UNDERSTANDING AND ACTING FOR A HEALTHY PLASTIC FREE SEA

As a contribution to the SCIENTIX STEM DISCOVERY CAMPAIGN 2022 Liceo Linguistico “Ilaria Alpi” hosted the live event: “UNDERSTANDING AND ACTING FOR A HEALTHY PLASTIC FREE SEA” on April 12th 2022, at 11.00 from the school’s Multimedia classroom.

Link to the programme: https://www.liceoalpi.edu.it/public/articoli/allegati/1/circ.n.226_liveeventprogramme12april2022.pdf

Link to the video recording of the event: https://youtu.be/mGZfoBqvOLQ

Liceo Alpi students from Class 4D were joined by the eTwinning partners from schools:

● Alytus Jotvingiai gymnasium, Lithuania https://jotvingiugimnazija.lt/

● Gymnasio of Anthousa, Greece https://blogs.sch.gr/gymanthous

The event focused on examining and understanding the paths of plastic pollution, the impact on marine ecosystems, and new technologies for observation and removal. Students also referred to different sectors of the blue economy, in a circular economy perspective and spreaded a message of active citizenship.

After watching the docufilm “a plastic ocean”, our aim was to spread creatively the message containing what we learned about ocean’s plastic pollution. Students developed the following 6 sections:

OUR PLASTIC WASTE COMES BACK TO US

The usage of plastic affects us and our health.

The way we pollute the sea with plastic that we use inevitably returns to us.

The fish and the various molluscs that we eat for example contain microplastics, that are plastic fragments around 5 millimeters .

Consuming this type of food regularly is very much dangerous for our health.

So, when plastic ends up in the sea and pollutes it, unavoidably it starts being part of the marine animal food chain.

As a consequence, by eating fish, microplastic goes into our organism.

A group of researchers of the Vienna University analyzed the fecal material belonging to eight people from different countries.

The fecal material was tested for 11 types of microplastic and the researchers found out that there were 9 types out of 11 in all the participants.

The predominant ones were PP and PET, mostly used to produce plastic bottles and caps.

Moreover, the participants wrote down what they were eating and it turned out that the majority of them used to consume fish.

But how much plastic do we eat in a year? And how much in our whole life?

A study proved that in a year we ingest around 250 grams of plastic. This means that in our entire life we consume about 20 kilograms.

Nevertheless we don’t have to assume that all the plastic that ends up in our organism comes from food, it also comes from the polluted air.

Plastic is polluting the air we breath, the food we eat and water we drink.

It’s obvious that the water contained in plastic bottles has more microplastics than the water coming from the taps.

On average a person assumes 90 000 microplastic particles by drinking from watering bottles and from 39 000 to 52 000 particles by eating seafood, whose consumption, despite this, continues to increase.

To produce plastics some dangerous chemicals are used such as bisphenol A and BPA, which can strain into the aliments in plastic containers. That could be even more dangerous when the food is heated in them.

This has serious effects on people’s health, in fact it could alter the DNA and the function of hormones, which lead to tumors.

It also causes infertility and obesity.

Plastics really are a serious problem that affects not only the general health of the planet we live in, but also our own.

MARINE ANIMALS WITH PLASTIC-FILLED STOMACHS

Over the past ten years, plastic pollution has become a dangerous constant in our lives, and today it represents a threat not only to mankind, but also to the entire marine ecosystem.

In 2015, a group of Dutch researchers discovered that the number of sea animals that ingest plastic and microplastic had doubled since 1997, and his number is now above 2000.

Many experiments have been conducted and it has become clear that animals eat plastic because for them it looks, smells and also feels like food since they rely mainly on their sense of smell. This clearly leads them to suffer, because once the plastic is inside their bodies, it fills their stomachs, blocks the gastrointestinal tract, reduces the feeling of hunger and, as a consequence, they eat less, feel weaker and die of starvation or in the worst-case scenario, they suffocate. Besides the ingestion, we know that plastic can be menacing as well when marine mammals- which play key roles in influencing the structure and function of the sea environment – such as dolphins, whales or seals, get tangled up in plastic nets or bags and get injuries that can cause them reduced mobility or deadly infections. In addition, a 2018 study discovered that some of those animals who eat plastic are the same who actually take part in the microplastic’s diffusion. Krill, for example, breaks microplastics down into even smaller nanoplastics that are so tiny they can even get inside cells. In fact, they are far worse than macroplastics because they can damage proteins and other major biomolecules.

