The Problem Based Learning (PBL) in Advanced Manufacturing: Transforming 21st Century Technician Education project builds on several successful projects and is developing a curriculum and providing professional development to bring problem based learning to advanced manufacturing training. The work primarily supports Community Colleges. The industry partnerships in this project will sustain the work beyond the funding period. Problem based learning is a well recognized, highly engaging teaching pedagogy and is improving student achievement in several areas of advanced manufacturing. The project is developing and disseminating PBL lessons for several interdisciplinary real-world advanced manufacturing challenges. To facilitate expansion of the program, the project investigators are also creating PBL design templates that make it easier for others to create effective PBL lessons. As the project progresses, investigators continue to study the efficacy of PBL in engineering technician and STEM education.
Professional development and ongoing support is provided to community college engineering technician faculty across New England enabling them to implement PBL in the classroom. Outreach to high schools is increasing the number of students prepared to enter STEM majors.
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