J. Michael Lunsford Middle School
Technology Education at Lunsford
Technology Education is a subject, which begins at the middle school level. In Loudoun County, it is our objective to expose students to a wide array of technological systems and applications. The middle school program is exploratory in nature, providing students with hands-on experience in an array of subjects. Through these learning activities students see the application of concepts from academic courses and also begin to ponder possible career endeavors.
Technology Education is primarily a “hands-on” learning environment. The computer is used as well as many other types of tools in learning activities. Three types of activities are used at Lunsford Middle School. They are listed below.
1) Computer Module - Lunsford Middle school is equipped with two state of the art computer labs. Each computer station is known a module. The eighth grade classroom is additionally equipped with a more traditional materials processing room. A module may be better described as a learning station which is devoted to a particular subject such as Electronics or Computer Animation. Each module guides students through a sequence of learning activities in which they learn about a particular technology. Each module is equipped with its own tools and supplies needed for the “hands-on” learning activities. The following is a list of modules used at Lunsford Middle.
Rocketry & Space Applied Physics Weather Monitoring
Electricity Electronics Lights & Lasers
Materials Technology Biotechnology Oceanography
Computer Aided Drawing C N C Lathe & Mill Plastics
Desktop Publishing Engineering Structures Video Production
Creative Solutions (Invention) Audio Broadcasting Robotics
Flight and Aviation Small Engines Practical Skills
Dynamic Earth ROBOLAB by Lego Package Design
Forces Astronomy Digital Sound
2) STEM Activity – A Science Technology Engineering Mathematics Activity is an engineering challenge which is posed to students. Individually or in small collaborative groups they will design and construct a project in relation to the challenge. The engineering process is learned and practiced as students learn various scientific and engineering concepts. The scope of objectives varies according to the challenge but, again, applied learning is central. The following are some examples of our learned objectives: Design Process, Team Work, Problem Solving, Thrust, Friction, Aerodynamics, Restraint / Airbag Systems, Structural Engineering, Compression, Torsion, Airfoils, etc. The names of some design briefs used at Lunsford Middle are listed below.
CO2 Car Dragster Model Rockets Graphic Design
AeroLab (Flight) Solar Vehicle Balsa Wood Tower
Egg Crash Test Vehicle Truss Design Mouse Trap Vehicle
Bridge Design Hovercrafts Hydraulic Robot Arm
Hot Air Balloon Marble Roller Coaster
3 ) Project – An integral part of the Technology Education curriculum is to teach safety and usage of common hand tools and power machinery. The eighth grade laboratory is equipped with a materials processing classroom. Here, students will learn safety and proper usage of basic tools and equipment. A class project is used to facilitate the learning of such skills. Projects that students create here at Lunsford are primarily constructed from wood and plastic with some additional mechanical hardware. Several examples are listed below.
Picture Frame Jewelry Box (w/CNC)
Mantel Clock Candy Machine
Each module has learning specific activities tailored for each technology. A prescribed amount of extra points may be added to a student’s grade according to which activities have been successfully completed. The amount of points vary according to which activities are performed. Common to every module is the“Vocabulary” and “Career Investigation Worksheet”. Each carry a value of 100 points. Students have the opportunity to research additional occupations. The textbook for the career worksheet is the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the website is: http://www.bls.gov/oco/, and is also located on the worksheet so students can have access outside the classroom.