Dr. Edelbach's SET Seminar
Discovery-Invention-Design Assignment

Revised:  9/18/14 5:03 PM    (dp-1.htm )
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Assignment Introduction -

     The term "Discovery-Invention-Design" was chosen for this assignment because most of the technologies which have been developed and which have greatly impacted our lives, grew out of a process that did not proceed in a linear or straight forward manner. Quite often, major leaps resulted from accidental or unplanned events at which point an individual saw something different than they had expected and reorganized their activities to take advantage of the new discovery.
     The DID assignment has unique aspects and it will be necessary for students to CAREFULLY REVIEW the information below BEFORE beginning this assignment. Due dates have been established and should be followed unless prior arrangements are made with the instructor. Assignments handed in late will have their grade reduced.
     In this assignment teams of students will explore how a major contemporary issue is related to its underlying technology and how the associated technology started and evolved. The research should emphasize the DID process inherent both in the introduction and the evolutionary stages through which the technology passed. It should also consider what particular issues are being addressed today which might use related technology in solving current real or perceived problems. The "design loop" should be considered when reviewing the historical aspects of the issue and how technology. This activity will give students a broad overview of how different technologies are related to contemporary issues, how those links were initially established 

     The purpose of the DID assignment is have small teams of students investigate a particular technological area and research its impact on humans. Ideally there will be three students assigned to each team based on their area of interest. In most situations, one student would typically investigate the historical aspects, another the present, and the third possible/probably the future of the sub-topic assigned to their team.      
If there are less than three students in a team, the same three broad areas should be researched but not in the same depth as would be the case if three students were on the team. Each student will be assigned to a team based on the survey in which they ranked interest in the four topic areas to the extent it is possible to do that. 
     Each team is to investigate Time Periods 1, 2 and 3 of the particular sub-topic assigned to their group if there are 3 team members. TP 1 will begin with the earliest inventions/discoveries related to the sub-topic and TP 3 will end in approximately 2020. The PECC-2 Energy team will discuss how their sub-topic is to be divided with me.
Included in this investigation should be consideration of the following items:  

    ( each item is described in detail later on this page )

# 1 - Problem Statement / Questions


# 2 - Time Line


# 3 - Key Terms & Definitions


# 4 - References


# 5 - Data and Statistical Information


# 6 - Preliminary Paper Outline


# 7 - Public Policy Issues


# 8 - Key Ethical Issues


# 9 - Draft Paper Point


# 10 - Draft Power Point Slides & Outline


# 11 - Final PP Outline & PP Slides


# 12 - Final Paper Outline


# 13 - Final Paper & Slides


Make certain to take a broad, comprehensive view of the assigned sub-topic and keep in mind that the purpose of this activity is to determine how our lives have been, are and might be affected in the future by this technology.

Team Information -

    SET students were assigned to each DID team based on their choices, if possible.   Each team member is responsible for their portion of the assignment. All members work on both the introduction and conclusion.

    If a team member does not fulfill their responsibilities, the other team members are NOT expected to do their share of the work. An assignment to be submitted by the entire team should note if one team member or more did not complete their portion of it. If a team is having unusual problems working together, I should be notified before this causes difficulty for the entire team.

Primary Purpose -

     The primarily purpose of this activity is have students research a particular technology from three primary viewpoints: a historical perspective, the current status of the technology and its possible/probable  future development.  If your team has three team members, this is a good way to divide up the work. If fewer than that some other division will have to be decided upon.
     It is intended that students will explore the various stages through which a modern technology passed, the original impetus behind the technology and its evolutionary stages, the various impacts of that technology as it changed and the future direction of the technology.
     The historical aspects are what set the stage for how the technology eventually grew into what we know today. The factors that influenced the changes including individuals who were involved with the technology should be considered and detailed in the paper.
     Because of the commercialization which pervades the world today, issued related to how the initial funding as well as ongoing research in the technological field should be reviewed and marketing strategies for commercial ventures discussed.
     As part of this assignment, a time-line of important DIDs should be developed and include not only the date of the DID, but also who was primarily responsible for the DID, where it was accomplished, and its importance.

