“No Dream is too far: The Rakia Mission as a bridge to SPACE & STEM”


The activity took place between April 4th and April 6th and further

Author: Stella Magid-Podolsky

This activity is a long-term activity and consists of three parts:

 1. An educational field trip of two hours for 7th grade students (100 students) to the “Check Point “company where they visited the control room of the “Rakia Mission” to Space a few days before Israel’s second Astronaut Eithan Stiva took off towards the International Space Station. The trip took place on April 4th. Twelve and thirteen old students participated in this activity

 2. A school activity about Space Careers at School. This is a 2 hours long activity which contains two lessons. During the first lesson there was a summary of our educational Field trip and during the second lesson students had an activity about SPACE careers (with an emphasis on Jessica Meir’s Female Astronaut career) . This activity was taught by me 4 times at 4 classes of 25 students.

 3. A Home activity during the Holidays-Keep Track of the Rakia Mission. The Rakia mission started on April 8th. Between April 7th and April 23rd Israeli students had their Passover Holidays, so they got a homework assignment to keep track of the Rakia Mission and report it to the teacher.

All students that took part in this activity had some previous knowledge about SPACE issues because two months prior the activity Israeli Space week was mentioned in Israel and all students had a Space activity where they played space games and solved spaced Trivia.

Israeli Apace week activities

The description of the activity:

  • Educational field trip: this activity took two hours. Students were exposed to the real control room of the Rakia Mission, watched a short movie about the Israeli second astronaut Eithan Stiva , learnt about the connection between first Israeli Astronaut Ilan Ramon (who died with all his crew 19 years ago while coming back  from Space to Earth on the Colombia shuttle) and Eithan Stiva. The two of them were friends and trained together. Stiva continued Ramon’s scientific experiment in Space that began 19 years ago. This experiment is about Lighting storm. Also, students were exposed to the 35 scientific experiments that Eithan Stiva was about to conduct in Space ( some of these scientific experiments were proposed by Israeli High school students and others scientific experiments which was proposed by universities and Research centers) and had an opportunity to do some experiments during their visit.
Students during their trip To Rakia Mission control room
The experiments that Eithan Stiva did in Space
Students make experiments during their visit to the Check Point company
  • A school activity about SPACE careers and summary of the visit to Rakia Mission Control Room

First lesson: This lesson was based on The STEM Alliance Guide for Schools http://www.stemalliance.eu/documents/99712/452773/Booklet+schools+PGB2S/315d1227-837f-46ad-adc2-f259dd79f437

After the Educational Field Trip: Collect feedback and impressions from students, it was converted to a classroom exchange activity. For example, students were invited to write down 2-3 things that they learned during the visit and share them with their peers. After that, we had an open discussion about our visit to the Check Point Company.

Second lesson about Space Careers:

This lesson was based on two resources:

*The STE(A)M IT Guidelines on how to present STEM jobs in classroom http://steamit.eun.org/guidelines-on-how-to-present-stem-jobs-in-classrooms/

Before the lesson, the teacher (me) prepared a story about a certain profession (Astronaut), The main character of the story is Jessica Meir (American female astronaut). I mentioned specific information about the profession through Jessica’s story, for example: • Who am I, what are my skills? • What are my advantages and disadvantages? • Where was I educated, what have I learned / done during schooling? • Where am I employed, what do the preparation for my workday looks like? • What my workday looks like? • What does my work environment look like?

After hearing the story about Jessica ( based on the following site:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgVDmVNB4Bg ), students are instructed to try to imagine themselves in the role of a character from the story (Jessica) that was read. They are then given a worksheet on which students use the SWOT analysis method to write impressions of the profession from the story from their perspective, for example:

 • Strengths – what are my characteristics that would make me good in this profession?

 • Weaknesses – are there any shortcomings to deal with this occupation that I could work on?

 • Opportunities – what are my goals, what would I get if I pursued this occupation?

• Threats – what challenges would I face if I pursued this profession?

