Author: Gonca Koseoglu
School: Ihsane Tuna Dıravacıoglu Primary School,TURKEY
Participants: 1st grade students (7-8 years old)
This STEM activity was held in the “My Bio-Based STEM Activities” project on the eTwinning platform. Portugal, Romania, Turkey are project partners. The project started in September 2020. In our study, we draw attention to environmental pollution, and we make bio-based learnings from these problems with STEM studies. We carried out our activities with hybrid education due to the pandemic.
To describe our activity in a few words; students were encouraged to make bio-based plastic after research plastics they use in daily life. So, what is plastic? What is the harm of plastic to the environment and animals? It was a STEM study where they found answers to the questions in their minds. As a result, they will be able to experience it for life. We did our work in April, of which you will find all the stages below.
Preparation of our STEM project (first step):
Firstly, the students gathered the plastic materials which they use in their homes. Then, they bring them into the class. They investigated the symbols on the plastic materials and drew them to learn them permanently. This enables them to be more curious, after that they learned the meanings of the symbols. Students understood that most plastics are too dangerous. Thus, they started the questioning. They watched various videos about the damages of plastic to the environment and animals. Therefore, their awareness increased. Students learned that plastics produced from petroleum-derived or chemical-derived synthetic polymers cause environmental problems.
Bio-based plastic process (2nd Step)
As an alternative to plastic, bio-based bioplastic production was noted.
Thus, they realized that they could create nature-friendly sustainable products, and the creative process started.
Bio-based plastic creative process (3rd Step)
Our students made their bio-based plastics using materials. Moreover, they use their creativity in the project.
Bioplastic materials in our study
Materials ,They use materials such as portable electric stove, glass baker, corn starch, purewater, glycerine, vinegar, food coloring, graduated cylinder or measuring cup, beaker or heat-resistant container (pan, etc.), tea spoon and aluminum foil.
Many different studies were done. Students tried to make bioplastic with colorful vegetables’ broth instead of food coloring. The results were very creative. They did the shapes of rocket, key chain, star, geometric shapes. Students are not the same after these studies. They know and aware of the damages of plastics. You can see our wonderful work here.
To be continued
We aimed to use milk instead of water with our students in the next activity. We will make milk bioplastic. Then, we will compare the two bioplastics in many ways.
For more information:
Visit our ”My Bio Based STEM Activities” https://twinspace.etwinning.net/118329/pages/page/1276383 eTwinning project