Improve Students’ Competence With STEM Challenges Related To SDGs

Author: Zeynep Ceren ÇİFTSÜREN

I work in a rural school where students come from immigrant families. The parents’ economic level is usually very low. The majority of my students don’t have technological tools (computers, laptops,etc.) at home. Even though most of my students’ families have smartphones, they do not have a proper Internet connection.

Now consider my mood! I was really shocked when I first heard that schools were closing. How would I reach my students? Of course, I had my students’ phone numbers and a WhatsApp group. But this was not enough for online teaching.

So what am I going to do in this process? Of course, we can work on SDGs! Our school was involved in the Sustainable Development Goals Project and Climate Action Project. My students had a certain level of knowledge about global issues.

So I decided to prepare STEM Challenges related to SDGs for them. I used Google Slides for these events. This Google Slides tool is interactive and there is a possibility to upload videos too. At the same time, I prepared the infographics of all STEM Challenges. I shared Google Slides named Improve Students’ Competence With STEM Challenges Related To SDGs” and infographics via WhatsApp group, uploaded them on Google Drive, via email and posted them on the school website. Our activities were held on 20 – 30 April 2020.

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Let’s code together at home

Author: Selçuk Yusuf Arslan

Online Coding Training? Why not?

The pandemic process has been a process when education systems are rapidly taking action all over the world. Countries quickly began distance education activities. We were encouraged to organise activities for the 2020 STEM Discovery Campaign online, using SOMR (Scientix Online Meeting Room). In this process, I decided to do an online event with the Ministry of Education of Muğla Province. I was asked if I could do STEM applications by teaching coding online. Even it sounds good, it was interesting to do a “hands-on” activity online. Why not? We could do it.

Can simulators be used for this?

I started planning it right away. I could use simulators in distance education to make robotic coding with teachers. I chose micro:bit. There was a few advantages of BBC’s intiative and popular microcomputer micro:bits;

  • I could use the simulator thanks to Microsoft Makecode. Teachers participating in distance education could also get a chance to try, even if they didn’t have micro:bit.
  • Micro:bit is a good choice, especially for teachers who do not have previous coding experience because they are block-based.
  • By posting a video on YouTube, many teachers could watch me and get a chance to try, even ask questions online. I could also reach a lot of teachers offline; not only online but also offline after the broadcast.
  • At the end of the training, I could encourage teachers by making a simple STEM application.
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The advantages and disadvantages of Nuclear Energy: The Chernobyl disaster-Never again!

Author: Stella Magid-Podolsky, STEM teacher and educator in Israel

The activity took place between 20 February – 26 April 2020

The activity that I want to describe in this blog is called: “The advantages and disadvantages of Nuclear Energy:  The Chernobyl disaster-Never again!”. This is a long term activity which took place from the end of February till the 26th of April (the date when the Chernobyl disaster had occurred 34 years ago).

I did this activity with my 8th grade students during STEM lessons when my students began to learn the topic of alternative sources of Energy. The activity was divided into two parts. The first part of the activity took place at the school (that was before the Covid-19 outbreak). The second part of the activity began during the quarantine period, so it was held in the form of digital remote learning.

During the first part of the activity, 29 students were divided into 7 groups. Each group got an assignment to pick one alternative source for Electrical energy, conduct an inquiry about their chosen source and present their outcomes to their peers in the class. Most of the students picked Nuclear Energy and when I noticed that this topic interested many students and that many of them watched the HBO television miniseries “Chernobyl”, I decided to continue with the activity, focusing on the Chernobyl disaster.

I believe in the theory that if the teacher is interested in a specific topic, he or she will be more motivated to teach this topic in an interesting way and the process will also increase students’ interest and motivation for this topic.

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MARS ADVENTURE WITH STEM / MA-STEM HOW DOES AN ASTRONAUT PREPARE FOR SPACE TRAVEL?

Author: Süheyla EVECEN

ASTRO-STEM is a project designed to raise awareness among students with accurate information about astronomy and Space Sciences. Students will explore the depths of the universe by having fun in democratic learning environments where they can express themselves freely. They will learn astronomers, history of astronomy, constellations and mythological stories and try to understand the universe.

Another important part of this project is that it is based on the STEM approach. With the STEM approach, it is thought that students will achieve their project goals. For this purpose, “STEM DISCOVERY CAMPAIGN” participation was encouraged within the scope of “ASTRO-STEM” project.

The event was planned with the participation of all project participants. This event is divided into 12 pieces. The reason for being divided into twelve parts is that there are 12 mixed teams in the project, coming from different countries. In these teams, two different schools are mentoring teachers.

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MaSTEM-Food Problems Solution

Author: Ayşe KARABACAK

How did we start?

We started our ASTRO-STEM eTwinning project with the participation of 24 teachers and 183 students from 8 different countries, on 29 August 2019.

What is the purpose of our project? Our goal is to increase students’ awareness of having accurate information about astronomy and space sciences. Thus, they will have democratic learning environments where they can express themselves comfortably. As a result, they will have fun and explore the information in depth. Studying astronomers, astronomy history, constellations and mythological stories, they will learn many topics such as the stories of our galaxy, STEM studies of the depths of the universe, and how to use telescopes and keep an astronomy diary. They will also acquire 21st-century skills.

Establishment of mixed school teams

We established 12 “Mixed School Teams” with students from different countries during the activities of our project. Each team has 2 moderator teachers that guide the teams.

The students in the teams we created came together and collaborated using the eTwinning portal. They had conversations in the chat rooms. Because they decided on the topics they prepared, the group leaders used many different Web 2 tools and collaborated.

Our teamwork examples

Let’s give some examples of these activities. With the “2020 Sky Events Yearbooks” event, they created a common calendar of the 2020 sky event. So they had a calendar of their own.

Which World After Years …….?” Astronauts, who went to space for Astro-mining at the event, studied the scenes they encountered with global target titles, created consecutive stories and audio stories, a common book. Thus, the study was also effective for the visually impaired.

In the “COVID-19 Public Spot” event, they revived the rules to be taken in the fight against Covid-19 with the web tool Renderforest. Because we were in a pandemic situation, this event was very effective.

Ma-STEM

Our last mixed teamwork was the MARS ADVENTURE WITH STEM / MA-STEM project. While doing our activity for ASTRO-STEM eTwinning project, we decided to participate in the 2020 STEM Discovery Campaign.

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