To Smoke or Not To Smoke? It’s Not Questionable!

Hey you! Throw away that cigarette’s butt. Of course, put your cigarette out before tossing it in the ash catcher! It will take you a little time to answer the following questions. As a teenager, do you think youngsters are aware that cigarette smoke inhalation is a completely unnatural behaviour? Are they aware of the lethal mix of substances within cigarette smoke? Do they know how Tobacco production and consumption undermine the achievement of several targets related with Sustainable Development Goals of the Agenda 2030?

Well, on the basis of the results of the project we carried out in the last month, our answer could be summarised in this way: not enough!

We would like to raise students’ interest in Tobacco-related hazards. Not only those that directly affect smoker’s health, but also the ones that threat their families, their communities and people involved in tobacco farming. We would focus on the complexity of the problem rather than provide students with a reductive approach. Our Big Idea is that to find effective and suitable solutions, future scientists should also be able to face complexity.


We are a team of teachers from the Upper Secondary School “G. Galilei” in Jesi, a Technical Biotech School in the province of Ancona, in the Marche region. The school community vision is always leading us to contextualise learning in real-life. By means of a well-developed network at both local and international level, we are always provided with riveting opportunities to develop students’ and teachers’ abilities to cope with the challenges we are facing nowadays.


It all started in September, when a Professional Development Course to spread the use of Inquiry-Based Science Teaching was organized by the National Association of Science Teachers (ANISN). Under the guidance of two trainer teachers, Chiara Garulli and Luigina Renzi, we enhanced our capabilities to plan and implement our project. We also got the opportunity to deepen our knowledge in the field of Tobacco Hazards inviting experts from the Polytechnic University of The Marche Region. They also provide career guidance. “Professional Go Back to School”, the activity we used, is just one of the many ways to present STEM jobs in Classroom. Teachers can find plenty of resources in the guidelines developed by STEAM-(IT) / Stem Career Advisers Network. Finally, spellbinding ideas to promote active learning where grabbed from the MOOC “Active Learning and Innovative Teaching in Flexible Learning Spaces and the related Guidelines in learning space innovations | Unesco IIEP Learning Portal


Students were asked to solve a problem in group of four. They should prove which kind of cigarette was the most poisonous among several samples available for the comparison. They were provided with an apparatus for cigarette tar extraction, an analytical scale, lab glassware, laboratory oven, dryer, solvents, nicotine standard and other materials to perform Thin Layer Chromatography.

According to the different steps of the Scientific Method, students must form a hypothesis, a prediction based on observations and /or previous knowledge, avoiding any use of web search. The next step was to plan an experiment to prove their prediction right. The two steps were carried out using a think, pair and share activity. Each group should come up with a shared experimental plan. The following plenary discussion was aimed to present groups’ speculation and plan. No feedback was provided in terms of wrong or right answers but, teachers had the opportunity to guide them asking sense-making questions. The discussion helped the groups to improve the experimental plan. The experiments were implemented. Data were collected and analysed. Each group drew its conclusions and summarised the whole study using a scientific poster to give a presentation. Finally, findings were discussed in plenary to better understand weaknesses and strengths in each experience.

At the end of the day, students agreed on the best way to compare samples. It consists in a quantitative comparison, the gravimetric analysis of extracted tar from different samples. Further qualitative information could be gathered by means of thin layer chromatography based on the comparison of eluted tar samples and standards.

The final activity was aimed to explain features of tobacco first, second and third hand smoke and the effects of exposure on the human body. Information was provided about the carcinogenesis process induced by nitrosamine and benzopyrene metabolism, which is mediated by Cytochrome P450, a superfamily of enzymes responsible for oxidizing xenobiotics. Consequently, the concept of polymorphism was contextualized to explain the occurrence of altered or enhanced metabolisms that can lead to different health conditions among smokers. Last but not least, teachers make clear that no evidence were shown about the innocuity of Tobacco Heated Products and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems.


Considering the rate of our school students that choose to enroll in STEM academic courses, we would like to offer guidance for STEM careers related with the topic. Internships and Orientation programs provide a wide list of interlocutors to whom ask support to help students to discover the more appropriate career according to their passion, attitudes, willingness, and skills.

Keeping updated with the continuous changes we are experiencing both in education and the job market, whether local or global, is extremely relevant for teaching professionals and students. This way, we can cope with a challenge of paramount importance: to develop students’ hard and soft skills, which are fundamental assets in higher job market demand.

In this experience we got in touch with three experts from Polytechnical University of Marche (UNIVPM), Professor Pier Luigi Stipa, a chemistry researcher in charge of Orientation program for UNIVPM, Professor Stefano Gasparini specialized in pulmonary diseases and respiratory physiopathology and, a PhD candidate Giulia Lucia, who is studying the effects of cigarette butts on the natural marine environment.

Due to Covid19 restriction, the activity was held online. One of our students was in charge of explaining the undertaken learning pathway and the results in terms of raise of interest in the field and gaining of expertise and skills.

Then, students could pose some questions inheriting the careers of involved STEM professionals according to curiosities raised during the activity preparation. The expert addressed the questions and then gave a presentation.

Information was delivered according to the specific discipline approach that experts use facing different aspects of the same phenomenon, the tobacco consumption.


