Toolkit for Technological Literacy
This appendix is a compilation of resources—a toolkit— intended to assist readers who want to know more about technology and technological literacy. The toolkit is a sampling rather than a comprehensive listing. Most of these sources of information will be of interest to general audiences; some may be of more interest to specific groups. Educators, for example, may find the “Resources for the K-12 Classroom” particularly useful. An expanded and updated version of the toolkit is available on the National Academy of Engineering website that accompanies this report: <www.nae.edu/techlit>.
The Committee on Technological Literacy and project staff have reviewed these entries for relevance and accuracy. However, inclusion on this list does not represent an endorsement by either the committee or the National Academies or a judgment of the quality of a particular organization or resource.
Nature and History of Technology
Autonomous Technology: Technics-out-of-Control as a Theme in Political Thought
Langdon Winner, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1977.
This book explores the relationship between technology and political theory throughout history. Winner stresses the interactions between technology and conceptions of human nature and social and political institutions.
Beyond Engineering: How Society Shapes Technology
Robert Pool, Oxford University Press, 1997.
This book, part of the Sloan Foundation Technology Book Series, presents the fascinating, often complex ways machines and society interact. Pool demonstrates that technology is shaped not only by engineering, but also by cultural values, economics, management, and history.
Buildings, Bridges, and Tunnels
This website explores how tall buildings have evolved through time, tours grand bridges around the world, and explains tunnel technologies. This is a companion site to a three-part series on the Discovery Channel celebrating the advances in engineering design and technology.
Louis L. Bucciarelli, MIT Press, 1996.
X-ray inspection systems at airports, photoprint machines, and a residential energy system all illustrate how society influences engineering design. Through case studies, readers are shown how business and management issues, as well as engineering design, influence the conceptualization and production of technologies.
The Design of Everyday Things
Donald A. Norman, Currency/Doubleday, 1990.
This collection of examples of good and bad design includes some simple rules for designers and prompts readers to think about how they interact with their surroundings.
Does Technology Drive History?: The Dilemma of Technological Determinism
Edited by Merritt Roe Smith and Leo Marx, MIT Press, 1994.
The essays in this collection focus on how society is shaped by technology. Experts in various disciplines argue that technologies are social products and therefore subject to social or democratic controls.
Dream Reaper: The Story of an Old-Fashioned Inventor in the HighTech, High-Stakes World of Modern Agriculture
Craig Canine, Alfred A. Knopf, 1995.
In the past 150 years, agricultural technology has changed dra-
matically as the population has moved from farms into cities. The author describes those changes through the struggle of two cousins from Kansas who developed and marketed a new type of grain reaper.
Engineering and the Mind’s Eye
Eugene S. Ferguson, MIT Press, 1994.
Focusing on design and visualization, Ferguson argues that good engineering relies as much on intuition and imagination as on models and calculations. The author presents the story of engineering as a profession and argues that engineering education must prepare engineers for working on projects in the real world, as opposed to models and theories.
The Existential Pleasures of Engineering (Second Edition)
Samuel Florman, St. Martin’s Press, 1995.
This book explores the thoughts and feelings of engineers about their profession and their work. Florman also discusses some philosophies of technology.
The Great Idea Finder
The Great Idea Finder (TGIF) website highlights historic and cutting-edge inventions, profiles inventors, and provides resources for learning about technology and innovation.
Greatest Achievements of the 20th Century
From electricity and safe drinking water to airplanes and computers, engineering reshaped society in the twentieth century. This website provides pictures and background material on 20 of the most important engineering achievements of the last hundred years.
High Tech, High Touch: Technology and Our Search for Meaning
John Naisbitt, Nana Naisbitt, and Douglas Philips, Broadway Books, 1999.
This book presents information on technological issues and includes interviews with doctors, scientists, military leaders, and clergy, who believe that technology is accelerating the pace of activity and feeding the yearning for more emotionally satisfying lives.
How Stuff Works
This website provides information about how everything from computers to coffeemakers works. It includes a question of the day archive, feature articles that change regularly, and a HowStuffWorks Express site for kids.
The Intellectual Appropriation of Technology: Discourses on Modernity, 1900–1939
Edited by Mikael Haård and Andrew Jamison, MIT Press, 1998.
