Project Based Learning – Implementing the Space Engineers project
If we try to think of a memorable student experience, we will probably remember a project we implemented. Now as educators we can offer such experiences to our own students! Especially since the project is also included in the School Curriculum and Skills Workshops.
What is the project method?
It lies at the intersection of formal and non-formal learning. It is interdisciplinary and incorporates elements from the scientific method (e.g. experimentation and data analysis). At the same time, it reinforces 21st-century skills such as creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. It breaks away from the constraints of formal assessment. For these reasons, it is closely linked to STEM methodology.
How is a project put into practice?
In this new educational program for teachers, we will go through all the steps of a project! How do we start and how do we motivate students to (co-)work? How do we formulate a stimulating question, how do we guide students to explore it and how do we evaluate their results?
For all of this, we will use Space Engineers, an innovative year-long STEM program based on the project method developed by STEM Education, as a case study. During this program, students try to colonize Mars! They complete missions with topics from Astronomy, Engineering, Biology, and other sciences. They build structures such as greenhouses and bridges. They use innovative technologies, take measurements with sensors and use mathematical thinking to analyze them.
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