STEM Education: Authentic Projects which embrace an Integrated Approach

Coral Campbell, Wendy Jobling


Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education integration is a world-wide response to the falling interest in science and engineering. The approach uses an authentic problem, usually based on a design technology or engineering need, which is solved by school students who apply their knowledge of science, technological design, engineering and mathematics. While there have been different attempts to develop programs that introduce students to a number of STEM concepts in their school curriculum, the practice of STEM integration is not widely used or appreciated.

The researchers present some examples of student projects where authentic learning and integration across the STEM areas is obvious. In Malaysia, the “Search for SEAMEO Young Scientist Congress (SSYS)” is held biennially at the Regional Education Centre for Science and Maths (RECSAM). Middle year students from twelve ASEAN countries present their scientific, technological and mathematical solutions to pressing local and community problems. The projects represent a STEM education approach with the construction of a device or model to illustrate the students’ solution. Examples of some of these projects are provided and the discussion highlights the STEM elements, drawing on research into the relationship between science, technology, engineering, mathematics and problem-based learning.

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