, Virginia and adjunct faculty member
at Old Dominion University. He can be
reached via email at [email protected]
• April 2007
Classroom Challenge
The Jet Travel Challenge
By Harry T. Roman
Changing the basis of the process or
product itself is called revolutionary
innovation, or a paradigm shift.
The foundation for all creative efforts is a real problem that
needs to be solved. “Necessity is the mother of invention,”
says the old bromide.
Here is a real-world problem that tends to grate on every
airplane traveler’s nerves. Who has not been dismayed by
the long lines and seemingly chaotic activities that precede
boarding a full airplane? How many of you have wondered if
there might not be a better way to do all this? Surely, the one
who can solve this problem is going to make many travelers
happy. So why not challenge your students to create some
alternatives to this now frustrating routine?
In this challenge, the students should be open to:
• Learning about airliner operation, and why and how the
boarding process got to be the way it is.
• Changing the way this boarding process is currently
• Developing new ideas for how airports are organized and
run to promote a quicker, less frustrating way to board
17 •
Who has not been dismayed by the…seemingly chaotic activities
that precede boarding a full airplane?
Essentially, the students are absolutely free to design a whole
new way to board airline passengers. They can make the
following assumptions:
• Airport security rules will not be affected by their new
• Passenger safety is not diminished in any way by changes.
Getting Started
Students should first understand why the loading of
airliners is done the current way so as to gain perspective
about how the process evolved and why. Is the passengerloading process the same for all airlines and different types
of airplanes?
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
be the same). Variations, modifications, or incremental
improvements to an existing process or product is called
evolutionary innovation. Changing the basis of the process
or product itself is called revolutionary innovation, or a
paradigm shift. Electric ranges were evolutionary changes
to cooking on stoves. Microwave ovens were paradigm shifts
to cooking.
Students might consider redesigning the interior of the
Can the students speak to airline professionals or aero­
nautical engineers to learn about passenger-loading
processes? Perhaps it may be possible to invite one or
more such individuals into the classroom to talk about
airplane design, operation, loading, and exiting. A visit
to a local airport is also a possibility to observe airline
operations firsthand.
Might information be available from airplane manu­
facturers? Perhaps contacting the manufacturers might
disclose relevant information about how airliners are
designed and operated. Is there a college nearby that offers
aeronautical engineering courses where professors and
students might be able to provide additional information?
For instance, why not let the students also consider:
• Having passengers board the plane from multiple entry
points on the plane.
• Redesigning the interior of the jet airliner itself to
accommodate easier passenger access and loading.
• Designing the boarding process for these changes.
How might the considerations above affect the traditional
boarding process now used to convey passengers to the
plane entrance? There was a time when passengers boarded
an airliner by walking directly onto the airplane parking area
and climbed up a steel boarding stair ramp. What might
multiple loading points for boarding passengers mean in
terms of where and how they board the airliner? Does this
mean a redesign of existing airports? Can such massive and
expensive redesigns of airports be minimized through an
elegant solution to this problem?
To further stimulate your thinking, what might happen to
airplane design and operation if the plane was an empty
shell, loaded with separate floors/sections for cargo, luggage,
Are the problems that boarding passengers experience due
to the need to store carry-on bags efficiently; or is it the
need to load the plane from back to front, so folks won’t
block each other if they board in random fashion? Is the
need to check each and every passenger’s ticket the real
problem? It is important to get to the heart of the problem,
the root cause of the time delay.
Information is also likely to be found on the Internet, your
school library, and industry periodicals and magazine
articles. These additional sources should be referenced.
A thorough search of the literature should be conducted.
This will yield some ideas and preliminary recommendations
for changes.
Breaking the Paradigm
Don’t be reticent about pushing the envelope of this
challenge. It should not be restricted to simply improving
an established boarding process (because that is the way
it has always been and everyone assumes it will always
18 •
Solving this problem would make many passengers happy.
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
about taking on this challenge? How do you envision solving
this very real, very practical problem?
What a great segue for learning about airplanes, airports,
aeronautical engineering, and the science of moving people
efficiently and safely through time and space.
and people? Is there anything similar to this concept, say,
from the railroads, trucking, and freight hauling industries
that might be borrowed or adapted? Can the loading
of passengers be modularized? What might happen if a
passenger and his/her seat are already a distinct module
before they even get on the plane? Could the seat and
person sitting in it simply move to the proper location on
the plane…automatically? Maybe your carry-on
baggage is stored under the seat you are sitting in, and no
overhead storage is allowed at all. Can you visualize what
this change in perspective might do to airliner design and
loading efficiency?
Harry T. Roman recently retired from his
engineering job and is the author of a variety
of new technology education books. He can
be reached via email at [email protected]
Think about this: A train is nothing more than a collection
of cars that are connected together for a specific purpose
and for a certain length of time. The train is assembled
in a modular and somewhat automated fashion, and
disassembled the same way. Can this concept be adapted to
the airline industry?
What might happen to the layout of airports if such
sweeping changes were made to airplane design? How
do you think this might affect the way that aeronautical
engineers design airplanes? What would you be concerned
about if the plane came in separate sections that could be
preassembled and then loaded or slid into place just
before takeoff?
This is a multi-dimensional problem challenge that
everyone in the class can identify with, and should be able
to reasonably consider. It is certainly a challenge that would
lend itself to a team-based approach.
Maybe the solution set here is to first improve the existing
process and then redesign the modern jet airliner. I wonder
what airline companies have on the drawing board. Airliners
originally only had one level, and now the super jumbo
variety have multiple levels. They once only had a single
aisle; and now they have multiple aisles on wide-body
models. Reality often starts with dreams that are eventually
made technically, economically, environmentally, and
socially acceptable. So what do you and your students think
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• april 2007
Teaching Engineering at the K–12 Level:
Two Perspectives
By Kenneth L. Smith and David Burghardt
There must be a more direct
infusion of appropriate
mathematics and science
with the unique technological
content (tools, machines,
materials, processes) for an
effective engineering education
program to exist.
defended as the science community defending their mantra,
“think like a scientist” as a noble skill. Well, science, until
applied to enhance the designed world through engineering
processes and techniques, has limited value in my opinion.
Knowledge is a good thing; however, knowing how to apply
such knowledge skillfully to improve human existence is a
more worthy goal.
The confusion over what technology education offers remains.
There is great work being accomplished by the CATTS
organization. Standards-based resources are being created
that address content in technology education, mathematics,
and science (MST). But I believe that the individuals who are
calling for strong support for a national engineering education
program, which I fully support, are correct and offer the next
phase in the evolution of this dynamic content area.
BURGHARDT: There seem to be several organizations
1. A major shift seems to be occurring in the amount
of interest and action being given by the engineering
community to teaching about engineering at the K–12 level. Please describe what you see happening.
SMITH: I believe the shift has come from technology
education professionals who have held a long-time belief
that we missed the opportunity to pursue a national focus
on engineering education as part of the Technology for All
Americans Project. While that initiative was a major challenge
and excellent work, it should have been our call to arms
for launching a set of national standards for Engineering
Education for All Americans.
The arguments for such a movement have been clearly
presented for the past ten years or more. Engineering as a
valuable part of general education for all children is as easily
20 •
that are becoming important to this effort—the ASEE
K–12 division, the National Center for Technological Literacy
at the Boston Museum of Science, the National Center for
Engineering and Technology Education (an NSF-supported
center), the National Academy of Engineering, and Project
Lead the Way. Within the engineering education community,
more faculty are becoming interested in engineering education
at the K–12 and college levels. This is in contrast to their
emphasis on content disciplinary interests in years past. For
instance, I have been teaching elementary and middle school
teachers engineering design problem-solving methodology
for the past ten years as part of a master’s degree in STEM
education at Hofstra University. Engineers in industry are
also very interested in having a voice, in participating in the
K–12 educational process. We have had excellent support
from corporate engineers on a number of grants for middle
and high school teachers. This support ranges from serving
on advisory boards to actually participating in workshops
with teachers and students. There is a tremendous desire to
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
help, and in the process of learning to help, the engineering
community (academic and corporate) is beginning to become
aware of the multiple demands placed on teachers. I believe
the desire to help has a multiplicity of sources, some stemming
from the wish that more students would consider engineering
as a career choice, others from the desire that students become
more technologically able and literate whether or not they
intend to be future engineers. There is a move in some states,
such as Massachusetts, to have (and assess) engineering and
technology standards K–12. The Boston Museum of Science
is creating engineering curriculum materials for elementary
school teachers. Certainly curriculum materials exist for
middle and high school teachers that have an engineering
influence, such as the middle school text Mike Hacker and
I coauthored, Technology Education—Learning by Design.
Project Lead the Way has taken a strong role in providing
engineering/technology education curriculum material at the
high school and now middle school levels.
2. There is an ongoing discussion about what con­
stitutes engineering education and what constitutes
technology education. What is your quick perspec­
tive of the commonalities and differences?
SMITH: The technological literacy standards project offers
two significant features that serve both fields well. That is, the
standards have been written to address what students should
know and be able to do. This approach is solid and should
be cherished.
I strongly feel that Chapters 5 and 6 in the standards document
(Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of
Technology (STL) [ITEA, 2000/2002]) offer the most direct
connection to engineering education. These chapters focus
on the concept of design and the abilities to apply the design
process to create new products and systems. This is what the
engineering community does for us. The process of design and
engineering delivers the valuable resources humans use each
day as defined in Chapter 7, the designed world technologies.
Both fields require a fundamental understanding of
technological development and the impact that it has created
for society. However, engineering education takes the issue of
authentic application of science and mathematics to a much
more sophisticated and real level. That is, the “engineering
process” requires a deeper understanding and sophistication
of mathematics and scientific principles in order to effectively
design and construct a useful product or system. I suggest
that the work done in Maryland as part of the 1993 Maryland
Curricular Framework for Technology Education be explored
further with respect to nine fundamental “core technologies”
21 •
identified by the engineering community at that time.
These nine core technologies offer a sound foundation of
study throughout a K–12 engineering program. These core
technologies could be included easily with Standard 2 in the
STL document—The core concepts of technology.
These fundamental technologies include: mechanical,
structural, fluid, electrical, electronics, optical, thermal, biotechnical, and materials.
This rigor in engineering education, especially in mathematics
and science, would require a very different approach to teacher
preparation. That presents the most significant difference
between the two programs. Currently, technology education
teachers are “unarmed” with respect to delivering a quality,
rigorous, and challenging engineering program.
There must be a more direct infusion of appropriate
mathematics and science with the unique technological
content (tools, machines, materials, processes) for an
effective engineering education program to exist. I believe
the CATTS materials being developed using the Engineering
byDesign™ approach have established a strong foundation for
a new program—engineering education. The use of national
standards in mathematics, science, and technology to develop
instructional materials is essential for a successful engineering
education initiative along with a fundamental course exploring
the nine core technologies as described above.
