SMART Competition and the Collaborative Learning

The SMART Competition was originally designed as a team-based program that integrated science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and provided a hands-on, career technology based real-world engineering experience (CTE).  The Smart Education Foundation, host of the SMART Competition, has a goal of positively influencing the motivation of students to pursue architecture and engineering careers.  Using professional tools, provided by Bentley Systems, students completing the competition have a set of marketable skills sought after by companies all over the world.

According to Michelene T. H. Chi & Ruth Wylie, researchers at Arizona State University, students learn better from interactive activities where they talk, act, deliberate, and reflect compared with passive and (superficially) active behaviors, such as taking verbatim notes while listening to a lecture.  Asking open-ended questions, peer teaching, and group problem-solving are some of the most effective ways to promote deep learning.  Collaboration also helps students develop interpersonal and teamwork skills, which are key 21st century competencies.

ICAP framework Chi and Wylie explored and findings published in Educational Psychologist, defined the cognitive engagement activities based on students’ overt behaviors and proposes that engagement behaviors can be categorized and differentiated into one of four modes: Interactive, Constructive, Active, and Passive. The ICAP hypothesis predicts that as students become more engaged with the learning materials, from passive to active to constructive to interactive, their learning will increase.

The SMART Competition engages students in each ICAP learning experience: Interactive, Constructive, Active, and Passive.  Student teams download materials, conduct research, learn design tools and methodologies, create facilities and complete real-world simulations as they redesign elements of the campus they are provided.

The SMART Competition encourages students to follow their “academic nose” to develop solutions buried within the SMART acronym:  Sustainable Materials and Renewable Technology.

SMART’s use of Bentley’s OpenBuilding Designer and Energy Simulator software enables teams to use reality modeling methods to address Green Building Design, Energy Conservation, Localized Power Generation, Intelligent Power Distribution, Architecture, Sustainable Technology, Transportation and Electric Vehicles.

The SMART Competition (www.smartcompetition.org) is a global STEM and Career and Technology Education (CTE) education program.  The competition is open to all high school and university students.  The competition is designed to attract all students without regard or bias of gender, race, geographic, socio-economic or academic performance level.

For additional information, contact Michael Andrews, m.andrews@smartcompetition.org

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