CHEMISTRY IN ENGINEERING STUDIES
University of Málaga (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Currently, Chemistry is a fundamental subject for an Engineer, since materials with special characteristic and properties can be built, those materials can be manufactured thanks to Chemistry. That makes Chemistry a very important subject for engineers. Therefore, throughout this paper the importance of Chemistry for an Engineer will be studied, with a special focus on Mechanical Engineers students.
The purpose is to try to improve the vision of Mechanical Engineering students on the usefulness of Chemistry. An important aspect to get involved in student learning is the motivation. Thus, a teaching proposal focused on this aspect has been designed and implemented, following the guidelines of design-based research. The impact on the attitude and the usefulness of Chemistry for first-year Mechanical Engineering students at the University of Malaga has been studied in this research.
As a professor of Chemistry at the Engineering Degrees, I have observed the little interest that the learning of Chemistry arouses among students. The students come with a negative attitude, they have no disposition to learn, they lose interest in the subject, they become unmotivated and finally they do not pass.
In addition, Chemistry is considered highly complex by students, since it works with macroscopic scale measurements, reasoning in terms of microscopic scale atoms and molecules, and a new language is used through formulas and symbolisms.
The teaching of Chemistry should not be limited to the simple transmission of knowledge, laws, formulas, and theories; To achieve meaningful learning, it is necessary to show its usefulness in daily life, in the development of a country and a society. Learning will be significant when the student can incorporate it into the structures of prior knowledge that they possess, acquiring significance for them.
In this specific case, the research aims to contribute to the improvement of the teaching-learning processes of Chemistry in the studies of the Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Specifically, to improve the students' vision of the usefulness of Chemistry, through the design, implementation and evaluation of a teaching proposal that emphasizes the relevance of Chemistry in different areas of personal, social and professional life.
A huge number of activities were proposed to favour the students' vision towards the usefulness of Chemistry. From the methodological point of view, the main novelty consisted in the promotion of student participation, in such way, students themselves present to the class group their work on activities of daily or professional life in which they applied the studied concepts of Chemistry.
At the end of the semester, the impact of this new proposal on the students' vision of the usefulness of Chemistry in each of the areas was evaluated, the attitude of Chemistry and the impact on the relationship between both aspects was studied.
Regarding the sample that participated in the research, three complete groups of students of the subject participated in the academic year 2019/20, a total of 159 students, of which 130 attended, they participated and worked assiduously in class.
To conclude, the results seem to indicate that the teaching proposal has had a positive influence on the students' vision.
Keywords: Chemistry, Engineer, Motivation