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Crash Course


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Social Studies, Economics, History, Computer Science and Design Thinking

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, Asia

The Cold War and Consumerism: Computer Science

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  • This video provides a review of the influential time period from 1945 to the mid-1970s, as it relates to computer technology, the Space Race, and the emergence of handheld computing devices and personal computers. 
  • This resource focuses on the historical significance of the Cold War and the rise of globalization and consumerism.
Teaching Tips


  • This video offers an overview of many history-shaping events and provides relevant ties to globalization and the rise of consumerism. 
  • This video is fast-paced and includes engaging graphics that will help keep students engaged. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Because this video is so fast-paced and contains many dates, it may be helpful to periodically pause the video to allow students to digest information and keep up with the timeline. 


  • Give students a timeline with only a few dates and ask them to take note of significant events in the rise of consumerism referenced in the video. 
  • In social studies classes, ask students to conduct further research on a significant historical figure referenced in the video, such as Vannevar Bush or Yuri Gagarin, being sure to explain how this person played a role in the rise of technological advancement.
  • Ask students to research a revolutionary technological device (such as the UNIVAC 1 or the transistor radio), explaining how its development contributed to the overall rise of electronics. 
  • Consider having students watch this video and discuss how engineers and scientists are also focusing on inventions that will positively impact the environment. 
  • Consider having students watch this video about the problem with consumerism or use this lesson about globalization after this video and discuss in groups how they may be able to contribute to the goal of sustainability on Earth.
Scientist Notes
The video lets students to appreciate the evolution of computers and technological advancement. Government policies and end-users have played a significant role towards the advancement of space science, computing devices and components. This resource is suitable for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
  • Science
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1. Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
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