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Effect of STEM-based Learning on the Cognitive Skills Improvement

Authors:
  • IKIP Siliwangi
  • Institut Keguruan dan Ilmu Pendidikan Siliwangi, Cmahi, Indonesia

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The success in the modern era is determined by how students strive to have certain skills. This can be achieved by students through the development of cognitive domain, because it is considered as the ability to master subject matter with regard to thinking ability in addition to learning. Hence, this research aims at improving the learning outcomes in the cognitive domain of students at the primary school level. This research was conducted using the Pre-Experiment method with the pretest-posttest One-Group design. The lessons were implemented using Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)-based learning, while the learning method was referred to the Engineering Design Process. The stages consist of problem scoping, idea generation, design and construct, design evaluation and re-design. The research involved 30 fourth grade primary school students in Cimahi City as the research samples. The data were collected using observation and analyzed using quantitative descriptive analysis. The research results revealed that there were differences in learning outcomes in the cognitive domain. To conclude, STEM-based learning could improve primary school students’ cognitive skills.
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[198]
p-ISSN 2355-5343
e-ISSN 2502-4795
http://ejournal.upi.edu/index.php/mimbar
Article Received: 31/05/2019; Accepted: 06/07/2019
Mimbar Sekolah Dasar, Vol 6(2) 2019, 198-207
DOI: 10.17509/mimbar-sd.v6i2.17562
Effect of STEM-based Learning on the Cognitive Skills Improvement
Anugrah Ramadhan Firdaus1 & Galih Dani Septian Rahayu2
1,2 Primary School Teacher Education Study Program, IKIP Siliwangi, Cimahi City, Indonesia
arf432@gmail.com
Abstract. The success in the modern era is determined by how students strive to have certain
skills. This can be achieved by students through the development of cognitive domain,
because it is considered as the ability to master subject matter with regard to thinking ability in
addition to learning. Hence, this research aims at improving the learning outcomes in the
cognitive domain of students at the primary school level. This research was conducted using
the Pre-Experiment method with the pretest-posttest One-Group design. The lessons were
implemented using Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)-based
learning, while the learning method was referred to the Engineering Design Process. The
stages consist of problem scoping, idea generation, design and construct, design evaluation
and re-design. The research involved 30 fourth grade primary school students in Cimahi City as
the research samples. The data were collected using observation and analyzed using
quantitative descriptive analysis. The research results revealed that there were differences in
learning outcomes in the cognitive domain. To conclude, STEM-based learning could improve
primary school students’ cognitive skills.
Keywords: cognitive skills, learning, primary school, STEM, thinking ability
How to Cite: Firdaus, A. R., & Rahayu, G. D. (2019). Effect of STEM-based Learning on the Cognitive Skills
Improvement. Mimbar Sekolah Dasar, 6(2), 198-207. doi:10.17509/mimbar-sd.v6i2.17562
INTRODUCTION ~ The 21st century principle
raises new challenges in the world of
education, One of the interesting
concerns is the need for a variety of skills
related to adapting to society. Based on
the results of the education process,
students are required to have abilities such
as life skills, workforce skills, application
skills, personal skills, interpersonal skills and
noncognitive skills (Saavedra et al., 2012).
These skills have been around for decades,
but lately, there has been more
encouragement to teach students to have
these abilities at every stage of education,
because the success in this modern era
requires these 21st century skills (Bybee &
Fuchs, 2006; Rotherham & Willingham,
2009; Silva, 2009).
The required skills could not be directly
possessed by students. Interests, talents,
and opportunities to develop these skills
also determine the presence or absence
of these skills in students. The learning
process in school can determine the
students' opportunities to develop the
required skills, but the magnitude of the
development of these skills depends on
whether the quality of education in the
school is good or not. A quality STEM
education should be able to provide wider
opportunities for students to develop their
competencies in which it is not only
Science, but also Technology, Engineering
Anugrah Ramadhan Firdaus & Galih Dani Septiyan Rahayu, Effect of STEM based Learning
[199]
Mathematics, and its related areas
(Osman & Saat, 2014).