The essays in this collection suggest that current debates about technology have been shaped by the social and academic responses to techonological developments from 1900–1940. The authors focus on how attitudes about technology are shaped by national and cultural traditions.
The Invention That Changed the World: How a Small Group of Radar Pioneers Won the Second World War and Launched a Technological Revolution
Robert Buderi, Simon & Schuster, 1996.
Buderi recounts the rapid development of radio detection and ranging (RADAR) during World War II and the subsequent scientific and technological advances it inspired. This story includes technical details, as well as descriptions of the personalities, rivalries, and broader context that influenced the development of this seminal technology.
Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time
Dava Sobel, Walker and Company, 1998.
This is the remarkable story of a clock maker who invented the chronometer, which revolutionized navigation at sea.
More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave
Ruth Schwartz Cowan, Basic Books, 1983.
As people moved away from traditional farming, many laborsaving devices were developed to help with chores that had been done by men or children. Cowan argues that the roles of family members in
household maintenance have changed much more slowly than the technology, which ironically has increased the responsibility of women.
Paths of Innovation: Technological Change in 20th Century America
David C. Mowery and Nathan Rosenberg, Cambridge University Press, 1998.
The internal combustion engine, electricity, and chemistry are a few of the case studies in this book on innovation in America in the twentieth century. The authors also identify general patterns of techonological development and economic growth.
The Religion of Technology: The Divinity of Man and the Spirit of Invention
David F. Noble, A.A. Knopf, 1997.
Noble’s thesis is that science and religion were closely linked for most of the 2000 years of Western history. When science became a quest for knowledge separate from its religious underpinnings, he argues, technical progress took off in a different direction, sometimes leading to terrible events like Hiroshima and Chernobyl.
Rescuing Prometheus: Four Monumental Projects That Changed the Modern World
Thomas P. Hughes, Pantheon Books, 1998.
Hughes tells the story of how four large-scale techonological projects undertaken since World War II have contributed to new methods of management and engineering. He argues that innovation is now the product of interacting systems of technology rather than of an inventor working alone.
Sightseer’s Guide to Engineering
This online travel guide includes links to websites for manufacturing facilities, roller coasters, ski lifts, museums, lighthouses, and engineering marvels like the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam. The site is sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers and National Engineers Week.
The Soul of a New Machine
Tracy Kidder, Modern Library, 1997.
This Pulitizer Prize winning book follows a group of young
engineers at Data General who built a new minicomputer in just one year. Their handling of the difficult and complex obstacles to achieve this goal set a standard of highly motivated, hard-working professionals in the computer industry.
Technology and Culture
This international quarterly journal published by the Society for the History of Technology includes articles on the history of technology and its relationship to politics, economics, labor, business, the environment, public policy, science, and the arts. Details, including subscription information, are available at <shot.jhu.edu/tc.html>.
Technology and the Future (Eighth Edition)
Edited by Albert H. Teich., Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2000.
The essays in this collection were written by scholars of technology and society with a variety of opinions about the future relationship between them. The essays focus on theories, limits, and risks of technology and impacts on medicine, labor, politics and policy, society, gender roles, and the family.
Edited by Michael J. Dryenfurth and Michael R. Kozak, Council on Technology Teacher Education, MacMillan/McGraw-Hill, 1991.
This collection of essays covers the context for technological literacy, provides different perspectives on the concept, and suggests practical implications for technology educators.
Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology
Neil Postman, Vintage Books, 1993.
In this book, Postman argues that the United States has become the world’s first technopoly—a culture that not only uses technology, but is also shaped by it.
To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design
Henry A Petroski, Vintage Books, 1993.
Petroski uses several examples to demonstrate that engineering successes are often the results of a long succession of sometimes spectacular, but forgotten, failures.
The Unbound Prometheus: Technological Change and Industrial Development in Western Europe from 1750 to the Present
David S. Landes, Cambridge University Press, 1969.
This classic book presents basic economic issues and techonological change that have had the greatest impact on society since 1750.
Virtual Center for Science and Technology
Exploring and Collecting History Online (ECHO) Virtual Center for Science and Technology is an annotated catalogue of Internet sites on the history of science, technology, and medicine. This resource includes links from the original WWW Virtual Library.
Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences
Edward Tenner, Alfred A. Knopf, 1996.
Using examples from sports, medicine, environmental control, and the computerized office, Tenner describes how new technologies can have unexpected results, such as unforeseen problems and unforeseen benefits.
Resources for the K-12 Classroom
BUILDING BIG™ explores the history of some of the greatest feats of engineering in the world and the ingenuity of the engineers, architects, and builders who designed and built them. This is a companion site to a five-part PBS series.
The Children Designing & Engineering Project
The College of New Jersey; 103 AR, P.O. Box 7718, Ewing, NJ 08628-0718; Phone: 609-771-3331; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Children Designing & Engineering Project is a collaboration of the College of New Jersey’s Department of Technological Studies, the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The project has developed instructional materials for the K-5 age group using a thematic design-and-technology approach. The hands-on, inquiry-based units emphasize the relationship between
science, math, technology, and the business world. They range between four and six weeks in length and take approximately 15-20 hours to complete. Details available at: <http://www.tcnj.edu/~cde/home.html>.
The City Technology Project
City College of New York; 140thSt. & Convent Ave.; Room T-233; New York, NY 10031. Phone: 212-650-8389 Email: email@example.com.
The City Technology Project is a collaboration of elementary classroom teachers, the City College Schools of Education and Engineering, the Center for Children and Technology and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The project has developed materials for teachers to support the teaching of technology in the elementary grades. These materials draw upon everyday artifacts and systems as the source of materials for analysis and design. Five volumes in the Stuff that Works! series are available from Heinemann (Portsmouth, NH): Mechanisms & Other Systems; Packaging & Other Structures; Mapping; Designed Environments: Places, Practices and Plans; and Signs, Symbols & Codes. The project is currently organizing a professional development plan to support the use of these materials through hands-on workshops and Internet-based forums.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Science Education Department, MS-71, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138; Phone: 617-496-4796; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Doable engineering science investigations geared for nonscience students (DESIGN) are design-based activity modules for use in physical science and technology courses in grades 5 through 9. The engineering projects include: batteries, bridges, electromagnets, gravity cars, solar houses, and windmills. Students make prototypes of specific designs and are then challenged to improve them in some way, such as by increasing their speed while working within constraints, such as size or budget. DESIGN II is a one-year physical science and technology course for middle schools, based on the engineering projects developed and tested through the DESIGN project. Details are available at: <cfa-www.harvard.edu/cfa/sed/projects/designsinfo.html>.
This site for girls about engineers and engineering careers features a Gallery of Women Engineers, an Ask an Engineer option, a career quiz, and an increasing number of engineering links. A companion website, Celebration of Women in Engineering <www.nae.edu/cwe>, provides additional project plans and resources for parents, teachers, and other mentors.
Integrated Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology; Illinois State University, Campus Box 5960, Normal, IL 61790-5000; Phone: 309-438-3089; Email: email@example.com
The Integrated Mathematics, Science, and Technology (IMaST) program provides an integrated curriculum for grades 6 through 8 that promotes hands-on learning for students and teamwork among teachers from different disciplines. Teams of mathematics, science, and technology specialists, in collaboration with experts in other fields, researched and created this curriculum that meets national standards. Details are available at: <www.ilstu.edu/depts/cemast/imast/imasthome.htm>.
Integrating Technology Education Across the Curriculum
Many NSF-funded curricula and teacher-developed classroom activities are catalogued in this annotated list of technology education resources, programs, and publications. The list is available through the International Technology Education Association and can be accessed through its website at: <www.iteawww.org>.
Learning by Design
The EduTech Institute; Georgia Institute of Technology, 801 Atlantic Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332; Phone: 404-894-3807; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the Learning by Design approach to math and science, students learn through collaborative design activities and reflection on their experiences. The bases for these project-based curriculum units for middle school classrooms are complex, real-world engineering and design problems. Researchers at Georgia Tech’s EduTech Institute, working with teachers from Atlanta-area school systems, developed units including: Vehicles in Motion, Work and Energy, Machines That Help, Managing
Erosion, Tunneling, and Changing Coastlines. Details are available at: <www.cc.gatech.edu/edutech/projects/lbdview.html>.
