Chemistry in kitchen and Easter eggs

Author: Vesela Todorova

We live and work under unusual circumstances because of the pandemic. Not only the classroom but also the school laboratory had to move from school to our homes because experimental science is a major part of STEM education. Closed at home students missed out opportunities for authentic science due to a lack of accessible lab resources. I believe that classical lab exercises are the best way to put students in the centre of the educational process and to make them feel like scientists. It is proven that the most satisfying and interesting science lessons for students are those held in the laboratory. That’s why I decided to make my students feel the thrill of being researchers at home.

Inspired by STEM Discovery Campaign 2020, during the period between 16 – 22 April 2020, I organised the following activities targeting the students and their parents:

  • Online meeting with parents. The aim of the meeting was to ask them for support when doing home science experiments. I asked them to help their children in their activities. There is a research which proved that one of the motivating factors in science learning is family that values science and their support. Also, the activities were held during the week before the Orthodox Easter which is the best period for family activities.
  • Online lesson with students. The aim was to motivate students to learn chemistry through understanding how important science is and to realize that chemistry is everywhere around us and is relevant to our future daily life. The topic “Acids and Bases” was discussed. During the online lesson, we talked about acids, bases, pH of the solution, pH scales, measuring the concentration of hydrogen ions and types of indicators. This knowledge was the base for their future home work.

For online meetings, I used  Google Classroom.

Online lesson in Google Classroom
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Mystery Science

The main aim of the lessons was to motivate students to learn science by investigating mystery in Science in movies, literature and life. The idea was to set numerous interesting activities where students have to do research, use Internet and different online tools working in teams, sharing ideas, developing interest and attitudes towards science, making investigation and experimental researches, stimulating creative activity, gaining new experiences, in order to find that mysteries in movies, literature and life can be explained by science and how these can be integrated in different subjects.

Project-based Learning: students got tasks, problems to solve and they worked in teams. Students developed an inquiry-based learning projects. They had the opportunity to work with their friends in teams which improved their social  skills, increased their creativity, built and encouraged their problem solving skills in a fun way, supported related role modelling, career aspirations and etc.

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