Universitas Gadjah Mada through its Faculty of Biology provided coaching and guidance for youth in Yogyakarta to learn about nature by using technology and gadgets.
The faculty collaborates with Sagasitas Indonesia Foundation through a community service program entitled Education for Sustainable Development. This program has been carried out since April 2018 by collaborating with the community of young researchers and scientific counselors in Yogyakarta.
The coordinator, Matin Nuhamunada, M.Sc., stated this program was inspired by the phenomenon of high technological dependence in the young generation. This condition raises concerns for teachers about their students being less sensitive to the surrounding environment.
“In fact, their sensitivity and concern will be key in facing global problems in the future, especially the challenges of climate change,” explained the UGM Biology lecturer, Wednesday (10/31).
Matin explained this program began with dissemination and discussion with scientific research counselors in Yogyakarta. The dissemination was related to the innovation method of design thinking than can help students identify problems and find solutions in youth research process. It was held during the Sagasitas Research Exhibition in July 2018, in which hundreds of student research titles were also presented.
The program’s highlight took place on Friday (10/26) at SMAN 2 Playen, Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta, which was attended by 50 local students and 35 teachers. The coaching carries the theme “Implementation of Lifelong Learning through Design Thinking in Facing Climate Change in Technology Disruption Era”.
“We hope that generation Z can use their technology wisely. Through the Design Thinking approach, we want to invite students to hone their skills in identifying problems, asking questions, and generating smart solutions to be implemented through youth research programs,” he said.
Furthermore, the students also learned about the impact of climate change on daily life. The material was presented by Thoriq Teja Samudra, M.Sc., Biotechnology lecturer from UNISA.
The program ends with the demonstration of using Arduino technology by Jaler Sekar Maji, S.Si., UGM Electronics and Instrumentation Study Program graduate as well as alumnus of Indonesian Student Research Olympiad. On this occasion, Jaler invited students to try to measure soil moisture by using sensors connected to Arduino. As a result, students can observe in real-time the water content in soil. This concept is expected to be used by Gunungkidul students to develop water efficient smart farming systems.
Through this project-based learning program, students are introduced to Arduino and how they can use various sensors to interact with the surrounding nature by using technology and gadgets.
“Hopefully, they can be a lifelong learner by using Design Thinking method and use technology to become closer to nature,” he concluded.