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Archived Information

Science & Technology Curriculum Framework
Owning The Questions

Strand 3: Technology

Lifelong learners are able to understand and apply the design process and the use of technology in society.

"[M]any parts of our world are designed -- shaped and controlled, largely through the use of technology -- in light of what we take our interests to be. We have brought the earth to a point where our future well-being will depend heavily on how we develop and use and restrict technology."

Science for All Americans (1989) p. 97

Science and technology are closely linked; both are practices based on inquiry. For example, investigating the salinity of the water in Vineyard Sound is a pursuit of science, while creating a way to make this salt water drinkable is a pursuit of technology. Simply stated, science tries to understand the natural world, while technology tries to solve practical problems.

Technology's impact on society is more direct than that of science, and as it provides tools for understanding of natural phenomena, it often sparks scientific advances. The development of the telescope in the seventeenth century, for example, led to rapid advances in the field of astronomy.

Technology expands our capacities to understand the world and to control the natural and human made environment. Technology asks questions like "How does this work?" "How can this be done?" and "How can this be done better?" Owning the questions of technology requires that students engage in problem solving by designing, building, and testing solutions to real-world problems. The ways in which problem solving in technology parallels investigation in science is shown in Figure 1 on the following page.

The Learning Standards for Technology are divided into two domains: (a) The Design Process and (b) Understanding and Using Technology in Society. The latter domain includes the following topics: 1. The nature and impact of technology; 2. Technology yesterday, today and tomorrow; 3. The tools and machines of technology; 4. The resources of technology; and 5. The technological areas of communication, construction, manufacturing, transportation, power technology, and bio-related technology. The Glossary at the end of this strand defines these technological areas.

During the elementary school years, students' experiences with technology are hands-on and exploratory; they encounter technology issues long before they know what technology is. In middle school, they move on to more intricate design process and problem-solving tasks. The design process involves the consideration of multiple solutions and design evaluation. Students also begin to develop strategies for tackling problems and begin investigating technological products and systems. At the high school level, students sharpen their analytical skills by considering design problems that have not necessarily been solved before. Using the design process, they work with elaborated design constraints, implement a solution that conforms to the constraint, and use planned criteria for evaluation, while also learning to examine and evaluate other peoples' work.

Students are experienced technology users before they ever enter school. Their natural curiosity about how things work is clear to any adult who has ever watched a child doggedly work to improve the design of a paper airplane. They are also natural explorers and inventors, inveterate builders of sand castles at the beach and forts under the furniture.

But while most students in grades PreK through four are fascinated with technology, they need to experience the mechanisms, principles, and design constraints that underlie technological solutions. As they learn more about these, they begin to understand the relationships and differences between human-made and natural objects. Presented with technological problems that are clearly stated and related to their daily lives, elementary school children can explore them and carry out design solutions. They may also come to realize that a solution to one problem may lead to another problem.

Students in grades five through eight need to pursue technological questions that emphasize creative and critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, and research. As they work through problems, students should begin to identify technological resources and know their appropriate uses. Early in this grade span, students acquire basic skills in the safe use of tools and machines. Somewhat later, they begin to appreciate the impact of technological changes throughout history and can relate specific technologies to time and place. Real-world problem-solving exercises now take place in interdisciplinary settings as well as in the technology classroom.

In the grades nine and ten, students work with more advanced problems and designs while turning their attention to some of the complex issues that dwell in the interface between technology and society. Such topics might include the historical development of technology, global competition for technology, the social control of emerging technologies, technological resource management, communications monopolies, manufacturing processes, transportation technology, and power production.

By the time students reach high school, they can understand the connections between science and technology. But they will do so only if not discouraged from taking courses in both fields. In most high schools, course offerings divide at the high school level, and students have to choose among the college prep, vocational, and technical alternatives. All too often, students in the vocational pathway take a minimum number of science courses. Recent federal legislation (The School to Work Opportunities Act, and the Carl Perkins Act of 1990) has provided strong support for "tech prep" and workplace learning. Both acts encourage movement away from a "skill and practice" approach to vocational education toward an approach that stresses the connections among the academic and technical disciplines. Related to this, technology education places a stronger emphasis on designing, building, evaluating and using real artifacts.

Technology learning standards for grades eleven and twelve fall under the same headings as for grades nine and ten. Technology study in these last two years builds upon, extends, and applies knowledge developed in earlier years. At this level, students develop understanding and expertise by relating classroom learning in technology to community and/or worksite experience or by studying key technology topics in depth. Independent studies can help students develop leadership skills.

