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Tech Systems

Page history last edited by DustinWindsor 10 years, 9 months ago

Welcome to Tech Systems. This year, we will be accepting a lot more responsibility for our own learning as students will pick 9 of the following activities to do in tech systems. Since we have about 30 different activities to choose from, we believe that each student can do something new, regardless of whether he / she has taken tech systems before. 


Please read the course syllabus at this location: Tech Systems Syllabus.pdf


Our Curriculum

Do you like designing things? Buildings, homes, puzzles, and all sorts of other stuff? If so, SketchUp is for you. SketchUp is a robust architectural design program by Google that can create lots of other things other than buildings. SketchUp is a free download from Google, so if you find that you really like it, you can download it for your computer at home, whether you have a PC, Macintosh, or Linux. SketchUp is one of the favorites of past classes, so if this appeals to you, put it on your list and give it a try.


SketchUp can be downloaded from http://www.sketchup.com/intl/en/


Scratch is a simple programming language that can be used to design your own games, learning aids, or just about anything else you can imagine. It has a graphical interface that makes it easy and intuitive to make your own programs. In Scratch, you will explore the basics of programming and learn to create your own Widgets and animate them in a game of your own creation. Scratch projects can be uploaded to the main Scratch webpage for others to download and personalize for themselves. 


Scratch can be downloaded at http://scratch.mit.edu/. You can also view examples of user created work at this same website.



Kodu is a game designer program that you can use to create interesting and fun games for your computer or X-Box. Like Scratch, it uses a graphical interface to program your sprites to do just about anything. Your possibilities are endless to the fun you can have programming and playing your own games in Kodu.



Kerbal Space Program is a multi-genre game where the players create their own space program.

In KSP, you must build a space-worthy craft, capable of flying its crew out into space, without killing them. At your disposal is a collection of parts, which must be assembled to create a functional ship. Each part has its own function and will affect the way a ship flies (or doesn't). So strap yourself in, and get ready to try some Rocket Science!


Blender is another free downloadable application that we will be exploring this semester. Blender is a 3D animation software package that makes is possible to create characters and scenes and have them interact in their environment. This is an excellent tool for creating games and gives the learner the opportunity to explore as deeply as they care to go through the use of volumes of online tutorials available. Our use of the application will hopefully pique your interest to explore it further on your own. 


Blender can be downloaded at http://www.blender.org/. A gallery of Blender creations including videos can be viewed at http://www.blender.org/features-gallery/.


 Lego Robotics

LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT is back and better than ever: new models, more customisable programming and all-new technologies! MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 combines the versatility of the LEGO building system with all-new technologies, an intelligent microcomputer brick and intuitive drag-and-drop programming software. The new 2.0 toolkit features everything you need to create your first robot in 30 minutes and then thousands of other robotics inventions that do what you want!



 iBooks Author

For iBooks Author, we will leave our classroom and meet in the school's Macintosh lab. iBooks Author is a free application that is available only for Macintosh computers. With it, we will create our own interactive book that we can download to the iPad. iBooks Author allows you to create and publish amazing multi-touch books. iBooks Author comes with galleries, video, interactive diagrams, 3D objects, mathematical expressions, and more. 


iBooks Author can be downloaded to your Macintosh computer at http://www.apple.com/ibooks-author/.

Examples of books created with iBooks Author can be accessed through the iTunes application.



In addition to these applications, we will also be using the Pitsco Learning System for two of our favorite module activities. 


Research and Design
In Research & Design, students design, manufacture, and race a model CO2-powered dragster car. Students design their car to meet certain specifications and limitations so that it qualifies as a legal car on race day. They learn the concepts and terms in the design process as well as gain an understanding of lift and drag on an object. After they finish their car, students test it in several ways and predict its performance. You will need to purchase a set of protective eye glasses for this module.


Rocketry and Space
In Rocketry & Space
, students learn about the development of rocketry and the United States space program and its history. The principles of rocket design, propulsion, and certain scientific principles that are fundamental to successful rocket flight are important concepts in this title. Students construct and launch a model rocket as a means of bringing application to the scientific concepts presented.

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