Universidade do Porto, CIQUP, Unidade de Ensino das Ciências, Departamento de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 1063-1072
ISBN: 978-84-09-24232-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2020.0299
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
The context-based learning approach promotes meaningful learning and students’ motivation. So, providing them contact with socio-scientific relevant situations, which they can explore, is a way to achieve learning goals and to stimulate the knowledge of the surrounding environment. In this path, Perceive the Value of Chemistry (PVC) project was developed to monitor coastal waters’ quality from Portugal’s northern region and to raise awareness of marine litter problems. This project was implemented in the school year 2018/2019 and involved 440 students and 9 Chemistry teachers.

The PVC project was developed in four steps:
1) online tasks such as guided searches, video visualization, interpretation and creation of posters and infographics to raise awareness to marine litter, especially, to the presence of (micro)plastics in coastal waters and its consequences; simultaneously, it was intended to highlight the importance of chemistry and its preventive role in combating these environmental scourges;
2) sampling of coastal waters and beach plastics;
3) performance of waters’ physicochemical analysis and (micro)plastics’ identification to promote the learning of chemistry curricular contents underlying the project; and
4) project dissemination to mobilize acquired knowledge and to develop communication skills.

Students’ performance in online tasks was positive since the outputs produced showed to be adequate to intended objectives. The learning of chemistry contents, assessed through knowledge tests in different moments of the project’s implementation, was also positively achieving the score of 72%. Interviews, with students and teachers, reveal gains of autonomy in lab work, in recognition of materials and techniques, as well as in the ability to implement lab protocols. The project dissemination through exhibits and talks, organized by students, allowed the school community’s engagement and awareness of the importance of chemistry in preventing, detecting, and combating coastal water pollution.
Chemistry Education, Lower Secondary Education, Water monitoring, Microplastics detetion.