Implementation of “Coding a Sustainable Future” (SOI-TR-302)

Author: Dr. Arzu KİLİTCİ CALAYIR, Tarık BAĞRIYANIK / IT Teachers

School/Organization: Tuzla Vocational and Technical Anatolian High School / IT Department

This implementation is for the the Coding a Sustainable Future  learning scenario by James Callus. The learning scenario was implemented with 10 students in a vocational high school in Istanbul. This learning scenario encourages students to take an active role in real-life problems. It also encourages them to think about environmental issues for the creation of a sustainable environment and learn with the UN Envision 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by adopting a STEM approach. In the scenario, students learn about the negative effects of climate change, one of the major problems of our planet, using a project-based learning approach and producing practical solutions to deal with environmental problems. Especially this year, the big earthquake that occurred in Kahramanmaraş, the center of our country, confronted the students with the real-life problem of earthquakes. The earthquake caused many people to lose their lives and homes, creating great sadness throughout society and deeply affecting our students. Their education process was also negatively affected by this event.

This SoI aims to develop the MarsVerse game, a coding activity for Metaverse, under the mentorship of students’ teachers. The target audience of the SoI is vocational high school students as it is different from the LS in terms of the level of the coded game. The innovative aspect of this application, which is applied to a different target audience from the LS, is to develop a game for a new generation learning environment in the Metaverse environment instead of developing a game in a block-based coding environment with Scratch. Again, as in the learning scenario, the students used the STEAM approach for the MarsVerse game they coded within the scope of SoI for sustainable development goals such as zero hunger, quality education, sustainable cities and communities, and climate action. With the STEAM approach, they discovered STEAM skills for the real-life problem of earthquakes. SoI encourages students to create solutions to reduce the damage of earthquakes and to survive after a disaster. Students realized their solutions with the game they developed in the Metaverse environment. The student-centered and project-based MarsVerse game is also supported by quality education.

The implementation context

Implementation Context

Ten students between the ages of 15 and 16 participated in the implementation, which lasted 180 minutes. Some parts of the original script were shortened and adapted for the implementation. The implementation included an introduction, creating a digital story, identifying a real-life problem, and developing a game activity in Metaverse instead of creating a robot acts as an innovation in SoI. The students worked in groups, and the implementation involved a 10-minute research period on Europeana resources, a 50-minute digital story creation activity, a 60-minute real-life problem identification activity, and a 60-minute game design and playing activity. The student’s previous knowledge of coding in Metaverse made the implementation of the learning scenario easier for them. Additionally, the students were able to utilize Europeana resources in their lesson.

The narrative

Reconstruction with STEAM Power: Designing a Sustainable Future with Metaverse After Kahramanmaraş Earthquake 2023 in Turkiye

The learning scenario was implemented under the mentorship of two ICT teachers. The students aimed to develop a game that would develop STEAM approach skills for Sustainable Development Goals in the Mars environment. For the Metaverse game, the students first created a game scenario for the real-life problem they defined. The game was named MarsVerse. The students transferred the game they created by centering the “earthquake” problem they chose for the game scenario to the Metaverse environment. They coded the game scenario on the computer with the help of Unity and Blender programs. They tested and played the coded game. 

Europeana resource research – Wooden stereograph, Earthquake

He has conducted research from Metaverse Europeana and Earthquake Europeana sources.

  • Identify a real-life problem – Kahramanmaraş Earthquake at Turkiye 2023 

The students shared their experiences and feelings about Kahramanmaraş Earthquake.

  • Creating a digital story – STEAM Approach 

To make the game innovative and interesting for students, it takes place in the Martian environment. Students learn about greenhouse and food production processes by creating life and settlements on Mars. The game allows students to use their STEAM skills to build greenhouses, grow plants and learn harvesting processes. In this way, the game helps students develop STEAM skills that they can use in the struggle for survival after a disaster. In addition, players gain the sense of contributing to the recovery process of the region after the disaster from the perspective of distributing the collected vegetables to the survivors of the earthquake. Students learn how to design and retrofit buildings in the game to reduce earthquake damage and raise awareness about earthquake preparedness in society. In addition, awareness is raised on the creation of environmentally friendly sustainable cities and communities with the use of recycling from scrap, solar panels, and natural minerals. Quality education is also supported by the student-centered and project-based MarsVerse game. 

  • Design game and play – MarsVerse Game

Students gained MarsVerse Game experienced the game they designed. 

Learning outcomes

Metaverse Learning Experience Students Outcomes

The biggest difference in the SoI, which was applied differently from the learning scenario by using innovative technology, is the approach of solving real-life problems using a virtual environment. The Metaverse experience made the learning scenario more enjoyable for the students, which is in line with the purpose of the learning scenario. In this study, where group work was preferred, individual work could also be done. It was observed that students helped each other in group work. In addition, students:

  • Learned to create safe living spaces,
  • Used STEAM skills to set up a greenhouse, grow and harvest plants,
  • Developed STEAM skills that they can use in the struggle for survival after an earthquake disaster,
  • Gained sensitivity to contribute to the recovery process of the region after an earthquake disaster,
  • Designed and retrofitted buildings in play to reduce earthquake damage,
  • Raised awareness about earthquake preparedness in society, and
  • Learned the importance of creating environmentally friendly, sustainable cities and communities.

Metaverse Learning Experience Teacher Outcomes

  • The positive effect of designing course curricula with STEAM approach with each other,
  • The positive contribution of project-based learning to student learning,
  • The value of using metaverse environments effectively in different courses,
  • The positive effect of game-based pleasant solutions to real-life problems on the permanence of learning was observed.

Outcomes for the educator

Suggestion to my colleagues

It is inevitable that the Metaverse will soon make more mention of itself in education. The student-centred, constructivist and fun environment that Metaverse environment offers to students will play an important role in teaching professional skills by doing and experiencing. With the scenarios to be created for all courses with the STEAM approach, it will be easier and more enjoyable for students to learn with permanent traces. Considering that the Metaverse will be one of the hottest educational environments of today and the near future, as a computer science teacher, I recommend all my colleagues to increase their technology literacy levels. It will contribute positively to the development of students’ solution skills in achieving sustainable development goals. The fact that the application time is 240 minutes will increase the efficiency of SoI. Teachers who want to use the game in their lessons can download the game file here and play with VR headsets.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? Coding a Sustainable Future, created jamescallus 

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CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Vorarlberger Landesbibliothek.

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