To make matters worse, the microplastic contamination is noxious not only for biota’s health but also for humans’ health. Most of the marine litter in the ocean is poisonous. The main reason why is that big pieces of plastic waste free floating in the ocean, such as plastic beverage bottles or food wrappers, undergo leaching. They get weathered and degrade, dividing into smaller pieces, becoming microplastic and, at the same time, releasing carcinogenic chemicals. Secondly, the debris absorbs the organic pollutants waterborne from industry and agriculture, accumulating POPs and becoming toxic poison pills extremely deleterious for marine habitats and ecosystems, as well as the well-being of people. The problem lies in microplastic ingestion. When aquatic animals shallow these harmful particles, the toxins stuck on them transition into their tissues and organs, migrating mainly into the muscles and the fats, the parts we commonly consume. This means we both ingest microscopic pieces of plastic and toxic substances while eating seafood. In fact, plastic debris doesn’t only harm the ocean’s wildlife — it’s adversely affecting the human food chain, too.

This is why we must take the toxicity of marine plastic pollution as an extremely serious issue and prevent the plastic waste from increasing and spreading widely.

MICROPLASTICS

Microplastics are small bits of plastic, 5 millimeters or less.

Researchers have found microplastics in marine and terrestrial life. They cause pollution by entering natural ecosystems from a variety of sources, including cosmetics, clothing, food packaging, fishing activities and industrial processes.

Please, be aware of the fact that there are two different classifications of microplastics:

Primary microplastics are directly released into the environment as small plastic particles. These are intentionally engineered particles, like those found in some consumer and industrial products and cosmetics.

Secondary microplastics are the result of the degradation of large plastic waste, like plastic bags and bottles, into smaller plastic fragments when exposed to our environment. An example of secondary microplastics present on the ocean come from clothing, due to the erosion of polyester, acrylic, or nylon-based clothing, often during the washing process. This process of breaking down large plastic material into much smaller pieces is known as fragmentation.

But do you know that microplastics also enter the human body? Plastics degrade slowly (often over hundreds to thousands of years), and because of that microplastics have a high probability of ingestion and accumulation in the bodies and tissues of many organisms. Yet researchers are unsure about the volume of microplastics a body can tolerate or the damage it may cause. Scientists have shown that these substances can weaken immune function and hinder growth and reproduction. By eating the animals present on the human food chain, we unconsciously absorb the microplastics present on those animals.

When products with microplastics are used, the microplastics go through the water filtration system and into the ocean, but because of their small size they are likely to escape capture by the preliminary treatment screens on wastewater plants. These beads are harmful to the organisms in the ocean, especially filter feeders, because they can easily ingest the plastic and become sick. Various annelid species have microplastics in their gastrointestinal tracts and also crustaceans integrate microplastics into both their respiratory and digestive tracts. Plastic particles are dangerous because they are often mistaken by fish for food.

Small animals are at risk of reduced food intake due to false satiation and resulting starvation.

In summer 2021, it was reported that a fish had broken a world record — it contained 915 synthetic particles, the most ever recorded.

Not only fish and free-living organisms can ingest microplastics. Even scleractinian corals, which are primary reef-builders, ingest microplastics. Microplastics stick to the exterior of the corals. The adherence to the outside of corals can be harmful, because corals cannot handle sediment on their exterior. They have to secrete mucus, expending energy in the process, increasing the likelihood of mortality.

The harmful effects of microplastic ingestion is an issue of concern especially in case of seabirds. The toxic effect of plastic fragments has negative effects on their body which could cause alteration in the feeding behavior, reproduction and mortality.

In conclusion, microplastics are such a concern because it is difficult to clean them up due to their size.

EFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT RESPONSES TO THE GLOBAL PLASTIC POLLUTION PROBLEM

How have the society, industries and governments all around the world responded to the global plastic pollution problem? This is a problem that impacts everybody and that should matter to all of us.

The main problem related to plastic is single-use plastic, which is also what many countries are focusing on to try to get rid of it.

The term “single-use” means “made to be used once only” and refers to “items whose unchecked proliferation are blamed for damaging the environment and affecting the food chain,” according to the dictionary.

This means that we use this kind of plastic once only, and then we just throw it away causing it damage our environment. For example, cutlery (knives, forks); plates, straws, containers, plastic used for packaging.

To show you how government reacted to this problem around the world, we are going to illustrate 2 examples of 2 different countries.

The first one is China. In China the government set a goal for 2025, which is to control plastic pollution, substantially reduce the amount of plastic waste in landfills in major cities, create a plastics management system and advance research into alternative products.

The plan will be implemented gradually. It will start in large cities and then expand to smaller towns. Non-biodegradable plastic bags will be banned in shopping centres, supermarkets and home catering by the end of 2020 in the largest cities. China will support the use of alternative materials, such as cloth, paper or biodegradable bags. And it will encourage the recycling and disposal of plastic waste.

In Peru, a decree has been issued whose goal is to replace single-use plastics with “reusable, biodegradable plastic or other materials whose degradation does not generate contamination by micro-plastics or dangerous substances.” Peru’s Congress has also passed a law to phase out single-use plastic bags across the country over the next three years. According to Peru’s Environment Ministry, the country uses 947,000 tons of plastic each year, while 75 percent is thrown out and only 0.3 percent is recycled.

