Callie Hernandez-Clark, West Texas A&M University

Practical Look at Problem-Based-Learning Camp Activities for Ages 7-17

Abstract: “Problem-Based-Learning has been shown an effective way for students to develop basic skills in various domains of application.”[1]  “The robotics system shows promise in helping students not only with direct, hands-on problem solving, but with written problem solving as well.” [2] The skills they acquired this summer and improved upon will transfer to the written word problems that appear in schooling.

Young students in the United States are not always aware of growing world issues in third world countries but soon the energy crisis will affect the U.S. “as the world populations continually consumes increasing amounts of energy, the need for renewable energy steadily grow.”[3] Broman believes that it is up to current educators to expose children to this issue and encourage them to start thinking of alternatives to solve this.”Concerted efforts should be made to improve the knowledge and appreciation of school students about renewable energy sources and technologies”.[3] This view is shared by others as well who see that the need is increasingly growing for the next generation of engineers to” have a wider acceptance of renewable energy technologies.Education and training in the area of energy in general, and new and renewable sources of energy in particular, is therefore, of prime importance.”[4]

Observations from two of the primary activities conducted during the camp are reported here. The Vex robotics kits and Solar Cooker activities help develop critical thinking, teamwork, science and engineering aptitude, and renewable energy awareness in male and female summer camp students age 7-17.

1.G. Gorghiu, Problem-Based-Learning – An Efficient Learning Strategy In The Science Lessons Context, Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 191 ( 2015 ) 1865 – 1870

2.Elizabeth Mauch (2001) Using Technological Innovation to Improve the Problem-Solving Skills of Middle School Students: Educators’ Experiences with the LEGO Mindstorms Robotic Invention System, The Clearing House, 74:4, 211-213, DOI: 10.1080/00098650109599193

3.T.C. Kandpal, L. Broman / Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 34 (2014) 304

4.Jennings Philip,Lund Chris.Renewable energy education for sustainable development. RenewEnergy2001;22:113–8.

Presentation Author(s):
Callie Hernandez-Clark*

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