Students in the upper grades should have the opportunity to choose from a variety of technology programs, and each course of study should be designed around a strong intellectual core. Students may then choose courses best suited to their own interests and career goals. Options for study might include:

Advanced Placement Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Earth/Space Sciences Applying Principles of Technology/Physics Seminar, / Biology Seminar; Earth Science seminar: Biomedical Engineering; Biotechnology; Environmental Engineering and Technology; Global Manufacturing Systems; Science/ Technology/ Society; Technical Internships in: Graphic Animation; Health Sciences; Technical Internship in Graphic Animation; Technical Internship in Light/Wave Communication; Technical Internship in Video Production.

The learning standards for Technology are organized under two domains for each grade span: The Design Process, and Understanding and Using Technology in Society. The latter, Using Technology in Society, is organized into five categories: The nature and impact of technology; Technology yesterday, today and tomorrow; The tools and machines of technology; Resources of technology; and Technological areas of communication, construction, manufacturing, transportation, power and bio-related technologies.

These learning standards often use the processes of inquiry to illustrate the way technology content understandings might be explored. The process chosen as an illustration does not imply that this is the only or best way that content understandings may be addressed.

Grades PreK- 4 Learning Standards and Examples of Student Learning

The Design Process

  • Identify a simple current technological problem.
  • Implement a solution by constructing a device using materials provided.
  • Evaluate the solution in terms of whether it meets the goals. See whether your solution worked, e.g., whether the tower was strong enough to hold a one-pound weight.
  • Communicate a problem, design or solution using drawings and words.
  • Propose ways to improve the solution.

Learning Looks Like This . . .

Tower Design

Mr. Keytone teaches kindergarten and first grade students and wants to develop curriculum projects that will be accessible to his youngest kindergartners as well as his most mature first graders. The block area has always been popular in his classroom, so Mr. Keytone decides to expand upon his students' interest and passion for block building by introducing challenges for building other kinds of structures. He also hopes that elaborating on the materials used and the scale of construction might entice more girls to stay involved. The challenge he sets for his students is to build towers with various materials (blocks, Legos, paper cups, newspapers, straws), to reach specified heights, and with various bases. Later, students continue their explorations of structures by building taller and more elaborate towers from rolled newspapers and tape, and see how high a tower they can build. At the end of the project, they share their solutions with their classmates, comparing their results orally and using chart paper.

In these activities with commonplace objects, students are looking at the structure of things by experimenting with three concepts: the center of gravity; the relationships determining the distribution of forces in their structures; and exploring space in a vertical direction. This project involves the key aspects of the design process, stating a problem, considering solutions and choosing one, designing or making a device, carrying out a plan (or testing a device) and improving or seeking a new solution. At the primary grade level, these occur informally.

Grades PreK-4 Learning Standards and Examples of Student Learning

Understanding and Using Technology in Society

The nature and impact of Technology

  • Describe differences between natural objects and objects made by people.
  • Identify daily activities that involve the use of technology, e.g., communication, transportation. Identify different tools that you might use to accomplish a particular task.
  • Describe how technologies may have positive and negative impacts on people and the environment.
  • Describe ways in which technological tools and methods allow us to better learn about the laws of nature.

Technology yesterday, today and tomorrow

  • Document how technological inventions and innovations have been developed by women and men from various racial and cultural backgrounds including individuals from Massachusetts. Describe an invention originating in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • Examine evidence that where people live, and how they communicate and travel reflect technological changes.

The tools and machines of Technology

  • Describe ways in which tools and machines are used to process materials, energy, and information.
  • Demonstrate use and care of simple tools.
  • Document that people are always inventing new ways to get things done. Describe an instance in which someone learned to do something a new way when the old way worked.

Resources of Technology

  • Use a variety of materials such as wood metal, plastic, fabric and clay to make simple products.
  • Identify materials that can be recycled and those that cannot. Give evidence that local recycling rules and laws reflect this.

Technological areas of communication, construction, manufacturing, transportation

  • Explain that messages are communicated using tools such as pencils and computers.
  • Observe and model many types of structures (i.e., residences, skyscrapers, bridges, tunnels, airports). Identify similarities and differences among structures.
  • Describe and experience how objects can be made from materials such as wood, plastic, paper, metal and clay by processes often involving machines.
  • Describe how people and goods are transported using boats, automobiles, trucks, airplanes and space vehicles. Illustrate the ways in which you most often travel.

