Last update: 11-Dec-2013 3:23 pm
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Introducing engineering in High Schools
The dropout rates in engineering disciplines, at the university level, tend to be high. Two major factors contribute to this. The first is the lack of adequate academic preparation in mathematics and science. The second involves a lack of a full appreciation of what engineering entails. To tackle this problem, which has troubling implications for sustainable growth, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) movement came into being.
STEM programmes are being offered through both core curriculum and extra-curriculum modes. There may be some who would argue that there is an existing issue with properly preparing adequate numbers of students in science and mathematics and hence the idea of introducing engineering at the secondary-school level would make matters worse. Well, a superficial analysis might so indicate. On the other hand, if the programme is carefully thought out and implemented, then not only would we produce students with a firmer grasp of mathematics and science but also with a grasp of engineering design and entrepreneurship.
Furthermore, there are huge potential financial savings, as the teaching of remedial mathematics, science and pre-engineering subjects would be done at the secondary level and not at the tertiary level. At present, some engineering is done at the high-school level. Technical Drawing (TD) and technical/vocational subjects are examples. Technical drawing was traditionally done only for those entering into the engineering streams at the certificate, diploma and degree levels.
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