Monday, August 20, 2007

Holiday Science Learning Camp: 1st Update

After weeks of endless planning, countless late nights at the office and many tired souls, the day finally came when we marked the first day of the Holiday Science Learning Camp.

We started the day at 7.30 am with the members coming to the office, most of us were on time but a few were a little late, but this did not set us back, as we embarked on loading the materials into the van. By 8.30 we were crusing down Thika Road. Luckily for us there was little traffic there so we were at the school by 5 minutes to 9.00 am.

At the school we were greated by about 100 or so young, bright and enthusiastic faces who were eager to hear what the guests had in store for them.
We started with our usual Cosmos Education introduction. We started with a general introduction of the organisation, followed by each member introducing themselves and what they do.

This was then followed by an introduction of our three simple Cosmos Education rules:-

  1. If we speak too quickly for you to follow, tell us to slow down (with a special hand signal).

  2. The key to all of science: You must ask questions!

  3. The key to learning: You must have fun!
Billy, a Zambian team member introducing the three rules

We then played a simple game " 20 question" where a team member holds something in the palm of their hand and the students have to figure out what it is by asking questions that have only a yes or no answer. The students were able to figure out what the hidden object was a pebble in a record two questions, a great achievement for a primary school! The best we have seen so far was six questions and this was from a high school.

After the introduction session the students were broken down into 10 groups, and each group chose an animal name. The theme of the day was biology. Modules included animals and feeding livestock, the cell and cell membrane activity, adaptation of animals and plants, the DNA activity, and Drugs and their effects all taught by student and recent graduate volunteers. Certified teaches taught human body, health, plants, animals and food and nutritition as the topics of the day. Beatrice Mumbi teaching the human body to class 4

Each group had a total of four sessions: two with young volunteers doing modules, and the other two with the primary school teachers.

We finished with a review of the day and the students were asked which sessions they liked the most and what new thing they had learned. These are some of their responses:

  • I enjoyed health education.

  • I especially liked the session on farm animals as I learned new breeds of animals and animal adaptations.

  • I was happy with the sessions today as I got to know the meeting of DNA.

  • I liked the sessions on drugs and its effects.
We finally finished off with the ''Science chant''

Isaac teaching the science chant to the students

Tommorrow is a new day and we look forward to inspiring, empowering, and engaging the students at MCEDO - Beijing school in Mathare Valley to use science as a tool for sustainable development.

1 comment:

khand said...

Fantastic work CEK!!! Look forward to reading more. Keep the pictures and stories coming!