Engineering Technologies


  • Generating Electrical Voltage

    In this interactive resource adapted from the Wisconsin Online Resource Center, learn how a generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. Investigate the principle of magnetic induction by moving a conductor through a magnetic field to see how voltage is generated. Explore factors that influence the amount of voltage generated, such as the angle, speed, and length of the conductor and the strength of the magnetic field. In addition, learn the left-hand rule that describes the relationship between the motion of the conductor, the direction of magnetic flux lines, and the direction of current flow.
    Grades: 9-12
  • Generation of Alternating Current

    In this interactive resource adapted from the Wisconsin Online Resource Center, learn how a generator produces alternating current. More specifically, see how slip rings, brushes, an armature loop, and a magnetic field interact to produce single-phase alternating current. Animations show how positive and negative voltages are induced into the armature loop as it rotates through the magnetic field, and how the polarity of the voltage changes periodically, visualized as a sine wave.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Inside a Solar Cell

    In this interactive activity adapted from NOVA, learn how a typical photovoltaic cell converts solar energy into electricity. Explore the components of a photovoltaic cell, including the silicon layers, metal backing, antireflective coating, and metal conductor strips. Using animations, investigate why the silicon layers are doped with phosphorous and boron, and how an electric field is used to generate electricity from sunlight.

    Grades: 9-12
  • New Ways to Catch Rays

    In this interactive activity adapted from NOVA, learn about eight of the latest solar technologies: thermal trough, mirrored dish, power tower, thin film, concentrated sunlight, solar paint, evacuated-tube collectors, and sun-grown biofuel. In the face of global climate change, scientists and engineers are actively developing new ways to harness the free and renewable energy of the Sun as an alternative to fossil fuels. Look at photos, an illustration, and text to investigate how these technologies can provide environmentally friendly solutions.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Off-Road Engineering

    See students designing and building a rugged off-road vehicle for an automotive engineering competition in this video segment adapted from Pennsylvania College of Technology and WVIA.
    Grades: 9-12
  • Bandwidth and Data Conversion

    This interactive activity, adapted from the Wisconsin Online Resource Center, explores how data are transmitted in computer systems. Animated diagrams illustrate how data are transferred in parallel form inside a computer and then converted to serial form for transmission over long distances. Learn about bandwidth capacity techniques, including how modems convert the binary data into analog signals. In addition, learn about different types of modems (dial-up, digital subscriber line, cable, and fiber optic) that are used to connect to the Internet.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Reroofing Your Uncle's House

    Predict the correct amount of roofing material needed to reroof a house while learning about the importance of proper planning. This interactive exercise focuses on measurement, calculating the area of trapezoids, and combining the areas with the roofing information provided to take math out of the classroom and into the real world.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Pneumatic Actuator Systems

    In this interactive activity adapted from MATEC, learn about pneumatic actuator systems, which use compressed air to transmit motion. Animations illustrate the components of a typical pneumatic actuator system: the computer, communication module, programmable logic controller, input/output module, solenoid valve, and pneumatic device. Observe how the system functions as a whole, and learn more about some common pneumatic devices.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Computer Networks

    In this interactive activity adapted from the Wisconsin Online Resource Center, discover how computers communicate with one another through networks. Learn about types of networks (local area networks and wide area networks) and three common components: links, nodes, and routers. In addition, investigate some of the advantages and disadvantages of four kinds of network topologies: mesh, bus, star, and ring. Finally, explore the role of routers and how data travels from one network to another.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Closed-Loop Systems

    In this interactive activity adapted from the Wisconsin Online Resource Center, learn about the elements of a closed-loop system. An animation illustrates typical components (such as an error detector, a controller, an actuator, and a measurement device), as well as the input and output signals for each component. The activity also allows you to compare the animation to a standard block diagram to see how the various elements in a closed-loop system can be represented in a simplified form.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Plastic Race Car Competition

