Presenters in order of appearance

Cathy Baars

My name is Cathy Baars and I am a physics teacher at a high school in the Netherlands for 26 years. For the last 10 years I have also been a T³ instructor. Besides being a teacher I am also involved in designing a new school system at my school and I make the schedules for all our students. As a member of our datateam I carry out investigations to enhance our teaching and the learning of students. In my spare time I am a trainer for shorttrack and longtrack speedskating for young children (up to 10 years old).

Title of contribution: Garbage in the classroom

Abstract of contribution
In the Dutch curriculum students have to learn technical automation, programming, technical design and presentation skills. To gain time to get more depth in understanding of the subjects I decided to combine these subjects. This gave the opportunity to spend 15 lessons of 40 minutes on a project which became the garbage project. Students were working in groups of 4 on a problem connected to garbage. Every group became its own problem (glass cleaning, plastic from water separation, metal separation, garbage press, garbage truck). The project started during the first lockdown with a programming course. The students learned to program art at the handheld and the computer in Python. During a few lessons at school of (only) 20 minutes I demonstrated that the art programs could be used to let the rover drive and to make disinfection equipment. After the summer holidays the students started with the garbage project. They used Rover, hub and the TI-Nspire in combination with K'nex and Lego they built their own solution to their garbage problem. The student worked together in groups using the scrum methodology. The students had to think about their own skills and the groups were formed blind on the basis of these skills. During 3 sprints the students worked on the garbage project and they all delivered a solution.

Read the blog:

'Physics project: students sprint towards sustainable waste solutions'

Alexandre Gomes

STEM projects as a vehicle for integrating computational thinking into the curriculum

Computational thinking is a competence that has been assuming increasing relevance in the curricula of several countries, especially in the fields of mathematics and exact sciences. Several programs and discussions have put this topic in the educational agenda, around the world. As an example, and as far as the European Union is concerned, we can mention: Developing computational thinking in compulsory education - Implications for policy and practice (1), Digital Education Action Plan - Resetting education and training for the digital age (2) and European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators: DigCompEdu (3). All these references point out that computational thinking favours the development, in an integrated way, of practices such as abstraction, decomposition, pattern recognition, analysis and definition of algorithms, and the development of habits of debugging and process optimization. These practices are considered essential, particularly in mathematical activity, and provide students with tools that enable them to solve problems, particularly those related to programming.

Thus, computational thinking becomes a competence explicitly expressed in the curricula, in the essential learning skills of several disciplines, as well as in numerous projects launched in recent years, namely in Portugal. The presentation will begin with a brief reference to some of these programs.

In the second part of presentation, two STEM projects will be presented (4), with the goal of illustrating how computational thinking can be induced in activities that explicitly involve curriculum content, also demonstrating that computational thinking can be stable over time, independent of the technology used, and fundamental to several areas of students' personal development.

(1) Bocconi, S., Chioccariello, A., Dettori, G., Ferrari, A., Engelhardt, K. (2016). Developing computational thinking in compulsory education – Implications for policy and practice; EUR 28295 EN; doi:10.2791/792158.
(2) European Commission (2020). Digital Education Action Plan. Resetting education and training for the digital age. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.
(3) Punie, Y., editor(s), Redecker, C. (2017). European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators: DigCompEdu , EUR 28775 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, ISBN 978-92-79-73718-3 (print),978-92-79-73494-6 (pdf), doi:10.2760/178382 (print),10.2760/159770 (online), JRC107466.
(4) Automatic search and parking system for a robotic vehicle; Implementation of a Robot Vacuum Cleaner algorithm.

Tonguç Özdaş, Uğur Mert, and Yunus Emre Doğan

From CBR To TI Innovator Hub, Metamorphosis of a Math Teacher

Ten years ago, when we (teachers) had data collecting tools like CBR or CBL in the classroom at hand. With these devices it was easy to design experimental math lessons. Those tools were convenient and practical to apply a math activity in the classroom. The main problem was that the students (learners) had to use a gadget that was already set to use. As a first step of using technology efficiently in the classroom, those tools helped teachers.

On the other hand, needs and technology have developed very fast. Today, educators and active learners need reprogrammable tools to collect data of different kinds. In the 21st century, the role of both teachers and students is changing. Teachers & students are becoming both learners, and besides this, teachers are the mentors in the classroom.

Rather than limited task-oriented tools, multi-task and reprogrammable tools with lower costs are preferable. Such devices have an essential role in the sustainability of math education by using multi-task tools with the same amount of materials. In this presentation, we will discuss how we adapt to the new technologies and techniques, e.g., coding, as math teachers. It will be discussed and compared to new and old techniques of data collection tools. Also, the things that we struggled with within the classroom environment and the solutions to those difficulties.

Ian Galloway (Moderator)

Ian is the T³ Europe STEM lead and is an International Professional Development provider and author.
He is a former assessor for the UK Science Council and served four years on the government Advisory Panel for Science in Society for the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council.
From 2001-2003 he served as chair of the Association for Science Education, an international association of science teachers and Europe's largest subject teaching organisation. He has won national awards for teaching physics and was an examinations scrutineer for the former Qualification and Curriculum Authority.
He is a founder member of the UK Science Learning Centre network and is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics.