To build girls' confidence, interest and knowledge in science and math, The Exploratory gives teachers the necessary supplies, stationery and training to facilitate free, weekly hands-on science clubs. This project will support weekly, interactive, after school sessions for 600 girls and 150 boys in 16 public upper primary and junior high schools in the greater Accra and Eastern regions in Ghana in 2018.
Most primary school students in Ghana learn science by rote because their teachers are not trained as subject experts, and few schools have supplies or equipment. Furthermore, gendered expectations keep many girls from pursuing science and engineering. The Exploratory's clubs and teacher-facilitators make science come alive for students through hands-on activities that enable "light bulbs to go on" figuratively and literally, and create a supportive environment, especially for girls.
We provide science kits and supplies to teachers after they participate in an annual training. They in turn recruit students and co-facilitate science clubs with activities co-developed with The Exploratory, and adapted for local curriculum and available resources. Clubs typically have a teacher:student ratio of 1:10 so students work in small groups, to explore, experiment, measure, observe, ask questions and discuss. 2018 topics include body systems, agriculture and electronics.
750 students and 70 teachers benefit directly. Club members will have better grades in science, be more likely to go on to senior secondary school, and a subset will to continue in science. Teachers use supplies and kits for other classes in their school, and club members serve as peer teachers, so at least an additional 3000 students will benefit from having hands-on science learning. Our project raises the quality of science education in the schools, and academic prospects of students.