My trip was smooth but quick. A very busy week what with DST workshop, sorting out students at school and friends in the village. Do Science workshop are continuing to be successful although the challenges of doing these activities in the classrooms with large numbers of students continues to be an issue. Perhaps I’ll have to take another sabbatical in order to join them and support them in their classes. Unfortunately that is not possible.
The workshop was well attended with 40 teachers attending. The biology team was doing a rat dissection and testing leaves for protein. In this picture they are extracting the protein from the leaf after which they will conduct the protein test on the green solution.
The chemists were conducting studies of mass differences for electrodes in electrochemical cells. In this photo teachers are allowing the cell to run, expecting to find additional mass on one electrode and less on the other as the ions transfer through the solution.
The Physics panel was working on the density of liquids and solids. In this photo they are measuring the relative height of the oil vs. the unknown liquid.
Aside from my work with DST I am trying to support a family from the village of Marangu. This trip I brought walker for the 90 year old great grandmother. The smile on her face shows how happy she was. She has quite a lot of trouble walking and this allows her to get outside much more. Prosper is decked out in my nephew Philips castoffs. He has joined our home in Moshi and has started an apprenticeship with a Mechanic there. Deo, Anna and Baracka are my Tanzanian family. Anna is 9, in Grade 3, Baracka is 6 in Grade 2 and Deo drives visitors to and from Trail Heads and Airports etc. for our Business called ‘Double D Transfers’.
This is my home in Moshi. I had it built …not with DST funds be assured. We have power as of 1 month which is great. It took a full year to get it. Nice to have a refrigerator.
I thought it would be spring upon returning to Canada….I was wrong but I am thankful the weather is better than in Newfoundland.
I will return in July to administer the Student Scholarships.
That’s the update for now….
It’s already March and I am getting ready to head over for a short visit to Moshi. The local executive has held two workshops already this year and I look forward to attending the March workshop next Wednesday. While I’m there I will do an assessment of the program to see how well we are meeting our goals and the needs of the students. I’ll be sure to take some photos next week to update the blog.
I can’t wait to get away from this snow. I hope the weather will break soon.
Tumaini is currently in his first year of studying to be a Medical Officer. He is out on the coast….South of Dar Es Salaam. He reports that he is really enjoying the course and especially being in the hospitals working with the patients.
I hope to see him later this year to catch up.
Do Science is entering the 4th year of operations. Since the beginning I have been providing regular progress reports to the Municipal Council of Moshi, Education Department. The Kilimanjaro Regional Education Officer has inquired if we could consider expanding outside the city of Moshi. While I can see many obstacles to this, we are approaching the suggestion with optimism and open minds.
Our hope is to organize a workshop in 2014 for teachers of surrounding village schools. Currently I am trying to find a realistic time when I can be there. Either first thing in January or over March Break look like practical possibilities. The objective would be to assess current practices and brainstorm ideas for professional development and program support for these teachers.
My DST website seems to be at capacity and I cannot upload photos of the scholarship winners. Here they are…
Mary Francis Membe
Glory Kimario (Mahmoud Eid Award Winner)
Mme Bertha Msaki greets guests at DST booth
Young Scientists is a Science Fair event that is held annually in Dar Es Salaam. Last year the winners of this prestigious competition were from the Kilimanjaro Region. As a results I was contacted by the organizers and we began to talk about future collaborations. This year I sent 3 of my local leaders to attend the event and to present Do Science at an exhibit booth along with the sponsors. They had a wonderful experience, one like they had never participated in before. We will continue talking to see how we can work together in the future.
Reginald Mengi Secondary School scholarship recipients
In August, Do Science was able to provide scholarships for 19 young high school students. Each were provided with a solar light to help them study at night. Some were given new uniforms and school bags depending on how much debt they had to pay off. Here is a group of students from Reginald Mengi students receiving their scholarships.
Glory Kimario wins Mahmoud Eid Character Award
The Mahmoud Eid Character Award was given to Glory Kimaro. In addition to tuition, solar light and new uniform, she was presented with these Physics and Biology resources that will serve her throughout her future science education. Glory is currently in Form IV at Reginald Mengi Secondary School.
Please visit the DST website to see the rest of this years scholarship recipients.
I am interviewing for scholarships today. I met the clear winner of the Mahmoud Award so I’m very happy. All the others were well deserving too. I’ll have them all finished up this week…fingers crossed. I see the line at the bank is quite long these days.
The teachers workshop was held on the 17th. It was a huge surprise to find that teachers were already waiting before I arrived and by 8:45 most had arrived and were already involved in their panel activities. The workshop doesn’t start until 9:00. Wow! We’ve come a long way.
The Biologists were working on making dichotomous keys to categorize different species of insects and plants. The Chemists were preparing some 2 Molar Hydrochloric Acid for their experiment on Rates of Reaction. The physicists were split in two groups working on Optics and Resistance.
They worked very efficiently throughout the day and had enough time to thoroughly finish their investigations. The neatest thing was watching the biology panel make their own skeleton out of paper mache. Not the kind of paper mache I know.
First you have to soak the paper the night before and to rip it up in tiny bits. Then you make the porridge which first requires you to make a fire. Fortunately this bibi is making lunch for the school children so was happy to help out.
They framed the bones using wire of various thicknesses and then applied the gooey paste of newspaper and glue to form the bones.
The Physicists did some surgery on a voltmeter that had seen better days. Just another day for these teachers. They were successful in the end. They were working on an experiment to determine the resistance of a rheostat. Alternately they worked on developing the relationship between the number of images produced in a hinged plane mirror and the angle between them.
The Chemistry teachers learned to shape a delivery tube using the Bunsen burner. Then the experimented with the rates of reaction of CaCO3 and HCl by varying the size of particles. Several teachers had not done this before.
The day ran very smoothly and we finished up with some pilau and sodas all around (except for those fasting for Rhamadan).
I’ve been back in Moshi since July 4. I’ve built a house outside of town and we still have no power. This is why I have been unable to post promptly the activities of Do Science. Apologies.
I met with the executive and we planned the workshop for July 17. We have a new member on our team. Janet Mushi is a Chemistry teacher and is now working together with Elizabeth on that panel. We are very happy to have her. We lost Rene Costa to a Masters Program just after he joined the team in December. We are still looking for another Biology leader to work with Bosco Sisti on that Panel.
I am pleased to report that all members of the team have agreed to continue into 2014 in their current positions, including Bertha Msaki who has been doing an excellent job as Chairperson for this Leadership team.
The weather this time of year is lovely. Nice and cool, cardigan temperature much of the time except if the sun is strong in the afternoon and you are out in it. Essentially no rain. Clouds are more prevalent now but still nothing more than a sprinkle. The views of the mountain from my front porch have been amazing.