Five months after launching the IEEE Raising Engineering Awareness through the Conduit of History (REACH) website, the program received the Ayrton Prize for Digital Engagement in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine. In addition, more than 250 teachers subscribed to REACH in 2017 and educate more than 20,000 students, who now have an opportunity to be exposed to the history of technology in its social context. Understanding the role of technology in society advances students’ technological and cultural literacy skills and enhances their ability to be better decision-makers in both political and civil matters. IEEE REACH provides a new lens through which students may view engineering and technology as relevant to their lives and their future.
REACH Realizes Significant Growth
Over the past year, the IEEE History Center’s newest program, IEEE REACH has experienced significant growth and garnered an overwhelmingly positive response from teachers, administrators and other education-related professionals and organizations. Besides the Ayrton Prize, REACH is listed by the Smithsonian Libraries as a History of Technology and Engineering Resource within their History of Science and Technology Research Guide.
The free, online REACH Program provides teachers and students with educational resources that explore the relationship of technology and engineering history to society, politics, economics and culture, both past and present. In a Social Studies resource, Social Studies teacher Katherine Senecal states, “This program is bringing technology, engineering, and society to life in the classroom. They excite and engage students with inquiry units that explore the history of technology and address its social, political, economic and cultural effects. While these lesson plans are designed for secondary school, they can easily be scaled back. The link leads to inquiry units, multimedia units, hands-on units, and primary sources. One example is a lesson on navigation for early explorers. Students work through the trouble the explorers would face without being able to see the stars. In the end, the students design compasses!”
Claudio Leon, a Librarian who attended a one-day REACH Professional Development workshop on Drones, held at the Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum in New York City, NY, US said, “REACH resources can help students think about real-world applications for designing new technologies and the impact of such technology on humanity.”
By The Numbers
- 340: Total subscribers (representing 300% growth YTD)
- 265: Teacher subscribers (of those teachers, 35% are secondary school, 25% are middle school, 21% represent university education & engineering programs, 11% are administrators, 6% are elementary school teachers, and 2% are home school teachers)
- 23: Different countries represented by subscribers