STEM Stands Together

This year’s theme of the STEM Discovery Campaign, “STEM for all”, is the starting point of this event. The purpose of the event was the development of students’ social and academic skills through a joint STEM workshop, attended by Turkish and refugee students.

Our target

16 students participated in the event which was held on April 22, 2022. Eight of the students were Turkish and eight of them were students who came to Turkey as refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran.

Our common language is STEM

STEM education has become very popular lately. In this event, we used STEM as the common language of students who do not know each other. Students came together in a STEM activity and realized a common goal. In the process, they also made new friendships. 16 students were divided into 8 groups. Each group consisted of one Turkish and one refugee student. At the very beginning of the event, an ice-breaking activity was held. There were fun moments as the students learned each other’s names.

The story of the event

After the icebreaker, information was given about the event. In the activity, it was aimed that the students learn about angles, which is a mathematics subject. The students did an internet research about the angles and shared their findings with the class. The teacher tried to embody the subject by giving examples of real-life aspects.

The BBC micro:bit kit was used in this event. Most of the students had not received coding training before. For this reason, block-based coding was preferred. BBC micro:bit coding was taught to students in the Microsoft Makecode.

Students were asked to develop a material for angles. With this material, students developed a mechanism to control angles using the BBC microbit. In this section, the students followed the instructions given to them. They demonstrated an excellent example of teamwork.

Students used the following guide for servo motor and micro:bit connection:

In the next step, students were asked to develop a material that went 10 degrees forward when the A button was pressed, and 10 degrees backwards when the B button was pressed.

In the last stage, students were asked to present their materials. The course teacher took notes and evaluated the students. The workshop was concluded by receiving student feedback with a Google Form.

End of a fun activity

The event ended with a certificate ceremony. The event, which was held for the theme of STEM for all, ended with the farewell of the students (for now, of course). Thanks to the activity, students both learned and made new friendships. The fusion of Turkish and refugee students was the most important achievement of this event.

What did the students express?

At the end of the activity, the feedback was received from the students with a form. The students stated that they were prejudiced against each other before, and that they could spend more time together after this activity. They stated that they understood the subject better with the STEM activity, that they found coding very entertaining and instructive, and that they expected such activities to continue in the future.

In this event, we used the unifying power of STEM and completed a fun activity. Thanks to our common language, STEM, students broke down the walls while learning. STEM for all…

This project was funded by We.

Check our activity video:

Our event took place last week, take a look how it went:

This entry was posted in 2022, Inquiry Based Science Education, Learning, Teaching and tagged , , by Selcuk Yusuf Arslan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Selcuk Yusuf Arslan

Selcuk Yusuf ARSLAN is a computer science teacher in Ankara, Turkey. In 2018, he was awarded the Global Teacher Award by AKS Education. In the same year, he was selected as the Most Outstanding Young Person of Turkey by JCI in the category of Humanitarian and Voluntary Leadership. He has been elected as Extraordinary Teacher of the Year three times in Turkey. Arslan who was selected as Working Wonder Teacher by Microsoft Turkey in 2017, successfully represented his country in numerous international organizations with his students. As an ICT teacher, he collaborates with voluntary organisations and carries out social responsibility projects.

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