Journal: Scientist vs. Engineer
Pictures for GO (cutouts)
Scientific research &
Lesson 1-1E What is Science? engineering paragraph
0607.T/E.3 I can explain intended benefits and unintended consequences of a new
What is Engineering Blog: http://sciencefriday.com/blogs/02/21/2012/what-is-
Untangling the Hairy Physics of Rapunzel:
III. Direct Instruction Science, Engineering and Technology
A. Science Applied: Engineering and Technology
Engineering involves applying scientific and mathematical knowledge to design and
operate objects, systems, and processes to help us solve problems or reach goals. These
processes often involve developing new technologies. Though we usually associate the
word technology with things like microchips and satellites, in fact, the concept applies to
a broad range of innovations. From the simplest of tools (like a chimpanzee's termite
fishing stick), to practical problem-solving (like adding fluoride to water to help prevent
cavities), anything we make or do that changes the natural world for our own purposes
counts as technology.
Engineering and the development of new technologies are closely tied to science. We use many
technologies in scientific studies, and scientific knowledge helps engineers do their jobs and
build new technologies. But is engineering the same thing as science? If you're developing the
next generation of handheld music players or a new fuel derived from corn plants are you doing
Use the Science Checklist to see how engineering is similar to and different from science:
Focuses on the natural world?
The natural world (in the scientific sense of the term) includes all components of the physical
universe around us, including artificial, human-made things. Engineering does focus on the
natural world, allowing us to, for example, shape raw materials into the components
necessary to build a radio or design a more efficient process for separating medically useful
plant compounds from toxic ones.
Aims to explain the natural world?
As one might expect, engineering's main focus is not on explanations but on applications. So
while, for example, new scientific explanations of sound waves might be uncovered while
developing a technology to carry sound over long distances, such explanations are not the
central goal of engineering.
Uses testable ideas?
Engineering is dependent on scientific knowledge, which is testable. In addition, a new
technology can itself serve as a test of scientific ideas. For instance, the first antenna was
developed as a test of basic ideas about how electricity and magnetism work. If the antenna
had worked very differently than anticipated or had not worked at all, it could have prompted
a re-examination of that basic knowledge.
A Hertz radiator (left) and resonator, circa 1890, were the first
devices built to produce and detect radio waves.
Relies on evidence?
Generally, technological innovations are tested and evidence is collected to determine how
effective the new tool is. Furthermore, engineers often rely on multiple rounds of testing,
evidence collection, and design modification in order to optimize the performance of a new
technology. For example, more than 20 years of evidence gathering went into the
development of a safe and effective polio vaccine. Nevertheless, it's important to note that,
while science's main focus is devising and performing multiple tests of ideas, engineering is
concerned with testing mainly for its ability to advance the development of a technology.
Involves the scientific community?
In many cases, the seed of a new technology is developed within the scientific community;
other times this occurs as business-oriented research and development. While the business
community often employs a collaborative work environment like that of science, it has a
different emphasis (bringing products and services to market, as opposed to building
knowledge), and so adheres to a different set of standards than does the scientific community.
For example, the business community can be less oriented towards openly sharing ideas (e.g.,
proprietary information, like trade secrets) than the scientific community. However, it's
important to keep in mind that many scientists work in business communities and that many
engineers work in scientific ones; so there is no hard and fast line here between scientists and
engineers in this regard.
Leads to ongoing research?
Developing new technologies often, but not always, leads to ongoing research. This can
happen in at least two ways. First, a new technology may inspire ongoing research to refine
and improve the product. Just consider recent advances in electronics — from the bulky,
simple transistors of the 1950s to the powerful microchips inside modern computers. Such
innovation requires intense research. Second, new technologies can lead to advances in
purely scientific research by making new data or analysis tools available. For example, the
Hubble Space Telescope was a ground-breaking technological achievement. With it,
astronomers could make deeper and more focused observations of the universe, which led to
further research on topics like star formation and black holes.
Scientific research and engineering are closely related. In fact, they are linked in a
positive feedback loop. Science builds knowledge of how the natural world works,
engineers use that knowledge to develop useful technologies, and these
technologies may, in turn, provide key observations and tools that help scientists
build even more knowledge of the natural world. Despite this close relationship,
the two fields are distinct in that the main aim of engineering is applying scientific
ideas in practical ways — not figuring out how the natural world works. Hence,
those involved with each endeavor may adhere to different sets of norms that
support their distinct goals.
