Research Project

Breaking New Ground In the Science Education Realm (ENGINEER)

Project Directors: Dr Dave Heywood, Prof Yvette Solomon
Amount: c. £200,000
Funder: European Commission
Duration: October 2011 - August 2014

The ENGINEER project aimed to raise interest and aspirations in science and engineering by designing, developing and trialling ten engineering design challenges based on inquiry-based learning, targeting primary school children in ten partner countries. MMU led the development of the units, coordinating and guiding work in ten science museums across Europe. The emphasis in unit design is on the use of inexpensive local materials to support the engineering design challenge component of each unit, differentiation for a range of abilities, and appropriate science and pedagogic support for teachers. Units were also deliberately designed to be gender inclusive in terms of the range of topics covered (a wide range of engineering contexts and problems), their non-competitive and collaborative approach, and the provision of support for teachers for maintaining equality between children in their team working. Since the project finished, the ENGINEER message and units have been taken up by educationalists including the Israeli Ministry of Education, the Danish science teaching and policy-making community, and in Turkey, where the vacuum cleaner module is being used in pre-service science teacher training. Indeed, this module has won a prize from SCIENTIX, the major community for science education in Europe:

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