Man vs. Machine

Big Idea

In the Humans Vs. Machine capstone, students will be exploring the advancement of technology and its effects on humanity as it relates to the world as a whole. In Engineering, students will be designing and creating rockets as well as robots that will ultimately be used in a competition (Robo-Olympics) to determine whether humans can prevail against robotic competitors. The competition will be the culmination of an investigation between science, intelligence, strength, and physical endurance.  In Social Studies and Physics, students will be evaluating the ethical dilemma of nuclear weapons with regards to the scientific and technological advancements which made them possible and the ultimate human destruction resulting from their use . In Art and English, students will make connects, form opinions, and draw conclusions between the  issues and ethics presented from science fiction readings.  In Chinese, students will discuss not only how environmental pollution is influenced by technology but also how technology affects surrounding communities and individuals, this will be explored through the latest Chinese survey by a reporter.


Throughout the capstone, students will be discussing, investigating, ad answering questions surrounding the main idea of progress, technology, and the possible threats they pose to the continuation of humanity. Students will form conclusions about the future of technology and humanity (and how they’re linked both positively and negatively) through research, discussion, and physical design build projects as well as through general experimentation.


Questions about ethical dilemmas surrounding the future of technology, human dependence, and whether or not we should always do something just because we can, will be integral to the central focus of the capstone and be not only addressed in each classroom, but comprehensively by the school as a whole. By the end of the capstone, students will not only have the insight about the current status and impact of technology but will also have a thorough understanding of how the continual development and progression will either help or hinder human existence.


Essential Questions


1.  Just because we can, should we?

2.  What does it mean to experience something?

3.  How do we define communication and interaction?



Transdisciplinary Connections

English: Non-fiction literature on current and future technology

History: Ethics of weaponry, WWII, Cold War, Vietnam War, Modern conflicts

Chinese: Describe food & fruits, school life, career & work, time & weather in Chinese language. How are these influenced by technology?

Science: Newton’s Laws, Projectile Motion, Momentum, Nuclear Physics

Math: Clinometer activity, Trajectory activity, Scientific notation

Engineering: Precision measurement/Dial Caliper, Trigonometry (sine,cosine,tan), Pseudocode, Inventor AutoCad, Power Formulas


End Products

Design and Build Rockets

Design and Build Robots

Create a Choose Your Adventure Story

Press Conference