Author: Süheyla EVECEN
ASTRO-STEM is a project designed to raise awareness among students with accurate information about astronomy and Space Sciences. Students will explore the depths of the universe by having fun in democratic learning environments where they can express themselves freely. They will learn astronomers, history of astronomy, constellations and mythological stories and try to understand the universe.
Another important part of this project is that it is based on the STEM approach. With the STEM approach, it is thought that students will achieve their project goals. For this purpose, “STEM DISCOVERY CAMPAIGN” participation was encouraged within the scope of “ASTRO-STEM” project.
The event was planned with the participation of all project participants. This event is divided into 12 pieces. The reason for being divided into twelve parts is that there are 12 mixed teams in the project, coming from different countries. In these teams, two different schools are mentoring teachers.
Each team has about ten students from different schools. The teachers carried out different collaborations with these teams throughout the project. Each team has about ten students from different schools.
First, a research problem was identified. Our research problem is, “How to plan a Mars adventure from start to finish for an astronaut going to Mars?” Different task titles have been created for this research problem. A combination of these titles creates a whole. And the resulting common product is also the answer to the research problem.
Problem situation: Due to the rapid increase in the world population and the rapid depletion of natural resources, the search for new resources became mandatory. Space mining has come to the fore as natural resources in the world are not sufficient for increasing needs. Mining operations based on obtaining minerals from asteroids in space are called space mining. For instance, you are in the team sent to Mars to work on space mining. In this case, you are expected to successfully complete the tasks given to us in Mars in accordance with the following steps.
A. Firstly, determination of the areas (Here, different requirements and priority areas are expected to emerge in order to survive in accordance with the living conditions and to conduct mine researches)
B. Creation of work teams
- Team 1: How to Prepare for Astronaut Space Travel?
- Team 2: What are the things you need to take with you on your way to Mars?
- Team 3: What are the things that people who will begin to live in team 3 should know?
- Team 4: What are the features of the Astronaut Suit suitable for Team Mars conditions?
- Team 5: What are the features of the vehicles sent to Team Space?
- Team 6: What are the contributions of Team Asteroid mining or space mining to the World economy?
- Team 7: A space house design for those who dream of living on Mars.
- Team 8: Fixing the food problem in Team Mars conditions.
- Team 9: Eliminating the water problem in Team Mars conditions.
- Team 10: Eliminating the problem of psychological and social adjustment to Team Mars conditions (creating an inventory of problems).
- Team 11: Team repairing a system damaged by sand storms on Mars.
- Team 12: Mars through the eyes of an astronaut (making the astronaut talk about emotions and thoughts using the web 2 tool)
Parts of the research problem was described above in detail. In addition, an online information meeting was held with the project mentors on the subject. Here, questions from teachers were answered. In addition, a road map has been set for the event. The teams had online discussions on their topics. In this way, students exchanged ideas. Based on the ideas that emerged, the distribution of tasks was carried out among students.
Our task as the 1st team was to prepare a presentation on how to prepare an astronaut for space travel. In this study, together with a total of 12 students we have created from mixed school teams, we investigated what astronauts should do for space travel. We turned it into a presentation with a web2.0 tool.
First, we held an online meeting with the participation of students, under the mentor of teachers. Students discussed online and generated ideas by brainstorming. According to the emerging ideas, the distribution of tasks was carried out among the students.
In the online meeting, different ideas were presented by the students. Priority topics related to these ideas were determined. Some of these titles are listed below:
- What should be done first for Mars Travel?
- What do astronauts do before they go on duty?
- Are there any prerequisites for health?
- What qualifications should they have?
In this study, students conducted teamwork between countries. The students in the team tried to put forward a common STEM study with the teacher. The study sought an answer to a research problem.
In addition, students’ 21st-century skills such as “digital literacy, scientific creativity, research inquiry, teamwork, critical thinking and problem-solving, communication and cooperation, creativity and innovation” were developed. Finally, with this activity, the students’ orientation towards the professions of the future (such as space mining, asteroid mining) was supported. Study activities are shared on the project blog page. Our students completed their research in full cooperation and prepared a presentation with digital presentation applications. They shared this presentation on our website.