Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings


22.265.1 - 22.265.12

Conference Name

ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, British Columbia


Low enrollment and high attrition rates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) based degree programs have created a workforce problem in industries like shipbuilding and repair which are important for national security. Part of this problem can be attributed to pedagogical issues like lack of engaging hands-on activities utilized for science and math education in middle and high schools. Lack of student interest in technical careers can also be attributed to lack of an integrated approach in teaching math, science and technical education. To engage student's interest in the technical career path, it is important that students establish a link between the theoretical knowledge and its application to solve real life problems early in their learning experience. Project based activities have a proven record as instructional tool. Effectiveness of such activities as a pedagogical tool has been supported by research in the acquisition and retention of knowledge. Two projects funded by the National Science Foundation and National Shipbuilding Research Program have attempted to address the workforce issue for marine industry by developing project based learning kits and associated instructional modules to engage K-12 students in STEM tracks and increase awareness about shipbuilding and repair careers. Four marine kits and four instructional modules were developed under these two grants to encourage creative thinking and keep students engaged in shipbuilding and repair processes. The teacher training component of these projects has provided training in using and implementing these modules. The paper presents the motivation behind developing these project based learning (PBL) modules, issues related to implementation and results from student and teacher workshops.


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Original Publication Citation

Verma, A. K. (2011). Attracting K-12 students towards engineering disciplines with project based learning modules. Paper presented at the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings, Vancouver, British Columbia.