Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, ETSI Caminos, Canales y Puertos (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 6449-6455
ISBN: 978-84-09-14755-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2019.1551
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
The learning process that actively involves students through a community work is known as service-learning. Various published research have shown cases in which service-learning has allowed students to acquire not only the specific competences of the curriculum but also transversal competences, values and skills that improve the academic and personal development of students as well as their future career. Moreover, it has been proven that these collaborative activities improve the motivation of the students and their commitment to the learning process. It is worth mentioning that the University must not only train good professionals but also citizens. Therefore, it is of significant importance to strengthen the social attitudes that service-learning methodology fosters.

The School of Civil Engineers (ETSICCP) of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid carries out several activities in collaboration with secondary schools in Madrid region. From these activities it was detected a lack of knowledge on a fraction of the students of these centers about what are the Engineering activities and what an engineer performs in her/his professional role. For this reason, the project described in this study emerged.

The students dealing with their end-of-degree projects (TFT in Spanish) at the ETSICCP, through a presentation or poster, present to several groups of students of the last years of secondary education the works done in their TFT. Such projects usually consist of an actual construction project. The academic coordinator of the final degree projects, alongside with the school head of studies, make a selection of TFTs including several types of civil works (structures, roads, dams, ports, etc.) among all the projects of the students who want to participate. Their authors present, in the collaborating secondary schools and institutes, the selected projects. In this way, these students strengthen their communication skills by exposing their work to recipients without technical and engineering skills and terminology and learn how to synthesize and transmit the fundamental aspects of their projects. At the same time, these tasks reinforce other competences such as creativity.

In contrast, secondary and high-school students improve their knowledge about the general aspects of a civil engineering project exposed by other fellow students, and may consider Civil Engineering degree as a possibility for studying and their career. It is intended to display civil engineering to secondary school students in a practical, friendly way and using a language close to them. Secondary and high-school students are asked to evaluate the oral presentation of the engineering students. Therefore, the acquisition of competences such as linguistic communication, basic competences in science and technology, social and civic competences or sense of initiative and entrepreneurial spirit is favored. The results obtained from the evaluations of the teachers, lecturers and students are shown and discussed in this study.
Service-learning, engineering vocations, motivation, school dropout, student recruitment.