Quench and Connect is working to provide the tools for effective science teaching to the Gayaza school. This year, Quench and Connect partnered with University City High School in San Diego in a project-based learning format that involved U.S. students in an international project: to equip science teaching labs at the school in Gayaza. “Project Lead the Way’ is an innovative national teaching curriculum in the United States that uses real-world hands-on projects to introduce STEM subjects (science, technology engineering and mathematics) early in secondary school, and encourage students to follow careers in science [www.pltw.org].
For this project, under the direction of a very talented teacher, Ms. Ellie Vandiver, 70 freshmen students wrote grant proposals to obtain the supplies and equipment needed to teach biology, chemistry and physics labs at the Ugandan high school. The grant proposals described the critical need for the supplies, and projected the importance of these teaching labs for the future technological growth of Uganda. The students prepared lists of supplies and lab items needed for the experiments in a well-equipped high school lab (e.g., test tubes, beakers, reagents, microscopes, charts, diagrams, test kits, etc.), and identified science supply companies that could be approached for donations. They also prepared lesson plans for lab experiments, as teaching tools for the Ugandan teachers. These lesson plans were reviewed and critiqued by science teachers ‘in training’ at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa, under the supervision of Professor Lawrence R. Bice, Chair of the Education Department. At the end of the term, the students formally presented their grant proposals to a review panel of scientists, health care professionals and educators. The quality of their proposals was truly impressive!
Quench and Connect used the grant proposals to seek donations, and we are happy to report that two major science supply companies will donate the requested items. VWR Education has committed to donate most of the needed items and small equipment, including 15 microscopes. This donation was made as part of their corporate ‘Global Education’ program under the direction of Communications Director Nol Vaché. ThermoFisher Scientific is also donating items, facilitated by Fisher Science representative Nancy Withers. The supplies will be assembled on a large pallet for air shipment to Uganda in September!! Quench and Connect and Gayaza Cambridge College of St. Mbaaga are very grateful to all who helped to make this happen.