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Using 3D printing in STEAM education to enhance students' creativity: An action research
In this study, we adopted an action research to implement STEAM education using 3D printing to enhance students’ creativity. On the one hand, we want to improve the teaching professional of the teacher using 3D printing in STEAM education, on the other hand, we want to understand the implementation issues of the approach. The action researcher is a computing teacher from a local elementary school. Two classes in the 4th grade, with a total of 53 students, participated in this study. The researcher herself acted as a teaching assistant and observer during the instruction. The STEAM instructional activities included technology, arts and mathematics, using a 3D modeling software to design a 3D building, and then used a 3D printer to print out the artifact. The results show that teacher realize that using 3D printing in STEAM education can enhance students’ learning motivation and the importance of collaborating teaching in STEAM education. Besides, it is important to have more examples to stimulate students to have more diverse ideas. When applying the 3D modeling software, the teaching material should have focused themes and provide detailed operation steps. The teacher should review the previous teaching before a new learning topic. In such a circumstance, the students can connect with the topics that they have learned in different fields of STEAM. In future implementation, it is critical to provide students with the concepts related to 3D printing and the subject knowledge which is involved in STEAM before conducting the teaching, to co-teach with STEAM related subject teachers, and to have post-teaching tests to understand students’ learning so that the teaching can be adjusted.
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