Author: Iro Koliakou
Star Talks is a series of four online workshops about Astronomy and Space exploration. Workshops were designed by three IB students under the guidance of Scientix Ambassador Dr. Iro Koliakou. The project was held under the auspices of the Social Responsibility Programs of Anatolia College, coordinated by Ms. Peggy Perakaki. The Social Responisbility Programs reflect Anatolia’s strong tradition of personal responsibility and action, which enables students to learn and communicate with the world beyond the campus.
Students were taking initiative to encourage others to learn more and achieve an effect on a positive social change. Dr. Konstantinos Konstantinidis, CAS advisor of the three students that were giving the lectures, asked them to reflect on their experience, desribe in detail what skills they were developing, and document how they think they had impacted their peers. The lectures were designed for middle year school students of Anatolia College in order to keep them engaged in STEM activities during the Covid-19 shutdown. Students had the opportunity to discover basic Astronomy concepts and were introduced to space and astronomy activities using several resources, including the ones from the Scientix repository.
The titles of the three workshops were: Our Solar System, Space Exploration, and The Universe. Students were engaged through activities from the Scientix repository and the EUNAWE: EUROPEAN UNIVERSE AWARENESS. They were also introduced to European Space Agency contests and educational activities.
Dr. Iro Koliakou acted as a mentor for students preparing the presentations and introduced them with different simulations and resources, including Scientix Repository resources: Astronomy Software, Space Career Booklet, A View from Above, other resources: Space Engine, Universe Sandbox, Stellarium.
This project recognizes that STEM disciplines of the future are interconnected with social responsibility and prepares students to design with social and environmental responsibility in mind. STEM professionals in the 21st Century cannot do their jobs effectively without considering how their work impacts the world around them. Designing a new product, system or device requires knowledge of human, environmental, ecological, and many other factors.
The collaboration of STEM teachers with the Social Responsibility department of Anatolia College is a key to reinforce the concept of social responsibility and helps students develop an invaluable skill set for the future. Such collaborations are inspiring faculty and staff to examine new initiatives in which we can all better serve our students and prepare them for a world shaped by our increasingly interconnected communities.