Magazine article Technology and Children

Ideas for Integrating Technology Education into Everyday Learning

Magazine article Technology and Children

Ideas for Integrating Technology Education into Everyday Learning

Article excerpt

We all have fond memories of fairs, amusement parks, and playgrounds. What e probably don't remember is the technology that made all the fun happen. advances in technology have allowed engineers to design their dreams of fun into extraordinary realities. Lucky us! Try the activities below and have your own techno-fun!

language arts

* Engineer your own amusement park or playground.

1. Teams can design totally from their imaginations or gather ideas from actual parks and playgrounds, and www.internationalplayco. com/public.php (Another option is to have each team design one ride to be included in a "class amusement park.") Each design should incorporate features of safety, aesthetics, and fun.

2. After designs are finished, teams choose a name and location for their park (within your local area).

3. Teams write a letter to the city explaining the features of their park and how it will benefit the community. (This is the easy part--the cost and impact statements come later!) Note: This would be a great project for you to involve REAL city officials--or, try your own principal out as mayor!

* Create a promotional pamphlet or poster for each park. Teams can use computer graphics or draw. Some examples: www. html. As an extension, teams can produce one-minute video promo commercials for their park.


* Use graph paper to develop and show the area size of each ride, or an entire park. For example, one square = one foot or meter. The "city" will also require a total area for the park. Give your students some actual sizes of familiar objects for reference (height of school, swing sets ...) or they can go out to the playground to measure objects themselves. As an extension, older students could use CAD programs to design.

* Designate a cost for materials or items; even land purchased could be included. Teams then figure the building cost of their park or ride. (Disneyland usually spends one to five million on each new ride!) Then, determine the price of admission.

* Want some great ideas for general theme park math? www. htm


* Ready to build a model of your park or playground? First you need to know how it works! It's all about energy, mass, and forces--you know, inertia, friction, centripetal force, and of course, gravity! You can experiment with the physics of fun using these simulator sites: www.funderstanding. com/k12/coaster, http://lyra.colorado. edu/sbo/mary/play and www.learner. org/exhibits/parkphysics/. Also, don't forget to consider the kinds of materials that would normally be used for construction--metal, wood, plastic? …

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