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STEM: What is Technology?

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In two earlier posts, explanations of science and math were discussed. Today’s post ask the question: What is technology?

A simple explanation is given by Answers.com: technology is information on anything that man makes for his benefit out of resources available, to make tasks simpler to perform (e.g. stone tools, fire, wheel, etc.).

It is the body of knowledge devoted to creating tools, processing actions and extracting of materials. Technology is a broad term and has different meanings for those that use it. It can also be described as products, processes or organizations.

Technology is also used to extend the abilities of humans, therefore, people are the most important part of any technological system. [Ref 1] Technology is also the application of science to solve a problem. However, technology and science are different subjects that work hand-in-hand to accomplish a specific task or solve a particular problem.

We apply technology in almost everything we do in our lives.  It is human knowledge that involves tools, materials and systems. The application of technology results in artifacts or products. If technology is well applied, it can benefit humans, but if it is wrongly applied, it can cause harm to human beings.

Technology is also  the application of science to solve a problem. However, do not mistake technology for science and vice versa. Technology develops and explains the man-made world, while science explains the natural world.  [Ref 1]

Science refers to systematic methodology that is used to gather accurate information about the shared reality. During the process of gathering this information, technological tools are used. For example, microscopes are biological tools that can be used to study specific facts about anything with life.

Scientific knowledge is gathered from detached observations. Scientists can use this gathered information using technological tools to explain why certain things happen. This process is often referred to as research.

As humans, we use both technology and science together. This is why it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between the two. Science is knowledge of the natural world while technology is human-made world determined by processing, development and management.

We build on our foundations of science, math, and technology to improve our lives at work, play, and even at rest. Technology is dynamic and is forever changing.


  1. What is Technology, Karehka Ramey in Techucation, December 12, 2013, http://www.useoftechnology.com/what-is-technology/ (last viewed on May 12, 2015)

About Vi Brown

Vi is principal and CEO of Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC, an Arizona firm that provides business and engineering services to private and public clients. Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 2001, Vi worked with Motorola, Maricopa County Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, CH2M Hill, and Procter & Gamble. As an adjunct faculty member, Vi teaches undergraduate calculus classes and graduate level environmental courses. She is also a professional speaker.



  1. Pingback: STEM: What is Engineering? | BridgeBizSTEM - June 9, 2015

  2. Pingback: STEM: Why is Science Always Changing? | BridgeBizSTEM - November 5, 2017

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