Making Math and Science Matter
Gateway to Technology is a separate course offering from PLTW which is offered to middle schools as an introduction to the later high school courses. Each school may implement a minimum of two of the ten GTT modules in an existing science class or offer any or all of the modules in a stand alone enrichment class. The two modules that EVERY Gateway to Technology program is required to offer are Design and Modeling and Automation and Robotics.
Schools are encouraged to offer the first unit in grade 6, but they may decide to spread the units through grades 6 – 8, or teach four of the six units in the 8th grade, for example. For maximum impact on student achievement, the GTT curriculum should be combined with a challenging academic curriculum in which:
- Students complete Algebra I successfully or pass a pre-algebra proficiency test and use algebra concepts to reason and solve problems;
- Students use laboratory and technology experiences to learn scientific concepts in physical, life and earth/space sciences;
- Reading instruction is included in the academic core curriculum through grade eight;
- Students use language correctly and effectively to find, organize and report information through reading, writing, speaking, and listening; and
- Students describe their heritage, their government, their world and economic principles through the study of key issues of the past, present and future.
The GTT modules are:
Design and Modeling (Required Module)
This unit uses solid modeling (a very sophisticated mathematical technique for representing solid objects) to introduce students to the design process. Utilizing this design approach, students understand how solid modeling has influenced their lives. Students also learn sketching techniques, and use descriptive geometry as a component of design, measurement, and computer modeling. Using design briefs or abstracts, students create models and documentation to solve problems.
Automation and Robotics ( Required Module)
Students trace the history and development of automation and robotics. They learn about structures, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Students acquire knowledge and skills in engineering problem solving and explore requirements for careers in engineering.
The courses below are part of the GTT Specialization Curriculum:
Energy and the Environment
Students investigate the importance of energy in our lives and the impact energy use has on the environment. They design and model alternative energy sources and participate in an energy expo to demonstrate energy concepts and innovative ideas. Students evaluate ways to reduce energy consumption through energy efficiency and waste management techniques.
The Magic of Electrons
Through hands-on projects, students explore the science of electricity, the movement of atoms, circuit design, and sensing devices. Students acquire knowledge and skills in basic circuitry design and explore the impact of electricity on our lives.
The Science of Technology
This unit traces how science has affected technology throughout history. Students learn about the mechanics of motion, the conversion of energy, and the use of science to improve communication.
Flight and Space
The purpose of this unit is to introduce the student to aeronautics, space, and design used in aerospace engineering as a career. They learn about Newton's Laws of Motion, forces, rockets, propulsion, and what makes things fly. Students acquire and apply knowledge and skills in engineering problem solving and explore the many aspects of aerospace engineering.
Introduction to Computer Science 1
Studies show that by 2018, 1.4 million job openings will be available for computer specialists. In this unit, students discover the principles of this fast-growing field by focusing on creativity and an iterative design process as they create their own basic apps using MIT App Inventor
Introduction to Computer Science 2
Students continue to explore the fundamentals of the stimulating career path of computer science. They venture into text programming through Python and, in the final problem, develop an app to crowdsource and analyze data on a topic of their interest.
Today’s students have grown up in an age of “green” choices. In this unit, students learn how to apply this concept to the fields of architecture and construction by exploring dimensioning, measuring, and architectural sustainability as they design affordable housing units using Autodesk’s® 3D architectural design software.
Students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they analyze genetic testing results to diagnose disease and study DNA evidence found at a “crime scene.” They solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, investigate how to measure and interpret vital signs, and learn how the systems of the human body work together to maintain health.
For further info on implementing GTT: