One hundred and seventeen fifth class students in two Dublin based schools, Saint Patrick’s Boys’ National School (BNS) and Corpus Christi Girls’ National School (GNS), took part in the Earth Course Large-Scale Pilot NEWTON approach session on Tuesday May 29th.
The final session of the pilot took place in Corpus Christi Girls’ National School and was carried out by Dublin City University and National College of Ireland Horizon 2020 NEWTON Project Research Teams.
The course was led by DCU Research Fellow and NEWTON Project Manager, Dr. Diana Bogusevschi who worked alongside the DCU NEWTON Project team and in collaboration with the NEWTON team of National College of Ireland led by Dr. Cristina Muntean.
Earth Course, which was carried out over eight separate sessions in each school, focused on primary school education across Europe and included a set of educational applications, developed as part of the NEWTON project in an effort to attract students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, which cover a set of topics as part of four main areas: Atmosphere, Geosphere, Biosphere and Astronomy.
The main applications employed in this pilot were:
- Water Cycle in Nature, focusing on precipitation formation and related topics, such as vaporisation, evaporation and condensation;
- Wildlife, focusing on a set of terrestrial animals, such as deer, brown bear, lynx, wolf, wild boar, fox, hare and moose;
- Sea-Life, focusing on the aquatic world and presenting educational material on sea creatures such as sharks, stingrays, dolphins, puffer fish, jellyfish, octopus, orc, turtle, clownfish, seahorse;
- Final Frontier game which presents a set of planets, such as Mars, Mercury, Venus, and astronomical bodies, such as the Moon; and
- Geography application, which is focused on educational content about Ireland and United Kingdom, including its monuments and archaeological sites.
The applications’, tests and questionnaires used to assess learner experience were developed by teams from DCU, SIVECO Romania, National College of Ireland and Slovak Technical University and were deployed using the NEWTON project platform, NEWTELP (NEWTON Technology Enhanced Learning Platform) as part of the NEWTON project coordinated by DCU Associate Professor Gabriel-Miro Muntean.
The project was positively welcomed by the students with learners coming up with ideas on other applications and giving suggestions on interesting subjects they might like to learn.