Author : Arzu ÇALIK SEYDIM
School : Etiler Anatolian High School
Dates : 9-30 February 2021
Student Age : 15-18
As a part of STEM Discovery Campaign 2021, I implemented the learning scenario “Waste Management” with my students.
Climate change, biodiversity loss and degradation of ecosystems services are some of the biggest problems we face in the 21st century. Rising levels of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are causing changes in our climate. Reducing waste and recycling are real ways to help mitigate climate change. It is important to minimize waste that reduce greenhouse gases. An alternative way to do this is composting food waste. We can use compost in urban gardening. This supports sustainable life.
Because of food wastes affect our environment negatively, we need to reduce food waste, use organic wastes in the most efficient way, eliminate wastes with the right methods. For all these reasons, our aim is raising awareness of students and developing positive behaviors. We also aimed that students plan and conduct research in the field of STEM in order to develop nature-based environmental, social and economic beneficial solutions, analyze, interpret, use their Mathematical knowledge and skills for research results and apply them to create solutions. Students can take action within their daily lives to reduce food waste at school and their homes and influence their families, friends and communities to make behavioral change.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we apply the distance education. I started this learning scenario by translating it to Turkish and shared it with my students. I also prepared a presentation that contains the problems, topics, learning activities such as food waste composting, urban gardening, sowing of seeds and growing sprouts. In our online discussions, we talked about them and activities first. I divided my students into 4 groups. When working in groups, the students prepared 4 different boxes of compost (1-Control box, 2-Compost from banana bark, 3-Compost from potato peelings, 4- Compost from coffee grounds) in their homes. Left for 2 weeks for composting.
The students seeded, irrigated and sprouted various seeds in pots at their homes or their gardens using composts from their groups. While they are doing all these activities they took pictures, measured the growths and took notes periodically. They analyzed the results in groups and also in classmates. They made an assessment for the quality of sprouted growth and recommendations. After all activities I made an evaluation with the students about their work, what they have learned, what did they see/dislike in their research, what they would do differently.
In this study, the students were happy to reach a result by closely observing, measuring, formulating, analyzing and evaluating and using their mathematical knowledge and skills. Their awareness on these issues increased. Students shared information about these methods with their families, friends and neighbors. They developed environmental awareness. They developed environmental awareness. With teamwork, collaboration, and creativity, students learned to overcome the challenges which they face.
All visuals belong to the Author – Attribution CC-BY
Reducing waste and recycling are important factors in helping to reduce climate change. I found this project very useful in terms of supporting sustainable living, which helps to minimize waste reducing greenhouse gases. Congratulations!