Applied Technology at Parker Middle School has been designed to give students an introductory experience with tools, materials and the processes of technology. Applied Tech also introduces concepts and activities that are available to students in the high school Career and Technical Education programs. The classes are largely hands-on with projects that can take weeks to complete. Students also learn about tool safety and conservation in Applied Tech.
The first unit is Sketching, the students learn a basic form of technical drawing. The goal is for the students to be able to represent ideas and designs in 3 dimensions very quickly. There is also a component of dimensioning in the sketching assignments, this is important for dragster design in the next unit. Sketching four to five days to complete.
After Sketching, the kids start the main project, the Dragsters. (a.k.a. CO2 Dragster) The students get a packet that they will use throughout the unit. The first thing we do in the packet is work through the design process. There is a page for thumbnails, a page for rough drafts, and a page for the final design of the dragster. When the design is done, the kids can get a body blank and work at the power tools to create the car they have designed on paper. When they are ready, the kids can paint their car with spray paint and add details with sharpies. We race the cars all on one day and take the resulting times of the race and calculate the speed of the cars.