Universal Journal of Educational Research Vol. 8(1), pp. 72 - 82
DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2020.080108
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Developing Students' Critical Thinking: A STEAM Project for Chemistry Learning

Yuli Rahmawati *, Syauqi Faizka Ramadhani , Afrizal
Department of Chemistry Education, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Universitas Negeri Jakarta, Indonesia


The aim of this research was to develop students' critical thinking skills through a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) project in chemistry learning in thermochemistry topic. A qualitative research method was employed with interviews, observations, reflective journals, critical thinking tests, and student activity sheets as data collection tools. Forty secondary school students participated in the research using project based on learning consisting of six steps: Essential Questions, Project Planning, Schedule Compilation, Monitoring, Result Testing and Evaluation. The Miles and Huberman analysis technique, based on coding critical thinking, was used to analyze data. The five indicators of critical thinking skills identified by SCIT1020 (Power of Science and Technology), namely: Identify the Question at Issue, Conceptual Understanding, Ideas Connection, Assumptions and Inferences, the research found that the students' critical thinking skills were not significantly developed. Among the five critical thinking indicators, one specific skill found to be undeveloped was to identify the question at issue, meaning that the students were not able to formulate and identify questions relating to a problem or topic. This was due to the limited conceptual understanding of thermochemistry material. The students faced challenges in developing their critical thinking skills in relation to chemistry concepts. Critical thinking skills can help students navigate through their daily lives by applying what they learn at school to problems or issues that arise at home or in the community. The STEAM project involved making a steamship using thermochemistry, particularly heat, the enthalpy of standard combustion and enthalpy calculations. Methanol, ethanol and palm oils were the fuels used to move the steamships. In the project, students had to analyze which fuel caused their steamship to move the furthest.

STEAM, Project Based Learning, Critical Thinking, Thermochemistry

Cite this paper
Yuli Rahmawati , Syauqi Faizka Ramadhani , Afrizal . "Developing Students' Critical Thinking: A STEAM Project for Chemistry Learning." Universal Journal of Educational Research 8.1 (2020) 72 - 82. doi: 10.13189/ujer.2020.080108.