This account on the STEM Discovery Week blog is used to publish articles that are written by more than one author.

# Famous female mathematicians 2

High School September, 17th Lajkovac, Serbia, 25.04.2019

The students of our school, economic technicians, together with teacher Milijana Petrovic, participated in preparations of this event.

In the Week of discovering innovative resources, in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, students from the Elementary School presented the eTwinning project “Famous female mathematicians 2”.

# Scientix and Space part II. – Let’s Explore the Moons!

This post was originally posted on the Scientix blog.

Have you ever thought about the number of moons in our Solar System? Which moon is the largest? Are there any active volcanoes on any of them? Which gas is Titan’s atmosphere mostly comprised of? Your students can find out the answers to these questions, and much more spectacular information, when you make use of the following Scientix resources on the moons of our solar system.

The Moon’s Shamerecommended students’ age: younger than 9

This short tale is based on a Cubeo-Indian legend from the Amazon about the eclipses of the Moon and Sun. It is an extract from the “Tales of the Stars” book.

Deadly Moons – recommended students’ age: younger than 12

From Earth’s moon to Europa, our Solar System is filled with an interesting set of natural satellites. Through art and science, children learn about the moons of our Solar System with the Deadly Moons activity.

Paper Plates Activity: Moonsrecommended students’ age: younger than 13

In this activity, children use paper plates to learn about the phases of the Moon.

Galileo and the moons of Jupiter: Exploring the night sky of 1610recommended students’ age: 16-19; available in Italian as well

Students use their knowledge of mathematics, physics and ICT to characterise the motion of Jupiter’s moons. They collect data from a software program, process it and then plot graphs, particularly of sine and arcsine functions, to calculate the moons’ orbital periods.

Astronomy with SalsaJrecommended for all ages

The hands-on exercises here are designed to allow students to use real astronomical data to find a new planet, explore volcanoes on the moons of Jupiter, classify stars, or weigh a galaxy!

Even if there will be more questions than answers, exploring the moons of our Solar System can prove to be a fascinating endeavor. In 2022 the European Space Agency is planning to launch the Jupiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE), which will study 3 moons of the giant planet: Ganymede, Europa and Callisto, and their potential for hosting life. NASA too is hoping to launch its own mission to Europa in 2022, called the Europa Clipper. It will fly down to within 25 km of its surface, and may even include a lander. So the future of space exploration is alive and well, with a bunch of exciting encounters to look forward to, research, and learn about!

Authors: Tina Michetti, Fotini Siligardou and Daniela Bunea

# Scientix and Space part I. – Hands-on activities related to space exploration in pre-school and secondary school

This post originally appeared on the Scientix blog.

Teaching space science in secondary school can be challenging, while on the other hand, students feel a special attraction towards hands-on activities; they find it empowering when causing a reaction in an experiment or suddenly grasping a science concept. It gives students confidence as learners and is, at the same time, a funny way to learn. In this article, we present some ways that you can follow in order to introduce hands-on experiments related to space exploration.

In a first step, the ISS (International Space Station) can be a good starting point to introduce these activities. The ISS is one of the most challenging laboratories ever set up, and can be easily observable from our homes, by simply knowing when and where to look towards. Click here if you would like to access the NASA sightingsThen, three activities can be developed, as follows.

The aim of this activity is to encourage the education of children by their parents. Encourage parents to prepare activities, which can help their children with their experience, or to learn interesting things about science. The workshop is designed for carrying out activities so that there is a minimal difference between the parent and the child and they are equal partners. This makes children more open to receive information as the parent does not act as a teacher. This is how parents learn the best approach to their children to achieve the best cooperation, which could be utilized for home tutoring or other forms of education.

Easy rockets

Spaceships move through the air and space. They cannot be supported by anything there, so how do they manage to move? Thanks to rockets. These devices mix liquids that they carry in their tanks, and large amounts of gas are formed that are expelled at great speed. When the gases exit backwards they push the rocket forwards, propelling it. Let’s explore how rockets work!