Let’s have look at the regulations which have been adopted here in Europe and that directly affect us.

•          The EU is taking steps to reduce plastic pollution by setting strict new regulations on single-use plastic products, reducing the quantity of waste plastic released into the environment, especially on beaches.

•          The Council agrees with the Commission’s proposal to design single-use beverage containers in such a way that their caps and lids remain attached to the bottle.

•          Until 2023, paper plates with plastic coating are included in the list of products whose consumption will be reduced.

•          All-plastic plates will be banned.

•          the EU also want to improve water quality by reducing plastic waste in the sea and microplastics released into the environment (which is a goal for 2030)

Moreover, we found out that many industries and companies made initiatives in order to fight this problem:

•          Two hundred and fifty organizations responsible for 20 percent of the plastic packaging produced around the world have committed to reducing waste and pollution. The initiative is called the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, and it includes a diverse group of members including the city of Austin, clothing company H&M, Unilever, PespsiCo, L’Oreal, Nestle, and Coca-Cola.

•          Branded as “No Straw November,” the campaign is a push to eliminate single-use plastic. They’re pushing 500 businesses to commit to only serving plastic straws upon request. The No Straw November campaign is also lobbying cities and regional governments to pass ordinances that encourage businesses to use fewer straws. Individuals are also being asked to sign an online pledge to limit their own personal consumption of single-use plastic.

•          The airline has lounges in the U.S. and around the world. A representative from the company says the lounges won’t serve drinks with straws, and plastic won’t be used for flatware. Plastic water bottles will no longer be served, and reusable bags will be given to customers taking food to-go.

To sum up, we saw that there have been many initiatives made by industries and governments in order to reduce or eliminate plastic pollution, but we all have to be aware that this problem impacts us individually, too. So we all have to fight it and do our best to save our planet.

PLASTIC WASTE – AN UNFAIR TRADE

Although plastic waste can be seen as a trade between developed and developing countries, it is without any doubts an unfair trade.

Developing countries accept plastic waste from developed countries because this is a potential way to have an income – Poor countries see plastic waste as an opportunity for their populations. But if we explore this aspect a little further, it becomes immediately clear that for these countries the situation is only getting worse. As a matter of fact, children work as plastic waste pickers, trapped in child labour, deprived of their childhood, health and education.

During this project we have discovered a particular aspect of plastic pollution: how it is used as an exchange for money. For instance, in the Philippines there are two main dumps known as Smokey Mountains I and Smokey Mountains II.

Smokey Mountain I operated as a 2 million metric ton waste dump for more than 40 years and it was closed in 1995. The garbage tip contains so much methane, which was produced by garbage within it, that when it reaches a certain temperature it causes fires. This creates smoke that comes out of the top of the pile and it filters over the city of Manila.

In addition to this, people started working there when they were kids to earn money and to support their family needs: they collect recyclables like bottles, cans and plastic. As a consequence, the common diseases are pulmonary, such as tuberculosis and emphysema.

Similarly, Smokey Mountain II is a landfill at the edge of Manila Bay. It was established in 1998 and it covers an area of about 123. 5 acres which is the equivalent to 2000 tennis counts.

On top of that, it is home to 2000 families.

The ground to within two inches above it is covered in flies.

To make things worse children play and swim surrounded by plastic. They also make kites out of plastic bags and use straws as the main frame for the kite. As regards garbage, it is thrown by the river, but also by the local people, because there are no garbage collectors. Kids there work as scavengers: they collect plastic, then go to junk shops and exchange it for money. They earn 150 pesos a day, which is the same as 6 Euros and 75 cents, and then they give it to their family so that they can buy food.

But during our research we also came across some good news.

In India, for example, many teachers take part in the “No Child in Trash” programme of the Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group. They help children build their dreams, instead of picking through landfill trash.

We are thinking in particular of a teacher who is really a good example: Rakhi Goswami is a 24-year-old teacher who supports children from Delhi’s largest rubbish dumps.

Twenty-three learning centers have been set up, in response to a research highlighting the vulnerability of waste picker children.

While some children attend government-funded schools, many drop out, or must help collect waste on dangerous and toxic landfill sites after their school day. Some studies indicate that children who pick through waste are bullied into cleaning private homes, beaten by street sweepers or police and abused by the public – some are even sexually assaulted.

Goswami works in one of the learning centers to ensure a refuge and dedicated safe space for around 150 children from waste picker families to learn. They are taught science, mathematics, art and language lessons free of charge.

So our message today is as follows. We all know that our world is full of inequalities.

But it is also full of good examples and positive experiences.

SEVERAL WAYS TO SPREAD THE MESSAGE LOCALLY

We are the first generation to know we’re destroying the world, and we could be the last that can do anything about it. (WWF)

The good news is that it’s often not too difficult, expensive, or inconvenient to become more environmentally friendly. As a matter of fact everybody can do many things to help our planet. We will suggest only a few easy and practical tips that we can apply in our daily life. We’ve prepared a presentation slideshow and we are going to show you some of the infinite ways to contribute on a daily basis in saving our world.

