Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Holiday Science Learning Camp - Day Two

The day looked brighter than the one before, cold... but bright. The rush was to obtain material we weren't able to, the previous weekend. Luckily, material was found and bought. This day, we left the office at 8:45 am, knowing there was no jam as we got to the school. We picked up one of the teachers along Thika road while we met another two already at the school waiting to start the day. The kids were all fresh and lively from having their breakfast - tea. As everyone was taking a cup of tea, the group collected their material and prepared to present their modules. Everyone then went to their designated classes. The students, all bright and alert, were listening attentively and asking questions when they did not understand. A couple of students were even brave enough to carry out the experiments themselves!

On this day, the experiments were Chemistry based. Students were very excited to see a balloon blown by a mixture of vinegar and baking powder. Others thought it was magic to see water rise in a glass jar after lighting a candle in a dish with water and covered with the jar. The teachers on the other hand, had an interesting time interacting with the students. After the first two sessions of experimenting and having fun, we had a photo session. The students were very eager to have their images frozen for the rest of eternity. The Cosmos group too did not shy off.

Unfortunately, lunch was late. We decided to have a third session as we waited for lunch but this did not deter the students. Their energy was unequalled and their thirst for knowledge insatiable. Amongst the fears of having lunch of omena and ugali, we waited patiently. Long before we knew it, it was time for lunch – githeri (much to others relief/peril).

This was then followed by another session of science experiments and classes interrupted occasionally with songs to keep the students attentive and interested. The students were asked to fill out an evaluation form listing what new thing they learnt that day; their favorite session of the day and what they would have liked to learn more about. Before we knew it, the day was done. The students were directed outside where we did our end-of-day ritual – the Science chant. The students were then dismissed.

Back at the staff room, the group sat down and discussed the day. We went through the evaluation forms and discussed the effect we had on the students. It was unanimous that the day went well and that we had a positive impact on the students. We left the school feeling very proud of ourselves and discussing possibilities of having the same HSLC program in another disadvantaged school. It was truly a sunny day, in every sense of the word.

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