The quality of education in Indonesia was
poor in the world. In 2015, Indonesia was
ranked 62nd out of 72 countries, which was
still in the top 10 of the lowest ranking, with
an average score of 395. Despite being in
the low rank, in 2012 and 2015 science
performance in 15-year students rose 21
points. Therefore, Indonesia was ranked 5th
out of 72 other countries in the
acceleration of education. The rapid pace
of innovation can produce more students
capable of working in the field of science
(KEMENDIKBUD, 2016).
The survey conducted by the Trends in
Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) in
2015 found that Indonesian students were
ranked 44th out of 47 countries in terms of
natural science achievements. The results
of the 2015 TIMSS survey found that 90% of
Indonesian students were only able to
master the cognitive domains at level C1
and C2 for science and mathematics
subjects. Level C1 is related to the
knowledge category. This category
involves types of knowledge, such as
terminology, specific facts, conventions,
trends and sequences, classifications and
categories, criteria, methodologies,
principles and generalizations, theories
and structures. Meanwhile, the level C2 is
related to the understanding category,
which comprises translation, interpretation,
and extrapolation (Tikhonova & Kudinova,
2017).
The data shows the ability of students in
Indonesia was limited to only
understanding the lesson. This is indicated
by the habits of Indonesian students who
only memorize during the learning process
without the implementation of the
concepts learned. Whereas in the future,
the challenges for education graduates in
Indonesia will be more complex. Based on
this phenomenon, it is not surprising that
the quality of science learning is still low, so
that the students’ learning outcomes are
not optimal (Firdaus, 2015).
Individuals educated with STEM-based
learning are expected to have hard skills
that are balanced with soft skills, because
the learning process is carried out by
active learning methods that include
communication, collaboration, problem-
solving, leadership, creativity, and others.
Hence, STEM education pattern is
considered more interesting to be learned
(Sanders, 2009), because of the awareness
of the important role of technology and
engineering in the 21st century has been
believed to improve students' soft skills and
hard skills.
Based on the aforementioned elaboration,
the proposed research questionnaire: (1)
How is the planning of learning based on
Science, Technology, Engineering and
Mathematics? 2) What is the
implementation of learning based on
Science, Technology, Engineering, and
Mathematics?; and 3) How do the
students improve the cognitive abilities
after implementing science learning
Mimbar Sekolah Dasar, Volume 6 Number 2 August 2019
[200]
based on Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Mathematics?
Therefore, this research aims at 1) seeking
learning plans based on Science,
Technology, Engineering, and
Mathematics principle; 2) seeking the
implementation of learning based on
Science, Technology, Engineering, and
Mathematics principle; 3) seeking the
improvement of students' cognitive abilities
after implementing science learning
based on Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Mathematics principle.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and
Mathematics based learning
STEM is an acronym for Science,
Technology, Engineering, and
Mathematics. This acronym was
introduced by the United States National
Science Foundation in the 1990s as the
theme of the education reform movement
in this four disciplines to grow the STEM field
workforce, to develop STEM-literate
citizens, and to increase the global
competitiveness of the United States in
scientific and technological innovation
(Hanover, 2011). STEM education is a
“meta-discipline”. In other words, it is the
creation of a integration-based discipline
of other disciplinary knowledge into a new
‘whole’ rather than in bits and pieces; and
an interdisciplinary approach (Morrison,
2006; Tsupros, Kohler, & Hallinen, 2009).
The STEM approach is used to advance
education, in hope that students will be
ready to study the fields of science,
technology, engineering and
mathematics in higher education and can
find future work in the STEM field (Figliano,
Wells, Mark Sanders, Wilkins, & Fred
Figliano, 2007).
STEM has an effective way to engage
students in high-level thinking, and improve
problem-solving skills by placing science
and mathematics in the context of
technology and engineering. The aim of
STEM-based learning is to develop school
graduates’ skills on science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics. The
essence of STEM education is to prepare
the 21st century workforce with STEM
education and its related activities, so that
the students can take lessons in
classroom/laboratory to be implemented
in real life. The development of STEM-
based learning must be encouraged and
continued to train effective classroom
management, thus they can update their
knowledge in the modern trends of
teaching STEM education. and apply their
knowledge to effective student teaching
(Ejiwale, 2013).