Manufacturing Is Cool!
Information on colleges, engineering camps for students, facility tours, scholarships, and classroom resources are available on this site, which focuses on careers and opportunities in manufacturing.
Middle School Science and Technology
BSCS; 5415 Mark Dabling Boulevard, Colorado Springs, CO 80918-3842; Phone: 719-531-5550; Email: email@example.com
The Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) Middle School Science and Technology curriculum materials are designed to incorporate technology, including principles of design, cost-and-benefit and systems analysis, and complexity into technological problems. Details may be found at: <www.bscs.org>.
NASA Education Programs
Like several other organizations and government agencies, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) supports education programs relating to technology. This website is a comprehensive list of NASA’s education programs.
Resources for Science Literacy: Professional Development
American Association for the Advancement of Science, Oxford University Press, 1997.
This resource book includes an extensive list of science trade books on the nature of technology and the designed world. The book comes with a CD-ROM that contains additional information and book reviews. It can be ordered through AAAS’s Project 2061 website at: <www.project2061.org>.
SMETE Open Federation
SMETE Open Federation Headquarters; 3115 Etcheverry Hall, University of California at Berkeley; Berkeley, CA 94720-1750; Phone: 510-643-1818; Website: <www.smete.org>
SMETE.ORG is developing a digital library to provide students,
teachers, other education professionals, and lifelong learners access to a comprehensive collection of science, mathematics, engineering and technology (SMET) education content online.
The Technology Teacher Magazine
Published eight times a year, this journal is for technology education professionals from elementary school teachers to middle school, junior high, and high school classroom teachers, as well as educators of teachers. Articles cover many issues, including technology learning activities, new programs, and reports of current trends in technology education. Subscription information is available online at: <www.iteawww.org/F1.html>.
The online Magazine of Design & Technology Education (TIES) provides stories and ideas for integrating math, science, and technology in middle, junior, and senior high school curricula. Articles emphasize design and problem solving as instructional techniques. The publication is available online at: <http://www.tiesmagazine.org>.
TSM Connection Activities
Technology Education; 144 Smyth Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0432; Phone: 540-231-6480
These 11 activities designed to integrate the instruction of math, science, and technology at the middle school level were developed through the Technology, Science, and Mathematics Integration Project (TSM). The activities challenge students to design, construct, and test solutions to real-world problems. The TSM units encourage team teaching and include detailed suggestions for math, science, and technology teachers. Details can be found at: <http://teched.vt.edu/TechEd/HTML/Research/TSMOverview1.html>.
World in Motion
SAE: World in Motion; 400 Commonwealth Drive, Warrendale, PA 15096-0001; Phone: 877-606-7323; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Students working in “engineering design teams” explore physics through a series of activities, including designing boats, cars, and steel can rovers. Developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers in 1990, this curriculum kit provides a physical science supplement for grades 4, 5, and 6.
A World in Motion: The Design Experience is a multidisciplinary curriculum for grades 7 and 8. Teachers who enlist the support of engineers are eligible to receive free curriculum kits that includes a teacher’s manual, manipulatives, and promotional materials. Details are available at: <www.sae.org/students/awim.htm>.
Standards and Related Publications
Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Benchmarks for Science Literacy is the AAAS Project 2061 statement of what all students should know and be able to do in science, mathematics, and technology by the end of grades 2, 5, 8, and 12. Benchmarks provides educators with sequences of specific learning goals that can be used to design a core curriculum. The nature of technology and the designed world benchmarks relate directly to technological literacy. Benchmarks can be found online at: <www.project2061.org/tools/benchol/bolframe.htm>.
Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks
Massachusetts Department of Education; 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148-5023; Phone: 781-338-3460; Email: email@example.com
The Massachusetts Department of Education has created the country’s first statewide K-12 curriculum framework that explicitly includes engineering. A complete copy of the framework is available online in PDF format at: <www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/default.html>.
