GreenSTEAM Incubator: Learning about science through agriculture is a lot of fun!
While, yes, we can still learn something even if we are being bored, studies in recent years have shown that we retain and learn much more by enjoying ourselves and experimenting than by being passive. Therefore, there is no better way to understand a subject than to experience it, touch it or build it yourself.
In teaching, it has been observed that students show a certain lack of interest in scientific subjects: mathematics, biology, physics, chemistry, etc. If we put this observation in parallel with the need to be involved, to be immersed in a subject of study, could students not reproach these scientific subjects for being taught in an overly abstract and conventional manner? There is talk of chemical reactions, equations and algebra, weights, measurements, compositions, but it is not always possible to relate this data and information to our everyday life, to see a concrete use or illustration.
Yet when we learn a language, it seems obvious that it allows us to communicate with people of different nationalities than ours, when we learn history or geography, it allows us to have the keys to understand current geopolitical events, currents of thought, the architectural inspiration that surrounds us … when we learn STEAM subjects it is sometimes more difficult to connect them with everyday life. And yet these notions are everywhere all the time and much more useful than we may think.
STEAM in the framework of nature and agriculture .
STEAM can be a real jump-start to understand some of the complex mechanisms we encounter every day: food, recycling, gardening, weather, our consumption…
To this end, to allow us all to reconnect with simple things and understand them through a STEAM perspective, the GreenSTEAM project has developed a series of educational games. Thus, 8 treasure hunts and a board game have been developed to meet the needs of all, including people with learning disabilities!
The second output of the project is available: The on-the-spot gamification of “Green STEAM Incubator”
A guide has been developed to make these games accessible and easily implemented by the target audience: training centres, educational farms or youth centres. The guide proposes a game-based learning approach and includes:
- the different objectives of immediate gamification,
- why and how to implement it on an 18-35 year old audience
- the benefits it represents.
At the same time, the guide shares a methodology that details the steps needed to appropriate, reproduce and develop a nature-oriented educational game and STEAM domains.
Finally, the guide explains the rules of the board game developed by the partnership and gives some examples of the different treasure hunts proposed to invite and encourage the reader to play them or to invent their own.
The treasure hunts provide an opportunity to explore topics such as recycling, composting, our consumption, bees, ethical finance and many other subjects. Thanks to an indoor or outdoor setting with a treasure hunt-type guideline, it is possible to get participants to reflect on their own practices, encourage them to reflect on or conceive of some of their consumption practices differently.
The board game is more oriented towards a global understanding of our food and the resources available in several European countries. The objective is to collect as many points as possible by combining resources, processes, animals/fruits/vegetables to obtain finished products. All the rules are explained in the guide.
The benefits of this guide and the various games proposed in the project is that the content is adapted to the participants’ levels, specific needs and consumption habits.
The guide is available on the project website and can be downloaded