The Science of Technology
In the early 1990s, I imagined a course that would teach science backwards. We would start with a form of technology, and explore the science behind it. It would try to give a comprehensive view, not of the natural world and its laws, but the designed world, and the natural laws that govern it.
The links to the left show the technology that forms the core of the course. Although I teach the topics in the order shown, the topics are interconnected in a way that allows many different paths with interesting narrative possibilities. Feel free to jump around and explore!
- Don't Break the Chain: These pages serve as review games (or mastery tests) for a variety of topics, in the style of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire". In my version, though, if you get a question wrong, learn from the mistake and Start Over until you master the challenge!
- Grassland: This simulation models an ecosystem with a predator-prey relationship, with lots of variables to control or vary. My students use it for a graded project on experimental design.
- Hundreds Chart: Steve Wyborney (@SteveWyborney) created the original Powerpoint file, which I coded into a webpage with the same functionality. (Link to original blog post...)
- Animated Multiplication Table: Steve Wyborney (@SteveWyborney) created the original Powerpoint file, which I coded into a webpage with the same functionality. (Link to original blog post...)
- Overlapping Spotlights: Red, Green and Blue spotlights turn on and off to show how multiple overlapping colors appear onscreen.
- RGB Mixing: Greater control over the amount of Red, Green, and Blue allow a vast array of color reproduction.
- Complementary Colors: Red, Green, and Blue are shifted a white page to a black screen, showing which colors are complementary.
- Rainbow Subtraction: The whole rainbow goes in, but the ink only lets part of the rainbow out, reinforcing the idea of complementary colors.
- Overlapping Inkspots: Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow can be sprayed onto a page to show how overlapping colors appear on a printed page.
- CMY Mixing: Greater control over the amount of Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow ink shows how three primary ink colors allow a vast array of color reproduction.
- Out of Ink: Ink jets can be deactivated to show how color changes when ink runs out.
- Binary Code (Basic): Learn how a series of four on-or-off symbols can be converted into numbers.
- Binary Code (Advanced): Learn how a series of eight on-or-off symbols can be converted into large numbers.
- Pixels (BW): Control a "favicon-sized" grid, pixel by pixel, producing a black & white output.
- Pixels (3-Bit Color): Control a "favicon-sized" grid, pixel by pixel, producing a basic color output.
- AM Radio Waves : Modulate an AM carrier wave with a variety of simple signals. (No FM yet! Sorry!)
- Curriculum Map : A listing of the course topics. Shown in a sequence, but ripe for many logical rearrangements!
This site has benefitted from contributions during the 2015-16 school year by my Science and Tech student, Spencer Paciello. He has researched and developed coding solutions, as well as advocated for different usability choices. Some of his suggestions are here, and others remain in development!