BURGHARDT: I believe there are tremendous
commonalities that lie in the study of the human-made
world, such as the impact of technology on society and
how it transforms society, technological literacy, and with
design as a problem-solving technique. However, there has
not been enough thought given to engineering design from
a pedagogical perspective. I believe this problem-solving
strategy can be effectively used from kindergarten to high
school, though not all engineering educators may share this
view. The major difference between the two disciplines relates
to mathematics; not math as a content area, but as a way of
modeling systems. In general, technology education practice
has a “build and test” approach to design, while engineers
want to develop physical models of the actual physical system,
then create mathematical models that describe the physical
models. This is much of what engineering education focuses
on—engineering analysis, the creation of physical models, and
expressing these models in mathematical terms. This allows for
predicting system behavior and understanding the factors that
affect performance. The actual physical design is tested, just as
in the technology education approach, and its performance is
compared to the theoretical model.
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
3. Is there enough difference in what the engineering
community is doing that would create a need for
K–12 engineering standards that are different from
Standards for Technological Literacy? Why or why not?
SMITH: Again, I think the most direct solution for a
meaningful and appropriate engineering education program
is to generate a national standards document that blends
“selected” standards in mathematics (NCTM), science
(AAAS), and technology (STL) at all grade levels to ensure an
appropriately rigorous and sophisticated program that helps
students “think like an engineer.” It is the process of DESIGN
that engineers perform in their work that has such significant
value for all Americans, even though most will not pursue
a career in engineering. Most Americans do not pursue a
career in mathematics or science, yet we have established the
knowledge and skills in these domains as essential, especially at
higher levels of sophistication. I ask, “Why?”
I believe it is more valuable to establish a content area that
offers a reason to know how to apply appropriate mathematics
and science in the solution of authentic and challenging
problems facing humanity, not just continued acquisition of
knowledge about the natural world. There must be a place
in general studies that allows students to “put it all together.”
Such a place would be the engineering education classroom/
BURGHARDT: I realize there is an effort within the
engineering education community to develop K–12
engineering standards. I do not think this is wise. While the
Standards for Technological Literacy document fails to address
all the concerns of the engineering education community,
it does address many of them. I think this could be an ideal
time to revise Standards for Technological Literacy. STL does
not address the engineering modeling concerns, does not link
to math or science standards (as AAAS Project 2061 does),
and there are inconsistencies in the organizational format
that could be improved. The differences and commonalities
could be melded into one document that would unite the
engineering and technology education communities to build a
broader base of support.
4. Series of courses are now evolving that are
mathematics-, science-, and technological literacybased for the elementary through secondary level.
Are those courses needed to stimulate and give
practice to students thinking about being future
engineers, technologists, architects, and more—or is
some other type of course work needed?
22 •
SMITH: I strongly believe that the current effort by the
CATTS consortium, using the Engineering byDesign™ process,
is a viable solution for instructional resources in engineering
education. These materials have blended national standards in
mathematics, science, and technology at appropriate levels of
understanding. I have had the opportunity to participate as an
author and reviewer of these new documents and find them
to be worthy of critical review by professionals in engineering
and education to determine the instructional value for a new
program—engineering education. I believe this body of work
to have significant merit.
These courses, when completed, could offer the best possible
collection of materials to deliver a more rigorous, challenging,
and exciting program for students in our schools. Of
course, there is always room for editing and refinement of
such materials, with constant updates as appropriate. I also
encourage the use of ABET guidelines in the creation of these
or future instructional materials.
BURGHARDT: I do not believe there is a research base to
support the contention that K–12 STEM courses are needed
to encourage students to consider careers as engineers and
technologists, no matter how intuitive that appeal may appear.
Certainly such research is needed, but in previous generations
students considered these career paths without specialized
courses. I would argue for teachers learning and having
students use the engineering design approach to problem
solving as a way of thinking. This allows for a link to core
academic disciplines—math, science, and language arts—and
a continuous connection to the designed, human-made world.
This can be incorporated into the existing K–5 school day, a
day already overcrowded with push-ins, pull-outs and nonacademic, though important, agenda items. There is a lot of
repetition in children’s educational experience, especially when
teachers use test prep questions as curriculum. Design can be
introduced as a pedagogical strategy. At the middle and high
school levels, integrative engineering and technology STEM
courses could be useful in providing contextualization of
mathematical and scientific concepts. The more engineering
and technology education courses that are STEM-based, the
broader will be the support base for these courses.
5. How would you compare the student outcomes
expected from engineering courses with what you
would expect from a technological literacy course in
our schools?
SMITH: Student outcomes would be based on performance
from the standards that would be established. As I mentioned,
a new set of standards that combines mathematics, science,
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
and technology has been used in the new CATTS documents.
Assessment limits along with unit and end-of-course
assessments have also been created with these resources.
Student expectations and performance would be based on this
new collection of standards as identified in the various units
found in each course. These units have been developed using
the Planning Learning document from ITEA, which provides
excellent direction for the “Big Ideas” in each unit. Continued
use of the current ITEA Planning Learning resources combined
with “selected” standards at appropriate grade levels from
mathematics, science, and technology education would present
a clear and direct description for student outcomes in a new
engineering education program, K–12.
Currently, technology education programs in our schools
reflect the STL standards only. I view this as a significant
limitation. A viable engineering education program will
require a math, science, technology (MST) synthesis with
ABET guidelines from standards, instruction, and assessment
of student work.
I believe a new model has to be developed. There are a few
universities that are exploring this need. Johns Hopkins in
Baltimore has an active group working to survey and move
forward with a program description for Engineering Education
as part of their Engineering School. In effect, this would
offer individuals interested in engineering the opportunity to
complete a rigorous new program with significant emphasis
in mathematics and science abilities, combined with dynamic
courses in materials, fluids, optical, structural, and mechanical
systems (similar to the core technologies discussed earlier).
Development of these courses would be based around
standards in mathematics, science, and technology. The
current STL standards would be used and valued, but the
inclusion of mathematics (NCTM) and science (AAAS) must
be addressed as well.