Students who wished to do so shared their analysis in front of other students

The video about Jessica Meir
Students are exposed to Jessica’s Meir story

After this activity students were exposed to *The STEM Alliance / STE(A)M IT Career Sheets http://steamit.eun.org/category/stem-careers/

The class was divided into groups of 2-3 students. Each group had to find one career related to SPACE, discover it and then present it to their peers. The examples of such careers are:

Space psychologist, space mission specialist, Aeronautical meteorological technician….

A home activity

During the Passover holidays students had to keep track of Rakia Mission in space and participate at least in one virtual activity for students from International Space Station that was broadcast by Eithan Stiva. For example: Learning about lack of gravity, exposing to experiment about growing Humus in Space…..

Also, students had to report about their participation in the activity to the teacher (to me).

Learning outcomes from the activity: Students were very interested both in the Rakia Mission and in SPACE Careers. During one discussion students even discussed future SPACE careers that do not exist today. They made some suggestions and were asked to assume which profession could be real and which profession would stay “the fruit of their imagination”.

My advice to other teachers planning to introduce their students in STEM career orientation: Use the resources which are provided by STEM Alliance and STE(A)M IT project and create the framework short or long-term activity according to the cultural & scientific aspects of your country

Teaching outcomes: I really enjoyed organizing this activity. I think that the Educational field trip had a great contribution and impact on student’s interest and motivation to learn about the Rakia Mission and Space Careers. It was important to me to make a connection between a very important occasion for my country (the Rakia Mission) and a very important issue for my students-exposure for STEM careers in general and Space careers in Particular. May be, one day one of my students will be one of the Astronauts in SPACE or will have SPACE related Career….I have fulfilled my role as a teacher and my students will make their choice of Career in the future and I hope they will choose a career that will make them happy…..

Leonardo da Vinci Bridge – “Self Supporting Bridge”

Our Self Supporting Bridge event; We planned to get to know the world-famous painter and engineer Leonardo Da Vinci, who lived in the fifteenth century, and one of his works, to see how to build a bridge without using nails or any other clamps.
By watching a video about Leonardo Da Vinci’s life, students learned about Leonardo da Vinci, one of the engineers with the most surprising intelligence. They also had the opportunity to examine the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, a famous painter.

They examined some of Leonardo Da Vinci’s inventions that shed light on the Helicopter, Tank design and anatomy studies. Developed by Leonardo Da Vinci; they learned about bridge design that we could build using only long boards and wooden sticks, without the need for hammers and nails. The working logic of the bridge lies in the fact that the materials used can be clamped together without slipping. The parts that lean against each other never slide so that there is no collapse. The reason why the parts do not slide is that the system transfers the weight on the wooden bars exactly in the middle. Each plank, placed parallel to the bridge, presses the wooden bars on which they rest against each other. This ensures that the bridge parts are clamped together as the weight on the bridge increases.

The students, who discovered how to build the da Vinci bridge, completed the bridge design with great excitement. Students developed their problem solving, cooperation, responsibility, and creative thinking skills. Thus, it positively affected the students’ perspectives on science and engineering.

Traveling to space through the virtual reality glasses application prepared with STEM

Digital education materials are very important. Students cannot see space and planets up close in real life.However, it is possible to travel to space with virtual reality glasses. Student can study planets as if they are in space thanks to virtual reaility glasses. For this reason, I designed a digital game for my students that can be played on smartphones and computers. Game editing and voice-overs belong to me and my students.

Project purpose: To give students a realistic experience with STEM.
To create an original digital material.

Application stages: Unity Game Engine is used for this application. Unity is a three-dimensional game engine, especially suitable for digital games and simulations. Textures similar to the images of space and planets were determined.Original sound recordings in which the planets introduced themselves were created and converted into a suitable form with the ‘audio-converter’ program. The spaceship was designed with the Blender three-dimensional modeling program.With mathematical calculations, the size of the planets and the distances between them were determined. Joystick control provided. By making a selection from the selection screen prepared to go to the desired planet, movement to that planet was provided with the spaceship. Added pre-made audio recordings to planets. The application was tested by different people and corrections were made according to the feedback. Between April 25 and April 30, 6th grade students practiced. They took turns wearing virtual reality glasses. They also practiced on the digital board in the classroom.

