IRENA RIBINSKIENĖ – Physics teacher, IB physics teacher, Alytus Jotvingiai gymnasium, Lithuania

Jotvingiai Gymnasium continues its activities in the STEM Discovery Campaign 2022. Our topic is “My perfect career with STEAM in Blue Ocean “


 The main goals of bringing the ocean into the classroom are improving the understanding of the ocean and developing a sense of responsibility towards our planet. Our gymnasium teachers take the challenge teachers motivated students in two ways: by preparing engaging

STEM lessons and by connecting those lessons to real-world careers, resulting in an ongoing shortage of STEM professionals in Europe, by providing an overview of initiatives giving access to STEM professionals. Chats with experts and STEM career profiles aimed at helping students understand and appreciate the wide variety of STEM careers.

Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental problems of our age, it threatens all living beings in the seas. This project aims to raise awareness about the impacts of plastic pollution, to understand the causes of this problem and to develop (or, at least, to discuss) possible solutions. We must shift the education paradigm to focus on scientific literacy, real-time systemic solutions, and innovations for the future. Solving plastic pollution, among other environmental issues, by a commitment to preparing youth to take on the challenges ahead:  it focuses on changing student’s perceptions of plastic as a resource and increasing student’s understanding of the complexities of the issue.


Career, Plastics, Citizenship, Mobile Learning, Pollution, Scientists, Natural world, Science and Society;


 Competence in science, technology and engineering; Digital competence; Cultural awareness and expression competence; Multilingual competence;


  •  To relate the impact of research on scientific thought and society, including the history of science and contributions of scientists as related to the content.
  • To promote interdisciplinary teaching and give students a chance to discuss the concept of science through the prism of three chosen role models.
  • Learn about different kinds of careers with STEAM (IT) online sessions with scientists.
  • Meet scientist and learn about how their interests and backgrounds led them to their careers.
  • To inspire students through to read and a robust classroom library interesting careers and historical stories are mentioned.
  • To involve students in the study of plastic pollution in the Baltic Sea and to find solutions, starting with their living environment.
  • To develop the school curricula by performing interdisciplinary activities focused on promoting interdisciplinary teaching and give students a chance to discuss the concept of science about ocean pollution through the prism of three chosen role models.


Citizenship, English as Second Language, Geography, Physics, Chemistry, Economics.


This interdisciplinary project is linked to the cross curricular topic of healthy and clean seas without plastics, related to the categories of the Sea Pollution (Physics, Chemistry, Economics, English language), focused on using a real-world interdisciplinary approach to education. In order to prepare the next generation to take on the challenges of marine plastic pollution. Teachers have the opportunity to enrich the STEM and work-related curriculum for students.

TRENDS/Trends Students as Creators

Mobile learning- is a new way to access learning content using mobile devices.

Project-based Learning – students put the spotlight on real world problems.

Cooperative Learning –  a strong focus on group work – students work in small groups to accomplish a common learning goal.

Problem-based Learning – students can learn while engaging actively with meaningful problems.

Inquiry-based Learning – students’ curiosity about a problem, related to the questions, reflect on the results.

Content and Language Integrated Learning – in CLIL students learn a subject and a second language at the same time.

STEAM Learning: Increased focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Physics, Mathematics subjects in the curriculum. Students become more active producers and publishers of Ocean pollution educational resources.

21st Century Skills

Critical and creative thinking: about its different stages of development across centuries and have to find connections with ocean in their daily life;

Information literacy and media literacy: students have to search digital information on sites and and use them correctly;

Collaboration: students have to collaborate in the projecting and building of posters in the etwinning platform;

Communication: students have to express their opinions about ocean pollution by plastics, being effective and polite and respecting others’ ideas and points of view.