BURGHARDT: I think of these as two different types of
I continually encourage my current technology education
teachers to pursue additional core subject endorsements via
the Praxis II examination or course work at a local college for
mathematics and/or science. I strongly believe this is essential
for delivery of a rigorous and challenging program, certainly
in technology education, but especially a new program in
engineering education.
6. Would you expect the background of a person
The benefits of multiple certifications for teachers in our fields
are quite evident. As our nation tries to ensure highly qualified
instructors in all content areas as part of NCLB legislation,
every local school district must strive to encourage teachers
to obtain as many certifications as possible, especially in the
core subject fields. For technology education or engineering
education, that must include mathematics and/or science
endorsements. Hopefully, our teachers will realize this need
and respond. I also hope our teacher preparation institutions
will review their programs and make appropriate changes.
We have so much to gain through this one strategy—more
education and certification.
courses; both are very useful and important educationally.
I would describe technological literacy courses as ones
discussing the history of technology in society, the impacts,
good and bad, that technology has had, and discussing
technologies from a “how it works” perspective. An
engineering course could include “how it works” information,
but in general would address technical content from a design
and modeling approach. Engineering analysis would be an
important element to the course, and there would be strong
connections to math and science. There is a particularly strong
connection to mathematics because of the modeling aspect.
equipped to teach engineering-oriented courses to be any different than for technological literacy
courses? Why?
There is no doubt that if a math, science, and technology-based
engineering education program were developed, the preservice
and inservice requirements for instructors would have to
change. I have always agreed with my colleagues who have felt
our technology education teachers are not prepared to teach
a comprehensive engineering education program. They are
simply unarmed for the task. I have lobbied for a long time that
our teacher preparation institutions rethink their approach and
course offerings for preparing technology education teachers.
This would be especially true if these institutions were to
prepare engineering education instructors.
23 •
BURGHARDT: Yes, based on the differences in student
learning outcomes as noted previously. The teacher needs a
good analytical background so he/she is comfortable with
modeling and predictive analysis. The overlap in teacher
technology education and engineering curriculum is strong
in the technological literacy area. However, the academic
background of many technology education teachers does
not include engineering predictive analysis, the background
needed for modeling. There would need to be an increase
in the mathematics requirements for technology education
teachers as, in general, the current math requirements are not
sufficient to teach them predictive modeling analysis.
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
SMITH: There are many educators around the country who
feel strongly that engineering education is a content area
whose time has come and has been long overdue. I want to
mention one such person, who presented his ideas in a recent
article in Science Magazine, Vol. 311, March 2006. His name is
Ioannis Miaoulis. He has a science background, but presents
his interest in engineering education with great passion. I too
share this passion.
Ioannis has led the way for engineering standards to be
developed and adopted in Massachusetts. His campaign has
moved to a national effort. He has led the way for a National
Center for Technological Literacy, a non-profit organization
with substantial funds to date, and has developed an
elementary school curriculum and an engineering course for
high school students. Ioannis states that his dream is “to have
the human-made world be a part of the curriculum in every
school in the country within the next decade.” I share this
passion and dream.
I believe substantial work has been accomplished towards this
goal. However, much work remains to be done. I only hope
a national focus will be embraced and fast-tracked into our
schools. The dividends will be enormous for our place in a
highly competitive global economy.
BURGHARDT: As we analyze the differences and
similarities of engineering and technology education, the
real focus needs to be on students and how we can improve
their understanding of and appreciation for the technological
world while deepening their knowledge in mathematics and
science. A tall order, but one I think STEM-based engineering/
technology education can meaningfully contribute to.
Graphic Communications
and Digital Imaging Technology
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        
        
        
           
       
         
         
     
         
           
      
          
       
         
           
         
         
        
   
      
         
          
         
         
         
       
     
    
24 •
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
Kenneth L. Smith is Instructional Supervisor
for Career and Technology Education at St.
Mary’s County Public Schools, Leonardtown,
Maryland. He can be reached at [email protected]
M. David Burghardt, Ph.D. is a professor of
Engineering and Co-Director of the Center for
Technological Literacy at Hofstra University,
Hempstead, NY. He can be reached via email
at [email protected]
Ad Index
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• April 2007
Designing and Building a Cardboard Chair:
Children’s Engineering at the TECA Eastern Regional
By Charles C. Linnell
Being able to design and build
a cardboard chair in four hours
that will support a student,
be ergonomically correct, and
include in the design the five
forces that affect engineered
structures is no simple feat.
In February of 2006 the Technology Education Collegiate
Association (TECA) held its annual eastern regional
conference in Virginia Beach, VA. One event that has
seen growing interest and participation is the elementary
competition. It is sponsored by the Technology Education
for Children Council (TECC), an affiliate council of ITEA.
For the last four years the elementary competitions have
all been different and challenging, usually based on an
elementary design theme. These elementary competitions
are important for future technology education teachers
because they allow them to transfer and adapt the
technological content and skills they are learning in their
universities to a unique venue: the elementary classroom.
Normally, technology education teachers are assigned to a
middle or high school; rarely do they have an opportunity
to work with elementary students or their teachers. These
25 •
competitive elementary events promote the inclusion
of the Grades K–2 and 3–5 Standards for Technological
Literary: Content for the Study of Technology (STL) (ITEA,
2000/2002) and their benchmarks. This gives the preservice
teachers, who may be interested in teaching technology to
children, an opportunity to explore age-appropriate teaching
strategies and techniques.
Almost all children, at one time or another, have used
cardboard to make an imaginary house, fort, vehicle,
furniture, or even a space station. A new appliance usually
comes shipped in a nice cardboard box. Children often use
the discarded cardboard box for designing and making just
about every kind of structure they can imagine. Children
can also use the cardboard to make usable furniture, such as
tables, shelves, and chairs that they can actually sit on.