According to English & King (2015), STEM-
based learning is carried out using stages
of the Engineering Design Process
consisting of:
1. Problem Scoping (Understanding the
boundaries of problem)
Students will clarify and redefine the
objectives of the problem, identify
possible the emergence of obstacles,
explore issues, add context, experiment
Anugrah Ramadhan Firdaus & Galih Dani Septiyan Rahayu, Effect of STEM based Learning
[201]
with materials, and build collaborative
group work.
2. Idea Generation (Brainstorming and
Planning)
Students will share ideas, and formulate
them, discuss strategies that will be
pursued, and develop a plan.
3. Design and Construct (Model
Development)
Students will create a design and then
interpret the results of the design. After
that students will change design into a
model.
4. Design Evaluation (Meeting Constraint)
Students will examine the model, then
check if there are obstacles, assess and
measure the achievement of goals
5. Redesign Model
Students will conduct a review of the
first design, create a new design sketch
and revise the model.
First, at the stage of problem scoping,
students will consider solving possible
problems, clarify the objectives of the
problems, identify possible obstacles,
experiment in finding relevant information
and start to build collaboration between
groups. Second, at the stage of idea
generation, students will brainstorm and
make plans. They will share and formulate
ideas, discuss strategies and develop plans
collaboratively. Third, at the stage of
design and construct, students will create
a design, interpret the design, and start
making models based on the design.
Fourth, at the stage of design evaluation,
students will examine the model, check
the existing obstacles, and make an
assessment based on the desired initial
goals. Fifth, at the stage of redesign,
students will do a review from the
beginning, then make a new design and
transform it into a new model.
Cognitive
Cognitive is related to or involves
cognition. Cognition is an activity or
process to acquire knowledge, or an effort
to recognize something through his own
experience. Cognitive ability is a person's
ability to process one or more information,
where the process also involves
understanding the obtained information.
Cognitive learning outcomes are not single
abilities but have several levels. Cognitive
classification is widely used in the world of
education, and the classification
proposed by Bloom (1956) is still widely
used.
The ability referred to in this research is the
ability in the cognitive domain based on
Bloom's taxonomy, which is mastery of
subject matter related to thinking ability
after learning. The cognitive domain is that
involves more aspects of mental or brain.
In the cognitive domain, there are six levels
of thought processes, ranging from the
lowest to the highest level. These levels is
abbreviated as "C" taken from the word
"Cognitive". The cognitive abilities of
students in this research were only
examined from four levels of the cognitive
domain: C1 (remembering), C2
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(understanding), C3 (applying) and C4
(analyzing).
METHOD
This research is a quantitative research. It
employs a pre-experimental method with
one-group pretest-posttest research
design. According to Rahayu & Nugraha
(2018), the design of one-group pretest-
posttest research is a study using minimal
controls. The design is presented in Figure
1.
Pre-Test
Treatment
Post-Test
T1
X
T2
Figure 1. Research Design one group
pretest-posttest
Based on Rahayu and Nugraha’s (2018)
steps of one group pretest-posttest design
are as follows, this research conducted the
following steps:
1. Performing the initial test (T1) to
measure the average score obtained
by students before being given
treatment.
2. Giving treatment (X), where in this
research, where the STEM-based
learning model was implemented.
3. Conducting the final test (T2) to
measure the average score obtained
after being given treatment, namely
the STEM-based learning model in this
research.
4. Comparing T1 with T2 to see whether
there is a difference in the increase in
cognitive learning outcomes.
5. Conducting appropriate statistical
tests to see significant differences.
6. Providing interpretation of the
research results.
The subjects of this research were fourth-
grade students in one of primary schools in
Cimahi City. The sampling technique used
was non-random sampling, which meant
that the research subjects are based on
the composition of the members
available, feasible, and related to the
goals and characteristics of this research.
