We prepare an eTwinning project with Science subjects with 12 different schools. The project aims to increase our students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and to provide a more qualitative integration of STEM disciplines.
Why should we choose the environment in STEM education?
We live in the world, and we are the only creatures that harm the environment. We want students to realize this and find solutions to existing problems.
These environmental problems can occur suddenly or as a result of the development of many processes. Do our children have problem-solving skills? Will they be able to solve the problems they face? For these reasons, we put the environment and pollution at the center of our project. If the students are raised as conscious, solution-finding, and environmentally sensitive people, both new problems can be prevented and old ones can be solved. Their knowledge of STEM can help them solve real-life problems of daily life.
With the work done for the project implementation, we expect our students will:
- develop their scientific thinking skills;
- understand the correlation between mathematics and science.
- learn that they have many options to solve the problems they see in their environment;
- understand the nature of science and develop their skills in using ICT tools;
- develop the ability to produce alternative solutions to problems with simple materials
- use engineering design processes to solve a problem they encounter
With the STEM plan of our project, we used the disciplines of mathematics, science, art, engineering and ICT together in the environmental activity.
One of our subjects is the environment. In doing so we made a STEM lesson plan and all partners use it. One discipline is math. Students collected the daily waste in their homes separately as glass, plastic, organic, and paper. They measured the daily usage in grams and converted it into kilograms. They gathered the weekly, monthly and annual amounts as the project team of all schools and created a chart. When the days and people have shown this activity, the amount that comes out becomes very large.
One discipline is science. Students search about fungus and bacterias. They learned to make compost with organic waste. All students made compost.
Art is in our plan. We organized a competition to build a robot from our waste to learn about reuse. We voted the winner and made that robot the project mascot.
Champion of the reusing competition
For ICT students prepare games and played them.
They engineered drip irrigation systems to reduce water use. At the same time, they created a virtual exhibition from the irrigation systems and posters they prepared.
Environmental awareness of our students, who are our future in environmental problems, has increased. Problem-solving skills improved.
They have become more enthusiastic about recycling and reuse.
About the author: Selda Topal – Secondary school teacher |Dumlupınar BİLSEM Afyonkarahisar/Turkey