Toward inductive learning of energy-related concepts

Johan Meyer, Zach Simpson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Energy is an important topic in science and engineering. Yet, clear definitions of this concept are difficult to come by and, as a result, students often develop a limited understanding of energy and energy-related concepts. This is exacerbated by traditional, deductive means of teaching. In this paper, the authors report on an attempt at introducing an inductive approach to the teaching and learning of energy-related concepts, specifically conservation of energy. The approach was attempted among a select group of school students using inductive means, and was adapted from an article in the literature that addressed flight energy management training for pilots. The aim of the paper is to describe the intervention, which sought to foster a deeper understanding of energy flows within a system and place the school students in good stead for their subsequent design of an ultra-energy efficient hydrogen-powered vehicle. This is done in order to demonstrate how inductive learning can be enacted in an engineering curriculum. However, the intervention was implemented with a small sample of students and, as such, further attention needs to be given to how such an inductive learning approach can be incorporated into formal curricula at both school and university levels, with a diverse range of students, and with diverse topics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2018 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationEmerging Trends and Challenges of Engineering Education, EDUCON 2018
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781538629574
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2018
Event2018 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference - Emerging Trends and Challenges of Engineering Education, EDUCON 2018 - Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Duration: 17 Apr 201820 Apr 2018

Publication series

NameIEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON
ISSN (Print)2165-9559
ISSN (Electronic)2165-9567


Conference2018 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference - Emerging Trends and Challenges of Engineering Education, EDUCON 2018
CitySanta Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands


  • concept development
  • energy
  • engineering education
  • inductive learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Education


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