STEAM-Learning to Mars : Students’ Ideas of Space Research

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Piila , E , Salmi , H & Thuneberg , H 2021 , ' STEAM-Learning to Mars : Students’ Ideas of Space Research ' , Education Sciences , vol. 11 , no. 3 , 122 .

Title: STEAM-Learning to Mars : Students’ Ideas of Space Research
Author: Piila, Erna; Salmi, Hannu; Thuneberg, Helena
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Tampere University
University of Helsinki, Department of Education
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Education Common Matters
Date: 2021-03
Language: eng
Number of pages: 20
Belongs to series: Education Sciences
ISSN: 2227-7102
Abstract: 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
Subject: 516 Educational sciences
informal learning
transversal competencies
science centre education
inquiry based

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