STEM ecological actions

Author: Hriscu Cristina, primary school teacher

Year by year I seek to find actively participatory methods that are as attractive and interesting as possible for teaching in class so that I can combine the practice with the theory. The STEM activities can complement very well the notions of the textbooks and auxiliaries following the principle of “learning by doing”.

For this year’s STEM Discovery Campaign, teachers and students from Cucorani Primary School, Romania, decided to organize STEM activities between 6 – 9 March 2020.

Teachers needed to raise students’ awareness regarding the environmental issues through education. The STEM activities were held during the hours of the following subjects usually held in the classroom: Nature Sciences, Civic Education, Practical Abilities and Visual Arts. Also, during the time assigned for ‘extracurricular activities’.

Here are the good practices that we had applied with students, volunteers in ecological actions to combat climate change in local communities:

– to read articles about climate change that have affected the environment and the community they live in;

– to search for solutions and solve the indicated problems, developing their ability to think critically and creatively;

– to plant trees in the schoolyard, to build birds houses from recycled plastic bottles – to participate in STEM activities

Our activities were shared/promoted on:

-SDC20 activities’ map.

-an eTwinning event that takes place under “The little citizen” project as our STEM activities involved responsible little students during the spring time.

Activities: how did it go?

The students being 6 – 10 years old learned at school the new notions about the life of plants, birds, animals and decided that they want to get involved in ecological actions and become nature’s friends.

Firstly, teachers and students have developed a working plan in a timeframe of 6 and 9 March 2020 to carry out the activities both inside and outside the school.

During these 3 days, students were involved in 2 activities.

Activity 1: making a birdhouse. Students learned through playing, discovery and active exploration that in order to build the birdhouses of the PET they have to take the following steps: to cut the PET and paint the pieces of it; to make a hole in the stopper; to add thread; to screw stopper; assemble the PET pieces and get the birdhouse made.

Activity 2: planting a tree. Students found out that in order to plant the trees in the schoolyard they must follow the steps: to dig holes in the ground, adding some water; to fix the sapling, to add soil; to gather soil around the stem and press it well; to water the soil.

These STEM outdoor and indoor activities kept the students permanently occupied, arousing their interest and curiosity regarding ecological actions, better preparing them for life.