Author: Edina Dorovic
Preschoolers from Subotica, Serbia are taking part in eTwinning projects for already a couple of years. Our Preschool Institution “Naša radost” is encouraging teachers to take part in STEM projects, and we are enjoying these little science adventures a lot.
The group called “Ladybugs” (from the kindergarten “Šumica”) teamed up with two other groups from the same kindergarten, and some international partners: Hungary (two classes) and Romania (one class). Our journey with science, physics and optics started in March 2020 with an eTwinning project “Tükröm, tükröm…” (“Mirro, mirror”). We used fairy tales and stories about mirrors to evoke interest in STEM subjects in our preschoolers. We used cameras, mobile phones to capture reflective images in our classroom, yard, street etc.
The project “Tükröm, tükröm…” (“Mirro, mirror”) was prepared for the Digital Theme Week (held in Hungary) held on 23 – 27 March 2020.
When using these tools we got the idea to expand our project and, instead of focusing only on mirrors, look into something more…
Our other project Coll“Kako to radi?” (How does it work?) was held in collaboration with high school students from Zaječar, another city in Serbia, and with their physics teacher, Mladen Šljivović. The participation in the project gave the 6 year-olds the opportunity to become little scientists, explorers and STEM enthusiasts.
For the following project that we started in the beginning of March 2020, we used the Scientix resource Kaleidoscope.
Firstly, we were searching for mirrors and reflective images in our surrounding. We experimented with different materials, and searched for the right ones for our kaleidoscope. We learned about different glass, paper, plastic materials and their features like transparency. The kaleidoscope was made from a cardboard roll, silver foil, pearls and beads, some colourful silk-paper. We enjoyed our product by standing beside our window or in our sunny schoolyard. Our project partners wanted to help us to enable our kaleidoscope to use on cloudy days too. So they made a box with a battery and a little light bulb in it. They sent us this “magic-box” by mail.
The mailman arrived on the 10th of March. Why is that important? That was the last week our schools were open. So, it came just in time! We connected the wire to the battery and enjoyed the colours of our kaleidoscope.
How to continue?
When the schools and kindergartens got closed, our Preschool Institution reacted immediately: we switched to Viber groups, closed/private Facebook groups with parents in order to continue our communications, keep up with preschool curriculum and projects. The parent-children teams are very active, they are sending us the learning material, we are exchanging ideas etc.
The teachers were also quick in organizing support on social media: we have groups for exchanging materials, ideas or tips. We organize Zoom meetings, also live events on the eTwinning live platform. This form of communication is very effective and it shows that teachers are very resourceful and helpful in these hard times.