Browsing by Subject "hands-on"

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  • Pernia-Espinoza, Alpha; Sodupe-Ortega, Enrique; Pecina-Marqueta, Sergio; Martinez-Banares, Sergio; Sanz Garcia, Andres; Blanco-Fernandez, Julio (UNIVERSITAT POLITECNICA DE VALENCIA, 2017)
    Nowadays, in addition to the expected technical knowledge, labor markets demand engineers with personal, interpersonal and system building skills, according to the CDIO (Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate) syllabus. But the current higher education systems are mostly teaching theoretical concepts rather than practical or applied cases. Makerspaces could become a bridge between universities and industry, particularly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) careers. Makerspaces, also known as hackerspaces, hack labs, and fab labs, are open-access spaces where tools, machines and knowledge are shared with the purpose of implementing an idea. This communication evaluates the current status of the makerspaces at the world's top 10 universities in engineering and three of the most well-known Spanish ones, as well as the new campus makerspace created at the University of La Rioja. All the information was collected from universities' websites. Most of these reviewed universities have created outstanding makerspaces generally for the entire academic community. The Spanish 'Maker UPV' has been exceptionally successful promoting activities and projects in spite of the lack of resources reported. Lastly, the implementation of a new makerspace at the University of La Rioja (UR-Maker) is described with information about its organization, funding sources and activities already performed. This experience can represent an attractive guide for the academic community as other universities can explore the creation of new makerspaces on their own campus.
  • Piila, Erna; Salmi, Hannu; Thuneberg, Helena (2021)
    Multidisciplinarity and the enrichment of science and mathematics education toward the so-called STEAM-approach where the A stands for art, has raised a lot of academic interest in the past decade. In this study, 5th and 6th graders from the greater Helsinki area (N = 390) participated in a several months long, Mars-colonization themed STEAM-learning intervention. Testing the students’ science knowledge using pre- and post-tests, their learning outcomes were compared to those of 5th and 6th graders from a control school (N = 119), who during the same period studied STEM-subjects in a more traditional manner. The main factors that were taken into account during the comparisons were gender and academic achievement level. Based on only whether there was any improvement between the pre- and post-test scores, girls were found to have benefitted from the Mars-module more than boys did. While also considering the magnitude of the said improvement, no significant difference in the effectiveness of the learning module was found between genders. The group of academically highest-achieving students improved their test scores the most after participating in the STEAM-learning module. This is an important, somewhat surprising finding, as often informal, outside of school learning has been found to benefit especially students with lower grade point averages. Keywords: STEM to STEAM; informal learning; transversal competencies; science centre education; inquiry based; hands-on; thinking skills