Out of the square into reality

Byers, Terry & Dawes, Les A. (2006) Out of the square into reality. In Rowe, Gerard & Reid, Gillian (Eds.) 17th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, 10-13 December 2006, Auckland, New Zealand.

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In an attempt to increase the real world practicality of mathematics and science within secondary schools, five Brisbane secondary schools, a leading Queensland University, private industry and government agencies joined together in collaborative and dynamic partnership to embark on the project – “Out of the Square and into Reality”. The project is focussed on changing the perception and pedagogy of mathematics and science and improving higher order thinking. It also aims to provide positive role models for students in secondary schools, and attract higher quality students to tertiary engineering, science and mathematics pathways. The project will challenge traditional student perceptions that mathematics and science are “old fashioned and alienating”, based solely on facts, and irrelevant to the real world. To achieve this, the project will make connections between the school subjects of Physics, Engineering Technology, Design Technology and Mathematics A, B and C, and the professional disciplines of industrial design, aeronautics and civil, mechanical and electrical engineering. Multi-disciplinary hands-on activity kits containing extension exercises, assignments and exam questions will be developed according to current senior syllabi and common curriculum elements. Practising professionals will have input to improve student interest, learning outcomes, innovation and ability to think outside the square. Students will make direct connections between the activities and what they learn in the classroom to construct new and improved knowledge. Constructivist teaching methods and enhanced student engagement will aim to deliver improved student learning outcomes in mathematics and science. Through having the opportunity to work with tertiary educators and industry professionals, benefits for teachers should include improved teaching approaches and techniques. Teachers will also acquire resources that will positively influence all students, including those outside the project. This paper reports on the project development and the initial stages of progress in creating the first two activity kits.

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ID Code: 18024
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: This article also published on CD ROM
Keywords: linkages, secondary education, activity kits
ISBN: 978-0-473-11881-5
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Secondary Education (130106)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > OTHER ENGINEERING (099900) > Engineering not elsewhere classified (099999)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 18 Feb 2009 04:39
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2017 14:40

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