TIJ Exploring Technology

Exploring Technology

Advances in technology have resulted in a broad range of Communication Media. In this, the “Information Age”, each of us is exposed daily to vast quantities of information by way of these technologies. Many of our students will find careers in the broad field of technology; therefore these courses are exploratory in nature, allowing students exposure to the varied technologies involved in an era of increasingly complex communication structures and technological advancements. Through a series of activity-based projects, the students will explore a broad range of technologies which integrate a number of technical and academic disciplines. Each student will learn in a manner which best suits him / her individually and in small groups. Theory will be conveyed through reading and written and practical assignments. Emphasis is placed on the process used by the students to complete the projects.

Broad Based Technology courses that are offered by the technological studies department at SATEC are designed to provide every student with an opportunity to achieve success and to participate responsibly in a pluralistic society. The needs of our student population who come from diverse cultural, racial, economic and educational backgrounds are recognized and integrated into the various programs. With the emphasis shifting from the specific technological skills to the development of the more transferable skills, students are provided with an opportunity to develop a range of knowledge, skills and attitudes related to technology in order to enhance their own life styles in a rapidly changing world of technology.

Courses are designed to introduce the student to concepts of group work, problem solving, co-operative learning and independent study while producing real life products in a project driven format. Projects are structured to allow flexibility in the school environment, incorporate all areas of Broad Based Technology and allow students the freedom to expand ideas and join in problem solving techniques. It is expected that this process will provide students with real opportunities to achieve success.


The Grade 9 Exploring Technology classroom here at SATEC @ W. A. Porter is an exciting, fast-paced learning environment!  The opportunity this programme offers is to truly ‘explore’ different technologies and their applications extensively.


In the SATEC Technology department, we value the goals that individual students have for career development and we therefore place particular emphasis on:


  • Twenty-first century literacy – “Learning How To Learn”
  • Personal work habits, interpersonal communication skills and character traits
  • Thinking skills including goal-setting, planning and information processing
  • Problem-solving and design for environmental and social sustainability
  • The significance, in the workplace, of fundamental concepts such as... aesthetics, control, environmental sustainability/stewardship, ergonomics, fabrication/building/ creation, function, innovation, material, mechanism, power and energy, safety, structure and systems.
  • Technical Communication Skills -- written, verbal, structured data, visual / graphic
  • Project management and learning management


The course is organized into approximately two (2) week intervals.  This means there are seven (7) different learning experiences for each and every student within a term.  All the coursework is project-based learning.  A portion of these seven projects are considered units where the entire class focuses on the same learning goals.  The other portion of projects are self-directed learning opportunities set up and a module format - rotations.  Students participate in three (3) rotations of their own choosing.


Our Unit topics are as follows:


  • research focusing on Broad Based Technologies
  • students create slide show presentations that focus on their future careers and how technology, good work habits, positive characteristics and essential skills play a role in achieving their goals
  • students are introduced to fundamental concepts and processes that recur over and over again - in school and in the workplace - that teach how to manage your learning and manage your time



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Design Planning:

Hand Drafting

  • understanding the concept of orthographic and isometric technical drawing
  • practicing visualization skills, measurement and dimensioning, attention to detail and utilizing industry standards re documentation



Design Process Theory applied through Prototyping:

Architectural Design or

Structural Design

  • learning to organize our thoughts, ideas and research in a systematic way to achieve built design work
  • testing of prototypes and reflection leading to potential design improvements 
  • /architectural/engineering design principles
  • use of model making skills to build a prototype 

Design Process:

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Architectural Design:



Structural Design:



Final Culminating Project

  • a culminating project that incorporates the design process, technical drawing, model making skills, use of hand tools and contemplative reflection
  • engineering and / or architectural design principles
  • project topics could include magnetic levitation vehicles, CNC Router wood project and /  or 3D Printing

MagLev Vehicle:








Our Rotation topics are as follows:








AutoCAD (mandatory)

  • computer aided 2D / 3D technical drawing


3D Max

  • computer aided 3D technical drawing and animation


  • 2D graphic design
  • custom t-shirt making



  • students study architectural design theory and precedents to inform their own condo designs


3D Printing - Additive Manufacturing

  • students utilize their CAD skills to design and print out a 3D Printed model



CNC Lathe & Mill

  • computer numerical control lathe cutting + mill
  • students design a g-code programme to control the lathe

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Lego NXT Robotics

  • build robots and create programmes to operate them

Pegasus Robotic Arm

  • programme the articulated arm servo robot to complete sorting and material handling tasks
  • the Pegasus mimics robots used in manufacturing applications





  • students learn to setup and operate a pneumatic machine
  • students learn to read and create technical pneumatic drawing


  • students learn to setup and operate a hydraulic machine
  • students learn to read and create technical hydraulic drawing


  • students learn to document and create series / parallel circuits with differing loads and switches