Abstract

Over the years, various programs have been created to entice students to the STEM disciplines at early stages of their education. This paper gives insight to STEM education pedagogy through a model STEM program — named “Future Engineers”. Future Engineers was developed and implemented at Texas A&M University at Qatar with the aim of developing and channeling students’ critical thinking skills to apply science and engineering approaches to a real-life problem. The theme of the program was aeronautical engineering and it enabled the students to apply what they have learned in hands-on activities and competitions that challenged the students into performing an objective analysis approach to their designs. Throughout the program, students learned about the advancements of flight instrumentation and how aviation evolved into today’s specialized career field. In addition, the program topics included the standard atmosphere, airplane flight principles, structural concepts, airplane stability, material selection, aerodynamics, and wing airfoil selection. The program encapsulates concepts related to physics, mathematics, engineering, 3D CAD modeling, and 3D printing. This paper identifies the different phases of the program development and the program outcomes in terms of projects created. Future Engineers displayed a significant impact toward the students’ motivation to explore and learn more about science and engineering.

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