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        Page 4                                                                                                 Electronic Edition:

                   Kennedy Middle School Technology & PLTW Education Changing with the Times

        Jeff Thielke                                                                                               an Air Glider; including a performance distance
        National Board Certified Instructor                                                                        test.  In  addition,  Students  will  have  units  in
        PLTW-Plastics-Technology/Engineering                                                                       Transportation,  Communication  and  Robotics.
        Kennedy Middle School, Germantown, WI                                                                      The  Transportation  unit  will  include  a  paper
            In  2011  I  made  a  professional  decision                                                           rocket  and  Glider  activity  to  teach  concepts
        to  join  the Technology  Education  Department                                                            about ballistics and stability, and a flight activ-
        at  Germantown  School  District. As An  expe-                                                             ity about aircraft control.  The Communication
        rienced  Technology  and  PLTW  Instructor,                                                                unit will include activities in semaphore coding,
        I  had  a  new  revised  vision  of  how  I  wanted                                                        in radio station operation and in live television
        both  Technology  and  PLTW  Education  to                                                                 news production.  In the Robotics unit students
        partnership,  offering  traditional,  Technology                                                           will assemble gear train mechanisms in order to
        and  Pre-Engineering  Education  to  students  at                                                          learn about torque, speed, gear ratio and other
        Kennedy  Middle  School.  I  knew  this  would                                                             power transfer concepts.
        have to involve a total redesign of the present                                                            Construction (7th & 8th Grade)
        curriculum and renovation of the Labs, in order                                                                Students  will  design  a  “Dream”  home,
        to accommodate this vision. here is the story                                                              including interior decorating, exterior furnish-
        of this great partnership and voyage of success.                                                           ing  and  landscaping,  utilizing  3-D  imaging
            It  all  started  with  a  two-year  implemen-                                                         software. Students will build a wooden model
        tation  Plan,  offering  the  Nationally  Certified                                                        bridge, with material and weight limitations, in
        Program, Project Lead the Way (PLTW), in the                                                               order to perform a strength test. Students will
        areas  of  Design  &  Modeling  and Automation   over the years to represent more relevant and   Design  including  interior  decorating,  utilizing   build a 3/32” scaled floor, roof truss and model
        & Robotics; with applied activities in Science   practical  activities.  Student  enrollment  grew   3-D imaging software.  The Manufacturing unit   of  a  residential  home  wall  and  floor  system.
        of  Technology.  This  first  year  in  2011,  there   over the years, especially amongst our Female   will include performing a Plastic Casting of the   Students  will  perform  Pre-Engineering  CAD
        would  be  one  semester  in  7th  and  8th  grade.   Students. In those early years, only 9% of our   Golf Tee Game, including machining operations   drawings  of  the  bridge  and  residential  home
        In year two, an additional Design & Modeling   students  were  Female.  Today,  we  have  near   and Packaging Design. Designed package will   model design, utilizing the PLTW 3-D model-
        (b)  and  Robotics  (b)  class  was  implemented.   49% girls in the Technology & PLTW Program.   transport an “egg” from 20’ to the floor, safely;   ing software.
        This would enable the entire PLTW-GTT cur-  What’s Happening            with material and weight limitations. The Pre-
        riculum  to  be  covered  over  the  course  of  7th                    Engineering unit will include performing CAD   Communications (7th & 8th Grade)
        & 8th grade. The more Traditional Technology   Exploring Technology Education (6th Grade)  drawings  of  the  Golf Tee  Game,  utilizing  the   Students  will  learn  about  many  types  of
        Education  Courses  of  Exploring  Technology,   The  Construction  unit  will  include   PLTW  3-D  modeling  software.  The  Measure-  photography  with  an  emphasis  on  lighting,
        Transportation,  Communication,  Construction   building and testing a Paper bridge within spec-  ment unit will include utilizing a blueprint to
        and Manufacturing remained, but were up-dated   ification;  completing  an  Architectural  Home   transfer measurements to materials to construct   Continued on Page 9

        Finding a Signal Continued from Page 1
                                                                                teens  exist  in  a  decidedly  encyclopedia-free   the time. It can also happen in a jungle.
                                                                                society,  a  world  of  hyperconnectivity,  one   “We interacted in such an authentic, out-
                                                                                where answers – and stressors – live at their   of-the-box  manner,”  says  Weaver.  “There
                                                                                fingertips. One click, one swipe, one conver-  were no technology distractions, no one hurry-
                                                                                sation with Siri and they have what they need,   ing off to show everyone in the world what we
                                                                                instant gratification, no pulling the “M” ency-  were doing. We were just doing. We laughed.
                                                                                clopedia and flipping to “monkey” required.  We played games. We researched. We were in
                                                                                   At Pacuare, however, this changed: there   the moment in Costa Rica, and we were all in
                                                                                were no cell phones allowed.       awe together.”
                                                                                   Life slowed down in the jungle. Students
                                                                                hiked and recorded data on clipboards. They
                                                                                noticed things, expertly identifying hole-rid-
                                                                                den vegetation feasted on by leafcutter ants.
                                                                                They  looked  up,  marveling  at  stars  they’d
                                                                                never  noticed  before.  They  rode  in  a  boat
                                                                                down  a  crocodile-infested  river.  They  pep-
                                                                                pered Claudio with questions.
                                                                                   “Interacting with him, someone who has
                                                                                done so much for conservation, they began to
                                                                                understand  how  multidisciplinary  this  work
                                                                                really  is,”  says Weaver.  “I  can  say  that,  but
                                                                                when you start hearing the stories, the wins
        “Sadly, it’s just not part of our society. our   Recently  featured  on  NPR’s  popular  Here   and losses, you start to really get it.”
        society thinks treasures are what you find at   and Now podcast to discuss Pacuare’s efforts   At The Prairie School, one theme rises
        the mall or get on Amazon. Those are our trea-  to  safeguard  sea  turtles,  Quesad  is  a  global   above all other — community. The school is
        sures. At Pacuare, they have a very different   expert on several different species.  a place where every student is known, valued,
        definition.”                           “Claudio  inspired  our  kids  so  much,”   supported,  and  challenged,  where  everyone
            The  crash  course  in  preservation  was   says Weaver. “he was a walking encyclope-  strives  to  be  their  best  self,  where  focus  is
        provided  by  Claudio  Quesad,  the  Reserve’s   dia.”                  given  to  the  building  and  nurturing  of  rela-
        Research  and  Conservation  Coordinator.   This  metaphor  is  important.  Today’s   tionships. This happens in the classroom all
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