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An attempt to combine science learning with engineering in a middle school science classroom
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. (UmSER)
University of Tarttu, Estonia.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. (UmSER)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5269-1451
2017 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In the current study, middle school students’ problem-solving was explored. Within a design-based science learning (DBSL) module, the students were expected to design an ice cream making device. The goals of the study were: (a) to describe the DBSL module; (b) to develop an understanding of the processes of student design and difficulties they face within the given setting; (c) to find out how science knowledge was used by students in a design situation; (d) to explore how student design processes and design products can be characterised and eventually, assessed.  Data were gathered by students’ written reports and video recorded classroom observations. Based on the findings, it can be concluded that the crucial areas important for design success were the students’ understanding of the scientific phenomena and the operational principles behind the ice cream making device. Lack of one or both led to unrealistic design ideas. As a result of the study, a set of assessment criteria was developed which covered the functional, structural, safety and feasibility aspects of the device. According to the criteria, it was found that amongst the initial individual design projects (N=23), only eight could be classified as realistic, nine as realistic with reservations while seven were classified as unrealistic. The initial difficulties, were overcome though, by peer support, teacher guidance, and some trial and error experiences resulting in five mostly realistic group designs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
educational work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-138746OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-138746DiVA: diva2:1136949
Conference
ESERA 2017 Conference, Dublin City University, Ireland, 21st - 25th Aug, 2017. European Science Education Research Association
Available from: 2017-08-29 Created: 2017-08-29 Last updated: 2017-08-29

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf