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Volume 2, 2022

Volume 1, 2021

STEM Education

August 2021 , Volume 1 , Issue 3

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Centricities of STEM curriculum frameworks: Variations of the S-T-E-M Quartet
Tang Wee Teo, Aik Ling Tan, Yann Shiou Ong and Ban Heng Choy
2021, 1(3): 141-156 doi: 10.3934/steme.2021011 +[Abstract](1694) +[HTML](500) +[PDF](765.35KB)

This commentary is an extension to the integrated S-T-E-M Quartet Instructional Framework that has been used to guide the design, implementation and evaluation of integrated STEM curriculum. In our discussion of the S-T-E-M Quartet, we have argued for the centrality of complex, persistent and extended problems to reflect the authenticity of real-world issues and hence, the need for integrated, as opposed to monodisciplinary, STEM education. Building upon this earlier work, we propose two additional variationsjsolution-centric and user-centric approachesjto the provision of integrated STEM curricular experiences to afford more opportunities that address the meta-knowledge and humanistic knowledge developments in 21st century learning. These variations to the S-T-E-M Quartet aims to expand the scope and utility of the framework in creating curriculum experiences for diverse profiles of learners, varied contextual conditions, and broad STEM education goals. Collectively, these three approachesjproblem-centric, solution-centric, and user-centricjcan afford more holistic outcomes of STEM education.

Frustration in mathematical problem-solving: A systematic review of research
Kaitlin Riegel
2021, 1(3): 157-169 doi: 10.3934/steme.2021012 +[Abstract](1025) +[HTML](467) +[PDF](317.45KB)

Emotions are an integral part of problem-solving, but must emotions traditionally conceptualised as "negative" have negative consequences in learning? Frustration is one of the most prominent emotions reported during mathematical problem-solving across all levels of learning. Despite research aiming to mitigate frustration, it can play a positive role during mathematical problem solving. A systematic review method was used to explore how frustration usually appears in students during mathematical problem-solving and the typical patterns of emotions, behaviours, and cognitive processes that are associated with its occurrence. The findings are mixed, which informs the need for further research in this area. Additionally, there are theories and qualitative findings about the potential positive role of frustration that have not been followed up with empirical investigations, which illuminate how our findings about negative emotions may be limited by the questions we ask as researchers. With the support of research, I consider how educators may directly or indirectly address rethinking the role and consequences of frustration during problem-solving with their students.

Reimagining multiplication as diagrammatic and dynamic concepts via cutting, pasting and rescaling actions
Christopher C. Tisdell
2021, 1(3): 170-185 doi: 10.3934/steme.2021013 +[Abstract](818) +[HTML](389) +[PDF](824.68KB)

Recently, Tisdell [48] developed some alternative pedagogical perspectives of multiplication strategies via cut-and-paste actions, underpinned via the principle of conservation of area. However, the ideas therein were limited to problems involving two factors that were close together, and so would not directly apply to a problem such as 17 × 93. The purpose of the present work is to establish what diagrammatic and dynamic perspectives could look like for these more complex classes of multiplication problems. My approach to explore this gap is through an analysis and discussion of case studies. I probe several multiplication problems in depth, and drill down to get at their complexity. Through this process, new techniques emerge that involve cut-and-paste and rescaling actions to enable a reimagination of the problem from diagrammatic and dynamic points of view. Furthermore, I provide some suggestions regarding how these ideas might be supplemented in the classroom through the employment of history that includes Leonardo Da Vinci's use of conservation principles in his famous notebooks. I thus establish a pedagogical framework that has the potential to support the learning and teaching of these extended problems from diagrammatic and dynamic perspectives. groups.

Neural network training in SCILAB for classifying mango (Mangifera indica) according to maturity level using the RGB color model
Eduardo Castillo-Castaneda
2021, 1(3): 186-198 doi: 10.3934/steme.2021014 +[Abstract](706) +[HTML](311) +[PDF](1403.07KB)

Industries that use fruits as raw materials must, at some point in the process, classify them to discard the unsuitable ones and thus ensure the quality of the final product. To produce mango nectar, it is necessary to ensure that the mango is mature enough to start the extraction of the nectar; however, sorting thousands of mangoes may require many people, who can easily lose attention and reduce the accuracy of the result. Such kind of decision can be supported by current Artificial Intelligence techniques. The theoretical details of the processing are presented, as well as the programming code of the neural network using SCILAB as a computer language; the code includes the color extraction from mango images. SCILAB programming is simple, efficient and does not require computers with large processing capacity. The classification was validated with 30 images (TIF format) of Manila variety mango; the mangoes were placed on a blue background to easily separate the background from the object of interest. Four and six mangoes were used to train the neural network. This application of neural networks is part of an undergraduate course on artificial intelligence, which shows the potential of these techniques for solving real and concrete problems.

A laser-cutting-centered STEM course for improving engineering problem-solving skills of high school students in China
Ruiheng Cai and Feng-kuang Chiang
2021, 1(3): 199-224 doi: 10.3934/steme.2021015 +[Abstract](730) +[HTML](355) +[PDF](1441.17KB)

STEM (science, technology, engineer, mathematics) education and engineering education are receiving an increasing amount of interest worldwide, but related research on the influence of STEM courses on students' engineering problem solving in China is scarce. Considering the rapid prototyping function of laser-cutting tools, this study was conducted to develop a STEM course based on laser cutting and to explore how the course affected high school students' engineering problem-solving abilities. A 9-week curriculum was implemented in a science, technology, and fabricating club of a high school in Zhejiang, China. The data were collected by pretest and posttest questionnaires and presentations of group assignments. The results were as follows. First, when presented with an engineering problem, the students demonstrated problem-solving abilities because they followed principles of engineering design, such as sketching, modeling and modifying. Second, while completing the assignment, the students proposed solutions with comprehensive factors in many aspects. They showed high-level thinking, such as consideration of the background, limiting conditions, and multidisciplinary knowledge, and they used technological tools to complete the task. However, some students ignored the assessment and redesign of their solutions. Further research could use a larger sample from different grades and explore how a STEM course combined with technology tools could influence students' high-level thinking skills.



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