Industry as a role model to inquiry-based method at school

I want to describe my experience of the STEM Discovery Week 2018. In addition to my job as a teacher, I also work as a teachers’ trainer at the Faculty of Science Education at Technion, the Israel Institute of Science and Technology.
During the STEM Discovery Week, I did an activity with pre-service teachers and students from the 9th grade, who came to Technion for a visit.

Continue reading Industry as a role model to inquiry-based method at school

Renewable energy of the future

Hello!
My name is Stella Magid-Podolsky. I want to tell about my experience during the STEM Discovery Week at my school in Israel. The activity took place at the 8th grade.
During two days, students from the 8th grade science class learned, explored and checked alternatives to regular energy usage. Students were divided into teams, in which each team worked on a different source of renewable energy. On the second day of the activity, each team presented their research and outcomes to the audience of students and teachers.
The students’ reflection on this activity was great. This activity took place instead of a final exam and the students informed me that they liked this kind of assessment very much. During the activity, the students had a chance to express variety of skills, such as creativity, team work, brainstorming and presentation skills…..all skills that are so important in the 21st century.
Also, as a teacher, I enjoyed this activity very much!!!!!!
I had the chance not only be a transformer of knowledge, but also a mentor of every team.
Hope to do more activities as this one. The experience was great!!!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/RB8mnNDll6p2UvQ63

Arduino programming and creation of mobile applications for robot management and gaming

26.04.2018.

The results of the students’ activities carried out during the participation of the “Moravice Railway Technical School” were presented within the STEM Discovery Week campaign.

The basic objective of participating and marking this event was to popularise the STEM area and to bring it closer to the school’s staff and pupils. The abbreviation STEM in its acronym conceals 4 subjects, namely Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These are the areas that the modern labour market has recognised as a necessity. Knowledge, skills and competences acquired within STEM are a prerequisite for quality future workforce. ŽTŠ Moravice possesses good materials and technical equipment when it comes to modern technologies and participating in this initiative, emphasising the openness of the school to the application of innovative ways that are supported by technology in the teaching process.

Within the framework of this activity, students had the opportunity to acquire knowledge through a research and educational model that encourages them to solve problem tasks and apply critical thinking and ultimately disseminate the results.

Class II.e students, under the tutorship of Professor Miroslav Loncar, made several projects on the Arduino platform and used AppInventor2 tools, created robotic control applications, as well as simple game applications.

Those projects made on the Arduino platform included:

Voltmeter
Sound emitting diode for blind and partially sighted people
Electric piano
Darkness detector
Electronic dice

Entertainment and playing apps included:

Fidget spinner
Criss Cross game
Catche the ball game
Flappy bird

It should be noted that at the level of the Republic of Croatia, only nine schools attended the STEM Discovery Week and recognized the importance of this initiative. Realisation of the activities was preceded by a detailed planning and organisation which was ultimately worth it because the students of the 2nd grade in cooperation with professor Miroslav Loncar and school counselor Mateo Havaić made a great effort and were extremely pleased with the achievements.

Link to photos from the activities: http://ss-zeljeznickatehnicka-moravice.skole.hr/?news_hk=1&news_id=1604&mshow=1192#mod_news

STEM Pro Panel at St.Paul’s Missionary College, Rabat

As our Year 8 students will soon be selecting subjects to further their studies, we will be hosting a STEM PRO-Panel to introduce students to a variety of STEM Careers through a discussion with professionals. We have invited 4 professionals from the areas of Pharmaceutics, Health, Game design, and Mathematics in Banking. Each professional delivered a 10 minute introduction about his/her sector. Students then joined 1 professional of their choice for a more in depth discussion/interview about the opportunities available in the sector, job descriptions as well as requirements in terms of education and skills. Through this STEM PRO –Panel we hope students can relate science subjects to potential careers and understand how theory covered in schools is translated to the world of work. Our ultimate goal was to inspire students to aim to pursue STEM careers following the selection and appreciation of STEM subjects at school.

 

 

 

 

Tree Huggers vs Oil Cowboys Debate at St.Paul’s Missionary College, Malta

What if a referendum had to take place in Malta about whether we should keep using fossil fossils as our main source of obtaining electrical energy or whether we should switch completely to renewables? Our society (class) is made up of 24 students who are divided into 5 groups. 2 lobby groups composed of 6 members each represent each side of the referendum’s options. The Oil Cowboy group represents the current local system making use of fossil fuels. The Tree Huggers group campaigns in favour of switching to renewable options. Joining our debate are 3 civilian groups with 4 students each. The members of society are our voters. One group of civilians known as “Electric-Malta employees” represents a group of people who are currently employed in the power stations and thus fear loss of their job due to the change. Another group is known as the “skeptics” who are skeptical of both parties, as they have found flaws with both proposals. The final group is called the “health and finance inspectors” that evaluates the changes in terms of health and finance. All groups are provided with age-appropriate literature, while being equipped with the knowledge covered throughout the topic part of Maltese syllabus related to climate change to help them build their arguments. Civilian groups draft questions for both lobby groups. Lobby groups are prepared to defend their point of view, as well as to provide reasonable arguments against the opposing group. The 80 minutes long debate is (in my opinion) very successful in terms of getting the boys to engage in a scientific debate having relevance to every day life.

Introductory speech by Tree Hugger team leader
Introductory speech by Oil Cowboy team leader
Health and Finance inspector raising some questions
As the debate gets heated!
A funny moment!

The primary reason for hosting the debate is to encourage students to experience science in potential real-life situation. Members of the general public nowadays have their say about several issues where society and science converge, such as abortion or the use of GMC. Thus, I think it is important for our students to experience an example of a situation within the context of their daily life that requires the application of scientific knowledge. Students are also encouraged to make use of the critical and creative thinking skills while promoting collaborative learning. Students are also going to practice their presentation and entrepreneurial skills. All the skills mentioned are 21st century skills, which are of ever-growing importance and should be developed in parallel with content learning.