Build your own city

This activity is designed to connect STEM and Arts subjects, as a part of the CREATIONS project.

The main aim of the activity is at putting students’ knowledge of geometry objects and their properties into a real world context. Pupils of different ages, knowledge, sex and abilities participated in it. As part of this activity, students can deepen their interest in mathematics and other STEM subjects, and maybe even choose to become architects or engineers later in life, thus influencing their future professional orientation.

While the students created their own city, they also learned important mathematical concepts that will help them throughout life. Although this activity focuses on the subject of geometry, there are so many other elements of learning, including inquiry-based learning, problem-solving, collaboration, communication, independent learning, and more. There are also some components of social studies, writing, drawing, making collages, painting, recycling, researching about sustainability, problem solving and comprehension.

Students created a city using 2D and 3D geometry, practising with both plain and solid geometry. 

This was a three months long project, with many workshops and activities, including:

  • Making 2D paper collages with triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons and circles.
  • Making paintings of the city.
  • Brainstorming about how to make models and what the model of our city should look like, what is needed in the city, how we can build it, which materials we can use, how the city will be supplied with food, water and energy, and how it can become sustainable.
  • Workshop at the Faculty of architecture (this was an activity organised within the #STEM Discovery week 2018).
  • A Skype interview with a civil engineer about sustainable energy and wind turbines.
  • Making 3D Models of the city.
  • A peer learning workshop, in which our students held a workshop presenting geometry collages to other students in Belgrade.
  • A workshop at the Centre for the promotion of science in Belgrade, in which we created 3D models by using 3D printers for wind turbines and 3D pens for houses. We also had the chance to visit the Technical Fair in Belgrade and check all new solutions and the principles of work for 3D printers. You can read more about this visit here.

See also the pictures from all phases of our project and all the workshop on Sway here below.

A celebration of careers and studies in the fields of science

At our school, we believe that students are provided with various opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to enhance their knowledge and motivate them by helping them to raise their high interest in STEM subject, so to consider for their careers. Thus, the following video shows some of the activities that we organised for the students with various companies and stakeholders to raise general awareness and promote STEM education for both male and female students.

 

STEM Discovery week – Problem Solving – Israeli inventions Activity

The activity aimed at 6th-grade students at Leo Baeck school in honor of the STEM Discovery Week celebrating 70 years for the state of Israel.

During the activity, the students learned about the important connection between science and technology and the process of problem-solving.

The students were presented with an invention, about which they’re supposed to research and to explore additional uses.

The activity is about 4 Israeli inventions and deals with a diverse content range, including subjects of science, mathematics, technology, architecture, Hebrew, English, geography, and environmental protection and sustainability.

It employs digital tools and is in the format of the Escape Room, using “Escape Boxes” that I built by reusing materials.

The activity had several stages:
First, the students were told to help each other to the best of their abilities, as minimal help would be provided.
The students entered the classroom and naturally split into groups.
On one of the tables, there was a box containing several keys, with a mathematics exercise written on each one

There were 4 possible solutions and the students organised themselves into groups based on the answers.
After everyone sat in groups, two locked boxes were placed on each table.
The flag of Israel was printed on these boxes, in order to hint the students the subject of the activity.
The students were instructed to enter a code – the solution to the mathematics exercise – to unlock one of the boxes.

When the box was opened, it contained two different kinds of items:
The first being a page with the word “Invention” written on it in braille, and to its side, the flag of Israel, and a Braille-to-Hebrew translation table.
The students were supposed to understand that the subject is Israeli inventions.

The second box included items or pictures that gave a hint on the specific invention.
For example: One box contained a picture of Mars, a house, and a rosy-cheeked smile-emoticon, referring to project Bubble Face – a project dealing with the development of a structure suitable to be built on the surface of Mars, led by Helen Vaxsler.

Another box contained iron ore and a Jewish hat, referring to the Israeli Iron Dome Defence System.
In yet another box, there were items hinting at the invention of the Solar Water Heater.

The last box contained items hinting at the invention of the extension of shelf life of the cherry tomato.
The second part of the box contained cards with pictures and names connected to the invention, which had to be organised. After organising those, the students had to solve mathematics problems in order to get the code for the next box.
On the cards were printed subjects such as metal-processing methods, renewable and non-renewable sources of energy, methods of sorting fruits and vegetables.

At the second stage, the students were required to learn about the invention. Each group received a QR code leading to educational texts and videos about that invention.
Afterward, the groups were asked to enter the Padlet collaborative board and write about their invention and the scientific principle which it is based on.
For example, the production of cherry tomatoes is possible because of botanic crossbreeding.

After completing their task, each group was asked to use another digital tool – myHistro, and use it to write on a collaborative timeline the following details:
The date of the invention publication, the name of the invention, and mark the location of the invention publication on a map.

Next, the students were asked to answer questions about the subject of solving technological issues – definition of the issue, the solution’s minimum requirements, goals, and environmental repercussions, in addition to mathematics problems and Hebrew vocabulary exercises.
The students were led to the next code.

At this stage, the students were to offer improvements to an existing invention or even a new invention, to plan a model and to build it, photograph it and upload it to the collaborative board.
The cherry-tomato group had to plan out an experiment, including its different stages, and to carry it out.

In the final stage, each group was required to present their model, and to tell the classroom what they’ve learned about the invention and the scientific principle associated with it.
The cherry-tomato group presented their model, and continued the experiment, updating over the next few weeks about their advancements and findings.

Each group that completed all the tasks will be taught 3D printing in group lessons, plan a 3D model and print it out – courtesy of the Israel National Museum of Science, Technology and Space, one of our neighbors at a walking distance.

Link to some photos and files from the activities.

Link to the Live video stream from European Schoolnet’s YouTube channel

 

ORGAN DONATION – DEBATE

Elementary school “Stanimir Veljkovic Zele” Bojnik.

24.4.2018.

In the preparation for activities about the STEM Discovery Week 2018, teacher of biology, Milica Pejcic, the Serbian language teacher Sanja Kulic and the chemistry teacher Marija Dikic, decided that a debate about organ donations would be very effective.
We gathered interested students (7th and 8th grade) and we explored this topic with them.

We organised the arrival of large number of teachers, a pediatrician, and through Skype, we spoke with the former pupil of our school, Jelena Martic, who is now a successful pediatrician in Malta and has shared her experiences with us.

After watching educational short films, introductory words by teachers and pediatricians, two groups of students started debating. They went through the moral, sociological, psychological, legal and religious aspects. The debate was followed by a jury that decided whose arguments were stronger.
At the end of the debate, we pointed out the alternative possibilities of obtaining organs in the laboratory using stem cells.

This is a short film, which was made by Milena Vojinovic, about the debate: