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Monthly Archives: April 2011

I’ve been having some technical difficulties posting to my blog.  I appreciate all the comments and feedback I’ve received.  I will update soon as we may have solved the problem.  (Thanks Richard).  I am off to Dar Es Salam today for the week as many schools are closed for the end of term / Easter break.

Please stay tuned.


I bought an interesting video called “the Human Body: Pushing its Limits”. It is kind of neat as it shows a person but only his skeleton and muscle systems as he executes a number of tasks and discusses the ability of the body to achieve amazing feats when under stress. We showed this movie recently to the Form III boys at Moshi SS. They have a computer lab and even a projector so it was easy. While I was there I inquired as to their physics topics and arranged to return next week to do some practical Optics.

Before the break I spent the morning with the Form III physics students at Moshi SS.  Sabrina (teacher from Germany) helped out.  We did some optics activities, namely finding the focal length of a mirror and then discovering the concept of refraction.

The focal length exercise particularly is a difficult one to grasp.  My students in Canada find it tricky as well.  It is pretty important that students try to do it because they think they know but they often miss the important point about incoming rays being parallel to each other.  It was a good day and I met a new physics teacher who hadn’t been to the workshops before.  Sorry and sadly I seem to have lost the pictures from this event.

Titration of Asperin

Ok so we need to work on communication.  Workshop IV for teachers was very poorly attended.  The dates of term, exams and breaks vary for all schools and no one seems to know when they are until the day of.  At least that is my impression.  A few teachers could not attend due to exam supervision and many others apparently did not get the message and/or did not reply.  I can only contact them through cell phone/ text message.  A representative had volunteered from each school to pass on messages to all the teachers.  This is obviously not working so we’ll work on that for next term.

Sabrina, Biology Teacher

 Those who did attend got right in there with titration labs and further DNA extraction.  We are still having very little success with the DNA.  We met Sabrina who is a volunteer teacher or student teacher from Germany.  She is very good and will be very helpful in facilitating the communication at least with Moshi SS.

Elizabeth receives her certificate from Alliy

Twenty teachers received their First Aid Certification over the two classes. I decided to hold them at the Buffalo Hotel for the cleanliness and comfort since there are many practical exercises.  It was a good decision.  Everything went well and the teachers were extremely happy to receive their training. 

ResusciAnnie allows teachers to Do First Aid

I feel like I’m still taking much for granted, as I have attended many, many First Aid Classes over my lifetime.  I think starting back in swimming lessons and I even remember taking one at Voyageur Travel with their staff.  These teachers are adults and have never taken any First Aid training.  It was fun to watch them fumble

Neema breathes life into Annie

through and eventually master the exercises. 

Dr. Lilac (left)

We had lots of laughs and the instructor was very good.  We were also fortunate to have a medical doctor join in who came with Alliy Lyeme from Dar Es Salam.  Dr. Lilac Mabeba was able to answer questions and contribute more detail when required and it was very nice just to have another resource.

Does this project sound interesting to you?

Are you a science teacher with workshop and leadership experience?

Would you consider spending some time here in Tanzania as a facilitator for the project?

If so, please drop me a note and lets talk.  It is my intention to keep the project running after I return to Canada.  I plan to alternate my time between Do Science and my job in Ontario and will need someone or some people to support the teachers here while I am away.

You can contact me at:

Most schools here are on break of varying lengths. The school year here runs from January to December. There are three terms with up to one month off between each. Teachers are not necessarily off for this time. We are doing First Aid Courses tomorrow and Saturday and have our 4th DST workshop next Thursday.

IT’S RAINING A LOT and the MUD is like GLUE!!