This is the kind of learning that should become standard fare, at all levels. What strikes me is the necessity of software freedom for projects using inquiry based learning. For any project where experimental results are not immediately available, students could be encouraged to code simulations. Using a proprietary simulation package, such as Matlab would be pointless.
Twice a year I run Engineering Your Tomorrow workshops for the Girl Scouts of Rhode Island (GSRI) Council wearing my Society of Women Engineers (SWE) hat and my GSRI Master Trainer hat. These are hands-on engineering badge workshops with engineering activities facilitated by collegiate and professional SWE members, held at the University of RI or Roger Williams University which host the collegiate SWE sections.
Comparing the activities that were successful at our workshops, those that allowed for the most creativity or hands-on seemed to be the ones most favored by the girls. (Those that involved messiness or food were also hits. 🙂 )
If this is the case, then why do school districts continue to teach science using textbooks? Inquiry-based science using hands-on kits from STC or FOSS are used in 18 of the 26 districts in RI, and those that do not use kits have low numbers of students…
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