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2002, Bigelow Middle School, Engineering Technology Department

 


EXPLORATORY TECHNOLOGY

This course focuses on communications, high tech design principles, and modular technology units. The modular units are offered to the students at a self- paced level and are designed to expose students to the many developing careers and technologies which exist in our society. The units include laser technology, fiber optics, electronics, mechanisms, solar/photo voltaic technology, pneumatics, robotics, plastics, wind/air turbines, aerodynamics, and transparent combustion engines. The students will also use computers as a tool for designing and manufacturing. Desktop publishing, computer aided design, computer aided manufacturing, web page design, and digital photography will be explored.  Simply click on the curriculum title for a detailed description of the TLA.

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Computer Aided Design TLA

Students will use computers to design magazine covers, posters, slide shows, advertisements, mechanical drawings, house floor plans, solid models, etc.  They will understand how a computer can be used as a design tool, replacing pencils, markers, crayons, paint, clay, etc.  The curriculum materials are designed by using the following software, however most any graphic arts software can be used.  CorelDraw, Autosketch, Microsoft Power Point, Microsoft Publisher. (5 or 6 classes)

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Computer Aided Manufacturing TLA

This is an optional activity for students who complete all requirements for the class early. Students who decide to engage in this activity use the knowledge they obtained from the CAD assignments, to make drawings of the project of their choice.  They start by drawing an object using Autosketch .  Next they convert the file into a language that is readable by the CNC Machine (Computer Numeric Control).  They then insert the stock in the CNC Machine and simply run the program.  The CNC machine does all the work by shaping, drilling, boring, engraving, or cutting the shape that they have designed.  We use a Spectra Light Mill 1000 (by Light Machines Corp.) and a DaVinci milling machine, but any manufacturer will accomplish the same results. (2 or 3 classes)

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Web Page Design

For this TLA students will use the research they gathered earlier in the term (inventors, inventions, careers, etc.) to design and create a web page.  Instead of giving a report or personal presentation to the class the traditional way, they will report the research by designing and publishing a web page.  The web sites that they create will serve as a database for lower grades to utilize.  The students were originally graded on shier research and will be graded again for presentation when they complete the final web page design.  We use a program called Macromedia Dreamweaver for the web page layout and Macromedia Fireworks for any special effects or graphics.   These software titles can be downloaded for a free trial and also can be purchased together as an educational version.  (3 classes)

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Digital Photography

As part of the Computer Aided Design assignment, I require the students to use a photo (picture) of some sort in their project.  I allow them to choose what project they want, but I do limit the content to some specifics.  (See the curriculum downloads for a list)  Most students choose to design a magazine cover.  This is good for some because there is an existing design in front of them and their task is to try and copy it as best as they can.  They end up really learning how to edit text and graphics to look similar to the existing cover.  The students must either use a digital camera to take a picture, digitize an existing picture using a scanner, or download a picture from the web to insert in their project.  They must then edit the photo in some manner to enhance it for their purpose.  They are graded on how well the final picture appears and is used.  I use a Kodak DC-120 digital camera, however this is a relatively older model and the newer models have some better features.  If your budget allows, spend the extra money and purchase a digital video camera.  This will allow you to take still photos as well as movies.  The scanner we use is a Umax Astra.  (Great choice and fairly inexpensive) (2 classes)

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T-shirt Design and Fabrication

This is an optional activity for students who complete all requirements for the class early. Students who decide to engage in this activity use the knowledge they obtained from the CAD assignments, to make T-shirt designs of their choice.    The curriculum materials are designed by using  CorelDraw, however most any graphic arts software package can be used.  We use a Fargo Primera wax thermal printer to print out the T-shirt transfer pages.  There are a lot of printers on the market now that offer the additional T-shirt transfers for their specific printer.  Be sure to check with your manufacturer because those transfer sheets can make a huge mess. (1 or 2 classes)

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Research Project

This TLA is the first half of a two part activity, research and design.  The students are required to research a specific topic (inventors, inventions, careers, etc.) and then write a 1 page report.  Later they will use the information they gather to design a web page.  The students will be graded on shier research content, spelling, punctuation, and the completion of all required information.  Students are required to submit the research on a computer generated paper and to also save a copy of the work to a floppy disk to be used later in the term.  The students are not restricted to any specific word processing software.  Mac or PC based programs may be used.  (Out of class assignment, due 1 week from date assigned)

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Wind Energy

This activity is a discovery series video on the basics of generating electricity from wind.  Wind turbines are used to generate electricity in all parts of the world.  This video illustrates how wind turbines work, where they are most commonly located, and the economic benefits of generating power by harnessing the wind energy.

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This web site is maintained by: Michael Whitman