A good design-and-build activity for an elementary
classroom would have cooperative groups or individual
children making cardboard chairs. This activity could
be used to incorporate: the design process, measuring
and mathematics, safely using tools, group processing at
the beginning and end of the project, and a discussion
of different manufacturing processes. As teachers would
observe students’ progress they could ask questions such
as: What makes some cardboard structures stronger than
others? Why do other designs support more weight? What’s
the best way to orient, combine, and join the cardboard for
maximum strength? How do you design a chair that you
can lean back on? What’s the best way to hold the different
parts of the chair together? How do you keep the chair from
wobbling and twisting when you sit on it? How do you keep
the seat or back from tearing and breaking? These are some
of the questions that the teams of technology education
students from nine different universities had to solve as they
were designing and building cardboard chairs at the 2006
TECA Eastern Regional elementary competition.
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
Teams from nine universities competed to produce a functional
cardboard chair.
Each team began by developing a plan of procedure with idea sketches.
The latest competition required the teams (four or five to
a team) from universities up and down the East Coast to
design and produce a functional cardboard chair. The chair
needed to be strong enough to support a college student and
designed using basic ergonomic principles. The competitors
were to explain how the five forces that affect engineered
structures were considered when designing and building
their chairs. The five forces are: compression, tension,
bending, shear, and torsion (Hutchinson and Karsnitz,
1994). These forces are shown in Figure 1.
began by developing a plan of procedure with idea sketches,
which progressed to more detailed measured drawings.
They started by analyzing the materials and tools provided.
Each team was provided with ten sheets of 40" x 50", single
wall, 5/32" thick, standard corrugate material.
The Competition
Teams were given four hours to complete the project, so,
in order to finish the chair and follow the guidelines of the
competition, time management was important. Each team
Each team had a large table for a work surface and was
supplied with the necessary tools, including an X-acto®
knife, metal yardstick, markers, white glue, hot glue gun,
double-stick tape, and regular masking tape. Time was a
factor, and the teams had to work fast and efficiently. They
delegated certain tasks to students, or groups of students,
who had strengths in areas such as design and fabrication.
Each team began brainstorming ideas for getting maximum
support from a minimum amount of corrugate material.
Compression is when the load is
applied to the top of a structure.
Tension is load applied along the
structure in a pulling action.
Shear is when forces are exerted on
the same plane but opposite.
Torsion describes forces that try to
twist the structure apart.
Here are the five forces that
designers need to consider when
building an engineered structure.
Bending is like a bookshelf loaded
down with heavy books.
Figure 1
26 •
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
Teams needed to capitalize on the strength of the cardboard
by combining it and/or forming it into different shapes.
All the teams seemed to realize that in order to support the
weight of a student, they would need to capitalize on the
strength of the cardboard by combining it and/or forming it
into different shapes, structural beams, or columns.
The teams also had to consider the five forces affecting the
structure in their design. When the chair was to be tested,
how would they keep it from twisting (torsion)? How
would the chair keep from pulling apart (tension)? What
would keep the parts of the chair from sagging or tearing
(bending and shear)? What would keep it from collapsing
when a student sat on it (compression)? Many of these
structural design questions were tested through trial and
error, and through a process of elimination each team
selected what it considered its optimum design and began
Elementary Applications The K–2 and 3–5 STL elementary standards and
benchmarks are excellent for providing guidelines for
teachers to introduce design and technological content
into their daily instruction. Teaching that all human-made
things have to be designed and that there is a difference
between the natural world and the human-made world
is important for providing a foundation of technological
understanding for children and their teachers. Middle
school and high school technology classrooms and labs
are common. However, elementary teachers who include
design and technological activities in their curriculum
are rare. This is probably because the standard preservice
elementary curriculum is already packed with teaching
methods and elementary subject-specific courses, i.e.,
mathematics, language arts, reading, science, social studies,
health, and more. There are some schools and organizations
in the USA that are promoting and teaching elementary
technology education. For example, in Virginia there is a
thriving Children’s Engineering Educators organization
of elementary teachers and administrators who provide
excellent inservice opportunities as well as an annual
27 •
Teams selected what they considered their optimum design
and began building.
Children’s Engineering Convention held each year in
Richmond (Children’s Engineering Educators, LLC, 2006).
Having helped facilitate the elementary competition at
the TECA Eastern regional, the author has observed
growing enthusiasm in preservice technology education
teachers for elementary/children’s engineering and design
activities. During the competition, the level of creativity
and innovation visibly increases as the university students
adapt elementary applications from their own experiences
and from the K–2 and 3–5 STL standards. Traditionally, the
technology education students are “learn by doing” types
who like to design solutions to problems by using tools
and techniques. It is also important for them to see the
relevance of including design and technological activities
in the elementary curriculum, letting children experience
that all human-made things first have to be designed, and
then people have to use tools and skills to make what was
designed. But, this is nothing new in elementary education.
In the early twentieth century boys and girls were taught
about industry and learned about tools and their uses in the
elementary classroom by teachers who were predominantly
female (Zuga, 1996).
Completing the Competition
Being able to design and build a cardboard chair in four
hours that will support a student, be ergonomically
correct, and include in the design the five forces that
affect engineered structures is no simple feat. It required
teamwork and communication among the participants.
The finished products were all very impressive. Some were
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
Some chairs did not withstand the rigorous testing.
The finished products were all very impressive.
designed with function as the primary goal. These chairs
were very solid and structurally sound. Some were designed
to be first aesthetically pleasing, and second structurally
sound. Some of these chairs did not withstand the rigorous
testing. All of the technology education students who
participated in the competition completed their chairs and
left with another way to align technology education with
elementary education.
Children’s Engineering Educators, LLC, (2006). About
CEE. Retrieved September 26, 2006, from Children’s
Engineering Educators, LLC Web site www.
Hutchinson, J. and Karsnitz, J. (1994). Design and problem
solving in technology. Albany, NY: Delmar Publishers Inc.
International Technology Education Association (ITEA)
(2000/2002). Standards for technological literacy: Content
for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author.
Zuga, K. F. (1996). Reclaiming the voices of female and
elementary school educators in technology education.
Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, 33(3), 23-43.
Charles C. Linnell, Ed.D., is an associate
professor of Teacher Education at Clemson
University, Clemson, SC. He can be reached
via email at [email protected]
Some chairs were very solid and structurally sound.
28 •
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
Interview with Dr. William A. Wulf
illiam A. Wulf has served as President of the National
Academy of Engineers since 1996. His second term
will be completed in July, 2007, at which time he will
return to the faculty at the University of Virginia.
He has built a reputation as NAE’s “education president”
because of the changes that he has brought about in staffing,
emphasizing education in all parts of engineering, and his
careful guidance in leading by example. Dr. Wulf was the
cochair of the NAE Task Force charged with conducting
a formal review of Standards for Technological Literacy:
Content for the Study of Technology. During his tenure with
the academies, Dr. Wulf has overseen hundreds of projects
and reports that have provided guidance to our country in
technology and engineering initiatives. Dr. Wulf agreed to
respond to the following interview questions.
The formal review of Standards for Technological
Literacy was completed in the year 2000. Having had
time to reflect upon the standards and watch changes
occurring in engineering and education, how do you feel
about the quality and direction of those standards?
I had the occasion to reread the standards just a few
weeks ago in connection with a personal project
to define a college-level course on technological
literacy for liberal arts majors. It was a pleasant
reminder of both the content of the standards and
the process ITEA and the NAE used to refine them.
To answer your question—I still feel very good
about them.
There seems to be confusion between what constitutes
engineering at the K–12 level versus what constitutes
technological literacy at that same level. What is your
perspective related to the terminology and work being
completed using these terms?
Let me start by clarifying what I mean by
“engineering” and “technology” when I am being
precise, although I realize that the general public
doesn’t make a clear distinction and I’m not always
as precise as I should be.
29 •
First, note that scientists use the word “science” to
mean two quite different things. Sometimes they
mean the process, the scientific method, by which
we they establish truth about the natural world.
At other times they mean the body of knowledge
resulting from that process—Newton’s Laws, the
Germ Theory of Disease, etc.
Engineering is the process that we use to design
artifacts to satisfy human wants and needs.
Technology is the collection of artifacts and
the associated knowledge that results from
that process.
Some of both are needed in K–12—indeed are
needed by the general public! Students and citizens
don’t need to be engineers or know how every
artifact works in detail. However, we live in the
most technologically dependent society of all time,
and a degree of technological literacy is essential
to simply being a citizen capable of informed
discussion of many of the major issues facing
our democracy.
What are the larger engineering challenges that you see
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
Scientists use the word “science” to mean two quite
different things.
facing us as a society in the years ahead?
Perhaps it is simply because I have been at the
NAE for over ten years, and hence at the nexus of
engineering and public policy—but, more than
anything else, I see a strong need for engineers and
engineering thinking to be more involved in the
formation of public policy.
The number of critical public policy issues that
involve technology is huge—consider energy policy
(including a hydrogen economy), climate change,
plans to remediate the Everglades, exploration of
space, national and homeland security, etc. In each
of these cases a critical question is whether or not
we can engineer technology to solve one or more
aspects of the problem.
Unfortunately both our policymakers and the
public are technologically illiterate. In many cases
they are easily duped by simplistic descriptions of
“solutions” that are actually technical nonsense.
30 •
The number of critical public policy issues that involve
technology is huge.
I remember when we were working on Standards
for Technological Literacy, I said many times that
it would be nice to have technological literacy
courses, but I would be happiest if technology were
in existing civics classes, history classes, etc. I feel
even more strongly about that now.
“I would be happiest
if technology were in
existing civics classes,
history classes, etc.”
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
What would you like to see happen at the K–12 level of
education in order to address these challenges?
I think I answered this above, but to reiterate,
my ideal would be for technological literacy to
diffuse into the entire K–12 curriculum—in effect
mirroring the way that engineering and technology
impact all aspects of modern life.
NAE has completed projects that have researched and
reported work in publications such as Technically
Speaking, The Engineer of 2020, and Tech Tally. What
do you see as the next major effort needed to advance the
study of technological literacy?
In the short run, we are planning to do a couple of
things. One is to translate the standards into more
concrete suggested curriculum and supporting
materials. The other is to create and test an
instrument for measuring technological literacy. I
think of both as exploratory feasibility
demonstrations, not final definitive
ones. We are not the right people to
do the latter.
In the longer run, we will have to
nurture this field in ways that I
cannot predict; we’ll just have to see
what is needed at each moment. The
important thing to keep in mind is
that this is going to be a decadeslong effort. Moreover, we need to
expand beyond K–12 to include, for
example, undergraduate and informal
Thomas Jefferson said that we could
not have a democracy without an
informed citizenry—that is, citizens
of a democracy need to understand
the issues facing them in order to be
wise stewards of that democracy. I am
afraid that is not the case now, and
our democracy is at risk as a result.
This is simply too important to think
that any short-term action is going to
fix the problem.
31 •
Citizens of a democracy need to understand the issues facing
them in order to be wise stewards of that democracy.
