MATHS,TECHNOLOGY AND ENGINEERING IN THE CLASS project’s first year has just finished and the second year is on the way! First of all we wish to express my gratitude to all partners from Italy, Lithuania, Spain, Portugal and Poland who did their best to accomplish these hard,challenging and sometimes funny activities. It is clear that without your support and encouragement, our success wouldn’t have been possible.
With the rapid development of technology in 21st century,the use of multi-media tools in education has become greatly popular. Many teaching tools are being developed to make learning in subjects such as language, science and technology more concrete and real, thus making it easier to learn and capture the students’ attention. Visualization and interaction techniques are being applied in several e-learning projects in our classrooms.
Robots are also increasingly being used to teach students in the classroom for a number of subjects across science, maths and language. .We see that interest in educational usage of robotics has increased and several attempts have been made worldwide to introduce robotics in school education from kindergarten to high secondary school, mostly in science and technology subjects. In Europe most high schools don't offer any robotics programs or the ones have are typically offering robotics as a club.Young people seem less interested in studying maths,sciences and technology.However;the majority of jobs will be transformed with robotics literacy and strong tech skills.Thus, EU is prioritising the coding/computational thinking and digital competence as integration with other subjects which will help lead students to success.
Eurostat reports that 37% of Europeans have no computer skills and less than 20% of ICT
practitioners in the EU are women.Girls who can code will fall from 24% to 22% in 2025.One of the main mission of this project is to encourage young girls to cooperate with boys to take interest in technology and change the people’s perception of coding as "for boys only." These two important factors are basic reasons that gives us the inspiration to organize “MET INSIDE” project.
However,we must must evaluate our project’s first year entirely whether the activities,tasks or LTTs have reached their aims as planned before.As teachers or pratictionars we must ask ourselves;
Has the project activities boosted our students’ cognitive, conceptual, language and social (collaborative) skills? While working with robots,have the students enhanced their creative problem solving techniques or E-STEM related tasks encouraged the development of basic communication and interpersonal skills as well as the ability to collaborate and convey complex ideas to a fellow students? Another important point is that have the project activities kept the teachers up-to-date on new research on technology,environmental issues, innovative tools and new curriculum resources?
Now ,we have launched some research study by applying some surveys or questionnnaires with a purpose of evaluating our project.We have drawn the conclusions thanks to the data have been collected from surveys, classroom observations, interviews, and lesson plans.
The outcomes from these studies have shown positive results but future research and teacher education recommendations are also needed to reach some exact decisons. According to the research findings,we see that students and even teachers have been engaged in robotics activities actively and mindfully. Students’ emotional engagement (e.g., interest, enjoyment) in STEM significantly improved and in turn influenced their behavioral and cognitive engagement in STEM although further work is needed. These findings suggest that robotics can be used as a technology in activities designed to enhance teachers' STEM engagement and teaching through improved attitudes toward STEM.
As you remember,we have accomplished some E-STEM related activities (e.g.,House of Mother Nature,Save the Marine Life).In addition to increasing students’ ability to be creative and innovative thinkers,these activities aimed to lead students solve local community challenges.We see that these project and game-based activities have lead students experience and solve local community challenges through a combination of environmental education,environmental science issues and citizen science activities.
When we examined ARDUINO SURVEY and EV3 with Science Experiment Questionnaires, robots, user manuals and instructions included into problem-solving activities have helped students link the experience to scientific concepts. In terms of skill development using programmable robots,E-STEM related activities has encanced students’ cognitive skills (observation, evaluation and manipulation), problem-solving methods (e.g., evaluative solution, generation of hypotheses and control of the variables), social interaction/team work skills,motor skills and reading, writing, and computational skills.
Last but not least,Continuing Proffessional Development is an important issue for educators.Not only IT teachers but also the teachers working in differents fields have developed themselves in technology,environmental issues, innovative tools and new curriculum resources.We see that they are ready to become interculturally-competent citizens commiting to embrace multicultural Europe.
We hope our project team may continue to strengthen the partnership and cooperation thanks to MET INSIDE project.Thank you in advance!