Background Information -

     The assignment will involve both a research paper, and a presentation of the team's finding to the class. The team will also serve as "subject matter experts" during seminar discussions related to that technology and should be prepared to participate in those discussions beyond their formal team presentation.
     In keeping with the problem solving aspect of this assignment, special attention should be devoted to what particular problem or problems were being solved as technologies related to the topic evolved into their present state. Consideration of how technologies might change in the future and the impact of such modifications should also be considered. This will require that information concerning the early developments of the related technologies be presented and explained, as well as the various iterations of the technologies and their underlying concepts be reviewed as well.
     Since many modern technologies grew from varied backgrounds and earlier innovations, it is important that those foundations be identified and presented in both the paper and presentation.

Assignments and Descriptions:  Due dates for each DID assignment can be reviewed HERE

  1.   Problem Statement / Questions (PS) -   TEAM

    In order to begin working on this research paper, it is necessary to have a clearly stated objective of what aspects of this sub-topic your team will investigate. The problem statement (PS) should be written in a NARRATIVE form and include such things as a few of the major questions relating to the sub-topic and key issues which have both had a historical impact on this sub-topic as well as why it is important today. This statement/paragraph should clearly communicate to a reader what the paper will cover and why it is relevant in today's world in a succinct but comprehensive manner. As the research on the sub-topic moves ahead, the PS should be revised to more accurately reflect the contents of the paper.

    In addition to the problem statement, each team should develop three (3) major questions addressing key issues related to your sub-topic. These questions should address critical problems or debates involving the sub-topic and help focus the contents of the paper and presentation.

Indicate the specific section of the paper/report for which each team member will be responsible when the problem statement is submitted.

  2.  Time Line (TL) - INDIVIDUAL

     A good way to begin this assignment is to have your team develop a technological time line and to consider the various stages identified both in terms of the ethical as well as the sociological issues raised by the particular technology being investigated. Where appropriate, names of key individuals who were closely associated with a particular discovery or invention should be given.

     While there will probably be too many specific items identified in your team's time line to cover in a meaningful way given this assignment's restrictions, it your team's responsibility to select the most meaningful events to cover in reasonable details.

If the evolution of the particular technological area being investigated by your team  follows the normal model, there will probably many connections between it and other discoveries or inventions which may not be immediately obvious. Quite often the interrelationships between disparate items lead to major breakthroughs by an individual or team. While the "problem-solving" or "design" model is often very useful to address answer specific questions, it is not the only way to reach a conclusion.

    Include in your time-line all important events related to the portion of the sub-topic for which your are responsible.  Select those determined to be the most important It is critical that adequate research be done into not only the specific technology assigned but also into closely related technologies.

The important events should be placed in a list, not actually on a "time line."

  3.   Key Terms & Definitions  (KTD)- INDIVIDUAL

   One good way to begin understanding your team's sub-topic is to develop a list of terms and definitions related to the portion for which you are responsible.  After each person identifies and reviews a number of references related to the sub-topic, select important words or ones which appear often and use for further searches. Think of this process as the branches on a tree, all of which are connected to the trunk but go in different directions. Those important words and terms  as well as a brief definition of each should comprise the "key terms" list to be included in your report and be presented in alphabetical order.  Each person is to develop a list of "key terms" and definitions pertaining to the section of the paper for which they are responsible and e-mail it to Dr. Edelbach by the date indicated.

  4.   References (REF) - INDIVIDUAL

     For this assignment, you should identify five (5) books as well as five (5) web URLs related to the portion of your sub-topic for which you are responsible. Ultimately, more references will be consulted and used for both your paper and report. For the web references, you should provide a one sentence description of the information found on the link in addition to the actual URL.

While older references may contain important historical information, given the nature of technological change, it is probably better to look at more up-to-date sources in the early stages of this assignment. DO NOT include the SET text as one of your references for this assignment.