See Science and Technology p. 11
B. Scientist vs. Engineer graphic organizer.
IV. Direct Instruction Benefits and Consequences of New Technology
A. Fossil Fuel
Humans are different from all other
life. You have learned how you can
use fuels to make energy to power
machines like cars, planes and
computers. This way, you don’t
have to work so much and you can
stay warm without the fat, fur or
feathers that other animals have.
You get the fuel to make all this
extra energy mostly by digging it
out of the ground and burning it.
This releases ancient energy stores -
fossil fuels - made by billions of
tiny plants and animals which lived
millions of years ago. This stuff has
been locked away underground ever
since, covered up by younger rocks
that got laid down on top.
These fossil fuels all come from underground; inside the Earth's crust. And that is where they
should stay because burning them does a lot of damage to the air we all breathe, the oceans and
living things on the land. I'll say more about that later in this guide.
You can burn any of these fuels, coal, oil or gas, to make electricity in power stations. How?
But electricity is only one form of energy used by people. The biggest guzzlers of energy from
burning fossil fuels are
keeping homes and offices warm in winter and cool in summer
transport: you know... cars, buses, some trains, ships and aircraft
Fuels for heating can be any fossil fuel though people mostly use oil or gas because they're easier
and less dirty.
1. Brainstorm the intended benefits of the technology fossil fuel for heat.
a. Fossil fuels are very efficient for producing heat.
b. Fossil fuels have the potential to provide power for the whole world.
c. Fossil fuels, like coal, are available in abundance.
d. Infrastructure for fossil fuel is fully developed.
e. Transportation of liquid or gaseous fossil fuels is very easy.
f. Fossil fuels are cheaper than non-conventional forms of energy, as it is easy to
extract and process them.
2. Brainstorm the unintended consequences of the technology.
a. Because people are overusing fossil fuels, like oil and natural gas, there has been
a substantial depletion.
b. Fossil fuels are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide
and methane which are negatively impacting the ozone layer, a protective cover
above the earth that is essential for the survival of all species.
c. Fossil fuels also emit harmful gases like carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide
which produce rain.
d. Fossil fuels, being the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, are responsible for
global warming and climate change.
e. Extraction of fossil fuels threatens the ecological balance in many areas. For
example coal mining is also a reason for earthquakes.
f. Fossil fuel are non-renewable because it takes millions of years to replace.
B. Engineers created a green technology to help reduce the use of oil. Engineers created
ethanol (a corn based additive) to add to gasoline to make help extend the supply of
gas. However, The Guardian obtained a leaked copy of a World Bank report and they
published the report’s findings. The report concluded that biofuel producers’ demand
for corn pushed prices higher for everyone, including those who need corn for fool.
1. What is the intended benefit of corn based biofuel?
2. What is the unintended consequence of corn based biofuel?
C. What are the intended benefits of solar panels? What do you think might be the
unintended consequences of solar panels?
Many people admire solar photovoltaic cells for silently extracting clean energy from
the sun’s rays but the panels contain heavy metals that leach into the groundwater
when disposed at the end of their lifecycle.
V. Secondary Practice
A. Journal Entry:
1. Consider electronic gadgets – cell phones, digital cameras and video cameras, iPods,
flat-screen TVs, laptops, and so forth.
a. Brainstorm the intended benefits of these devices.
Easier communication, access to data, entertainment, promotes education
b. Brainstorm the unintended consequences of these devices.
Costs and energy costs.
A recent report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that
new devices such as MP3 players, cell phones, and flat-screen TVs will
triple energy consumption. Two hundred new nuclear power plants would
be needed just to power all the TVs, iPods, PCs, and other devices
expected to be used by 2030.
For example, consider televisions. The IEA estimates that 2 billion TVs
will soon be in use across the world (an average of 1.3 TVs for every
household with electricity). TVs are also getting bigger and being left on
for longer periods of time. IEA predicts a 5 percent annual increase in
energy consumption between 1990 and 2030 from televisions alone.
Greater access to technology enables widespread communication and
promotes education, but also requires more energy – most of which comes
from fossil fuels. Burning those fossil fuels releases more greenhouse
gases into the atmosphere, accelerating climate change and causing Arctic
sea ice decline. So all those iPods do impact polar bears after all.
2. Work in your table groups and discuss your assigned technology. List the unintended
consequences of your technology and brainstorm ideas that would promote energy
(ereaders, iPods, laptops, cell phones, flat-screened TV, desktop computers)
Technological solutions have intended benefits and unintended consequences.
Some consequences can be predicted, others cannot.
0607.T/E.3 I can explain intended benefits and unintended consequences of a
Discuss with your family and write about the intended benefits and the unintended
consequences of Facebook.
D. Redo Reading Informational Text Worksheet from Lesson 1-1