by teachers for teachers, these ready-to-use, hands-on projects for technology
education and applied science classes are great curriculum enhancement tools.
They really get students motivated!
duplicate and use for as many students—and for as many times—as
desired. Our high-quality activities save you time and help your students
really understand the principles of technology and applied science. Projects
include teaching tools such as procedures, vocabulary words, quizzes, photos,
illustrations and much more.
online and use them today!
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by Tech Directions/Prakken Publications, Inc.
Projects, only $2.95!
Visualization Practice with Cube Puzzles
Solving Piet Hein’s
cube puzzles gives students great experience with the 3-D visualization skills
essential to success with drafting, CAD and engineering graphics.
Baseball Equipment Rack
Building this sports rack teaches students a variety of woodworking construction techniques, plus face-to-face and edge-to-edge build-up sequences. The activity appeared in the March 2014 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted to provide a student instructions handout. A Tech Directions Classic.
Students learn how toxic
waste makes its way into water systems, what radioactive elements such as plutonium,
cesium and uranium are made up of, and how these radioactive materials can be
measured at a waste site.
Building a Better Mousetrap Offers Cross-Curricular Connections
Technology students create and test innovative designs that allow a mouse to survive the trapping process. Cross-curricular connections include social studies, English, math, science, art, and ecology. The activity appeared in the October 2012 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted. Extras include a grading rubric and design handouts.
Building Peace Poles
Peace Poles are planted at schools, in parks, and at other places worldwide. Making small-scale versions is a great wood technology activity. It can be used with middle school students using hand tools and as an introduction to power tools with high schoolers. The activity appeared in the February 2013 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted. Full-size student procedures and a grading rubric for middle school students are included.
This activity combines researching
the details of various technical careers with creation of a poster that organizes
and displays gathered information. Students can introduce their posters through
two-minute oral presentations.
Collapsible Wooden Table Project Teaches Design and Engineering
Challenge students to design a collapsible table. Project adapts woodworking technology to teach design and engineering. It appeared in the February 2012 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted to provide a student handout listing the Design Challenge. It does not include specific design plans.
Crash Testing Challenge Aims to Save Egg/Driver
In this twist on the classic egg-drop activity, students modify a small crash test vehicle to protect its raw egg occupant. Project appeared in the November 2011 issue of Tech Directions. It has been reformatted for easy classroom use.
a Coin Sorter
With simple materials (cloth,
paper plates, plastic cups, tape, thread, etc.), students design and construct
a device to sort pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.
Scytale transposition ciphers,
substitution ciphers, picture alphabets, grill ciphers and one-time systems
are all covered. Includes two encryption activities, one of which requires middle
schoolers to build and use an encryption wheel.
Descriptive geometry shows
that engineering answers may be found two ways: by using math and by drafting
Designing a Self-Sustaining Community
Students assume the role of consultant for a small community that wishes to be self-sustaining in terms of electrical service. The activity appeared in the November 2012 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted. Student handouts and worksheets are now included.
Machine Elements in CAD
Introduce postsecondary CAD
students to elements of three-dimensional industrial design.
Power: Decisions for the Future
Extensive background on the
use of electricity in the U.S., plus an experiment for individual students related
to personal electricity use and strategies for conservation. .
Design: Testing Paper Clip Strength
This project discusses the
roles of failure, conflict and serendipity, as well as production concerns involved
in engineering design, and includes an engaging, low-cost fatigue-testing activity.
Experiments Demonstrate Geothermal Heating Concepts
A series of experiments conducted using an inexpensive teacher-built testing box demonstrate the basics of geothermal heating. This project appeared in the March 2012 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted for classroom use. It includes student work sheets, data collection tables, and graphs for studet use.
Layout and Planning
Discusses the different advantages
of process plants and product plants, and eight essential qualities of safe
and maximally efficient factories. Middle schoolers then design their own toy
factory layout. Project includes machine template, room patterns and accessories.
activity gives students ample research and design practice and shows the life-or-death
importance of technological creativity and persistence.
What a gear is, how are they
used, how they work and how to figure out gear ratios are all covered in this
project. Students then build their own machines and measure the gear ratio of
their gear train.
Students study hydrofoils,
aerofoils and hovercrafts—vehicles designed to skim across bodies of water
while transporting people and things. Project culminates in students building
a tabletop hovercraft.
Hone Woodworking Skills with Candlestand Project
A high-quality, well-designed activity produces an excellent, inexpensive piece of furniture. The activity appeared in the November 2013 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted to provide a student instructions handout. A Tech Directions Classic.
Guitar Stand Is Customizable
Handy stand built from sturdy, inexpensive plastic pipe is ideal
for guitarists—and rock band video players! Design can be altered to hold
from one to four guitars. Note: This project appeared in the October 2010 issue
of Tech Directions. It has been reformatted for easy classroom use.
Four separate activities
make up this laser project. Students design and arrange the course of a laser,
then learn how to draw and measure angles using protractors. Next they draw
shapes and check their accuracy using a laser, and finally try their hand at
The "pretty hard drawing"
(PHD) block activities give students practice with computer-aided drafting (CAD),
which is used in the manufacturing process to create working drawings of products
and their subcomponents.
