The goal of an education in technology is to engage students in the technological and engineering design process through real-world application of their skills in multiple fields of study. Students are given opportunities to apply their creativity, their scientific and mathematical knowledge, and their problem-solving abilities, while also gaining familiarity with the content and practices of technology and engineering. Technology education is not merely the use of various technologies in the classroom; at its heart, it aims to answer some human want or need—to improve the human condition.
Design-based learning is an accepted best-practice in the field of technology education. Dublin technology courses focus heavily on collaboration, creativity, curiosity, and effective communication, and they are intended to attract students of various interests through specifically focused design projects that directly benefit the Dublin community. To this end, there are three distinct strands of technology education: programming, electronics, and engineering. Pure programming is most closely related to mathematics topics and focuses on creation of digital content and media. Electronics takes an applied approach to programming and instrumentation solutions to specific problems. Engineering is most closely connected to the physical sciences. All technology courses revolve around the same set of overarching goals, but differ in their implementation.
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Course of Study
Dublin School has a wide array of computer programming offerings. The basic concepts of computer programming which are taught to all students are largely language agnostic. As such, we offer Intro Programming courses in various different languages depending on the courses selected focus. This is also because a large component of programming literacy is choosing an appropriate programming language for a given application.
In the second and third level computer programming courses, students will adapt their programming skills and choose the appropriate language for different aspects of projects—often multiple programming languages during the course. In these courses, the use of technical documentation is central to the completion of complex projects. Similarly, group work is a requirement as required by the scale of the projects and standard industry practice.
Examples of Programming Electives
- Introduction to Programming – one of: C++, Java, C#
- Basic Computer Programming Concepts
- Conditional Statements
- Object-Oriented Principles (in Java or C#)
- Basic Computer Programming Concepts
- Web Development – HTML5/CSS3/PHP operating in Linux
- Basic Concepts
- Setting up a web server (Apache on a Debian Based server)
- Static Web Content using HTML5/CSS3
- Dynamic Web Content using PHP5
- Basic Concepts
- Advanced Computer Programming
- Requires previous computer programming experience
- Higher level topics in application development
- Large Scale Projects involving multiple programmers
- Selecting, Reading Documentation, and Applying open source libraries/APIs
The electronics strand focuses on understanding the fundamentals of electronics and circuitry, including digital/analog. Students use professional circuit and design layout software to create their own electronics. They experience the power of measurement and instrumentation in making their problems easier to solve, and learn circuit board design and fabrication techniques.
Intro level courses focus on Interfacing with sensors and effectors using microcontroller programming (Arduino and C). Advanced electronics courses involve systems level integration, and autonomous robotics applications. These courses revolve around collaborative, large scale, multi-disciplinary projects.
Examples of Electronics Electives
- I-Design – Arduino-compatibles
- Focus on development of wearable technologies
- Cursory introduction to various input/output hardware devices (sensors, motors, LEDs, etc.)
- Personalized Projects
- Introduction to Electronics Design and Development
Electronics project-oriented product development
- Basic electronics concepts and circuitry
- Schematic and board design tools
- Design and development process
- Board fabrication and population
Engineering courses are the most demanding design-based learning courses. These courses generally assume a student is proficient in algebra and geometry and has been exposed to basic topics in physics (i.e. 9th Grade STEM). Deliberate connections are drawn to topics and skills of mathematics and the sciences. Assessment within these courses is primarily based on performance in particular projects. All projects in this strand involve the creation of a product, a record of the student’s process, such as a design notebook, and public presentation of the student’s work.
Examples of Engineering Electives
- Engineering Design
- Fully Design Based course
- Focus on solving an engineering problem directly related to our community
- Focus on sustainability and environmentally friendly solutions.
- One major over-arching Design project as the end goal of the course
- Draws on the diverse skills of students acquired throughout their high-school career.
- Past projects included: Solar Collector stations for Athletic Field Scoreboards, Solar Powered Green House environmental monitoring system, and Trail Bridge design.
The FIRST Robotics program is a natural extra-curricular program for students who are the most interested in the Technology/Engineering fields. FIRST Robotics involves the application of all three strands of Technology Education in a single massive project during the winter trimester. Our students spend 14+ hours per week during the months of January and February completing the yearly challenge in order to compete in the New England district FIRST Robotics Competition events each March. Robotics is an extra-curricular, afternoon activity offered during the winter term only.