By Fazal Khaliq
SWAT: Students and learners said the traditional stand-and-deliver teaching method was not only boring but also infective, which should be transformed into active learning method, feasible in the modern era of science and technology.
They said that it was also a high time to replace the conventional educational system into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education to meet the needs of the twenty-first century.
They were sharing their views while working on practical models in a five-day training workshop of Arduino platform in the STEM club at Rahimabad, Swat. The activity was organized by the SKOOL21 STEM club Swat.
Arduino is an open-source electronic platform enabling users to create interactive electronic objects.
“Most often, many ideas run in our minds and want to do something innovative but we don’t have such platforms available to make our ideas practical. But, at last, I found the platform when I participated the Arduino training workshop here.
This is my fifth day which has enabled me to think critically and work practically. It has also developed a sense of critical thinking in me and wherever I go and see electronic objects, my focus turns towards its functions and think that how do they work and function,” said Ayesha Mumtaz, a learner in the STEM club who was busy in working on a model with other girls.
Arbaz Khan, another learner in the training workshop said that the STEM education was both practical and interesting. “In conventional schools we are taught theoretically but here we work on practical projects using our psycho-motor skills. Today, our physics teacher taught us about capacitor reading from our physics book but I did not fully understand.
However, I worked practically on capacitors here in the workshop which made me understood the topic completely,” he said, adding that it was the major difference between the conventional educational system and STEM education.
The learners in the training workshop said that the classroom teaching method was often bored and uninteresting. “the method of some of our teachers are so bored and so dull that we feel sleepy in their class. We want their period go quickly because we don’t like it,” said two young girls Paghunda and Munza Ali of grade eight who were keenly working on their electronic project in the workshop.
Sara Khalid, a grade seven student said that, before joining the workshop, her friends told her that it was just a waste of time and not a useful activity. “When I joined the STEM club and start working on my practical project, I found it interesting which I enjoy a lot because I learn a lot,” she said, inviting all other girls to join the STEM club for a real learning.
Zainab Bahadar, a STEM coach who was busy with a group of girls in their project said that for a developed and civilized nation STEM education was needed for both boys and girls.
Educationists said that by arranging the training workshop they wanted to create awareness among the students on STEM education and Arduino platform. “In the training we engage students to work on a small circuit or board to which the students connect various sensors, getting data from environment and process it through computer programming, which gives output accordingly,” said Fazal Hadi, SKOOL21 program director said, adding that it was a much-needed activity for students to meet the 21st century needs.
The students, after the workshop, will work on their models to exhibit them in ARDUINO EXPO on November 1st, 2020.