“No Dream is too far: The Rakia Mission as a bridge to SPACE & STEM”


The activity took place between April 4th and April 6th and further

Author: Stella Magid-Podolsky

This activity is a long-term activity and consists of three parts:

 1. An educational field trip of two hours for 7th grade students (100 students) to the “Check Point “company where they visited the control room of the “Rakia Mission” to Space a few days before Israel’s second Astronaut Eithan Stiva took off towards the International Space Station. The trip took place on April 4th. Twelve and thirteen old students participated in this activity

 2. A school activity about Space Careers at School. This is a 2 hours long activity which contains two lessons. During the first lesson there was a summary of our educational Field trip and during the second lesson students had an activity about SPACE careers (with an emphasis on Jessica Meir’s Female Astronaut career) . This activity was taught by me 4 times at 4 classes of 25 students.

 3. A Home activity during the Holidays-Keep Track of the Rakia Mission. The Rakia mission started on April 8th. Between April 7th and April 23rd Israeli students had their Passover Holidays, so they got a homework assignment to keep track of the Rakia Mission and report it to the teacher.

All students that took part in this activity had some previous knowledge about SPACE issues because two months prior the activity Israeli Space week was mentioned in Israel and all students had a Space activity where they played space games and solved spaced Trivia.

Israeli Apace week activities

The description of the activity:

  • Educational field trip: this activity took two hours. Students were exposed to the real control room of the Rakia Mission, watched a short movie about the Israeli second astronaut Eithan Stiva , learnt about the connection between first Israeli Astronaut Ilan Ramon (who died with all his crew 19 years ago while coming back  from Space to Earth on the Colombia shuttle) and Eithan Stiva. The two of them were friends and trained together. Stiva continued Ramon’s scientific experiment in Space that began 19 years ago. This experiment is about Lighting storm. Also, students were exposed to the 35 scientific experiments that Eithan Stiva was about to conduct in Space ( some of these scientific experiments were proposed by Israeli High school students and others scientific experiments which was proposed by universities and Research centers) and had an opportunity to do some experiments during their visit.
Students during their trip To Rakia Mission control room
The experiments that Eithan Stiva did in Space
Students make experiments during their visit to the Check Point company
  • A school activity about SPACE careers and summary of the visit to Rakia Mission Control Room

First lesson: This lesson was based on The STEM Alliance Guide for Schools http://www.stemalliance.eu/documents/99712/452773/Booklet+schools+PGB2S/315d1227-837f-46ad-adc2-f259dd79f437

After the Educational Field Trip: Collect feedback and impressions from students, it was converted to a classroom exchange activity. For example, students were invited to write down 2-3 things that they learned during the visit and share them with their peers. After that, we had an open discussion about our visit to the Check Point Company.

Second lesson about Space Careers:

This lesson was based on two resources:

*The STE(A)M IT Guidelines on how to present STEM jobs in classroom http://steamit.eun.org/guidelines-on-how-to-present-stem-jobs-in-classrooms/

Before the lesson, the teacher (me) prepared a story about a certain profession (Astronaut), The main character of the story is Jessica Meir (American female astronaut). I mentioned specific information about the profession through Jessica’s story, for example: • Who am I, what are my skills? • What are my advantages and disadvantages? • Where was I educated, what have I learned / done during schooling? • Where am I employed, what do the preparation for my workday looks like? • What my workday looks like? • What does my work environment look like?

After hearing the story about Jessica ( based on the following site:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgVDmVNB4Bg ), students are instructed to try to imagine themselves in the role of a character from the story (Jessica) that was read. They are then given a worksheet on which students use the SWOT analysis method to write impressions of the profession from the story from their perspective, for example:

 • Strengths – what are my characteristics that would make me good in this profession?

 • Weaknesses – are there any shortcomings to deal with this occupation that I could work on?

 • Opportunities – what are my goals, what would I get if I pursued this occupation?

• Threats – what challenges would I face if I pursued this profession?

Students who wished to do so shared their analysis in front of other students

The video about Jessica Meir
Students are exposed to Jessica’s Meir story

After this activity students were exposed to *The STEM Alliance / STE(A)M IT Career Sheets http://steamit.eun.org/category/stem-careers/

The class was divided into groups of 2-3 students. Each group had to find one career related to SPACE, discover it and then present it to their peers. The examples of such careers are:

Space psychologist, space mission specialist, Aeronautical meteorological technician….

A home activity

During the Passover holidays students had to keep track of Rakia Mission in space and participate at least in one virtual activity for students from International Space Station that was broadcast by Eithan Stiva. For example: Learning about lack of gravity, exposing to experiment about growing Humus in Space…..

Also, students had to report about their participation in the activity to the teacher (to me).

Learning outcomes from the activity: Students were very interested both in the Rakia Mission and in SPACE Careers. During one discussion students even discussed future SPACE careers that do not exist today. They made some suggestions and were asked to assume which profession could be real and which profession would stay “the fruit of their imagination”.

My advice to other teachers planning to introduce their students in STEM career orientation: Use the resources which are provided by STEM Alliance and STE(A)M IT project and create the framework short or long-term activity according to the cultural & scientific aspects of your country

Teaching outcomes: I really enjoyed organizing this activity. I think that the Educational field trip had a great contribution and impact on student’s interest and motivation to learn about the Rakia Mission and Space Careers. It was important to me to make a connection between a very important occasion for my country (the Rakia Mission) and a very important issue for my students-exposure for STEM careers in general and Space careers in Particular. May be, one day one of my students will be one of the Astronauts in SPACE or will have SPACE related Career….I have fulfilled my role as a teacher and my students will make their choice of Career in the future and I hope they will choose a career that will make them happy…..

