Our Green App: Coding and Artificial Intelligence for Sustainability

By Theodora S. Tziampazi

Welcome in our green app!

A virtual assistant will guide you through the buttons of the application and remind you some tips for an environmentally-aware lifestyle. Reuse, reduce, recycle… and let the demo videos speak for themselves.

Our green app: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aedHiYDr7NQ&t=58s

Demo of the English version of the app: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9HindPjHaM

Motivation sparks

The introductory part before the coding lessons was supported by some thought-provoking content I discovered in the “Terra Mission MOOC: Teaching Sustainability for Action”, a course supported by Scientix. It was the section on Circular Economy (English, Greek) that was most relevant to our work. Circular Economy is also the topic of the 4th Open Technologies in Education Competition organized by GFOSS – Open Technologies Alliance, Hellenic National Scientix Contact Point , while the mobile application is the submission of our school to this competition. I spent many hours with …apps and downs 😉 exploring App Inventor’s cappabilities until I came app with an idea that could meet my teaching expectations and goals and help students gain and app-ly knowledge. The only side effect was an app-etite for puns.

Level App in Digital Literacy

This mobile app was developed in MIT App Inventor 2 programming environment https://appinventor.mit.edu/. The virtual assistant hopefully makes the app more interactive and chats with us thanks to a capple of Artificial Intelligence Components included in App Inventor 2: the Speech Recognizer and the TexToSpeech. Since App Development is a multidimensional task that requires UX/UI (i.e. User eXperience/User Interface) considerations, a few more digital tools and resources were used. These materials are open and free, but there is attribution in the “About” screen of the app.

Think global, act local!

The pilot courses I designed were first implemented in Primary School of Fourni Korseon, Samos, Greece in 2022. As you have seen in demos, the result is adap(p)ted to our local context and it reflects our effort to make a “green” contribution to our remote island. The slogan behind this work is “think globally, act locally!”. I assumed that a particular context could be more meaningful in the sense that it is likely to engage members who identify as members of a school or a local community. But, it is not exclusive to those members; there is an English version of our app for the island (and this blog!) visitors.

Coming …app next! Customize the context

After the pilot courses, which took place in the spring of 2022, I have re-arranged and improved the lessons in order to create a constructive learning scenario for App Inventors- even beginners. The code is open source and will be published soon along with the learning scenario in Greek and English. I am currently refining the tutorial… so that more green apps pop app!

I will show you how to make such an application yourself and how to tailor it to your hometown, place etc. if so desired. In other words: After the pilot…we take off to any context!

I will keep you appdated on the course. Stay tuned!

Until then, smile, learn and protect our planet! 🙂

STEM wishes,

Theodora S. Tziampazi

Primary School Teacher, Scientix Ambassador (Greece)

Not every water is H2O

This year, the students of the 4th grade of the elementary school Hugo Badalić from Slavonski Brod, Croatia will join the STEM Discovery Campaign 2022. with the topic Not every water is H2O. In the conducted activities, the students used the skills of observation, measurement, observation, graphical presentation of data, inferences, and the activities marked the World Water Day.

At the beginning, the students answered the questions What does water look like? What shape is water? What does water smell like? What does water taste like? What is water for? How important is water to us? What do we use water for? What would happen if we didn’t have water? They repeated the acquired knowledge about water circulation in nature.

In the first activity, students learned that there is 71% water on Earth and the rest is land. They showed this percentage by filling the squares with color (blue percentage of water, and brown land). They found out that out of this 71% of the water surface, as much as 97% is salt water, and only 3% is fresh water, and they showed that ratio by filling in the squares.

In the next activity, they researched on the Internet that the human body contains as much as 70% water, and they also showed that percentage graphically by filling that percentage of the body with color.

The students listed which animals live in water (fresh or salty) and made a graphic presentation of the number of animals shown on a piece of paper.

We also mentioned the beaver which also lives in the water. On the CodeMonkey programming platform, students helped the cheerful beaver with sequence, branching, and repetition commands to complete the dam and make cocktails for his friends.

For the Running Water activity, we prepared six glass cups, different food colors, paper towels and, of course, water. The students filled three glasses to half full with water and added 5 drops of food coloring. They arranged the glasses in a circle so that every other glass was empty. They took a paper towel and folded it into strips and placed it over the edges of the cups. The water slowly moves towards the paper towel through a process known as capillary action. The paper towel is made of fibers and water can travel through the gaps in the fibers. These voids act like capillary tubes, pulling water upward. Students compared this process to watering a plant, where water travels from the root of the plant to the leaves at the top of the plant or tree.

For the Colorful Rain in a Glass activity, we prepared a larger glass cup, an oil cup, edible oil, food coloring and water. The students filled a larger glass with water up to 3/4. They carefully poured the oil into another glass to a height of about 2 cm, and then carefully added food coloring of different colors to the oil. With the help of a wooden stick, they broke the food coloring into small drops. Oil and drops of food coloring were poured into another glass and they were surprised by the result of the experiment. They noticed that water and oil did not mix, and that drops of paint fell slowly, like colorful rain, to the bottom of the glass. They learned that water, although they claimed otherwise at the beginning of the experiment, has a higher density than oil.