First of all, if you’re ordering takeout at home, there’s no need to get plastic forks and knives. Furthermore, try to avoid the condiments in plastic that usually come along with your order. By the way, be aware of the fact that industries produce according to consumer demands, so if we buy and therefore, ask for only unpackaged products, the company will be forced to produce only unpackaged products.

Moreover, when you go to the supermarket try to buy loose fruit and veggies or use a disposable bag from home. Generally, you should buy foods with minimal packaging  (like cereal that’s housed in just a bag, not a bag and a box) and check if the packaging was made from recycled materials.  There are loads of apps that can help you. For instance, we recommend an app called Junker. This app scans the QR code on the object (that you have to recycle) and tells you in which bin to put it out. 

Another smart idea that we thought of is to possibly plan out the whole week’s meals in advance. Figure out what ingredients each recipe requires, and write them all down. In this way, there shouldn’t be much food or plastic packaging left over.

In addition, you can donate your old household items so someone else can reuse them. Don’t just throw your old stuff in the trash. Consider selling it or giving it away to someone who can use it. Donate clothes and household items that are in a good condition to charities or non-profit organizations like a school or a parish.

So, what can we do to spread this important message?

Schools could play a relevant role in this sector. In other words, just as we did here, at Liceo Alpi,  students can understand the importance of the oceans and the issues related to the use of plastic.

The demonstrations can also bring out the problem, such as Greta Thunberg did. It’s never too early to begin. In fact, Greta started to protest for the environment when she was only 15 years old.

But the easiest way nowadays is through social media. In fact, there are many sites and pages that people can provide to shed some light on these very important topics.

To sum up, our goal this morning has been to let the people understand that the oceans are very polluted and plastic is the major problem. Gen Z is surely able to bring out the problem of plastic in the oceans and to solve it through small daily actions.

Student’s message:

SO DON’T USE PLASTIC, PLEASE BE UMWELTFREUNDLICH!

Thank you

IF I SAY “APPLE” APPEAR; IF I SAY “PEAR” DISAPPEAR: STEM HOUSE

Imagine a house that grows when we want it and shrinks when we don’t! What is ergonomics? Is it possible to design an ergonomic house? With STEM yes!

Student age:13-14

Subjects: math, engineering, technology

Objectives:

  • Calculates the area of ​​a rectangle, using square centimeters and square metres.
  • Solves problems that require calculating the area of ​​a rectangle.
  • Explain the importance of ergonomics in product design.
  • Express that functional differences lead to structural differences in architectural design.
  • Express the relationship between engineering and design.
  • Designs an ergonomic house using the engineering design process.
  • Makes sketches for design.
  • Converts draft drawings into three-dimensional visuals with the help of computer.
  • Creates the model or prototype of the design.

Materials that can be used: Computer, scissors, cardboard, Pvc foam board, plexiglass, clay, ruler, pencil, glue, etc.

Abstract: First of all, I explained the subject of field in mathematics to the students. Then I focused on the concept of ergonomics and showed examples from daily life. I started with the subject of architectural structures. We brainstormed and discussed ergonomics in architectural structures. Based on the information we obtained, I asked the following question: “If you were an engineer, what kind of ergonomic house would you design?” Students designed an ergonomic house using the Tinkercad web 2.0 tool. Later, they made a model or model of the house they designed with materials such as Pvc foam board, cardboard, plexiglass, clay, etc.

While implementing the house model, the students made use of waste materials as much as possible. They drew attention to small details such as doors, windows, fences in the garden, swings, etc. When designing small details, for example, they used 3D printing on flowers in the garden. They took care to design collapsible systems. They designed a portable balcony, terrace, roof, etc. Here are some examples;

 “Turistic trip and challenges towards the ecological city”

The development of technology and industry has shifted the concentration of population in urban areas, adding to the challenges for architects and designers in managing urban areas for sustainable city and a secure future.

In this SDW22 our students will continue to investigate and to understand how important is the combination of technology in creating a healthier, more sustainable city for the planet. Students continue to raise their voice in the community and society about the importance of a friendly, green and healthy city.

We have integrated two themes: technology and architecture.

Our activities are based on the basic concepts of coding through Microbits, computer activities. As well as the importance of computer science and the introduction of new tools and approaches such as visual programming tools, detached activities and coding for all subjects.

Learning objectives:

  • Creating a more sustainable city for the system, for human health, economy and sustainable world.
  • Increases children’s motivation to learn STEM.
  • Improving ITC skills.
  • More mathematical knowledge.
  • Online Use online applications to demonstrate results.
  • Create a good environment for STEM study within subjects, careers and other professions.

Expected results

-Know the basic concepts of coding and to understand why it is important in contemporary education.

