According to the new guideline for the subject of Technology Education, “measurement and control by programming”, “growth of living things”, and “energy transformation”, which had previously been elective topics, are to become mandatory.Therefore, it will be necessary to develop compound teaching materials that can be used to teach these topics.In this research, we developed practical teaching material synthesizing these topics.The developed teaching material is an automatic watering system in which soil water is measured and used as feedback to control the watering mechanism. As a preliminary test before introducing this teaching material in junior high schools, we administered mock lessons to university students five times. The average scores for all the question items improved after the lesson, and the improvement was particularly remarkable for the questions about acquiring knowledge. Matriculation School in Kumbakonam
Technology education in schools is important not only because it will prepare a technologically proficient workforce, but also because it will educate a technologically literate citizenry capable of making intelligent personal and public policy decisions .Therefore, when the Japanese government announced the revision of the teaching guideline for junior high schools, which cover grades seven, eight, and nine,in March 2008, the following topics in the subject of Technology Education that had previously been electives were made mandatory: (a) “measurement and control by programming” (b) “growth of living things” (c) “energy transformation”.
In addition, the objective of Technology Education in the new guideline is to acquire basic knowledge and skills about “materials and their processing”,“energy transformation”, “growth of living things”,and “information technology”through practical and firsthand learning activities.
When using this system as a teaching material in junior high schools, the topics covered would include
(1) making a watering mechanism
(2) making a soil water sensor
(3) examining the characteristics of the soil water sensor in particular types of soil
(4) setting up the microcontrollerboard
(5) writing programs on the boardand testing whether theycan control the watering system properly. Making a watering mechanismrequires both creativity and ingenuity, and will allowstudentstoacquire knowledge and skills related to“materials and their processing”.