How high school students apply knowledge in engineering design projects

Kuang Chao Yu, Kuen Yi Lin, Szu Chun Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined how students applied conceptual and procedural knowledge when engaged in an engineering design project. A mechanical toy design project was used as a context for exploring how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts taught in an engineering module facilitated student performance. Study data were collected from 103 high school student participants and analyzed using correlation, variance, and simultaneous regression analysis. The major finding of the study was that the students' STEM conceptual knowledge was the key to success in engineering design, especially at the synthesis and evaluation levels, and for their process ability to analyze, and evaluate during the project. Three recommendations are made to improve high school engineering instruction. To facilitate in-depth learning about the process of engineering design, multiple approaches should be employed to develop the students' application of STEM conceptual knowledge and process abilities. Teachers need to enhance students' science and mathematics knowledge to establish mathematical analysis and systems thinking. Students' spatial and sketching abilities need to be improved to better facilitate engineering design work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1604-1614
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Conceptual knowledge
  • Engineering design
  • Procedural knowledge
  • STEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Engineering


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