Technology Education-Putting Science to Work!

By Thode, Terry | Technology and Children, March 2005 | Go to article overview
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Technology Education-Putting Science to Work!


Thode, Terry, Technology and Children


There are some of us Tech Ed types who spend a lot of time trying to explain to others the difference between science and technology education. I'm not going to try that here! Let's leave it that technology education puts science to work for us in ways we can relate to.

Here's an example. I can remember countless times in science classes, both in primary and secondary school, when I rolled marbles or similar objects on an inclined plane to study momentum and how forces affected that object. It was certainly more fun than reading about momentum and gravity, but once I left the class I didn't think too much more about it. I definitely didn't relate it to riding my bicycle "lickety-split" down the sidewalk, nor later when I could drive, think of the car as that marble picking up speed and in need of a sure way to stop.

So what can you do to make science more real to your elementary students? The answer is easy. Add the technology education component to your curriculum and show your students how we use science to help us design and build safer and progressively better devices to help us and the environment.

So next we need to get our elementary teachers excited about adding another aspect to their busy days--not an easy task at all. Many school districts have put science on the "back burner" while trying to get students to read better and perform math with some sense of accomplishment. Technology education might not even be part of their vocabulary yet, but our intention is to make that happen! The neat thing about technology education is that it integrates with every subject. So what you need to do as a teacher is take what you already teach in science and ask yourself how it is used in today's world or how an existing technology uses the science. If you can't figure out a way to make it real for your students, then it's just information passing through and not worth your time or theirs!

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