The African Science week is an initiative of the Next Einstein Forum that is taking part in 34 different African countries. This year, between 2 – 10 December, the African Maths initiative (AMI) participated by holding an all-girls maths camp at Manor House Agricultural Centre Kitale. The camp was sponsored by Mawazo Institute and her partners - Johnson & Johnson Innovation and L’OREAL Foundation for Women in Science.
Participants and Recruitment:The camp recruited 41 female students from about 12 different counties in Kenya.Majority comes from Lewa Conservancy and others are students from the schools (AMI) worked with in the past as well as from other schools that had interest in bringing the students. We had limited number of slots therefore we restricted the number of students a school could bring to the camp. Further, there were 12 local volunteers to facilitate the sessions, four teachers in attendance and a few ladies in corporate world to run talks that motivate the girls.
Why girls only:There are few ladies in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and we are hoping by having the all-girls camp we could excite and motivate more girls into these fields.
Maths camp sessions entails the following:
The sessions covers the following themes:
1.Programming – These are sessions enabling the students to learn basic programming skills. We use physical activities to demonstrate ideas of how computers work and visual programming tools including Google Blockly Games which we hope it excites this topic further.
2.Robotics – The world is changing very fast and robotics is becoming increasingly popular because of efficiency and accuracy it brings to our work. In these sessions we ensure the students understand the ideas behind robotics as well as how they can actually solve local problems using robotics.
3.Mathematical thinking – Ability to solve the 21st century problems is vital and the skills needed for this is innovation, creative thinking and collaboration. In this these sessions we design sessions that promote learning of these skills.
4.Cryptography – Understanding how to be safe online or while using digital devices is crucial in this digital age. We ensure that the participants learn how encryption and decryption of messages happens. We also in these sessions include information about digital safety.
5.Statistics – To expose the students to ideas of statistics which would actually excite them in to fields of data science which is a skill needed for the 21st century.
6.Math's Club – These are sessions made with fun activities in form of puzzles, games and computer activities that we encourage the students to take back in their school and incorporate them in their Maths Clubs.
7. Physical activities- We are always aware work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Therefore, despite being a new learning experience for them we also incorporate appropriate physical activities to make the camp a lot more fun.
These are some of the benefits that were brought by hosting C4C training in March this year at our facility. Thanks to RARE and IFOAM Organics international. Below are photos for day 1 to day 3