PTI
PTI Curriculum Units Events FAQ Contact Links
IMGALTTAG
IMGALTTAG Volume IV: Machines in the Wilderness


Calculating the Past and Present Using Historical Facts and Modern Technology
Dorothy A. Coates
Allderdice High School

This curriculum unit will explore various methods used to perform mathematical computation via mechanical aids. The journey will begin with the abacus and continue through to the present with the use of modern technology. During these activities, students are given the opportunity to use the graphing calculator, TI 83 Plus, when working with very sophisticated mathematical functions. In the various lessons, students create algebraic models, graph functions, develop regression models, and create tables and scatter plots. The use of modern technology allows multiple representations to be used in the classroom. This approach alone facilitates the transition from a traditional class format to discovery learning.

This unit has application problems which connect to real historical facts. The activities are designed to bring about motivation, active participation, and hands-on experiences. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) has provided standards that allow connections across many disciplines. In a sense, this helps broaden students’ understanding of various concepts. As a whole, the primary focus of the various lessons is to provide students with connections that help to elicit and build their mathematical thinking. Real world problem solving events, Pennsylvania State Population, High School Rumor, and the Wheat and Cotton Industry will be used to bring about connections across many subjects.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

Early Steamboats with Emphasis on
Pittsburgh’s Role in the Steamboat Era
Billie J. Gailey, Ph.D.
Arsenal Middle School

This curriculum unit was designed to be used at the middle school level. The material deals with early transportation in the United States and focuses on the development and use of the steamboat. Both text and lessons include general information and specific references to the city of Pittsburgh and the use of steamboats there. However, the material can be adapted to be used in other areas of the United States. The lessons were prepared to offer a variety of experiences for students that can be used for students of varying ability levels.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

Machines: French Inventions and the Impact on Society
David Ghogomu
Taylor Allderdice High School

Some inventions and innovations catalyzed the Industrial Revolution, which in turn hastened more inventions. In America, as in some other European countries, rapid production of high volume industrial, agricultural and textile goods necessitated the improvement of transportation systems to markets and for exportation purposes. This necessity led to many inventions which facilitated road building, and railway construction. Transportation and travel by water was also improved upon, as faster engine boats replaced the sail. Air transportation followed suite, but time brought improvement to existing machines, even as more new ones were being invented. Today, modern transportation is characterized by fast and comfortable trains, planes, boats, and cars. Modern means of communication include satellite phones, faxes, internet mail, etc.

Though the industrial Revolution might have started in England, France has a long list of inventions and innovations that are instrumental in the social, economic, scientific and even political progress enjoyed today. Ranging from basic items, such as the bicycle, French inventions and innovations feature in, amongst other sectors, transportation, science, medicine, technology, communication, and education.

Learning about these French inventions in the French classroom provides the opportunity for students to improve their French language skills and cultural awareness as well. In doing research about French inventions, students not only learn about these inventors, but also about the society then, as well as the impact of the invention. Moreover, they come across new words in the target language which they can more often than in other situations associate with the research topic later on. This is a proven effective way of vocabulary acquisition. This method is re-enforced in the process of teaching this curriculum unit, and each individual student is required to make a list of new words which is disseminated to the rest of the class for study. Presentations by students are also a means of improving student language skills. Student reports and presentations during the teaching of the unit are completely in French, as are the questions asked by colleagues after each presentation. By the end of the two-week period, the curriculum unit will have provided the venue for learning about the industrial revolution and inventions in general, and French inventions in particular, as well as the impact on the French society in particular and the society at large.

Suggestions for research and report include the bicycle, the car, the airplane, the train, the guillotine, the Braille, the aqualung , the Minitel, the film projector, the adding machine, the microcomputer, the TGV, etc. Students make their own proposal on any chosen topic invented by the French. Research and presentations level can be modified by the teacher to accommodate the level and track of the class.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

Agriculture: A Retrospective View
Stephanie Johnson
Helen S. Faison Arts Academy

The purpose of this unit is to acquaint kindergarten students with gardening through the use of different elements, which help make a successful gardener. The elements are historical information, ecosystems within the garden, planting and caring for a garden.

We will be exploring these elements through an Edible Schoolyard at our school. We along with Grow Pittsburgh will work together. The students will be engaged through this unit with hands on lessons and fieldtrips. This unit has a technology component that explores hand tools. The theories in this unit provide ample opportunity for creative expression for teacher and student.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG

Media History in Middle School:
A Two Year Outline for a Magnet Arts School Course
Sheila A. McBride
Rogers Middle CAPA, Pittsburgh, PA

This unit grew out of the “Machine in the Wilderness” 2007 PTI seminar about the history of technology in America. For a Media Arts course at Rogers CAPA Middle School for the Creative and Performing Arts, I have created the outline of approximately a dozen categories to form the basis of a two-year curriculum for “media history” for 7th and 8th grade media majors. The sequence of media categories is designed to provide a simple, hands-on way for middle school students to begin to grasp the history of media development in context. Eventually each of the media categories will become a unit of its own. In this document I provide a simple outline for most of the units, while fleshing out one only unit – on Visual Storytelling and Photography -- more fully.  Suggestions for age- and interest-appropriate class assignments are provided, as are ideas for reading materials, class presentations, and visual supplements. Educational materials about the media are most often designed for college undergraduates, and occasionally for high school students. In particular, I wanted to adapt these materials to the design of “fun” in-class and out-of-class activities/ assignments more appropriate to middle school students. Within the larger curriculum, my goal has been to create a prototype for a unit of lessons formed around short, hands-on activities which bring history alive to middle school students. This might be of interest to teachers of magnet media arts classes and to other middle (or even high school) teachers who want to include media in communication, social studies, or art classes.


Click here to view complete unit.
IMGALTAG



Chatham University
IMGALTTAG
IMGALTTAG
IMGALTTAG Pittsburgh Teachers Institute
Jointly sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University and the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
IMGALTTAG
IMGALTTAG