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This project is a STEM project suitable for the 5E model. Within the scope of the project, various studies were carried out on the threats and problems faced by turtles and the solutions to these problems.
At the Engage stage, children’s preliminary information about turtles was obtained with a mind map. Children’s attention was drawn to the problem with a letter from the turtles to the children.
In the explore phase, students were given research and presentation tasks about turtles, as it would be necessary to get to know turtles better in order to understand the dangers that await turtles and to find solutions. The students, together with their families, completed the research task and prepared a presentation. The presentations were first presented to students in their own schools and then to students in different cities and countries.
In the explain phase, a sea environment was prepared in the classroom for drama work. Turtle costumes were prepared for the children. A lot of plastic waste, harmful substances, fishing nets, boats were put into the sea. In order for the children to empathize with the turtles, they were asked to swim in the sea without getting stuck with these obstacles. The difficulties that turtles face when they encounter the obstacles of garbage, fishing nets and ship propellers at sea were discussed. By making live connections with non-governmental organizations working to protect turtles, students were provided with information about the work done for the protection of turtles. Students dramatized and photographed things that are harmful to turtles. For example, people on the beach step on turtle eggs, throw garbage in the sea, etc. The web2 game was prepared and played with the photos taken. Educational videos about turtles were watched.
During the elaborate stage, design studies were carried out with the students to solve the problems affecting the turtles. Turtle-friendly robots that clean the wastes in the sea, and various products that will protect the turtles from the propellers of the boats were designed. A story was written with the students in order to raise awareness among the students.
An evaluation rubric was applied to measure how well the studies carried out during the evaluation phase worked.
Saniye Açıkalın is a Preschool Teacher in Samsun, Turkey. He enjoys coding and implementing STEM projects. He received the innovative teacher of the year award with his coding project. He has been invited to various conferences with his STEM studies. He has carried out many successful projects and received many awards.