June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering
23.1335.1 - 23.1335.16
Using Scale Models to Promote Technological LiteracyAbstractHumans have created and utilized tools and technologies since the beginning of civilization. Infact, without them it is highly unlikely that humans would have even survived. All of these earlytools and technologies were simple by today’s standards, but absolutely essential nevertheless.They were used to sew clothes, build shelters, provide protection, make food more accessible,and in general make life a bit safer, easier, and tolerable. As time progressed so did thedevelopment of tools and technologies as humans sought solutions to more and more problemsthat plagued them. It was a progression as one tool or technology led to another, which evolvedinto yet another. It created an endless cycle of advancement that is still with us today. However,modern humans are so wrapped up with today’s gadgets that they have lost touch with andforgotten the early technologies that made it all possible. Since most of them were made ofleather, animal tendons, wood, and other items, they have decomposed and been lost over time.Thus leaving only the stone and bone artifacts remaining to be discovered and convey their story.One solution to this unfortunate dilemma is to rebuild them. Recreating the small relics using theoriginal tools and methods is relatively easy but larger items make the task far more difficult.The sheer size of many of these items makes the job extremely challenging, problematic, andundoable. That is where the use of scale models comes in. Exact replicas of large objects can befabricated at a scaled down size to demonstrate how they were originally constructed and used.Two years ago a project was undertaken to do exactly that. Beginning with one scale model, theproject was so successful and well received that it was quickly expanded to include othertechnologies and machines. These scale models average about three feet in length making themsuitable for use in classroom demonstrations. They are extremely mobile and transported onspecially designed Educational Delivery Vehicles (EDVs). They bring the past back to life andgive today’s students a realistic look at ancient technologies in a way that is superior to picturesand textual descriptions. The objective is to enhance the student’s understanding of how and whypast technologies were developed and used. This paper reviews the scale model projectdiscussing what artifacts were reconstructed, how they were made, and looks into the future torelics that can also be built as scale models to promote technological literacy.
Loendorf, W. R., & Geyer, T. L., & Richter, D. C. (2013, June), Using Scale Models to Promote Technological Literacy Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22720
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