Chandan presents his research on missiles
How do you get students to demonstrate their
understanding through independent projects? Give them structure.
The ICE-9 essential questions are applicable
to any technology, and have guided student research on missiles, Legos
and soccer. Watch video clips of what
students had to say after experiencing the ICE-9 curriculum.
Legos by Robby
Chandan (a report)
Missiles by Chandan
Fossil Fuel Burning
by Chandan (a report)
Trees of Why We Use
Technology by a 5th grade class (drawings)
Suggestions for Projects
- Use the ICE-9 questions to research a technology.
In the sample projects shown above, students (who had previously experienced
the classroom curriculum) selected favorite activities and then analyzed them
with the same approach taken in the classroom curriculum.
- From the content area of your class, demonstrate or
present how some recent technology works. Explain how it extends a human's
capability and what led up to it.
- Convey a story set in the future in which some
present-day technology has changed for the better, enabling the main
character to solve a problem. Convey a story set in the future in which some
present-day technology has changed for the worse, causing a problem for the
- Invent something that extends human capabilities. For
example, play a game better or more easily, or sport, or communication, or
travel faster/farther/more easily, play music better, cook better/more
- Convince the class of the desirability of some
technology within the content area of the class. Tell who invented it and
why, within the historical context. Explain what people did before that
technology was invented: was something else used or did people just not
engage in that activity.
- Present a timeline of inventions in a given field such
as transportation, communication, sport, music, games, or food. For example,
a timeline of pictures or a group of students in class act out use of
- One made the other possible. Read the book Connections
by James Burke and write about how one technology, such as radio, made another
technology possible, such as television.
- Explain the reason for some invention by reading a
biography of the inventor. Explain the historical setting for the invention,
the inventor's job, interests, and motivation to create the invention.
- Read several biographies of inventors. Tell how the
inventors were similar or different types of people and things that were
particularly interesting about them. Tell what ways they were like yourself.
What did they know to make the invention that you could also learn in
school, or learn outside of school (e.g. leadership and motivation as sports
team captain). Use MIQ list.
- Think of several items of technology and combine them
to make a new invention. Choose one from each column. Devise a marketing
campaign that explains a need the new invention fills, describes the target
buyer, the proposed price, and how and where you will sell it. Make an ad
poster and a storyboard for a TV commercial. Optional: present the poster or
commercial to the class or prepare a video to show the class.
- Pick a certain type of invention and show a pattern in
that invention such as wheels in transportation. Then, show a trend, such as
wheels used for faster speed or specialized use, better materials.
- Pick something that was invented at one time, but was
not developed until another time. For example, Leonardo da Vinci's
helicopter or the flying wing. Explain what delayed the development, for
instance, new materials technology, new control technology, political
support, market demand, social acceptance, military needs, etc.