Conclusion and evaluation: The ‘Solar System and Planets’ unit was taught to the students in a shorter time than in the lesson plan. Students learn permanently by concretizing knowledge. It’s fun because it’s game-based material. The subject of Science was discussed. Mathematical calculations have been made. Software programs are used in the field of technology. Designs were created in the field of engineering. An original STEM project has been created. This project has been used in the classroom activity.

Students’ average success before the event is 64 percent. After the event, the students’ average success is 92 percent.

Activity execution time in class: 40+ 40 minutes

Grade level: Secondary school 6th grade

Materials: Smart board in the classroom, virtual reality glasses, joystick, smartphone

Touristic trip and challenges towards the ecological city

The development of technology and industry has shifted the concentration of population in urban areas, adding to the challenges for architects and designers in managing urban areas for a sustainable city and a secure future.

In this SDW22 our students will continue to investigate and to understand how important the combination of technology is in creating a healthier, more sustainable city for the planet. Students continue to raise their voice in the community and society about the importance of a friendly, green and healthy city.

We have integrated two themes: technology and architecture.

Our activities are based on the basic concepts of coding through Microbits, computer activities, as well as the importance of computer science and the introduction of new tools and approaches, such as visual programming tools, detached activities and coding for all subjects.

Learning objectives:

  • Creating a more sustainable city for the system, for human health, economy and sustainable world.
  • Increasing children’s motivation to learn STEM.
  • Improving ITC skills.
  • More mathematical knowledge.
  • Using online applications to demonstrate results.
  • Creating a good environment for STEM study within subjects, careers and other professions.

Expected results

– Know the basic concepts of coding and understand why it is important in contemporary education.

– Explain why coding and computer science are important to students.

– Learn and think in a creative way.

– Recognize innovative tools and approaches, such as visual programming tools, detached activities, robotics, and coding for all subjects.

– Develop key competencies related to the importance of the global environmental problem and improve knowledge in their areas.

– Understand how cities can be more sustainable.

– List the elements that make a city more ecological.

– How these elements, such as renewable energy, food, affect our health and environment.

– Writing and drawing materials, for ecological city plan.

– Present the theoretical information and create an ecological city carpet in a creative way.

Demonstrate integrated ICT skills in their curriculum

1. Learn to integrate simple coding in cross-curricular learning topics, such as climate change and ecological city.

2. Recognize various unplugged activities, as part of group collaboration.

3. Understand how to create a specific problem-solving task.

4. Possess cognitive skills, for what students should apply, in order to solve the problems of the environment, climate change, and topics related to the ecological city during a certain task.

5. Have a good application of digital technology learning by developing digital competencies and skills, in order to improve them through the analysis of better data education.

6.Design and implement a lesson plan using recyclable tools in building an ecological city, various ideas and digital resources.

Content description

The event guides students through technology to help them, motivate and build strong knowledge on different topics. Many coding games have been created that can be used to create and interpret computer software – at any age, without a specific background and even without a computer.

Visual programming and unplugged activities offer a wide range of choices that break down any access barrier, having educational value and activating computer programming.

Technology is evolving in our daily lives. But this technological development must be in harmony with the environment.

The purpose of our event is to promote the tourist spots of our small country in Albania by simulating a trip of the robot Edmodo. This trip starts from the Fier city after Edmodo chooses one of the A or B buttons of the microbial tool. Microbit is programmed to display a city after each button that will be Edmodo’s next destination.

But this trip is not easy for him, since to get the ticket for the next trip he has to go through the challenges that are programmed in each city. These challenges are set as QR barcodes after travel tickets.

Developing students’ understanding of the algorithm and the “(IF-THEN-ELSE)” and “(IF, IF ELSE)” commands, the Edmodo tour goes further if it overcomes the challenge or otherwise receives the penalty by going back to the previous city.

The tourist has with him a map of Albania, or uses the web that we have created, which indicates in the travel itinerary and options A and B according to the selected destinations.

A digital map has also been created, for informational purposes, on the attractions of the cities of Albania: https://www.thinglink.com/scene/1505572517476040706

If the trip is as short as possible towards the ecological city, this makes the Edmodo a winner.

