Natural structures consisting of living and non-living elements living in a certain area and constantly interacting with each other are called ecosystems. The ecosystem consists of two elements. These are living things and non-living things. The living elements that concern us are producers, consumers, and decomposers. The richness of the creatures living in a region in terms of variety and number is called biodiversity.
Biodiversity is an important part of the ecosystem. In short, all living species living in a region constitute the biological diversity of that region.
During the pandemic period, our students stayed at their homes and their technology addiction increased. I aimed for our students to go out of their homes to get rid of their technology addiction and to stay away from crowded environments and pay attention to the diversity of life in their natural environment. In our project assignment, students will go out of their homes and take pictures of plants and animals in their gardens, neighborhoods or villages, and present examples of biodiversity.
I adapted the LS according to ourselves and the pandemic rules and gave my students a project assignment.
Students should be motivated to take pictures creatively. It should also present a biological phenomenon in a way that other students can gain new insights. The captured photographs will serve as a tool for discovering biological variation and should consist not only of beautiful images, but images that meet the biological content well. At the end of the project, students will make a presentation with the pictures they have taken on ecosystem and biodiversity.
Students’ age: 12 (Grade 6)
Duration: 15.03.2021 – 15.04.2021 (1 month)
Any camera technology can be used to take pictures. Use what is available. Cameras from mobile phones and tablets are the most available and have good quality. The lens is fixed but normally a digital zoom can be used. Old style compact cameras are very good because they normally come with a zoom lens which help to explore different framings more easily.
Title selection, sources of speech
Developing and planning the content in accordance with the purpose
Using clear, understandable language – Choosing words that fit the context
Using connecting sentences in parts of speech and slide transitions
Compliance with Powerpoint Presentation Preparation Rules-‘General Principles’
Summing up the subject at the end of the narration
Eye communication and use of body language – Ensuring the participation of the listeners
Compliance with the time allocated for speaking
The restrictions came again due to the pandemic. Schools are closed again. Students could not make their presentations. Assessment will be made after presentations.
Noise is considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the second biggest environmental problem in Europe, after air pollution by particles. Its impact on health is proven, causing discomfort, stress, sleep problems, impaired cognitive abilities and even cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. In this lesson plan, students will learn that sound is a wave and behaves like one. They will also know that if the sound is excessive it becomes noise, which can constitute an air pollution crime. Finally, students will make a noise map of their town to analyse which areas are the loudest and what prevention and correction measures could be used to reduce those levels.
This lesson plan has been carried out face to face. However, this can be done online with equal success. This learning scenario was implemented with 6 groups of 20 students each, aged between 12 and 14 years, from February 8th to 23th.
All the visuals belong and were provided by the Author – Attribution CC-BY
1st session A member of the local police visited the classroom. Explained to students that they sometimes got calls from people who complain about excessive noise. The policeman explained that there are noise levels that if you exceed it, it is a crime. He described what they do when they receive these types of calls and showed them a sound level meter and how it works with ambient noises or the sound of the class change bell. The students talked about whether they have ever had noise problems with their neighbours, which are the loudest areas of the town, and it is decided to make a noise map.
3rd session (Music class) Teacher explained the concepts of pitch and timbre in musical instruments. Students learned to identify an instrument’s timbre using the examples of Musical-U website. After that, the teacher showed them how to distinguish pitch from timbre with the same website. Teacher told them that sometimes sounds, musical or not, can be annoying and then they turn into noise. Students, who already knew how noise is measured, tried to carry out noise measurements by the school (playground, corridors…) with the mobile applications Sound Meter for Android or Sound Meter-Simple Detector for IOS. They took note of the measurements obtained to know the noisiest areas of the school.
5th and 6th sessions (Biology classes) In the computer room, students were divided into 10 groups and each group will make a noise map: Wednesday and one Saturday at different times: 8 – 12 – 16 – 20 and 24h. The teacher gave a town city map (A3 size) to each group and a key map. Students transfered the measurements to the map and painted the area according to the given key map. Students laminated the maps and reflected on which areas of their city are loudest, in which timetable the most noise were detected, and whether there were a difference between the days of the week at the same time. They proposed which real noise prevention and correction measures should be taken in these areas.