-Explain why coding and computer science are important to students.

– Learning and thinking in a creative way.

– Recognize innovative tools and approaches such as visual programming tools, detached activities, robotics, and coding for all subjects.

– Develop key competencies related to the importance of the global environmental problem and improve knowledge in their areas.

-Understand how cities can be more sustainable.

-List the elements that makes a city more ecological.

-How these elements, such as renewable energy, food, affect our health and environment.

– Writing and drawing materials, for ecological city plan.

-Present the theoretical information and create an ecological city carpet in a creative way.

Demonstrate integrated ICT skills in their curriculum.

1.Learn to integrate simple coding in cross-curricular learning topics as climate change and ecological city.

2. Recognize various unplugged activities, as part of group collaboration.

3. Understand how to create a specific problem-solving task;

4. Possess cognitive skills, for what students  should apply, in order to solve the problems of the environment,  climate change, and  topics related to the ecological city during a certain task;

5. To have a good application of digital technology learning by developing digital competencies and skills, in order to improve them through the analysis of better data education.

6.Design and implement a lesson plan using recyclable tools in building an ecological city, various ideas and digital resources.

Content description

The event guides students  through technology to help them, motivate and build strong knowledge on different topics. Many coding games have been created that can be used to create and interpret computer software – at any age, without a specific background and even without a computer.

Visual programming, unplugged activities, offer a wide range of choices that break down any access barrier, having educational value and activating computer programming.

Technology is involving in our daily lives. But this technological development must be in harmony with the environment.

The purpose of our event is to promote the tourist spots of our small country in Albania by stimulating a trip of the robot Edmodo. This trip starts from the Fier city and after Edmodo chooses one of the A or B buttons of the microbial tool. Microbit is programmed to display a city after each button that will be Edmodo’s next destination.

But this trip is not easy for him, since to get the ticket for the next trip he has to go through the challenges that are programmed in each city. These challenges are set as QR barcodes after travel tickets.

Developing students’ understanding of the algorithm and the “(IF-THEN-ELSE)” and “(IF, IF ELSE)” commands, the Edmodo tour goes further if it overcomes the challenge or otherwise receives the penalty by going back to the previous city.

The tourist has with him a map of Albania, or use the web that we have created, which indicates in the travel itinerary and options A and B according to the selected destinations.

A digital map has also been created, for informational purposes, on the attractions of the cities of Albania.. https://www.thinglink.com/scene/1505572517476040706

If the trip is as short as possible towards the ecological city, this makes the Edmodo a winner.

The game starts from our city Fier, (an Albanian city) in the direction of the alternative ticket selected A or B.

If ticket A is chosen, the destination is, for example, the city of Shkodra. Else if ticket is B, the destination is Vlora.

 Shkodra city – the game challenge in MAZE, (students can create their Maze game with different roadblocks for  different levels) at the end of the labyrinth there is ticket A (Vlora), else if student does not choose ticket A, then ticket choice is B (Tirana).

City of Tirana – Challenge: Internet network, find the minimum number of paving stones that need to be used so that you can get from any house to any other house. In the end the city is written, and the destination of the movement (Ticket A Vlora or Ticket B Shkodra).

City of Vlora —- Challenge: The puzzle game. If the emoji comes out J the player goes to the city on the Durres, if the emoji is L student returns to the city in Start (Fier city).

Durres city — Challenge: message in bottle. A challenge awaits them in this city: to decode the message in the bottle, which will orient the player to the next destination, Tirana or Berat city.

City of Berat—- Challenge: to complete cryptographic input-output -for example with input code 001000 find the output code 001010- . If the player does it correctly, then they will choose the ticket A that leads them to the Ecological City, if not, they choose ticket B, and returns to Start, at Fier city.

City of Fier. — Challenge: quizzes. If the turist answers correctly, he will get the ticket A that will take them to Berat/County Z, if they do not answer correctly,they will get the ticket B that will take  them to Tirana/country S.

The winner is the  tourist who has discovered the fewest routes and cities,  to the ecological city.

While the student continues the journey, a student of the class writes on the blackboard the itinerary that the student has followed and the number of routes to the end of the journey.

(Challenges can be different in each city, they can be quizzes with information on the culture and tradition of each city, or coding games.)

ASDEF( Architecture, Science, Design, Engeering Fair)

“Marin Barleti” University organized the ASDEF fair, the first #STEAM fair, in our country, Albania, where the students of vocational and general high schools presented their projects from different fields such as #architecture #engineering #biology #design #robotics #arte etc. The evaluation committee announced our school project “Edmodo tourist trip to the ecological city” as one of the 10 winning projects.

This project integrated two very important issues: coding that develops in students computer thinking and environmental protection through ideas and innovation in creating an ecological city. This victory gives the opportunity to the students of our school to participate in the international fair Tekno Fest 2022 in Turkey.

#STEM #coding #Scientix #education #citycological #ecocity #climatechange #steamfair #teknofestistanbul #teknofest #scienceprojects #sciencefair #ecological #renewableenergy

STEM , Edtech-Parents and Teachers conference

In order to involve as many teachers and parents in the SDW22 campaign and to get acquainted with STEM education, Edu-ACT center in collaboration with Barleti University and Scientix ambassadors, we organized the conference, as a hybrid event with the theme: “Edtech-Parents and Teachers conference” .

My presentation focused on:

1. Understanding STEM education

2. The importance of STEM 3

3. Practical examples of STEM activities at home and in the classroom with the aim of involving parents, industry and University as collaborators.

The Wonders of Water

 Creation and Implementation of a learning scenario

As children grow and understand the world around them, it is important they value water as being vital for their health and for a healthy environment. In a flexible learning environment (FLE), students will explore, investigate, and collect data about: sources of water, the need of water in our life, water cycle, water waste vs responsible consumption of water. Students will acquire a better understanding of how our actions could affect, positively or negatively, our water and, in consequences, the world around us.

Subject:

Language and Communication, Citizenship, Mathematics and Environmental Exploration, Science, Technology, Outdoor experience, Arts

Topics:

Forms of Water, Sources of Water, Water Cycle, Water Waste vs Responsible consumption of water, Water and Sanitation, Water and Plants

Age of students:

6-7 years old (or older students by designing tailored content and tools)

Aim of the lesson:

By the end of the lesson students will be able to understand the importance of water in our lives, to identify sources of water, to learn about water cycle, water waste vs responsible consumption of water and simultaneously become agents of change in their school, local community and beyond.

Trends:

Project-Based Learning: students get fact-based tasks, problems to solve and they work in groups.

Lifelong Learning: learning does not stop when leaving school.

Collaborative Learning: a strong focus on group work.

STEM Learning: Increased focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics subjects in the curriculum

Outdoor Education: learning outside of the school building in the “real” environment

Student Centered Learning: students and their needs are at the center of the learning process.

Active Learning: Students are actively engaged with the lesson through discussions, problem-solving, experiments and other methods.

Peer Learning: students learn from peers and give each other feedback.

Edutainment: playful learning. Learning while having fun.

Augmented Reality: by pointing devices like smartphones and tablets to objects of reality you receive extra information.

Leadership and responsibilities – students will develop the ability to guide and motivate each other.

21st century skill:

While this learning scenario focuses on the 4C’s of 21st Century Skills- Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration and Creativity it will also strengthen among students many other 21st century skills, such as:

Ways of thinking: creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making and learning to learn.

Ways of working: communication, collaboration, teamwork.

Tools of working: information literacy and ICT literacy

Living in the world: citizenship, life and career skills, personal and social responsibility.

The backgroud of the learning scenario

Activities done within this learning scenario are part of Sustainable Education and Cultural Heritage eTwinning project. Transnational teams of teachers and students from France, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Georgia, and Romania were formed to carry out collaborative activities.By representing WATER and by following the approach of Team-Based Learning (TBL), my students will worked collaboratively with students from Romania (LAND), France (AIR) and Georgia (ANIMALS), as part of the transnational team “Beautiful”.

Addressing sustainability in primary education from a water perspective might be challenging and demanding, but it is needed. Therefore, I started the implementation of this LS by designing activities focused on the key role that water could play in teaching & learning related to sustainable development goals. The pupils of today are the grown-up population of tomorrow thus they firstly should become aware of the impact of their actions on the environment. As teachers we have the responsibility to take an action by sharing knowledge and providing practical tools to make learning appealing and fun while ensuring students consider the environmental, economic, and social impacts of their actions and decisions in the local and global community. This learning scenario provides a collection of ecological activities that should start to be taught from an early age.

Lesson 1: What’s with Water? Blue, Blue Everywhere!

Language and communication

Brainstorming and whole class discussion

A flexible, comfortable, and friendly working environment has previously organized in the classroom. Whole class is invited to discover and explore the Corner of Water: a world globe, aquatic plants, aquatic animals, books, magazines, and encyclopaedias for little students. (Annex 2 includes a list of materials needed for organizing the Corner of Water and photos).

After exploring the Corner of Water, students will take turns observing the world globe. By using the Google Earth Pro, teacher launches the driving-question:

Why is our Earth called Blue Planet?

Following, students start brainstorming around the question. With teacher guidance a discussion about water will be held.

How much water is on Earth?

Why is water important?

Could we live without water?

Where does the water we drink comes from?

Are humans the only ones who need water for living?

Students are encouraged to share their opinions and talk freely about water and its importance.

Explanation and Discussion

Based on students’ responses, teacher explains to students that Planet Earth has been called “Blue Planet” due to the abundant water on its surface. Liquid water covers most of the surface of our planet and that’s why people take it for granted. However, in some parts of the world the lack of clean water affects the health of the people. Without water there would be no life, so it is important to value and preserve it.

