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Development of learning environments to increase the understanding and interest in engineering and technology amongst Australian primary school students

Authors
Publisher
Department of Chemical Engineering
Publication Date
Disciplines
  • Engineering

Abstract

The paper reports on the results of an action research study, aimed at developing interest and understanding among primary school students in the fields of engineering and technology as potential career choices in order to redress the inadequate supply of trained professionals in the fields of Engineering and Technology. Data was collected by administering a modified version of a pre-validated pictorial questionnaire 'Engineering is Elementary' (EIE) twice to 340 students from 15 primary classrooms in years 4, 5 and 6 in Perth, Australia in a three phase study. In the first phase students' existing understanding about 'What Engineers Do?' and 'What is Technology?" were explored. In the second phase a lecture explaining the relationship between Science, Technology and Engineering was delivered in each of the participating classes followed by three engineering related student activities. In the third phase the EIE was readministered and significant differences in student understanding were identified in recognition of the items in the EIE suggesting that an intervention programme could play key role in creating students interest in engineering and Technology.

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