DEVELOPMENT OF A DRINKING WATER ENGINEERING MODULE FOR STUDENTS AT SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Delft University of Technology (NETHERLANDS)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN09 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain
In the Netherlands, the amount of contact hours for mathematics, physics and chemistry is decreasing at secondary schools. To compensate for this decrease in knowledge a new course has been developed. This course is a combination of Beta-courses and deals with the application of fundamental theory in daily practice. The course is called NLT, standing for Natuur, Leven and Techniek (in the English language “Nature, Life and Technology”). In 2008, a team consisting of two specialists from the drinking-water department (topical experts) and a coordinator from the science-education department (educational expert), all from Delft University of Technology, and four teachers (two chemistry teachers and two physics teachers) from two secondary schools, started the development of a new NLT module on drinking-water engineering. This paper discusses the process of the development of the module.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE MODULE
Making drinking water and distributing it to consumers requires knowledge of chemistry, physics, fluid mechanics, biology and mathematics. This multi-disciplinary field of skills and knowledge makes drinking water engineering an ideal subject for NLT. The basis of the module is the theory as taught in BSc courses on drinking water at Delft University of Technology. Furthermore, the students have to apply the basic water fundamentals in simple experiments. To be able to perform the experiments the students have to make their own experimental set-up. The theory and the experiments on drinking-water processes are adjusted to the knowledge of the students, but are still challenging for 5th or 6th years students (17 and 18 years of age). The experiments are done with easily to obtain materials, like PET-bottles, tubes, shells and pipes. In this module, an engineering approach is used. Students have to think like an engineer to find practical solutions for daily water problems.
In the paper the process of development of the module will be discussed. The close collaboration between teachers from secondary schools and specialists from Delft University of Technology was of great value in the development of this NLT module. Specific knowledge about drinking water engineering (specialists) and basic knowledge about physics and chemistry (teachers) made the module of high quality, easy to read and fun to do! This module will result in more students choosing for a technology based university study.
Keywords: secondary schools, technical education, module development.