For the third year, High School of Math and Science Kyustendil joins the STEM Discovery Campaign initiative. This year the focus is on student projects, which are an example of real application of what has been learnt in the field of mathematics, technology, science and engineering. We present in the form of a virtual demonstration/online lecture the best projects of students from our school. We used Google Site and thematically arranged projects, related to the tagline for this year’s campaign –Sustainability and Citizenship.
All projects are winners in different categories in the national competition “Looking for super STEM Bulgaria”, as well as other national competitions.
The resources from the Scientix Repository of resources helped us to implement the activity (online and in-class). We used the CODING IN STEM EDUCATION brochure, which can be found here: http://www.scientix.eu/resources/details?resourceId=23114. “What does a robot have to do with environmental protection?” “How do you remote control a model ship using a smartphone?” “How can you program a ‘pet’?” “IT is everywhere and coding offers many possibilities for exciting and relevant lessons” – just to name a few topics investigated in the brochure.
Teachers from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Slovakia and Croatia came up with 5 rules, discovering the Power of Water, Earthquake Resistant to Design Houses. Parıltı designs a new generation recycle bin. Glitz Helps Bees. We created the stories through joint product studies with students. According to the Problem situation determined in the story with our Project Partners, our Joint 4 Plans include the main theme of Sustainability and Citizenship in the best way. We implemented our plans with pleasure.
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?
Nature makes my day e-Twinning project which has been running since November presents a simple yet powerful model of how to raise awareness among students about the importance of nature in our lives and motivate them to become responsible citizens actively involved in the preservation and protection of our natural environment. Within the project we have organized an one-month activity by creating March with STE(A)M Challenge and by taking part in it.
March with STE(A)M Challenge
The March with STE(A)M Challenge aims to engage students in real-world STEM problems by learning how to think scientifically and critically when observing the world around them. The activity was design as a hands-on personalized learning opportunity for students to develop a variety of skills needed for them to be successful in their future careers: problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, curiosity, decision making, information literacy, technology literacy, flexibility, leadership.
We prepare an eTwinning project with Science subjects with 12 different schools. The project aims to increase our students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and to provide a more qualitative integration of STEM disciplines.
Why should we choose the environment in STEM education?
We live in the world, and we are the only creatures that harm the environment. We want students to realize this and find solutions to existing problems.
These environmental problems can occur suddenly or as a result of the development of many processes. Do our children have problem-solving skills? Will they be able to solve the problems they face? For these reasons, we put the environment and pollution at the center of our project. If the students are raised as conscious, solution-finding, and environmentally sensitive people, both new problems can be prevented and old ones can be solved. Their knowledge of STEM can help them solve real-life problems of daily life.
With the work done for the project implementation, we expect our students will:
develop their scientific thinking skills;
understand the correlation between mathematics and science.
learn that they have many options to solve the problems they see in their environment;
understand the nature of science and develop their skills in using ICT tools;
develop the ability to produce alternative solutions to problems with simple materials
use engineering design processes to solve a problem they encounter
With the STEM plan of our project, we used the disciplines of mathematics, science, art, engineering and ICT together in the environmental activity.
One of our subjects is the environment. In doing so we made a STEM lesson plan and all partners use it. One discipline is math. Students collected the daily waste in their homes separately as glass, plastic, organic, and paper. They measured the daily usage in grams and converted it into kilograms. They gathered the weekly, monthly and annual amounts as the project team of all schools and created a chart. When the days and people have shown this activity, the amount that comes out becomes very large.
One discipline is science. Students search about fungus and bacterias. They learned to make compost with organic waste. All students made compost.
Art is in our plan. We organized a competition to build a robot from our waste to learn about reuse. We voted the winner and made that robot the project mascot.
Champion of the reusing competition
For ICT students prepare games and played them.
For engineering They engineered drip irrigation systems to reduce water use. At the same time, they created a virtual exhibition from the irrigation systems and posters they prepared.
Environmental awareness of our students, who are our future in environmental problems, has increased. Problem-solving skills improved.
They have become more enthusiastic about recycling and reuse.
About the author: Selda Topal – Secondary school teacher |Dumlupınar BİLSEM Afyonkarahisar/Turkey