Enhancing STEM Education through Project-Based Learning: Barriers versus Benefits
Abstract: This conference paper is authored by Susan Mendoza and Robert M. Smart of Grand Valley State University and the paper is part of the ASQ Advancing the STEM Agenda Conference proceedings.
A practical research experience is an important tool to enhance and reinforce learning in STEM fields, as well as shape commitment to science and engineering careers. Through an integrated approach to STEM education focused on real-world, authentic problems, students learn to utilize and reflect on the problem-solving process. Although the benefits of project-based learning are well documented, institutional culture often discourages broad based adoption of these practices. Barriers exist structurally as well as organizationally. The presenters will speak to how to utilize the strength of undergraduate research as pedagogy to expand the practice within the classroom, as well as collaborate with industry and community partners.
Keywords: STEM - Conference Proceedings - Student Retention