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Home > About Project The TECH-know Poject

In preparation for a statewide technology education competition, a high school teacher gives a challenging problem to students: construct a hand-launched, balsa wood, glider that will fly for a maximum amount of time and conform to specific competition guidelines. This problem is one example of the many technology-based competitive events which annually challenges more than 100,000 middle and high school students.

The TECH know Project is based upon twenty technology-based problems issued by the Technology Student Association (TSA). The problems cover a wide variety of topics in construction, communication, manufacturing, and transportation technology. The competition engages students in hands-on, problem-based learning and is based upon fundamental science, mathematics, and technology concepts. Although the problems are motivational and interesting to students, there is a lack of instructional materials related to the problems.

The TECH know Project is designed to remedy this deficiency.North Carolina State University recently received a four-year grant from the National Science Foundation to develop standards-based instructional materials for twenty TSA Competitive Events. The TECH-know project represents a significant collaboration between selected state departments, universities, businesses, and TSA.

Over the next four years, teachers from North Carolina, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Florida will have the opportunity to pilot units that reflect the Standards for Technological Literacy, National Science Education Standards, and the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, and TSA Competitive Events. Business and industry professionals will use their practical expertise in reviewing the TSA problems to identify the essential concepts that teachers should teach and students will need to learn to be successful in solving real world problems.

The TECH-know project will develop publications based upon TSA competitive events and the profits from the publications will be returned to TSA to fund the development of future instructional materials. Since the publication will be standards-based, it has the potential to encourage broader integration of TSA competitive events in the classroom. The receiving of this grant confirms the value of using TSA events to implement standards based curriculum.

The projected outcomes of the TECH-know project include:

  • The publication of high quality instructional materials that enhance the development of fundamental science, mathematics, and technology knowledge.
  • The development of student creativity and critical thinking skills related to science, mathematics, and technology through the application of problem-based, inquiry-guided pedagogy.
  • Positive student attitudes toward science, mathematics, and technology.
How TSA will benefit from the TECH-know Project?
  • Increased awareness of the TSA and its importance to technology education.
  • Through research conducted during the TECH-know Project.
  • Profits from the publication will go back to TSA to continue future curriculum development projects

This is an exciting opportunity for NC State University, TSA, and Technology Education. Congratulations to all of those involved.
For more information about the TECH-know project, you may contact us at:

NSF# 0095726 - 2001



NC State University - NCSU Department of Education NC State University NCSU College of Education




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