How tall can you build a tower out of paper? Technology education students at Loch Raven High School begin their study of technology systems with a hands-on problem to solve. Students work in small groups of two or three and use one sheet of standard size twenty pound copy paper and a limited amount of tape to construct the tallest possible paper tower. The school record................ 78 inches high!!!! What's yours? This begins our study of the technology system model, a technology-focused problem-solving framework. Students work toward understanding how resources such as people, tools and machines, time, creativity, capital, materials, skill, knowledge and energy are a part of the problem-solving recipe.
Students also build a toothpick bridge using fewer than 100 toothpicks and wood glue. These bridges are then tested to see how much weight they can support. The school record is now over 16,775 grams. Another activity students may be involved in is the construction of a slow-moving vehicle using only the parts available in a LegoÆ 1032 kit. The current record for the "Lego- Slow-Go" is over 100 hours to travel 10 feet!! Care to share your results and records?
In most activities, the goal is to apply some previous knowledge, use some scientific or mathematical principles, work in a group, solve a problem, learn something new, and hopefully, have fun.