Gateway to Technology

September 28 - October 2

Furniture Design

This week students are applying the design process to furniture invention. They are designing either a desk or a chair to meet a need that they saw in the classroom. This has been a great way to apply the design process as well as design elements to a real world problem.

Field Trip

We will be attending the STEAM day at the Waco Convention Center on Oct 13. Please not the buses will leave at 7:30 am. Please ask your student for the permission slip and return it signed. I am very excited about this fun day of learning for the students.

Test Friday

Students will have a test next Monday on the unit 2 vocabulary. The vocabulary is on Schoology. If you go to the course, then click on materials, then click on Design and modeling, you will then open the folder titled Unit 2. We will play a game with the words as well, but please remind them to study! The words are also listed below.

Aesthetics: Pleasing in appearance.

Annotate: A sketch on which notes are made to provide further information.

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

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

Consumer: A person or household that purchases goods or services.

Criteria: Desired specifications (elements or features) of a product or system.

Decision Matrix: A tool for systematically ranking alternatives according to a set of criteria.

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 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 Elements: The factors (e.g., line, color, light, shadow, space, texture) that define a product and take into account the aesthetics and function of the product.

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

Designer: A person who designs any of a variety of things.

Dimension: A measure in one direction.

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

Ergonomics: The study of workplace equipment design or how to arrange and design devices, machines, or workspace so that people and things interact safely and most efficiently.

Evaluate: To form an idea of the amount or value of; assess.

Experimentation: The act of trying out a new procedure, idea, or activity.

Exponentially: Extremely rapid increase.

Investigate: To observe or study by close examination and systematic inquiry.

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.

Modify: Change to ensure accuracy.

Optimize: An act, process, or methodology used to make a design or system as effective or functional as possible within the given criteria and constraints.

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: Human activities used to create, invent, design, transform, produce, control, maintain, and use products or systems; a sequence of actions that combines resources to produce an output.

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

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: Systematic, scientific, documented study.

Specification: A detailed description of the design and materials used to make something.

Testing: A method for collecting data.

Texture: The feel, appearance, or consistency of a surface, substance, or fabric.

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

Visualization: Formation of mental visual images.


We are back in our room and the kids are allowed to "play" with Inventor when they finish an assignment. Some of them are looking forward to working with it.


If you did not get your parent letter for access to Schoology at open house, please email me and I will send it to you. I think you will find that this adds another layer of communication to strengthen my partnership with you in educating your child!

Guest speaker assistance

If you know someone who is in the engineering field, would you please fill this form out? I would like to have some guest speakers available or if you could just be a resource that would be wonderful!

Report Cards

Thursday, Sep. 24th, 3:30pm

This is an online event.

Can you believe it is the end of the first six weeks? Time has flown!

Trojan Payday

#1 The Dojo Store will be open from 8-10 in the morning and from 2:50-3:50 in the afternoon. Teachers, please send in students one at a time who need to spend their Dojo points. Any unused points will carry over into next six-weeks. A list of students who have dojo points is on the shared drive.

#2 The original schedule has been revised to reflect the pep rally schedule and the new times for students who have payday Friday will be:

6th grade: 10:15-11:45

8th grade: 11:45-1:15

7th grade: 1:15-2:45

I will get you the list of kiddos who qualify to attend. Working on that today. The bus will be at the middle school entrance to take the kids and bring them back at the said times, so please send them. I will mark them off as they get on the bus.

#3 Remember that on Friday we are also on pep rally schedule, so we will all attend from 9:35 - 10:10.