Education for a sustainable and innovative future through STEM Teaching


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Nelson Mandela said that education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. Education is a key tool in promoting sustainable development and innovation. The question remains, however, when to start and how to make it happen?

From childhood, people start to establish their values, beliefs and aspirations, learning and actively engaging in sustainability and global challenges. Children become involved in shaping a more sustainable reality, starting from their own family, and then becoming active citizens of society. This should make us believe that if we want a future world in which sustainable development goals become a lived reality, we should give the youngest in our society the chance and opportunity to shape the world we live in, we must give them the chance to be heard and to experience what sustainable development means. Children like to learn, they like to explore, they are very creative, they even find interesting answers to questions that we adults have not even asked yet.

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In this context, in a desire to help young schoolchildren understand and see the world we all live in, we founded the project “The Magic of the 4 Powers: W.E.A.F.”. The idea for the project came about as a metaphor of children being superheroes in defence of life on planet Earth. The four superhero powers are: WATER, AIR, FIRE and EARTH, these are the four elements that make up nature and all have an impact on a fifth element, which we affectionately call – HUMAN. From the air we breathe, to the water we drink and the food we eat, nature provides us with the essentials we all rely on for survival and well-being, including emotional, health, economic, cultural and spiritual benefits.

By taking part in this project, young schoolchildren learned about each essential element, its specific features, its benefits and the damage that would occur if it were out of balance. At the same time, the project aimed to raise awareness of the environmental problems of planet Earth, the need to save natural resources and find sustainable solutions to the planet’s environmental problems. The activities carried out in this project were approached from a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education perspective, as the tasks are grounded in the real world and provide students with opportunities to create real-world solutions. The project focuses on: observing the reality of the environment, learning about renewable energy sources (solar, wind, water), recycling and saving energy, as well as cooperation, collaboration, involvement, active teaching methods, partnerships between teachers and students.

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Twenty creative and enthusiastic teachers from five countries – Moldova, Romania, Turkey, Greece and Spain – participated in the project. The objectives of the project are to develop critical thinking in young schoolchildren, finding solutions to real-life problems, collaborating and communicating with colleagues both in class and in other countries, and being creative in making products. The project was launched in October 2022 and ended in May 2023. Over the course of eight months, the pupils of „Abeceluș” Primary School took up the challenges of the project each time and got involved in the following activities:

– They discovered the mysteries and secret powers of the four essential elements by observing them in nature, doing experiments or other modelling and building activities.

– They participated in online workshops with their peers from other schools, where they communicated, shared opinions and impressions and designed “Special Flakes” and “Friendship Gardens”, making them out of recyclable materials such as cardboard, paper or petty cans.

– They collaborated in international teams to create and develop digital books, the subject of the books being “How the Four Superheroes Saved the Snowman?”.

– They developed digital skills and computational thinking by participating in coding and decoding activities and using Web 2 tools: Canva, Book Creator, Chatter Pix, Avatar Maker, Word Art, Mentimenter, Pixton, Scratch, Quiver etc.

– They developed more fluent communication in both their mother tongue and English.

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The results obtained in the implementation of the project were disseminated during the parents’ meeting, in order to motivate more pupils and parents to participate and get actively involved in future projects.

The project had an impact by promoting green habits, giving students the opportunity to develop their digital skills and find innovative solutions to everyday problems. At the same time, students were inspired to make positive changes, big or small, by telling their parents about what they had studied, thus becoming an active part in shaping the world in which they grow up.

The Magic of the 4 Powers: W.E.A.F.” project is one of the stepping stones that young schoolchildren climb, thus giving the next generation the chance to develop their concept of values, being aware of the well-being of the world they want.

Iuliana Rădulescu is a teacher at “Abeceluș” Primary School in the Republic of Moldova and Scientix Ambassador.  She believes that kindness and love towards children is an indispensable teacher’s ornament, without which you cannot have access to their heart. In her personal teaching-learning practice, the priority is not only providing information, but also creating a beneficial environment for students to learn with pleasure.

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