Source: Marine Advanced Technology Educationa Center (MATE)
This video adapted from the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center shows students engaged in an international student robotics competition in which remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) complete missions underwater. Jill Zande, the associate director and competition coordinator, explains that the competition is designed to help students not only demonstrate technical abilities, but also develop their creative-thinking and problem-solving skills and learn to work as part of a team. In addition, the competition provides a venue in which students can interact with potential employers.
One priority in advanced technology education today is to develop "soft" skills in students who will one day become part of the work force. While strong technical skills are always highly regarded, employers in advanced technology industries are placing increasing value in problem solving and critical thinking exhibited by their workers as well. The growing need to solve more complex and interdisciplinary problems makes another of these "soft" skills—teamwork—more important than ever.
The purpose of a team is to work together to solve a problem. Teams often bring together people of different backgrounds, with different capabilities and different experiences. A team approach that relies on many different but complementary skills is capable of producing a better product. Team members divide up problems into parts that are assigned according to areas of expertise. In this way, one member’s strength compensates for another’s weakness. With everyone involved working together towards a common goal, this translates into less work for each individual, a greater capacity to complete work, and better ideas to choose from.
Most newly assembled teams do not jell overnight. Rather, team building is a process—one that often requires perseverance and compromise. As team members become acquainted, they learn one another’s strengths and assign roles and responsibilities accordingly. They also learn about their differences and figure out how to work together despite these differences. As the group comes to agreement on its purpose or function, members are clear what their roles and responsibilities are, and the group gains a sense of identity while members strive to work together. Members handle disagreements, misunderstandings, and, in some cases, failure and the need to go back to the drawing board.
In the world of technology, a product development team’s goal may be the design and construction of something that improves a customer’s quality of life—for example, a high-performance, fuel-efficient family car. To achieve this goal, the team process involves combining information from a number of different functional groups. One group may be responsible for the design of the car, including its aerodynamic body or kid-friendly features. Another might weigh in on which materials and manufacturing techniques are right for the job. As the product approaches its launch, another group must be ready to promote the product’s innovative features and benefits. Each of these groups must communicate effectively, exchanging valuable information throughout the development cycle that will help team members do their jobs and the team to ultimately achieve its goal.
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.