I agree with Marc's comments and would like to expand on his line of thought. As a high school math teacher (my first career), I did not see students leaving the classroom knowing how to us the tools that allowed them to enrich their lives or interact intelligently with the world around them. They mainly prepared to pass the nearest approaching textbook assessment. Whether this is a culture or curriculum problem is not the issue here. Integrating projects that simulated real experiences helped them to see why the tools are useful but the level of confidence in their knowledge never reached the point to where they could think independently about an issue. For example, saying an energy creating technology could produce so much power doesn't mean anything if a student  can't figure out how many homes that can sustain or how it compares to other types of energy technologies.

Also, as an engineer I see many of my family and friends buying into new technologies without questioning the impact of the technology and especially not questioning how it works, but only how do I use it? This is mainly because they are not confident enough in their scientific knowledge to try.  

I would say the biggest difference between what I have experienced as a teacher and an engineer is: As a teacher, knowledge was found in books and was returned as homework/assessments, however, as an engineer knowledge was found in books and was directly applied to a project that further increased knowledge.

Overall, if we want people to be technically literate we have to provide them with experiences (at every age) that they can relate to and give them a base for their understanding.