Under African Skies: Kenya, 2006
June 10 - July 8
Cosmos Education has brought its "Under African Skies" project back to Kenya. We have met with students in schools to discuss the role of Science and Technology in Health, the Environment and Sustainable development. Our visits involve hands-on activities to help build the confidence of young people in their ability to use critical thinking in their day-to-day lives.
The first two weeks of UAS were spent in the Nairobi area; the next two around Meru and Chogoria. The theme connecting many of the modules is Energy.
Each visit involves an introduction of the whole UAS team and our goals; separation into smaller groups to work on modules - normally with each student working on more than one; and a closing session in which we answer any left over technical questions that the students may have, and discuss careers with them.
Each of our volunteers has worked with Cosmos Education to develop a module lasting around half an hour on a topic relevant to their own sphere of knowledge:
Our work has mostly been in secondary schools, though some primary schools have also been visited. All the volunteers have had to adapt to the different atmospheres and abilities present in the range of schools seen so far. There exists a disparity in funding levels between different types of public (state run) schools and this can translate to attitudinal differences in the students. We continue to feel that all of these students benefit from our work, whatever level they start from. The opportunity to try things out for themselves, interact with a range of new people, and the affirmation that they can do science is refreshing and encouraging for them.
Quotes from students
The students at Rungiri Secondary School kindly wrote some of their thoughts down before we left. Here are just a few representative ones:
Meru & Chogoria
The chance to visit and work in Chogoria and Meru was fantastic - it was a pleasure to make contact with students in a slightly more rural setting. Of course, the students here were just as keen on the different approach to learning as in the city, which made up for the slightly more difficult communication gap present in some schools.
In Kenya, Cosmos Education Kenya is Registered Society No. 26710.