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Designing an ice cream making device: a design-based science learning approach
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. (UmSER)
Centre for Science Education, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Tartu, Estonia.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education. (UmSER)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5269-1451
2018 (English)In: Science Education International, ISSN 1450-104X, E-ISSN 2077-2327, Vol. 29, no 3, p. 149-162Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study, middle school students’ (8th grade, n = 24) problem-solving processes were investigated while implementing a design-based science learning (DBSL) approach. DBSL tries to incorporate science learning with the processes of engineering design. A DBSL module was developed by the research team within which students were expected to design an ice cream making device from simple and easily available materials. The goals of the study were: (a) To develop an understanding of the processes of student design including difficulties they face within the DBSL setting; (b) to determine how science knowledge was used by students in a design situation; and (c) to explore how student design processes and design products can be characterized and eventually, assessed. Data were gathered from students’ written reports, video-recorded classroom observations, and teachers’ oral feedback. The findings reveal that the crucial aspects for design success were the students’ understanding of the scientific phenomena, the operational principles behind the ice cream making device, and the understanding of the design criteria. Lack of one or more led to unrealistic design ideas. The initial difficulties were overcome by peer support, teacher guidance, and trial and error experiences. A set of assessment criteria, able to characterize student design products, were developed. As a result of this study, practical guidelines for curriculum developers and teachers on how to facilitate further implementation of DBSL in the classroom are provided.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 29, no 3, p. 149-162
Keywords [en]
design-based science learning; problem-solving; middle school; assessment
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
didactics of natural science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-151715OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-151715DiVA, id: diva2:1247037
Available from: 2018-09-10 Created: 2018-09-10 Last updated: 2018-10-10Bibliographically approved

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Vaino, KatrinOttander, Christina

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CiteExportLink to record
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