Sky-high science: building rockets at school

With this activity, students will try to build the best possible rocket. Before attempting to build their rocket, they should explore and discuss how the shape, dimensions and materials used will affect the range, apogee and time of travel of the rocket. After the activity, a new dimension of discussion, re-modelling and evaluation can be explored, with students discussing their individual results with the whole class and seeing which methods and models worked better and why. Furthermore, they can try to improve their model and re-test their hypotheses.

Another approach to space can be done in different interactive spaces located all over the world. The following are between the most recommended:

Euro Space Center is a science museum and educational tourist attraction located in Transinne (Libin), near Redu in Belgium. It is devoted to space science and astronautics. The centre includes simulators of space flight and micro-gravity.

The Cité de l’espace (City of Space) is a theme park focused on space and the conquest of space. It was opened in June 1997 and is located on the eastern outskirts of Toulouse, France.

The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, also called the NASM, is a museum in Washington, D.C.. It is the second most visited museum in the world, and the most visited museum in the United States. The museum contains the Apollo 11 command module, the Friendship 7 capsule which was flown by John Glenn, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, the Bell X-1 which broke the sound barrier, and the Wright brothers’ plane near the entrance.

The Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics  (Russian: Государственный музей истории космонавтики имени К.Э.Циолковского) is the first museum in the world dedicated to the history of space exploration. It was opened on 3 October 1967 in Kaluga, and is named after Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a school master and rocket science pioneer who lived most of his life in this city.

There are hands-on activities about space in pre-school, too. For decades research has shown that hands-on learning at preschool is best. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)—the world’s largest organization of early childhood professionals—says a quality early childhood education is one in which “Children are given opportunities to learn and develop through exploration and play…materials and equipment spark children’s interest and encourage them to experiment and learn.”

Hands-on learning at preschool simply means the children are active learners throughout the day: exploring with materials, learning by doing, moving throughout the classroom, and interacting with one another. The teacher acts as a facilitator— not by telling the children what to do with the materials— but by asking questions that challenge them to use them in new and creative ways. A teacher skilled at hands-on learning will often begin her inquiries with how: How can you build that bigger without it falling? How can you make sure those plants grow healthy? How can you all play together so everyone has a turn?

The Scientix Resource Repository is a good starting point for hands-on experiments related to space exploration. These three activities can be used in pre-school space exploration.

Lunar Day

Materials: Two paper plates (10 inches – 25.4 cm), A4 printouts of the Moon and the Earth (attachments), scissors, glue, elastic bands, Internet access.

Goals: To demonstrate why the Moon always keeps the same face towards Earth. To determine the length of the lunar day.

Learning Objectives: Children mimic the Earth-Moon system, one representing the Earth and the other representing the Moon. As the children swing around each other, they will notice that the Moon always keeps the same face towards the Earth.

They should also learn that the Earth and Moon rotate at different rates: once a day for the Earth and once every 29.5 days for the Moon.

• What did the other students notice about the Earth as the pair swung around?
• What did the child who was impersonating the Earth notice about the Moon as the pair swung around?
• Can the students explain why the length of a lunar day is 29.5 Earth days?
• The Earth shows different aspects to the Moon. Can the students describe what happens?

Creating Asteroids

Star Hats

Have a happy learning!

Authors: Merve AKYOL & Javier Redondas

# Make Use of Scientix Resources on the Topic of Food

Image: https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en

This post originally appeared on the Scientix blog.

Food – could you find a more relevant topic for every age group? We must eat to provide our bodies with nutrients and energy. People enjoy eating. The way we eat, from early childhood, influences our health for all our life. The food topic can be investigated in pre-primary as well as in primary and secondary classrooms and it is a topic connected to real life, which can be very attractive for our students, if we find the appropriate resources for it.

The topic of food is good for integrating STEM subjects like Biology, Geography, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Art, Technology, but even Language, Art and Counseling activities. It is also appropriate for understanding connections between environment, economy and society (People, Planet and Profit). This topic is perfect for inquiry-based learning, materials are cheap and easy to purchase and the experiments proposed are easy to run by students. Food is a great topic for interdisciplinary classes.

