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
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.
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.
– 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.
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.
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.)
“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.
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.
This is the event organize to celebrate Earth Day in our school. Every year, on April 22nd, people from around the world come together to celebrate Earth Day! The goal of Earth Day is to reflect on how our actions impact the world around us, and how we can help protect and restore the environment.
My 5th grade students (11-year-old) are very familiar with this date, but in our activity we try to connect Civics, Biology and ICT. I remind my students that even small acts can make a huge difference, like picking up litter, watering a plant, or finding a way to reuse something instead of throwing it away! ‘It takes a little bit for each of us to make nature come to life, keep blu or green, for birds to sing, for fish to swim in the river….’
For our Earth Day challenge this year, I invited them to create artwork that encourages everyone to keep our planet healthy for many years to come!
I asked them to design their very own poster! The poster should include 1) a slogan (or short message) about taking care of the world and 2) an illustration that captures thoughts, feelings, and actions that they want to inspire in others! They could design their posters on paper, or use an online tool like Canva!
First they worked on paper and after that they made photos of their artworks. They very very crative and their slogans were compassionable for the world around us. After that they watch the tutorial about how to make posters in Canva
Because the theme for this year is STEM FOR ALL, I thought: if it is for ALL, let’s mix it everywhere. So, I made an experiment: I brought together STEM and THEOLOGY. It may seem weird for some, but I think these two areas can meet in beautiful activities.
To believe in God we need faith. Sometimes, in science too we need faith in order to create or to discover new things. Every man of science sees far beyond the others. In his imagination impossible things are possible and in his work, impossible ideas become reality. Science, imagination, creativity and faith work together in solving problems and bringing new things in creation.
So I had this brilliant idea to start with a biblical story and around it to do STEM/STEAM activities: experiments, puzzles, mazes, math activities, art activities, scientific activities, etc. The activity was a project-like activity in the span of more weeks, between February until the end of April. It took place at the Tandarica Kindergarten from Suceava, involving preschoolers, aged 5-6 years, also their parents and a few teachers. Here are just a few topics that we approached. At the end of each one I will put some links of the resources that I used and inspired me.
One day Nicodemus comes to Jesus to find out more about God. Then Jesus explains him that God is Spirit and assembles Him with the wind. We cannot see God, but we feel Him, we see His work and His answers to our prayers. In the same way, we cannot see the air or the wind, but we see its effects, we feel it. So, we (me and my preschool students) decide to learn more about air and wind.
First, the children tried to “see” the wind or the air. So, they could “see” it when they blew a feather or a balloon, when they turn the sheets of the book with the help of a fan, when they span a pinwheel. They “saw” the wind in the moving branches of the trees around them or in the fly of their kite. Running with the kite was a great opportunity to learn a little about aerodynamics. They learnt about the four forces of flight: Lift, Weight, Drag, and Thrust and the gravitational attraction. Searching the right direction of the air motion was a challenge for them. The little investigators also learned about the power of the wind, it benefits, like windfarms that help us to have nonpolluting and sustainable energy, but also the risks, like the windstorms/tornados. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXP1GkN8TV4&t=11s&ab_channel=JanguKids, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vkjz44-aa14&ab_channel=DigiNurture
The Lord’s Supper story
In this story, Jesus is taking the last supper together with his disciples. He teaches them to celebrate this moment over the years, drinking wine and eating bread. This two are the symbols of his blood and body, in order to remember his death and sufferings.
So, we found in this an opportunity to study the human blood, a very interesting activity. First, they watched a scientific explanation about the composition of the blood and the importance of each component. They retained in their mind four components. Plasma helps the blood move through veins and arteries. Red blood cells carry oxygen. White blood cells fight germs, bacteria, and viruses. Platelets help heal cuts. We reconstructed the red and white cells in a nice sensory activity that the children enjoyed very much. In a large plastic container we put water, red water beads and white ping-pong balls. While they explored the “blood”, playing with it, they talked about its parts.
We didn’t talk only about the blood, but also about the hole human body, its parts, external and internal organs. They watched scientific presentations, studied anatomy books and encyclopedia and they made practical representations of different aspects that they learnt.
The Easter story is not about the eggs of course. It is about Lord Jesus’ resurrection. The children watched and listened educational movies and PowerPoint presentations in order to establish the true meaning of the Easter. But after that, we found in the custom of painting eggs a great opportunity to try some experiments with eggs.
