The second transnational meeting in Cyprus

Limassol, 10-11 May 2022

The progress of each STEAM projects and the possible improvements, as objectives of the European-funded project DART4City, were presented on 10-11 May 2022 at the second transnational meeting in Cyprus, in the city of Limassol, by all partners, guided by the leader partner Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera, Heron digital education & Mathisis Ltd, Alterevo – I AM progettazione, Fondazione Štĕpán Zavřel, with the participation of some teachers. 

In Cyprus the Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera (Spain) has presented the progress of their STEAM Kitchen project” .  The aim of STEAM Kitchen is to enhance, through a fun cooking competition, the skills and knowledge of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) that secondary school students study in class, applying their knowledge. The project consists of a competition with 10 challenges that the students must be overcome to win the competition. The STEAM project is designed as a national competition where teams of each school could participate. 

The Heron Digital Education & Mathisis Ltd (Cyprus), will develop two STEAM projects: “3D printing at school” and “Solar Robot”, that they are going to experiment to implement in a real environment in Cyprus. 
“3D printing at school, the case of the Neolithic Settlement of Choirokoitia”
The main aim of the project is to ponder students about the materials used for modern buildings and the environmental impact they have, to compare the environmental print of humanity and propose solutions in order to minimise the problem, creating environmentally friendly buildings.
From 20 June to 29 July 2022, during a STEAM Summer School that is organised and offered by the Youth Board of Cyprus (a public legal entity), the 120 children participants of 10-12 years of age will be engaged in a series of activities that start with a multimedia historical review of the prehistoric site of Choirokoitia which is protected by Unesco.  In the end they will create a 3D model on Tinkercad to be 3D printed, replicating a modern house on the principles of the prehistoric one, combining the advantages of the past and the modern era. 

“Solar Robot: exploring the history -and future- of robots”
The main aim of the project will be to engage students in a cross-curricular study of robots, from ancient mythology and the legendary Thalos, to modern use of robots for the exploration of space. With the study of electrical circuits (Science), students will learn how to connect solar panels in serial and parallel. In Design and Technology, students will assemble their robots using Arduino and/or Engino (a local product), turning their robot from battery-powered to solar.
The project will take place from 20 May to 14 June 2022, during the final stage of the school year, in Apostolos Loukas Primary, in Nicosia (Cyprus) with the participation of 130 children of 9-12 years of age. Students will develop the core material for each stage of their project (i.e. the history of robots), while other students will work on the actual final product – the solar robot. The final version will be presented at the closing ceremony of the school year.

The Alterevo srl  (Italy) presented the progress of their STEAM projects.In January 2022, the first STEAM project, which focuses on “cinema and motion pictures”, has started in Vittorio Veneto with Scuola Primaria “Giovanni Pascoli” (Istituto Comprensivo Statale Vittorio Veneto 2° “Andrea Zanzotto”) in Vittorio Veneto (Province of Treviso).
The project involves students from two fifth classes (age 10) and will touch on topics from different disciplines: Italian, English, history, art, technology, science.  The project will be developed in the classroom and outside the school with several planned visits, starting from the exhibition dedicated children’s illustration – organised by DArt4City project partner Zavrel Foundation – to gather stimuli and inspiration for the creative process. Project phases include: the study of the eye and persistence of vision; the evolution of moving images; building pre-cinema machines; the realisation of a short film; and a visit to a professional filming workshop.
 At the end of the pathway, in June 2022, pupils are expected to have honed their teamwork and collaboration skills, as well as their manipulative skills and their use of digital technologies, and to have learned the techniques of audiovisual language, its history, its rules and how it works. For the second group of STEAM projects ALTEREVO has formally involved other schools from San Donà di Piave and Portogruaro. The projects will start in the next school year.

The Fondazione Mostra Internazionale per l’Infanzia  Štĕpán Zavřel (Italy) has presented two STEAM projects: “Make visible the invisible” and “AI for creative people” in Cyprus.
Making the Invisible Visible“, aimed at pupils aged between 6 and 14, aims to explore feelings to encourage creativity through the theme of the “house of the soul”.
 “AI for creative people“, aimed at pupils aged 8 and above, is based on the combination of arts and technology. 
The STEAM projects will be tested, at the beginning of the next school year 2022, in the classes of the Istituto Comprensivo 3 in Bassano del Grappa (Vicenza – Veneto Region) thanks to the precious collaboration of the teaching staff and the management.

Situation in Cyprus regarding the Steam Education

The meeting gave the partners the opportunity to know more about the situation in Cyprus regarding the STEAM education. In Cyprus STEAM activities are very well appreciated and many academic organisations include this approach as a methodology of teaching in their curriculum and/or titles of study. For instance, BEd in Primary and Pre-primary Education, include educational robotics as a compulsory subject. Also an MA in applied STEAM approach is offered by the European University. In addition, the Cyprus Certification Agency promotes a 42 hours programme for    Professional Development & Certification in STEM/STEAM or E2STEAM Teaching. The programme is addressed to educators, at all levels (universities, colleges, primary and secondary education of private and public sector as well as afternoon school teachers working in afternoon private institutions).  Other round-the-year activities on STEAM approach include robotics competitions (World Robotics Olympiad, Robotex, First Lego League, Robotic Day Cyprus, etc.), festivals (E2STEAM Cy, sCYence Fair and other numerous events). Implementation of STEAM activities during Summer camps, Summers schools, and other extracurricular activities are also high in demand. One of the broadest programme is called The STEAMers, and is offered by the Youth Βoard of Cyprus at a very low participation fee, in order to make STEAM activities accessible to as many children as possible.  

The second transnational meeting in Cyprus was organised by Matina Marathefti and Alexandros Kofteros of Heron Digital Education & Mathisis Ltd. This organisation was officially registered in 2018, and since then is part of important national and European projects. In 2006 it has been formed unofficially as a group of passionate teachers from Cyprus and Greece in matters of educational technology. Over the years the passion was transformed into a more solid participation in various activities in both countries, successful proposals and prizes, implementation of innovative activities, seminars and many more, having always high in the agenda STEAM and Robotics. 

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