Upper secondary education in Israel is divided into a ‘general track’ and a ‘technological track’. About half the students in the ‘technological track’ sit matriculation examinations. Mechanics studies, at the non-matriculating level, suffers from a negative image and poor students' motivation. A 3 year experiment was carried out with the goal of helping low achieving high school students progress to matriculation level. Class activities consisted of: project oriented studies; use of modern computerised machines (i.e. instructional CNC); use of computers for design, drawing and simulation; gradual progress while giving the student continual feedback. The pilot class (tenth grade) contained 13 students. In the second year two further schools joined the programme and in the third year it was expanded to six schools with 86 students, starting in tenth grade and progressing through grades 11 and 12. Data were gathered by interviews and follow-up on achievements in school and state examinations. The results showed a change in the class atmosphere and students' self image and motivation improved. In parallel to the growth in the number of students participating in the programme, the number of high achievers in technology studies in mechanics at the same schools rose, and the number of non-matriculating students decreased. The technology studies united the class as a group and affected their motivation at general studies like Hebrew and English studies.
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