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Automation & Robotics - Parent/Community Course Guide

Adopted by Board of School Directors on March 2014
Grade Levels
: 07 |

Course Description

The Gateway to Technology program addresses the interest of middle school students while incorporating national standards in mathematics, science and technology. The activity-oriented, cutting-edge program shows students how technology is used in engineering to solve everyday problems. The Gateway to Technology program currently consists of three instructional units that motivate students to become creative innovators. During this experience, students will gain the skills they need to develop, produce and use products and services. The two units that are addressed in seventh grade are: Automation and Robotics and Magic of Electrons.

In the Automation and Robotics unit, students trace the history, development and influence of automation of robotics. They learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation and computer control systems. Students use a robust robotics platform (VEX robotics design system) to design, build and program a solution to solve an existing problem.

In the Magic of Electrons unit. students acquire knowledge and skills in basic circuitry design and examine the impact of electricity on our lives. Through hands-on projects, students explore the science of electricity, behavior and parts of atoms, and sensing devices.

Core Curriculum Content Standards

PA Core

PA Common Core: Science and Technical Subjects (2012)
Writing: Students write for different purposes and audiences. Students write clear and focused text to convey a well-defined perspective and appropriate content.
  • Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.-Introduce claim(s) about a topic or issue, acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.-Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evid (3.6.6-8.A)
  • PA Common Core: Mathematics (2013)
    Numbers and Operations
    GRADE 7
  • Analyze proportional relationships and use them to model and solve real-world and mathematical problems. (2.1.7.D1)
  • Apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions to operations with rational numbers. (2.1.7.E1)
  • Algebraic Concepts
    GRADE 7
  • Model and solve real-world and mathematical problems by using and connecting numerical, algebraic, and/or graphical representations. (2.2.7.B3)
  • PA Common Core: English Language Arts (2013)
    Reading Informational Text: Students read, understand, and respond to informational text – with emphasis on comprehension, making connections among ideas and between texts with focus on textual evidence.
    GRADE 7
  • Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text. (1.2.7.A)
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in grade level reading and content, including interpretation of figurative, connotative, and technical meanings. (1.2.7.F)
  • Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression. (1.2.7.J)
  • Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade level reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies and tools. (1.2.7.K)
  • Writing: Students write for different purposes and audiences. Students write clear and focused text to convey a well-defined perspective and appropriate content.
    GRADE 7
  • Write informative/ explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information clearly. (1.4.7.A)
  • Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation. (1.4.7.V)
  • Speaking and Listening: Students present appropriately in formal speaking situations, listen critically, and respond intelligently as individuals or in group discussions.
    GRADE 7
  • Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions, on grade level topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. (1.5.7.A)
  • Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation. (1.5.7.D)

  • PA Academic

    Sci & Tech - Physical Sciences: Chemistry and Physics (2009-2012)
    Sci & Tech - Physics
    GRADE 7
  • Describe how energy can be changed from one form to another (transformed) as it moves through a system or transferred from one system to another system. (3.2.7.B2)
  • Explain how electrical current is produced by the flow of electrons. Explain and demonstrate how electric current produces magnetic forces and how moving magnets produce electric current. (3.2.7.B4)
  • Sci & Tech - Technology and Engineering Education (2009-2012)
    The Scope of Technology
    GRADE 7
  • Explain how technology is closely linked to creativity, which has resulted in innovation and invention. (3.4.7.A1)
  • Explain how different technologies involve different sets of processes. (3.4.7.A2)
  • Explain how knowledge gained from other fields of study has a direct effect on the development of technological products and systems. (3.4.7.A3)
  • Technology and Society
    GRADE 7
  • Explain how the use of technology can have consequences that affect humans in many ways. (3.4.7.B1)
  • Explain how decisions to develop and use technologies may be influenced by environmental and economic concerns. (3.4.7.B2)
  • Describe how invention and innovation lead to changes in society and the creation of new needs and wants. (3.4.7.B3)
  • Explain how many inventions and innovations have evolved by using deliberate and methodical processes of tests and refinements. (3.4.7.B4)
  • Technology and Engineering Design
    GRADE 7
  • Describe how design, as a creative planning process, leads to useful products and systems. (3.4.7.C1)
  • Explain how modeling, testing, evaluating, and modifying are used to transform ideas into practical solutions. (3.4.7.C2)
  • Describe how troubleshooting as a problem-solving method may identify the cause of a malfunction in a technological system. (3.4.7.C3)
  • Abilities for a Technological World
    GRADE 7
  • Identify and collect information about everyday problems that can be solved by technology and generate ideas and requirements for solving a problem. (3.4.7.D1)
  • Select and safely use appropriate tools, products and systems for specific tasks. (3.4.7.D2)
  • Use data collected to analyze and interpret trends in order to identify the positive or negative effects of a technology. (3.4.7.D3)
  • The Designed World
    GRADE 7
  • Examine the efficiency of energy use in our environment (3.4.7.E3)
  • Explain how processes, such as receiving, holding, storing, loading, moving, unloading, delivering, evaluating, marketing, managing and communicating are necessary for the entire system to operate efficiently. (3.4.7.E5)

  • Units

    Unit #1 - What is Engineering?
    Unit #2 - Design Process
    Unit #3 - What is Electricity?
    Unit #4 - Electronics
    Unit #5 - Digital Electronics
    Unit #6 - What is Automation and Robotics
    Unit #7 - Mechanical Systems
    Unit #8 - Automated Systems

    Course Resources