For the activity Melt, don’t melt! we prepared six glasses and sugar, salt, pebbles, soap, paper, eraser, and of course, water. The students added 100 ml of water to each glass, and sugar to the first glass, salt to the second, a piece of paper to the third, a pebble to the fourth, soap and a rubber to the fifth. After that, they observed what of the above dissolves in water and what does not.

For Hot or Cold activity! we prepared water, four glass cups, different food colors, a kettle. The students filled four glasses: one glass to the top with cold water, one glass to half cold and half hot water, one glass up to a quarter with cold water and three quarters with hot water and one glass to the top with hot water. Add a few drops of food coloring to all the glasses and watch what happens in the glasses. They concluded that the paint dissolves faster in hot water and became acquainted with the concept of diffusion, ie spontaneous mixing of substances with their environment.


For activity Thicker than you think! we prepared a larger glass, edible oil, water and honey. The students filled a glass with one third of honey, one third of water and one third of oil. They observed how three layers were formed, depending on the density. On the Internet, they found that the density of a physical quantity is characteristic of each substance and is equal to the quotient of the mass and volume of that substance.

The students enjoyed today’s activities and learned something new about water that they did not know until now. The activities of the international eTwinning project Full STEAM ahead were also carried out.

Data Science for Sustainable Development Goals

Data Science is undoubtedly one of the most popular research and application areas of today. The number of people who want to learn Data Science, which should be considered as an interdisciplinary field by its nature, is increasing day by day. The use of Eurostat data as a source in STEM Discovery Week 2021 is really impressive. The purpose of our project, which we call Data Science for Sustainable Development Goals, is Sustainable provided by Eurostat using data science. To explain the Sustainable Development Goals data by visualizing. Eurostat resources with the following links were used in the project. You can see the activity logo below!

There are 24 students between the ages of 14 and 17 in the study group. One third of the students are female students. All of the students are information technology students. Students have basic coding skills. They studied data science to understand Eurostat resources.

Continue reading



A plant needs water at every moment of its life cycle from germination to growth. Water is effective in seed germination, photosynthesis and growth of the plant.

The growth of a dehydrated plant slows down. If this situation continues for a long time, the plant may dry out.

Water is a vital substance for all living things in the world.

In this learning scenario, we want to design an irrigation system to prevent our plant from drying out while we are away.

In addition, we want to prevent water waste with this system.

Online meetings will be held with students on the zoom platform

This study will benefit from STEM education and the Science and Engineering design process.

Time: 4 lesson hours

Students’ Age: 12-13 years

Key Words: Plant, Growth, Irrigation Systems, Teamwork, Coding, STEM,

Continue reading

Spring STEM activities

Outcomes of domain B. Computer thinking and programming in the third grade students in the teaching of the elective subject of informatics fit into The 2021 STEM Discovery Campaign is a joint international initiative organized by Scientix that invites projects, organizations, libraries, schools, universities and youth clubs across Europe and around the world, to celebrate careers and studies in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

At the beginning of the class, the implementation of activities was agreed with the students, the students were divided into pairs and each pair participated in all the prepared activities (students were divided into pairs with the digital tool Machine name picker). During the work, they used the digital tool Classroom timer to determine the duration of each activity (eg ten minutes per activity, then switching pairs to the next activity).

They conducted the following digital and unplugged activities related to the upcoming Easter holiday:

Activity 1: coding bunny – students choose one of three programming games by arranging blocks of commands and thus help the rabbit to reach the carrot Google Rabbit, Rabbit Run or Carrot Chase, third graders now skillfully use applications with command blocks and distinguish sequence, repetition and branching

Activity 2: draw a bunny – In this unplugged activity, students draw a bunny by throwing a dice to determine which part of the suggested activity they will draw. In this activity, they used decision or branching in an interesting way (since they didn’t have dice, they used digital dice)

Activity 3: making graphic representations – students make a graph by counting the characters related to Easter like real little scientists (by counting different characters (bunnies, carrots, chickens) they fill the number of squares with colors and thus make a graph). They also counted the number of chocolate eggs by color and made a graphic presentation, and at the end of the class they sweetened themselves with chocolate eggs.

Activity 4: discover the code – in this activity students have to find eggs in a grid on paper (each of which contains one letter) and as a solution they were given the question “Where is the bunny?”. At the end of the class, the students looked for a chocolate bunny (he hid very well, but they still found him)

Activity 5: Easter pixel art – in this activity, the students “assembled” a picture of a rabbit or a chicken by coloring certain squares on paper with a certain color (instructions with column and row markings of that color). In this activity students have a drawing on paper that (each student one line) will make with sticks.

Activity 6: egg experiments – students in this activity make two experiments with water, salt and egg. They investigate why an egg floats in one glass of water and falls to the bottom of the glass in another. They are also investigating which of the two eggs is boiled and which is raw.

Activity 7: Easter sudoku – students solve a simple and complex sudoku task

The activities lasted for two hours, the last day of classes (live) before the Easter holidays, the students enjoyed all the activities.
Primary School Hugo Badalić, Slavonski Brod, Croatia