National Science Education Standards
The National Science Education Standards (NSES) outline what scientifically literate students should know, understand, and be able to do at different grade levels. Standards on science and technology focus on establishing connections between the natural and designed worlds and developing decision-making abilities. The NSES can be found online at: <www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses/html/contents.html>.
Principles and Standards for School Mathematics
Principles and Standards for School Mathematics is a set of comprehensive goals in mathematics for all K-12 students. Developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, these standards include
probability, problem solving, and making connections to other subject areas, such as science and technology. The website address is: <standards.nctm.org>.
Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology
International Technology Education Association; 1914 Association Drive, Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191; Phone: 703-860-2100; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This ITEA report presents 20 standards of what technologically literate K-12 students should know and be able to do in five general areas, as well as several benchmarks for specific grade levels. ITEA is currently developing a series of curriculum guides to assist teachers and other educators to implement the standards. The website address is: <www.iteawww.org/TAA/STLstds.htm>.
Organizations of Interest
Association for Career and Technical Education and EdGate
The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), formerly the American Vocational Association, is the largest national education association dedicated to preparing youths and adults for careers. Founded in 1926, ACTE members are teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, university professors, state/local employees, and students in subject areas ranging from business to health care.
Association of Science-Technology Centers
The Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) is an organization of informal education centers and museums dedicated to furthering the public understanding of science. Founded in 1973, the members of ASTC include science-technology centers and science museums, nature centers, aquariums, planetariums, zoos, botanical gardens, space theaters, and children’s museums.
The Center for Engineering Education Outreach
The Center for Engineering Educational Outreach at Tufts University is dedicated to bringing engineering into the K-12 classroom. Using the model of engineering design projects, the center coordinates the work of experts in engineering and education with teachers to create engineering-based curricula.
Center for Occupational Research and Development
The Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD) is a national nonprofit organization that promotes innovations in education to prepare students for careers and higher education. CORD assists educators in secondary schools and colleges through new curricula, teaching strategies, professional development, and partnerships with community leaders, families, and employers.
International Technology Education Association
The goal of ITEA, the professional organization of technology teachers, is to promote overall technological literacy by supporting the teaching of technology by professional, well-educated teachers. ITEA developed the Standards for Technological Literacy and supports the publication of Technology Teacher, a magazine for technology education professionals, and the Journal of Technology Education, a scholarly publication focused on technology education research, philosophy, and theory.
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
The Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation documents, interprets, and disseminates information about inventions and innovations. The center supports programs
and events to encourage young people to be inventive and to recognize the role of invention and innovation in U.S. history. The Lemelson Center, housed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, has extensive resources for teachers, students, and others.
Junior Engineering Technical Society
Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) sponsors competitions, programs, and other activities and provides educational materials about the world of engineering showing how math and science are used to solve technological problems that have social, political, and economic effects. JETS sponsors the Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science (TEAMS) and the National Engineering Design Challenge (NEDC), and the National Engineering Aptitude Search+ (NEAS+), a self-administered academic survey that enables students to determine their current level of preparation in applied mathematics, science, and reasoning.
The Loka Institute
The Loka Institute is a nonprofit research and advocacy organization concerned with the social, political, and environmental repercussions of research, science, and technology. Since 1987, the Loka Institute has created and/or supported programs to promote more informed science and technology policy by making it more responsive to social and environmental concerns. Loka strives to increase opportunities for individual, grassroots, and public-interest group involvement in science and technology decision making.
Empire State Building; 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2212; New York, NY 101182299; Phone: 212-279-2626; Website: <www.nacme.org>
The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME), provides leadership and support for national efforts to increase the participation of African Americans, American Indians, and Latinos in engineering, and technology-, math-, and science-based careers.
National Science Resources Center
The National Science Resources Center (NSRC), operated jointly by the National Academies and the Smithsonian Institution, is dedicated to improving the teaching of science. NSRC is a clearinghouse for information about exemplary teaching resources and develops and disseminates science curriculum materials for elementary classrooms. The center also sponsors outreach activities to help school districts develop and sustain hands-on science programs.
National Skill Standards Board
The National Skill Standards Board is a coalition of community, business, labor, education, and civil rights leaders. The board is building a national voluntary system of skill standards, assessment, and certification.
