Glossary of Terms

Appropriate technology – Technology that caused the least possible harm to society and the environment with special consideration to the ethical, cultural, social, political, and economic aspects of the community for which it is intended.

Authentic Assessment – Assessment that examines student performance on real world tasks that directly relate to meaningful applications of knowledge and skills.

Automation – The use of computers or automatic machines to control machine operations and make a product.

Benchmark – A detailed description of a specific level of achievement expected of students at particular grade levels, ages, or development levels.

Biotechnology – Any technique that uses living organisms to develop, to make, modify, or manufacture products, improve plants or animals, or develop microorganisms for specific uses.

Brainstorm – A method of shred problem solving in which all members of a group spontaneously, in a non-critical atmosphere, generate a number and variety of ideas.

Cognitive – The ability to learn and solve problems; the act of perceiving, thinking, reason, and analyzing.

Collaborative/Cooperative Learning – Joint intellectual effort among students or students and teachers; consensus building through cooperation by group members; cooperative learning is more directive than collaborative learning.

Communication – The successful transmission of information through a common system of symbols, signs, behavior, speech, writing, or signals.

Computer-Aided Design or Computer-Aided Drafting (CAD) – Use of a computer to assist in the process of designing a part, circuit, building, and as a tool to assist in the process of creating, storing, retrieving, modifying, plotting, and communicating a technical drawing.

Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) – The complete automation of a manufacturing facility with all processes functioning under computer control with digital information connecting them.

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) – Is a process used in manufacturing sector that involves the use of computers to control machine tools. Tools that can be controlled in this manner include lathes, milling machines, routers, grinders, laser cutters.

Constraints – A limit to a design process, e.g. appearance, funding, space, materials, and human capabilities.

Construction – The systematic act or process of building, erecting, or assembling buildings, roads, or other structures.

Critical thinking – An ability to evaluate information and opinions in a systematic, purposeful, efficient manner; exploring questions about and solutions for issues which are not clearly defined and for which there are no clear-cut answers.

Design – An iterative decision-making process that produces plans by which resources are converted into products or systems that meet human needs and wants or solve problems.

Design brief – A written plan that identifies a problem to be solved, its criteria, and its constraints; used to encourage thinking of all aspects of a problem before attempting a solution.

Differentiated Instruction – An approach to teaching and learning that gives students multiple options for taking in information and making sense of ideas, based on the premise that students learn differently, come from different backgrounds, and have different readiness levels.

Distance learning – Learning where the instructor and the students are in physically separate locations.

Ecosystems – A biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment; a community of plants, animals, and microorganisms that are linked by energy and nutrient flows and that interact with each other and with the physical environment.

Educational technology – Multimedia technologies or audiovisual aids used as tools to enhance the teaching and learning process.

Emerging technologies – Technical innovations which represent progressive developments within a field for competitive advantage; new technologies currently developing or will be developed over the next five to ten years.

Energy – Any source of usable power; the capacity to do work (to change the physical state or motion of an object).

Engineer – A person who is trained in and uses mathematics, technological, and scientific knowledge to solve practical problems.

Engineering – The profession of an engineer; solving practical problems using technology, scientific, and mathematical principles.

Engineering concepts – Major concepts identified as being generic to all engineering activity: design, modeling, ethics, technology/society integration, optimization, and systems.

Engineering design – The application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, processes, and systems.

Engineering principles – Engineering design in problem solving applications; method of operation used to plan, build, and manage problem solving applications.

Engineering technology – The applied aspects of science and engineering aimed at preparing for practice in product improvement, manufacturing, construction, and engineering operational functions.

Ergonomics – Human factor considerations that draw on human biology, psychology, engineering, and design that seek to understand and improve human interactions with products, equipment, environments, and systems.

Experiential education – Engaging students in authentic experience researching, experimenting, discovering for themselves rather than reading or hearing about the experiences of others.

Fossil fuels – Petroleum, natural gas, and coal created by geological forces from organic wastes.

Hands on/Minds on – Full engagement of physical as well as mental skills.

Higher order thinking – Complex concepts resulting in more than one correct answer. Information literacy – The competencies and skills, developed over time, which students need to locate, retrieve, evaluate, analyze, and use information.

Innovate – To renew, alter, or introduce methods, ideas, procedures, or devices. Intermodal transportation – The movement of goods and/or people through various modes of transportation, e.g. rail, car, airplane, and ship.

Invention – A new product, system, or process that has never existed before; created by study and experimentation.

Inquiry (scientific) – Studying the natural world and proposing explanations based on the
evidence derived from their work; the process of designing and conducting scientific investigations.

Integrative learning – Making connections across curricula.
Interdisciplinary – Two or more fields of study or distinct academic disciplines.

Learner-centered – Learners are the focus and the teacher plays a secondary role. Likert Scale – A scale in which respondents quantify a level of agreement with concepts

being measured; usually 1 – 5 with 1 being lowest.

Maker Space – A place in which people with shared or diverse interests, especially in computing, technology, and engineering, can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment and knowledge. The Technology and Engineering classroom serves as an ideal and diverse Maker Space.

