Be safe on the roads with STEM

Author: Stavroula Skiada

aplo STEM
Logo made by students

School: 8th Primary School of Nea Filadelfeia, Athens
Participants: students of 4th Grade (9 to 10 years old)
Implementation: 5 – 28 February 2020

Introduction:

This STEM activity is one of the various activities of the European eTwinning project “STEM On Board between Greece, Turkey, Lithuania and Republic of Moldova. The project started in September 2019 and the activity in February 2020. It aims to introduce students to computational thinking and teach them how to proceed from conceiving a concept to creating the right algorithm and planning the construction.

City Safety Activity in a few words:

Following discussion with the school faculty and the STEM teacher, the pupils decided to work on a project focused on Road safety and potential risk moving through the city. Therefore, after collecting information and carrying out a risk assessment regarding issues that citizens face concerning road safety during their everyday transportation, they concluded that one of the most serious problems is their own safety on their way to and from school. Consequently, they suggested an imaginative solution and constructed it using Lego WeDo2 parts: an aerial bridge for cars passing over a zebra crossing designed for students to use in order to reach the school. The last stage of the project was to program a small robot car that crosses the bridge.

The preparation of our STEM project (first week):

Students that were involved in the project walked around their city to identify road and pavements defects, as well as other potential problems regarding road safety, marking defects, traffic lights malfunctions, cars on sidewalks etc. After collecting and analyzing the data, they interviewed their school’s headmaster about specific problems that students face concerning their safety on the roads. Finally, during their English language lesson, through a constructive discussion with their teacher and brainstorming, they concluded that the most important matter concerning their own safety is the absence of traffic lights and zebra crossings in front of most of the schools.

Take a look at our preparation’s flip book

The design and building of the 3D model (second week):

Students came up with an excellent idea. They designed and constructed an aerial bridge in front of a school using Lego WeDo2 parts and painted a zebra crossing underneath. Additionally, they constructed a model of their school and surrounding area by painting the buildings. Finally, they built a robot car that crosses the bridge. This model of school access reduces the danger of a traffic accident and allow them to move safely to and from school.

3D model
Our 3D model

The programming of the robot car (third week):

Last but not least, they programmed their robot car in Scratch 3.0 programming platform to cross the bridge. As expected, the students found this to be the most enjoyable part of their project. They promised to engage in more projects next school year regarding STEM and their city’s road safety!

By engaging students in “Be safe on the roads with STEM” activity, they were taught how to solve problems by using critical thinking skills, how to collaborate with others in a team-oriented environment and finally how to embrace new technologies in an increasingly tech-centered world.  

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