STE(A)M professions come alive in these multimedia job profiles, which include career sheets, podcasts, and video interviews. The researchers ‘talk’ to the students by offering their personal top tips, and students can even ask them questions using the comments box at the end of the article online. STEM professionals presented their businesses and/or educational activities and exchanged ideas with the advisers on presenting careers in the classroom. Through virtual sessions, students are offered the opportunity to meet STEM professionals and learn about their day-to-day responsibilities, skills, and experiences. These sessions aim to boost students’ awareness and understanding of the wide range of STEM careers available to them, as well as to raise their aspirations and sense of belonging in the STEM field. By bridging the gap between the classroom and STEM professionals, students can learn about the many ways STEM skills are applied in the real world.

The online interactions with STEAM(IT) Career scientists allowed students to view scientists as approachable and to begin to understand the range of scientific areas and careers that exist.

STEAM Career Event

Help your students find their STEM career – STE(A)M IT Repository of STEM Jobs Profiles (

Repository of STEM Jobs Profiles -Students find information and multimedia resources (career sheets, videos, podcasts) about exciting STEM-related careers.

STEAM Jobs Profile


Students participated in a remote meeting with STEAM career NBS expert Cristina Calheiros, The Netherlands (Leading Professional in Water Resilient Cities at RHDHV).

Students have the opportunity to meet remotely with NBS experts and get answers to related questions.The students were actively interested in various fields, asked questions of concern to them on water topics, the activities of an expert and a career in STEM education.

Student feedback:

“It’s not always in life that you need the knowledge you learned at school, I’ve learned that it’s better to know little by little than to know one thing well.”

Cristina Calheiros said that it is impossible to know everything in the world, so in the course of life you go and learn from every step of the way.”

“Cristina Calheiros recommends actively participating in lessons, not doubting and participating in project activities, presenting them, because speaking in front of an audience will always be a good and necessary life practice.”


Students participated in an online meeting with STEAM career NBS expert Nanco Dolman from the Netherlands (Leading Professional in Water Resilient Cities at RHDHV). The aim of the meeting was to interest the students and deepen their knowledge about climate change. Nanco Dolman specializes in water research and works on climate research to reduce water pollution. He was actively interested in a variety of areas, from what qualities are needed in his work to how to encourage people to sort and believe in the existence of climate change. He also discussed career opportunities in the field and why he himself chose this somewhat unusual direction of the profession. Nanco Dolman wished to leave his comfort zone, to communicate with each other, to act responsibly, because only by communicating with each other and acting together will we be able to change our future.

STEAM Career event


A STEAM Career event was held for Alytus Jotvingiai gymnasium students to develop the competencies required for a STEAM career. The event was attended by second-graders. The lecture “My perfect career with STEAM in Blue Ocean” was given by VilniusTech University Environmental and Water Engineering doc. dr. Professor Marina Valentukevičiene. The aim of the meeting is to encourage the younger generation in the 21st century challenges, to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills, to acquaint students appropriately with the opportunities of STEAM career professions.

During the meeting, we focused on STEAM careers in order to increase the availability and diversity of professional guidance related to careers in the fields of natural sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics by choosing to study at VilniusTech University.

The growing role of information and communication technologies, the development and use of artificial intelligence, the development of the green economy, and growing competition show that knowledge and creativity in technology, mathematics, and science may be needed in many future jobs. Knowledge of various STEAM activities made students more interested in this field, encouraged them to get to know and reveal their individual aptitudes and abilities, the diversity of STEAM professions and activities, their projected need, the way to acquire professions in this field, and the competencies needed by professionals.  Encouraging and assisting students to pursue a career in STEAM is likely to provide more opportunities for promising activities that are important to the economy and society.

STEAM activities in Gymnasium

THE CONFERENCE ON THE FUTURE OF EUROPE DISCUSSED THE ISSUE OF CLIMATE CHANGE Online debate on climate change and the environment in the future of Europe, discussing climate change and the environment: what changes are needed for Europe’s future? What is the future of Europe? During the discussion, Virginijus Sinkevičius, Member of the European Commission, Ramūnas Vilpišauskas, Professor of Jean Monnet Chair at VU TSPMI, and Lina Paškevičiūtė, Chairwoman of the Environmental Coalition, expressed their views and opinions. During the brainstorming session, participants had the opportunity to express their views on what Europe expects from what can be done to live in a cleaner and more sustainable environment. The last purpose of the discussion was to vote on which of the ideas are the most relevant and important. The proposal received the most votes, as much as 33%: “More communication on what climate change is: spreading the message on social networks, through influencers, setting an example for others”. The idea will be captured at the Conference on the Future of Europe platform.

