Communication

New! Potato Experiment Shows How Germs Spread
Students inventory the technology devices they touch in a day and then discover how bacteria from unwashed hands can grow in an interdisciplinary activity that promotes technology, science, design, and English language arts.
The activity appeared in the December 2013 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted for easy classroom use. It contains student handouts and additional photos.

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Aerial Mapping
Photogrammetry has widespread applications in mapping and aerial surveying—but you don’t have to send students up in an airplane to teach it! This activity simulates aerial mapping and surveying in the classroom by turning it into a horizontal exercise. Note: This project appeared in the October 2008 issue of techdirections. It has been reformatted for easy classroom use.


Candy Bar Activity Teaches CAD, Math, and Design
Students develop, design, and produce candy bars and wrappers, moving from concept through production. Includes step-by-step student directions.


Cereal Box Design
This interdisciplinary activity introduces students to graphic design; basic drawing; sketching and rendering; measuring area, volume and weight; oral and written technical communication; applied problem solving; marketing; consumer research; environmental education; recycling; and considerations of form, function, and aesthetics.


Creating an Effective Newsletter
Production of a newsletter using Microsoft Word makes an excellent project for technology students that's relevant to real-world communication.


Cryptology
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. Mini project, only $2.95.


Digital Camera Project for Beginners
Kids enjoy taking pictures, right? And you know how much they like asking questions about each other. This project combines both of those activities plus teaches interviewing techniques and simple photo-manipulation skills. The activity’s end result is photo-illustrated Word document—perfect for upper elementary and middle school students. Project includes student objectives, material list, suggested interview questions, vocabulary list, resources, and a list of state standards addressed.


Digital Photography
Getting started with digital photography is easy. Using Photoshop Elements, a "lite" version of Photoshop, you can introduce your students to the subject with some good hands-on projects. Here are details on everything you need, plus activities with detailed step-by-step procedures.


Encourage Recycling Through Communications Project
Students assess the amount of school cafeteria waste being thrown out or recycled then design and produce tent-card advertising to encourage recycling. Includes student worksheets, follow-up questions, and an assessment/grading rubric.


The Evolution of Communication
Students learn the background and key technologies involved in communicating and archiving information through four hands-on activities: inventing a new alphabet, constructing a pinhole camera, constructing a motorized cinema viewer and constructing a hand-crank record player.


Fiber Optics: The Firefly Communicator
Using simple components that include a battery, light-emitting diode, momentary switch and fiber optic cable, students build an LED communication transmitter.


‘Green’ Project Teaches Design and Language Skills
Students learn about our patterns of water use and the importance of conservation, then practice both design and language arts skills by producing multilingual computer generated hangtags.


A Guide to Scanning and Photoshop
Photoshop is a large, complicated program that often overwhelms high school students, but this step-by-step introduction makes it manageable even for beginners.


IIndustrial Design: Packaging Design
Students develop a solution to a packaging design problem by first creating a design portfolio of sketches, then a technical drawing of the best solution, and finally the package itself using simple, inexpensive materials.


Job Search Skills 101
Help students develop skills to land a good job. Activities provide practice with writing resumés, cover and follow-up letters, and creating portfolios. How to dress, body language, and answering questions effectively are also covered as students team up to practice the interviewing process. This project appeared in the March 2011 issue of Tech Directions. It has been reformatted for easy classroom use and also includes an interview evaluation form and lots of sample interview questions.

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Mini Transmitter
With a few easy-to-obtain electronic components, students make a transmitter that will broadcast a pulsating signal on a nearby FM radio.


Pinhole Camera for Science, Art, and Fun
A pinhole camera is a camera without a lens—a tiny hole replaces the lens. Having students make their own camera, take photographs, and develop the pictures is a rewarding experience. It also helps students understand the properties and nature of light and better understand the function of a lens in the eye and other optical devices.


New! Potato Experiment Shows How Germs Spread
Students inventory the technology devices they touch in a day and then discover how bacteria from unwashed hands can grow in an interdisciplinary activity that promotes technology, science, design, and English language arts.
The activity appeared in the December 2013 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted for easy classroom use. It contains student handouts and additional photos.

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Problem Solving with Commercial Illustrations
Use design of signs and packaging to teach students valuable problem-solving skills.


Produce Eye-Catching Silk Screen Projects with Digital Posterizations
Silk-screening project makes it easy for students to produce inspiring results on a relatively low budget. Great companion to our Silk Screening Across the Curriculum project (see below).


Project Gizmo
Students learn the design process used in industry and use CAD to create appropriate packaging for products of varying shapes.


Pyramid Pinhole Camera
Using inexpensive materials, students build a small pin-hole camera and learn the principles of photography.


Shortwave Receiver
Students learn about wireless communication in the course of modifying a recycled AM radio that will give them access to international shortwave broadcasts at minimal expense.


Silk Screening Across the Curriculum
Teaching silk screening can integrate design, art, science and history in the technology education classroom. This activity provides ample background on the subject, along with step-by-step silk-screening procedures.


Teach Duotone Production with Screen Printing
You can teach halftone or duotone printing even if you don't have access to an offset press. Teaching those processes through screen printing also maximizes instructional value because it produces enlarged dots that students can easily see.


Use PowerPoint to Introduce Graphic Design
Use this readily available software to introduce graphic design concepts. Students select an image of a cell phone from the Internet, then render it using PowerPoint drawing tools.


Wanted! 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 or inventor.
Mini project, only $2.95.


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Written 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!

Simply 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.

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