The 2021 STEM Discovery Campaign

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Dear participants,

The 2021 STEM Discovery Campaign has already kicked off and we can’t wait to receive and read your stories about how you designed and implemented your STEM activities in the various competitions!

Read the instructions and the guidelines on how to write an engaging blog post and if you have any questions or doubts, or if you face technical issues please contact eleni.myrtsioti@eun.org and inna.agadzhanova@eun.org.

From compost to meta-competence

The event “From compost to meta-competence” took place on February 24, 2021 from 3 pm to 5 pm, by using the online Classroom platform because in our locality the education takes place online.

The activity was carried out by the mathematics teacher Voinea-Axinte Costica in the 10th grade of high school in the online presence of five teachers from the school. Sustainability education is a prerequisite for post-crisis economic competitiveness COVID 19. Composting is a good excuse to motivate the study of STEM disciplines in the context of climate change, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity, poverty reduction, and sustainable consumption.
Competence for sustainability, which will be increasingly in demand in the labor market, such as leadership, will be a meta-competence that includes both multidisciplinary knowledge and all classical transversal competencies. It is obvious that such competence cannot be learned in a course, but it must be trained throughout the education because some of the included competencies can be and it is more effective to be developed from an early age. In my teaching endeavor, I tried to develop environmental protection skills starting from learned notions to biology, geography, chemistry, mathematics, ecology but I took into account the fact that many students are from rural areas and have knowledge related to compost.
The webinar was the first step. In the other online webinars I will use interactive, collaborative, integrative methods, adapted to the age level, multiple intelligences, and different learning styles with the participation of fellow teachers of physics, chemistry, biology, and geography to present students specific notions of disciplines and curricular contents necessary for understanding. phenomena that take place in compost.
The theme of the webinar was one of the main objectives of creating a human resource that can develop a sustainable economy and communities. The approach uses innovative teaching techniques, teaching models such as integrative studies, project-based learning or problems, the main themes of the curriculum can be enriched with current themes of the planet and human life and approached through participatory methods that develop in children and young people the motivation to learning, transversal competences, including innovation, creativity, and independence in thinking necessary for sustainability competence.
Sustainability in education does not mean creating a separate course added to the topics of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, but it means including the key themes of sustainable development in everyday teaching and learning. Making compost is a good excuse to motivate the study of climate change, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity, poverty reduction, and sustainable consumption. These webinars motivate and mobilize students and make them change their behavior and act for sustainable development.
My students were happy with the approach taken, they were actively involved, they shared their experience related to the subject of the webinar and they proved the desire to implement the studied notions.

Author: Voinea Axinte Costica

“STEM, STEAM and Educational Robotics in Kindergarten using WEB 2.0 tools. Organising an action plan at school”

10/2/2021

Paraskevi Foti

STEM teaching is about using practical experiences while providing students with tools to develop and enhance their potential and influence the future. Because of that, this workshop has been organized through the Webex platform and 43 teachers working in Greek kindergartens in the 3rd district of Athens were the participants.

The aim of this workshop was for participants to get to know STEM, STEAM epistemology, and algorithmic thinking through practical examples.

Initially, I presented a PowerPoint presentation with definitions about STEM, STEAM, and algorithmic thinking and how we can integrate it in kindergarten school through gaming.

All the visual materials (screenshots, photos) belong and have been kindly provided by the author – Attribution CC-BY

Then, I presented a work plan which I had carried out at my school. The work plan was titled: The Circle of water-based on STEAM, within the framework of an eTwinning program. In order to have separate teams, participants were randomly divided into 4 breakout sessions and worked collaboratively through the Google Docs app.

All the visual materials (screenshots, photos) belong and have been kindly provided by the author – Attribution CC-BY

Each group, with different colors,(blue, red, green, orange) developed a work plan. They chose subject according to the photos in the collaborative document (land, recycling, earthquake, food consumption, traffic education).

Then, in the Padlet (collaborative online tool) each group according to its color added the title of its work plan and presented it in the end to all participants.

All the visual materials (screenshots, photos) belong and have been kindly provided by the author – Attribution CC-BY

After the presentation of all teams,  participants had the opportunity to do a quiz I created,  through the Kahoot application. That quiz included specific questions that tested their knowledge of STEAM.

All the visual materials (screenshots, photos) belong and have been kindly provided by the author – Attribution CC-BY

 At the end of the workshop and through the WordItOut application, participants created a word cloud with their impressions of STEAM.

All the visual materials (screenshots, photos) belong and have been kindly provided by the author – Attribution CC-BY

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.

eTwinning project “STEAM in Fairy tales”

With the increasing integration of STEAM ideas into pre-school education, the question arises, how to make STEAM education even more interesting, even more attractive for the child? Observing that nowadays children have difficulty listening to fairy tales to the end, the question again arises as to whether fairy tales can be brought closer to the child using STEAM ideas.

So we set ourselves a goal – to connect old and well known (fairy tales) with new and modern (STEAM education).

In autumn we created eTwinning project “STEAM in Fairy tales”, which connected STEAM education with traditional, in the world well known Fairy tales.

eTwinning projects give a chance for schools located far from each other to work in distance. It‘s the perfect platform to communicate and cooperate at distance with pupils, teachers, and all school community.

In the beginning of project we asked pupils and their parents to read fairy tales at home and to mark, what fairy tales they read. In the class we elected the most popular fairy tales, from children read at home.

Later we done STEAM challenges related with fairy tales, which children read at home: for example, to built a strong house for little pig from the book “Three little pigs”, we had to make such strong house, that the wolf doesn‘t blow it. We read fairy tale „Goldenlocks“ and made three different chairs, tested, which are the strongest, the weakest we had strengthen. After reading fairy tale „The wolf and 7 goats“ we decided to make basket for mother Goat, containing at least two apples.
In the middle of project we dicided to have interactive online activity for pupil and parents: we read very popular book „Kakė Makė and mess dwarf“ and created maze from pensils.

This project in our school was implemented in to ways: for pupils, who attend school and for pupils, who staid at home during quarantine. Teachers had a challenge to work in a mixed way.

The same challenge had teachers from Turkey, Bulgaria, Lithuania, but we all the time talked about challenges and how to beat it. We had several online meeting to talked about it.

In the project we used a lot of different e-programs for various forms of education: we used wordwall.net, jigsawplanet.com, learningapps.org, kahoot.it and etc.

We think it was very successful project, because we connected not only old and well known (fairy tales) with new and modern (STEAM education), bet also we helped to improve children‘s  thinking, creative, problem solving, researching skills and other skills, which are necessary for the man of the 21st century .

Video about project: https://youtu.be/w_LT0XDs3bM

Teachers: Laura Bajoriūnė and Mireta Visockienė