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Mevlana International Journal of Education

Yıl 2012 , Cilt 2 , Sayı 3

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Supporting students’ interest through inquiry-based learning in the context of fuel cells

Yazar kurumları :
The Unit of Chemistry Teacher Education Department of Chemistry, University of Helsinki1
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The main aim of this research is to understand how inquiry-based learning in the context of fuel cells support the interest of 14 to 15- year-old male and female junior high school students. In total, 18 student groups (N=159) were involved in the case study in which a learning material with inquiry-based laboratory work in the context of fuel cells, designed based on previous research, was used. According to the survey conducted as a part of this research, the majority of youth liked inquiry-based chemistry experiments. The tangible stages of the work, i.e. compiling the miniature fuel cell car and operating it in practice, interested the youth the most. Boys were significantly more interested than girls in the applications of fuel cells related to the studied subject. Girls were interested in hydrogen energy economy, and that the issue is topical at the moment. Girls were also significantly more interested in the stages of inquiry-based learning – reporting the results and answering the questions that required reasoning. It seems that the model of inquiry-based learning used here and the learning materials give good opportunities for increasing the interests in chemistry among girls and boys alike, and thus provide a solution for the biggest challenge in chemistry education – increasing the youth's interest in chemistry.

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