STEM Education Project for Science Teacher Candidates

STEM Education Project for Science Teacher Candidates

The aim of the project is to introduce prospective teachers to practical activities within the scope of STEM education integration, to develop and implement specific applications towards this approach and to gain competencies to apply them. Thus, it is aimed to develop positive attitudes towards STEM education, to gain engineering and design skills and to raise awareness about such practices in project activities.

Nowadays, when science and technology are developing rapidly, countries aim to raise productive individuals who are able to keep up with these developments and who search, question and have 21st century skills. For this reason, STEM education, which includes the interdisciplinary approach of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in recent years and enables the conversion of theoretical knowledge into practice and product, is considered worldwide (National Research Council [NRC], 2012; Cooper & Heaverlo, 2013; Corlu, Capraro and Capraro, 2014).

Productive individuals of high potential in the 21st century technology age are notable for having sufficient knowledge in many areas, especially in engineering. Although STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach formed by different fields, it is possible to say that the main emphasis is on technology and engineering. The integration of STEM disciplines can be realized within the framework of engineering design. Engineering design process; This integration is necessary because it requires the use of basic engineering knowledge and skills as well as the principles of science and mathematics (Householder and Hailey, 2012; NAE and NRC, 2009). In this process, the integration of science with mathematics, technology and engineering and the approach from the interdisciplinary point of view will enable the students to reach the level of invention and innovation, and will enable the acquired knowledge and skills to become a product.

Integrated STEM education is considered as an effort to find solutions to the real world problems through interdisciplinary approaches by gaining 21st century skills such as creativity, problem solving and critical thinking (Bybee, 2010; Stohlmann, Moore, Roehrig and McClelland, 2011). In this context, student-centered approaches focusing on solving real-life problems such as problem-based learning, project-based learning and inquiry-based learning coincide with the mission of integrated STEM education (Bransford, Vye and Bateman, 2002; Smith, Douglas and Cox, 2009; Mustafa, Ismail, Tasir and Said, 2016).

On the other hand, the existing elements of the STEM education approach (school, teacher, curriculum, assessment-evaluation approaches, teacher training programs, etc.) necessitate restructuring. Nowadays, these changes, which are required by STEM education in many developed countries, have started to be realized.