An original STEAM lesson

By Dorina Marin, EU Code Week Leading Teacher in Romania 

To celebrate World Space Week, I prepared an original STEAM lesson for my 2nd grade B pupils from the “Octav Băncila” National College of Art in the city of Iasi, Romania. 

With the help of PowerPoint presentations, I updated the pupils’ knowledge on the solar system. I then continued with an original Twinkl story entitled “Cu avant inapoi spre Pamant“, which means “Heading back to Earth” in English.  In the story Hal, a boy getting ready for bed, discovers that his bed can turn into a rocket, and so he begins his little journey through the universe. I also added some elements of mathematics. I used the Rocket Rounding game from Topmarks to repeat the rounding up of hundreds, tens and units. 

In this way, I was able to stimulate the children’s imagination – they were all excited about the idea of having a rocket and imagined how they would travel like the boy from the story. We covered ideas related to space and mathematics with the help of technology, in an interesting and attractive way. At the end of the activity, the students learned how to draw their own rocket with the help of a video tutorial. Since we already know that augmented reality simulates reality very well, we also added a 3D projection of the planets to our presentation. My students love to film and take photos with these applications. 

I should mention that the class has been learning about codes and programming through games and with robots since their preparatory class. They saw how their written words look with WordArt, they used their first augmented reality application Birdie Memory and they became familiar with micro:bit. In the 1st grade they learned how to build trails for ozobots as part of STEM activities carried out in collaboration with American Corner and played with augmented reality from Google. Now, in 2nd grade, it was very easy to learn how to use the Arloopa 3D and Quiver applications. 

What’s more, we go to the computer lab for an hour every week, where age-specific introductory programming lessons from code.org are available. The pupils can check if they have the correct answers to the tests at any time, if a QR code is attached. 

All the children’s activities are included in Europe Code Week and some of them in the Hour of Code and they are concrete examples of how an ordinary lesson can become, with the help of technology, a creative and interesting experience for students.