2nd session (Physics class) In the computer room, the teacher explained that when a vibration or disturbance originated in a source or focus propagates through space produces a wave. Teacher showed them the characteristics of a wave (amplitude, wavelength, period and frequency) using an Interactive Physics Simulations from oPhysics website. Then the teacher told them that the sound is a longitudinal wave that propagates at 340 m/s in the air. Students searched the Internet for objects or forms of energy that move slower and faster than sound. They wrote their examples on a Padlet previously prepared by the teacher. Students reflected on what they found. The teacher sent homework to find information on supersonic planes.
4th session (Biology class) In the computer room, teacher asked which the loudest areas of the school were, according to his measurements the other day. Students discussed what the reason of these results is. Teacher explained that noise is a type of air pollution that can cause health problems, and shows the different health disorders it can produce, and the effects about living things. Students wrote in a collaborative Lino wall what prevention and correction measures could be adopted. The teacher presented the noise map as a prevention measure. So they visited England Noise and Air Quality Viewer from Extrium, to see how a noise map is, and students look for the level of sound in an English city. Teacher proposed to do a noise map of their town. They knew how to use the mobile applications (Sound Meter for Android or Sound Meter-Simple Detector for IOS) to measure noise, so they can do it at home. Measurements were made one Wednesday and one Saturday at different times: 8 – 12 – 16 – 20 and 24h, in order to compare working and not-working days, and different times. The measurements were recorded in an Excel shared through Google Drive, where the address where each measurement was taken also appeared.
Our students had no problems working face to face as we are currently doing so despite all the measures taken by the coronavirus crisis. Our students gave us feedback and they have discussed the lessons following a questionnaire designed for this purpose. The most important conclusions were:
Most students did not know that noise can constitute an air pollution crime.
The activities they liked the most were the local police visit, to make the noise map and the Sound Meter Apps.
All the students think that the contents have been presented in an interactive and attractive way, and their participation has been favoured.
Most students believe that everyone should know about noise and their consequences and what they have learned from this experience is useful.
The students consider that the most useful thing they have learned is that we can all contribute to taking care of our town.
To further enhance their learning experience, they propose inviting an experts on the subject to learn more about waves and sound first-hand.
None of them has had trouble understanding the lesson plan.
Our students now know more about waves, sound and noise. However, the most important thing we have achieved with our students it is that they are aware of the need to involve the entire community to improve well-being and quality of life. Thanks to this experience, the students know that noise is a real problem and that it exists in our town. To enhance the lesson plan, the data could be digitized, reaching more people.
It is very gratifying to teach students something that they do not know and that we consider very important for our wellbeing. In addition, students have seen our content not as something isolated, but as something related and complementary to other subjects.
Dioramas: Any relative constructive material provided by the art teacher
Optional: Lego – Lego EV3 – Lego Spike prime
The specific learning scenario aims at introducing students to science, scientists and scientific thinking by using a different teaching approach. It attempts to dispel myths and stereotypes pertaining to the above-mentioned fields and create the conditions so that science becomes a familiar framework for all students. On understanding that science contributes to all kinds of human activities, the students will intuitively realize that scientific thinking and science have contributed and still do to the evolution of humanity and really define the cultural context of each era. To achieve these specific targets, the scenario uses the Nature of Science approach (NOS) and focuses on knowledge about science which includes “understanding the nature of science as a human activity and the power and limitations of scientific knowledge” (OECD 2012 – European Commission 2017).
The students are introduced to a very old, different era and start to understand human thinking by tracing the first steps taken by mankind. They are asked to go back in time to that era and not only offer solutions to problems of the time but also to compare their solutions to those given by the people living back then.
By taking part in activities, in an interdisciplinary context, the students cooperate using imagination, come to decisions or construct objects as a team and each member contributes creatively to the decisions or creations with his personal active participation (Cooperative Learning). During the different steps of the scenario, the students are asked to observe, gather, combine and analyze data from conditions given to them (Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE)). Furthermore, they are asked to solve open problems and answer real-life questions by applying divergent thinking, and using their knowledge, experiences, critical thinking and creative abilities (Problem Based Learning). They work in teams interacting with each other as well as with the content and the new information given to them which they gradually start acquiring (Content and Language Integrated Learning – CLIL).They collect information by themselves and by analyzing factors are led to group conclusions and findings that are announced in the plenary of the class (Flipped Classroom). Dealing with situations which demand better communication, interaction and critical thinking, the students gradually build on their previous personal knowledge and become increasingly better at solving problems (Project Based Learning).They build up their knowledge through constructions using analytic-synthetic thinking (DIY Science) and can then convey what they learned to the others (Collective Learning). A positive consequence is that they develop strategies which contribute to their learning how to learn (Metacognition).
