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REACH Illuminates Technologies’ Role in Society

REACH Illuminates Technologies’ Role in Society

High school students know how to use the latest gadgets, but most are unaware of who invented the technology, and how it impacts their lives.

To fill the gap, the IEEE History Center developed REACH (Raising Engineering Awareness through the Conduit of History). This program, funded by donations to the IEEE Foundation, provides the necessary tools for high school history teachers to easily weave the history of technology and the critical role of engineers in our society, into their lessons.

An academic advisory panel composed of high school teachers and administrators provided important direction to the IEEE History Center in selecting its first three inquiry units: Early Maritime Navigation (Transportation), Triremes (Warfare) and the Printing Press (Communications). The units all align with the National Council for the Social Studies.

All three units, including lesson plans, oral histories, videos and hands-on activities, are available via the REACH site. Thus far, teachers from 30+ states and 4 countries are registered to use them. Two more inquiry units, Radio (Communications) and Drones (Multiple Categories) will be available by August. The IEEE History Center compiled a Top Ten Technology list, which will guide the direction of future inquiry units.

REACH helps students become better-informed citizens in today’s technology-oriented society by answering this important question: “How have scientific and technological developments changed the way people live and the way economies and governments function?” 

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