The procedure of research consisted of
four stages, namely the stages of planning,
implementation, completion, and
publication of the research results. At the
planning stage, the activity consisted of
analyzing the results of previous studies on
STEM-based learning, analyzing the
development of teaching materials of
science in primary school, compiling
instruments, validating instrument, and
testing instruments. At the implementation
stage, the activities carried out were the
conducting pretest, giving the treatment
by carrying out learning using the STEM
model, and conducting posttest. At the
completion stage, the activities carried out
were collecting data, processing and
analyzing the research results, and
preparing research reports. At the
publication stage, the activity was
publishing the research results.
The instrument used to answer the
research questions was multiple-choice
written test consisting of 20 questions.
Anugrah Ramadhan Firdaus & Galih Dani Septiyan Rahayu, Effect of STEM based Learning
[203]
Before this instrument was used at the
pretest and posttest stages, the instrument
was examined by the expert and the
students, so that the validity, reliability,
distinguishing power, and level of difficulty
of this instrument were in a good category.
RESULTS
The research results are in accordance
with the formulation of the first lesson
about the planning of STEM-based
learning by carefully preparing the
packaging of learning activities and
media used in learning, because STEM-
based learning must be able to create a
harmonious, dynamic, interesting and
challenging class. In addition to creating
the classroom atmosphere, STEM-based
learning is also expected to create
independent students technology-literate,
and have high curiosity and good
innovations.
Furthermore, the aspects that must be
considered in the preparation of STEM-
based learning implementation plan are
as follows:
1. Understanding the steps of STEM-based
learning
2. Developing STEM-based learning steps
into learning activities. As implemented
in this research: at the stages of
scoping problem, the teachers
planned learning activities that could
stimulate the students to consider
solving possible problems, At the stage
of idea generation, the teachers
prepared learning activities that could
stimulate the students to brainstorm
and make a plan, so that the students
would share and formulate ideas,
discuss strategies, and develop plans
collaboratively, At the stage of design,
the teachers prepared a design, so
that the students would create a
design, interpret the design and start
making models based on the design.
At the stage of design evaluation and
redesign, since it was carried out by
primary school students, so that if there
was an inappropriate design, the
teachers must be able to explain,
remind, and direct the students, so that
they were be able to create an
appropriate design.
3. Preparing the students’ worksheets (LKS
Lembar Kerja Siswa) and technology-
based learning media. Hence, it can
create a learning atmosphere in
accordance with the objectives of
STEM-based learning.
The research results were in accordance
with the formulation of the problem about
the implementation of STEM-based
learning, namely the four steps of STEM-
based learning consisted of the problem
scoping, idea generation, design and
construct, design evaluation and redesign.
In this research, the learning activities were
carried out in three meetings. At the first
meeting, the pretest activities was
conducted to see students' initial abilities.
At the second meeting, the learning
activities were carried out in accordance
with the steps of the STEM-based learning
Mimbar Sekolah Dasar, Volume 6 Number 2 August 2019
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model. There was a finding in this meeting
in which the students carried out STEM-
based learning quite well, but there were
some students who felt they were not used
to it, so that they needed encouragement
from the teacher. The implementation of
learning was brief, namely at the stage of
problem scoping, the students considered
solving possible problems. In addition, at
this stage, the students made a list of
solutions to problems, and chose solutions
that were able to solve problems, At the
idea generation stage, the students
brainstormed and made a plan. They
shared information in a group with other
students to formulate ideas, discuss
strategies and develop collaborative
plans. At the design and construct stage,
the students created a design based on
the collaborative formulation and plan,
interpreted the design, and started
modeling based on the design, At the
stage of design evaluation and redesign:
the students evaluated their design, and
improved the design based on the results
of the evaluation.
At the third meeting, post-test were
conducted. The stages of learning were
certainly directed by the teacher,
because the subjects in the research were
the fourth-grade students in primary
school.
The cognitive ability score data in this
research was analyzed using a different
test on the average pretest and posttest
scores. The difference test on the average
score of cognitive abilities was conducted
to show whether there were differences in
scores from pretest to posttest.
