Encouraging Young Minds for STEAM Education at European Researchers Night

In the bustling corridors of Ataturk University in Erzurum (Turkey) taking place on 29 - 30 September, a spark of creativity and science was kindled by Dr. Gokce Kor Bicakci during the vibrant European Researchers’ Night 2023. With a profound commitment to the “Science from Nature to your Table - Sci-NURTURE (ID: 101061699)” Project funded by EU, Dr. Bicakci showcased the wonders of science through the engaging world of STEAM—fostering an early fascination in the minds of the young.

Dr. Bicakci's approach to STEAM activities is hands-on, immersive, and filled with discovery. Participants from all ages had the joy of experiencing unique STEAM activities, where children delved into experiments that made colors dance in milk and balloons expand without air. They witnessed water rise with a simple candle—each activity a lesson wrapped in delight.

The activities were not mere fun but a testament to the ingenuity of engineering and the beauty of the arts. Dr. Bicakci believes in the power of these practical demonstrations to lay the groundwork for a lifelong love of learning. As Dr. Bicakci looks to the future, her vision is clear—continuing to ignite curiosity and innovation through the RADIOPREFOLIS project. Her sessions are designed to be accessible to all, ensuring that children and the general public can grasp complex concepts like the reduction of micropollutants in wastewater in a simple and enjoyable manner.

Dr. Bicakci's sessions are more than just a learning experience—they are a call to action for the young minds to think critically and creatively about the environment and their future within it.

For detailed information:
👉 https://scinurture.atauni.edu.tr/radiofrepolis/

Sharing Insights from the RADIOFREPOLIS at CEST2023 Conference

Dr. Gokce KOR BICAKCI presented her research paper at CEST2023

It's always a commendable accomplishment when a researcher is invited to share their findings at a global platform. Recently, Dr. Kor Bicakci took the stage at the 18th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology (CEST 2023) in Athens, presenting some of the findings from RADIOFREPOLIS project. Her research paper was entitled as "Assessing the effect of an innovative radio frequency sludge pretreatment on removal of pharmaceuticals of ibuprofen and diclofenac in advanced anaerobic digestion” (ID: cest2023_00169).

For those unfamiliar with the legacy of CEST, it began its journey in 1989. CEST has evolved into a leading environmental conference where the brightest minds, including experts, scientists, entrepreneurs, public administration members, and social initiative leaders, converge to share state-of-the-art research on pressing and emergent environmental issues. This conference stands as a testament to the fusion of academic and industry insights, where the ideas pave the way for a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable future.

Moreover, CEST ensures that the scientific outputs of the conference is documented and accessible. Majority of the presented papers find their way into the esteemed CEST proceedings (ISSN 2944-9820). For those interested in tracing the lineage of research at CEST, the proceedings are available and the CEST2023 book of abstracts can be downloaded from CEST2023 website.

The ethos of CEST2023 is particularly noteworthy. Announced amid global shifts from linear economic models to circular economy and bioeconomy, this edition of CEST prioritized these paradigms, integrating them into its session planning and side events. The CEST2023 event was a great success: gathering 60 participating countries from all over the world. During CEST2023, 47+ sessions and 5+ side events were organized and over 450+ oral/poster papers were presentedalong with 18 invited and keynote speeches.

The impact of CEST isn't merely quantified by its increasing participants. Its scientific relevance is evident in its citation index. As of October 2022, CEST papers published from 2007 to 2022 in special issues of collaborative journals have been cited a staggering 7220 times, boasting an h-index of 49. Given the conference's focus on water-related research, it aligns perfectly with IWA's interests and upholds the quality criteria of IWA supported events.

Igniting Young Minds: A Fascinating Journey through STEAM Activities

Dr. Gokce KOR BICAKCI visited local preschools introducing children to a myriad of STEAM activities and have fun

One of the key pillars of any research should be nurturing many more into the science and research. As part of the RADIOPREFOLIS, Dr. Kor Bicakci aimed at nurturing young minds' curiosity for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). In the recent months, she had the pleasure of visiting three local preschools, introducing children to a myriad of STEAM activities.

Dr. Kor Bicakci brought science to life with a series of engaging experiments. The young minds witnessed the dancing colors in magic milk, learnt how yeast works by inflating balloons without air, and observed the incredible effects of pepper and soap interaction.

Children also had a hands-on experience in creating a color density tower and experimenting with a candle that resulted in rising water. They had the opportunity to serve as little firefighters, extinguishing flames with carbon dioxide, and creating fireworks in a jar, safely of course! They separated colors with magic paper, investigated the chemical properties of red cabbage, and created wriggly paper worms.

