24 Technology Causes and Effects

Competencies: Social Studies, History

Geography 3.2: Understands human interaction with the environment.

CBA: Humans and the Environment.


Objective: Students examine technological advancements in transportation.  Using a population graph, they see the impact that this technology has had on Issaquah, and discover how this has affected people, resources, and cultures.

Materials: mounted photos of forms of transportation (see Photo Prompts slide show, transportation section), population graph and Velcro event stickers, two articles for teacher information; “History of Transportation In This Area” and “Early Transportation Via Trail and Waters” (see attached)


  1. Discuss how students get to and from school each day (walk, ride in cars, take the school bus, older students might ride bikes to school).
  2. Make a graph that shows how many students walk, ride in a car, or take the bus to school.  This can be a pictograph that uses pictures of cars, shoes, or buses to represent each student and their mode of transportation to and from school.
  3. Ask students how they think people traveled before they had cars.
  4. Optional: show the slides called “Transportation,” marked blue on the top of the slides.
  5. Share the photos of forms of transportation used in Issaquah’s past.  There is a recommended list attached.
  6. Discuss what life was like in Issaquah when people had to walk or ride horses, wagons or boats to travel; how life changed when the railroad came to town; when people began to drive cars; when the floating bridge was built; and when I-90 was constructed.
  7. Share the population graph without the three events attached.  Discuss the dates and what forms of transportation were available at these times.  Let students guess what they think caused the population to rise at each of the three Velcro dates.
  8. Let students place the Velcro stickers on the graph.  It should become rapidly apparent that many people moved to Issaquah when the floating bridge was built, when I-90 opened, and when Microsoft and major development occurred.
  9. Discuss how technical advances in transportation have affected the people, resources, and culture of Issaquah.

Background Information:

See also the attached articles.

When the Native Americans were here, and the first settlers arrived, there were only footpaths and trails around the lake.  Native Americans used canoes on the lake.  Soon after the first white settlers came, they traveled on the lake on a boat named The Squak. Trips to other towns or Seattle, were probably not frequent and took much time and effort.  Before the railroad came to town, people in Issaquah relied on natural resources and their surroundings to meet their basic needs.  When the railroad came to town, supplies of all kinds could be transported to and from Issaquah much faster and much easier.  People had access to a wider variety of supplies, and could send their dairy products, farm products, and coal to Seattle, businesses could develop and grow.  When the automobile became affordable, people could drive around the lake, getting to and from Issaquah faster.  They had greater personal freedom to travel.  Families and individuals could travel farther distances for recreational and social purposes, as well as for work.  Eventually, when the floating bridge and I-90 were built, many, many people could travel to and from Issaquah.  As a result, the population in Issaquah boomed.


Activity 24 (DOC)
Activity 24 (PDF)
Population Graph
Population Labels
Transportation Background Articles

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