Water Security Public Education Campaign

The security of people and nations rests on four pillars – food, energy, water and climate. They are all closely related, and all under increasing stress

Water security issues are potential threatening to all people around the world. Throughout the journey towards day zero, lots of events and lessons can be learned from. Governments around the world are being challenged by the water security issues that directly affect the economic growth specially in a country that suffers from high population growth each year. Egypt is one of the countries that already suffers from high population growth, average economy, and water security conflicts with only one main resource of water which is the Nile.

Throughout our study of the curriculum unit “NASA Mission Geography” for 9th grade students, I opened this study module by first exposing the students to some of the facts, media, and infographic posters about the water security around the world and showing them video of “Day Zero” then letting them reflect their understanding inside the STEAM Journal for this part of the study module.

After being shifted to the full virtual learning environment and during my online STEM classes, I wanted my students to lead a campaign to raise awareness among parents, teachers, and other students about the global issues with regards to the water security. In this specific grade, I had 40 students and I used the “Breakout Rooms” feature in Microsoft teams in order to divide them into groups of 3 or 4 and then I assigned each group a task of choosing one water security issue and designing a logo, poster, and a presentation video for their campaign. Students started first their research and brainstorming ideas about water security problems in the world. Some of them chose to talk about the water conflict between Egypt and Ethiopia as a result of “Al-Nahda Dam” while others led a campaign called “I am thirsty” to raise awareness about the availability of water per capita and other group discussed the problems of water pollution and chemical pollution.

In this teaching module, I used educational material available on the “National Geographic” main education website and I used the reflection journals available there as they were really helpful in delivering the content to the students in an engaging way. I used the public education campaign journal to describe the domains of study to the students. According to this journal, each group has to cover the following points:

  1. A proposal for the campaign showing the reason why they chose this topic in specific and the goals behind their campaign
  2. An evidence-based argument that supports their claims and the situation that they picked to study. This part should include graphs, pictorial figures, and statistics about the area of study or the situation.
  3. A scientific content for the argument where students show the scientific concepts behind the problem as for example the relation between climate change and the availability of water in a certain country.

Finally, the students met in their groups on Microsoft teams in order to record their campaign video. I received amazing videos and presentations that were showcased on the school’s main social media pages and official websites to educate people about water and water scarcity and security problems. Below, I am showing here two videos that I received from the campaign of the Egyptian-Ethiopian conflict as well as the “I am thirsty” campaign.

For more information about the Egyptian-Ethiopian Conflict Campaign Group, look at the video found here.

To be informed about the ‘I am thirsty’ Campaign, see the video here.

Visit our school’s Facebook group here.

STEM Education vs Traditional Education

Author: Alketa Barjami

For the 2020 STEM Discovery Campaign, I organised few activities. They are listed and described below.

“STEM Education vs Traditional Education”


Type of activity or action: Training session
Date: 20/04/2020 – 24/04/2020

STEM helps to turn new ideas into better education. Timely education during PANDEMIC showed that STEM in home conditions, with the presence of the Internet, brought solutions to online education. Traditional education allows the student to receive formal education and teaches to focus on the topic in question.

Resource: SCIENTIX WEBINAR: QUIRKY IDEAS TO PIQUE AND PROMOTE STUDENT INTEREST IN STEM CLASSROOMS.

For me, it was the first time I designed and implemented a lesson plan on Scientix, but it was not difficult … I could enrich it over time. The difficulty for students was that it was the first time they used online tools to build online puzzles. We could apply it for some more projects this month because we needed to learn online more…

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ASTRO-STEM / MARS ADVENTURE WITH STEM

Author: Elvan İNAN

Astro-Stem is an eTwinning project. Between September 2019 and May 2020, an international project that briought together astronomy and STEM disciplines were realized.

About The Project

The project is compatible with the educational curricula of 5 different countries: Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia. The project was carried out with interdisciplinary interaction of teachers of Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Computer and Technology. See the map showing all schools involved.

Under the guidance of 24 teachers,187 students in the 15-18 age range participated actively in the project. The project designed astronomy activities with STEM aimed to raise awareness about space sciences in students. Thus, the project inspired them to become interested in the science of astronomy while planning future professional careers.

Mixed country teams were formed and students carried out their activities through collaborative activities. Thus, the communication of students living in different countries of the same age group was provided and foreign language development was supported. In addition, cultural ties between countries have been established and a democratic learning environment has been established.

The project included studies on astronomy, space, telescopes, constellations, black holes, other planets, our galaxy, the moon and solar eclipses, as well as information and crops. Each study started with STEM questions and continued with students’ research and applications. By using a different web tool at each event, students’ technology literacy skills were improved. In this project, Scientix Resources Building a Space Habitat in the Classroom and “The Solar System” were used.

The activities took place with two different working groups, school teams and mixed country teams.

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Let’s code together at home

Author: Selçuk Yusuf Arslan

Online Coding Training? Why not?

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.
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BUILD YOUR OWN WEATHER STATION

Author: Semih ESENDEMİR

Within the scope of the “STEM Discovery Campaign 2020” organized by Scientix in European countries, I, as a science teacher at Emine Emir Şahbaz Science and Art Center, organized an online STEM activity “Build your own weather station” with my students being 9 to 12 years old between 13 – 19 of April, 2020.

My aim in organizing this activity was to develop scientific and engineering process skills by directing them to research, questioning, and design with the online STEM event that I organized during these difficult times when I am separated from my students. To achieve this goal, I dealt with the weather events that concern us in our daily lives. I thought to develop Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math skills by having my students’ design tools to measure weather events like a scientist, mathematically express and predict their measurements. Based on these ideas, I decided to implement the learning scenario called “The weather in our town!

Figure 1: Weather station in our house
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