Katelyn Moore
Katelyn Moore
Second Place, Grade 3-5, 50 Years of Engineering in Society Essay Contest, 2014
Kingsland, GA
Life In Projection

Engineers have three choices when facing a problem. They can create something completely new, improve the product, or live with the issue that the product has. Engineers make products more useful, safer, easier, and more efficient. I am going to call engineers that work to invent and make products better in the classroom “educational engineers” for this essay.

Teachers needed ways to show students visual examples of what they were teaching. Long ago, teachers had to use a stick to draw visuals in the mud. Then, students had simple computers for learning. The magic lantern was an early version of projectors. Engineers kept improving these learning tools. 

In the 1960’s, an engineer named Roger Appledorn invented the overhead projector, a machine that projects the image of writing on clear film onto a flat surface. Appledorn worked at 3M, a company that sells a variety of technological products. The company created a line of overhead projectors because they were expecting the product to sell like hotcakes. But, at the time not many people were interested. Appledorn and 3M had to personally contact with school teachers in order to sell the overhead projector. Now, unlike past years, most schools and other educational facilities contain more than one overhead projector.

Now, educational engineers are working to make projectors more suitable for classrooms. In 2010, 3D technology became more affordable in schools. Manufacturers started using the DLP (Digital Light Processing) chip as a help to make projectors cheaper. Most schools don’t own the 3D projector, but as the projector gets older more schools have them. The 3D projector works like this: Before the projector starts, watchers should put on active or passive glasses. Next, the projector produces images that stream through the watchers eyes. 3D projectors were invented because of the desire for something new and improved. 

In the future, educational engineers believe that holograms will be more clearly seen. When turned on, the projection will take up lots of space to make images more realistic and believable. The device will use holographic images to fill up a room. This will help teachers keep students engaged in their learning. Teachers can use this projector as an aid to teach lessons.

 Let’s say students are learning about the Civil War. Using a computer, teachers can search and find videos or images to create a scene for the topic they are teaching. Once you connect the computer to the light-weight, overhead, holographic projector, it will fill the room with the image or video that the teacher chose. Students will be entertained and learning about everything teachers are teaching.

Educational engineers work hard every day to help make teaching and learning in classrooms more suitable. These engineers have made learning and teaching easier. Now, students are engaged to learning rather that dozing off and not following the teachers’ words. Students are watching and listening to projectors’ in classrooms to help them learn. Projectors have made everyday life easier in classrooms everywhere.