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Enhancing Inquiry Skills in Engineering through a University-School District Partnership

Abstract

Discusses the development of inquiry-based experimental design into four undergraduate engineering courses.



"The Partnership for Student Success in Science is a collaborative educational project between San Jose State University and nine Silicon Valley area school districts. Engineering faculty from San Jose State University (SJSU) are participating in the project to both provide content knowledge for teacher professional development and to enhance undergraduate instruction in the SJSU College of Engineering through enriched pedagogy. Strategies for incorporating inquiry-based learning into the SJSU undergraduate and graduate engineering curricula have been explored in both lecture and lab courses. Inquiry lab periods have been included in the Aerodynamics course. Similarly, in the Biochemical Engineering Laboratory course, students are given the opportunity to answer a question of their choice through literature review and experimentation. Inquiry-based learning has also been incorporated in lecture and laboratory courses in the Civil Engineering program. An informal assessment of these techniques has facilitated their improvement in execution and shown their effectiveness in teaching students difficult engineering concepts."

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