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STEM on Wheels: Popularizing Science and Mathematics through Outreach

STEM on Wheels: Popularizing Science and Mathematics through Outreach

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By Makoba Kizito 

Effective teaching is characterized by a child's interest, motivation, and engagement. To do this, teachers must help children learn by having them observe, listen, explore, experiment, and ask questions. For 25 years, CEMASTEA has been training science and mathematics teachers about learner-cantered teaching strategies that inspire, involve, and spark interest in STEM. Throughout this time, however, the Centre has not had programmes that have direct contact with learners other than when they visit the Centre or during classroom-based activities such as lesson observation during research. When learners visit CEMASTEA, they get a chance to experience science and mathematics, and how they are applied in everyday life.  The Centre features a makers-space, innovation math and science rooms, and the state-of-the-art laboratories. The experiences assist learners view mathematics and science from an angle of play and place-based perspectives. However, only a few learners can visit the Centre at a particular time.

Esther Nyambura, ICT department interacting with young STEMists

In an effort to have more learners experience STEM education, ensure equity in light of the positive feedback from the learners and, the steadily growing requests from schools for visits, the Centre started the STEM outreach programme. We coined the slogan: "If all learners cannot come to CEMASTEA, we go to the schools". This is how the concept of the ‘STEM on Wheels’ was born. The goal was to bring STEM experiences right in the contexts of the learners. ‘STEM on Wheels’ brings a mobile STEM lab (bus) to schools, allowing learners and teachers to participate individually and as groups in hands-on activities and experiments. The program is designed to engage learners in STEM subjects and help them develop critical mathematical and science thinking, problem-solving, engineering, and science and mathematical communication skills. The program is run by experienced educators and volunteers who guide learners through the activities as they provide support and encouragement. Learner-driven science experiments, mathematics and science-related activities, robotics, coding, critical thinking, and problem-solving exercises, and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), are some of the STEM-related activities on offer during the outreaches.

Read 183 times Last modified on Last modified on June 07 2024
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