THE NATURE IS CALLING US is an international eTwinning project. The purpose of our project is to gain awareness of being environmentally conscious and leaving a livable world to new generations. To instil this consciousness to individuals, to raise conscious individuals who are respectful to nature also means to invest in the future. It is possible to raise environmentally friendly individuals by transferring this awareness to them at the right time and in the right way. For this, collaborative work that will be carried out with activities that bring environmental awareness raise our project to its target.
Our project aims to expand our awareness in different layers of society by developing our students’ awareness of being respectful to the environment and being environmentally conscious. By targeting effective learning in communication with the group by using information technologies, students learnt to interact in a group and also use web 2.0 tools within the scope of these activities. They also improved their foreign language skills.
Our students in this project: • Became conscious regarding water consumption and gained environmental awareness. • Using the STEM approach, they gained awareness of the negative effects of global climate change on the world.
The project was held in partnership with schools in Turkey, Albania and Italy. There were 26 schools and teachers in the project with 300 students participating (approximately). In this project, mixed school teams worked as 13 teams in total, in order to draw attention to Global Climate change. Our activities took place betwen 20 – 30 April 2020.
The pandemic process has been a process when education systems are rapidly taking action all over the world. Countries quickly began distance education activities. We were encouraged to organise activities for the 2020 STEM Discovery Campaign online, using SOMR (Scientix Online Meeting Room). In this process, I decided to do an online event with the Ministry of Education of Muğla Province. I was asked if I could do STEM applications by teaching coding online. Even it sounds good, it was interesting to do a “hands-on” activity online. Why not? We could do it.
Can simulators be used for this?
I started planning it right away. I could use simulators in distance education to make robotic coding with teachers. I chose micro:bit. There was a few advantages of BBC’s intiative and popular microcomputer micro:bits;
I could use the simulator thanks to Microsoft Makecode. Teachers participating in distance education could also get a chance to try, even if they didn’t have micro:bit.
Micro:bit is a good choice, especially for teachers who do not have previous coding experience because they are block-based.
By posting a video on YouTube, many teachers could watch me and get a chance to try, even ask questions online. I could also reach a lot of teachers offline; not only online but also offline after the broadcast.
At the end of the training, I could encourage teachers by making a simple STEM application.
Author: Stella Magid-Podolsky, STEM teacher and educator in Israel
The activity took place between 20 February – 26 April 2020
The activity that I want to describe in this blog is called: “The advantages and disadvantages of Nuclear Energy: The Chernobyl disaster-Never again!”. This is a long term activity which took place from the end of February till the 26th of April (the date when the Chernobyl disaster had occurred 34 years ago).
I did this activity with my 8th grade students during STEM lessons when my students began to learn the topic of alternative sources of Energy. The activity was divided into two parts. The first part of the activity took place at the school (that was before the Covid-19 outbreak). The second part of the activity began during the quarantine period, so it was held in the form of digital remote learning.
During the first part of the activity, 29 students were divided into 7 groups. Each group got an assignment to pick one alternative source for Electrical energy, conduct an inquiry about their chosen source and present their outcomes to their peers in the class. Most of the students picked Nuclear Energy and when I noticed that this topic interested many students and that many of them watched the HBO television miniseries “Chernobyl”, I decided to continue with the activity, focusing on the Chernobyl disaster.
I believe in the theory that if the teacher is interested in a specific topic, he or she will be more motivated to teach this topic in an interesting way and the process will also increase students’ interest and motivation for this topic.
The Covid-19 pandemic influenced the whole world. We had to interrupt education in schools. We continued our courses with the help of the Zoom Web 2.0 tool. We designed the activity “I Learn With Stem I Code My Future” with our students for the 2020 STEM Discovery Campaign as part of the eTwinning project.
When the outbreak began, people retreated to their homes. So nature started to renew itself. Air quality improved and vegetation revived. With the decrease of pollution, the diversity of living creatures increased in rivers, lakes and seas. This epidemic reminded us that we were consuming natural resources unconsciously. We discussed with the students what kind of awareness we can do on this subject. We asked the students to watch a movie on the natural environment we chose and a brief presentation of the information they obtained through Toontastic.
Debate is a very important and efficient tool to develop scientific understanding and to gain scientific knowledge. The clash between ideas has the potential to provide new points of views to the debaters and to the audience.
Our middle schoolers are very much familiar with the discussion and expressing themselves in scientific argumentation. On the other hand, a debate setup is a new concept for them. Moreover, performing an online debate session was a big challenge for all of us.
A middle school tradition
As an MYP-1 (Grade-6) science class tradition, students learnt how to debate and they performed their first debates in April as a part of Earth science unit. The main debate topic was global climate change or global warming and this year there was a bit of an adjustment in the topic due to Covid-19 situation.
For the sake of global climate…
“Some of the factories should remain closed even after the pandemic issue is solved.”