Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 9, Issue 1, Article 12 (Jun., 2008)
Nelson Cheng-Chih CHEN, Ching-Hao CHEN and Ming-chun LIN
An analysis of applied mechanics contest for senior high school students in Taiwan

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The NSTM innovated contests for students have become more and more important in showcasing students’ innovative talents in China. Tang and Sun analysed the students’ learning science and technology innovation contest in China and made several suggestions and countermeasures on the team’s construction, system ensure, funds and educational reform (Zhao-Ping Tang, Jian-Ping Sun, 2007). Several of the students’ after-school technology activities were conducted in a laboratory that was open to the students and was set up especially for students to organize after-school technology activities (Song-Wu Wang, Wen-Zhi Liu and Hai-Bo Li, 2007). Liu and Yu gave introductions at the Electronic Design Contest at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. The contest’s organization and impact on strengthening educational reform as well as developing students’ innovative and practical abilities were also discussed ( Yun Liu and Mei Yu, 2007). In Taiwan, Huang and Chuang (2005) studied the scientific knowledge and creativity of high school students and described the process of contest judgement. They found training programs could be helpful in improving students’ knowledge. Through the in-depth interviews and analysis, they also found that the creativity contest helps students to think creatively (?) (Jun-Fu Huang, Mei-Chen Chuang, 2005). Hsu explored the problem of high school students’ abilities in mechanics (?), and the research showed that basic physical knowledge of the subject is very important in predicting students’ ability to find problems. In addition, only logical reasoning ability is related to problem finding ability (Yu-Chang Hsu, 1999). STAM (Society of Theoretical Applied Mechanics) has been hosting the mechanics contest in Taiwan for senior high school students in order to stimulate the learning intention of the mechanics field since 2002. It was originally given as a written test. Taking a written test was fair and time-saving, but the disadvantages included difficulty in screening elite competitors and obtaining government subsidies as written tests are commonly taken. . The educational authority encouraged the related mechanics tests to include hands-on experiments so as to encourage the students to explore, to observe, to experiment and to discuss. Therefore, STAM searched help from NSTM (National Science and Technology Museum) to overcome the challenges.

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