Project 2061 of the American Association for the Advancement of Science is a long-term initiative to reform K-12 science education. The project is creating coordinated reform tools and services in the form of books, CD-ROMs, and online resources. Established in 1985, Project 2061 provides support to enable all Americans to become literate in science, mathematics, and technology. A 1989 publication, Science for All Americans, provided recommendations for what all students should know, and be able to do, in science, mathematics, and technology by the time they graduate from high school.
The Salvadori Middle School Program (SMSP) in New York City, the core program of the Salvadori Center, offers teacher training and support to improve student academic performance and critical thinking
skills. Fully integrated, hands-on projects focusing on the built environment help students learn math, science, and the humanities while developing an appreciation for the aesthetics, history, and practice of engineering. Teachers from participating middle schools attend a summer institute and meet regularly to continue sharing their experiences in implementing the SMSP.
Society for the History of Technology
Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) is an interdisciplinary organization concerned with the history of technological devices and processes and the relationship of technology to science, politics, social change, the arts and humanities, and economics. SHOT members include practicing scientists and engineers, anthropologists, librarians, political scientists, and economists. The organization publishes a regular newsletter and Technology and Culture, a quarterly journal.
Society of Women Engineers
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) encourages women to achieve their full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, increases public awareness of the engineering profession, and demonstrates the value of diversity. Like many other engineering societies, SWE supports an active network of volunteers who go into classrooms and work with afterschool programs to interest students in math, science, and technology.
Contests and Awards
Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology; Email: email@example.com
The Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology (BEST) competition exposes middle and high school students to the concepts of engineering and technology through a robotics design challenge. Teams have 6 weeks to design and build prototypes of a remote-controlled robot that can accomplish a specific task. Competitors advance from local
events to a regional play-off and championship. Details can be found at: <www.bestinc.org>.
Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Award
National Science Teachers Association; 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000; Phone: 888-494-4994; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program challenges students to use their creativity and imagination, along with their science, technology, and mechanical ability, to invent or modify a tool. The competition runs from late August to mid-March with separate divisions for grades 2 through 5 and 6 through 8. Details can be found online at: <www.nsta.org/programs/craftsman/>.
National Academy of Engineering; 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20418; Phone: 202-334-1237
The Charles Stark Draper Prize is a preeminent award for engineering achievement. This annual prize honors an engineer or group of engineers whose accomplishments have significantly improved the quality of life, improved people’s ability to live freely and comfortably, and/or permitted access to information. The $500,000 award is intended to increase public awareness of the contributions of engineers and technology to the welfare and freedom of humanity. Details can found at: <www.nae.edu>.
FIRST LEGO League
200 Bedford Street, Manchester, NH 03101; Phone: 800-871-8326; Email: FLL@usfirst.org
Teams of 9- to 14-year-olds use LEGO bricks, sensors, motors, and gears to construct and program fully autonomous robots capable of completing different missions while maneuvering around a 4-foot-by-8-foot playing field. Teams are mentored by adults or sometimes high school students who competed in the FIRST Robotics Competition. Details about the contest, including past challenges, can be found online at: <www.legomindstorms.com/fll>.
FIRST Robotics Competition
200 Bedford Street, Manchester, NH 03101; Phone: 800-871-8326; Email: email@example.com
The FIRST Robotics Competition is a national engineering contest for high school students in which student teams work with engineers from business and universities to brainstorm, design, construct, and test “champion robots.” The competition, which takes place over a period of 6 weeks, kicks off in January and culminates with the national championship in April. Details are available at: <www.usfirst.org/robotics/index.html>.
Future City Competition™
1420 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; Phone: 703-684-2852; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Working with a teacher and an engineer, student teams design a future city using a computer program and then build a scale model of a section of their city. Teams must also write a 500-word essay on a specific engineering topic and make an oral presentation of their work. The winners of regional contests compete at the national level for awards sponsored by various organizations and businesses. Details of the contest, sponsored by National Engineers Week, can be found online at: <www.futurecity.org>.
