Agriculture- The raising of crops and animals for food, feed, fiber, fuel, or other useful products

Assessment- 1.An evaluation technique for technology that requires analyzing benefits and risks, understanding the trade-offs, and then determining the best action to take in order to ensure that the desired positive outcomes outweigh the negative consequences.  2. An exercise, such as an activity, portfolio, written test, or experiment that seeks to measure a student’s skills or knowledge in a subject area.  Information may be collected about teacher and student performance, student behavior, and classroom atmosphere.

Benchmark- 1. A written statement that describes the specific development components by various grade levels (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12) that students should know for be able to do in order to achieve a standard.  2. A criteria by which something can be measured or judged.

Biotechnology- Any technique that uses living organisms, or parts or organisms, to make or modify products, improve plants or animals, or to develop microorganisms for specific uses.

Brainstorming- A method of shared problem solving in which all members of a group spontaneously and in an unrestrained discussion generate ideas.

Capital- One of the basic resources used in a technological system.  Capital (money) is the accumulated finances and goods devoted to the production of other goods.

Communication- The successful transmission of information through a common system of symbols, signs, behavior, speech, writing, or signals.

Constraint- A limit to the design process.  Constraints may be such things as appearance, funding, space, materials, and human capabilities.

Construction- The systematic art or process of building, erecting, or constructing buildings, roads, or other structures.

Creative thinking- The ability or power used to produce original thoughts and ideas based upon reasoning and judgment.

Creativity- refers to the invention or origination of any new thing (a product, solution, artwork, literary work, joke, etc.) that has value. “New” may refer to the individual creator or the society or domain within which novelty occurs. “Valuable”, similarly, may be defined in a variety of ways.


Critical thinking- The ability to acquire information, analyze and evaluate it, and reach a conclusion or answer by using logic and reasoning skills.

Design- An iterative decision-making process that produces plans by which resources are converted into products or systems that meet human needs and wants or solve problems.

Design-based inquiry-Technology– the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science.

Design brief- A written plan that identifies a problem to be solved, its criteria, and its constraints.  The design brief is used to encourage thinking of all aspects of a problem before attempting a solution.

Design Challenge-

Design principle- Design rules regarding rhythm, balance, proportion, variety, emphasis, and harmony, used to evaluate existing designs and guide the design process.

Design process-A systematic problem-solving strategy, with criteria and constraints, used to develop many possible solutions to solve a problem or satisfy human needs and wants and to winnow (narrow) down the possible solutions to one final choice.

Design World (and each area)-

Desirable/Undesirable consequences-

Educational Technology– Using multimedia technologies or audiovisual aids as a tool to enhance the teaching and learning process.

Energy- The ability to do work.  Energy is one of the basic resources used by a technological system.

Engineer-A person who is trained in and uses technological and scientific knowledge to solve practical problems

Engineering- The profession of or work performed by an engineer.  Engineering involves the knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences (biological and physical) gained by study, experience, and practice that are applied with judgment and creativity to develop ways to utilize the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of mankind.

Engineering design-The systematic and creative application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, processes, and systems.

Improvement– the state of being improved; especially: enhanced value or excellence

Information– One of the basic resources used by technological systems.  Information is the data and facts that have been organized and communicated in a coherent and meaningful manner.

Innovation – the creation of better or more effective products, processes, services, technologies, or ideas that are readily available to markets, governments, and society.

Input-Something put into a system, such as resources, in order to achieve a result.

Integration- The process of bringing all parts together into a whole.

Invention– A new device, method, or process developed from study and experimentation.

iSTeM Education- Integrative STEM (iSTeM) is a standards-based metadiscipline in which all teachers, especially Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics teachers, use an integrated, design-based approach to teaching and learning. iSTeM teaching and learning are grounded in authentic content and problems, using inquiry-based, peer-led, and problem-based learning to prevent STEM failure and promote STEM achievement.

Machine-A device with fixed and moving parts that modifies mechanical energy in order to do work.

Manufacturing- The process of making a raw material into a finished product; especially in large quantities.

Material-The tangible substance (chemical, biological, or mixed) that goes into the makeup of a physical object.  One of the basic resources used in a technological system.

Mathematics- The science of patterns and order and the study of measurement, properties, and the relationship of quantities; using numbers and symbols.

Medical Technology- Of or relating to the study of medicine through the use of and advances of technology, such as medical instruments and apparatus, imaging systems in medicine, and mammography.  Related terms: biomedical engineering and medical innovations. 

Model- A visual, mathematical, or three-dimensional representation in detail of an object or design, often smaller than the original.  A model is often used to test ideas, make changes to a design, and to learn more about what would happen to a similar, real object.

Output- The results of the operation of any system

Portfolio-A systematic and organized collection of a student’s work that includes results of research, successful and less successful ideas, notes on procedures, and data collected.


Problem solving-The process of understanding a problem, devising a plan, carrying out the plan, and evaluating the plan in order to solve a problem or meet a need or want.

Process- 1. Human activities used to create, invent, design, transform, produce, control, maintain, and use products or systems; 2. A systematic sequence of actions that combines resources to produce an output

Product- A tangible artifact produced by means of either human or mechanical work, or by biological or chemical processes.

Product lifestyle- Stages a product goes through from concept and use to eventual withdrawal from the marketplace  Product life cycle stages include research and development, introduction, market development, exploitation, maturation, saturation, and finally decline.

Production system- A technological system that involves producing products and systems by manufacturing (on the assembly line) and construction (on the job).

Project Based Learning (PBL)– In Project Based Learning, students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. Rigorous projects help students learn key academic content and practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking)

Prototype- A full-scale working model used to test a design concept by making actual observations and necessary adjustments.

Real world problem-

Requirements- The parameters placed on the development of a product or system.  The requirements include the safety needs, the physical laws that will limit the development of an idea, the available resources, the cultural norms, and the use of criteria and constraints.

Research and development (R&D)- The practical application of scientific and engineering knowledge for discovering new knowledge about products, processes, and services, and then applying that knowledge to create new and improved products, processes, and services that fill market needs.

Resource-The things needed to get a job done.  In a technological system, the basic technological resources are: energy, capital, information, machines and tools, materials, people, and time.

Science- The study of the natural world through observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanations.

Scientific inquiry- The use of questioning and close examination using the methodology of science.

STEM Education– STEM focuses on student’s engagement and skills from the earliest grades in science, math and technology to help foster interest for their later school years and careers. The ultimate goal is to grow the proficiency level of students in sciences and mathematics.

Subsystem-A division of a system that, in itself, has the characteristics of a system.

Sustainability-Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations

System-A group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements or parts that function together as a whole to accomplish a goal.

Technological design-See Engineering Design

Technological literacy- The ability to use, manage, understand, and assess technology.

Technology-1. Human innovation in action that involves the generation of knowledge and processes to develop systems that solve problems and extend human capabilities. 2. The innovation, change, or modification of the natural environment to satisfy perceived human needs and wants.

Technology content standard-A written statement that specifies the knowledge (what students should know) and process (what students should be able to do) students should possess in order to be technologically literate.

Technology education- A study of technology, which provides an opportunity for students to learn about the processes and knowledge related to technology that are needed to solve problems and extend human capabilities.

Tool- A device that is used by humans to complete a task.

Trade-off- An exchange of one thing in return for another; especially relinquishment of one benefit or advantage for another regarded as more desirable.

Transportation system- The process by which passengers or goods are moved or delivered from one place to another.