Invention, Innovation, Inquiry


Units for Technological Literacy, Grades 5-6


All units contain teacher background information, handouts, transparency masters, and a student packet.


Each unit is designed to integrate mathematics and science with technology and take 8 to 10 days.

What students learned from I³ units
(according to teachers):
  • Inquiry skills
  • Problem-solving skills<
  • The engineering design process
  • Research skills via Internet/printed sources
  • Writing skills
  • Thinking "outside the box"
  • Enhanced creativity
  • An appreciation of inventors
  • A historical perspective of (invnetors') struggles and achievements
  • That even a good design may fail
  • How to follow specific directions
  • To test different materials
  • The role technology plays in their lives
  • The concept of systems and subsystems
  • To communicate a message to a specific audience
  • What makes a good design
  • Designing skills
  • Inventing takes much work
  • Technology uses math, science, language arts, etc. to make something work as designed
  • How people's wants and needs dictate what is developed and what is successful
  • To identify alternatives in decision-making situations
What students did
(according to teachers):
  • Constructed an innovated product using the design process
  • Used the design process to innovate two objects
  • Used problem-solving techniques to complete their invention
  • Worked as part of a team
  • Implemented the design process in the problem-solving of their package design
  • Analyzed simple products to determine their component parts, how they work, and their ergonomic features
  • Used computer technology to create and enhance output
  • Produced a product from start to finish!
  • Explored the entire process of invention from initial design to modeling to patent
  • Gathered information from a variety of media, like books, Internet, and newspapers
  • Used a variety of "soft" materials and simple tools to construct simple design models
  • Created diagrams and sketches by hand and electronically to express design ideas and solutions