Learning is a process of getting knowledge and using it in the real world. It is a continuous and pervasive function. In the modern world, the process of learning has evolved to a great extent. Learning in the current period is characterised by fun, wholesomeness, and all-around development.
Students are no longer interested in long, monotonous lectures that focus on theoretical knowledge only. They want to gain practical skills as well as be industry-ready. Students in the twenty-first century are engaged and want to stay up to date on all types of advancement. Considering the demands of modern students, academicians have researched trends in the learning process and come up with project-based learning.
Project-based learning is a modern way of learning. In project-based methods, students get to learn things in a goal-oriented and systematic way. Firstly, students learn about different concepts in their subjects to gain theoretical knowledge. In the second step, they are assigned project-based work.
The objective of projects is to let students apply theoretical knowledge to practical use. Unlike conventional methods, project-based learning methods bridge the gap between knowing something and being able to do something.
Conventional methods of teaching might be individual-oriented and therefore restrict the full development of personality. Project-based learning, on the other hand, focuses on the social aspect of learning as well. Students are often given projects which they have to do in groups. It ensures interactions among students and builds team spirit in students. Projects with numerous advantages for our youth and human development.
STEM education and its necessity
Stem stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It takes only a basic understanding of these subjects to trace the interconnection between them. Without the absence of mathematics, physics is incomplete, and without physics, technology will cease to exist. STEM education seeks to replace the conventional pattern of education that does not emphasise the integration of these subjects into education.
Project-based learning is one way to impart STEM education. Problem-based learning and inquiry-based learning are other ways that help in providing STEM education.
Problem-based learning concerns itself with letting students learn by discovering and solving problems by themselves. On the other hand, inquiry-based learning is concerned with creating an environment in which students feel encouraged to be inquisitive.
STEM education is all about giving students a chance to excel in STEM subjects. There are huge job opportunities available in fields related to STEM subjects. Through a comprehensive curriculum based on STEM subjects, students are encouraged to boost their skills such as analytical, creative thinking, problem-solving, confidence, group learning, etc.
STEM education can be given to children in a well-defined manner and a series of learning programs. The major difference that differentiates it from conventional methods of learning is that STEM education focuses on familiarizing students with issues and problems which already exist in their surroundings. This way students learn better. The purpose of this modern way of learning is to ignite the spark of innovation in youth.
Skill development and project work
Skill development is a process that prepares a student to be an asset to the country. So students must acquire the best skillset according to their interests. Project work can be efficacious in developing a lot of skills in a student’s personality which contributes to their success. Every project is designed to let students be creative with their work.
A project presents some problems to students and requires them to solve them. During the activity, students get to apply their critical thinking for the successful completion of project work. A student also applies a lot of other skills while he is engaging in any kind of project work. Some of the common skills in every smart project work are, as follows:
- High-order thinking
- Analytical skills
- Critical thinking
- Problem-solving skills
- Team effort
- Time management
- Decision making
There is also a wide range of specific skills that a student can acquire depending upon his choice of project. Examples of such skills can be numerical aptitude, technological skills, etc.
The need for the shift in learning methodologies
Prior to the advent of the techniques of the modern learning process, students often feel a lack of connection with the practical world. Conventional teacher methodologies are teacher-centric and lack student participation. We live in the 21st century, which relies on technology mostly.
Therefore, it is imperative that our education system is efficient in bringing innovation and genius out of every student. For this purpose, it is essential that students are provided with the necessary means to bring about change.
The best way for students to harness their full potential is to give them the best exposure of everything, a sound environment to study, and motivation.
The modern way of learning has evolved according to the demands of society. Learning in today’s time has become a student-centric process where the student is at the centre. This system has helped students to explore diverse opportunities and adopt a ‘test and try’ method. Students of today’s world are smart and know how to explore their options.
There has been a global demand for education to be inclusive in terms of emotional, psychological, and career growth.
Consequently, there have been new methodologies coming into existence to satisfy the global demand for better education for children. STEM education, collaborative learning, flipped classrooms, etc are some of the modern learning methodologies. ”’
Project ideas for school children
School life is a stage in students’ lives that plays a significant role in shaping their careers. In school life, students get a space where they can strengthen the foundation of their conceptual knowledge. Spending time on project work can give students an upper hand in their career field. Students should try projects to get hands-on experience and a firm grasp of concepts.
Teachers and parents can guide students to choose smart project work for children because this ensures qualitative learning. A smart project idea covers all the important concepts from the point of view of curriculum and industry. Some of the ideas for smart science projects are as follows:
Chemistry project ideas –
Electrochemistry, chemical kinetics, the atomic structure of chemical compounds, acid and base experiments, adsorption, atomic structure models, electrolysis, PH level testing, natural phenomena, etc.
Biology project ideas –
Greenhouse effect, spermatogenesis, DNA, morphology, nitrogen cycle, biogas, extraction, mitosis, osmosis, reverse osmosis, human genome, phototropism in plants, etc.
Physics project ideas –
Electricity, magnetism, motion, solar panels, thermal insulation, hydropower, Zeroth law and thermodynamics, light and prism.