Author: Honorata Pereira Age of students: 15th – 16th School: Eptoliva Date of activities: February – beginning of March 2020
This project aimed to make students aware of the amount of (micro) plastics present in essential goods of common use. Thus, the students investigated the microplastics present in personal hygiene products, in their clothes, in the washing waters of their clothes and in the waters of the beach. They also assessed the amount of waste they produce at home, as well as the main waste from local industries. Finally, students were invited to present solutions to minimize the impact of waste and plastic on the environment.
We started by using the “Building a new environmental Future” feature. Thus, students watched a short clip about bioeconomy, students received different objects that they have to categorize according to them being bio-based or non-bio-based. In the second part, we used the Scientix resource “Growing plastic and new life for plastic” and the students s analysed pictures about plastic pollution, they researched the microplastics existing in their personal hygiene products, as well as in the washing waters of their clothes. A group of students investigated microplastics in sea waters, taking samples from three different locations, in the north, centre and south of the country. In this context, we also analysed the amount of waste that each family produces, as well as visiting the main industries in our locality, a dairy and an oil processing industry, to identify the main waste that each industry produces.
Students often ask me: “How can we clean up the air and how can we reduce air pollution levels in our city?”
I offered them a challenge: “My city” and “My dream city”.
After describing the city they asked me: “What can we do to help our city to survive?”
I decided to explain to them through different interactive techniques what climate change really is.
Understanding the climate change, firstly, we need to understand the atmosphere. It is the atmosphere, which surrounds the Earth like a bubble, that protects us from the harshest rays of the sun and releases extra gases into space. The burning of fossil fuel such as oil and gas produce greenhouse gases, which trap the heat from the Sun in the Earth’s atmosphere.
The consequences of climate change include health risks through rising air temperatures, an increase in hunger, extreme weather conditions. That’s why it is important to empower ourselves to protect the planet so we can feel like we’re making a difference.
Let’s start by challenging ourselves to find 10 ways to use less power in our everyday life!
This could be turning off the lights.
Unplugging chargers when not using them or riding bikes more.
Emphasizing the importance of working together to solve problems, enables us to develop and strengthen a family composing plan.
We were building up our dream city with recyclable materials.
Authors: Daniele Brioschi, Marco Levera, Domenica Notaro, Ivana Lazzaro, Luigi Manara
We made this video to involve our students and colleagues in a new challenge, “how can science help us find a new balance in these troubled times?”
The goal was to experiment with the concept of balance by producing imaginative structures. The rules were:
the structure had to be either laid onto or tied via a single supporting point. The supporting point could not be strengthened with glue or other materials to fix its position;
the structures had to always be free to spin and oscillate around the supporting point;
the completed structure had to maintain its own stable and balanced position on all its levels;
the students were allowed to use any material, and they were encouraged not to waste it.
We reached our 11-14 years old students using Google Classroom. The students, in their turn, sent in their work as both a photo and a short video (max. 15 seconds) to show their structures and demonstrate their balancing.
This activity allowed our students to analyze, plan and engineer a simple solution to a given problem via a hands-on approach. They worked by trials and errors using creativity, their previous knowledge of physics and the new knowledge coming from first-hand experience.
In this study, it is aimed to create awareness about “Covid-19” by taking STEM education into consideration. The students were asked to evaluate “Covid-19” with different aspects. These dimensions are listed below.
1. The effects of Covid-19 in the world and in our country, 2. Covid-19 disease progression, symptoms, source (information), 3. Methods of protection from Covid-19, 4. Ways to stay at home / spend time effectively at home, 5. The importance of science in combating the epidemic. 6. Occupations needed in the “Covid-19 process”:
Artificial intelligence machine quality control element
Robot welding operator
Technical maintenance for electric cars
Language speech therapist
Solar system technical staff
Cyber security expert
Software support specialist
Three-dimensional graphic animator
Together with the students, the above dimensions were examined in detail. Later, students were asked to design a poster describing any of these dimensions. In this process with students, general features of STEM disciplines – viruses (science); statistical calculations (mathematics); creation of posters with web 2 tools (technology); introducing poster design (engineering); were taken into consideration when creating posters.
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.