Bajo el marco de la Feria STEAM 2021 de Tree of Life International School con el tema general: “It’s a Green World”, los estudiantes de JRI (6to y 7mo) y JRII (sólo 8vo) prepararon proyectos con el objetivo de resolver un problema que habían observado y que siempre les había interesado o llamado la atención. Iniciamos este proceso de aprendizaje, la segunda semana del Term II, y trabajaron todos con pasión y entusiasmo por ocho semanas para presentar en la conferencia virtual nuestros hallazgos, prototipos y soluciones al problema planteado inicialmente.

Con gran orgullo, como profesora, les dejo una muestra de proyectos que fueron presentados a invitados expertos de diferentes partes del mundo y a toda la comunidad TOLIS, el pasado 11 de junio 2021.


Discovering Eolic Energy by Jorge Montero

To create awareness about the importance of using clean renewable energy, in this case, eolic energy, instead of traditional production of electricity because it contaminates the environment. Wind provides mechanical power through wind turbines to turn electric generators for electrical power. Electricity is very important for many production processes, and in our daily life.


Eolic Energy prototype by Jorge Montero.


Students had a set of questions to guide them in their research process to reach the understanding goals. For that reason they had a Learning Log where they kept track of their process. We share some of the entries in his Learning Log during his whole process of research on this topic.

1-“How does electricity work? I learned that electricity is produced when an atom loses or gains an electron, therefore an electric current is the movement of negative electrical charges (electrons) through a conductor.”


The cardboard houses harbour LED lamps that are wired to the wind turbine.


2-“Are water and wind reliable sources of energy?

Waves aren’t interrupted and always in motion. This makes electricity generation from wave energy a more reliable energy source compared to wind power, since wind is not constantly blowing”. 


Cardboard tubes serve as posts to complete the circuit


3- “How to transform the wind energy into electricity? “The kinetic energy stored in the wind turns the blades of the turbine around a rotor. The rotor spins a generator within the turbine, which is what creates usable electricity.”


Mobile Research Station by Matias Brenes, Darren Connor Henriuk, Mauricio Cabrera

An eco-friendly, self-sustaining research station that allows scientists to study plants, animals and/or fungi in their natural habitat without harming it in any way. The station will be specifically equipped for the mission, and the crew will be provided with all the technology needed for the mission. With a steady supply chain and access to a reliable source of clean water, the station acts self sustainably.


This prototype by Connor, Matías and Mauricio is a design for a mobile research station
“Is the station compatible in every biome? The station IS compatible in every biome, unless the mission is in the Arctic, Tundra or Antarctica during winter (that far north and south there are 0 hours of sunlight during winter and 24 hours of sunlight during summer) because the solar panels aren’t able to generate power at all.” (Entry from the Learning Log).
The installation even has its own orchard growing out of the roof
“The station will have lights, satellite internet, outlets, a small refrigerator with frozen food and an oven. The crew will be regularly provided with food and other supplies once they run out. It will also have a ceiling fan or an electrical heater if the mission is in a desert (or another hot environment) or a cold environment.” (Entry from the Presentation Powerpoint).
The trees are made of lichen from the Irazú Volcano

Cutting Down Trees by Cassandra Chacon Davidson

The goal of this project is to create awareness about the importance of planting a tree for every tree that is cut down. It also allows one to discover a good option for people who live in the city and can’t plant trees. If you live in a city where there is not much room to plant trees, here is an idea of how to clean the air in your house. Many house plants clean the air and produce oxygen as well as trees. If each home had houseplants, the quality of the air would be better. I give you the snake plant in a Bi-Weakly-Easy-Watering-Shelf, my own design, and prototype.


Cassandra´s prototype explores easy caring plants in small apartments, a contribution in urban areas for more greenery.


Hydropower. By Mia Marin Pinagel, Felipe Gutierrez Truque and Nicholas Cabrera González

To collect water used at home to produce energy (hydroelectric energy). We can use hydropower to gain electricity and have backups for outages or disruptions of electricity. We will make a prototype of a water wheel (using recycled materials) with a motor to generate electricity through kinetic energy.


Hydropower prototype by Mia, Felipe and Nicolás.

Estos son sólo algunos de los proyectos de los alumnos, de los múltiples que surgieron del proceso de trabajo para el Steam Fair.

El andamiaje metodológico que se usó para guiar a los estudiantes en su proceso de exploración y aprendizaje tuvo como principal objetivo no sólo un prototipo bonito, sino una comprensión profunda de la material.


Made entirely of salvaged materials, this water wheel is a perfect example of upcycling


Los prototipos son sólo la punta del iceberg. El aprendizaje y la comprensión auténtica- basada en el pensamiento crítico de los estudiantes- es el verdadero iceberg bajo el agua. Ese gigante que no se ve, pero sostiene todo el peso del progreso; un trabajo conjunto del docente y del estudiante, una alianza segura que le permitirá a los chicos el éxito de sus emprendimientos.


Texto por profesora Marcela Vega y alumnos

Fotografías por Leandro Natale