By the end of grade 12. Modern civilization depends on major technological systems, including those related to agriculture, health, water, energy, transportation, manufacturing, construction, and communications. Engineers continuously modify these technological systems by applying scientific knowledge and engineering design practices to increase benefits while decreasing costs and risks. Widespread adoption of technological innovations often depends on market forces or other societal demands, but it may also be subject to evaluation by scientists and engineers and to eventual government regulation. New technologies can have deep impacts on society and the environment, including some that were not anticipated or that may build up over time to a level that requires attention or mitigation. Analysis of costs, environmental impacts, and risks, as well as of expected benefits, is a critical aspect of decisions about technology use.


1. National Academy of Engineering. (2010). Standards for K-12 Engineering Education? Committee on Standards for K-12 Engineering Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

2. National Assessment Governing Board. (2010). Technology and Engineering Literacy Framework for the 2014 National Assessment of Educational Progress. Available: [April 2011].

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