How we came up with our project idea?
The very main reason for our decision to start our project blossomed following a brainstorming session in class. There is an ongoing construction of a huge opera house building which is visible from our school grounds. One day my students were watching the construction site in admiration, raving over the heavy-duty machinery, which at the time led me to think that I wouldn’t be able to get a better chance to introduce and turn such a concept into a STEM project so I decided to create the right environment for the idea to flourish.
Starting off with questions such as how a crane works or how to get in a crane created an in-depth discussion in class. I was thrilled to see that my 5/6-year-old students showed such an interest in the subject. It is very exciting to be working with an age group that has rapid growth in terms of pure creativity and diligence. In our communities, we need children who can think about environmental issues, criticize the way we approach these issues, and contribute towards a solution. We aim to create a classroom environment that supports them in becoming aware of global problems, as well as being able to think locally and do something about it to the best of their abilities.
- One of the main objectives of the project is to provide an environment for and present opportunities that will help develop cognitive and motor skills and concept learning in pre-school.
- To create awareness about STEM education in preschoolers and provide prior knowledge.
- To allow our students to experience and observe the process of STEM project management as well as making it possible for them to present and defend their projects in an enterprising manner.
- To provide them with opportunities to research, observe, and experiment in suitable environments and places.
- To make use of the vast creativity that preschoolers can provide us with.
- To work on activities aiming at 21st-century skills.
- To raise individuals who believe that it should not be necessary to only stick to the notion of ‘green’ when it comes to the environmental movement.
How did we implement it?
We decided that we should experience, observe the situation and start with experimenting. Then we went on a tour to see the construction site and got to know the heavy machinery after which we created small models. One of the most enjoyable parts of the project was doing an online lucky draw to designate a project for each student.
Each and every one of the 15 students in our class were to make a simple machine and as a part of Entrepreneurship Week. These projects were to be presented in class which was possible during these pandemic times as we follow the hybrid education model in our country. Students who prefer to attend classes remotely were given the chance to make their presentations online.
Once we determined which simple machines to make for the projects we completed the online lucky draw using web.02 tools.
Throughout the process, we were lucky enough to go back to face to face learning so that our students got the chance to present their projects in class to all their classmates present and evaluate them as a part of Entrepreneurship Week.
They presented models and samples from early simple machines to the latest machine systems. They actively studied reviewing how to use water as a type of energy resource, injection and other power systems. They successfully managed to develop and create their end products using different disciplines together.
Finally our students made their evaluations through the questions presented below:
- Were you happy with your end product?
- If you had the chance what would you add to your end product?
- Please explain how many different occupational group properties have you used in order to complete your end product?
- Can you do better?
Our students provided their feedback through flipped learning techniques and demonstrating their products. All hydraulic machine samples were tried and tested. And the following results were achieved and accepted unanimously:
- Being more mindful when using Earth’s water resources
- Using solar energy or water for powering machines
- Focusing on building environmentally friendly machines