The Working to Advance STEM Education for African Women (WAAW) Foundation in partnership with The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) trained over 120 STEM teachers to execute the Maths and Sciences for Sub-Saharan Africa (MS4SSA) training programme for S1 teachers in Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology from March 23rd to 31st in Rwanda.
The overall purpose was to equip S1 Math, Physics, Chemistry and Biology teachers with sufficient pedagogical skills to introduce the MS4SSA approach to the pilot schools; deliberately influence a behavior change among teachers for them to accommodate innovative pedagogy approaches and; equip them with the skills to encourage equal participation of both boys and girls in learning Maths and Sciences.
WAAW Foundation led several sessions on the inclusion of gender as a cross-cutting theme during the training and; supported the training of teachers on the use of technology to enhance classroom experience for students through hands-on activities that can be used to increase the interest among secondary school students to pursue courses in STEM at post-secondary level.
The teachers were trained on Solar and Wind Energy as various forms of Renewable Energy and sustainable ways to combat inadequate electricity supply in their communities. More so, these teachers were trained on Arduino programming as the best approach for introducing students to microcontrollers and hardware programming.
The Founder and CEO of WAAW Foundation, Dr. Unoma Okorafor spoke on introducing gender-sensitive STEM curriculum to the classroom to increase the participation of girls in Science and Technology. She said, “The Next Einstein will be from Africa and I believe it is going to be a woman”. The teachers were also introduced to the STEM-in-a-bag kits as an innovative and portable collection of teaching materials that enhances the 21st Century STEM curriculum.
Members of the WAAW Foundation Board of Directors, Mrs. Janet Fofang introduced teachers to various ways of incorporating hands-on activities in the classroom using locally available materials; and Mrs. Juliet Kego enlightened teachers to always encourage their students and be the role models students would look up to.
Consequently, the outcome of this training programme has changed the behavior of S1 teachers on innovative teaching methodologies/pedagogy and equipped them with the skills to ensure participation of both boys and girls in Maths and Science.