Constructivism learning theory recommends the act of allowing students to create knowledge through their experiences. Very often, it is difficult to build such an investigative framework within material science laboratory sessions that assist students in acquiring the knowledge. This paper focuses on the use of constructivism principles that was established by a constructionism process to allow students acquire cognitive knowledge through manual calculation and manipulation of measured data from a tensile testing experiment. Using a conventional tensile laboratory testing, undergraduate material science students succeeded in using their self-acquired skills to determine the toughness of the plastics, the elastic modulus, yield stress and strains, and the ultimate stresses from the measured graphs. The students were also able to describe the deformation mechanisms involved even though the focus was not on the accuracy of the results. This paper reinforces the need to involve constructivism principles in material science teaching that enhances the learner’s knowledge acquisition.
- Tensile Testing
- Laboratory Instruction