A substantial number of secondary school students are accepted into engineering schools without adequate exposure to key engineering based skills, such as analytical thinking, problem solving, critical thinking and design. Unfamiliarity with the practical skills needed in engineering leaves students unprepared, leading to poor academic performance and demotivating them about engineering. It is critical that students be able to apply learnt scientific concepts to solve real life problems. In this paper, we will present a set of design-based learning activities created to help develop the analytical thinking and problem solving skills of students in local Qatari secondary schools. We will discuss implementation details of these design-based learning activities along with results, comments from participating students and teachers as well as data analysis.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Al-Qahtani H, Aqeel S, Barnieh H, Gouba A, Hjeij D, Salem M, Zourob M, Ahmed B, Salama G, Kerr T. An investigation into specific skills requiring enhancement in Qatari high school students to succeed in an engineering education. Barcelona, Spain: INTED 2012.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bernold LE, Spurlin JE, Anson C. Understanding our students: a longitudinal study of success and failure in engineering with implications for increased retention. Journal of Engineering Education. 2007; 96:3:263274.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Veenstra CP, Dey EL, Herrin GD. A Model for Freshman Engineering Retention. ASEE Advances in Engineering Education. 2009.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Kimmel H, Rockland R. Incorporation of pre-engineering lessons into secondary science classrooms. 32nd Annual Frontiers in Education (FIE'02). 2002; 1:T1C15.
    [Google Scholar]
  5.  “Project Lead The Way (PLTW)” Retrieved 4/6/13 from http://www.pltw.org/ .

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error