    In this video segment adapted from Pennsylvania College of Technology and WVIA, follow a class of high school students participating in a technology competition and learn about how plastic products are made. Meet a group of 11th graders who are introduced to possible careers in the plastics industry through a remote-control race car project. Observe how the students design a car body and then construct it using the process of thermoforming. In addition, learn about other common plastic processing methods: extrusion, blow molding, rotational molding, and injection molding.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Introduction to Plastics

    In this video segment adapted from Pennsylvania College of Technology and WVIA, learn the basics of the plastics industry. Plastics are made of polymers—small molecules strung together in long, repeating chains. The video highlights properties of plastic polymers and shows examples of common plastics (nylon, polyethylene, PVC, and PET). An animation illustrates how monomers join together through the process of polymerization to form polymers, and a lab demonstration shows polymerization at work in the formation of nylon. In addition, learn how polymers are produced in large reactors and how resins are made.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Careers in Plastics

    Learn about career opportunities in the plastics industry in this video segment adapted from Pennsylvania College of Technology and WVIA. Visit NPE: The International Plastics Showcase, the biggest plastics gathering in the world, and meet some people from the industry. Hear how different academic degrees can lead to different types of positions within the plastics industry. In addition, learn how emerging technologies such as recycling and bioplastics are a part of the sustainability and environmental movement.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Biomedical Technician Training

    In this video adapted from ATETV, hear from a medical electronics engineering technology student about how she is improving her math, science, electronics, and communications skills in her community college program.
    Grades: 9-12
  • Field Service Engineer

    Travis Blackwell talks about his job as a field service engineer with ESAB Equipment in this video adapted from ATETV. Travis is responsible for installing automated welding and cutting machinery at customer workplaces and training workers on their use. He credits his technical college education with having taught him problem solving and analytical skills, and with giving him the hands-on training that has made him successful in his career. He also explains how an internship completed during his two-year degree program in electromechanical engineering technology helped prepare him for his current job.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Computer Game and Simulation Technology

    In this video adapted from ATETV, students and instructors in Wake Technical Community College's simulation and game development program discuss what the students need to learn to prepare for careers in this cutting-edge field. While most students come with a strong interest in game development, there is growing demand for simulations outside of gaming. In addition to providing courses in design, art, and programming, Wake Tech's program offers students the opportunity to meet with industry professionals to learn more about how to get a job in the field.

    Grades: 9-12
  • ATETV | Drafting and Graphics Engineering

    Meet Ashley Baur, a young mother and student working towards an engineering technology graphics degree. Hear how she developed an interest in architecture after taking a drafting course in high school and then researched how she could get into the field. She talks about some of the skills she is acquiring -- such as computer-aided design -- and discusses several reasons why a community college program works for her.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • Rapid Prototype Modeling

    In this video segment adapted from ATETV, learn about rapid prototyping. Meet students who describe how rapid prototyping technology produces three-dimensional models, and the benefits of having a quick and inexpensive way to make models. In addition, hear from one student who likes that classes at community college offer hands-on experience, and that companies are looking for the skills he is acquiring.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Wind Energy Technology

    This video adapted from ATETV features students and faculty in the Wind Energy Technology program at Laramie County Community College. It explains some of the motivations students had for entering the program, such as wanting to work outdoors, scale towers, and contribute renewable energy field. Students describe the coursework—a mix of hands-on labs, lectures, and computer classes—and explain that knowing how wind turbines are put together and safe climbing techniques are both important aspects of working in this field.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Careers in Engineering Technologies

    In this interactive activity produced for Teachers' Domain, investigate three possible career paths in engineering technologies--research and development; manufacturing and construction; and inspection, testing, and repair. Explore each path to learn more about the education and experience required for particular jobs such as drafter, materials testing technician, chemical engineering technician, civil engineering technician, robotics technician, manufacturing engineering technologist, aerospace engineering technician, electronic engineering technician, and non-destructive testing technician.

    Grades: 6-12

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