SIMULATIONS VERSUS HANDS-ON PROJECTS’ EFFECT ON STUDENTS’ INCLINATIONS TOWARDS ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION
1 Khalifa University of Science, Technology & Research (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
2 American University of Sharjah (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:With many students abandoning the engineering education, research initiatives need to present talented students with some aspects of engineering at a young age. Three separate groups of United Arab Emirates middle school students were part of an innovative engineering education experiment. The experiment was expected to enhance their inclination to continue their engineering and technology education. This investigation intended to explore two major students’ responses towards two tracks of applied education; namely computer-based simulation versus building and testing hands-on models by means of LEGO Mindstorm robotics kits. The combination of the two tracks was also studied. Results qualitatively showed enhancement of the students’ interest in math and science. It also showed that they would be more inclined towards engineering careers. Overall the study showed that the simulations track is more likely to draw students closer to pursuing engineering and technological education when compared to hand-on exercises. More results are presented and discussed in this paper.
Keywords: engineering Education.