Steam education and the ancient Greek civilization with jigsaw method

The past comes into the present embraces with stem education because as the ancient Greek writer Ploutarchos said, the mind of children is not a container that we have to fill but a fire that we have to light.

By Margarita Dakoronia, primary school teacher of 32nd Primary School of Piraeus-Greece, and her 21 amazing 9 years old students

SUMMARY

We meet the ancient Greek civilization based on steam education. And the jigsaw educational method helps us in this activity. Jigsaw is a cooperative learning strategy that enables each student of a “home” group to specialize in one aspect of a topic. Our topics will be science, technology, reading, arts, and maths in Cycladic, Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations in ancient Greece.

Our resources: Jigsaw.org, youtube with the videos which I have added in the presentation, Europeana, the following greek museum Santorini museum, Knossos museum, Mykeanes and ideas for stem activities from scientix, nasa stem, vivifystem.

Aims of the project:

  • to acquaint students with ancient Greek culture through a different perspective -stem in history
  • to cooperate in the production of the desired result
  • to teach interdisciplinary traditional teaching subjects such as history
  • to find the best possible solutions by collaborating
  • to teach their peer based in jigsaw method
  • to create through the areas that interest them by participating in the team of their choice, as professionals

The project is scheduled based on the following relevant trends and innovations 4c’ skills:

Project based learning: The pupils ought to schedule the steps of the project, to collaborative in groups with their peers and each of the group to produce the materials for the specific period.

Collaborative learning: Collaboration is very necessary to our project. The groups collaborate at the three steps of jigsaw method to succeed their goals. The jigsaw method helps the kids to collaborate and to teach each other. The role of the teacher is only instructive.

Steam learning: Each group of the 5 historical period create the materials depend on steam acronym.

Science: the evolution of life, the search for the extinction of the dinosaurs, the discovery of the wheel, the discovery of writing, the eruption of the volcano of Santorini in 1500 BC and the destruction of ancient civilizations in ancient Greece.

Technology: the construction of the wheel that is considered the most important ancient invention and the programming of our robot – the first wheel to move between our ancient settlements.

Engineering: the architecture and the construction of the first settlements in Greece, in Dimini and Hoirokitia as well as a house of the Minoan period

Art: the group of artists created rock paintings of caves, murals, vases and seals used by ancient civilizations for their financial transactions

Mathematics: Mathematicians engaged in the construction of a vessel similar to what is considered the first computer and was a creation of the Minoan civilization. They measured the distances that the points on the vessel that show the seasons and the months should have.

For the realization of the project, I tried to encourage and cultivate the development of the Creativity , the Critical Thinking, the Communication and the Collaboration, the 4c’ skills of 21st century.

Dates: 1st of April-29th of April 2022, we worked on this project about three hours per week.

1st step: The children were initially divided into composition groups. I assign one of the group members the role of coordinator and distribute the necessary material for the children to study. The student coordinator instructs each student to study in depth a part of the content, taking on the role of expert. The groups have on their tablets the following presentation to study.

 2nd step: Specialization groups are created. Each group of specialists brings together the people from the initial groups who have undertaken the same common subset of the learning object. So we were divided into the following groups

  • the group of Paleolithic civilization
  • the group of Neolithic civilization
  • the group of Cycladic civilization
  • the group of Minoan civilization and
  • the group of Mycenaean civilization

3rd step: Ιn each culture group the children according to their preferences undertook to present the following thematic and they also teach their peers what they have learnt for the period that they have examed:

  • Sciences
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Art and
  • Mathematics

Paleolithic civilization

We started from the moment of the creation of the earth and examined the evolution of the species as Scientists. They showed great interest in the dinosaur period, as Artists painted and made comics about the extinction of the dinosaurs. They researched the species of dinosaurs and their categories according to the type of food in herbivores and carnivores.

Photos with kids’ activities for the Paleolithic period

Neolithic civilization

The team that worked for this period, was the Engineers making the first Paleolithic settlements and planning our robot to visit them since at this time we have the discovery of the wheel so the scientists worked on the construction of the wheel. And the Artists painted their first rock paintings.

Photos with kids’ activities for the Neolithic period

Cycladic civilization

The team that worked for this period, was the Artists who painted famous murals as well as the first seal stones that the merchants of that time needed for their financial transactions.

Photos with kids’ activities for the Cycladic period 1st

Minoan civilization

The team that worked for this period, was the Scientists and Mathematicians who tried to make the vessel that is considered as the first computer. The Artists who created the album of Phaistos, one of the oldest inscriptions in the world. This scripture has not yet been read.

Photos with kids’ activities for the Minoan period 1st

Mycenaean civilization

The team that worked for this period, was the Engineering who built great ships-robots so that the Mycenaeans could develop trade and become the largest naval power of their time,

Photos with kids’ activities for the Mycenaean period (a file)

We say: Ocean Life without Plastic

The Blue School team of our school, Gymnasium of Anthousa from Greece, cares about ocean life without plastic.

For this reason, our school supported the 2022 STEM Discovery Campaign. As a contribution to the campaign, we participated in the live event in April 12th 2022 with the tittle: “UNDERSTANDING AND ACTING FOR A HEALTHY PLASTIC FREE SEA”. The working language of this event was English.

We joined with the eTwinning partner schools: Alytus Jotvingiai Gymnasium from Lithuania and Liceo Linguistico “Ilaria Alpi” di Cesena from Italy.

The event focused on examining and understanding the paths of plastic pollution, the impact on marine ecosystems and new technologies for observation and removal. Students also refered to different sectors of the blue economy, in a circular economy perspective, by spreading a message.

The contribution of our school are the following activities.

1. Let’ s play the board game Snakes and Ladderswithout plastics in the seas!”

The main purpose of this board game (Snakes and Ladders) is to raise environmental awareness, which concentrates on ocean life without plastic.