The game starts from our city Fier, (an Albanian city) in the direction of the alternative ticket selected A or B. If ticket A is chosen, the destination is, for example, the city of Shkodra. Else if the ticket is B, the destination is Vlora.

Shkodra city – the game challenge is in MAZE (students can create their Maze game with different roadblocks for the different levels). At the end of the labyrinth, there is ticket A (Vlora), else if student does not choose ticket A, then the ticket choice is B (Tirana).

City of Tirana – Challenge: Internet network, find the minimum number of paving stones that need to be used so that you can get from any house to any other house. In the end, the city is written, and the destination of the movement (Ticket A – Vlora or Ticket B – Shkodra).

City of Vlora —- Challenge: The puzzle game. If the emoji comes out J the player goes to the city on the Durres, if the emoji is L student returns to the city in Start (Fier city).

Durres city — Challenge: message in bottle. A challenge awaits them in this city: to decode the message in the bottle, which will orient the player to the next destination, Tirana or Berat city.

City of Berat—- Challenge: to complete cryptographic input-output, for example with input code 001000 find the output code 001010. If the player does it correctly, then they will choose the ticket A that leads them to the Ecological City, if not, they choose ticket B, and returns to Start, at Fier city.

City of Fier. — Challenge: quizzes. If the tourist answers correctly, he will get the ticket A that will take them to Berat/County Z, if they do not answer correctly, they will get the ticket B that will take them to Tirana/Country S.

The winner is the  tourist who has discovered the fewest routes and cities,  to the ecological city.

While the student continues the journey, a student of the class writes on the blackboard the itinerary that the student has followed and the number of routes to the end of the journey.(Challenges can be different in each city, they can be quizzes with information on the culture and tradition of each city, or coding games.)

ASDEF (Architecture, Science, Design, Engeering Fair)

“Marin Barleti” University organized the ASDEF fair, the first #STEAM fair, in our country, Albania, where the students of vocational and general high schools presented their projects from different fields such as #architecture #engineering #biology #design #robotics #art ,etc. The evaluation committee announced our school project “Edmodo tourist trip to the ecological city” as one of the 10 winning projects.

This project integrated two very important issues: coding that develops in students computer thinking and environmental protection through ideas and innovation in creating an ecological city. This victory gives the opportunity to the students of our school to participate in the international fair Tekno Fest 2022 in Turkey.

#STEM #coding #Scientix #education #citycological #ecocity #climatechange #steamfair #teknofestistanbul #teknofest #scienceprojects #sciencefair #ecological #renewableenergy

STEM , Edtech-Parents and Teachers conference

In order to involve as many teachers and parents in the SDW22 campaign and to get acquainted with STEM education, Edu-ACT center in collaboration with Barleti University and Scientix ambassadors, we organized the conference, as a hybrid event with the theme: “Edtech-Parents and Teachers conference” .

My presentation focused on:

1. Understanding STEM education

2. The importance of STEM 3

3. Practical examples of STEM activities at home and in the classroom with the aim of involving parents, industry and University as collaborators.


Entrance :
The teacher said, “What is Keloğlan like? How is she dressed? Who do you know who dresses like Keloğlan?” He directs the questions to the students and listens to the answers, then tells the students one of the Anatolian tales. The meanings of the words “salwar, wooden spoon, halay, carik” in this tale are asked and their foreknowledge is checked. Afterwards, questions about their region are asked and the answers are listened to.
The teacher asked whether they knew Keloğlan or not, “What is your favorite feature of Keloğlan?” raises questions. “Have you ever listened to Keloğlan’s folk songs? “After asking a question like “, he makes children listen to a few folk songs that Rüştü Asya sang in one of his Keloğlan films.

What is the reason for the decrease in interest in folk songs today? What can be done to prevent this?” questions are asked, answers are heard.
“Do you know Turkish stories?” Let’s research a folk song story and present it to the class.
Let’s share the stanzas of the Çanakkale folk song among the groups and present them to the class. Finally, the parts of the folk songs that are read part by part will be combined in a single video.
Explanation :
During the explanation phase, videos about our cultural elements and the lives of our artists are watched from past to present. Pictures are displayed on the web. For example: Neset Ertaş, Aşık Veysel …
 At this stage, the teacher can have the students watch a documentary about our cultural elements. Cultural elements and detailed explanation, missing information is completed.

