STEM education, from an educator’s point of view. Although it is defined as a rich set of activities that replace the lesson-based teaching strategy with more student-centered strategies based on inquiry and project, it is actually a concept that structures what we teach and what students learn. The aim of STEM education is to produce solutions to daily life problems with an interdisciplinary perspective and offers students a high quality, creative and critical interdisciplinary education. In this respect, STEM education provides children with the skills they need to compete in the global workforce by associating learning with real-life scenarios.
The world faces more complex and challenging challenges than ever before, from developing a cure for covid-19 to tackling global climate change or making sure we have enough water, food and energy for our planet. Solutions to these problems are not found in textbooks or multiple-choice tests. Society needs problem solvers who can tackle such ‘difficult problems’ in creative and innovative ways and do this within a multidisciplinary team. One of the main tasks of this education is to prepare people to actively address real-world challenges and questions. As teachers, we must design learning activities that enable our students to develop the skills they will need to participate in problem-solving processes and become innovative thinkers. The key is to design a learning scenario that identifies a valid challenge in a real-world context and requires students to innovate by applying their solutions, designs or ideas to audiences outside of the classroom. Therefore, STEM pedagogy, daily living skills, knowledge of the natural environment, values and ethics should include the enculturation of its components .
In OECD’s 2030 vision, it is pointed out that the effects of the inevitable and approaching economy-based transformation necessitate a parallel transformation in education systems. If it is defined with the words of OECD, schools face a growing demand to prepare students for rapid economic, environmental and social change, jobs that do not exist yet, technologies that have not been invented, and solving unforeseen social problems. Accordingly, education policies should reorganize schools to fulfill these functions and focus on these goals.
The world only has until 2030 to deliver on the promise of SDGs. To do this, present and future generations must be equipped not only with technical knowledge and skills, but also with a deeper understanding of the values needed to create a peaceful and sustainable future. For this reason, human skills cannot be developed without quality education, and it is not possible to reach SDG without developing human skills.
We participated in the 2022 STEM Discovery Campaign with the theme of “STEM for All” held between February 1, 2022 and April 30, 2022 with our 3rd grade primary school students with our work called “STEM Education for Sustainable Development Goals”.
On 3 March World Wildlife Day, we celebrated with the theme of “Saving important species for ecosystem restoration” and we produced solutions to Sustainable Development Goal 15 through STEM education.
We produced solutions to Sustainable Development Goal 15 through STEM education on 21 March World Forestry Day and Week and celebrated with the theme of “Inspire for the Future: The Role of Forests in Ensuring Sustainable Production and Consumption” .
We celebrated with the theme “Groundwater: Making the invisible visible” and produced solutions to Sustainable Development Goal 6 through STEM education.
For Hydrometeorological and Climate Information for Disaster Risk, we produced solutions to Sustainable Development Goal 13 through STEM education on 23 March 2022 World Meteorology Day, and celebrated with the theme of “Early Warning and Early Action”.
I’m Celebi KALKAN. I am a primary school teacher. As the Scientix Project Ambassador to Turkey since 2017, I have been working on STEM education for sustainable development purposes. In our practices last August, Dr. The “Sustainable Development Goals Competence Book for Children” that we wrote with Sümeyra AYIK has been a source. In addition, researchers from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences Rosalie Mathie and Arjen from Wageningen University, Netherlands Our practice is included in the report “Whole School Approaches for Sustainability: Best Practices from around the World” prepared by Wals, on the best practices of the Whole School Approach for Sustainable Development (WSA).