This study aims to determine the effect of STEM-based guided inquiry (STEM-BGI) on light concept understanding and scientific explanation. The design of this research is a quasi-experimental pre-test-post-test control group design. The difference in effect between STEM-BGI and guided inquiry design (GID) is analyzed using the one-way MANOVA. The impact of the STEM-BGI on light concept understanding and scientific explanation is analyzed using effect size. The correlation between conceptual understanding and scientific explanation is tested by bivariate correlation analysis. The result of this study indicates that the STEM-BGI learning model is more effective in enhancing light concept understanding than the GID with an effect size coefficient of 0.81 in the high category. The STEM-BGI learning model is more effective in enhancing scientific explanation than the GID with an effect size coefficient of 0.78 in the medium category. There is a positive correlation between understanding the concept and scientific explanation. Mastery concepts and scientific explanations can help students to solve more complex problems using multidisciplinary STEM.
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