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UNI technology program receives Qwest grant<br>

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Charles Johnson, professor, industrial technology, (319) 273-2746
Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Foundation has received a $33,000 grant from the Qwest Foundation in Denver, Colo.

The funds will support construction of a modular technology lab at UNI, for students in the technology education teacher preparation program. The lab is scheduled to open in fall 2002.

'Today?s holy grail for those teaching technology education in junior high and high schools is to be able to give students an understanding of how today?s complex technologies work, whether it is a cell phone, airplane or virtual reality,' said Charles Johnson, professor of industrial technology at UNI. 'All students need this basic understanding so they can make good decisions about products and services, and make informed career choices. This lab will be used to show future technology education teachers how they can use table-top technology to provide maximum learning about technology in a small space.'

Each module provides instruction and hands-on experiences on a different technology. Students cycle through the various modules over the course term.

Although many teachers nationwide have embraced modular technology education programs, few technology education teacher preparation programs have modular labs.

'Iowa's future success relies, in great part on the technological literacy of our young people,' said Max Phillips, Qwest vice president for policy and law, explaining Qwest's interest in the project.

UNI's technology education teacher preparation program is the only one of its kind at a public Iowa institution. There are 80 students majoring in the program, making it the largest in the state and one of the largest in the country.

The new lab will be managed by Johnson and Douglas Hotek, UNI assistant professor.