Engineering principles were illustrated in fun activities like making a CD Balloon Hovercraft. The children also delved into the fascinating world of technology by learning how to separate pepper from salt using simple techniques, and how to make a scuba diver float in a bottle.

Arts was interwoven in these activities as children created a washing soap powered boat and made a fish float on paper. They brought gummy worms to life by making them dance, and learned the amazing science behind making a lava lamp at home.

The captivating magic skittles rainbow experiment demonstrated a colorful integration of science, arts, and mathematics. The children saw firsthand how the principles they learned were applied practically and excitingly.

The enthusiastic participation and excitement in the children's eyes provided reassurance about the promising future of STEAM. These hands-on activities were not only fun but educational, sparking an early interest in these significant fields. As an extending activities, the children has completed the painting of the great Marie Curie drawing from My Super Science Heroes -Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence.

Dr. Kor Bicakci firmly believes that introducing children to STEAM concepts at a young age fosters a deep appreciation and curiosity that can guide their future learning path. She is looking forward to more visits, spreading the joy of learning, and igniting the spark of innovation in our future leaders.

A big thank you to the preschools for welcoming Dr. Kor Bicakci into their classrooms and to the children for their delightful engagement. Your curiosity and creativity are a testament to the bright future of STEAM! Stay tuned for more STEAM adventures with Dr. Kor Bicakci.

Click here to see the colorful Marie Curie paintings done by amazing children!


Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ISO) 2018 Environment Awards

Dr. Gokce KOR BICAKCI received the ISO 2018 Environment Award, organized by the Istanbul Chamber of Industry

The ISO 2018 Environment Award in academician category was presented to Dr. Gökçe Kor Bıçakcı by the Istanbul Technical University rector, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Karaca and the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Erdal Bahçıvan. Gokce Kor Bicakci has been given the award for her research titled as "EFFECT OF MICROWAVE PRETREATMENT ON REMOVAL OF ANTIMICROBIAL TRICLOSAN DURING ANAEROBIC SLUDGE DIGESTION". The study of Gokce Kor Bicakci among with highly respected four other academicians were awarded this year, who added significant value to the ecosystem with their academic publications in the field of environment. The award ceremony held on 30 November 2018 at Istanbul, Turkey by the participation of Minister of Environment - Mr. Murat Kurum and several key members of academia, business and industry organisations.

Istanbul Chamber of Industry has been offering support to its members regarding environment-related issues since 1990. The chamber carries out its activities in the fields of training, consultancy, opinion-formation, environment projects, carbon footprint, waste management, mining and non-sanitary enterprise licenses, occupational health and safety, and forestation.

ISO initiated the environment awards in 1995 in an attempt to protect the environment, use energy and raw materials more efficiently, produce less waste, and encourage environment-friendly production practices. The tradition continues under the name “Environment and Energy Awards” since 2014. The ISO 2018 Environment Awards have been given after selective evaluation of the several researches and industrial projects on "environment friendly products", "reducing energy and raw material consumption" and "improving sustainability and environment management".

ISO 2018 Environment Awards in Turkish



German Water Partnership (GWP) Award 2017

GWP Prize in Next Generation Waste Water Treatment for Gokce Kor Bicakci

Gokce KOR BICAKCI received the GWP Award, which was organized by the German Water Partnership to support young experts in the field of water and wastewater. The award ceremony held on 2 November 2017 at Eskişehir, Turkey during 7. Turkish-German Water Cooperation Days. This event were organized by the German Water Partnership and the General Directorate of Eskisehir Water and Sewerage Administration (ESKI) and the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization also supported.

The prestigious award has been given after selective evaluation of the researches about "Concrete solutions to challenges in the operation and optimization of water and wastewater treatment plants and their infrastructure within the next 5 year". GWP Award was presented to Gökçe Kor Bıçakçı by Hans Joachim Werner, President of GWP Turkey Forum.

Gokce Kor Bicakci has been given the award for her research titled as "Effect of microwave pretreatment on removal of triclosan during anaerobic sludge digestion and biosolids quality for land application". Kor Bicakci’s study has been supervised by Dr.Eskicioglu, leader of UBC Bioreactor Technology Group and Dr. Cokgor from Istanbul Technical University Environmental Engineering Department.

Gokce Kor Bicakci's GWP Award has been featured on UBCO's website and ITU (Istanbul Technical University) Vakfi magazine.

İTÜ Vakfı Dergisi, Dosya: Yükseköğretimde Kalite, Ocak-Mart 2018, Sayı: 79, Page:110

Research conducted at UBC Okanagan Recognized by German-Turkish Water Organization