Monday, January 25, 2016

Technology Department Interview

Technology Department Interview
With Mr. Norton
By Sheryl Lin

Hi everyone! This particular issue of the Bulldog Jr., I’m interviewing Mr. Norton (a technology teacher for grades 7 and 8) about the technology curriculum here at the school.

Here are a few questions I’ve asked Mr. Norton, and a few extra things he’s mentioned.

Q: What do you do in technology class?
A: Well, I teach grades seven through twelve, and basically we introduce students to the basics of technology, why it’s important. In our life, from the moment you wake up to when you go to bed you’re surrounded by technology, because tech makes life easy. Technology class is like the foundation for future engineers.

We teach students how to use new machines, how to use a ruler - in inches, even though the science department and all the science teachers all want to push the metric system! We try to teach things like patience, how to draw, how to think, how to fix something whenever it breaks. That’s what an engineer does: if something breaks, someone’s gotta fix it. We do plenty of small projects; it’s an interesting field.

In the high school, there are even more classes! In addition to plain Technology, we have robotics, CAD (which is computer drafting or Computer Aided Design), CAD 3D, and Construction Systems. CAD is basically a program where you draw on the computer, and it prints out whatever you draw. CAD 3D does the same thing, but with a 3D printer. You can make a bracelet or something.

Construction Systems is another high school class where you learn how to use nails, hammers, how to frame a wall, designing, painting, electrical systems, the like. CAD and Construction Systems are all high school classes available to grades 9 through 12.

Q: What particular topics are you going over this year, and what have you done in the past?
A: This year, for the seventh graders, we’ve already done the Seven Resources of Technology poster. We’re doing the maglev trains, which involve magnetism and maglev trains. We’ll be doing wooden speakers, which you can use with your phone, as well. For eighth grade, we’ve already done candy machines. We’re also doing CO2 cars, which are basically dragsters with an engine in the back powered by compressed CO2, and we’ll be racing them down a 60 foot track.

Q: What’s your favorite project done in class?
A: I think my favorite is the cellphone speaker. All the students enjoy that the best!
Q: Is there anything you’d like to tell anyone coming into technology in the next few years?
A: Engineering can be frustrating, but don’t give up because it gets hard. We’re always looking for engineers, and if everyone just gave up, that means we’re not going to have anyone solving any future problems.

Q: Can you tell us anything about you and the other teachers in the district?
A: There are three technology teachers: me, Mr. Cava who’s been here for three years, and Mr. Keyser at the high school for his twenty-fourth year. I’ve been here for five years. We all graduated from the University of New York at Oswego, from the same school, and it’s the top institute for technology education. (If you want to become a technology teacher, you’ll want to aim there!)

That’s all for our interview! Special thanks to Mr. Norton for helping us and sharing some information. Check in next time for more sneak peeks around the school.