Science and Technology 

As used in the Standards, the central distinguishing characteristic between science and technology is a difference in goal: The goal of science is to understand the natural world, and the goal of technology is to make modifications in the world to meet human needs. Technology as design is included in the Standards as parallel to science as inquiry.

Technology and science are closely related. A single problem often has both scientific and technological aspects. The need to answer questions in the natural world drives the development of technological products; moreover, technological needs can drive scientific research. And technological products, from pencils to computers, provide tools that promote the understanding of natural phenomena.  

The use of "technology" in the Standards is not to be confused with "instructional technology," which provides students and teachers with exciting tools-such as computers-to conduct inquiry and to understand science. (National Science Education Standards, page 24)

Reprinted with permission from National Science Education Standards. Copyright 1996 by the National Academy of Sciences. Courtesy of the National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. 

National Science Education Standards: http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses


National Science Education Standards Terms