Learning Looks Like This . . .

Construction Inside and Out

Ms. Green held up a wooden block from the construction area. "How many of these blocks can a piece of paper support," she asks?

"None," her second graders answer, "because the paper isn't strong enough."

One student tries to stand a sheet of paper on its end, demonstrating how easily it bends. Ms. Green tells them that the paper can support this block and a lot more! "How can a thin piece of paper hold so much weight?" they ask.

Ms. Green challenges the students to bend and fold the paper in a way that it will support a wooden block. One student folds her paper in the shape of a column. Ms. Green calls other students' attention to it. Another student asks where can they find columns in their school.

Ms. Green asks the students if they know what is holding up the roof of their classroom? One student answers that a long beam is in the ceiling and that this beam supports the roof. Ms. Green then asks the students what supports the long beam so that it won't fall on them? Students give different answers to the question but most aren't sure. She takes her students to the construction site down the block on the following morning where they see a new school under construction with long beams and steel columns.

When they return to the classroom they experiment with making columns of different shapes and heights out of paper. They have to test the strength of their columns by seeing how many wooden blocks they can place on top of the column, one at a time, until the column collapses. Students are surprised by the number of blocks their columns can support. This helps them think about how great is the amount of weight the columns in their classroom support.

Grades 5-8 Learning Standards and Examples of Student Learning

The Design Process

  • Identify and work on their own problem or one developed by a peer. Investigate which tops might spin the longest based on design features.
  • Explore and illustrate possible solutions and from these propose one solution.
  • Make a plan for building a device considering the limitations of the material, and including multiple views.
  • Evaluate designs, devices or solutions and develop measures of quality.Decide whether design limitations have been followed.
  • Communicate the process of technological design.

Learning Looks Like This . . .

Designing Solar Homes

Mr. Appleton and Ms. Rose teach seventh grade in a middle school; Mr. Appleton teaches science and Ms. Rose teaches technology. Their students are studying alternative sources of energy in their general science course. Both Mr. Appleton and Ms. Rose are coordinating their classwork to help students develop projects for their school-wide energy fair. Mr. Appleton has been concerned that the physical science understandings concerning light, energy, materials and temperature described in the students' textbooks are not really accessible in the ways they are presented. He talks with Ms. Rose about his belief that these physical science principles and concepts need to be made more accessible to students for their projects to result in significant learning. He expresses the desire to have this year's projects connect to students' ongoing science and technology work, building on their questions and problems as well as reflecting the group collaboration that typifies their classwork. The Solar House Design Project below is what he proposes as a step toward building conceptual understandings through independent projects.

In this project, the fundamental understandings of physical science and the skills of technological design are closely intertwined.

Solar House Design Project

Your challenge is to design a model house that can be heated efficiently by the Sun. You'll be building a model of a solar house for this project using a 150-watt lamp as a model Sun.

Design Constraints

The following materials may be used in constructing your model solar house:

  • Up to 3000 square centimeters of corrugated cardboard. The corrugated cardboard must be approximately 4mm thick.
  • Plastic wrap (normally used in the kitchen) or acetate (normally used for transparencies for the overhead projector). This material may be used only for windows.
  • Cellophane tape or glue, only for joining other materials.
  • One container to be placed inside the model. Maximum volume: 1/4 liter. It can be filled with anything you want (water, sand, etc.)
  • One 150-watt flood light. You may use a piece of cardboard to shield the light from your eyes. You may not add external reflectors.
  • Paint: You may paint the model and any of its components any color you want.

Note: The face of the light bulb must be 25cm away from the model.

Criteria for Evaluation

As you compare your solar house models, more efficient models will be those which:

  • Achieve a greater temperature difference between the inside of the model and the room temperature in your classroom.
  • Have a slower cooling rate.
  • Have a larger internal volume.

Thinking about your solar house design

In designing your model you will need to take into account competing factors. For example, a larger internal volume might reduce the maximum possible temperature in your model. Larger windows might allow more heat in, but they also might permit more heat to escape. Think about it. Perhaps you will decide to set priorities, that is, to consider some parameters more important than others. In any case, do not disregard any of the three criteria for evaluation (listed above). Rather, think how you will take them into account.

It is important to keep each of the parameters within a reasonable range. An internal volume that is too high might make it impossible to achieve measurable differences in temperature. Design is a process of exploration. Try using the given materials in imaginative ways. For example, can any of the allowed materials be used as insulation?