Discussion with Virginijus Sinkevičius -European Commissioner for Environment


The team of the Blue School of Jotvingiai Gymnasium in Alytus participated in a lesson with Evelina Norkaitiene, an employee of the European Information Centre, “Europe is a climate-neutral continent. Mission possible?”. Environmental topics have been the subject of much and frequent discussion recently. The European Green Course and the goal of becoming the first continent to have a climate-neutral effect is also one of the European Commission’s top priorities. Climate change and environmental degradation pose an existential threat to Europe and the world. To meet these challenges, Europe needs a new growth strategy to make the Union a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy. The European Green Course is a guideline for action to ensure the sustainability of the EU economy. The EU aims to be green, humane and digital. At the end of the lesson, students competed in a SLIDO game.

Competences developed: learning to learn, cooperation, critical thinking.


Students participated in the STEAM lesson “Future career perspectives. Deeper insight into the labor market in Lithuania and Alytus” city youth employment canter. The event was hold by  center director Jolanta Griškoniene. During the event students analysed the peculiarities of today’s labor market in Lithuania and our city Alytus, discussed its tendencies for the coming year. After summarizing the existing and new information, the students formed a pyramid of the most popular and in-demand professions in Lithuania and native city Alytus and evaluated the peculiarities of the labor market in the hometown. Each student assessed the appropriateness of their future choices in the context of possible changes in the labor market.


Continuing our activities, we involved students and teachers from the Liceo linguistico “Ilaria Alpi” – Cesena, Italy and gymnasium of Anthousa, Greece, and carried out our activities on water pollution by plastics in Baltic Sea.


Students play an active role in all stages of the project: they conducted research on microplastic particles in cosmetics, listened to lectures, participated in open discussions with STEAM(IT) scientists, and prepared STEAM (IT) career posters. The work must be carried out in groups and at the end of each section all the names of the students of the international teams must be reported.


Students work in groups and individually analyse STEAM(IT) Career postcard images. Group discussions allow students to share their individual analysis with teammates in the team forum:

and the class discussion of the analysis summaries allows students to demonstrate how they now have critical lenses as tools for developing visual literacy about ocean pollution.

Students construct their explanations based on evidence, by using data, imagination and logic, and the feedback on emerging explanations that comes from peer review. Each international team has to solve the other groups’ challenges and give and receive peer-feedback to improve their work.

Students share their final product, and get to vote on which postcard seems most interesting to them. It links up to schools’ awareness career week, and it gives the students something to think about as they consider universities and career readiness.

Students have to collaborate in the projecting and building of the timeline, project logo and posters; 

 Students have to express their opinions about pollution, being effective and polite and respecting others’ ideas and points of view.

Students work in groups and individually analyse five scientist postcard images. Group discussions allow students to share their individual analysis with the group, and the class discussion of the analysis summaries allows students to demonstrate how they now have critical lenses as tools for developing visual literacy.

MAKING CONNECTIONS (Lithuania-Italy-Greece)

First Networking Event: Teachers committed to engaging students in single-use plastics reduction projects meet to exchange ideas, learn more about the issues and get an opportunity to troubleshoot project implementation with colleagues

Second Networking Event: Teachers invited students on the eTwinning platform to present about themselves, their hobbies and interest in the project.

Third Networking Event:  student’s live event on 12th April at 11.10 a.m.

Event Programme:



  • being engaged with a scientifically orientated question
  • giving priority to evidence in responding to the question
  • using evidence to develop an explanation
  • connecting the explanation to scientific knowledge
  • communicating and justifying the explanation.


First, students from all three countries were divided into groups, with each group tasked with creating a project logo. By participating in the forums, students voted and chose the most favourite logo for our project. Let’s visit our logo page and tell everybody your opinion.

