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Advocacy Update: Spark and Inspire Workshop

October 1, 2022 - We visited one of our host communities in Tanay, Rizal to conduct our #wearkindness Spark and inspire #STEM workshop, made possible by your support. Students from Laiban Elementary School took part in the workshop that combines theory, practice, and VR. 


wearkindness Spark and Inspire is an active, direct, tech-driven, and immersive workshop designed to make STEM learning fun and accessible to all. It is run in communities with limited educational resources and access to electricity, making it challenging for teachers to expose their students to technology and other learning tools like a computer.


The workshop follows the 4 Key Stages in making every student’s learning experience memorable, engaging, and inspiring.

Stage 1: Guide

The workshop is conducted by a volunteer practitioner with a professional understanding of the subject and real-life experiences to share with the learners. The guide’s role is to explain the subject and basic scientific theories within the scope of the workshop module and be there with the students at every step of the learning process, following their individual learning pace with the assistance of other volunteers. 
This stage of the workshop aims to provide a theoretical and personal context and allow the learners to independently build an understanding of the subject.  

Theoretical Context: There’s science in everything.

How does it work? Based on the scope of the workshop module, the guide will discuss relevant scientific theories in a way that’s suitable to the learners’ learning ability. And since every student learns differently, the guide and other volunteers will be there to check for understanding, identify roadblocks, and stay sensitive to the learners’ needs for support and guidance. 

The learners were guided through the theories and the basic concept of what makes space rockets work. ​​
The students were also given the visual materials they need to follow the discussion, and were encouraged to ask questions and share their ideas. ​​

Personal Context: It’s all around you.

How can you see it (scientific theories) around you? By providing personal context and making the subject relatable to the learners, we are able to show science beyond how it’s commonly explained in the classroom and school textbooks. We are also able to spark their curiosity, feed their imagination, and encourage them to think of ways how they could use it to better the world around them.

The workshop guide explained the basic steps to scientific enquiry and shared why it is important to always ask questions and be excited about finding the answers. ​​

The Scientific Method: Thinking Like a Scientist

We want the learners to see themselves as young scientists who are about to make great discoveries. To become a scientist, learners are taught the scientific method in looking at the world around them and processing the information they acquire through observation and experimentation.

Stage 2: Immerse

Developments in technology have produced new and immersive ways of learning. The workshop aims to break learning barriers and make technology accessible to students in remote communities. We use VR technology to bring the learners closer to the subject and give them a whole new visual learning experience. 

The learners were given an opportunity to watch a VR content about space and interact with an immersive space simulation app that lets them experience first-hand what it’s like to be inside the International Space Station. ​​

We believe that virtual reality can improve how they understand and retain information by giving the learners memorable and immersive experiences that would otherwise not be possible without VR. The learners can travel to different parts of the world and enter exciting and interactive virtual environments without leaving the classroom. 


At this stage of the workshop, the learners will each get a chance to experience VR content relevant to the topic at hand. They will then be asked to share their experiences and ideas with the group as a social exercise. 

Stage 3: Activate

Now that we have established context and given the learners a new way of experiencing the subject through VR, we now give them the opportunity to build a project as a team. At this stage of the workshop, learners will be presented with a challenge that they need to provide a solution for using what they have learned earlier. They will need to share ideas, work together, decide on a solution and start building their project. Like in the scientific method, we give the learners the opportunity to present their projects to the group.

The learners were tasked to build a launch bay using bricks and design their own rocket using materials they found in the classroom. ​​
The learners went outside the classroom with their launch bays and rockets and saw the how simple cooking ingredients can simulate a flying rocket. ​​

Stage 4: Reward

Every learner is a winner. To further build on the learners’ desire and passion for always learning, we close the workshop with an awarding activity. The students are recognized for their contribution, ideas, building and design skills, and for their show of leadership.

We’ll reach out to more communities, schools, and students in the coming months to make technology and STEM learning accessible to all. Your support is making it all possible. 


If you’d like to get in touch with us regarding our advocacy and workshops, please sent us an email at luis@spreadkindnessph.org.


 

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