Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

STEM Related Publications

3 Investigation of the Physical Computing in Computational Thinking Practices, Computer Programming Concepts and Self-Efficacy for Crosscutting Ideas in STEM Content Environments

Authors: Sarantos Psycharis

Abstract:

Physical Computing, as an instructional model, is applied in the framework of the Engineering Pedagogy to teach “transversal/cross-cutting ideas” in a STEM content approach. Labview and Arduino were used in order to connect the physical world with real data in the framework of the so called Computational Experiment. Tertiary prospective engineering educators were engaged during their course and Computational Thinking (CT) concepts were registered before and after the intervention across didactic activities using validated questionnaires for the relationship between self-efficacy, computer programming, and CT concepts when STEM content epistemology is implemented in alignment with the Computational Pedagogy model. Results show a significant change in students’ responses for self-efficacy for CT before and after the instruction. Results also indicate a significant relation between the responses in the different CT concepts/practices. According to the findings, STEM content epistemology combined with Physical Computing should be a good candidate as a learning and teaching approach in university settings that enhances students’ engagement in CT concepts/practices.

Keywords: computational thinking, Self-efficacy, labview, Arduino, STEM, physical computing

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2 A Neuroscience-Based Learning Technique: Framework and Application to STEM

Authors: Dante J. Dorantes-Gonzalez, Aldrin Balsa-Yepes

Abstract:

Existing learning techniques such as problem-based learning, project-based learning, or case study learning are learning techniques that focus mainly on technical details, but give no specific guidelines on learner’s experience and emotional learning aspects such as arousal salience and valence, being emotional states important factors affecting engagement and retention. Some approaches involving emotion in educational settings, such as social and emotional learning, lack neuroscientific rigorousness and use of specific neurobiological mechanisms. On the other hand, neurobiology approaches lack educational applicability. And educational approaches mainly focus on cognitive aspects and disregard conditioning learning. First, authors start explaining the reasons why it is hard to learn thoughtfully, then they use the method of neurobiological mapping to track the main limbic system functions, such as the reward circuit, and its relations with perception, memories, motivations, sympathetic and parasympathetic reactions, and sensations, as well as the brain cortex. The authors conclude explaining the major finding: The mechanisms of nonconscious learning and the triggers that guarantee long-term memory potentiation. Afterward, the educational framework for practical application and the instructors’ guidelines are established. An implementation example in engineering education is given, namely, the study of tuned-mass dampers for earthquake oscillations attenuation in skyscrapers. This work represents an original learning technique based on nonconscious learning mechanisms to enhance long-term memories that complement existing cognitive learning methods.

Keywords: emotion, STEM, emotion-enhanced memory, learning technique

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1 High School Stem Curriculum and Example of Laboratory Work That Shows How Microcomputers Can Help in Understanding of Physical Concepts

Authors: Jelena Slugan, Ivica Ružić

Abstract:

We are witnessing the rapid development of technologies that change the world around us. However, curriculums and teaching processes are often slow to adapt to the change; it takes time, money and expertise to implement technology in the classroom. Therefore, the University of Split, Croatia, partnered with local school Marko Marulić High School and created the project "Modern competence in modern high schools" as part of which five different curriculums for STEM areas were developed. One of the curriculums involves combining information technology with physics. The main idea was to teach students how to use different circuits and microcomputers to explore nature and physical phenomena. As a result, using electrical circuits, students are able to recreate in the classroom the phenomena that they observe every day in their environment. So far, high school students had very little opportunity to perform experiments independently, and especially, those physics experiment did not involve ICT. Therefore, this project has a great importance, because the students will finally get a chance to develop themselves in accordance to modern technologies. This paper presents some new methods of teaching physics that will help students to develop experimental skills through the study of deterministic nature of physical laws. Students will learn how to formulate hypotheses, model physical problems using the electronic circuits and evaluate their results. While doing that, they will also acquire useful problem solving skills.

Keywords: Curriculum, STEM, ICT in physics, laboratory activities

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