Barry Spainer
EDLA 615

Global Warming is one of the hot issues in the media today; and more and more manufacturers are encouraged to develop goods that are environmentally friendly. One manufacturing industry that has been vilified in this current talk about 'clean air' is the automotive industry. Many have faulted them for making cars that emit large amounts of the potentially dangerous gas: CO2. In August of 2006, New York Times reported that the European Union has plans to introduce legislations that will force auto makers to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that is released by motor vehicles. Consequently, auto giants like BMW and Daimler-Chrysler have joined forces to create "hybrid transmission systems for rear-wheel-drive premium cars." Thus, in an effort to make students responsible citizens, while at the same time preparing them for the society in which they live; a number of teachers have found it prudent to provide students with early exposure to this relatively new wave in technology.

One of the classes I teach is “Tech 8” technology in the middle school. We cover a unit on transportation and incorporate a race car project that requires our students to research design and build a CO2 car. This unit is typically introduced to the students (lecture style), they are given a brief overview of the project (photos and prior projects are often shown); followed by a review of the scientific principles discussed in class. Then they apply their knowledge into the project as they build.

I have decided to incorporate some language arts and technology into my lessons with the assistance of the Web 2.0 technology and the use of the wiki web site. I decided to create a group page that will allow any/all Tech 8 student to view the assignment, use readily available resources, and form an interactive discussion with the other students through our discussion board to be used throughout all of the Tech 8 classes from any computer anywhere with internet access.

Below are some resources that I believe the students will find helpful. These websites should help enhance the information they have been given in class. Part of their overall grade is based on the interaction of the wiki web site, each student is required to view each of the resources below and introduce their comments with a new page entry on the Tech 8 wiki website This website walks you through all the steps necessary to make your project from design theory through race day. This video shows the design steps of the stock material that a previous student had taken from start to finish This video shows the intensity of the cars on the race track with addition theatrical editing (you will not see smoke come out of your cars)

Awesome! This is great for my students, who don't know/understand/care about why anyone would want to drive a hybrid car, let alone know how one works. Whether global warming is a real threat or not, it's essential that our students understand the technology so that at the very least they appreciate to economic benefits in addition to the environmental benefits of hybrid tech. --Jason Feliciano

I also teach Tech 8 and think that Web 2.0 will be useful in my classes. Students can learn about the assignment and review it over and over if more understanding is needed. By incorporating the videos students have the opportunity to learn more and find information that interests them. I could also see students using pictures of the cars they built and sharing their experiences with the school and the world. Thanks Barry for the insight.- Art Schnee