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STEM Learning Through Engineering Design: Fourth-Grade Students' Investigations In Aerospace

Abstract

"Internationally, there is a growing concern for developing STEM education to prepare students for a scientifically and technologically advanced society. Despite educational bodies lobbying for an increased focus on STEM, there is limited research on how engineering might be incorporated especially in the elementary school curriculum. A framework of five comprehensive core engineering design processes (problem scoping, idea generation, design and construction, design evaluation, redesign), adapted from the literature on design thinking in young children, served as a basis for the study. We report on a qualitative study of fourth-grade students' developments in working an aerospace problem, which took place during the first year of a 3-year longitudinal study. Students applied design processes together with their mathematics and science knowledge to the design and redesign of a 3-D model plane."

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