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M. Rico, A. Ares, R. Bouza, B. Montero

Grupo de Polímeros, Departamento de Física, Universidade da Coruña (SPAIN)
This study attempts to relate and integrate the contents of the subject of “Polymer Science and Technology”, not only with the other subjects, but with its practical application in the specific field of design and development of all types of marine construction and thus acquire professional capacities for future naval engineer. This paper presents an activity directed at development of the subject "Polymer Science and Technology", which is taught in fourth course of Naval Engineering. With this subject the student may be involved in the knowledge of the polymeric materials of ships and establish appropriate competencies, main objective in the Spanish University System integration to the European Higher Education Area [1, 2].

During the development of the first class of the subject "Polymer Science and Technology”, the real situation of the polymers nowadays and the importance of these materials in Naval Engineering will be described. Additionally, we will give the guidelines and the recommended bibliography necessary for the development of the activity to the student. The investigation developed by the working groups, is based on the search of the applications of plastics in the naval sector, comprising three lines of work: yatch and sailing ships, warships and offshore industry. The working groups, consisting of five students, will carried out experimental activities of polymers applications. The results will be presented to the entire class, so as to promote cooperative learning. At the end of the activity, they must provide a document reflecting the outcome of their work: application, polymer matrix, characterization techniques and regulations.

The implementation of the criteria to integrate the Spanish University System in the European Higher Education Area has generated a need to identify the concepts of professional competence and capacities of the student. The presented activity promotes responsibilities of the students in their learning at the start of a new field study and it guides the content of such material to the professional skills in a more specifically way.

[1] Aramburu-Zabala Higuera L., Enseñar competencias: el perfil de los licenciados en ciencias del trabajo. Revista de la Red Estatal de Docencia Universitaria, Vol. 3 Nº 1. 2008.
[2] A Handbook for Teaching & Learning in Higher Education. Stephanie Marshall, Heather Fry and Steve Ketteridge (1999).