STE(A)M Solution To Obesity Problem


We created an eTwinning project which to find solutions to the obesity problem and we implemented most of our lessons with distance education.The project also includes healthy living and quality education efforts that are included in sustainable development goals. https://sdgs.un.org/goals Because we wanted to increase students 21. century skills as critical thinking,collaboration, creativity,etc. We tried to explain Stem jobs as statisticians, computer programer, electronic engineering, etc.

SCIENCE : In science lesson Our project science teachers Arzu K.(İstanbul) and Eray B.(Samsun) tried to explain on healthy nutrition in the circulatory system and obesity.With distance learning students walked 1000 steps and create healthy plates.

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“The Circle of Water” based on STEAM. 2021 STEM Discovery Campaign.

This webinar was held on Tuesday, April 20th, attended by 50 teachers from kindergarten schools in Athens.https://blogs.sch.gr/3syn60-at3/

STEAM activities were presented based on this approved program from Greek Institution of Education Policy . School teachers from all over Greece, presented activities with science such as: experiments on water soluability,coagulation and melting, objects that float and sink into the water.

They also peresented activities with educational software such as kidspiration, and Cmap tools, regarding to circle of water. In STEM we also have engineering activities such as building a dam and mathematics with the water cycle. Art acitivities such as artistic creations, theatrical play and dramatization with the journey of water were part of the project. Subsequently, coding programs were presented on the water cycle with the robot bee bot and ways we can introduce this robot to kindergarten. For example, we answered questions about how we can introduce the robot into kindergarten? What steps should we take?

In the end, we commented in the 2021 STEM Discovery Campaign. For example:

What is STEM Discocery Campaign? How can I be part of this? What are the benefits for me and my students? Where can I find information about this Campaign?

Students make a difference the with STEM

Think sketch vector – The visual was provided by the Author – Attribution CC-BY

STEM teachers from nine schools in six different cities in Turkey we have come together. And 50 students. For Sustainable Development Goals. Our aim is to provide 21st century skills. We carried out this project together with 3 schools from İzmir, 2 schools from Ankara. With one school each from Manisa, Kütahya, Eskişehir and Kocaeli cities. So this was a country project.

In the I Design with STEM project, we improved our problem solving skills. Our students discovered STEM fields and produced projects.They took responsibility and learned to express their feelings. They found solutions to problems with their peers from different cities. And learned to use technology wisely. Because they really needed it.

Activities and Projects

Our students learned the web 2.0 tools. Made various collaborative activities while living in a meeting and social environment. Because we wanted students to make a difference with STEM.

In addition, we discussed different topics in STEM activities every month in our project. Topics included: Recycling, Energy Conversion and Design, Technologies for the Disabled.

We also formed mixed teams at each event. Teachers and students changed teams in every respect. Students designed original products for real life problems and to make life easier. As a result of this, we produced 15 different projects in 6 months with teams.

Students STEM projects that make a difference

Rainwater recycle system: We collected rainwater from the roofs of the houses. We also recycled the waste water that went to the sewer.

Shelf organizer: We produced more useful furniture with recycled materials.

Nature friendly and economical building: We designed an nature friendly house that generates electricity from waste.

Waste battery box: We recycled the batteries so that they do not harm the nature.

Garbage separation system: We designed a system that collects and separates garbage automatically.

Geological village: We have developed an environmentally friendly village system that produces everything on its own.

Solar lighting system: We provided lighting with solar channels for buildings that need daytime lighting.

Technological animal shelter: We built an unmanned and intelligent animal shelter.

Solar home heating system: We brought sunlight to all four parts of the house and provided heating.

Smart prosthetic arm: We said it should be more than just one hand.

Smart wheelchair: This wheelchair simply cannot fly. For now.

Playground for disabled children: We designed special parks and toys for children with disabilities.

Special bus for the disabled: We built a barrier-free bus.

Smart home system: An nature friendly and safe smart home. Who would not want that.

We learned science, tech, mathematics and engineering disciplines with real life problems. We exhibited student work examples on the website we prepared.

The pictures belong to the Author – Attribution CC-BY

Scientix Support for the Project

To support our project, Scientix Turkey Coordinator Dr. Tunç Erdal AKDUR and Scientix Ambassador Baki KARAKOÇ presented. From every city in Turkey for our presentation we had more than 300 participants. In this meeting, the work of teachers and students was introduced. We explained the project preparation techniques and STEM School Label application. Also our project was featured in the national and international press.

Partner and Article Author: Baki KARAKOÇ (Scientix Ambassador)

Founders: Fatma KARAKOÇ, Ahsen DOĞANAY

Project Partners:


Project Blog

Project Website

Apollo 21 mission and beyond…

Although the idea of the project arose in the previous academic year, it is being shaped now.

Apollo 21 Blogmasters Team: Flavia, Alejandra and Elena

One thing that is very important in the realization of a STE(A)M project are the connections that are made between students, teachers, educational community and external agents (scientists, institutions, companies, industries, etc.).

In the definition and design of a project, I like to draw a general guide that allows the natural growth of the project. Throughout the project new ramifications will arise, new ideas will be added and people will be added as collaborators and partners.

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