Author: Madalina Paun
Project: STEM DISCOVERY DAY IN ONICESCU
School: Octav Onicescu National College
Subject: online activity held on April 2020 where students showed their creativity
Education helps us make the world a better place and means more than just going to school. An online STEM activity is made to celebrate communication using a multidisciplinary approach.
STEM is an educational concept based on the idea of educating students in four fields: science, technology, engineering and mathematics, using a multidisciplinary and applied approach. Since 2018, we organize every year STEM DISCOVERY WEEK in the National College “Octav Onicescu”, an exhibition of scientific projects in which we try to encourage students to get involved in the development of the technical project.
I like it when I see how passionately they present their latest projects, I admire them for the originality they show and I am amazed by the various fields of their interests.
We thought that this year, when due to the Covid-19 pandemic the schools were closed and we were all isolated at home, being a little shocked by what was happening to us, we could organize an online activity in which we would celebrate interpersonal communication, science and technology using Google Classroom, Zoom and Facebook.
The announcement that we will hold STEM DISCOVERY DAY IN ONICESCU attracted the attention of students at various technical faculties, who announced that they want to participate in this activity. The activity took place over 3 hours with short breaks.
Can scientific experiments be done at home?
9th graders have shown that they can highlight principles and laws of physics using materials found at home and using teamwork even if they are at a distance from each other.
The role of virtual experiments
Using the simulations from www.walter-fendt.de, virtual experiments were performed through which uniformly varied rectilinear motion, light reflection and simple alternating current circuits were studied. When performing the virtual experiments, it was found that an interdisciplinary connection between physics, mathematics, computer science, etc. is made wonderfully.
How to become a programmer?
Ghiorghiu Tudor, a student at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, showed us how he used the MathLab program to study the motion of a double gravitational pendulum, making a three-dimensional graph of maximum and minimum positions (a fractal).
Then explained how he used the 3D editing program called Blender to paste on a surface by coordinating and calculating certain objects.
Students found that the strength of a computer is the ability to process thousands of lines of code per second and this allows it to follow complex instructions and perform incredible tasks.
I like robots
Ghiorghiu Dimitrie, a 10th-grade student, presented two robots made by him using a 3D printer. The construction of a robot requires knowledge of very different fields: physics, electronics, programming and allows interdisciplinary and active learning.
Prof. Păun Mădălina presented to all the classes an experiment with a plasma globe that manages to ignite the filament of an LED.
Each participant was asked to say a few words about the activity in which he participated.
Tudor Ghiorghiu: ”Personally, I believe that education is the main way we can create a better world. It arouses your curiosity about how the world works and makes you want to find out how things are going. I would like to see more of such activities and projects because they stimulate curiosity about science in an interactive and captivating way. As for what I presented, the fractal project is meant to show that even some mathematical and physical formulas, seemingly trivial and boring, can give rise to something beautiful (like, think of a picture that is always generated in something new when increasing to infinity) and the one with tracking is very interesting and is an idea for those who are passionate about robotics or animations”.
Dimitrie Ghiorghiu: ”I personally liked the online activity and I would like to see this type of online courses in other subjects. As for the robots presented, they are mostly made by me, as robotics is a hobby of mine”.