|Image from website|
Last year I wrote about the top 5 finalists of the Engadget Insert Coin Competition (Posts from 29 December 2013 to 27 January 2014). The year before I wrote about Time magazine's "Best Inventions of the Year" (24 December 2012), which they publish every year in December.
This year, I decided to use information from a website created by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), which has listed - and given information for - their choices for the 20 greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century.
The website: http://www.greatachievements.org/
The information is based on the book, A Century of Innovation: Twenty Engineering Achievements That Transformed Our Lives, by George Constable and Bob Somerville (2003).
Students can first brainstorm what they think the twenty greatest achievements were, and can discuss their choices. Many - if not most - of their choices will certainly be on the NAE's list.
These achievements are:
- Water supply and distribution
- Radio and Television
- Agricultural mechanization
- Air conditioning and refrigeration
- Household appliances
- Health technologies
- Petroleum and petrochemical technologies
- Laser and fiber optics
- Nuclear technologies
- High-performance materials
For each achievement, there is a Timeline spanning the development from invention to present day, separate sections of information about the achievement, and an Essay written by an engineer from the field of achievement.
This last resource is particularly useful for students, since the essays can serve as models for students' own writing: about the history of an innovation, the impacts of the innovation, or as an overview of an innovation in their engineering field.
The material on the website is also very useful for reading skills, since students will certainly be motivated to read about an achievement of their choice.