Our STEM adventure in nature project aims to provide STEM integration to our students through nature-oriented activities. The subjects that students are most curious about in nature constitute the starting point of our project. The project subjects are plant cultivation, what the roots of plants do, the water cycle, the importance of water for living things, what the wind does in nature, what is the soil, clean and dirty soil and its importance for our future, and waste management.
Why is nature important in STEM activities?
Nature offers us great opportunities to create preliminary knowledge that children can use in the STEM approach. In early childhood, children are most curious about nature and want to spend time outside. Some examples of this are: watching the ants when you go out to play in the garden, the shadow play you play together, the bean experiments we watched grow in amazement, the wind wheel we spin in the wind, toys made of clay…
The main objective of our project was to enable our students to discover nature with STEM-based activities and to raise awareness about the importance of nature for a sustainable future. Therefore, we aimed to increase students’ interest and knowledge in nature, as well as to influence their level of environmental awareness and their positive attitudes towards nature.
At the beginning of the study process, we started our studies by identifying the subjects that our students were most curious about in their environment. After doing that, we created a brochure addressed to their parents, containing information about nature and STEM. For starting the project, we made our seed balls, studied how plants grow, plant roots, and produced dyes from plant roots. After that, we watered the plants and observed how water is formed through experiments. We investigated which living things other than plants need water. In addition, we created the aquariums ourselves with the materials. In the third part of the project, we dealt with the subject of land. We started by investigating how soil was formed, exploring clean and polluted soil. We used soil as an educational material, by touching it and creating shapes. We also made wind wheels and turned them on, exploring how wind can be used as an energy source.
Our project developed the scientific skills of our students with STEM-based activities and developed all areas of development in early childhood. Our students were able to use web2 tools with technology integration. We strengthened our students’ ties with nature and made them look at nature more curiously.
About the Author
Havva Düzenli is a preschool teacher in Turkey, specialised in STEM. She has been Scientix Ambassador for two years.