It makes me especially excited to talk about this project, not only because of what it means to win a prize to the Educational Innovation, where lots of colleagues exhibit their candidacies with great works that are done daily in many classrooms, if not also for what it means to carry out a STEAM Project in a totally TRANSVERSAL way.
And when I say Transversal, I mean collaboratively involving many subjects, classmates and of course students creating a new line of learning around a common goal: "Use technology to improve an environment."
How did we do it?
Doing a transversal project in a school implies a great work of organization, planning, structure and much, much motivation and desire.
Working for projects implies a very motivating and effective line of learning if done well, and we involve our students in working even outside the four walls of the classroom.
In this project we wanted to go a step further and create a line of collaboration with the European University.
The idea that our high school students have one of their classes at the University not only gives them the option to use and know the resources they have there, but also to enrich themselves with the experience and knowledge that a student who is studying Degree that he probably does in a few years.
In this way our project H3On was born, a solidary and digital project, in which we would work with technology in a transversal way in different subject and learning.
But ... how do you carry out such a project and also in collaboration with a University? Well, the truth is that it is still a methodology of work in the classroom, help you from the agendas of the units and adapt them to a project and a real situation, that students see, know and do.
In this article I detail how we carry out this project, its structure, its times and its organization, I hope that I can serve you and even use it as a template for your ideas.
The first thing is to have the idea and expose it to your students, we can also do it as a "Storm of Ideas" so that the project is more typical of each student.
In this case, this was our idea.
Tanzania, like other African countries, suffers from serious water supply problems, the situation being very alarming, in many areas of the country.
It is estimated that the 79% of the population of urban areas have access to purified water, while the figure drops to 44% for rural populations.
But the problem is not only to have the water, but also to distribute those quantities of water to cover the basic needs, and from this comes the idea of the H3On project.
Once we have the idea and we are convinced of what we are going to improve thanks to technology and our knowledge ... we organize the subjects that will collaborate ..., and of course their professors.
- 1 Mathematics
- 2 Physics
- 3 Economy
- 4 Biology - Geology
- 5 Sciences
- 6 Design 3D
- 7 Programming
- 8 Art
Our first phase is a general presentation to all the professors and students that will participate. We must set out this idea so that they feel involved.
"Technology is born to improve an environment, a place or a situation"
And as…. Show our first idea as a prototype.
A very motivating idea to start a project like this is the creation of a name and a logo. We do these two ideas with all the students and from here we have a selection process. In the end it came out ..
Now is the most complicated part of our project as we can unite all these ideas to our classroom subjects and most importantly ... how will we work them?
Every work structure has the same methodology.
- The goal we want to achieve
- The course where we will study it
- The units where we apply the concepts
- Approximate dates according to the schedule
We start with math
We continue with Physics. In this subject we had marked doing the practice in the Hydraulics laboratory of the European University, working with valves and fluids was absolutely necessary to later implement it in our project.
The economic part is very important in a project, and the students must value it, here we involve the students of 1ºBachillerato with their Economics subject.
We created a small website where we teach to value the data of the "Data World-Bank" that are freely available.
We are working with water for this reason the subjects of Biology and Geology are fundamental pillars in our project, they must tell us the states of water, purification. Needs etc ..
And of course these data are necessary to do our math part.
What dangers does the water have? The science students take care of it.
There are many factors that are important when water spends a lot of time in a drum at high temperatures.
How can we keep it better? That is its goal
Once all this work of study and research is done, we have to go to the most technological part and here we start with our design of the Drum in 3D.
What will be the best design ?, vertical, horizontal, cup shape ... this is also studied.
In the 3D Design we had the great help of some students of the Degree in Industrial where they taught us how to make a piece to fill with water, even to use their large size printers to give a larger scale to our project.
And we went to the programming ...
This programming was a bit advanced, therefore it is programmed with the high school students, it is done outside of class hours and as volunteer work for them.
And that would be a project without our subject of Art, someone had to model this drum and do it based on the studies that our colleagues in Physics had done.
It is also a great opportunity for students who are not very close to technology to have a more artisanal work space.
But all this structure would not make sense if we do not make a good organization of the work plans and the relationships that exist between the different subjects this will facilitate the exchange of information and the learning of our students. Here I leave the structure that I have made for this project, where you can see the relationships and the importance of the subjects according to the work.
It is very important to involve all the students who are part of the project and who feel it is theirs.