About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2835-2840
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0756

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

RAISING STUDENTS’ INTEREST IN STEM EDUCATION VIA REMOTE DIGITAL FABRICATION: AN IRISH PRIMARY SCHOOL CASE STUDY

M.A. Togou1, C. Lorenzo2, E. Lorenzo2, G. Cornetta2, G.M. Muntean1

1Dublin City University (IRELAND)
2CEU Madrid (SPAIN)
Since 2000, the rate of European graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) has dropped by 3%. This decline is due primarily to the perceived idea that STEM subjects are difficult. Though several European initiatives have been launched to dispel this belief (e.g., cl@assi 2.0 in Italy, Escuela 2.0 in Spain and CAPITAL in the United Kingdom), they were designed for specific countries and only target one audience type (i.e., primary or middle school students).

The EU Horizon 2020-funded project NEWTON intends to fill this gap. It aims at building a pan-European network platform that supports fast dissemination of a variety of learning content (i.e., augmented reality, gamification, multisensorial, Fab Labs, and virtual labs) to a wide audience (i.e., from primary school to university) in a ubiquitous manner. It relinquishes the classic teacher-based learning approach and reinforces technology-based student-centric learning that encourages students to seek knowledge from various sources (e.g., classroom, information repositories, social networking, and online training). To validate the effectiveness of this approach, numerous small and large-scale pilots are taking place in several European countries, surveying over thousand students from different educational levels, including students with special needs.

This abstract describes a small-scale pilot, labeled STEM Fab Lab, deployed by the NEWTON project team at Saint Patrick’s Boys National School in Drumcondra, Dublin, Ireland. It helped students develop different skills including creativity, problem solving and team work and provided them with a personalized environment to apply the theoretical concepts acquired in class. 29 sixth graders took part in the pilot-test, which involved the fabrication of small scale ceramic vase prototypes using a remote 3D printer, deployed at CEU Madrid, Spain. The pilot was performed in three stages. First, students designed the ceramic vases using FreeCAD, a parametric 3D modeler. Then, students used Ultimaker Cura to prepare their models to be 3D printed. Lastly, students used the Cloudhub application, developed by the NEWTOM team of CEU Madrid, to send their files to the 3D printer.

Multiple tests and questionnaires were distributed at the beginning and at the end of the pilot to assess students’ learning experience when learning in class and when learning using Fab Lab technologies. Results show that Fab Lab technologies made students feel 34% more engaged, 33% more positive about learning, 10% happier, 38% joyful, 21% less bored and 14% less anxious compared to the classic in class STEM lessons . Results also show that 33% of students believe that the way STEM subjects are taught should be changed and 15% of them advocate the use of technology in STEM subjects. Moreover, a usability questionnaire was conducted to measure students’ satisfaction regarding the Fab Lab pilot. Results show that 79.3% of the students found it useful while 89.7% found it fun to use and would be willing to recommend it to friends. In addition, 62% of the students reported that they loved the Fab Lab pilot while 34% reported that they liked it. Finally, 83% of the students declared that they would like to use Fab Lab technologies in science classes.

In conclusion, we believe that the Fab Lab pilot has achieved its key goal: promoting the idea that STEM subjects can be fun and interesting, making them relevant to today’s learners' mindset.
@InProceedings{TOGOU2018RAI,
author = {Togou, M.A. and Lorenzo, C. and Lorenzo, E. and Cornetta, G. and Muntean, G.M.},
title = {RAISING STUDENTS’ INTEREST IN STEM EDUCATION VIA REMOTE DIGITAL FABRICATION: AN IRISH PRIMARY SCHOOL CASE STUDY},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.0756},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.0756},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {2835-2840}}
TY - CONF
AU - M.A. Togou AU - C. Lorenzo AU - E. Lorenzo AU - G. Cornetta AU - G.M. Muntean
TI - RAISING STUDENTS’ INTEREST IN STEM EDUCATION VIA REMOTE DIGITAL FABRICATION: AN IRISH PRIMARY SCHOOL CASE STUDY
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.0756
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 2835
EP - 2840
ER -
M.A. Togou, C. Lorenzo, E. Lorenzo, G. Cornetta, G.M. Muntean (2018) RAISING STUDENTS’ INTEREST IN STEM EDUCATION VIA REMOTE DIGITAL FABRICATION: AN IRISH PRIMARY SCHOOL CASE STUDY, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 2835-2840.
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