Graduate Study
M.S. and Ph.D. Programs
Darden College of Education
Courses Available Via Televised and Video-Streamed
Distance Technologies
Technology Education
Career and Technical Education
Human Resources - Training
For more information:
Dr. John M. Ritz
[email protected]
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
• April 2007
Benefits to students:
World-Class Teaching
Cutting-Edge Innovation
Course Accessibility
International Perspectives
Inspiring Leaders
2007 Directory of ITEA Institutional Members
For further information, contact the
faculty member listed.
Georgia Southern University
Dept. of Teaching and Learning
PO Box 8134, College of Education
Statesboro, GA 30460-8134
[email protected]
Dr. N. Creighton Alexander, DTE
1 Bachelor’s Degree
2 Master’s Degree
3 Fifth Year Program
4 Sixth Year Program
5 Advanced Standing Certificate
6 Doctoral Degree
7Continuing Education Seminars/
The University of Georgia
Dept. of Workforce Education,
Leadership and Social Foundations
223 River’s Crossing Building
Athens, GA 30602-4809
706-542-4503 • FAX 706-542-4054
[email protected]
Dr. Robert Wicklein, DTE
Financial Aid Offered
A Undergraduate Scholarships
B Research Assistantships
C Teaching Assistantships
D Scholarships
E Fellowships
F Other
University of Arkansas
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction/
Technology Education
214 Peabody Hall
Fayetteville, AR 72701
4758-4758-4758 • FAX 479-575-3319
[email protected]
Dr. Michael Daugherty
Griffith University
School of Education and Professional
Mt Gravatt Campus
170 Kessels Road
Nathan Queensland 4111
[email protected]
Dr. Margarita Pavlova
32 •
Chicago State University
Technology and Education
9501 S. King Drive, ED 203
Chicago, IL 60628
[email protected]
Sylvia Gist
Eastern Illinois University
School of Technology
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920-3099
[email protected]
Dr. Mahyar R. Izadi
Illinois State University
Dept. of Technology
210 Turner Hall , Campus Box 5100
Normal, IL 61790-5100
309-438-7862 • FAX 309-438-8628
[email protected]
Dr. Chris Merrill
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
Ball State University
Dept. of Technology
Applied Technology Building Rm 131
Muncie, IN 47306-0255
765-285-5641 • FAX 765-285-2162
[email protected]
Dr. Jack W. Wescott, DTE
Indiana State University
Industrial Technology Education
College of Technology
Terre Haute, IN 47809
800-468-5236 • FAX 812-237-2655
[email protected]
Dr. Anthony F. Gilberti
Purdue University
Dept. of Industrial Technology
401 N. Grant Street, Knoy Hall
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2021
[email protected]
Dr. Niaz Latif
University of Northern Iowa
Dept. of Industrial Technology
1222 West 27th Street
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0178
319-273-2561 • FAX 319-273-5818
[email protected]
[email protected]
Dr. Mohammed Fahmy
Dr. Charles Johnson
Fort Hays State University
Technology Studies Department
600 Park Street
Hays, KS 67601-4099
785-628-4315 • FAX 785-628-4267
[email protected]
Dr. Fred Ruda
• April 2007
Pittsburg State University
Dept. of Technology Studies
1701 S. Broadway
Pittsburg, KS 66762
620-235-4371 • FAX 620-235-4020
[email protected]
Dr. John L. Iley
Alcorn State University
Dept. of Advanced Technologies
1000 ASU Drive #360
Fayette, MS 39096-7500
addaed[email protected]
Dr. David K. Addae
Berea College
Dept. of Technology and Industrial
CPO 2188
Berea, KY 40404
859-985-3033 x5501 • FAX 859-986-4506
[email protected]
Dr. Gary Mahoney
Fitchburg State College
Dept. of Industrial Technology
160 Pearl Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420-2697
[email protected]
Dr. James Alicata
Eastern Kentucky University
Dept. of Technology
521 Lancaster Avenue
307 Whalin Technology Complex
Richmond, KY 40475-3102
859-622-3232 • FAX 859-622-2357
[email protected]
Dr. William E. Davis
Lemelson-MIT Program
Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams
MIT School of Engineering
77 Massachusetts Avenue, E60-215
Cambridge, MA 02139
[email protected]
Joshua Schuler
University of Southern Maine
Department of Technology
37 College Avenue
Gorham, ME 04038-1088
207-780-5440 • FAX 207-780-5129
[email protected]
Dr. Fred Walker
Eastern Michigan University
School of Technology Studies
122 Sill Hall
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
734-487-1161 • FAX 734-487-7690
[email protected]
John Boyless, Director
University of Maryland Baltimore
1000 Hilltop Circle
E 210/ME Department
Baltimore, MD 21250
410-455-3308 • FAX 410-455-1052
[email protected]
Dr. Anne Spence
33 •
University of Maryland-Eastern
Dept. of Technology
11931 Art Shell Plaza-UMES Campus
Princess Anne, MD 21853-1299
410-651-6468 • FAX 410-651-7959
[email protected]
Dr. Leon L. Copeland, Sr.