Producing a Paper-Cup Dispenser
Mass-producing this paper-cup
dispenser teaches both mass-production procedures and woodworking skills.
NEW! Materials Testing and Material Strength—‘Sweet’ Activity Teaches the Basics
Fun project uses Tootsie Rolls to teach the key concepts of materials testing and material strength.The activity appeared in the April 2014 issue of Tech Directions. It has been reformatted as an independent student project with ready-to-copy student instructions. It does not contain any additional information.
You don’t have to look
very far to find a planned community nowadays, they’re all around us.
In this activity, students individually construct one piece of property, following
strict covenants, that together will make up one large planned community.
Students learn to identify
the five platonic solids (tetrahedron, hexahedron, octahedron, dodecahedron,
icosahedron) and construct paper models. They then play a baseball board game
that uses the dodecahedron-like dice.
on the use of pneumatics in industry, along with an introduction to the components
of a pneumatic system (regulator, pressure gauge, valve and cylinder). Plus
procedure for constructing a durable pneumatics mockup board and a pneumatic-circuit-design
activity for students.
Introduce your middle schoolers
to the principles of magnetic levitation and build a Maglev train! Includes
test questions, directions for assembling a Maglev train and Maglev train evaluation
Engineering and Its Impact on Construction
Students gather and test a variety of types and mixes of soil
to learn how builders and engineers are influenced by local soil considerations
when they design and construct buildings.
After learning about the
forces of tension, compression and shear, students build a simple beam-and-truss
bridge to test for its resistance against these forces.
Building a Water Elevator
With a syringe, plastic hose
and container for water, students build a small-scale elevator system in which
they can submerge and raise a small capsule.
Background on the physics
involved in keeping heavy ships afloat, plus activities for building four types
of small-scale boats.
Table Project Teaches Woodworking and Lamination Basics
Building a sturdy and versatile table can be an intermediate project for middle school students with some hand tool experience or provide a simple introduction to basic power tools or mass production procedures. The activity appeared in the February 2014 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted for easy classroom use. It contains ready-to-copy student instructions. A Tech Directions Classic.
Teach Drafting Concepts with Students’
Students sometimes find some aspects of introductory drafting
and design a bit boring, but you can make section and exploded views fun to
learn with an activity in which they draw their favorite foods.
This project appeared in the November 2010 issue of Tech Directions.
It has been reformatted for easy classroom use.
Teach Energy Savings with Cardboard ‘House’
Practical experiments that require only common household materials give students insight as to how heat is lost through the walls and ceilings of a home plus various properties of insulation. This project appeared in the April 2011 issue of Tech Directions.
It has been reformatted for easy classroom use.
Teach Geometry Concepts with the Aid of the Great Pyramids
Students first create a square using simple technological tools
available to the ancient Egyptians, then using modern instruments (protractor,
compass, pencil), and finally using mathematical software. Requires
Geometer's Sketchpad or similar software.
Reading and Writing
Introduce your students to
the simple techniques of technical reading and writing. Includes a project in
which students create a CD-ROM Book Report.
Students set up, perform
and analyze time-motion studies like those performed in industry.
measure the electricity needed to toast bread, then use their findings to compute
the cost of doing so. Excellent introduction to electricity terminology—and
This project appeared in the
issue of techdirections. It has been reformatted to include
Background on the many types
of signals used in transportation, along with plans and schematics for four
model signaling devices that students can make: traffic stoplight, train crossing
guard, ambulance light and semaphore message light. Plus instructions for a
semaphore maze game.
Build a simple turbine engine
and teach your students about the uses for and principles behind water, steam,
gas and wind turbines.
Using simple materials (paper
cups, rubber bands, paper clips, plastic straws, etc.) students construct a
timing device and learn the process of problem solving. From Technology Projects
for the Classroom, in ready-to-use format.
have trouble understanding and working with relays. A trainer board and accompanying
activity can provide just the help they need to be informed about relay design,
function and testing.
Understanding How Heat Works
Use thermometers or temperature sensors on a stick to help students understand how heat disperses through air and water. Project appeared in the February 2012 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted to provide student worksheets and data collection pages.
Famous Technologists Posters
Students practice research,
word processing, design and information technology skills, and learn a bit of
technology history, in the course of making a poster of a notable technologist
Students experiment with water pressure and flow using two simple,
easy-to-make water tank designs. This project appeared in the January 2011 issue of Tech Directions.
It has been reformatted for easy classroom use with added student data recording
Windsor Chair Makes Great Capstone Project
Wood technology instructors can challenge their talented and experienced students with a Windsor chair project.. The activity appeared in the January 2014 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted to provide a student instructions handout. A Tech Directions Classic.
on a String
This inexpensive activity
teaches students Bernoulli’s principle and how air speed affects lift--clearly
demonstrating how heavier-than-air flight occurs.
Wooden Christmas Tree Is Ideal for Mass Prodiction
Simple shapes and clean lines make this Christmas tree suitable for most any class. The activity appeared in the December 2013 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted to provide a student instructions handout. A Tech Directions Classic.
activity makes an excellent mass-production project.
Wright Brothers' Bat
Wilbur and Orville Wright
first showed interest in flight during childhood play with a toy helicopter
they called "the Bat." Students can build their own bats using simple
materials, then experiment and compete with flying them.
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