Hello, I am a primary school teacher in Turkey. I and my students participate in eTwinning projects that involve STEM education.
In the activity that I organised on 6 – 10 April 2020, we covered the issue of helping people around us or, in other words, solidarity. Our activity is based on the acquisition of life science skills. We asked the students to observe their home places. Students observed their families for a week. They listed the issues their families faced. Then we wanted to choose the most important of these issues.
Then, the subject of geometric bodies was studied in detail. We taught students concepts such as cube and square prism in math class. Then we asked the families to design a solution product. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, students drew and later made their 3D designs at home. At this stage, they used waste materials at home.
This activity took place during the week of Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. 7th grade students were introduced to the sad story of the Jewish boy Petr Ginz and his painting “Moon Landscape” which he drew during World War II while living in the ghetto. Through Petr’s personal story students were introduced to the Lunar Landscape. After that, students studied further about the moon through activities which were taken from Scientix Resource Repository: “Lunar phases” and “Lunar landscape”.
The activity was divided into 4 lessons.
During the lesson number one, students were required to learn about Petr Genz’s biography. They read about his life and his passion for Science and Space and they had a chance to see his painting which he drew before his death in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Also, students were introduced to the special connection between the first Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon and Petr Ginz. At 2003 Ilan took Petr Ginz’s painting “Moon Landscape” with him to the space mission. Unfortunately, he was killed in the crash of the Columbia shuttle.
Students were introduced to the first part of the activity through this website.
After that they got the following assignment:
Look at the painting “Moon Landscape” and answer the following questions:
A. What feelings do you have as you look at the painting?
B. If you could meet Peter Ginz today, what would you tell him about inventions, innovations and discoveries in space?
Related to 2020 STEM Discovery Campaign activities, we wanted to emphasize the importance and necessity of “recycling” with our students. In the recent past, we wanted to raise awareness of serious environmental issues affecting the world. In order to achieve these goals, with TEMA Foundation Turkey (Turkey Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Resources Foundation), we conducted joint studies. Our activities were held in the period of 13 – 20 April 2020. As one of these works, we designed flower pots from recycled materials.
When the working process was examined, we prepared a work plan with the students first. In line with this plan, we made a distribution of tasks among students. Every week, a group of students completed their preparations and fulfilled the assigned tasks.
First, students created an awareness board on the environment and recycling. This board was prepared as other students in the school can see. There were interesting articles and pictures on the board.
Later, a different group of students prepared a presentation on water consumption in nature. Students made their presentations in the classroom. In the presentation, the problems related to water consumption, the amount of water required for each consumption material and the importance of the water cycle were mentioned. During the presentation, the students answered questions from other students. In addition, awareness tables about the amount of water required for each consumer item were created and various places in the school were hung.
For the 2020 STEM Discovery Campaign, I organised few activities. They are listed and described below.
“STEM Education vs Traditional Education”
Type of activity or action: Training session Date: 20/04/2020 – 24/04/2020
STEM helps to turn new ideas into better education. Timely education during PANDEMIC showed that STEM in home conditions, with the presence of the Internet, brought solutions to online education. Traditional education allows the student to receive formal education and teaches to focus on the topic in question.
For me, it was the first time I designed and implemented a lesson plan on Scientix, but it was not difficult … I could enrich it over time. The difficulty for students was that it was the first time they used online tools to build online puzzles. We could apply it for some more projects this month because we needed to learn online more…
A “side effect” of COVID19 in education is schools’ closure. As a result, working with students online synchronously through a video conference is a big challenge. Among the issues that need special approaches are:
holding students’ interest
create and support interaction among teacher-students, and teaching material.
Shifting an online classroom to a “gaming platform” is a practice that confronts many of these issues. It boosts the students’ interest and masks the teacher’s aim to provide knowledge.
A well-designed game with a structure based on pedagogical strategies creates a tool easy to use it synchronously or asynchronously. Such strategies are students’ collaborative involvement in the creation of the game, guided search, direct feedback.