St. Cloud State University
Environmental & Technological
720 – 4th Ave. S. Headley Hall 203
St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498
320-308-3235 • FAX 320-654-5122
[email protected]
Dr. Anthony E. Schwaller, DTE
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
University of Central Missouri
Dept. of Career and Technology
120 Grinstead Building
Warrensburg, MO 64093-5034
660-543-4304 • FAX 660-543-8031
[email protected]
Dr. Ben Yates, DTE
Montana State University
Dept. of Education
118 Cheever Hall
Bozeman, MT 59717
406-994-3201 • FAX 406-994-6696
[email protected]
Scott Davis
Wayne State College
Dept. of Technology and Applied
1111 Main Street
Wayne, NE 68787-1600
402-375-7279 • FAX 402-375-7565
[email protected]
Dr. Judy Lindberg
The College of New Jersey
Dept. of Technological Studies
PO Box 7718
Ewing, NJ 08628-0718
609-771-2543 • FAX 609-771-3330
[email protected]
Dr. John Karsnitz
• April 2007
Hofstra University
Center for Technological Literacy
113 HU Gallon Wing Room 243
Hempstead, NY 11549-1130
6482-6482-6482 • FAX 516-463-4430
[email protected]
Dr. David Burghardt
University of North Dakota
Dept. of Technology
PO Box 7118
Grand Forks, ND 58202-7118
[email protected]
Dr. Dave Yearwood
Southwestern Oklahoma State
Dept. of Industrial and Engineering
100 Campus Drive
Weatherford, OK 73096-3098
580-774-3162 • FAX 580-774-7028
[email protected]
Dr. Gary Bell
The College of Saint Rose
Dept. of Applied Technology
432 Western Avenue
Albany, NY 12203-1490
[email protected]
Dr. Travis Plowman
NY State University at Oswego
Dept. of Technology
Washington Blvd. 209 Park Hall
Oswego, NY 13126-3599
[email protected]
Philip Gaines
Valley City State University
Dept. of Technology
101 College St SW
Valley City, ND 58072
701-845-7444 • FAX 701-845-7245
[email protected]
Dr. Don Mugan
Appalachian State University
Dept. of Technology
Kerr Scott Hall, ASU Box 32122
Boone, NC 28608-2122
[email protected]
Dr. Jerianne Taylor
1,2,6,7 B,C
North Carolina State University
Mathematics, Science & Technology
Box 7801
Raleigh, NC 27695-7801
919-515-1748 • FAX 919-515-6892
[email protected]
Dr. William J. Haynie
34 •
Kent State University
College of Technology
PO Box 5190
Kent, OH 44242-0001
[email protected]
Dr. Lowell S. Zurbuch
Bowling Green State University
Dept. of Visual Communication &
Technology Education
260 Technology
Bowling Green, OH 43402
[email protected]
Dr. Larry Hatch
The Ohio State University
Technology Education
1100 Kinnear Road, Room 100
Columbus, OH 43212-1152
614-292-7471 • FAX 614-292-2662
[email protected]
Dr. Paul E. Post
Ohio Northern University
Dept. of Technological Studies
Room 208 Taft Memorial Building
Ada, OH 45810
419-772-2170 • FAX 419-772-1932
[email protected]
Dr. David L. Rouch
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
California University of
Applied Engineering & Technology
250 University Avenue
California, PA 15419
724-938-4085 • FAX 724-938-4572
[email protected]
Dr. Stanley Komacek
Millersville University
Dept. of Industry & Technology
PO Box 1002
Millersville, PA 17551-0302
717-872-3316 • FAX 717-872-3318
[email protected]
Dr. Perry R. Gemmill
Johnson & Wales University
School of Technology
138 Mathewson Street
Providence, RI 02903
Heidi Januszewski
• April 2007
Rhode Island College
Dept. of Educational Studies/
Technology Education Program
600 Mt. Pleasant Avenue
Providence, RI 02908-1991
[email protected]
Dr. Charles H. McLaughlin, Jr.
Brigham Young University
Technology Teacher Education
Room 230 SNLB
Provo, UT 84602
steve[email protected]
Dr. Steven Shumway
Utah State University
Engineering and Technology
6000 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-6000
[email protected]
Dr. Kurt H. Becker
Clemson University
Dept. of Teacher Education
207 Tillman Hall
Clemson, SC 29634-0705
864-656-7647 • FAX 864-656-4808
[email protected]
Dr. William D. Paige, DTE
Linkoping University
Centre School Technology Education
Campus Norrkoping
Norrkoping SE60174
[email protected]
Thomas Ginner
The University of Texas at Tyler
Dept. of HRD and Technology
3900 University Blvd.
Tyler, TX 75799
903-566-7310 • FAX 903-566-4281
[email protected]
Dr. W. Clayton Allen
Edge Hill University
St. Helens Road
Lancashire L39 4Qp
[email protected]
Charles O’Brien
35 •
Old Dominion University
Occupational and Technical Studies
228 Education
Norfolk, VA 23529-0001
757-683-4305 • FAX 757-683-5227
[email protected]
Dr. John M. Ritz, DTE
Central Washington University
Dept. of Industrial and Engineering
Hogue Technology
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7584
3218-3218-3218 • FAX 509-963-1795
[email protected]
Dr. Scott Calahan
The Te c hnolo gy Te ac her
Milwaukee Area Technical College
700 W. State Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233-1443
[email protected]
Dale Dulberger
University of Wisconsin-Stout
School of Education
PO Box 790
Menomonie, WI 54751-1441
715-232-5609 • FAX 715-232-1441
[email protected]
Dr. Brian McAlister
University of Wyoming
Casper College Center
125 College Drive
Casper, WY 82601
307-268-2406 • FAX 307-268-2416
[email protected]
Dr. Rod Thompson
2007 ITEA
Museum Member
For further information contact the
staff member listed.
Museum of Science
1 Science Park
Boston, MA 02114
617-589-0170 • FAX 617-589-0187
Inga Laurila
[email protected]
• April 2007
Engineering Design: A Standards-Based High
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Don’t miss out on this
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Although the San Antonio conference is over, your opportunity to assist the
Foundation for Technology Education continues!
By making a $25 donation to FTE, in addition to
helping to move the cause of educating technology teachers forward, you will also receive a 128MB
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The Foundation for Technology Education (FTE) was established in 1986 as a nonprofit 501 (c )(3) organization and initiated a program of
giving in 1993, in which awards are presented during the ITEA
Annual Conference. FTE awards support programs that will: make our children technologically literate; transfer industrial and corporate
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