Workshop on Unlocking the Potential for Low-Cost Teaching in Third World Countries
The sciences, i.e. Biology, Chemistry and Physics, together with Mathematics are regarded as difficult by students, especially in third World Countries, with the consequences that the number of students taking them was relatively small, courses are expensive to stage, students get low grades, and the number of students embarking on careers in these subjects is small whereas the needs for indigenous scientists, engineers, technicians and medical practitioners are huge. A Workshop was organised at ICPAC 2012 to highlight and address the problems and to promote “hands-on” Chemistry and “live” Chemistry via multimedia resources. In order that these resources can be available to both urban and rural students, the participants were introduced to the Chemistry Aid solar classrooms whereby rural students could gain access to IT and modern teaching and learning via low cost solar equipment which could be used both for schools and in their communities. Other modern technology was also demonstrated which could enable on-line resources to be customised for science curricula. To enable students to realise that Chemistry is all around them, low cost resources and experiments using chemicals available in kitchen and supermarkets were demonstrated in an interactive session. The practicalities of making the new resources available via grants and sponsorship were part of a “brainstorming” session. Feedback from participants was very positive about solar classrooms and “hands-on” Kitchen and Supermarket Chemistry using plastic equipment.
KeywordsWorkshop Participant Rural School Chemistry Teaching Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate Multimedia Resource
The authors would like to acknowledge support from Chemistry Aid colleagues, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Educational Techniques Group Trust (a sub-group of the Educational Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry), the Chemistry Video Consortium (CVC), the University of Southampton, Nottingham Trent University, Chemistry Aid and Chemistry Aid colleagues, and the Scientific Advisory and Information Network (SAIN) of Kenya. The authors would also like to thank the Organising Committee of ICPAC for the opportunity to present the Workshop at ICPAC 2012 and for the supply of chemicals and equipment used in the Workshop.
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