You can find various resources connected to food in the Scientix repository. All these resources listed below are in English, but you can find some more in other languages. The descriptions of projects are based on descriptions in the repository.

How clean is your kitchen? (Age 5-7)

This food hygiene lesson demonstrates to students how easily potentially harmful microbes on raw and undercooked food can transfer to humans. It can be a used when teaching about food and hygiene.

Food and food labels (Age 11-19)

Through guided inquiry activities, students learn to look at the composition of foods and the amounts on nutrients. This is a good resource for Health Science classes, for Science or Nutrition classes.

Chocolate choice challenge (Students of all ages)

This combination of an inquiry-oriented activity, experiment and lesson plan teaches about Fair Trade, organic produce and consumer power through tasting different types of chocolate.

Food and diet (Age 16-19)

What drives people to eat, what happens to food once it has been eaten and what impact humans’ dietary choices have on health and well-being?

Food preservation (Age 14-16)

Pupils explore why food needs to be preserved and the science behind different preservation techniques.

The meal deal (Age 11-14)

Why and how we cook food, the efficiency of cooking and the impact of cooking on health. The Meal Deal contains teacher’s notes, pupil worksheets and a range of support materials, including PowerPoints, technical briefs and videos.

Safe food activity (Age 8 – 11)

On this worksheet, pupils can draw or write how food is kept safe during all stages of production. Look for more resources (worksheets, videos) in CommNet project: Communicating the Bio-economy. It includes educational material on Bio-economy topics, for children aged 5-16.

This worksheet can be used for brainstorming, in the first part of the lesson or activity, when teaching students about the importance of food safety.

The activity informs about some of the chemical substances in food. It includes two hands-on experiments and several shorter activities. This resource is valuable for experiments (for example, the baking soda experiment; or iodide in table salt). Also, many videos and books can be found and used in teaching chemistry related to food.

Food (Age 14-16)

Here you can learn about the flow of energy in the human body. Students explore the food they consume and the energy that they use in general day-to-day activity.

It is a documented step-to-step activity and it can be used in Science and Mathematics classes (it could also be a great resource for an extracurricular project). Check out the worksheets about calories and the links for resources on teaching about food and healthy lifestyle.

Food – Where does bread come from? (Age 5-8)

This is a longer project – practical tasks about all the steps needed to make bread (from the germinating of the wheat grains up to the final baking of the dough). It can be integrated into a STEM project and all these resources can be combined with field trips (visits to local bakeries) and practical activities.

Food Hygiene – Junior (Age 5-11)

With this activity pupils learn how easily potentially harmful microbes on raw and undercooked food can transfer to humans.

Food Hygiene – Senior (Age 11-15)

With this activity pupils learn how easily potentially harmful microbes on raw and under-cooked food can transfer to humans.

Proof of the pudding (Age 14-18)

Inquiry and assessment unit outlines a hands-on inquiry activity in which the students (plan to) prepare a “good” pudding. This can focus on biological aspects – nutrition, energy content of foods, quality of nutrients, healthy lifestyles – and chemical concepts – groups of organic compounds, colloidal systems and sol gels, but also on attitudes towards healthy nutrition and lifestyle.

The use of digital comics: Healthy Eating (Age 12-19)

With the help of this eTwinning kit pupils learn to use web based tools to create comics, and explore the theme of healthy eating and the consequences of poor dietary habits. Available in 22 languages.

Explore guide: a crisis of fat? (Age range: 14-18)

This is a collection of teaching methods, a valorification of the resources on the obesity theme (lesson plans, videos, games, virtual experiments), available on the Xplore Health site. It is a very useful teaching guide, with proposals for teaching sequences and activities, even evaluation tools.

COMMNET (Phase 1) – What’s changed? (Age: 5-8)

Multiple choice, learning about different foods and ingredients. It can be used in the introductory phase on a lesson about food processing, to find out what students know about the topic.

A comprehensive guide to agriculture, food preparation and distribution – for preschool children.

