Dr Adam Feldman

Research-inspired learning

Name Dr Adam Feldman
Email A.Feldman@exeter.ac.uk
Position Lecturer in Renewable Energy
College College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

Innovative teaching

Taking an innovative approach to teaching and engaging students, Adam actively encourages Penryn Engineering students in his Renewable Energy modules to adopt a practical approach to their teaching and learning. Adam explains: 

“I like to teach … [in] a mixture of ways ..  Starting with a small boost of didactic instruction, I stand up and give a few essential facts and ideas … this sets a baseline. However this is only a start; we’ll then switch to a more humanistic student-centred exploratory approach encouraging PBL (problem based learning) and EBL (enquiry based learning). Students, the learners, hunt methods, questions and answers themselves and in groups – with access to guidance as necessary. This is where it’s time to play with objects and ideas. ‘Playing’ in a laboratory setting or indeed playing with everyday items at home and out in the environment is so useful. You must explain to people that it really doesn’t matter that much if you break or perhaps alter some stuff, most can be put back together anyway. Things are there to be explored …. After all, many useful and exciting inventions have started from playing and chance observation … Serendipitous discovery is marvellous and will remain in a learners mind long after simply taught facts are forgotten.

Demonstrating how experiments can be created with even the simplest of materials, Adam challenges and inspires his students to use everyday materials and foods, such as jelly and chocolate eggs, to play, to experiment, to have fun, to learn and to truly understand their engineering.

Shell Eco-marathon

Research-inspired, inquiry-led learning is another important component of Adam’s approach to teaching, which can be seen in his work with Penryn Campus students in the annual Shell Eco-marathon competition. Working together to design, build and compete a hydrogen fuel-cell powered car, Adam and the team were a great success in their first entry to the contest in May 2014, being selected to represent Great Britain in the televised opening ceremony. They achieved a reasonable 620 miles per gallon petrol equivalence. "This year in May 2015 with our further experience we hope to do even better.”

Aim 3: Research-inspired, inquiry-led learning
To extend the opportunities for students to learn in innovative ways through their own research and inquiry

Innovative experiments

"I love toys, I love gadgets, and the important thing is to inspire the students...with a passion".

Shell Eco-marathon

"Research, and ploughing on into the future, is where all the fun is".

Research-led teaching

"My research, or areas of main interest...involve hydrogen fuel cells".