How do you show students who major in Humanities that Science is fun and exciting? How do you make children aware that everything in our world is interconnected? At Taras Shevchenko Himnazia we decided to choose an object of inquiry and organize an annual STEM-Marathon, where all the activities would be focused around the above mentioned object. Here is the link to SWAY presentation about the eventhttps://sway.office.com/xsiPY7I2rfIiYoF7?ref=Link
This year the object of our STEM-Marathon was “Air”. The Marathon lasted for two weeks from 15th to 26th of April and consisted of a great variety of activities: STEM-lessons, maker spaces, visits of STEM-specialists, whose job is connected with “air”, visits of the students to local enterprises, photo zones and exciting STEM-challenges.
During the STEM-lessons we offered our students to look at the topic of “Air” from the point of view of various school subjects. For example, our teachers conducted a joint lesson of History and English, looking at the way how humans conquered the air and exploring inventions of Leonardo da Vinci, Write brothers, Abbas ibn Firnas and other great minds with the help of 3D animations from the Moza website, Google expeditions and virtual reality headsets. At the lessons of Science and Physics students conducted different experiments which helped to understand properties of air. Even elementary school students studied air from the point of view of different disciplines and had their “Mini Scientific Conference” where they presented their findings.
To persuade students that Science is fun, we included in our STEM-Marathon such exciting activities as STEM-challenges and master classes, that were also focused on the topic of “Air”. The participants of STEM-challenges competed in the science relay race trying to use properties of air: blowing the sails of self-made boats, flying paper planes, running air-jigs. At STEM master classes Marathon participants learned to do various flying objects in the technique of origami and printed parts of a windmill on a 3D printer. Students could also take part in special gymnastics and aerobics exercises which showed how air and breathing techniques are important for human health.
In order to connect school and community and to show knowledge gained at school can be applied in real life we invited STEM-professionals to our school to be our guest speakers. For example, the representatives of our city emergency rescue service demonstrated our students the work of the equipment which is used to measure air quality and air quality on the territory of our school. Also, our students visited our local oil extracting factory and saw what is done there to reduce air pollution. To develop connections between school and community we included an open-doors event in our Marathon. On this day we invited parents, educators from higher educational establishments, representatives of local businesses and other stakeholders to visit our school and to take part in our STEM challenges, master classes and experiments, to observe our STEM lessons. The guests could also watch a Science play called “The Adventures of the Oxygen Molecule” performed by our school drama club. The open-doors day ended with a STEM-Meet-up, where together with our visitors we discussed the challenges that STEM education is facing in our area. The event was highlighted on local TV.
A file with photos from the STEM-Marathon