We consider these resources (lesson plans, videos, worksheets, experiment ideas and much more) useful and easy to integrate in your teaching. It is up to you whether you decide to use the whole lessons or just parts of them. Some more complex resources can be used for project days or science weeks. They are an excellent collection of good practice in teaching about food, especially because of their interdisciplinary and scientifically documented approach.

Authors: Aiki Jõgeva and Marika Emese Cîmpean

# Astronomy4all

Image taken from: https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/the-aurora-named-steve

This post was originally published on the Scientix blog.

Do you want your students to take a picture like this on their own? Do you want to arouse curiosity and interest in astronomy studies for all your students?

If you answered yes to these questions, you should read the following article very carefully.

Astronomy is part of human curiosity for thousands of years. Astronomy encompasses culture and history, mathematics and physical science, myth and imagination, and more. For both pure and applied science, astronomy is becoming a constantly evolving field as exploration reaches farther into space, as technology for telescopes and space travel develops, and as the search for life beyond our own planet accelerates. The many aspects of astronomy offer a variety of fascinating career possibilities; it can be a lifelong passion and hobby, and it is always a continuous education.

Nowadays, there are multiple ways for individuals to get a taste of astronomy. As the educational environment is going through changes, many of which involve digital components, such as: web sites that enhance book content, citizen science projects, online courses, social media channels, venues for digital video, blogs, simulations, applications and much more, it becomes easier for both adults and young learners to get in touch with Astronomy.

This guide lists a selection of Scientix Resources about teaching astronomy, (such as: online videos, lesson plans, apps, science projects and even a way to observe with NASA telescopes) that can offer new and exciting ways to teach, as well as to stay informed about the subject.

Examples

The following examples are based on an open access platform for peer-reviewed astronomy education activities. They can help teachers and educators to discover, review, distribute, and remix teaching and learning materials in astronomy. The platform ensures of scientific accuracy and quality pedagogical content.

Resources

Our Planet

These activities allow pupils to learn the difference between diurnal and nocturnal animals and understand day and night switching. At the end, pupils build a model of the Earth and can experiment with day and night.

Seasons around the World

This activity helps pupils to understand seasons by building a model of the Earth, with its spin-axis, and a lamp as the Sun to demonstrate the concept of seasons.

If you are interested in watching additional videos, we recommend cosmic voyage to elsewhere: The scale of the Universe.

Planets and Moons

Sun, Earth and Moon Model

In this activity pupils can build a model of the Sun-Earth-Moon system, exploring their movements and they can also play a memory card game and learn some characteristics of them.

Solar System Model

The students will paint and arrange spheres to form a model of the solar system using several materials and then organize them in the right order from the Sun.

C. Stars

Star in a box

This activity lets the students explore the life cycle of stars. It animates stars with different starting masses, size, brightness and temperature as they change during their lives.

Black Hole

In this activity, students build a physical model of a black hole to demonstrate its characteristics. The activity includes images of the demonstration.

Our Universe

History of our Universe

In this activity pupils investigate how old the universe is and when important events took place in the universe and on Earth.

Milky way

During this activity, pupils build a model of the Milky Way and understand the objects contained in the Milky Way.

Other fascinating resources:

With the apps you learn using at the fascinating webinar: MOBILE APPLICATIONS FOR STEM EDUCATION: HOW TO USE THEM IN CLASS every lesson will Keep the students curious! (You need to watch only 5 minutes from 15.30 to 20.18!)

Your students can observe with NASA telescopes if you use the resource UNISCHOOLABS: THE CHALLENGE!

If you would like to involve parents in the scientific education of their children, you should use the resource AERONAUTIC SPACE AREA PRACTICE – SPACE. First, First parents receive a short briefing and then perform a number of tasks with their children. The workshop is designed to represent the story of a flight from the Earth to another planet.

To create meaningful learning, we recommend to use a variety of teaching methods.

Have a productive work!

PLEASE SHARE WITH US Pictures of models built by students, photos taken by students using the NASA telescope and everything else using the Scientix social network portals.

Authors: Limor Ben Shitrit Haimi and Nektarios Farassopoulos