O4: Commented selection of STEM PD materials
Çankaya University is a Private University with 5 faculties with 20 departments; two institutes with 19 postgradute master programs and 6 Ph.D programs; 2 vocational schools with 3 programs; and one English preparatory school to support English language education. Çankaya University is an English medium university with approximately 8000 students.
Çankaya University has a K12 school called Arı Private Schools from Arı Pre school to Private Arı High School with 2500 students with 237 teachers. Arı Schools educates its students in a versatile and equipped manner with its experienced and competent faculty members, provide them with an up-to-date education as a successful, rational, productive individuals and prepare them for life. Prof. Dr. Buket Akkoyunlu has supervised Research and Development Center of Arı Schools for 18 years on PDs, projects, material development, measurment and evaluation.
Arı Schools are in cooperated with Cankaya University to have students who are able to solve their problems or make explanations of the real facts by thinking scientifically and respecting the environment. This approach demands students who can determine and reach necessary knowledge, and process it with a multidisciplinary, rational and scientific methodology.
To achieve this goal, Arı Schools start from the pre-school students by making them try to explain some magical seemed daily life events scientifically such as static electrification, mimicry, mirror tricks, etc.
With the primary school students, Arı Schools majorly work on the importance of observation, by thinking that observation is one of the basic skills that leads us try to understand things, questioning, making cause-consequences relations, determining needs and creating sensibility to the world surrounding us.
Secondary school (ages 10-14) is the stage that students achieve the basic questioning and thinking skills and can start to use them during scientific activities. In addition to the science courses curriculum, we encourage our students to create projects during which they do researches, trials and finally improve their products by producing science projects.
For this aim, students are encouraged to participated the projects in Maths, Science, Technology, Arts etc. Every year science fair is organised from kindergarten to high school. Besides, STEM activities are implemented as club activities for ages 7 – 16 years old. Moreover, in 2017 – 2018 educational year, STEM activities have been integrated into curriculum from kindergarden to highschool, therefore, in 2016 – 2017 educational year, teachers training have been implemented to prepare teachers for STEM. And also STEM materials have been designed, those works are continuing.
Because of Arı Private schools and Cankaya University cooperation, Cankaya University would share its experiences within STEM PD Net Projects and become one of the PD Center for STEM in Turkey.