Project Logo

Flipped classroom:

Students are invited to watch a video “A Plastic Ocean”

where the teacher explains the main idea. The video is also aimed to school curricula about water pollution and Career.  The teacher highlights successful predictions and asks for students’ reactions to the video. The teacher divides students into groups to start working on the task. Students share ideas in new groups teaching one another about the content they are working on. The movie showed extensive littering of plastic and paper. It’s really upsetting, because the pollution is harming our planet badly. The thing that hurt us the most in the movie was that it showed various animals, such as turtles, whales or birds eating trash and dying from it. It also showed such a cruel thing – microplastics were found in the autopsy of birds.

A Plastic Ocean

Proposals for reduction of plastics: Comunity Survey

  • Avoid single-use plastics such as drinking straws.
  • If you go shopping, remember to take a cloth bag.
  • Buy more bulk food and fewer packaged products.
  • Replace plastic Tupperware for glass or steel containers.
  • To start from yourself because even a small change can make a big difference.
  • For the start, everyone should stop using plastic bottles, bags, and straws and get the reusable ones.

Create groups – Students create small teams (2 or 3 per group) to investigate scientists’ work is focused on trying to improve their understandings of and explanations about the water pollution.

 Given the same problem, two (groups of) students explore it in different ways. Given the same results, two (groups of) students create different explanations.

Task- to develop 6 sections with the agreed themes in the provided Canva model to create a variety of visual content and easy to use tools, also to collaborate and download the final result in different formats.

Students solve several scientific challenges based on solving scientists’ work, how it is focused on trying to improve their understandings of and explanations about the natural world. Students focus on three key things: what the job entails, what education is needed for the career, and who might enjoy this type of job. Students use important details to share information about this career with their classmates.

Comunity Survey


Students work in groups and individually analysing five scientist postcard images. Group discussions allow students to share their individual analysis with the group, and the class discussion of the analysis summaries allows students to demonstrate how they now have critical lenses as tools for developing visual literacy.


Students share their final product, and get to vote on which career seems most interesting to them. It links up to our school awareness career week, and it gives the students something to think about as they consider to universities and career readiness.


Critical teaching ideas:

 The purposes of scientific investigations are to generate knowledge and create explanations.

  Scientific investigations are conducted in multiple ways that rely on the collection of a range of types of evidence.

The ways an investigation can be validly conducted depend on the specific problem being


 The concept of what is evidence needs to be developed and should consider its credibility, acceptance, bias, status, appropriateness and reasonableness.

Students will produce a final product Creating a collaborative magazine

 Additionally, contextualising STE(A)M Careers in the classroom students organise in the schools a scientific STEAM(IT) Career exhibition about “Plastic pollution” to publish their Challenges about Career.


Students believe that science is all about dramatic discovery, rather than generating knowledge and creating explanations through repetitive work and the painstaking collection of evidence.


Teachers may evaluate student progress through individual and group works and discussions, as well as with students’ completed worksheets for all five images. Eventually, each student ends up with a scientist and a partner in the class. I push them to go deep and really think about connections between their scientists, which often come from very different fields and time periods. Materials and tools can be used while designing lessons to address real-life problems and STE(A)M careers. We have created STEAM activities that enable students to engage and develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of curriculum relevant content.



Creating a collaborative magazine – FINAL OUTCOME PAGE Spread creatively the message containing what we learned about ocean’s plastic pollution and STEAM (IT) Career.

To develop 6 sections with the agreed themes in the provided Canva model.

The international team work be carried out in groups and at the end of each section all the names of the students of the international teams must be reported.

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About iribinsjiene

Physics Teacher, International Baccalaureate IB diploma programme physics teacher, Alytus Jotvingiai gymnasium, Lithuania; NBS pilot teacher, VilniusTech university class coordinator, Scientix ambassador in Lithuania, STE(A)M IT ‑ Career Advisers Network member; Certificate Member of the EU4Ocean Platform, Network of the EU Blue Schools;