Workshop design to approach engineering to primary school children“growing your own organic garden”

  1. M. Navarro 1
  2. J.I. López 1
  3. B. Alonso 1
  4. C. Rad 1
  5. J. López 1
  6. I. Martín 1
  7. J.M. Varona 1
  8. M. Skaf 1
  9. V. Ortega-López 1
  1. 1 Universidad de Burgos

    Universidad de Burgos

    Burgos, España


EDULEARN20 Proceedings: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning TechnologiesOnline Conference. 6-7 July, 2020.

Publisher: IATED Academy

ISBN: 978-84-09-17979-4

Year of publication: 2020

Pages: 93-99

Type: Book chapter


During the academic year 2016/17, within the Bachelor's Degree in Agri-Food Engineering from the Higher Polytechnic School of the University of Burgos (UBU), a series of teaching innovation strategies were developed to approach the subject to primary school children and provide them with an early contact with the university environment.The aim of these experiences was to bring the scientific-technological world closer to primary school students, with a view to awakening STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) vocations at these early ages, since some studies show that the interests of schoolchildren towards their future profession are already defined at the age of 14.A barrier to the students' preference for engineering is the methodology commonly used in the teaching-learning process. It is essential to approach students to this discipline through practical lessons and to overcome traditional routines of focusing on theoretical aspects.The experience described in this paper was held in the context of the First Lego League (FLL) competition, organized by the University of Burgos under the direction of the Unit of Scientific Culture and Innovation (UCC+i). The FLL is an international challenge, worldwide known, which intends to stimulate young people's interest in science and technology, promote teamwork values, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. The competition uses theme-based challenges to involve young people, and in 2017, the "animal world" was the topic.The organized workshop was entitled “Cultiva tu huerto ecológico” ("Growing your own organic garden") and was held in the Junior category (FLLJr) from 6 to 9 years old, at the end of the FLL competition. The kids worked with recycled materials to make a small-scale organic garden, encouraging them to respect and care for our environment through recycling.The materials used were: egg cartons, milk bricks, plastic containers from yoghurts, dining trays, water bottles and cleaning products; substrates (perlite, vermiculite and peat); horticultural plants (cauliflower, parsley, lettuce, tomato, onion and spinach), aromatic plants (mint and thyme), ornate plants (honey flower and viola) and forest plants such as holm oak and grass. The workshop development process is described in this communication.Based on the results of the surveys undertaken by the participating students and the feedback from the accompanying teachers, this educational activity is expected to have positive effects on the promotion of Agri-Food engineering studies among young people.