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.
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.
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.
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.
At the end of the workshop and through the WordItOut application, participants created a word cloud with their impressions of STEAM.
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:
A proposal for the campaign showing the reason why they chose this topic in specific and the goals behind their campaign
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.
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.
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 .
This is the first question we use to introduce our Project.
At Escola Mestre Gibert, teachers believe all knowledge is connected. Thus, 4th level Primary School teachers have decide to plan an interdisciplinary Renewable Energy Project, where all subjects can be included. The name of the project will be “Human Activity is Energy”.
Critical thinking, cooperation, creativity and communication are our skills
To engage the children, we use inquire based-learning. We build the project while creating challenges that they will solve and answer along with adding achievements.
As a result, teachers create and launch a collaborative project, where students’ experiments prove that energy is everywhere. Consequently, all subjects can contribute to build meaningful and comprehensive energy learning.
In subjects such as Science, Technology, English Language and First Language, students build knowledge about energy and its uses. TheEnglish Language is the vehicular language to transmit the result of the learning process.
Moreover, a father of a student whose task is related to Clean Energies, will come to deliver a speech as an expert.
The challenge of students’ teamwork is the study of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, doing an internet research. They use the DRIVE platform to organize their work and organize an exposition in class. In this activity, the peers assessment will be very important.
As we mentioned before, co-evaluation among peers is very important in order to obtain a good assessment. Students have to participate actively in all the learning process and until the end. Children use rubrics to pay attention to peers’ exposition and to express their opinions.
Finally, the children will perform a choreography to conclude the project, playing with multi-colour satin ribbons. For the soundtrack, previously we will record children’s voices singing a song called “Energize”, especially composed for the final show.
The song’s message is about Energy Resources and Earth Planet Health. Children enjoy singing the song and are engaging with its message:
On the last day of the project, students and teachers will gather together for a manifestation with banners, all spread around the playground, shouting messages such as: “save the Planet”, “we must use sustainable energy”, “SOS, planet Earth needs us!!”.