The Pros and Cons of Innovation

Project Objectives – Students will...

...researchPRO and CON positions on a technological topic in history

...clearly and constructively support both of those positions in a research paper

...analyze/prioritize arguments with a group in support of one side of their ethical issue with group partners to create professional, well-designed presentation slides

...give aconvincing and professional public presentation of their assigned position on the issue

Project Description

For this project, each students will first research a topic concerning the ethics of technology in history. Each student will be assigned a topic to research. Students will not know which side side ("PRO" or "CON") they have been assigned to until their research papers have been submitted. See the Project Topic Page for the list of the specific topics.

Each student will write a paper of a minimum of 1000 words on their assigned topic and will present points supporting both sides of the ethical issue with factual information and statistical data whenever possible. See the Research Paper Assignment page for more details and examples of factual information and statistical data.

After individual papers have been submitted, students will be assignedto PRO or CON groups for their issue. All group members on a side will come from the same school. The group will work together to decide the most important points supporting their side. Group members will design and present 1 to 2 presentation slides each, in conjunction with the group assigned to the opposite position. In other words, PROS will present along with CONS on a particular topic.

While this project might have the appearance of a debate, the presentation is more about making a coordinated effort to present both sides of an issue well.

Important Dates

Jan 22nd - group and topic assignments go out to students. Students begin research. Students will need to have at least 2 pieces of information from 2 different academic (not Wikipedia!) resources (for a total of 4 pieces of information) prior to the Kickoff Field Trip.

Feb 1st- Kickoff Field trip to Best Western: "Ethics in Technology" discussion, meet with topic groups

Feb 15th - Notes Document and Annotated Bibliography due to

March 1st - First Draft of Research Paper due to

March 13th:

    • All final papers due to be submitted through by no later than 4:00 PM
    • "Pro" and "Con" assignments go out to students in AM
    • Students will start on "Deciding Your Group's Argument" per "Deciding Your Group's Argument" page"
    • Groups begin work on presentations

Week of April 8th: Students practice presentations with peers

April 10th: All Presentations shared with and "locked down" - 4:00 PM

(Note - presentations that have not been named or shared according to directions will lose points!)

April 11th and 12th: Presentation Dates

  • Fluvanna, Goochland and Louisa: April 11th at Best Western
  • Greene, Madison, Nelson, and Orange: April 12th at PVCC Giuseppe Center

Grading will be based on individual effort and the group presentation. See the "Grading and Rubrics" page for specific grading information.