Experimento in three African countries

Mar 17, 2017

Discovering and understanding scientific and technological interrelationships: this is the aim of Siemens Foundation and its international educational program Experimento.

Children perform an experiment Enlarge image Children perform an experiment (© Siemens Foundation) The program aims to make children and young people in Africa, Latin America and Europe/Germany excited about scientific and technological interrelationships. It is based on the principle of learning through discovery, in which children and young people actively shape their individual learning processes. In order to meet the specific requirements for teaching and learning in each country, Siemens Foundation works in close cooperation with local educational partners.

Experimento is currently active in three African countries: Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

Kenya: Improving teaching skills

In Kenya the program is focusing on Nairobi and the surrounding area since 2014. Training local educators to become multipliers is a key component of the Experimento concept here. That is why teachers and educators are given training in Experimento’s didactic and methodological approaches in specially developed seminars.

The Experimento team in Kenya now consists of three country-based multipliers who share their expertise at new schools each year and help to continuously strengthen the science and technology knowledge base of children and young people. They are also backed by a local project management team that maintains a broad network with contacts in the Kenyan educational community and clears the way for access to ministries.

Unterricht Enlarge image (© Auswärtiges Amt) Nigeria: Approaching problems with education

Poverty, infrastructure bottlenecks, the illiteracy rate and the lack of well-trained experts have a negative impact on Nigeria‘s productivity as the largest economy of the continent. Structural and process improvements will lead to a substantial increase in this area as well as in the country's value creation. Here is where the Siemens Foundation would like to make a long-term contribution. Along with South Africa and Kenya, the foundation has also made a commitment to Nigeria. With its educational program Experimento, the foundation will support the entire educational chain by providing educators with materials and methods to improve the quality of their teaching and foster their students’ knowledge of science and technology. Promulgation of Experimento’s didactic and methodological approaches will take place in cooperation with the University of Lagos. Dedicated teachers will receive training to become Experimento multipliers who then share their knowledge with their colleagues and students once they’ve finished the course. The first training seminar for Experimento multipliers took place in September 2016.

South Africa: Upholding Mandela's legacy

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” Nelson Mandela said. Although South Africa has an efficient school system, the discrepancies are clear and the challenges in the education sector enormous: a general shortage of qualified teaching staff, lack of equipment and overcrowded classrooms with up to 60 students per class.

Students at the Musi High School in Soweto, South Africa Enlarge image Students at the Musi High School in Soweto, South Africa (© Siemens Foundation) The Siemens Foundation has been conducting its Experimento education program in South Africa since 2012 – with the goal of training teachers to use Experimento and to promote the science and technical education of pupils. Use of Experimento cannot succeed without the support of dedicated educators from the area. That is why teachers and educators are given training in Experimento’s didactic and methodological approaches in specially developed seminars. They pass on their knowledge to pupils as part of teaching. The Experimento seminars have also been certified as an official further training tool in accordance with the criteria set forth by the South African Council for Educators (SACE).

To facilitate the successful implementation of Experimento at schools in South Africa, the Siemens Foundation cooperates with special Science Competence Centers (SCCs) in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Mthatha. At the same time, the Siemens Foundation is working with universities and German international schools on directly integrating the Experimento concept into the teacher training curriculum.

© www.siemens-stiftung.org

Real-life science and technology instruction

Microscopic photo of a biochemical enzyme

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