1. Science Education in Rural Areas (SERA)
Shoily Science Program, the village Initiative for Science Education, offers professional development support program for science teachers in underdeveloped rural areas based on local curriculum. The program consists of a three-day professional development workshop, trainers will demonstrate interactive science experiments using locally available materials that could be integrated into their own classrooms eventually. If the material is truly not available in the closer areas, Shoily foundation will support them to provide them with those materials. These hands-on science-based (or STEM) experiments will be developed by Shoily Science design team to focus on physics, chemistry, biology, material science, and engineering with given priority on regional needs, and available resources. The educators also provide offline support to the attendant trainees in the implementation of the experiments. As of 2021, SERA plan to conduct this program in Bangladesh and has trained over 50 teachers which may impact roughly 1000 students.
How will the workshop be conducted?
Educators involving in a SERA professional development workshop are divided into small teams. Each sub-group educator teams works directly under a team leader to conduct a set of experiments, whereas the attendee school teachers is equipped with hands on experiment materials. During this three day-long workshop, teachers have a chance to reach out all of these sub-group educator teams to learn a well-depth knowledge and versatility of experimental demonstration. Attendee teachers coming from the rural communities can take the laboratory experimental kits and use them in their school while they can demonstrate those in front of their own students. Shoily Science experiments use locally available materials so as to attendee-teachers can replicate the experiments in their own schools.
Why Bangladesh is chosen in first attempt?
Students from remote communities of Bangladesh continue to perform poorly on national assessment tests in STEM education. Local science teachers have to teach physics, chemistry, biology, and math to students from grades 7 to 12; however, they themselves are trained as generalists and are not specialists in any fields of science. Teachers receive little to no government support; everything they use in their classrooms is paid out of pocket. In some cases, they ask their students, who often come from impoverished families, to bring materials for classroom activities. Through SERA program, we work with teachers who are dedicated and eager to learn about ways to encourage their students to take an interest in science and engineering. The teachers travel for hours to attend our training workshops from remote communities across the Philippines, using their own money and giving up vacation time because they believe it will help them inspire their students.
2. Science demonstration towards students
Our Shoily Science scientists and educators develop hands-on learning modules that are fun and easy to implement which will boost up the encouragement for the students in science area. These learning module hands-on experiments will either be demonstrated physically in school with multimedia projector or remotely (online seminar). Shoily foundation science development team will give priority to develop the learning modules to best meet the needs of their local community. Shoily Science team design the prioritized lab experiments based on locally available materials. The learning modules should match the school boards existing curricula beside the local community interest such as agriculture, robotics, manufacturing programming and so on. Our shoily science educators are volunteer instructors who are either working as professionals or graduate students in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Shoily Science instructors are dedicated individuals with excellent presentation skills.
Shoily Science team will visit the elementary and high schools; demonstrate the interactive science experiments to students which last roughly one and half an hour in a week (four week in total). At the end of the training, students will be given some quizzes and science based competitive examination. The the top talent will be given full scholarship support for one year. The financial support will be awarded based on his/her family income and the award will be handed over in nearby SERA workshop. In future, Shoily foundation plan to arrange yearly science fair, robotic/programming competition event etc.