Title

How science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) project-based learning improves student learning

Document Type

Presentation

Publication Date

2016

Keywords

STEM, PBL, Design think process, Integration, Problem solving

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine how extra-curricular and academic performance is affected by student participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) under project-based learning (PBL) activities. General observation and quantitative analysis was used to evaluate the two aspects. A solar car team project under the philosophy of STEM and PBL is developed and more than two hundred students from electrical and mechanical engineering field participated in the team project and learnt the STEM PBL core value. The team aims to develop a solar-powered vehicle to demonstrate the viability of a renewable energy through the use of green transportation, to promote the awareness of environmental sustainability among the public. It also provides students with an opportunity to put theoretical knowledge into practice, gain hands-on experience, and practice project management skills during development, and thus leading student to understanding science and new technology; and practising engineering skills and mathematics. Till now, six solar vehicles were built with the massive efforts of students. Moreover, design thinking process is adopted to engage and motivate students to learn and develop in the team. The entire process includes the following steps: ‘Empathize’, allowing students to learn about their audience for their designing process; ‘Define’, constructing a point of view that is based on user needs and insights; ‘Ideate’, brainstorming and coming up with creative solutions; ‘Prototype’, building a rePresentation of one or more of student ideas to show to others and ‘test’, returning to original user group and testing their ideas for feedback. The team students showed significantly growth rates on research, planning, project implementation and reporting. The team also assists students’ further STEM studies and STEM career planning, and the nurturing of diversified talents with a range of capabilities at different levels in STEM knowledge development. In addition, the team organizes solar car workshops and demonstrations, and supervises group projects for secondary school students. Result of the study implied that STEM with PBL in school benefitted students in that they achieved a greater extension on extra-curricular and academic aspect, especially gaining more solid knowledge in technology and engineering.

Source Publication

The 11th International Symposium on Advances in Technology Education

First Page

1

Last Page

4

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