Developing an innovator’s thinking in engineering education
Engineering education must be changed following the change in the labor market. The cult of innovation has led to a demand for innovators who have both the mindset of an inventor who can see a problem and find a way to solve it, and the mindset of an entrepreneur who is ready to bring that solution to life. Thus, teaching a techno-innovator involves combining STEM education and business education with a common goal to develop the innovator’s thinking as a symbiosis of design thinking and business thinking. The tool for the formation of design thinking can be the link of “STEM cases + project”, and the tool for the development of business thinking “entrepreneurial cases + startup”, a startup as the inculcation and diffusion of the project product. Cases contain potential problem situations during the development of a techno startup and a chain of tasks that help to see different ways to solve a problem and choose the best one. The assignments are formulated in such way to serve as a trainer for the development of components of design- thinking and business- thinking. The study involved 392 students. The trainees in the system of “cases + startup” showed progress in the development of design and business thinking components and a change in the type of motivation from internal to external, as well as the prevalence of success motivation, which was reflected both at the level of startups projects and the desire to continue working on creating technological innovation.