For a successful STEM education, more hands-on and project-based programs are required to be developed and applied in classrooms. In this paper, a short STEM program called Engineering Explorers, aimed to familiarize young students with engineering and its background science is presented. The program included science activities, hands-on engineering projects and contests to challenge students’ math, science, and problem-solving skills. This program, which was developed and conducted at Texas A&M University at Qatar, has shown high impact in motivating students to learn more about science and engineering. Throughout the program, students learn science concepts, design, teamwork and creativity through interactive activities. Built around the engineering design and fabrication processes, Engineering Explorers teaches students how to solve problems systematically and understand how to implement STEM basics into their future science projects. With a theme of using technology for coastal cleanup, the students designed a battery-powered hovercraft capable of cleaning a coastline; a serious problem in Qatar. The students researched hovercraft theory and ways in which components of the hovercraft contribute to how it works. They implemented their designs using 3D printing technology. The details of the program including the contents, preparation, guiding the students during the workshop, developed hovercrafts, end of program competition, and sample survey outputs are presented.
A Project-Based Learning STEM Program for Middle and High School Students
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Gharib, M, Cieslinski, GB, Al-Marri, J, & Creel, B. "A Project-Based Learning STEM Program for Middle and High School Students." Proceedings of the ASME 2018 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. Volume 5: Engineering Education. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. November 9–15, 2018. V005T07A039. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/IMECE2018-88647
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