Life Terra workshop: My experience as a STEM teacher

Life Terra

The author: Stella Magid Podolsky

The Dates of the activities:

Event: Life Terra “The right tree in the right place”  Online Workshop (SPOW): 15.4.21,.22.4.21

The activity in class (following the workshop) which was called:

“Planting trees in our neighborhood “ took place on Monday, April 26 and Tuesday , April 27.

During the “2021 STEM Discovery Campaign” I attended a 2 day online workshop which was organized by Scientix:  (4 hours in total) : Life Terra “The right tree in the right place” . The topic of this workshop is very important for the future of our planet, for sustainability and for awareness for our environment. Also, it is very important to expose our students (future adults) to significant issues regarding our planet. Trees are very important for our climate and environment,  and it is extremely important to safeguard them and to plant them.

 It was an amazing workshop! I enjoyed it so much! It was a very diverse workshop that contained many activities: Lectures, an active workshop, collaboration activities…

The topics and the activities that were most interesting for me and which motivated me for further activity in my school:

  1. Acquaintance activity: Each participant should pick the tree which characterize him\her and explain his\her choice.

I picked a Birch, because this tree reminds me of my childhood in Europe.

2. Six thinking hats activity about planting trees in our community. This was a collaborative activity with international teachers.

3. Planning a learning Scenario about tree planting. This activity inspired me to create an activity with my students in my school.

My experience during this workshop was fantastic. I think that it was a meaningful  and practical workshop that gives teachers many tools for the “field” (teaching at school).

Online Life Terra workshop
Six thinking hats activity about planting trees

The activity which takes place in my school:

“Planning trees in our neighborhood “

Three 7th grade classes took place in this activity. The  activity in each class took 3 hours , so in total there were 9 hours of full activity.

Lesson 1 (30 minutes):

  1. Acquaintance activity: Each participant should pick the tree which characterizes him\her and explain his\her choice (exactly that we did during Scientix Life Terra workshop) .
  2. Checking Air quality with the BreezoMeter app in the school’s neighborhood which is called “Tzamarot”. In this area there are barely any planted trees . It is a small area with many skyscrapers and almost without trees. Moreover, this neighborhood is close to the main road and to the train station, so most of the time the quality of the air is poor or medium.

Students measured of the air quality and then they had  to take a picture with their smartphones which would demonstrate the lack of the trees in the vicinity of our school.

Students observe school’s area and take a pictures
School’s area “Tzamarot” next to the main train station

Lesson 2: .

a. Classwork: Students got a worksheet with the following questions (30 minutes):

*Why it is important to plant trees in urban areas?

*What the meaning of the phrase ” Green (sustainable ) building”?

*What is the connection between air pollution and planning trees?

Then, we checked student’s answers to these questions.

b.”Urban green building” (1 hour).

Students got an assignment to plan a “green” building for our school area and prepare a model of planting trees  among the buildings and along the streets. Students could draw their model or prepare it on one of the 3D drawing programs such as Tinkercad and moreā€¦.

Student’s drawing -“Planting trees in our neighborhood”
Student’s 3D model of a “green building”

c.Presentations of student’s work. ( 1 hour)

Each student presented his\her work of planning “Green” building and planting trees .

Summary

The Life Terra workshop activity was very interesting for me and the “Planting trees in our neighborhood ” activity that was based on the workshop was very exciting and meaningful to my students. My students and I enjoyed the activity at school very much!

My further actions will be to plant real trees in our neighborhood next winter during the “Tu bi Shvat” holiday (The Israeli holiday with a tree planting tradition).

Each group of students will adopt a tree and they will take care of their tree.

Let’s save our planet together!!!!

All visuals belong to the Author – Attribution CC-BY

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