Future Problem Solving Program
Future Problem Solving Program; 2028 Regency Road, Lexington, KY 40503; Phone: 800-256-1499; Email: FPSolve@aol.com
The Future Problem Solving Program (FPSP) emphasizes using creative problem-solving skills to address a variety of anticipated problems. The program features both competitive and noncompetitive activities. Under the guidance of teachers/coaches, teams of four students in grades 4 through 12 explore challenges and propose action plans to address complex societal problems. The program is designed to be used in the regular classroom to introduce students to creative problem solving in a hands-on, nonthreatening environment. Details of the program can be found at: <www.fpsp.org>.
Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education
National Academy of Engineering; 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20418; Phone: 202-334-1237
The National Academy of Engineering Bernard M. Gordon Prize is a biennial cash award of $500,000 given to an individual or small group of individuals for a specific project/program or for a body of work over a period of years. The prize is intended to encourage improvements of engineering and technology education relevant to the practice of engineering, the maintenance of a strong, diverse engineering workforce, innovation and inventiveness, and the promotion of technology development. Details can found at: <www.nae.edu/awards>.
Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
Science Service; 1719 N Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; Phone: 202-785-2255; Email: email@example.com
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) is the world’s largest precollege science competition. Young scientists from around the world come together in May of each year to share ideas, showcase cutting-edge science projects, and compete for more than $3 million in awards and scholarships. Rules and guidelines, as well as science and engineering resources, are available on the ISEF website at: <www.sciserv.org/isef/index.asp>.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room E 60324, Cambridge, MA 02139; Phone: 617-253-3352; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lemelson-MIT Prize is a $500,000 award presented to an American inventor-innovator for outstanding inventiveness and creativity in the field of science, medicine, engineering, or entrepreneurship. Annual awards are also presented to outstanding college and high school innovators. Invention Dimension, the program’s website (web.mit.edu/invent), includes an “inventor of the week” feature and extensive links and other resources.
National Engineering Design Challenge
Junior Engineering Technical Society; 1420 King Street, Suite 405, Alexandria, VA 22314-2794; Phone: 703-548-5387; Email: email@example.com.
National Engineering Design Challenge (NEDC) encourages
teams of high school students to work with engineer advisers to design, fabricate, and demonstrate a working solution to a social need. NEDC is a cooperative program between Junior Engineering Technical Society, the National Society of Professional Engineers, and the National Talent Network. Teams present their solutions before a panel of judges at a regional competition, and the winners advance to the national finals held in Washington, D.C., during National Engineers Week, in February. Details of the contest can be found at: <www.jets.org/nedc.htm>.
Odyssey of the Mind
Odyssey of the Mind Program; c/o Creative Competitions Inc., 1325 Rt. 130 South, Suite F, Gloucester City, NJ 08030; Phone: 856-456-7776; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This international program encourages creative problem solving by challenging students in a variety of areas, from building mechanical devices to interpreting literary classics. Teams of five to seven students compete in four grade-level divisions. Each year five new problems are presented to be solved over a period of weeks or months. At competitions, teams present their solution to a “long-run” problem; they are then given an on-the-spot “spontaneous” problem to solve. Details and practice problems can be found online at <www.odysseyofthemind.com>.
RI/SME Student Robotic Engineering Challenge
Society of Manufacturing Engineers; One SME Drive, P.O. Box 930, Dearborn, MI 48121-0930; Phone: 313-271-1500; Email: email@example.com
The RI/SME is a competition for middle school through college students that tests knowledge of the manufacturing process as demonstrated through robotics and automation contests. Teams from middle and high schools, community colleges, and universities compete in 14 different categories. Students are judged on their application of manufacturing principles and their ability to solve manufacturing-related problems through a team approach. Details can be found at: <www.sme.org>.
Toshiba/NSTA Exploravision Awards
1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000; Phone: 800-EXPLOR-9 or 703-243-7100; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Toshiba/NSTA Exploravision Awards encourage students to combine the tools of science with their own imaginations to create a vision of future technologies. Teams of two, three, or four students
simulate research and development teams and, with the guidance of a team coach and mentor (optional), select a technology or an aspect of a technology relevant to their lives. They then imagine what the technology will be like 20 years from now and convey their vision to others through written descriptions and five graphics simulating web pages. Details can be found at: <www.toshiba.com/tai/exploravision>.