July 28, 2020
Free Resources Help Teachers with Remote Learning & Engage Students in the History of Technology
Looking for a fun hands-on activity for students to try at home? Check out How to Make a Light Bulb with Cardboard and Pencil Lead, a new video from IEEE REACH (reach.ieee.org). In the video, a student explains how to make a light bulb using basic materials. This is one of the program’s free hands-on activities, in this case from the Electric Lighting Inquiry Unit, or lesson plan.
A free online education resource program, IEEE REACH (Raising Engineering Awareness through the Conduit of History) provides resources that bring to life the relationship between science, technology and society, all through the lens of history! The goal of the program is to improve students’ technology and engineering literacy skills by engaging students in the history of technology and encouraging the examination of its relationship to society, politics, economics, and culture. The program also enhances students’ skills in problem solving, critical thinking, research, communication and collaboration. These free resources specifically address three of the new core disciplines found in the 2020 revised ITEEA STEL standards, the History of Technology, Influence of Society on Technological Development, and Impacts of Technology. There is no need to reinvent the wheel to implement these new core disciplines in your lessons, as IEEE REACH already provides everything needed to easily implement these new disciplines into lesson plans.
With access to numerous resources, teachers can explore lesson plans, or inquiry units, that include formative performance tasks, civic actions and excerpted documents for students. Students can participate in hands-on activities, analyze primary and secondary source materials, and be entertained by short videos that focus on the history of technology and its role in society.
Intended for middle and high school students, the resources can be easily incorporated into any STEM program or other interdisciplinary subject such as history, economics or language arts. Adding even more value to teachers, all of the textual resources are downloadable in PDF formats for simple use on any remote learning platform. The videos are also downloadable in different video formats, allowing teachers to choose the option that works best with their remote learning software. The lessons are scaffolded, though, teachers have options of how to use them. For example, rather than implement an entire Inquiry Unit, teachers may pick and pull out the resources that work best for their individualized needs, i.e. a teacher may choose only one or two of the excerpted documents found in an inquiry unit for students to read, then choose one of the associated videos for students watch, and then ask students to do one of the formative performance tasks.
Current inquiries include: Skyscrapers, Electric Lighting, Early Maritime Navigation, Ancient Greek Triremes, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or Drones, Radio, Printing Press, the Refrigerated Railcar, and Electronic Music. (The videos and hands-on activities for this unit are still being developed.) Be sure to check them out, or start by watching one of the videos, i.e. Edison, “The Wizard of Menlo Park’s” Electric Light, which like the opening video, is also part of the Electric Lighting Inquiry Unit. You may find adults have as much fun learning from the resources as students do!
IEEE REACH is a donor funded program of the IEEE Foundation.
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