New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

The Use of Storytelling, Coding and Gamification for Teaching STEM. Two Case Studies.

Simona Romaniello, - Planetario di Torino, Museo dell’Astronomia e dello Spazio (Italy)


Teaching Science from pre-school children is increasingly important in order to create a critical and civic sense among young people, the so-called scientific citizenship.
In this context, Space exploration is an appealing and fascinating topic and also a good tool to teach STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering e Math) to students.
What strategies can be used to do that, overcoming a frontal approach of teaching?
Two activities for two different targets of students.
“Robotic Stories”, a laboratory about robotics and literature, construction and modeling, geometry and mathematics, art and ...for 8 - 10 age students.
Students stage (robotically) the "The Little Prince" story by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry using LEGO Wedo 2.0 and making models of the main characters with a 3D pen. The action develops having as a background the images and the suggestions linked to the space exploration, to the search for life and new worlds in the Universe, to astronomy but also to geometry, art and mathematics. The construction of models and the staging of stories, brings students to the study of robotics, coding and STEM subjects allowing them to acquire a scientific mentality.
“Cosmic mission”, an activity aimed to middle and high school students, based on the use of the “Kerbal Space Program” videogame. For years, video games have distracted students and have been considered from teachers as a pure leisure. With Cosmic Mission, however, the perspective is reversed: the teacher himself uses a videogame that becomes a powerful educational tool. The creation of a space exploration program involves to a great deal of knowledge, which students will have to mature and master autonomously to complete the goals that they themselves will pursue.

Keywords: Coding, moon, planet exploration, robotics, storytelling, gamification;

[1] An experience report on using gamification in technical higher education, Alexandru Iosup - D. H. J. Epema, 2014
[2] The Use of Stories and Storytelling in Primary Science Teaching and Learning, Roslinawati Mohd Roslan, 2008

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