Microscopy. Densities. Bottle rockets. Egg Drop. Electrolysis. Fire. Dissections. pH. Math + Origami. Electromagnets. Star gazing.
Just a few of the things that Guinean students did during the week-long National Scientific Conference held by PCVs in Mamou, Guinea. Thanks to my awesome colleagues who planned and fund-raised for this awesome event, 15 PCVs and 30 middle school students came to the conference. Everyday different PCV science teachers gave presentations and set-up awesome experiments for students to do.
There are many things I could say about the state of the Guinean education system. In just a few words, I would say that it is deficient at almost every level and is not producing capable or intelligent students. In Guinean schools students are discouraged from being different or creative. They are discouraged from asking too many questions. The complete lack of resources means that few students ever have access to a book or materials for experiments. These observations are what inspired us to hold the first ever PCV-led national science conference. Our conference focused on encouraging students to be creative, to ask important questions, to think critically, to gain hands-on experience in biology, chemistry and physics and most importantly to learn that science is fun (and the conference was SO much fun!)
Looking at different types of cells under the microscope
Measuring the length of a chicken intestine after dissecting it
Planning for the Egg Drop Competition
Checking to see if the egg survived
pH scale used for our water quality experiment
Measuring volumes and masses to calculate the densities of different liquides
Shadassa setting up materials for the electrolysis
Using different chemicals to make flames of different colors
Launching bottle rockets
Thanks to everyone who made this conference possible, including the PCVs who ran the show and the folks who donated to the project.
Vive l'education guineenne!