Manufacturing – The process of making raw materials into finished produces, especially in large quantities.

Material – The tangible substance (chemical, biological, or missed) that goes into the makeup of a physical object; one of the basic resources used in a technological system.

Mathematics – The study of quantity, numbers, shapes, structure, space, and change. Measurement – Collecting data in a quantifiable or qualitative manner.

Metacognition – Reflection on the thinking process; thinking about thinking; higher order thinking.

Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) – Miniaturized mechanical and electromechanical elements (devices and structures) that are made using the techniques of micro

Modeling – A representation or process that utilizes mathematical formulas, charts, graphs, devices built to a scale, full scale prototypes to develop, refine and test a design or solve a problem.

Multiple Intelligences – The ability to understand the world through linguistic, logical mathematical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligences.

Nanotechnology – Technology development at the atomic and molecular range to create and use structures, devices, and systems that have novel properties because of their small size.

Outcome based education – Student-centered philosophy that requires students to demonstrate learned skills and content; experiential education

Portfolio – Artifacts representing education, professional, and artistic work intended to demonstrate a person’ ability; used as an assessment tool in technical content, pre-service teacher preparation, and professional development.

Power – The rate of energy delivery; rate of doing work. (Force x Distance divided by Time) Problem solving – The process of understanding a problem, devising a plan, carrying out

the plan, and evaluating the plan to solve a problem or meet a need or want.

Problem statement – A statement that clearly and concisely identifies a client’s problem, its limitations, and approaches to a solution.

Project 2061 – A long-term initiative of the American Association for the Advancement of Science to help all Americans become literate in science, mathematics, and technology by the time they graduate from high school.

Prototype – A full-scale working model used to test a design concept by making actual observations and necessary adjustments.

Reliability – Indicator of score consistency over time or by multiple evaluators. Renewable energy – Energy which comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat.

Reverse engineering – The process of taking something apart and analyzing its workings in detail usually to understand function, prepare documentation, or construct a new or
an improved device or program, without actually copying from the original.

Rubric – Specific sets of criteria that clearly define, for both student and teacher, a range of acceptable and unacceptable performances.

Science – Knowledge of the physical world and its observable facts attained through study or practice.

Simple machine – Basic devices or mechanical powers on which other machines are based, e.g. lever, pulley, inclined plane, wheel and axle, wedge, and screw.

Sketch – A rough drawing representing the main features of an object or scene and often made as a preliminary study.

Solid modeling – A type of 3D computer modeling that represents the volume of an object, not just its lines and surfaces, allowing for analysis of the object’s mass properties.

Speed – Distance covered divided by the time it took to cover that distance. (Unit: Ft per Second)

Stakeholder – An institution, organization, or group that has some interest in a particular sector or system.

Standard – Criterion, principle, or measure considered by an authority or by general consent as a basis of comparison.

STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; core foundations of an advanced society.

STEM Education – Teaching and learning Science, Technology Education, Engineering, and Math disciplines in an integrated, innovative, collaborative, and applied fashion to a level of challenge sufficient for college and/or career readiness.

STEM literacy – The ability to apply understanding of how the world works within and across four interrelated domains or disciplines.

Sustainability – Defined by the World Commission on Environment and Development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

System – A group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements or parts that function together as a whole to accomplish a goal.

Team – A group of people working together to accomplish a common goal. Technical report – A document that conveys the results of scientific and technical research and provides recommendations for actions.

Technical working drawing – A drawing that is used to show the material, size, and shape of a product for manufacturing purposes.

Technology – Human innovation in action that involves the generation of knowledge and processes to develop systems that solve problems and extend human capabilities; the process by humans to modify nature to meet their needs and wants.

Technology education – A study of technology, which provides an opportunity for students to learn the processes and knowledge related to technology that are needed to solve problems and extend human capabilities.

Technology literacy – Computer skills and ability to use computers and other technology to improve learning, productivity, and performance.

Technology and Engineering literacy is the capacity to use, understand, and evaluate technology as well as to understand technological principles and strategies needed to develop solutions and achieve goals. For purposes of this framework, i t comprises three areas: Technology and Society, Design and Systems, and information and Communication Technology.

Technological literacy – The ability to use, manage, assess, and understand technology; to understand and evaluate technology; the intellectual processes, abilities and dispositions needed to understand the link between technology, ourselves, and society in general.

Technology resources – Every technological system makes use of people, information, materials, tools and machines, energy, capital, and time.

Three D Printing (3D Printing) – The action or process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is fully created. Early references to 3D printing included Stereo Lithography, Rapid Prototyping, Architectural Modeling, or Additive Manufacturing.

Universal design – Design and production of products that promote equal opportunity to be used by all individuals with or without disabilities.

Validity – is the extent to which a concept, conclusion or measurement is well-founded and corresponds accurately to the real world.

Velocity – Distance covered divided by the time it takes to cover that distance and moving in a specific direction (Ex. North / South, etc.).

Work – Applied Force multiplied by the distance covered. (Units: Foot * Pound or Newton*meter)