Fostering student’s creative and problem-solving skills through a hands-on activity

Ruey Shyy Shieh, Wheijen Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to investigate how a group of junior-high school pupils created a functional boat from scratch and resolved the problems encountered in a scientifc project. The study was conducted using a qualitatively exploratory method. Data sources consist of artefacts, interviews, observations, and self-refection reports. The study results reveal that the hands-on, trial-and-error experiential learning not only helped the pupils enhance their creative skills and problem-solving abilities, but also helped them realize the value of collaboration. Nevertheless, although they were able to make various shapes of boats using diferent materials, only half of the boats created were able to successfully complete the established course. It discloses that turning a model work into a functional piece demands a certain extent of scientifc knowledge and skills associated with the tasks, in addition to creative skills. The students’ anticipation of the teacher’s scafolding to achieve the project goal was found to vary greatly among teams, indicating a dilemma of the teachers’ role in an open-form scientifc project. How the created products were ranked in the project also raises concerns regarding setting up criteria to assess scientifc artefacts. Suggestions for enhancing future implementations are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-661
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Baltic Science Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

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