The Technology and Engineering Education program at Morgan Middle School introduces students to the technical skills needed to be successful in the technology or engineering career of his or her choice and with the skills to function in a technological society. The program follows state standards and has two related themes. Students in each grade level learn traditional skills such as sketching and manufacturing projects from wood and plastic. By the end of 8th grade, students have used every machine in the shop to build several projects such as dice, money banks, shelves, candy dispensers and long boards. Students also learn modern manufacturing techniques by using a laser to engrave their name and logo on a variety of wood projects. Students also are introduced to engineering related skills such as problem solving, the design process, and computer aided drafting. The process of investigating engineering concepts naturally integrates language arts, mathematics, and science through the problem solving process. Students in 8th grade design, build, and race a gravity-powered vehicle and a compressed air rocket that will fly more than 400 feet horizontally. Students have the use of a wind tunnel to evaluate and perfect their design. Starting this year, 8th grade students will be using Teacher Geek components to build a robotic bug and design and build projects such as a wind turbine, hydraulic pump, and a solar-powered vehicle. Seventh grade students design a rocket using a pop bottle and recycled plastic materials to launch as egg into space and bring it back unbroken. The engineering related curriculum and activities described above support the new Common Core and the Federal Government’s Educate to Innovate campaign for Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education. The purpose of this initiative is to lift American students to the top internationally in science and math achievement over the next decade by motivating and inspiring students to excel in STEM subjects by actually applying the math and science learned in school to solving age appropriate problems. The Morgan Middle School offers an after school program to give students additional time to make additional projects, work on a Science Olympiad project, or catch up on missed work. Last year there were 1,437 student logged visits to the program between the start of school and the beginning of May. The success of the after school program is due in part to the $1000 donation from the Utah Education Association to subsidize the cost of projects. Morgan Middle School is very grateful for the financial support of the Utah Credit Union Education Foundation. They previously donated $1000 towards the purchase of the wind tunnel and just awarded another $1500. This new grant will enable students to design and build solutions to engineering problems and/or compete in the Science Olympiad using Teacher Geek components. Students who participate in the program will earn credit in their mathematics, science, and technology and engineering class. I am very thankful for the opportunity to teach in Morgan. I have a well equipped facility, professional and dedicated colleagues to work with, and a supportive administration. I should not forget the many hard working and talented students enrolled in our school, said shop teacher Dr. Brian Rutherford. We are fortunate to have a teacher of this caliber working with the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students of Morgan Middle School says Principal of Morgan Middle School, Mike Madeo!
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