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RELEVANCE OF LABORATORIES IN THE EDUCATION OF ENGINEERS

G. Mata Hernández, R. Garibay Jiménez

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (MEXICO)
Engineering teaching laboratories are of great relevance in the education of engineers because they are a central element in the learning process, allowing the design and application of education strategies to give the students the capabilities and skills which are gradually strengthen along their professional studies.

Diverse objectives and approaches can be achieved in the laboratories being the most important: to understand, validate, verify, experiment, apply and project the theoretical concepts; to train the student in the use of equipment and systems; to transfer the knowledge of methodologies and protocols for experimentation; to interpret data and results; to know how to create a final report.

In this document we present the schemes and characteristics of curricular laboratories, including the educational techniques and strategies that are applied in the courses of Electrical and Electronic Engineering of the Engineering Faculty of UNAM. Also, we include some reflections about the continuous challenge that the laboratories implies, considering them as a central component for the stimulation of innovation and research, and about the importance of keeping them continuously updated in their academic content as well as in their equipment and infrastructure.

Also, we mention some other non-curricular mechanisms, however present and used by the students, which involve and strengthen the practical knowledge and the initiation to professional experience.

With no doubt, the practical experimentation is a fundamental requirement in engineering education.