ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0449.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: STEM education; problem-solving; thinking types; space science at school; CanSat
Online: 31 January 2022 (11:11:31 CET)
Research has shown that hands-on projects promote stem education, namely, via problem-solving. CanSat, literally 'satellite in a can', is a stem educational project promoted by the European Space Agency. This paper addresses this issue by researching this STEM project, which demonstrates how problem-solving can be achieved in secondary-level students within the framework of the CanSat. We use qualitative techniques of data collection and analysis. The results showed that students use sophisticated thinking strategies to process information within this interdisciplinary project: (a) cognitive testing, cognitive organization, cognitive regulation, and monitoring, in addition to computer language and physical–mathematical calculations, are cognitive and metacognitive behavior strategies revealed in the CanSat; (b) problem-solving was suggested as a specific model, where students’ higher cognitive and metacognitive ordering processes deepen in project development; (c) computational, lateral, or divergent and convergent thinking were detected as thinking types of students associated with and mobilized in the course of problem-solving, The findings of this research have practical implications for STEM education in space science. Hands-on projects using problem-solving are an essential strategy to promote STEM education. Additionally, they are a starting point to promote meaningful learning and new thinking types.