Table 1. Recapitulation of Science
Cognitive Ability Test Results
Data
Pretest
Posttest
N
30
30
Average
7.4
16.3
N-gain
0.72
Table 1 shows that the average score of
cognitive abilities of students at the pretest
score was 7.4, and at the posttest was
16.3. The increase calculated based on n-
gain results in a n-gain score was 0.72. This
indicated that there was an increase in
scores with high categories.
DISCUSSION
Based on the cognitive ability score test
analysis, the results revealed that there
was a significant increase in cognitive
abilities from pretest to posttest. It
indicated that the students were actively
involved in the learning process, in
meaning that they were actively thinking
and carrying out in the learning activities,
so that learning became more
meaningful. This increase was influenced
by the learning process that used STEM-
based LKS. These results were in line with
the research conducted by Barret, Moran,
& Woods (2014), which showed that STEM
integrated module material successfully
promotes the students’ learning, as
indicated by a significant increase in the
average score at the time of assessment.
Anugrah Ramadhan Firdaus & Galih Dani Septiyan Rahayu, Effect of STEM based Learning
[205]
The students' experiences in finding
solutions during the engineering design
process gave them the opportunity to
conduct trial and error. Although the
students had failed several times to
implement the best students’ solution, it
actually contributed to the development
of knowledge. This process made a
meaningful learning, and supported the
improvement of the students’ learning
outcomes.
According to English & King (2015), the
implementation of the engineering design
is considered as the successful method in
developing STEM-learning material, and it
also became the reinforcement in solving
STEM-based problems. The STEM-based
learning material implemented in this
research immensely focused on the
engineering design process, and involved
the students in this process of the STEM
challenge, from clearly identifying
problems to creating and developing
solutions. The previous research showed
that engineering design was an effective
approach to support science learning
(Schnittka & Bell, 2011).
The stage of idea generation in the
engineering design encouraged the
students to recall the knowledge that had
been learned. This encouraged students to
connect the concepts that had been
learned to be implemented in engineering
design activities. The learning results
integrated into several disciplines showed
that the students could be good problem
solvers, which are indicated from positive
responses, and the improvement of their
learning outcomes (Stinson et al., 2009).
The previous research showed that STEM
had a positive effect on the students’
learning outcomes, and helped students
understand science better when
integrated with real problems, which
became the key aspects of science
competence (Hurley, 2001).
Based on the observations results after
learning, differences in the increase in
cognitive abilities of the students based on
the superior and moderate rates were
occurred because high students were
more interested in making observations
and experiments, so that they paid
attention, and observed the steps of the
results of the experiment correctly. In
contrast with this group, they actually did
not look serious in the experiments, and
instead chose to directly fill in the LKS. This
was in line with Akhtar (2006) who affirmed
that in attempting to provide a more
concrete and realistic learning experience
to the students, the teachers must use and
prepare special teaching materials. The
existence of LKS supported this learning
process in helping the students develop
their understanding. The advantages of
STEM in giving students the opportunity to
obtain hands-on experiences can help
students gain meaningful learning, and
help students improve their cognitive
abilities. Therefore, as a renewal in
teaching, STEM can provide alternative
learning solutions to face the 21st century.
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CONCLUSION
Based on the research results and findings,
STEM-based learning had an influence on
the improvement of the primary school
students' cognitive abilities. The
improvement of cognitive abilities was
proven by a high n-gain score resulting
from the achievement of the pretest score
to the posttest score. This showed that the
students' cognitive abilities increased after
carrying out STEM-based learning.
Moreover, the research using STEM-based
learning required a careful planning. In
addition to preparing learning planning,
the teaching material must also be well
prepared, so that students were motivated
and in accordance with student
characteristics and the teaching materials.
A high level of creativity is needed in
implementing the direct learning to
respond to the students’ responses that
are beyond predictions, such as dividing
groups of students in the control class.
