The Junior Cycle Technical Graphics programme provides students with an excellent introduction to the use of graphics and drawings to represent real life situations. An understanding of Technical Graphics is central to the work of the Engineer, Architect, Designer and Technologist; indeed it is essential for all members of the building/engineering industries from the skilled worker right through to senior management.
The Technical Graphics programme contributes to the technological education of the student though it could not be considered in itself to provide students with a complete technological education. It is however, a perfect compliment to Materials Technology (Wood) where pupils acquire the associated practical design and manufacturing skills.
While the Technical Graphics programme provides students with skills which are directly relevant to possible future working environlnents, it also develops students intellectually in their ability to visualise and manipulate objects in space. The development of this visualisation ability is at the core of the Technical Graphics programme and it has been referred to by educationalists as “spatial ability”. Educationalists consider this to be a distinct form of intelligence that contributes to an individuals overall intelligence.
The programme consists of three main elements:
- Plane Geometry: Students acquire skills in geometrical constructions which underpin their work in all aspects of the course. The importance of the geometry is emphasised and neat, accurate work is expected !
- Descriptive Geometry: Students are introduced to the construction of pictorial drawings and orthographic projects. Here students draw elevations, plans and end elevations of familiar objects. Models are used to help students visualise what they are representing on paper.
- Communication Graphics: The development of good freehand sketching techniques, an understanding of graphics in the world around us and an introduction to computer aided drawing are the core components of this section.
During the programme students prepare drawings to the regulations drawn up by the British Standardising Authority and in so doing ensure that their work is to recognised international standards.
The student of Technical Graphics can look forward to regular assessment during the three years by means of monitoring of portfolio work and formal class/end of year examinations.
The course in Technical Graphics is valuable as it makes a special contribution to the intellectual development of the student and provides the student with an understanding of the international language of Technology.