Foundations of Technology


Troubleshooting is a form of problem solving that is used to help repair systems.

Technological Ages

The technological ages of technology are time periods in which technological advancements were made.

Paleolithic Age (Old Stone Age): 500,000 BC.

Mesolithic Age (Middle Stone Age): 10,000 BC.

Neolithic Age (New Stone Age): 4,000 BC.

Bronze Age: 2,300 BC. Architectural period that included combining tin and copper to produce bronze.

Iron Age: 700 BC. Period marked by the first use of iron and steel.

Middle Ages: 450 AD. Architectural period after the Roman Empire. Divided into the early, high, and late middle ages

Renaissance: 1,400 AD. Architectural period marked by the revival of classical influence and the sharing of ideas.

Industrial Age: 1,750 AD. Period marked by the first use of complex machinery, factories and urbanization.

Information Age: 1,950 AD to present. Period marked by the sharing, gathering, manipulation, and retrieval of information.

Prototypes and Mock-ups

Prototypes are required to function and look as the final product would, while a mock-up just has to look like the final product. The top picture represents a mock-up of a car, and below it would be the prototype.

Core Technology

Core Technologies are the building blocks of technology systems.

The major core technologies include:

Mechanical: uses mechanical parts to crate a system (ex: car or pulley system)

Structural: structures that support something else (ex: bridges)

Electric: the technology of generating electricity (ex: power plants)

Electronic: using small amounts of electricity for controlling (ex: lamp, cell phones)

Thermal: using or generating heat for power (ex: car engine)

Materials: the technology of combining materials (ex: combining copper and tin to make bronze)

Fluid: using liquids or gas to power a system (ex: hydroelectric power plants

Optical: using light to generate power (ex: solar panels)

Biotechnology: changing the genetic makeup of plants or organisms (ex: genetically altered plants)


Sub-systems are systems within a larger system. Examples would include the engine inside of a car, individual stores within a mall, camera system within a smartphone, etc.

Research and Development

Research and Development involves gathering information to help with the innovation or development of a product.

Batch Process of Manufacturing

Making products in a large quantity, for example printing images on t-shirts in large amounts.

Input, Output, Process, and Feedback

Input: putting information into a system

Output: the end result of the system

Process: how the system reacts to the input

Feedback: reaction to the feedback

Open and Closed Systems

Things can interact with open systems, but cannot with a closed system. An example of an open system is a living organism, because organisms require interaction with their environment (eating/drinking, sunlight, social interactions, etc.) in order to function properly. An example of a closed system would be a microwave because while the system is functioning nothing outside of the microwave affects it.

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