RECOMMENDATION
Based on the conclusion of this research,
there are several recommendations for the
further researchers who will conduct the
research regarding STEM-based learning
and cognitive abilities. First, it is suggested
ti add more samples in order to obtain the
generalized research results that will be
broader in scope. Second, it is suggested
to developf STEM-based learning with
various teaching materials, for instance, in
forms of ICT-based teaching materials or
other teaching materials to facilitate
primary school students in learning
activities. Third, it is suggested that the
findings of this research results are
developed in order to implement STEM-
based learning to be more useful in
primary schools, both in developing
cognitive, affective, and psychomotor
abilities of p school primary students.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Gratitude is extended to Directorate
General of Research and Development
Reinforcement of Ministry of Research,
Technology and Higher Education who
has provided the research funding through
a research program for beginner lecturers,
so that this research could be conducted
properly in accordance with the targets
and objectives.
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iu1.pdf
Article
The purpose of the study is to consider the features of the use of mobile applications for the development of professional competencies, in particular cognitive skills, and their general impact on the effectiveness of learning. There were 845 students from 2 countries participating in the research. The students were divided into two groups: one group was trained in accordance with the curriculum developed based on mobile applications while the curriculum of the second group was not changed. The results of the reinterview showed a significant increase in the cognitive abilities of respondents in Group 1 as 81% of them indicated a strong effect of the use of mobile applications on the development of cognitive skills. The analysis of the results also showed an increase in the students' motivation to use mobile applications as compared to the survey conducted at the first stage the list of professional competencies and percentage changed.
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This research is motivated by a change in learning methods that were initially face-to-face to online learning that resulted from the COVOD-19 outbreak. The purpose of this study was to analyze the mathematical resilience of elementary school students during learning during the COVOD-19 pandemic. The method used in this research is descriptive method with 36 elementary school students as subjects in one of the primary schools in Majalengka district, West Java, Indonesia. The results of this study, mathematics resilience of elementary school students is in the medium category. The findings related to mathematics resilience of elementary school students namely resilience is not only influenced by the complexity of the material and changes in learning methods. However other factors such as the packaging of learning by the teacher, the media used by the teacher, and the communication used by the teacher also affect the mathematics resilience of elementary school students.
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The purpose of this research is to know the influence of cooperative model of game tournment team (TGT) type to cross cultural skill in IPS learning in fourth grade of SD Negeri Talaga kulon I. The method used in this research is pre experiment with one group pretest-posttest research design with instrument is a checklist observation system guidance. The result of this research is TGT type co-operative model have an effect on the improvement of cross cultural skills of elementary school students of Talaga Kulon I. This is seen from the comparison of pretest and posttest score and statistical test showing improvement especially on indicators "Harnessing social and cultural differences to work together effectively".
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Background: Internationally, there is a growing concern for developing STEM education to prepare students for a scientifically and technologically advanced society. Despite educational bodies lobbying for an increased focus on STEM, there is limited research on how engineering might be incorporated especially in the elementary school curriculum. A framework of five comprehensive core engineering design processes (problem scoping, idea generation, design and construction, design evaluation, redesign), adapted from the literature on design thinking in young children, served as a basis for the study. We report on a qualitative study of fourth-grade students’ developments in working an aerospace problem, which took place during the first year of a 3-year longitudinal study. Students applied design processes together with their mathematics and science knowledge to the design and redesign of a 3-D model plane. Results: The study shows that through an aerospace engineering problem, students could complete initial designs and redesigns of a model plane at varying levels of sophistication. Three levels of increasing sophistication in students’ sketches were identified in their designs and redesigns. The second level was the most prevalent involving drawings or templates of planes together with an indication of how to fold the materials as well as measurements linked to the plane’s construction. The third level incorporated written instructions and calculations. Students’ engagement with each of the framework’s design processes revealed problem scoping components in their initial designs and redesigns. Furthermore, students’ recommendations for improving their launching techniques revealed an ability to apply their mathematics knowledge in conjunction with their science learning on the forces of flight. Students’ addition of context was evident together with an awareness of constraints and a consideration of what was feasible in their design creation. Interestingly, students’ application of disciplinary knowledge occurred more frequently in the last two phases of the engineering framework (i.e., design evaluation and redesign), highlighting the need for students to reach these final phases to enable the science and mathematics ideas to emerge. Conclusions: The study supports research indicating young learners’ potential for early engineering. Students can engage in design and redesign processes, applying their STEM disciplinary knowledge in doing so. An appropriate balance is needed between teacher input of new concepts and students’ application of this learning in ways they choose. For example, scaffolding by the teacher about how to improve designs for increased detail could be included in subsequent experiences. Such input could enhance students’ application of STEM disciplinary knowledge in the redesign process. We offer our framework of design processes for younger learners as one way to approach early engineering education with respect to both the creation of rich problem experiences and the analysis of their learning.
