“Technology, for Better or Worse?”  7th Grade Franklin School of Innovation Expedition Archives 2017, Updated Weekly!

“Technology, for Better or Worse?” 7th Grade Franklin School of Innovation Expedition Archives 2017, Updated Weekly!

Franklin’s 7th Grade Kicks off 2017 Learning Expedition!

February 6, 2017

7th Graders  kicked off their expedition: “Technology, for Better or Worse?” on the Franklin campus in early February. Practicing Habits of Scholarship, they navigated  through a sequence of multi-sensory stations each purposefully designed to spark curiosity, inquiry, and the need to know more.  These stations included:

  • experts from the field of local textile history and museum design,

  • experimentation in mathematical scale drawing,

  • a simple machines scavenger hunt,  (We happen to have some simple and complex machines on campus!)

  • and the design/creation of their expedition field journal.

Over the next few weeks these interdisciplinary field journals will be filled with notes, observations, ideas, and plans as students learn about simple machines, the textile industry, and how technology has impacted our world.

Thank you to our 7th grade teaching team, Peggy McKay, Ethan Burns, Katie Lapinski, and Judy Carhart for designing and leading this expedition!  We are also grateful for our local expert on the history of Biltmore Homespun and the Grovewood Homespun museum, Mr. Tom Anders for visiting Franklin with a multitude of artifacts and knowledge to inspire inquiry for further learning.

IMG_0589 - Copy_editedIMG_0615 - Copy_editedIMG_0590 - CopyIMG_0624 - CopyIMG_0635 - CopyIMG_0633 - Copy

 IMG_0587 - CopyIMG_0640 (1) - CopyIMG_0599 - Copy

IMG_0610 - CopyIMG_0595 - CopyIMG_0608 - Copy

 IMG_2189IMG_0648_editedIMG_0627 - Copy
Guiding Questions

How does technology change our culture and community?

Who gets left behind as technology advances?

Here’s a summary Expedition overview from the 7th grade team:

The forces created by machines propel us in many ways; literally, when when we ride in cars and airplanes, and figuratively, as technology changes our way of life.  Throughout this expedition, students explore these figurative and physical forces. While studying the force of gravity in science, they will simultaneously study the gravitas of workers’ rights through a unit on industrialization in social studies and a book study of Lyddie, by Katherine Paterson, in ELA. As they learn how machines work in science, they will learn how the work of machines has changed the labor and lives of people. In math students will combine art and precise measurements and calculations to create accurate scaled drawings of machines, employing skills of real engineers. Across the curriculum, students will unpack the impact of technology. They will trouble the notion that technology is good by looking at examples of how it has changed the lives of people for better and for worse, asking questions such as “Who gets left behind as technology advances?” They will conclude their expedition by creating a museum exhibit that highlights applications of simple machines that have changed the world. They will present their exhibits at the local Asheville Museum of Science to an audience of museum goers in a shared celebration of learning on March 22. (Stay tuned for more details about this adventure in learning!)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Background knowledge:  Prior to the expedition kick-off, Ms. Lapinski’s Social Studies class explored The Industrial Revolution.  Beginning with a simulation of cottage-industry to post industrial assembly line manufacturing, students learned about specific machines invented by innovators as a means of increasing the efficiency of work.  7th graders traced the history of simple machines, noting how new technology changed the face of industry, and in time, changed the face of social structures on a local and global level.  Throughout this BBK research project, students offered one another kind, specific feedback to support high quality work and deeper thinking.  This research gave students historical context for the novel, Lyddie, by Katherine Paterson, which students read in ELA class with Mr. Burns.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The first field work adventure involved a visit to Asheville’s new Museum of Science, AMOS.   Students toured the Colburn Gem Exhibit, taking notes and practicing inquiry to find out about how curators and museum designers consider purpose, audience, lighting, collections, materials, preservation and education when creating an exhibit.  They also visited Pack Library to view scale models documenting the history of downtown Asheville, and to borrow books for their research on simple machines from the library collection.

Back at school, they began the work of designing their own machines for the exhibit at AMOS in late March.  Mr. Burns and Ms. McKay collaborated in the design and testing of a prototype catapult.


Practicing effective communication skills, students wrote phone scripts and practiced proper phone etiquette. Each 7th grader phoned five friends to invite a public audience for the grand celebration of learning at AMOS.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Mark your calendars and help spread the word for  March 22 at AMOS, when Franklin’s 7th Grade will share their Technology and Work Exhibition with the outside world in a celebration of learning.  Please stay tuned for further updates on the 7th Grade Expedition!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

7th Grade innovators are industriously putting the final touches on their simple machines, scale drawings, and reports to share the history, scientific mechanical advantage, working components, and energy usage for their grand “Technology: For Better or Worse” exhibition at the Asheville Museum of Science on March 22. This exhibition is open to the public, so mark your calendars!
Time: 10:00 a.m to noon, 3-22-17. Place: AMOS




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s