STEM professionals go back to school to motivate vocations

The students of IES Blas Infante, in Cordoba (Spain), in the 4th year of Compulsory Secondary Education have been lucky enough to enjoy an online talk by three professionals in the STEM field in our city to motivate professional vocations

All the students who have attended are studying a Science and Technology pathway and these types of activities aim to motivate vocations both within and outside the STEM field. When we develop a STEM project at school, we try to bring different approaches in order to develop different skills, not just those associated with science and technology.For example, by carrying out STEM projects we try to encourage languages skills or abilities related to the world of art or graphic design. Our point of view is that the development of STEM projects should help to motivate any type of vocation.The STEM field is characterised by its transversality, and this helps us to develop skills applicable to any other field.

In order to continue working on this idea, a talk has been organised in which we have been privileged to have a professor and researcher in Physics from the University of Cordoba, a Doctor in Chemistry who works for the municipal water management company and a computer programmer who designs cars for videogames.

The picture is the author’s own – (Attribution CC-BY)
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Som 100tífiks!!! (We are scientists)

Author: Mercedes Saludes

Science competition for 13 to 18 year-old students, created by Albert Caminal, Rosa Figuera and Mercedes Saludes.  INS Font del Ferro – Palafolls (Barcelona)

During these days of coronavirus lockdown, teaching physics and chemistry online has been hard for everybody: a lot of formulas and graphs, abstracts and difficult concepts to understand, just to name a few challenging situations.

Knowing my students love lab work, I decided to prepare experiments to do at home, in order to make their homework more attractive and to help to understand some key concepts. For this, we needed to create a lab classroom at home. So, I prepared a questionnaire to find out what materials students had available at home so these could be used as lab material. Then, I looked for videos and gathered different ideas about building objects or carrying experiments related to the topics we are working in class.

I talked to my colleagues about my intention in taking part in an experimentation video competition by levels. They also were very enthusiastic about the idea and we started to work.

We created a competition called “Som 100tífiks”. The title means “we are scientists”. I wanted to play with the main word to make the name more attractive. In 100tífiks “100” stands for the number “cien” in Spanish (very similar to the part of the word “scien”) and I replaced the final “c”  with a “k” in attempt to imitate our students casual writing style.

The competition consisted of creating a short, fun, creative and scientifically rigorous video about experiments that we have previously proposed. Students had to use recycled materials, buying new items was not allowed.

To help them organize themselves, we created a Google Classroom. There, they could find a number of different resources, such as tutorials, videos and notes related to the topic and it also worked as delivery and repository place.

To promote the video competition we designed a poster, published a post in the high school web and sent emails to all our students.

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