Tuesday, October 16, 2007

“3 rd Chemsha bongo ……Engineering Challenges” Update

Chemsha bongo ……Engineering Challenges” Update

Location: St Johns High school.

Activity: Chemsha Bongo

Date: 9th October, 2007

Today’s session saw us go back to St Johns High school for the second chemsha bongo engineering challenges.

All the form three students at St Johns were present for today’s session and four members from Cosmos Education Kenya were present, these were Bridgit Syombua, Evalyn Mwihia, Alice Dande and Kevin Kinyua.

The representatives hard at work trying to formulate words for the first challenge

We started off by reminding the students of out 3 golden rules: -

Rule no 1:-If we speak too quickly for you to follow, tell us to slow down (with a special hand signal.)
Rule no 2:-The key to all of science: You must ask questions.
Rule Rule no3:-The key to learning: You must have fun.

We then broke the students up into 4 groups which the students named Banju, Israel, Chicha and Sanchez and this led us into the first challenge. This was a simple challenge and a test of the student’s prowess in English. The students were given five letters to work with these were B O W L E, with these letters the students were asked to create as many English words as possible from these five letters. Each word was to have a minimum of 3 letters and no repetition was allowed.

Each group selected a representative who was to per take the challenge. Banju group emerged the Victor with Leon, their representative managing 10 correct words. This earned the group 10 points and Leon a reward.

The first challenge had the teams energized and each team determined to win the second challenge. The second challenge was the “Connect the dots” brain teaser. In this challenge the students were to join a series of nine dots using only four straight lines. This activity was aimed at stimulating critical thinking and to think outside the box.
The teams were given ample time to discuss the solution and send a representative to partake the challenge.
This challenge proved easier than we had anticipated as Cyrus from the Sanchez team had it figured out in less than a minute. This earned his team 10 points and a reward for himself.

The third challenge, “Spaghetti Levers” was a test of ingenuity and team work. Each team was given 3 items: - spaghetti straws, some tape and a desk to work on. The challenge was to anchor the straws to the table a using the tape and use the tape again to join the spaghetti straws together and build a structure that extends from the table either vertically or horizontally. The winning team was the one that created the longest structure. In this challenge Chicha emerged the victors.
Students from group Banju working out a way forward for the spaghetti levers challenge

The final challenge was the Egg drop challenge. This challenge was a test in team work, and ingenuity. In this challenge an egg was tied with a sting and tape onto the ceiling the students were given an A4 sized paper and a matchbox. The challenge was to get the egg off the ceiling without touching the egg, string or tape. The egg was to drop in the piece of paper without breaking.
Breaking the rules attracted a point deduction and in the end Israel had the most points and emerged the winner.

The egg drop challenge.

Overall Chichi and Sanchez tied in first place with 25 points each. To get an overall victor a game of rock paper scissors was played with between 2 members of the 2 teams. In a best of 3 Kamau from Chichi got 2 points leading chichi to victory.

Leon receiving an Award from Bridgit

Cyrus receiving an award from Evalyn for winning “connect the dots challenge"

Silas from group Sanchez receiving an award from Alice

Kamau from the wining team receiving an award from Kevin.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Nyota "getting there ...professional insights" update

“Getting there….Professional Insights”

Location: St Johns High School

Speaker: Vivian Nchogu

Profession: Film Maker

Date: 2nd October, 2007

This was our third talk of the Nyota getting there…professional insights phase two. We arrived quite early and found the students already assembled in our usual meeting place eagerly waiting for us. I must say this was a very unique session since for the first time we managed to get a film maker. Vivian Nchogu is a Kenyan film maker based in Uganda. She happened to be in the country for the just concluded Kenya International Film Festival. After persuading her she agreed to come and introduce the students to the world of communication and film making.

Present was Angela Kimani, and Isaac Musyoka, all CEK volunteers. After the general introduction, Vivian took to the floor and did a thorough introduction of herself and her career – what she does for a living. Vivian talked about virtually everything in the mass media. She however dwelled more on film production, where she’s an expert. She explained all about film producers to DOP – director of photography!

On the journalism career, she told the students that one needed the passion and conviction that this was his/her career path. She used the famous phrase: “Do not venture into journalism if you can help it” she talked about the ups and downs of the profession: “sometimes you rub people the wrong way and find yourself in the wrong places for the wrong reasons,” Vivian said. For all the aspiring journalists, Vivian also had this to say, “Journalism is not for the fainthearted, and rather it is for the strong willed.”

Vivian explaining what DOP is to the students.
Vivian however, did not forget to tell the students how the profession can bring you glory and prestige – but it takes time! She said that as a journalist, you get free entry to high profile meetings, seminars, and you also get to have the chance of interviewing and even covering presidents and high profile personalities – the who is who in the world! She emphasized the importance of consistency and patience in the film industry. She said that you got to be honest and open minded all at the same time as the profession is dynamic.

After such a passionate presentation, the students held her captive to answer a myriad of questions to which she was glad to answer. They were reluctant to let her go – in her they saw a role model, a star who could mentor and bring out the journalism in them. They wanted to know if they could be in some of her productions, and she promised to have them be part of the cast for an upcoming documentary, coming out early next year.

At the end of the session, our mission had been accomplished and more effectively for that matter. Vivian lived up to CE’s Inspire, Engage, Empower, motto and we could not ask for more. It was evident from the students’ questions and comments that all was accomplished – someone somewhere had been mentored!

She came, she saw, she mentored and she did it in style!