We’ve changed the way it rains

Learners involved: 1 class high school

Age from 14 to 15

Rising temperatures make the planet hotter and also knocked longstanding precipitation patterns off balance by altering how much water cycles between earth and the sky.

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Know the difference between wheather and clime
  • Analysis and comparing data visualizing
  • Elaborate a solution Nature Based (NBS)

Activities

The students start to work together observing whether of our country, Pomigliano D’Arco, a small town located 37m above sea level with a  warm and temperate climate.  Rains were particularly abundant and frequent in November and December by analyzing data collected by our meteorological station.  They observed that in the last 15 days of December 101.1mm of rain fell which is the same amount measured in the last year determining  (flooding) due to the inadequacy of collection systems. The excess flow rates discharged to the surface by the pressurized sewer can fill any depressions present on the ground, or flow-through preferential routes, creating a flow network that in urban areas affects roads, sidewalks, natural depressions and small streams. When rainfall is particularly intense, conditions of increased hydraulic risk are generated which impact people and infrastructures. The students understood that the reduction of permeable areas – reduction of vegetated areas – reduction of surface reservoirs is the problem.

Main results and conclusions

Highlights how the transition from agricultural land (natural cover) to a completely waterproofed surface (square, asphalted and/or cemented road, etc.) leads to a progressive reduction of the infiltration coefficient c. the. (represented by the amount of water that infiltrates in conjunction with meteoric precipitation) and an increase in the surface runoff d.s. (part of precipitation flowing to the surface).

Example of calculation

Asphalted surface – schoolyard c.i. = 15% d.s. = 55% (with peaks of up to 80%).

Agricultural land – adjacent cycle path c.i. = 50% r.a. = 10%

The increase in the size of surface runoffs is evident where the soil replaced by impermeable areas. It should be borne in mind that during particularly intense hourly rainfall (in the order of 70-80 mm / h) the urban drainage system can go into crisis, causing localized flooding that seriously impacts anthropogenic structures. The forecast implies that the amount of water that will fall in the coming years will be less and less, despite the damage from flooding, floods … have been growing in recent times.We can give an explanation to all this, saying that on days when it rains, the rain is very intense, which cannot be disposed of by the current sewage works.

The students use the NBS  methodology  elaborate a project on infrastructures, correlating nature and the urban environment. The idea is to create urban drainage channels able to drain excess rainwater along the edges of the roads (Figure ).

Sweety STEAM Project – Chocolate Challenge

This activity is part of the Etwinning Project “Sweety STEAM”. The Project is carried out in partnership of 13 teachers from different countries. Throughout the project, we carried out monthly activities. The February activity is mainly organised for the STEM Discovery Challenge using the Scientix Repository Resource “The Chocolate Challenge. Quantitative sensory evaluation of food”. Here, in this blog, we want to tell about our project “Sweety STEAM”, and also the resource we selected from Scientix Resource Repository.

Authors : Zeynep Kalıncı & Fatma Uludağ

Student Age: 10 – 13

Subjects : Literature, English as a Foreign Language, Arts, Science, Mathemathics

Partner Schools

  1. Zeynep Kalıncı – Ahmet Taner Kışlalı Secondary School (TURKIYE)
  2. Fatma Uludağ- Şahinde Hayrettin Yavuz Science And Art Center (TURKIYE )
  3. Manuela Ortigão -Escola Secundária de Gondomar -(PORTUGAL)
  4. Elbi Yordam -Selimiye Secondary School (TURKIYE)
  5. Elif Fergane- Hürriyet Secondary School (TURKIYE)
  6. Mehtap Öz- Prof. Dr. Şaban Teoman Duralı Science and Arts Centre (TURKIYE)
  7. Dilek Sevinç -Kilis Science and Art Center (TURKIYE)
  8. Danijela  Erceg – Primary School Manuš,Split (CORATIA)
  9. Bekir Bora Atalay – Şehit Fatih Sultan Karaaslan Anatolian I. Hatip (TURKIYE)
  10. Pınar Emre Arslan – Konak Science and Arts Center (TURKIYE)
  11. Murat Şahin -Fethiye Science and Art Centre (TURKIYE)
  12. Yeliz Güdül -700. Yıl Osmangazi Secondary School
  13. Slađana Boričić – OŠ”Dr Arčibald Rajs”- (SERBIA)

Objectives:

  • Improve students interest in STE(A)M subjects (science, technology, engineering, math )
  • Develop students problem solving skills
  • Develop students literacy skills
  • Improve students foreign language skills (listening / writing)
  • Improve students science skills (4 basic tastes, melting and freezing, graphic interpretation)
  • Improve students art skills
  • To create an enjoyable learning environment at school
  • Integrate STEM and literacy to give students the confidence to explore STEM topic
Author’s own image

Abstract: At the beginning of this project students read a fantasy novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which is one of the best selling childrens’ books. Following the reading activity, students fulfilled a series of STE(A)M challenges integrated with literature because we wanted to arouse the curiosity of children and to create an opportunity to develop students interest in STE(A)M education.

Project Activities

First Month Activities

First, children read the novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Secondly, we applied the Book Review Kit at the British Council Public Website. Students did listening and matching activity under the preparation part in the page and then applied the Worksheet for the writing activity.

