Intrinsic Motivation and 21st-Century Skills in an Undergraduate Engineering Project: The Formula Student Project

  •  Iris Talmi    
  •  Orit Hazzan    
  •  Reuven Katz    


The 21st century is characterized by new technological developments and a rapid pace of change, challenging the academy to educate students for a future employment market characterized by change and uncertainty. This market requires practitioners to develop a broad set of skills, so-called "21st-century skills," along with more focused practices within traditional disciplines. The present study explores the mutual relationship between intrinsic motivation and the expression of 21st-century skills among students participating in the Formula Student project – an international competition in which participants design and build a racecar while facing challenges such as independent learning, planning, and execution. We found that students’ participation in the Formula Student project enables them to practice 21st-century skills that they will need in their future workplace; this experience, in turn, helps them meet the psychological need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness which are the basis for intrinsic motivation.

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