by Silvana Jakimovska Binova, #Scientix Repository Resources
The set of activities “Is 100euro = 100euro always and everywhere” was the set of hybrid realized activities with 9th grade (14-15 years old) students from Primary school Straso Pindzur Karbinci, North Macedonia. They are based on and inspired by STATISTICS IN THE CLASSROOM – PRICES resources from Scientix Resource Repository. It was an opportunity for students to work as STEM professionals and to get closer with the one of very important profession now days and in the future – Data Analyst. Also, it was an opportunity to highlight the importance of STEM employability skills.
The activities were implemented during the Math classes. The learning goals were to practice percentage calculations and statistic in real context – Inflation.
We used video and presentation, collaboration and creation through online documents and apps, interactive tables and diagrams. Students gained knowledge and skills about calculation with percentages, analysis of data presented with interactive tables and diagrams, critical thinking about prices and value of money, creativity etc. Also, during the activities students were directed to developing STEM skills like initiative and self-motivation, ability to learn and adopt, team work, ITC skills etc.
As introductory activity, students were challenged by the quote of famous rapper French Montana – “In school my favorite subject was math. That’s where I learned to count money.” The meta goal of this activity was to present the importance and power of Math for deeper understanding of phenomena – not only for “counting money”.
By the article Beginners:Inflation from Statistics 4 beginners students learned: What is inflation? How is measured? What is needed to calculate it? What are the challenges?
They played a Kahoot quiz to check their understanding about the main concepts connected with Inflation. In the last question from the Kahoot students agree that 100euro≠100euro always and everywhere.
Simulating the calculation of inflation rate in our country
If the 100euro≠100euro, then where/when is more or where/when is less? – this was the main challenge for next activities. In groups, students simulated the calculation of inflation rate for 2021 year in our country.
First, individually each student fill the table about importance of specific products/services for their family – according the amount of money their families spend it on it. Then, working in four groups in each class, students calculated the “group weights” as average. The result of each group was contributed for calculation of WEIGHT of product/service for our simulation presented in online Excel document. The most valued products/services are from category 01 Food and drinks and 04 Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels.
Second, each group: 1. Selected some products/services from ‘basket of goods/services’; 2. Created the index for each by observing the price in the latest period compared with prices in previous periods.
Collaboratively, the students from all groups in two 9th grade classes created the tables with price indices for different products classified as in EU classification of individual consumption by purpose. The results from each group were collected in Index by category – another online Excel document. Later, by combining with the weight students get the inflation rate for our country in 2021 which is 10.75.
analyzing the inflation in EU countries
Motivated to learn what is going on with inflation in other European countries, students were supported by interactive graphs and diagrams from Eurostat. Students investigated about inflation rate in EU, especially during 2021. Collaboratively, they created the Padlet map with Value of 100 euros in EU from 2000 to 2021 through facts and аssertions. With the data presented in interactive diagrams, students formulated assertions, supported with facts about inflation rate by category in countries across Europa. Here is the Padlet map:
creating infographic – “a story about 100euro in …”
With creativity in focus, students created the Infographic “Story about 100 euro…” about changing the Price index of specific product in specific country (chosen by students) with Genially app. Students work is collected in following interactive image
Stem skills for employability
Lessons gained from the realized activities “Is 100 euros = 100 euros always and everywhere?” realized during the regular math classes served as a basis for the realization of the activity “Top STEM skills for employment”. The activity aimed to increase students’ awareness of the need to develop skills for employment and emphasize the possibility of developing them through the implementation of activities within the subjects.
Through discussion and short presentation, the students were introduced to the 10 most important skills. After that, hey were directed to identify 3 skills that they consider to be their strengths and 2 skills that they consider to be their weaknesses and should be further developed.
The students reflected on the realized activities and assessed how they contributed to the development of important STEM skills through short online survey (question 2). Two skills that were recognized by most students are teamwork and the ability to learn and adapt.
The pedagogical value
The realized activities “Is 100euro = 100euro always and everywhere” are a set of activities that offer achievement of teaching goals through quality contextualized STEM teaching with high quality teaching materials based on Eurostat resources and Scientix repository resources. The Eurostat resources were high inspiration and motivation for me as teacher in creating the activities and facilitating the students learning. Also, they were motivation for students active and engaging learning. Students developed their Math knowledge about calculating percentage and statistic, problem solving and critical thinking skills about the prices and value of money across EU, team work and collaboration skills by working on shared documents to a rich common goal. They developed creativity through the creation of an interactive map and an infographic.
The highlighted moment of these activities is the hybrid realization and the use of mobile phones as a tool for learning. The students were challenged to learn in a new way and to adapt. This was very important for my students from two main aspects. First, in terms of preparation of students for different ways of learning, having in mind the challenges that we have during the last year with online teaching. Second, in terms of challenging the students to use mobile phones for learning, not just for playing games.
Teaching and learning while connecting the subject content with tasks appropriate for STEM profession (Data Analyst) and highlighting the STEM employability skills, in an engaging way is a good strategy for motivating students for STEM careers.
The students reflected on the activities and the average grades up to 7 are: about how interesting were the activities – 5.8, and about usefulness – 6.4 (through the short online survey question 1.