On top of that, the last part of the project concerned the interference of Tobacco farming and consumption with principles of equity, prosperity, and sustainability contemplated in 2030 Agenda’s SDGs. In groups the students were involved in the production of a podcast pilot episode. The aim was to raise awareness among their peers on the topic. Students were provided with original material from World Health Organization and  from another acknowledged project Sustainable Development or Tobacco – unfair tobacco. According to activity described in the picture, they had the opportunity to explore the materials and agree on the answers to relevant questions. The process enabled them to highlight the main facts they should use to raise awareness among peers.


Students’ transferable skills were assessed by means of ongoing observations based on criteria such as participation, accountability, and time management. Hard skills assessment was carried out during laboratory experiments by means of observations and then through the evaluation of poster contents. Knowledge assessment was carried out using open ended and multiple-choice questions.


The activity addresses a topic that is meaningful for the students. They are quite curious about the effects of such products. We spotlighted some misconceptions that must be confuted. According to the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, awareness about the hazards related to Tobacco consumption is one of the most important measures to control the spread of this plague.

The activities the students carried out were not only an opportunity to contextualize their previous knowledge and abilities but also to test and develop new competences.

Authentic learning is an umbrella term that encloses all the different methods we used during this incredible journey. As in life, both of us students and teachers have experienced some problems facing new situations but, at the end of the day, we were all able to find solutions, to communicate with each other and, finally, to manage to become a better and upskilled version of ourselves.

Thank you for reading!

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:

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 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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The Art of Gravity is a multidisciplinary project carried out by 3 teachers of 2 different countries: Spain and Greece.

The lesson plan arises as a result of  STEAM Scientix Modules, in order to be Scientix Ambassadors. We met in a special environment, sensitized to find a new way to approach science in the classroom, to provide students with enough tools to let them have in their minds the concern to research and to be possible future scientists.

This scenario contribute to show what gravity is and how to guide Primary School children to achieve this objective: using an experiential way, motivating them through gamification, and also using their bodies (music), their creativity (arts) their curiosity: IBSE, and computers (technology) in order to make them the concept interactive, attractive and more understandable. Cooperative Assessment is needed: peers participate in whole education process.

Our lesson plan is committed to experiential teaching. We believe the students are the protagonists of their own learning and to let them think is more important than memorizing mechanically.

The methodology, based on the intersection of Science and Art, in order to bring scientific thought closer to Primary School students, opens a door to interdisciplinarity, as in this case: the union of Music, Fine Arts and Science or, more precisely, the approach of concept of gravity, through music, sculpture and movement.

By observing, and starting from the most basic, the beat of our heart, we understood the meaning of the musical tempo and the questions arose, Inquiry Methodology, stimulating the curiosity to learn: at a slower tempo we move slowly, like being on the Moon.


“Why do we move slowly on the moon? Can we explain what gravity is? Is there earth on gravity? And in space?”

IBSE: Inquire Basic System Education.Children wrote down the their questions about gravity and space:doing a mural or doing a padlet  attending to Covid 19 measures.

Through our body, music and movement we have experienced the effect of gravity, balance, strength-balance positions between couples, helping to overcome the tendency to fall, defying gravity.

The concern to know continued, “what is a black hole? Is there gravity?” We have created recycled instruments to imitate the magical sound of the cosmos and we have invented soundscapes, adding even musical apps, to imagine the feeling of being a space traveler.

After this introduction, children created an Arts and Crafts mobile to experiment where is the center of gravity.

IBSE: Inquire Basic System Education.Children wrote down the their questions about gravity and space:doing a mural or maybe suitable a padlet,  attending to Covid 19 measures.

And children programmed a game, using Scratch to simulate a Space travel, and where gravity is the protagonist not to crash against asteroids.

And we added Engineering Tasks: Create a Spacecraft using Lego WeDo.

Pupils made a model of the universe, using simple materials. Then, they used paddlet to made the timeline.

To summarize all the project, children divided their work to focus in an important aspect about gravity and they worked using Google Drive Slides platform, in order to show to the other mates the work done in a presentation.

Finally, the project ended using several tools to do the assessment, and asking children to participate in an active evaluation done by themselves.

To conclude, we would like to introduce ourselves and also to explain our contribution in this common project:

Our STEAM team has been integrated by 3 peers,

Angeliki Theodosi. ICT Teacher at Ralleia Experimental Primary School in Piraeus, Greece. The purpose of the proposed activities is to introduce Science through Art, by creating mobiles to play and experiment with the center of gravity as well as by Programming a Game which the player has to defeat gravity using his/her voice (a fun way for children with hearing problems to experiment themselves on controlling their voice ). Also with their voice pupils can adapt the velocity of the robot.

Mireia Elias Gras. Music teacher at Can Fabra public school in Barcelona. The purpose to work science through music and body expression is to involve children to Gravity, beginning from the knowledge of their own body and their possibilities, experimenting gravity by themselves. Children inquire,  research working in teams, exposition of solved questions and peers assessment coevaluation, to involve our students to whole learning process.

Angeliki Karageorgopoulou, ICT teacher in 2nd and 4th Primary Schools of Lamia, Central Greece. With the proposed activities, students delve into the concepts of Physics related with the creation and expansion of the Universe, the reason why galaxies are moving away from each other, the reason why the planets revolve around the sun and explain the spacetime curvature.

We three wish you like our STEAM PROJECT: THE ART OF GRAVITY!