Circles in a Dreamcatcher

“The subject of Mathematics is so serious that should we not pass on an opportunity to make it more interesting” – said famous French philosopher, writer, physicist, and mathematician Blaise Pascal. The best tool to accomplish this is art while the most important resource is the Europeana portal – it stores so many treasures it’s hard to count! My lesson plan focuses on studying circles and their elements, features, and properties. To make the learning process as effective as possible, we use the theory behind chemical and physical processes relating to paint, engineering constructions that relate to the properties of circles, and exciting coding that allows student to create fascinating patterns with circles.

Mathematics and art are connected in different ways. Mathematics itself has been described as an art motivated by beauty. Mathematics can be distinguished in such arts as painting, architecture, sculpture, and so on. The content of this educational scenario focuses on mathematics in the  visual arts.

Often great artists in their works used geometric shapes to enhance thought, to express a philosophical vision of the world, to more clearly convey their thoughts and experiences. Geometric shapes in the composition perform two functions: highlighting the main and combining elements of the image. That is why the resources of Europeana, which show the connection between science and art, are useful, important and necessary.

According to the curriculum, seventh graders begin to learn geometry. Which is difficult for them, because children are not yet very well developed spatial vision. Therefore, when learning complex and fundamental geometric concepts, in particular, such as a circle, it is necessary to give children information about its meaning and importance in everyday use, art, environment. And here the resources of Europeana are best suited. After all, children search in a safe environment, work with primary sources, get acquainted with the world’s artistic heritage, learn.

This learning scenario combines the teaching of mathematics with the fine arts. This activity also takes place in conjunction with the study of artistic culture, based on Europeana resources. This learning scenario is integration between project learning, STEM and distance learning. Students implement mathematical knowledge to learn about cultural heritage, and vice versa, they test mathematical  knowledge based on cultural  heritage.  And all this is happening with the active use of fine arts.  Students search for information in Europeana’s cultural heritage collections and create digital content, drawings based on problems and solutions they have developed using digital cultural heritage materials found in Europeana.

This interdisciplinary lesson aims to:

  • Motivating students to search for information and knowledge about cultural heritage on the Europeana portal
  • Checking the mathematical knowledge of students
  • Development of creativity and innovation of students, flexibility and adaptability and problem-solving skills
  • Development  of  students’  critical  thinking  through  the  creation  of  drawings  for  the  formation  of  their  geometric representations

The aim of this lesson is that students take an active part in solving problems with geometric concepts, outside the traditional way of learning. In addition, the added value is that the proposed tasks are based on cultural heritage materials, as they focus on the links between history, art, fashion and mathematics.

An interdisciplinary approach helped us combine the lesson with STEM and integrate it into our school curriculum.

I planned my learning scenario using distance learning technologies, because Ukraine is currently at war. Therefore, it is not possible to conduct lessons in an educational institution. The lessons included students who came from the occupied territories, as well as students who study in this class and are currently abroad.

Participants were able to use and access the platform Europeana, geogebra, mentimeter, Padlet, as well as learn to create a digital presentation and exhibition. Participants increased their interest, knowledge, creativity and research of works of art and ways of working in Europeana with real works of art and digital instruments. Participants were able to work in a team, use their critical thinking about the past and present and compare information on a particular topic. Participants were able to learn how the project works, what stages need to be passed and what material can be obtained used to create it. Participants were able to add their own ideas and support their opinions, as well as observe how others create and comment on their work. And finally – they were convinced that mathematics is the key to knowledge, the basis of the basics, its study is fascinating, informative and extremely important

I believe that it is worthwhile for children to hold such classes, even at such a difficult time. This allows students to develop, learn, move forward.

STEM Education vs Traditional Education

Author: Alketa Barjami

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…

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