It is always interesting to travel to different places around the globe: exotic lands, nature, animals and plants. Of course, it could not happen during lessons in a way we want it. So we decided to make another kind of adventure and organised a special workshop about nature in Africa.
7th grade students during two academic hours had to create a big map of Africa and mark on this map the most iconic geographical places. How to know which place is “iconic”? It was really simple for them. Just google it or ask the teacher (but they preferred Google).
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.
For years and years this has been my least favorite part of school’s curriculum. Too much messy drawing on the board, too much mathematical formulas, and from student’s point of view this was just empty talk. I naturally tried and tried to explain this to my students as best as I could, but even with experiments, that I could demonstrate during the class, I’ve felt that my students been missing the point. They would just try to memorise whole thing without any critical thinking, and let’s face it, what kind of a teacher would I be to let that happen? Most of my colleagues agreed that this is not an easy part of curriculum which it’s hard to be understood even by older students at faculties, and that it is meant only for top of class.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that this was unnecessary part of school’s curriculum. This is fundamental part of physics. This was one of the first mistakes made by Newton. And shockingly this is where quantum mechanics starts (thank you Feynman). So I really needed to help my students learn more about this, but how?
On April 23, 2019, the topic “Symmetry in Mathematics and Art” was presented at Teodor Trayanov’s 10th School in Sofia. During the hour Neda, Koya and Toni introduced the students of the 5th grade with several types of symmetry in mathematics and art. With the help of dynamic resources created with Geogebra, the pupils made an author’s works.
This workshop was held on April 25th at Primary school “Sreten Mladenovic Mika”, Nis, Serbia as a part of join activities within NiSTEaM initiative of Scientix Ambassadors from the city of Nis for taking part in SDW 2019. It is an introduction to coding and computer science by way of making and design, using the revolutionary new micro:bit micro controller board, and Microsoft’s easy and powerful MakeCode block-based coding environment. It is a project-based curriculum with a maker philosophy at its core; the idea is that by making physical objects, students create a context for learning the coding and computer science concepts.
We found that existing curriculum for beginners focused mostly on solving math problems or constructing geometric shapes and that there was a certain type of student that signed up for computer science classes and these students were almost always boys. We wondered whether a different approach to teaching the basics of computer programming would be more engaging and also attract a larger variety of different types of students, both boys and girls.