When a player lands on a ladder, moves to a square with a higher number. This action represents that he/she did something good for the environment. When a player lands on a snake’s head, moves to a square with a lower number. This action represents that he/she harmed the environment. There are also some squares that make you move some steps forward or backwards, depending on the player’s environmental actions. The participants of this board game can be at least two.

The board game Snakes and Ladders about healthy seas

2. We CLEAN  beaches – We RESPECT our environment!

On Monday 11/4 our school visited the beach of Rafina, which is located 17 km close to Anthousa. During our school program, the students – members of the Blue School participated in an action which was about cleaning a beach.

At first, the were students divided into groups. Each group received a folder, which included a map of the area and a worksheet. At this worksheet the students wrote down the types of rubbish that they met, annotations and questions.

They not only wrote down the types of rubbish that they saw, but also took pictures, observed the beach and orientated themselves. Since at that day the weather was unsettled and windy, the next day at school, they placed on a paper the rubbish they collected and observed their types. These were mostly out of plastic and they hat as origin the land. The majority of them were for a long time on the beach or in the sea.

One of the students volunteered and was “tied” from the other students with a thin rope, in order to be in the place of an animal that is trapped at fishing net. She felt panic, despair, being trapped and fear. She mentioned that after hours she would feel hunger and the danger that a predator might attack.

Collection of rubbish on the Beach
Examination of the rubbish
Being in the place of a trapped fish

3. A video titled:  POLLUTION IN THE MEDITERANNEAN SEA

Within the framework of the blue school project in our school “Gymnasium of Anthousa Attikis” in Greece, the students created a video about the pollution in the Mediterranean Sea. This video participated in a competition organized from The Hellenic Centre for Marine Research and won the first price, during the school year 2020-2021.

V International Lviv Stem Festival during the war in Ukraine

This year, Scientix Ambassador Olha Doskochynska organized the V International Lviv Stem Festival for Ukrainian teachers and students during the war in Ukraine. The purpose of this festival is to promote science, technology, mathematics, and art.

We planned to organize V International Lviv Stem Festival offline and invite colleagues, and Scientix Ambassadors from Slovakia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Albania, and Israel to Lviv for exchange experiences. But now there is a war in Ukraine and we will use an online format for teachers and an offline format for our ukrainian students.

 During the online seminar, my colleagues and I talked about the implementation of STEM in our countries and shared our ideas and innovations.

The main part of the festival was a visit to the Museum of Science of the Small Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, which moved to Lviv from Kyiv.

Since the beginning of the war, we have been organizing offline training for students who have moved from cities where are war.

Students of my school and students who came from the East of Ukraine during the seminar had the opportunity to conduct research, develop critical thinking, cooperate, develop communication skills.

As  Scientix Ambassador, my task is to promote STEAM education and share experiences.

Science and education are always relevant. Education is the force that helps us, Ukrainian win everything, especially now that my country, Ukraine, is at war.

In this Museum of Science, students have the opportunity to implement ideas, develop projects, and conduct experiments. Here we visited game and interactive exhibitions, which focus on the promotion of technology, science, and innovation.

      Students have the opportunity to get acquainted with the exhibits in the areas of IT, bio- and modern technologies, physics, robotics, electronics, and Smart Cities. The museum has research laboratories for children and young people, where you can create your own experiment under the supervision of specialists, learn about chemical processes, and have an unforgettable time. Physical phenomena await visitors in a separate hall. Here you can understand how gravity works, look at lenses, and learn more about sound propagation. In other halls, you can build roller coasters, explore human anatomy and get acquainted with the great inventions of mankind. For example, make an architectural arch and feel why such structures hold ancient and majestic buildings.

During this week, my students and I also explored the planet Mars. Students created their own models of the rocket, as well as the work of the rover. Students explored whether life on Mars is possible and what people need to live.

Cargo Transportation & STEM

Today, Cargo Transportation, cargo has an important place. People want products that are not around for their needs from different places. We use cargo to send things to people we know. In this study, students will make designs for the problems experienced in cargo transportation with STEM. They will make these designs with Lego blocks and Lego Wedo 2.0.

    Introduction

Our work was supported by Bilim Kahramanları Derneği in Turkey. In the study; students, robotic coding integrated into STEM activities. https://www.bilimkahramanlari.org/minik-bilim-kahramanlari-bulusuyor-fll-explore/

   Aims

The achievements of our students

1-Systematic thinking, problem solving, the ability to see the relationships between events.

2-Providing creative thinking.

3- Give them the ability to produce by entertaining them.

STEM is looking for solutions to everyday life problems. Robotic coding activities make students’ designs tangible. Students complete the Engineering Department of STEM with robotic coding.

     STEM Method

Students were given eigenvalue training in each study. With these trainings, group work and imagination developed.
Our theme this year; ‘Cargo Transportation’. For the problem situation; scenario transferred. Students do research to find a solution to the problem situation. The teacher brings together the expert on the subject with the children. The children spoke to the experts. Students make drawings and animations for the solutions they have designed. They come together and design the best solution with lego blocks.

 Our Work

Students work collaboratively in their studies. They take part in all stages. it is believed that the student takes part in every stage. Students share sections and studies. They make drawings by designing their solutions. This work improves their imagination. Students discuss their drawings and plan a joint design. This work also improves their speaking ability. Students test by experimenting with code designs to move blocks. This boosts improve their engineering skills.

Students receive Scratch training to design their animations. They receive Lego Wedo 2.0 pieces of training to code moving parts

At the end of the event; students presented the project and the designs of the project products to all stakeholders (student families, other teachers in the school, experts involved in the study).

Check out the videos of our activities on the links below:

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

Image

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…..