Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Business

March 14, 2014

Engineering/technology programs prepare students

Over the many decades, the field of engineering and technology education has seen its share of program titles and curriculum being changed in order to meet the needs of society, reports Craig Hughes, Batesville High School teacher.

From manual arts, industrial arts, industrial technology, technology education and, currently, engineering and technology education (ETE), the evolution of the field continues to grow and adapt to student needs.

The ETE program at BHS strives to prepare students for college and career readiness as well as enhance technological literacy for secondary level students. Technological literacy, not to be confused with computer literacy, is the ability to use, manage, assess and understand technology.

Within the technology umbrella, the major content areas focused on are communication technology, construction technology, manufacturing technology, transportation technology, biotechnology and engineering. A person who is technologically literate understands, in increasingly sophisticated ways that evolve over time, what technology is, how it is created and how it shapes society and in turn is shaped by society.

At BHS, Project Lead the Way is a pre-engineering program taught in order to prepare students for engineering and/or technology-based education and careers. A sequence of four courses is being taught, consisting of introduction to engineering design (IED), principles of engineering (POE), civil engineering and architecture (CEA) and engineering design and development (EDD).

The IED course teaches students about design, the design process and how ideas are communicated and fabricated into products for use. Students learn to use computer-aided design (CAD) software, called Autodesk Inventor, in order to complete many of their projects such as reverse engineering, modeling a miniature train with animation and participating in a virtual design challenge with students from other schools.

The POE course focuses on a range of topics for various engineering fields, such as simple machines, electricity, thermodynamics, statics, materials, machine control, fluid power, statistics and projectile motion. It prepares students for the postsecondary mathematics and problem solving challenges they will encounter in an engineering or engineering technology based major.

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