Technology and Engineering

Science, Technology and Engineering

Course Overview:

This course builds technological literacy and critical reasoning skills that will lead to success in any subsequent science course. Students develop a practical understanding of how we are influenced by science and technology and how our choices as workers, consumers, and citizens influence future technological development. Our project-based curriculum was developed by the Museum of Science, Boston, It introduces students to how engineers work and think, explores the basis of physical science, and provides a strong foundation in physics.

The textbook provides 32 personal accounts from technologists and engineers. Their descriptions of their work often encourage students to investigate careers in this needy area.

The Nature of Science:

The result of scientific investigation is an understanding of natural processes. A scientific account must be based on data gathering and analysis and other evidence obtained through direct observations or experiments, reflect inferences that are broadly shared and communicated, and be accompanied by a model that offers a naturalistic explanation expressed in conceptual, mathematical, and/or mechanical terms.

The Nature of Technology and Engineering

Technology/engineering seeks different ends from those of science. Engineering strives to design and manufacture useful devices or materials, defined as technologies, whose purpose is to increase our efficacy in the world and our enjoyment of it. Can openers are technology, as are microwave ovens, microchips, steam engines, camcorders, safety glass, zippers, polyurethane, the Golden Gate Bridge, much of Disney World, and the “Big Dig” in Boston. Each of these emerges from the scientific knowledge, imagination, persistence, talent, and ingenuity of practitioners of technology/engineering. Each technology represents a designed solution that applies scientific principles, usually created in response to a specific practical problem. As with science, direct engagement with the problem is central to defining and solving it.

The Relationship Between Science and Technology

In spite of their different goals, science and technology have become closely, even inextricably, related in many fields. The instruments that scientists use, such as the microscope, balance, and chronometer, result from the application of technology/engineering. Scientific ideas, such as the laws of motion, the relationship between electricity and magnetism, the atomic model, and the model of DNA, have contributed to achievements in technology and engineering, such as improvement of the internal combustion engine, power transformers, nuclear power, and human gene therapy. The boundaries between science and technology/engineering blur together to extend knowledge.

Engineering the Future: Science, Technology, and the Design Process. Key Curriculum Press, CA.
Class participation and classwork:25%
Test and quizzes:25%
Lab projects and reports:25%