» Global Microscience and Water Experiment kits provide tools for science education in disaster stricken areas
05.06.2012 - Natural Sciences Sector

Global Microscience and Water Experiment kits provide tools for science education in disaster stricken areas

©Diana Mosquera Global Microscience and Water experiments conducted by primary and secondary school students in Haiti, October 2011

In the aftermath of the Congo-Brazzaville bomb blast in March 2012, as many as 20,000 children affected were unable to continue their schooling for the academic year. Pedagogical materials and some 150 microscience kits will be distributed to schools in order to help them carry out practical classes for the remainder of the year.

Through cooperation with the UNESCO’s Head Office in Congo-Brazzaville, efforts are being stepped up to provide the most useful tools to the disaster stricken area. These kits provide a hands-on approach to basic experimentation, while welcoming a natural progression with more advanced kits such as Microchemistry and Biology kits, allowing for the specialization of many students, knowing that the reusable kits can serve multiple classes.

Following the magnitude-7.0 earthquake in Haiti in early 2010, UNESCO’s activities in bringing aid to the country was in the form of the Global Microscience Experiment. Around 40 participants including secondary school teachers, curriculum planners, representatives of different ministries and other national stakeholders attended the workshop held from October 20th to 21st in 2011. Where the workshops were held, primary and secondary students actively performed experiments with the use of these kits. The kits, including information booklets, were distributed while the option for integrating these lessons into the school’s science curriculum was also offered.

In other news, the Global Water Experiment that coincided with the International Year of Chemistry (2011) was held thanks to the collaboration of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry and UNESCO. The catchphrase “Water, a chemical solution” advocated the teaming up of over 180 countries in order to share ideas and knowledge of the planet’s valuable resource. Participants explored acidity, salinity, filtration and distillation through experiments made possible with the microscience kits which were sent to 30 developing countries, allowing them to compare results through a website.

Playing more than just the role of distributing equipment, the Global Microscience Experiment brought quality training to the areas seeking to improve their educators’ capacities. Moreover, the right kind of education should be provided, which is why the Science Education Unit provides primary, secondary and tertiary pedagogical materials to schools while meeting with policy-makers, students and teachers alike. Besides the materials, the workshops that are held are highly adaptable and can be held wherever countries seek higher scientific literacy through the promotion of gender equality and a fair choice of scientific career.

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