“It is COOL to be STEM 2” is a festival organized by Creative Center Karposh (KCK) second year in a row within the international initiative STEM Discovery Week 2019. This year’s festival was dedicated to the 150 year anniversary of the creation of the Periodic Table of the Elements by Mendeleev. For that purpose, various interdisciplinary Chemistry workshops were organized.
The festival involved different workshops, experiments, visits to institutions and interviews with professionals. It included students from all 10 schools of the municipality of Karposh. Students had the opportunity to experience science in a different manner; through various activities acting scientists who implement experiments from different areas of science. The activities were organized over the course of three days.
Day 1: Chemistry games in the classroom
During this workshop, 20 ninth grade students, from 10 primary schools in Karposh, taught Chemistry in an entertaining way. Ionic poker, chemical domino and ionic partner were only part of the games that were organized under the mentorship of prof. Dr. Marina Stojanovska from the Institute of Chemistry at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in Skopje. This has shown that learning Chemistry through games is a great way to maintain students’ attention. Read more on this topic here.
Day 2: Bakery problem
During this workshop, 20 eighth graders from the elementary school “Jan Amos Komenski” and “Vlado Tasevski” solved chemical problems in the bakery. The students had the role of laboratory technicians and using the knowledge acquired during Chemistry lessons were able to solve real life problems. They were supposed to propose simple tests that will help them make a distinction between the white substances used in the bakery. Studying Chemistry by solving real life problems allows students to easily understand how to use their knowledge, and at the same time it motivates them to study the Natural Sciences. This activity is a great example that shows how Chemistry knowledge can be applied to solving real life situations. Furthermore, the activity was first developed for the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) ever that was funded and carried out entirely by Scientix. Check out further details here.
Day 3: Chemistry with mushrooms
On the final day, 20 students visited the Mycological Laboratory and the Institute of Chemistry at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in Skopje. They explored the world of mushrooms. Through a series of experiments they proved the presence of chemical compounds in mushrooms and by observing them on the microscope under the mentorship of Prof. Dr. Metodija Najoski and Prof. Dr. Katerina Rusevski. They were able to solve the mystery as to “Why mushrooms aren’t plants.” This activity proved to be lots of fun and educational. Read more here.
All photos were taken by the author.
Author: Aleksandra Blazhevska, Scientix Ambassador for Republic of North Macedonia