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Background: Given the continued need to educate the public on both the meteorological and engineering hazards posed by the severe winds of a tornado, an interdisciplinary science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) module designed by the faculty from the Oceanography and Mechanical Engineering Departments at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) was developed to engage students ages 12 to 16 in the fields of meteorology and engineering. Interdisciplinary educational modules such as this one are becoming increasingly common components of academic outreach programs, but to our knowledge, this is one of the first to combine the fields of meteorology and engineering. While many studies have examined changes in student engagement and interest in the STEM fields as a result of participating in interdisciplinary activities such as this one, relatively fewer have focused on quantifying changes in student content knowledge. The primary purposes of this paper are to (1) describe our interdisciplinary STEM module in detail and (2) report immediate changes in students' knowledge on basic meteorological and engineering content as a result of their participation in the module. Results: Results from a quick, easy-to-administer assessment instrument given to students immediately before and after their participation in the 1-h module indicated that they learned basic content in both meteorology and engineering. Mean improvement of scores on the assessment questions was 40.2%, a change that was statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. Other studies that focus on quantifying student learning may wish to lengthen the time between student participation in the module and the administration of the post-module assessment. Conclusions: Our interdisciplinary module integrated material from meteorology and engineering and was successful at promoting student learning. We recommend that other institutions consider developing similar interdisciplinary STEM activities, and we particularly encourage the development of activities that relate to current events. Finally, we recommend assessing content learning as another way to measure the success of interdisciplinary STEM activities.
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The purpose of this research was to investigate the impact of engineering design classroom activities on middle‐school students’ conceptions of heat transfer and thermal energy. One eighth‐grade physical science teacher and the students in three of her classes participated in this mixed‐methods investigation. One class served as the control receiving the teacher’s typical instruction. Students in a second class had the same learning objectives, but were taught science through an engineering design curriculum that included demonstrations targeting specific alternative conceptions about heat transfer and thermal energy. A third class also used the engineering design curriculum, but students experienced typical demonstrations instead of targeted ones. Conceptual understandings of heat transfer and thermal energy and attitudes towards engineering were assessed prior to and after the interventions through interviews, observations, artefact analysis, a multiple choice assessment, and a Likert scale assessment. Results indicated that the engineering design curriculum with targeted demonstrations was significantly more effective in eliciting desired conceptual change than the typical instruction and also significantly more effective than the engineering curriculum without targeted demonstrations. Implications from this study can inform how teachers should be prepared to use engineering design activities in science classrooms for conceptual change.
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A new generation of assessments is making it easier and more reliable to test students' higher-order thinking skills.
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Based upon current research needs indicated from recent literature reviews, this integrative review concentrates on two of the perceived major impediments to integrating science and mathematics: The lack of evidence to support integration and the lack of a definition for integration. Using mixed methodology, this review found quantitative evidence favoring integration from a meta-analysis of 31 studies of student achievement, qualitative evidence revealing the existence of multiple forms of integration, and historical evidence of publishing patterns from across the 20th century. The forms of integration were identified and defined; differential effects were identified both between forms and between science and mathematics when the forms were analyzed by effect size. Additional research implications and suggestions for future research were also identified.
Barriers to Successful Implementation of PDM
  • J A Ejiwale
Ejiwale, J. A. (2013). Barriers to Successful Implementation of PDM. Journal of Education and Learning, 7(2), 63-74. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-24436-5_20