Science, Engineering, and Technology

Distinct but interconnected

The EiE curriculum integrates engineering with science and improves student understanding of technology. These connections are important! Though people tend to think of science, engineering, and technology as three separate things, they’re actually closely connected.

For example, scientists use the technologies that engineers create (such as microscopes, monitors, and meters) to conduct their research. And when engineers start to design a new technology, they call on the knowledge of the natural world developed by scientists (for example, the law of gravity or how fluid flows). Engineering, science, and technology connect to—and influence—each other.

Engineering, science, and technology also influence (and are influenced by) society. Our human values, needs, or problems often determine what questions scientists investigate and what problems engineers tackle. Meanwhile the technologies that are the products of science and engineering influence society and change human culture (just think of the impacts of cars and cell phones!).

The infographic to the right shows how science, engineering, and technology connect to society:

 

Here’s another way to look at it:

Science

Engineering

Technology

 . . . is the body of knowledge of the physical and natural worlds.

 

 . . . is the application of knowledge in order to design, build, and maintain technologies.

 

 . . . is the body of knowledge, systems, processes, and artifacts that results from engineering.

 

 . . . seeks to describe and understand the natural world and its physical properties.

 . . . seeks  solutions for societal problems, needs, and wants

 

 . . . can be used to describe almost anything made by humans to solve a problem or meet a need. 

 . . . uses varied approaches—scientific methods such as controlled experiments or longitudinal observational studies—to generate knowledge.

 

 . . . uses varied approaches—for example, engineering design processes or engineering analyses—to produce and evaluate solutions and technologies.

 . . . results from the process of engineering

Scientific knowledge can be used to make predictions

Engineering aims to produce the best solutions given resources and constraints

Technologies are anything made by humans to fill a need or desire