Lastly, students did a reading and drawing activity. They depicted what happened in the novel or a particular scene. We used the best student drawings from each partner and we created a common art magazine. Click on the link below to see our collaborative work.

Art Magazine

Second Month Activities

At the beginning of the activity we asked the students: Would you like to open your own chocolate factory like Willy Wonka? Following that, the students learned how to make chocolate. During this activity, the students experienced solid-melt-solid.

Author’s own image

Further, we carried out a student discussion using some questions. For instance:

Question 1

Discuss what temperature does chocolate melt at? (Answers received: average 32-34 degrees C, a little bit lower than your body temperature, that’s why it can melt in your mouth)

What factors cause a chocolate melt or become solid? 

Question 2

Tasting chocolate – How does chocolate taste? 

Students gave answers and talked about 4 basic tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter). After that, students explored the tongue map, so they learned how different parts of the tongue have different sensory receptors for different tastes.

Author’s own image

Question 3

Discuss if melting and freezing a physical or chemical change.

Afterwards, students examined the graphic below and answered: ‘What can be interpreted from the data?’

Author’s own image

Students used twinspace forums, so that they could note down their answers. In this way, they could see each others’ answers. Web 2.0 tools, such as Padlet, can be used for the same purpose.

Finally, we joined the STEM Discovery Campaign Challenge. Thanks to the Scientix Resource Repository, we found and selected an enjoyable resource that matches our project theme, titled “Chocolate Challenge”. Here is the link for this resource: Chocolate Challenge

Author’s own image.

As a result, we could manage to complete a series of activities in an interdisciplinary way around the same theme. Moreover, we had the opportunity to embed Scientix in Etwinning Projects. It was a great experience for all partners because ‘STEAM has never been so sweet!’

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.

XIAOYI

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.

STEM FOR RACE (STAND WITH UKRAINE)

https://stemaddie.blogspot.com/

STEM refers to a process where we produce solutions to daily life problems beyond interdisciplinary work in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Therefore, it is our most important responsibility to be with our students when they face the problems of daily life.

Our most important problem today is that our colleagues and children in Ukraine are being persecuted before the eyes of the world.

As the STEM Applications With ADDIE Project team, we asked our students a daily life problem. They told us about the invasion of Ukraine. When we asked what kind of a solution we could come up with, they said that we could build a bridge that would save them and support them.

Based on this great idea, we built bridges of love, peace, and friendship from our countries to Ukraine with the participation of many European countries.

With an international and intercultural perspective, our students experience both the happiness of working with each other and the pride of producing solutions to problems.

Analyzing the problem and producing alternative solutions in problem-solving processes is the most important skill to be taught today.

With this activity, our students did not only do a STEM activity but also a peace movement. It was very important to be able to write peace to their small hearts and big ideas with such a job.

Our project not only developed a training program but also carried out important studies in STEM discovery week activities by producing solutions to problems in cooperation. We just wanted to share the bridge of friendship with you.

Wishing for a world where friendship and peace prevail…

Meet a Phylogenetic Plant Ecologist Researcher

Many times, when STEM professionals go back to school in order to share their professional experience, they focus on the characteristics of their work, their everyday routine or the skills they have learned to carry out their work. But, it is also really important to know the impact of their profession on our daily lives. In many cases, it’ s easy to understand, although sometimes it is worth making an effort to explain it. For example, STEM professionals who are involved in scientific research.

The students of IES Blas Infante in Cordoba, Spain, have had the opportunity to hear the experience of Rafael Molina, Biology PhD.

The activity with this STEM professional have been planed for 4th year secondary school students. These pupils are between 15 and 16 years old and they have to choose an educational itinerary for the last two years of secondary education. So this activity has been organised as part of the academic orientation plan to show them STEM careers.

Rafael Molina explained the importance of knowing the evolution of the vegetal species and the characteristic ecosystem of each area around the world and their relationship with human well-being. But he also shared his professional experience from a different point of view, although shared with many other STEM careers: scientific research. Many of our students don’t know what research work exactly is and how important it is for our society to generate scientific knowledge in all fields of study.

For this reason, Rafael shared his professional experience and explained the importance of keeping the research process alive. He told us about a work in the field of Biology that was carried out in the 1960s analysing a group of bacteria living in hot thermal waters of the Yellowstone Natural Park. With this example, he showed us that, although in those years this study may not have had much importance, later it would be of considerable help to everyone. Even if it were carried out now, we might think that it is something that is not very important. But on the other hand, he explained the importance that the development of this study had for the development of something that all students are familiar with today: PCR tests for the detection of COVID-19.

This made us understand that the importance of carrying out scientific research work does not mean that a great discovery will be made at that moment, but to contribute to the necessary and constant generation of scientific knowledge, which is what has always helped the development of our society. Likewise, keeping this knowledge and making society understand that everything is based on scientific evidence helps to avoid the fake news that generates so much controversy in our society. He explained what scientific publications are, what they are based on and what a publication process is like, trying to make it clear that it is necessary to check the information and always use reliable sources.

More information about his research: https://rafmolven.wixsite.com/rafmolven/about-me