Grades 5-8 Learning Standards and Examples of Student Learning

Understanding and Using Technology in Society

The nature and impact of Technology

  • Explain how technological progress has been the result of cumulative work over many centuries by men and women from various cultures and races. Choose an example of such an invention that formed the bases for a major change in the way we live our lives.
  • Describe ways that technological devices have improved the quality of life for individuals. Choose an example of such an invention that formed the bases for a major change in the way we live our lives.
  • Describe ways that technological advances may be accompanied by negative side effects.

Technology yesterday, today and tomorrow

  • Explain how the evolution of technology led the change from an agricultural to an industrial to an information based society.
  • Provide evidence that technology is growing at a faster rate today than ever before in history.
  • Describe ways in which innovations and inventions address human biological, physical and psychological needs. Choose an invention that has contributed to your happiness and find out about how it came to be.

The tools and machines of Technology

  • Document ways that a range of tools and machines, such as measuring, hand and optical tools, are used to implement solutions to design problems.
  • Use tools, materials, and machines safely and effectively.

Resources of Technology

  • Explain how the choice of materials depends upon their properties and characteristics and how they interact with other materials.
  • Use the results of material tests (i.e., hardness, tensile strength, conductivity), to suggest appropriate uses for materials. Explain what certain metals are useful for, and give examples.
  • Model the ways that multiple resources are used to develop new technologies. These include: people, information, tools and machines, materials, energy, capital, and time.

Technological areas of communication, construction, manufacturing, transportation, and power technologies

  • Give examples that information can be communicated both graphically and electronically by a range of technological processes.
  • Explain how a manufacturing enterprise produces a product by converting raw materials into goods. Choose a recreational product, such as sports shoes or a football, and research its manufacturing history.
  • Identify the processes used in construction: site preparation, building, and finishing a structure.
  • Compare how transportation systems are devised to transport people and products on land, water, air, and in space.
  • Describe how power systems are used to convert and transmit mechanical, electrical, fluid, and heat energy. Describe limited (i.e., fossil fuels), unlimited (i.e., solar, gravitational) and renewable (i.e., biomass) energy sources.

Learning Looks Like This . . .

Community Newsletter

Ms. Wong's class has been asked to help collate the community's monthly newsletter. They find the task to be quite time consuming and are looking for ways to streamline their process. Alyce remembers seeing a CD ROM disk in the library that described an early twentieth-century assembly line for making automobiles, and proposes that they consider creating an assembly line to help their process. She explains to her classmates that an assembly line is used in manufacturing to build a product and is designed to divide up the labor so that each person has only one job to perform.

The students agree to try an assembly line approach and select a design team to develop their strategy. The team determines what jobs need to done and assigns one or more members of the class to each task.

To solve any problems that might have been overlooked and to help each member of the class become familiar with his or her task, they do a trial run. The approach works well, and the students are amazed by their new efficiency.

Grades 9-10 Learning Standards and Examples of Student Learning

The Design Process

  • Identify a problem or design opportunity that has not necessarily been solved before.
  • Propose designs and choose among suggested solutions. Sketch a solution to scale in 3 views and contribute more sophisticated designs and prototypes.
  • Implement a proposed solution that conforms to the design constraints.
  • Evaluate the solution and its consequences against planned criteria.
  • Communicate the problem, process and solution.
  • Redesign the solution.

Learning Looks Like This . . .

Making a Light Bulb

One young woman takes the insulation from a piece of copper wire. Her partner wraps a single strand of nichrome wire around a pencil to form a coil that will be used for the filament of the light bulb they are building. As they work, they sketch and write notes in their journal about the strategies they use. These initial building experiences, and coaching from their teachers lead them to ask questions about the materials and the design of light bulbs. They wonder:

  • Why does the filament burn faster in their bulb than in a commercial light bulb?
  • What would happen if they changed the length of their filament?
  • Would it make a difference if they didn't coil their filament?
  • How many different types of light bulbs are there in homes?
  • How can they make a longer burning light bulb?

Their questions set the stage for further work and independent projects. The message from their teachers is clear -- It is okay to learn from mistakes. The students become comfortable taking risks. While classroom experiences are coupled with discussion, short lecture, guest speakers, research, and field trips, independent projects constitute the major proportion of students' work.