Elaborate :

It is associated with STEM.
 Mathematics integration:
Coding “STEM folk songs” from numbers:
Starting from Aşık Veysel’s poem “I’m on a long and thin road”, students are asked to pose and solve problems with the help of the numbers of the terms “syllable, word, string” in the poem. Thanks to the number to be obtained at the end of the solution, the letters in the alphabet are coded. Since there are 8 groups and each group finds one or two letters and the last group finds the last letter, the keyword “STEM folk songs” is reached. In the activity, the desired number and then the corresponding letter in the alphabet are reached by performing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division operations. Then, the students demonstrate the letter reached and the mathematical operation performed in the classroom by explaining the steps of the operation. The obtained works are sorted piece by piece as “STEM folk songs”.


Folk dance object graphic:
 A joke is told about Nasreddin Hodja. The meaning of the word “çarık ” in the paragraph is investigated. The places where the carriage is used are mentioned. Then, our traditional clothes are mentioned and our knowledge about folk dances is checked. The data obtained by making a short research about our favorite folk dances in the classroom is collected and shown by making object graphs. Object graphics are made with students in Canva. With the help of the graph obtained, the problem is established and solved by the class.

 Technology integration:
The puzzle prepared in the puzzel.org web 2 tool is solved together with all students and the key word “STEM folk songs” is reached with the coded letters. Our aim is to enable the students who reach certain letters as a group in the previous math activity to see step by step which words they will reach in the individual puzzle solution, to make predictions and to make use of web 2 tools while doing this.

Engineering Integration :
Problem statement: In any part of our country, there are children who lost their babies or musical instruments, who were damaged in the earthquake. Let’s design a doll design or a musical instrument for them.

Maracas Design:
As the musical instrument design, the maracas design was decided. By using waste materials, students who want recycled materials can do it at home, and students who want can do it in the classroom. They will have done free activities by cutting, sticking, painting and decorating as they want. Their hand skills will also be improved. The maracas will be used by keeping the rhythm accompanied by the folk song “Burcak field”.


Based on the theme of “23 April National Sovereignty and Children’s Day” and “Atatürk”, information about “Cultural Elements” is reinforced. Then, the concepts that come to mind when we think of 23 April National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, 23 April, and the students complete the preparation process for the subject.
In addition, with the help of answergarden web 2 tool, “What comes to your mind when you say April 23 and Atatürk?” The answers given on the question are answered by all students.

It is a learning scenario with the desire to embark on a journey based on the roots of our past together. It aims to transform the new generation children into individuals who adhere to their traditions and customs, who can respond to all the needs of the age, and who are equipped with 21st century skills. It is based on raising individuals who can take safe steps by combining their creativity and curiosity with their own cultural elements.

Thanks to the cooperation of the STEM approach with the 5E learning model, it is aimed to increase the sensitivity to science and technology. The 5E learning model includes the stages of entrance, exploration, explanation, elaborate , and evaluation. There are activities that include information that each student can obtain through research, observation and examination at every stage.

AUTHOR: PINAR ALTINKAYA, Primary School Teacher

FOUNDERS : Pınar ALTINKAYA, Halil Akgün İlkokulu, Akdeniz MERSİN

Emel ELDENİZ, Sakarya İlkokulu, Akdeniz MERSİN

PARTNERS : Meryem Bostancı , Zeki Sabah İlkokulu, Akdeniz MERSİN

Nilay SERTEL, Şehit Hamza Çavuş İlkokulu, Çorlu TEKİRDAĞ

Tuba BİÇER, Camili İlkokulu, Akdeniz MERSİN

Ayşe AKKUŞ, Mehmet Fatih Deveci İlkokulu, Akdeniz MERSİN

Bengisu KAYA, Suphi Öner İlkokulu, Akdeniz MERSİN

Fatiş SARAÇOĞLU, Sakarya İlkokulu, Akdeniz MERSİN

paltinkaya30 Nisan 2022Genel

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