During these procedures, the students intuitively comprehend (through comparison with early humans) that science constitutes a human endeavor, based on acquiring knowledge, its’ consequences are inextricably linked to technology and define the level of a civilization. A very important fact is that the students, resort to deeper thinking, set up their own scientific community, learn how to talk about scientific subjects using arguments and thus develop scientific literacy (OECD 2015). They acquire 21st century skills and can recall and use them in decision-making on everyday situations so that they become responsible citizens and can make informed decisions for the future of mankind.
Nature of Science (NOS): To dispel myths and stereotypes related to science, scientists and technology. To define science as human endeavour and process
Scientific Literacy: To explain phenomena scientifically. To recognize, offer and evaluate explanations for a range of natural and technological phenomena. To describe and appraise scientific investigations and propose ways of addressing questions. To analyze and evaluate data, claims and arguments in a variety of representations and draw appropriate scientific conclusions
Physics: To understand how weather conditions are formed and how they affect our living environment. To understand how friction brings about an increase in temperature
History: To become familiar with a certain period of prehistory called “Stone age” and its subdivisions. To realize how archaeologists interpret findings so as to reach conclusions.
Biology: To compare similarities and differences between human and animals with regard to their anatomy. To explain the important role that nutrition played in the evolution of the human body and in thinking
Technology: To realize that observation and application of processes (basic elements of science) produce and develop results those meet people’s needs (Technology – Tools). To also realize that the basic algorithmic process is the primary step in the case of coding. (Robotics – EV3 or Spike Prime)
Ecology: To understand that biodiversity is predominant in nature, in fauna and flora that it depends on certain conditions. To perceive that evolution of any species, including humans, depends on natural selection
Art History: To get to know that cave painting was the first attempt of humans to produce a symbolic language in their attempts to express and communicate their’ experiences. To also realize that the application of various techniques and colors indicates the evolution of thought itself
Art: To Imagine themselves as early humans painting landscapes. To design presentations and enrich them graphically. To use scale to construct dioramas about the stone age period.
Engineering: To analyze the reasons why the wheel wasn’t invented during that period despite the great need for relocation (limitation of science). To design and construct shelters as well as to design the most suitable proper location and topographical view of a stone-age city. To make constructions using Lego bricks following instructions
Natural Science: To become familiar with agricultural processes by extracting and planting seeds and growing edible products (flowers)
Mathematics: To apply analogies to manage plants use. To apply geometry and shape properties to construct shelters. To apply geometry and scales so as to design a city.
Τhe learning scenario was designed and implemented by the teachers and students of “Science Culture Educational Center “Aristotelio” – STEAM Academy”.
The design process of this learning scenario, time-consuming though it may be, has given us, the teachers, the unique opportunity to constructively cooperate on all levels. By delving into different educational methodologies and through the discovery of new educational approaches, we have creatively enriched and further developed the scenario. Above all, however, it helped us significantly with the positive feedback of our teaching practice as a whole.
The learning scenario has been implemented on and evaluated by students of different age groups and in particular from 6 to 12 years old. The purpose of the implementation was not only to accurately determine the age group which would more likely benefit from the scenario but also to possibly enrich it with more specialized activities.
During the implementation, it was concluded that students of all ages liked working collaboratively and each one of them was able to contribute to the produced work using his personal experiences, knowledge, abilities and skills. Furthermore, all the students liked the interdisciplinary approach to the subject as they understood the interdependence of learning and acquiring knowledge with the help of different fields. This multilevel approach was what helped them intuitively comprehend that solving open everyday problems asks for analysis, data processing and critical thinking.
What is more, it has been observed that young students (6-8 years-old), had difficulty understanding time sequence in the distant past. To this age group, the past is one and uniform and that is why they are not able to understand time sequence. This age group, together with the 8-10 year-olds, had trouble dealing with the nature of science and coming up with satisfactory answers to these specific issues. Some of the activities (shelter and settlement construction) were found to be quite demanding for them.
On the other hand, the 10-12 age groups managed to respond really well to all the demands of the scenario and achieved extremely high rates in solving the open problems. An equally important fact is that they worked collaboratively and developed the skills of scientific analysis, data processing as well as scientific argumentation, which have rendered them scientifically literate and have offered them the abilities needed to evolve into responsible citizens.