These students are taking a course with Ms. Mahoney, a tenth grade science teacher, and Mr. Soo, a technology education teacher, who have teamed up to teach a course in materials science and engineering technology (MST). Their course integrates chemistry, engineering, physics, mathematics, writing, and technology education and is based on the conviction that students learn best by asking questions such as "What happens if?" rather than "What is the right answer?" In their classes, students sketch plans, record and verify observations, and note progress as part of project work. They ponder, plan, experiment, make mistakes, refine designs, and create products. This mirrors the work of real scientists and technologists as they work in their laboratories.

Study of the nature and behavior of materials, e.g., metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites are the subjects of the curriculum program they use. The Making a Light Bulb project is part of their program of metal study. In this project, the core understandings of physical science, e.g., energy, heat transfer, and resistance and the skills of technological design are closely intertwined. By experimenting and actually working with their hands to discover the properties and nature of materials, students experience the ways in which doing science and technology actually occur in the workplace. These two teachers hope that this approach will provide an entry point for many students who are not reached by traditional science or technology courses.

Grades 9-10 Learning Standards and Examples of Student Learning

Understanding and Using Technology in Society

The nature and impact of Technology

  • Give examples of how a technology device, service, or system is used for a particular purpose. Choose a device, service or system and explore it in depth.
  • Describe ways in which technological impacts can be multidimensional (i.e., economic, social, environmental, political).
  • Give examples of how technology has played a key role in the operation of successful Massachusetts and United States businesses.
  • Describe ways in which technological inventions and innovations stimulate economic competitiveness and are translated into products and services with marketplace demands.
  • Participate in technological society as active citizens, consumers, workers, employers, and family members.

Technology yesterday, today and tomorrow

  • Describe examples of new and emerging technologies in areas of communication, construction, manufacturing, transportation, power, and bio-related technology.
  • Provide examples of how technology creates new jobs and makes other jobs obsolete. Develop an example of how this shift in work needs is occurring today.

The tools and machines of Technology

  • Describe examples of the wide range of contemporary tools that are used to process and measure materials, energy, physical phenomena, and electronic signals. Some of these include measuring instruments, computer-based tools, and data-capturing sensors. Choose a type of tool and investigate its use.
  • Use complex tools, machines, and equipment to solve problems.
  • Identify appropriate ways to select, operate, maintain, and dispose of technological devices.

Resources of Technology

  • Identify particular characteristics of material resources, i.e., synthetic, composite, and biological. Explain how various energy sources and forms of information are also resources with specific characteristics.
  • Discuss issues of resource management including safety, costs, environmental and political concerns. Discuss a current example such as waste management and nuclear power systems.

Technological areas of communication, construction, manufacturing, transportation, power, and bio-related technologies

  • Give examples of how combinations of graphic and electronic communication processes are used in developing high technology communication systems.
  • Describe uses of material conversion processes, i.e., separating, forming, conditioning and combining, in production processes.
  • Identify ways that manufacturing processes have changed with improved tools andtechniques.
  • Compare how existing transportation technologies convey people and products globally.
  • Give examples of ways in which technological processes could adversely affect the environment. Choose a current example from your local news to investigate.

Learning Looks Like This . . .

New Directions

As participants in a National Science Foundation project, three building trades classes at a vocational technical school constructed two new additions to their community playground. The first was a Light Track, an eighty foot long, five foot high, wooden structure on posts with forty-eight lights and bells installed along the side. The second was a Timer, a giant digital stopwatch housed in a separate wooden kiosk. Students considered complex structural and transportation issues with the help of their instructors. They faced questions about placement, safety, and durability for pipes, fittings, and electrical connections that had never been designed before. Since the site was on a hill and the structure had to be perfectly level, the students learned to use surveying tools, mechanical digging tools, and computers for calculations of measurement. At the end of their three months of work, the students spoke with pride about community children playing on these structures that they had recently wondered if they could ever build.

Grades 11-12 Learning Standards and Examples of Student Learning

The Design Process

  • Identify a problem that has not necessarily been solved before. Involve invested parties in the problem identification.
  • Propose designs and choose between alternative solutions.
  • Implement a proposed solution that conforms to the design constraints. Implement CAD drawings.
  • Evaluate the solution and its consequences against planned criteria. Use quality control procedures similar to those in an industrial setting.
  • Communicate the problem, process and solution.
  • Redesign the solution. Initiate new approaches.