Lesson 2: Water, in all its forms!On, In and Above the Earth…

Science

Part 1: Whole class discussion

Teacher initiates a guided discussion related to the states of water:

Have you ever touched the water? (If yes, what did you feel?)

How many forms of water can we observe?

What is ice?

What does water turn into ice?

The lesson continues with a manipulation session. Students will receive an ice cub on a small plate. They are asked to hold the ice cube in their hands and observe.

What did you notice?

What did happen with the ice cube?

Why is the ice cube melting?

Students are encouraged to realize that the warmth of their hands is melting the ice.

Teacher explanation

Teacher talks about the different states of water by giving examples.

Water exists in many forms, such as liquid, solid, as in snow and ice, underneath the land surface as groundwater, and in the atmosphere, as invisible water vapor. Ice is frozen water. Water that we drink is liquid. Steam is also a form of water. We can see steam when we take a hot bath.

To extend the knowledge related the states of water, students will watch the video “Water cycle” and “Sources of Water.

Pictures can speak a thousand words. Therefore, on a flip chart a A3 picture related to water cycle is displayed. Same picture is given to students as a flashcard to be drawn. Teacher shows to the class a variety of pictures representing the sources of water.

Part 2: Exploration and investigation through the experiment “Make your own rain”

Driving question: Would you like the rain disappears?

The experiment focuses on what a cloud is and what makes it rain. Students will understand the connection between clouds and rain and recognize the pattern that clouds are necessary for rain. The activity starts by watching a video about what rain is and have a class discussion about the importance of rain and how we use water in our daily life.

Teacher tells students that even though some people may not enjoy rainy days, the water we get from rain is very important for people, plants, animals, in fact, for our Earth. By working in small group, the teacher directs and guides students to do each step of the experiment.

Each group will receive two plastic glasses (one of the glasses needs to be drilled with a toothpick; use the toothpick to make small and big drops), a spoon, a glass jar, large cotton balls, blue tempera/acrylic paint. The drilled plastic glass will be putted at the top of the jar. Students will be pouring 20 spoons of water in the other plastic glass and colour the water in blue. The coloured water will be poured over the cotton ball. When the cotton balls will be fully filled with water, “the rain” will be seen inside the glass jar. https://www.youtube.com/shorts/MUy3FAGBhYU

Teacher Explanation:

The clouds are made of tiny droplets of water. Up in the air, within a cloud, water droplets condense onto one another, causing the droplets to become bigger/ heavier. When they get too heavy to stay in the cloud, they fall to Earth as rain.

Lesson 3: Water for life. Make a change! Be water wise!

Mathematics, Art, Citizenship (non-STEM subjects)

Part 1: Water Waste vs Responsible consumption of water

Through this activity little students will understand and appreciate the value of water.

Driving question: What will living beings do without water?

By answering to the question, students are challenged to find ways to harmonize the water requirements with those of the natural environment. By working in two teams, students are going to create awareness drawings posters and digital posters in Canva.

The Detective Kids and the Trackers Kids teams are in charge with finding solution for saving water at school and at home and to work together for products that will help others to value, respect, and, above all, not waste water.

Part 2: Water and Sanitation

Teacher starts by talking about how water is essential for human health and well-being as it allows them to meet basic human needs such as drinking water and sanitation services. Through this part of the lesson, students will understand the connection between water and health by creating videos to promote healthy habits related to water. The products are expected to persuade the other students of the school and all the children to take care of their personal hygiene and to use water wisely in their daily life.

Students (with the help of teacher) will record a demonstration of how to brush the teeth and how to wash hands and avoid water waste at the same time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B27vVyJ14M

Part 3: Water Tracker

Children have many choices when it comes to beverages, and unfortunately, many children are reaching for sugar-laden drinks instead of water. In this part of the activity, students will learn about the importance of staying hydrated for their health.

Driving-question: Do you drink enough water or not? The answers to the question will trigger students’ curiosity to collect information about the water they drink at school and at home. This part of the activity requires parents’ involvement. For one month, students will monitor their drinking water consumption.

Lesson 4: Water, plants, and butterflies’ friendship

Outdoor experience, Engineering& Technology

Part 1

Driving-Question: Who’s the best, best friend of a plant?

After giving their opinions students are invited to watch the video “The needs of a plant”:

Students are taken in an outdoor setting. Teacher explains that they will participate in a Seed Finding Adventure. They are asked to find in the school garden 5 seed sachets. Once they are done, have them open the sachets and examine the seeds they have found. Students receive the materials and directions on how to place seeds in a glove (Annex 6). To better understand the relationship between water and plants, students will investigate the germination of seeds by exploring what plants need to grow.

Part 2: An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Driving-question: Where does apple come from?

The previous outdoor activity will open the windows for discovering the development stages of a plant (an apple tree) and allow students to make real-world connection with the life cycle of a plant by exploring the elements of it.

