Reflections on the TALKING CELLS PROJECT: A STEAM Approach to Learning

  • Meltem Oksuz Karagoz Erkan Ulu Schools
  • Hazan Buyukakmanlar
Keywords: STEM, STEAM, 21st Century skills, Technology, Cell, Organelle, Programming, Makes Makey


This small-scale action research reports on a design and implementation of a ‘Talking Cells’ project which aims to teach students the subject of “Cell” through an integrated STEAM approach. For this project, the school’s ICT teacher, science teacher and educational technology specialist worked collaboratively to design a series of activities that provided a context for children to solve real-life problems. In total 3 teachers from different subject fields worked as a team on this project with 51 sixth grade students. The students experimented with the ideas by designing solutions for real-life problems that were given to them. The students transformed organelles from cells into objects by using different materials and programming these using digital tools and electronics. The study which took place during lessons totaling 400 minutes, allowed students to experiment with STEAM concepts and skills. The study found that learning through solving real-life problems using programming and STEAM skills had a significant effect on students’ performance.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Meltem Oksuz Karagoz, Erkan Ulu Schools

OKSUZ KARAGOZ who works as an Information Technology Teacher and Instructional Technology Specialist, at Erkan Ulu Schools,

She has a double major license degree from Yeditepe University at CEIT and Information Systems and Technologies with 100% scholarship.

Before she started teaching, her past was filled with experiences like movie production and animation.

She is an expert at Educational Technology,, Robotics, Programming, Web Design, Graphic Design and Game Design.

Along with her advanced English, she is currently learning Spanish and Korean.

Hazan Buyukakmanlar
Science Teacher at Erkan Ulu Schools


Altrichter, H., Posch, P. and Somekh, B. (2007, 2nd edition) Teachers Investigate Their Work: An introduction to action research across the professions (Routledge: London).

Ashcraft, M. H., & Kirk, E. P. (2001). The relationships among working memory, math anxiety, and performance. Journal of experimental psychology: General, 130(2), 224.

Ashcraft, M. H., & Ridley, K. S. (2005). Math anxiety and its cogni- tive consequences: A tutorial review. In J. I. D. Campbell (Ed.), Handbook of mathematical cognition (pp. 315–327). New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Glaser, BG. & Strauss, AL. (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. New York: Aldine De Gruyter.

Hembree, R. (1990). The nature, effects, and relief of mathematics anxiety. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 21(1), 33-46. doi:10.2307/749455

Huber, M.T., Hutchings, P, and Gale, R. (Summer/Fall 2005). Integrative learning for liberal education. Peer Review. Association of American Colleges and Schools: Washington, DC.

[Online], Available: sufa05/pr_sufa05_analysis.pdf [February 2019]

Jolly, A. (2014). Six Characteristics of the Great STEM Lesson. [online], Available:

Ma, X. (1999). A meta-analysis of the relatioship between anxiety toward mathematics and achievement in mathematics. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 30(5), 520-540. doi:10.2307/749772

Ma, X., & Xu, J. (2004). The causal ordering of mathematics anxiety and mathematics achievement: a longitudinal panel analysis. Journal of Adolescence, 27, 165–79.

Mallow, J. V. (2006). Science anxiety: research and action. Handbook of college science teaching, 3-14.

Mcgrath MB, Brown JR (2005) Visual Learning for Science and Engineering. IEEE Comput Graph Appl 25:56–63

Moore, T. J., Stohlmann, M. S., Wang, H. H., Tank, K. M., Glancy, A. W., & Roehrig, G. H. (2014). Implementation and integration of engineering in K-12 STEM education. In Engineering in pre-college settings: Synthesizing research, policy, and practices. Purdue University Press.

Piaget, J. (1970) Logic and psychology. NY: Basic Books.

Strauss, A. (1987). Qualitative analysis for social scientists. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Udo, M. K., Ramsey, G. P., Reynolds-Alpert, S., & Mallow, J. V. (2001). Does physics teaching affect gender-based science anxiety? Journal of Science Education and Technology, 10(3), 237-247.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Wang, H.; Moore T. J.; Roehrig, G. H. & Park, M.S. (2011). STEM Integration: Teacher Perceptions and Practice. [online], Available:

Wigfield, A., & Meece, J. L. (1988). Math anxiety in elementary and secondary school students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 210–216. doi:10.1037/0022- 0663.80.2.210

How to Cite
Oksuz Karagoz, M., & Buyukakmanlar, H. (2019). Reflections on the TALKING CELLS PROJECT: A STEAM Approach to Learning. International Journal of Computer Science Education in Schools, 2(5), 30-38.