     You may use either the regular library or electronic search techniques to identify particular references. After reviewing the material, your team  will decide whether it is appropriate to include it in either the paper or presentation. Use whatever search engines for the web with which you are familiar. You may use any standard bibliographic style when preparing your report such as APA.

5.   Data and Statistical Information (STATS) - INDIVIDUAL

    Since it is usually very important to review and cite numerical information related to historical and current conditions of a sub-topic, it is necessary to inform me of the type of information being consider for your report in order for me to provide feedback on whether the material being considered is appropriate.

Such information MUST include a title for the data, a brief description of the data and the source of the data. The actual data itself is NOT to be included in this assignment. I will be able to go to your source if I need to check it out. 

Please follow the format of the examples below when submitting this assignment:

1.  World Oil Production and Consumption - displays the level of oil
       production and consumption in the world over the between 1950 and 2008

2.  U. S. / China Trade Balances -  trade balances between U.S. and
       China from 1985 to 2008 broken down by months

6.   Preliminary Paper Outline (PPO) - TEAM

It is necessary to make a plan for your team's paper BEFORE starting to write it. The outline should begin with an "Introduction," be divided into each team member's section with all major points to be covered, and a "Conclusion." All sections MUST be in outline, not narrative, form.

Follow normal outlining format as shown in this OUTLINE SAMPLE. This should be done to the third level in the sample.

More details will be added as you continue doing research into your sub-topic.  Each person's section MUST be clearly identified along with the time period covered in each one.

7.    Public Policy Issues (PPI) - INDIVIDUAL

Questions of public policy related to the various major stages of the technology should also be considered. Issues about how a particular technology and its related aspects should be controlled as well as how those questions were resolved are to be reviewed and included where appropriate. Debates and sometimes battles which sometimes rage over whether control of the technology should rest with the government, private industry or the individuals often play critical roles in how a particular technology develops and is implemented.

The dates and other important information related to any regulations, laws, agreements, treaties, supporters, opposition, and other matters are to be included.

8.    Key Ethical Issues (KEI) - INDIVIDUAL

Ethical questions are raised by each of the sub-topics reviewed for this assignment.  Each team  should be aware of ethical issues related to their topic. Ethics relates to some topics more than others but mention those issues were appropriate. Appropriate ethical concepts will be covered in that unit of the course as well as in the readings from the Applying Moral Theories book on reserve in the TCNJ library under Dr. Edelbach's name.

9.   Draft Paper Outline  (DPO) - TEAM

Outline should be in standard outline format to the 3rd level.

10.  Draft Power Point Slides & Outline  (DPPSO) - TEAM

Outline should be in standard outline format to the 3rd level. Draft PP slides should include text as well as graphics and printed six up. Number all slides

11.   Final Power Outline and PP Slides(FPPO/FPP) -  TEAM

This is the final form of the presentation your team expects to make. I will compare the revised PP outline and the actual slides to ensure that the sub-topic is adequately covered.
This MUST BE REVIEW and APPROVED NO LATER THAN the period before the scheduled presentation. If that is not done, the presentation WILL NOT BE GIVEN.

12.   Final Paper Outline (FPO) - TEAM

13.   Final Project Due (FP/PP) - TEAM

Paper Format - MSWord File

Contents of Final Paper no paper copy submitted only MSW file

The following sections are to be included in the final paper.

Title page  - containing all required info
Table of contents - with chapters, subheadings and
page numbers
Body of paper
This part of the paper should have between seven (7)
and ten (10) pages FOR EACH PERSON
on the

Bibliography - keep each person's material separate
- any special materials related to the paper

Team Presentations   (Click here for complete  information about the DID presentation ).  

Each team will be assigned a seminar period during which they will present their findings to the class. See SEMINAR SCHEDULE  to see exactly when your team is giving its presentation. Each team member will have approximately SEVEN  (7)  MINUTES to cover THEIR PORTION of the report and the presentation should be done in an interesting and informative manner. MS Power Point is to be used during the presentation to help explain the material presented verbally. The slides will be evaluated on how well they help communicate the information being covered as well as their readability.