Our modern society depends on finding or recycling resources, and this very often involves using engineering and technology. But very few high school students have a chance to explore how the science they study can intersect with these fields.
A key Next Generation Science Standards* strategy involves integrating science with and technology practices. This approach helps students understand the interdependence of these areas. If students don't learn about the connections during their K-12 years, it may be very difficult for them to understand the value later on and develop important career skills.
Engineering Design in the Earth and Space Science Curriculum
The NGSS focuses on human impacts on the environment and locating natural resources. Understanding the connections between science, engineering, and technology are important to monitoring our planets and studying what's happening in other parts of our solar system.
Role of the Teacher
Teachers need to enhance their own understanding of how science, engineering, and technology are united in order to help their students see the interconnections. The NGSS emphasizes major global problems in its curriculum, but it's also important to encourage students to look at problems in their local environment. They may be able to solve specific problems related to natural hazards, pollution, and other topics.
identify the problem, find ways of breaking the problem down, and determine appropriate technologies and engineering techniques that will help them resolve these issues. They can then even contribute to their own communities. Helping students clearly define the criteria and the constraints that they're going to face in resolving a problem will allow them to develop synergistic ways to intermix science, engineering, and technology.
Impact of Science, Engineering, and Technology
Theof these three fields can have major impacts on society. New technologies can greatly influence what kind of world our students will be living in. And by understanding how engineering and technology apply to science, they can make some contributions to that future world.