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2.4: Lesson 2.3 Technology

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

Key Concept

Technology is the application of knowledge to real-world problems by professionals called engineers. The development of new technology is known as technological design. Technology, science, and society are all interrelated.


  • MCR.6-8.SCI.13.3, 6; MCR.6-8.TECH.1, 2, 3, 4, 6
  • NSES.5-8.A.2.4; NSES.5-8.E.1.2; NSES.5-8.E.2.1, 3, 4, 5; NSES.5-8.F.5. 3, 5, 6, 7
  • AAAS.6-8.1.C.7; AAAS.6-8.3.A.2, 3; AAAS.6-8.3.B.1; AAAS.6-8.3.C.3, 4, 6, 7, 8; AAAS.6-8.6.A.3, 4, 6

Lesson Objectives

  • Define technology.
  • Outline the technological design process.
  • Explain how science and technology are related.
  • Describe how technology and society influence each other.

Lesson Vocabulary

  • engineer: professional in technology
  • technological design: development of new technology
  • technology: application of knowledge to real-world problems

Teaching Strategies

Introducing the Lesson

Mars One is a private enterprise plan to settle people permanently on Mars by 2023. The plan is to be financed by making the entire endeavor a reality TV show. Although some people think Mars One might be a hoax, it is a very interesting vehicle for introducing technology. Share with students the Mars One proposal (see URL below), and show them the video about the project so they can learn about the technological challenges and proposed solutions. Tell students they will learn how engineers solve technological challenges such as these in this lesson.


Students can apply lesson concepts with the minds-on activity “Surviving on Planet Niwrad.” Teacher guidelines and a student handout are available at the URL below.

Differentiated Instruction

Help visual learners and less proficient readers see the relationship between technology and science by working with them to make a compare-contrast table (see sample Table below). Label the rows and columns of the table, and then call on students to fill in the cells.

Comparing and Contrasting Science and Technology
Properties Science Technology
Goal to increase knowledge to use knowledge for practical purposes
Method scientific investigation technological design


Ask a few students to learn more about the evolution of modern computers. Then have them create a PowerPoint presentation to share what they learn with the rest of the class and extend lesson content.

Science Inquiry

Have groups of students do the “Backpack Challenge” to design a backpack that meets multiple needs. The activity will show students that there are usually many possible solutions to a design problem and give them first-hand experience with trade-offs and constraints on technological design. At the URL below, you can find a step-by-step description of the activity and handouts for students.

Real-World Connection

Challenge students to brainstorm as many examples of technology in their daily lives as they can think of. (Examples might include cell phones, TVs, computers, lighting, microwave ovens, motor vehicles, and materials such as plastics and glass.) For each example, ask students to identify the problem or need that the technology solves. Encourage students to think about what their lives would be like without the different technologies.

Reinforce and Review

Lesson Worksheets

Copy and distribute the lesson worksheets in the CK-12 Physical Science for Middle School Workbook. Ask students to complete the worksheets alone or in pairs to reinforce lesson content.

Lesson Review Questions

Have students answer the Review Questions listed at the end of the lesson in the FlexBook® student edition.

Lesson Quiz

Check students’ mastery of the lesson with Lesson 2.3 Quiz in CK-12 Physical Science for Middle School Quizzes and Tests.

Points to Consider

Nanotechnology manipulates atoms and molecules of matter.

  • What is matter? What are its characteristics?
  • Do you think all matter consists of atoms and molecules?

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Date Created:
Nov 11, 2013
Last Modified:
Nov 10, 2014
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