Along these experiments the kids could tell the difference between a boiled egg and a fresh one just by spinning them. They observed that the egg is not floating in the water, but they found out that they can make an egg float, by adding salt in the glass. Introducing an egg in a bottle was another fantastic challenge for them. Finally, they made a jumping ball from an egg by keeping the egg in vinegar for two days in order to “melt” the eggshell. During this experiment, they observed how the egg became bigger and translucent so that they could see the egg yolk inside. They also could feel the egg that became like a rubber ball and played with it, because it could jump. https://youtu.be/errqz-UeSA8, https://youtu.be/mkVMxxGloVE
The preschoolers were very enthusiastic about these themes and especially the experiments. I usually let them to do the activities by themselves: I tell them what to do, but I let them to work and they are very interested and curious to discover by themselves what is happening. They have to say first their opinion, what they think is going to happen, then I let them to experiment and to draw the conclusions.
I involved not only the preschoolers, but also their parents. They too were very pleased and excited about the activities. When we were doing these activities at the kindergarten, the children who couldn’t come, asked to send them indications and resources to do them at their homes. Also, during the stem discovery week, in Romania the children had vacation and they were at home. But they were fully involved and I had the total approve and support from their parents. Actually, it was really exciting to do stem activities at their homes despite the vacation.
Due to all these activities, children used and improved their skills in critical thinking and problem solving, they collaborated with each other, they used and developed their creativity. Also, the themes approached were relevant for them, the activities started from real life topics and situations. They ended with answers for their questions, with “wows” and even more curiosity.
In this project, pupils will be reminded of the importance of water in their lives. Apart from our survival, water has played a major role in the place we live in. Some of us live next to the sea which means, that maybe our city is a port or attracts people for a vacation. Some others may live next to rivers also used for transportation or in lakes that host rich biodiversity. Some areas use water to produce their energy. In some others, they construct dams to water their fields. And, of course, there are places that lack water and people have been adjusted to this fact. The impact of water both in our lives and places is crucial in this project.
The pupils should watch, learn, understand and conclude that water:
-Is essential for our health, cleanness and wellbeing
-Has made what Earth is (a blue/green planet)
-Plays a major role in energy production and economy
-Drinking water is not accessible (or clean) for everyone in the world
-Not inexhaustible on our planet
-There are ways to save and protect it
A teacher calendar will be created with all the activities in this 9-months project. The schedule will demand one activity per month. The works will be uploaded on twin space. We propose the following, but let’s keep in mind that anything can be discussed, changed, or omitted:
September: Introduction to ourselves/school/place. Could be one of the following: A group photo in front of your school and a postcard (from the web) of your place. Or, a ppt with your photos and what your hobbies are. More advanced, make a video or use any other digital tool you are familiar with.
October: “Water is everywhere”. Discuss the water cycle. Watch the trees and gardens, fruits and vegetables. Take a photo or draw some of them. Plant flowers or vegetables in small plastic pots. Watch them grow! Talk about water in our bodies.
Let’s start keeping a rain/snow calendar from October 1st until the end of June 1st and see in which (partners) area has rained/snowed more (or less) days. This is going to be a handcraft in our class. Every day from Monday to Friday we will be sticking a “sun”, “rain”, “snow” or “fog” sign on the calendar. We have to create a 9 monthly calendar!
November: “Water is precious”. Let’s ask our children what they know about drought or water pollution. Talk to them about some key facts and decide together about water-saving practices.
December: “Pastry making”. Whatever you plan to do, you’ll need water! Choose something for your traditional confectionery.
January: “Story Telling”. Find, or better, write something about water. Anything, a small text, a letter, a fairytale… Share with us a traditional song about water.
February: “Biodiversity in natural protected water areas”. Why is it so important for us? Is there any nearby your school?
March: “Water in my place”. Send us your photo from the water element that describes your place: Your Sea, lake, river, waterfall, fountain, or even the water at the center of your village. Compare web photos of places rich in water with those that have less (for example Nile delta).
April: “Water is energy”. Talk, show or discuss energy. Make a virtual visit to a hydropower station. If there is in your area, visit old watermills. Talk about domestic devices that use water: boiler, washing machine, or dishwasher
May: “Water Games”. You decide if the kids will become wet or not! Discuss with them what they know about water sports.