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Tremendous efforts of the teaching community have been put to capture students attention during university classes. It is well known that when students enter the University they are extremely familiar with all the informatics tools, specially, finding information on World Wide Web and doing funny power point presentations. Although this is a good tool for the first rapid knowledge and communication, a deeper study is always demanded. Considering that the students' sensitivity to technological problems are still very immature, introducing methodologies to capture their concentration and motivation is a key factor for the development of fundamental competences. After many years of teaching a course about ceramics, polymers and composite materials in the Integrated Master in Mechanical Engineering of Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto, Portugal, the authors are continuously introducing project based learning methodologies to improve their students grades and competences. One of the main innovations introduced in recent years and emphasized in the academic year of 2011/12 is a practical work (short project) that uses all the experimental facilities available at FEUP and INEGI (research institute in mechanical engineering field, located on the campus of FEUP). With this experimental project the students' enrolment was enhanced with a better knowledge about the ceramics subject and the skills related with the CDIO (Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate) competences. This paper presents the reasons for this implementation and explains the teaching methodology adopted as well as the changes obtained in the students' final results and new skills and competences acquired.
Note: As originally published there was an error in this document due to a production issue: the last page is missing from the document as originally submitted. A corrected replacement PDF has been supplied.
Date of Conference: 17-20 April 2012