During 26 – 28 April 2021 the scenario implemented online with 10 – 12 years old students. Given the circumstances the original learning scenario had to be adapted as the activities related to constructions and the activity of robotics could not be carried out online by the students. However, the adaptation of the learning scenario did not make it difficult for the students to achieve the learning outcomes as the other activities were largely enriched with differentiated material which can be presented online.
School: 11th lyceum Peristeriou, Athens, Greece Organiser: Glykeria Gkouvatsou Age of students: 16-17 Implementation time: March 2021
Although research on sustainability and climate change usually revolve around fuels, industry waste, plastic usage, deforestation it seems that clothes have also come up “on stage”. This is due to the fact that the environmental impact of the fashion industry gets more and more crucial. The EU is committed to taking action to limit global warming in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement. Thus a new Action Plan promotes sustainable use of resources in sectors with high environmental impact, such as textiles. This is because fashion industry’s carbon impact has proved to be bigger than airline industry’s.
Our main aim of this collaborative project has been to provide students with the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) linking school with everyday life issues; to raise awareness of the impact their daily choices, as apparel consumers, have on the environment and hopefully to change attitudes. It is examined from an environmental and socio-economic perspective, also covering english language learning, ethics and STEM issues in an interdisciplinary approach.
As an EFL teacher, based on a national textbook unit about clothes, I made an effort to urge my upper high school students towards some further research. In collaboration with teachers of Chemistry, Informatics and Biology we set a goal: track the life cycle of a piece of cloth in 5 stages and its impact on the environment from many aspects. Then it was our duty to engage the whole school community in an environmentally friendly initiation.
Due to the pandemic restrictions the activities were carried out while applying distant teaching/learning, online, both synchronously and asynchronously. For our online meetings we used the Webex application offered by the authorities to state schools. We used google drive shared docs/ppts/xls, either for presentation or collaboration purposes. We also used e class and wiki for curation purposes and several online free tools for production. The use of Arduino is left to be done onsite now that distant teaching/learning is over for upper high schools.
At the age of 16-17 students may consider they know all about environmental issues. So the introductory questionnaire they fill in gives the first reason to start doubting and questioning. Also they seem to be rather uninterested in the text presented in the EFL textbook. A short youtube video presented while screen sharing was enough to trigger their curiosity. The use of the KWL (Know -Want to know- Learned) chart is a great way to highlight their gaps and track their progress as well. What they enjoy most is collaborating in groups in the break-out rooms provided by the application.
The pedagogical value
My students managed to connect STEM issues and knowledge acquired with the real world challenges and their everyday habits. We managed to raise their curiosity about STEM professions and their importance in our wellbeing, though they did not have time to search this field extensive. We integrated STEM in a creative approach, interdisciplinary examining a theme from various angles. Besides the Project-Based Learning applied encouraged students’ collaboration; working in break out rooms during online synchronous sessions was significantly contributed to self-efficacy.
Our students need to feel they design their own learning path; they get easily bored with material ready made to memorise or topics that seem irrelevant to their everyday life or to the world they now live. The use of hands-on activities are always more attractive than theory; visual elements especially videos seem to be more effective for this generation than texts. What is more, in a world more consuming than ever before and when a piece of apparel might cost less than a take away meal it is necessary for our students to know about the harmful sequences of their consuming habits. Finally we should seriously consider the fact that our students are really fond of being the inspiration themselves!
Teacher and School: Gülümser Şentürk Akkoyun– Meram Şehit Pilot Ayfer Gök Middle School – Konya / Turkey
Student Age: 13 -14 years
Number Of Students: 16
Formal Teacher Lecture, Analogy, Demonstration Method, Lecture, Discussion, Question and Answer, Problem / Problem-Solving, brainstorming.
Productive, Respectful to Self Values, Rational, Questioning, Creative, Complying with Ethical Rules, Sensitivity to the Environment, Managing Knowledge, Working Independently, Critical Thinking, Working in Teams.
This lesson plan includes STEM, NBS-PBS models. It is an ecological, renewable, nature friendly urban design for sustainable development. Students made original designs and worked collaboratively. Plan purpose; to create ecological life with renewable energy sources for a livable world. It is about transforming energy and building biomimic structures. Coding, we used 3D Tinkercad and Arduino. We followed the Hybrid Education system with web 2 tools for distance education.