Grades 11-12 Learning Standards and Examples of Student Learning

Understanding and Using Technology in Society

The nature and impact of Technology

  • Give examples of how technology influences business and government policies and actions.
  • Predict ways that technology will change in the future and will have an impact on individuals, careers, family, and society.
  • Identify problems caused by globalization such as standardization, copyright, patent infringements, value added cost, etc.
  • Explain how technology plays a major role in making a country a world power. Document how this was important during World War II.

Technology yesterday, today and tomorrow

  • Describe the process through which an invention is patented. Provide examples of products or processes patented by males and females of various cultures and races.
  • Give examples of how some technologies will become obsolete in the next two to five years and emerging technologies in the areas of communication, construction, manufacturing, transportation, power, and bio-related technology will replace them. Consider what this might mean for your life when you are working.

The tools and machines of Technology

  • Use a wide range of tools and instruments to analyze, adjust, and maintain mechanical, electronic, hydraulic, pneumatic, and electrical systems.
  • Describe ways in which contemporary problems in the areas of communication, construction, manufacturing, transportation, power, and bio-related technology can be resolved through the research and use of technology.

Resources of Technology

  • Identify benefits and costs associated with the use of resources in technological ventures. Choose one resource and examine its benefits and costs as it pertains to your life.
  • Explain how technology assessment analyzes the properties of resources, their availability, the ease of processing and disposal, and economic considerations.

Technological areas of communication, construction, manufacturing, transportation. power, and bio-related technologies

  • Describe how messages may be designed and communicated containing integrated written, audio, and video portions. Identify the purposes of communication: for information dissemination, persuasion, entertainment, and/or education. Create a multimedia presentation with a particular purpose in mind.
  • Give examples that automated manufacturing processes that have transformed industries. Describe how automated continuous manufacturing enterprise involves design, organization, finance and a combination of material conversion processes to produce products.
  • Model how contemporary and nontraditional construction practices (for example, fabric structures, geodesic domes, foam structures) are used to create a structure.
  • Describe examples of how internodal transportation systems transport people and products efficiently with minimal risk to the cargo and to the environment.
  • Explain how industrialization brings an increased demand for energy usage and also leads to more rapid depletion of the Earth's energy resources.
  • Give evidence showing how efficient use of technology can slow the rapid depletion of the Earth's energy resources. Choose an example of this from your local newspaper and explore it.
  • Describe how technology forecasting determines the effects of various bio-related developments, e.g. increased plant growth, or water purification systems.

Glossary: Definitions for Areas of Technology

The areas of technology covered in this framework are: Human Generated Technologies including: communication, construction, manufacturing, and transportation, and Processes of Technology including: power technology and bio-related technology.

  • Communication technology uses technical means to connect a sender (source of information or ideas) with a receiver. The connection is called the communication channel. After processing there is feedback that provides a channel from the receiver back to the sender. The communication system uses information as its basic input and delivers it to people or machines. Some of the categories of communication are: graphic production systems that involve different types of printing, technical design systems that involve the use of CAD and drafting; optical systems that involve the use of photography and holography (laser); audio/visual systems that involve the use of radio and television; and data communication systems that involve the use of computers.
  • Construction is used to produce structures on the site where they are erected. These structures can be categorized as residential, commercial, or industrial buildings, or they can be civil structures such as roads, dams, bridges, and pipelines. The basic input to construction is raw and manufactured materials and products. These are used in conjunction with other resources to create the desired building or other structure. The major construction processes include: preparing the site for the structure, setting foundations for the structure, erecting the structure, installing utilities when required, and completing the site.
  • Manufacturing changes the form of materials to increase their worth. The processes in manufacturing convert raw materials into industrial goods, which can be used to develop consumer and industrial products. Manufacturing processes are grouped into four major areas that extend from finding the material resource through the production of the final product. These processes are locating material resources, extracting material resources, producing industrial materials (primary processing), and producing products (secondary processing).
  • Transportation relocates people and cargo. The process generally involves a vehicle that moves along a pathway, which can be a constructed roadway or railway or designated routes in air, in water or in space. The exceptions to this definition are pipelines that are "vehicle-less" transportation systems. Therefore the categories of transportation are land, sea, air, and water.
  • Power technology deals with the process of converting energy into a useful product. The four basic categories of power are electrical, mechanical, fluid, and heat.
  • Bio-related technology applies to the production process techniques relating to the products of agriculture, and the biological processes tied to fuel and material production such as waste treatment, recycling, and hydroponics.


Last Updated: January 1, 1996
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