This is an online activity which took place on 16th April 2020. My students and I had the opportunity to meet a real active Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano and find out all about his occupation and ways of life in the spaceship. Knowing of our tremendous desire to meet him, Mr Steve Sherman invited me and my students to connect for the interview with Luca and it was one of those powerful opportunities not to be missed, especially because we were at home due to #COVID19. Of course, there were other students, mostly from the United States, who followed Luca’s interesting story.
Since my students decided to be the active participants of this interview, they’ve prepared the questions. I was doing this activity because some of my students aspire to be astronauts and they admire those people. The most interesting part of the interview was when Luca answered my students’ questions in Italian as my students learn Italian as a Second Foreign Language in secondary school.
OUR QUESTIONS FOR LUCAIn English:
Are you afraid you’ll run out of air?
How does it feel to be in space, in a rocket or on a planet?
Are there any living beings on any other planet?
Is there any possibility of another planet settling?
How did you decide to be an astronaut?
Would I have the honour of being taken for a ride in your spacecraft, because today on 16th April is my birthday?
What the astronauts eat?
What do you do all day?
Quali sono i Suoi progetti futuri? (What are your future plans?)
Tra due mesi finiremo la scuola secondaria di primo grado e dovremo scegliere la scuola superiore in base al nostro sistema scolastico in Serbia, Lei ha qualche suggerimento per noi su come scegliere la scuola giusta? (In two months we will finish the 9th grade of elementary school and we have to choose high school according to our school system in Serbia, do you have any suggestion for us on how to choose the right school?)
This activity took place on 10 – 12 March 2020 and represented a correlation between one non-STEM school subject and few STEM school subjects. The lesson is realized by CLIL teaching method (Content and Language Integrated Learning) in correlation with computer science, physics and mathematics. Following the curriculum of Italian as the second foreign language taught in Serbian schools, with the help of Europeana resources, my students came up with data on who were the scientists with the highest IQ in Italy in the past.
In Italian and Serbian languages, 8th grade students presented the most intelligent Italians who ever lived: Galileo Galilei, Hypatia of Alexandria, which was then part of the Eastern Roman Empire and Leonardo da Vinci. In this way, we have marked 500 years since the death of Leonardo da Vinci, an extraordinary man and a great genius. The topic of the most famous Italians was familiar to my students since they were in the 7th grade.
First, students searched on the Internet and found data on these three people using the following Europeana resources: Galileo Galilei, Hypatia of Alexandria and Leonardo da Vinci. Some other web resources were used to find which Italian scientist had the highest IQ. Then they adapted the texts and photos to their Italian knowledge and translated them into Serbian using the online dictionary “Bing Translator”. After that, they recorded the video in Italian and Serbian, so that it would be very understandable to those who do not know Italian. The entire presentation Gli scienziati più intelligenti dell’Itali, as the final product with text, pictures, and videos, is available on Sway.
On 27th February we celebrated Digital Learning Day with our Empatico partners from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA. American peers are three years younger than my students and they attend fourth grade.
Empatico is a free tool for educators to connect their classrooms with others around the world. We make it simple for virtual connections to exist in classrooms by combining everything needed in one platform: live video, file sharing, a partner classroom, and activities.
Thinking about what we could prepare for this day, we decided to organize for them an “unplugged” code activity. The main objective was to prove to them that anyone can code! My students created bracelets that represent the first letter or short diminutive of the names of American peers with the binary alphabet.
Our activity had several short phases:
Introduction of the binary system
Representation of the alphabet with binary code
Transforming the initials of their name into binary code
Realization, with different materials, of nice bracelets
This STEM Discovery Week’s event has dealt with the topic of problems in the local community within the school program of Civics for the 7th grade. My class chose the problem of pollution in the city of Zaječar, they also focused on the danger of plastic waste, since it takes from 100 to 1000 years to completely decompose in nature.
The main goal of this event is development of the relationship to environmental pollution of plastic waste and making items from already used plastic packaging.
Educational aim: Developing a report on environmental pollution of plastic waste, and training for active participation in the life of the local community.
Functional aim: Training for teamwork, developing communication skills necessary for collaborative behaviour, variery of attitudes and expression of opinion.