In this part of the lesson students will work individually to cut imagines, arrange, and glue them in the correct order and assemble the components for designing the life cycle of an apple three. (Annex 7)

At the end of this activity students will learn that seeds need light, correct temperature, water, and air to germinate. After the germination, the plants will be planted and helped to grow for producing healthy food.

Part 3: Augmented reality

Driving-question: What other living beings need water to survive?

By using Quiver app, students will work in small groups to colour, scan, play and have fun while learning about a monarch butterfly life cycle.

During the lesson, students were immersed in experiences within which they gained in depth-understanding about the connection between water, plants, and all living beings. Students answers to the driving question of this lesson will be summarized in the proverb: Water, A friend in a need is a friend indeed!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PFDkv2wr7E

Spread the word! Make your voice heard

Public event at school

At the end of the activity, students and teacher discuss, give feedback, share thoughts and opinions. Teacher will help and support students to organize a public event at school. Representatives of local community, parents, students and teachers of the school will be invited to attend to an online session with an expert in SDG’s goals. After that, all the learning products produced will be presented by teams of students. An exhibition will be placed at the entrance of the school during the school year as an example of responsible actions to save water, protect and preserve the environment.

Teacher will upload the results in a padlet that will be shared on social media channels. All the participants to the public event will complete an online survey aimed to find out the impact of the activities done within the project.

https://www.canva.com/design/DAE_SL9AqNA/zP4WjrFy7sfF0WBUtGUl0w/edit?utm_content=DAE_SL9AqNA&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link2&utm_source=sharebutton

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZlCZE2J78segDXXWga71mCVvsJ8c-RO4/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=112559187298903954885&rtpof=true&sd=true

B.I.L.S.E.M(BILINGUALLY IMPROVING LEARNING SUSTAINABLE ENERGY MINDSET)

The Competition:Leonardo4Children 2022 Awards: Climate, Equality and Peace

ABSTRACT

Key Words:Climate Change,Renewable Energy,Sustainable Energy Mindset

AIMS

to teach sources and uses of energy,renewable and non-renewable energy

to learn examples of common types of renewable and non-renewable resources
to communicate between different countries across Europe.
to develop empathy/respect for nature and children’s creativity
to improve English and ICT skills
to design green lessons
to raise awareness what the carbon footprint and measure it

This activity is one of our activities within our etwinning Project

ACTIVITY TIME: 20-30 minutes

TOTAL PROJECT TIME: 45 minutes to 1 hour

KEY WORDS: Solar energy, solar power, sun, heat, cooking, recycling

Materials

  • Pizza box or shoe box. The larger the box, the better the oven should work.(We used shoe box)
  • Pencil or pen
  • Ruler
  • White school glue
  • A sheet of black paper
  • Utility knife
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • Shipping tape or black electrical tape
  • A wooden skewer or pencil
  • To do some cooking with your solar oven, you will need sunlight and fairly warm outside temperatures (above 75 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended, and the hotter it is the better). It should also not be windy.
  • If you want to cook some s’mores in your solar oven, you will also need graham crackers, marshmallows, and a chocolate bar. You can use an aluminum pie pan or a small piece of aluminum foil as a tray.

Prep Work

  1. If needed, clean out the pizza box so it is ready to become a solar oven. Remove any cardboard liner that the box came with.
  2. Adult assistance is recommended for using the utility knife. Use caution when cooking with the solar oven as it can get quite hot!

Instructions

  1. On the top of the pizza box’s lid,firstly,draw a square that is about one inch inward from each edge.

a) And use a utility knife (and the ruler as a straightedge) to carefully cut along each side of the square you just drew except for the side that runs along the hinge of the box and Cut all the way through the cardboard on those three sides of the square. Then fold the flap back slightly along the attached side.

b) Line the inside of the cardboard flap with aluminum foil. Besides,fold the edges of the foil over the flap to help hold the foil in place and glue the foil onto the flap. Keep the foil as smooth as possible.

c) Cover the opening made by the flap (in the lid) with a layer of plastic wrap. And attach the plastic wrap to the opening’s edges using shipping tape or black electrical tape. Make sure there are no holes in the plastic wrap, and that all of its edges are completely closed onto the lid.So,why do you think it is important to make sure the plastic wrap completely seals the lid’s opening?

d) Line the inside of the box with aluminum foil so that when you shut the box, the entire interior is coated with foil. It is easiest to do this by covering the bottom of the box with foil, and then the covering the inside part of the lid (going around the plastic-covered opening) with foil too.At last,glue the foil in place. 

e) Glue or tape a sheet of black paper to the bottom of the box and centered there. And this will act as your solar oven’s heat sink.

f) Lastly, use a wooden skewer or pencil (and some tape) to prop the solar oven’s lid up, at about a 90 degree angle from the rest of the box. Finally,your solar oven is ready to do some cooking!