Group of Yiya teachers share their work with Samso
We are less than 2 months into 2019 and already Yiya has accomplished a variety of exciting projects and built some key new partnerships!
O&P-UG Tech Camp 2019 in Gulu!
In January, we supported our partners at Oysters & Pearls – Uganda as they ran a holiday technology camp in Gulu, Northern Uganda during the school break for secondary students. The camp was inclusive of sighted and visually impaired students. Both students and instructors came from all over Uganda to participate in this exciting camp, which covered robotics, prototyping, video game design, software development, website development, and assistive technologies for the blind.
The Yiya team worked to help prep instructors for the Tech Camp ahead of time (running trainings for them in both December and January) and then stayed on-ground at the camp to support teaching on an everyday basis. We encouraged instructors to keep their technology lessons R-E-A-L: by having relevant content, energizing games, active group work activities, and always keeping the classroom learner-centered.
We were so excited to be able to support the instructors in this way and were very impressed at their openness to teach in innovative, hands-on new ways to ensure that they engaged all their students!
A New Partnership!
In January we also solidified our new partnership with Impact Designs, a brand new organization that is working hard to promote edible insect farming in Uganda. We will be working on-ground to help their team research and experiment with the prototypes for the freestanding farms in which the edible insects will grow.
Our first task of 2019 was: finding the mealworm in Uganda! We are still hunting for it at various poultry and cattle farms in the countryside. So far we have found the lesser mealworm, which is a very good side that its cousin is not too far away. We will keep you updated once we locate it and begin prototyping the mini-farm containers.
We are hopeful that these edible insect farming containers will be the technology for Term 2 in our Yiya partner schools! Farming and consuming edible insects will be a huge boost in building resiliency in the food supply for agriculturally-based Northern Uganda. It will help local communities be more resilient in the face of increasing drought and famine being brought about by climate change in the reason. Edible insects are a great source of nutrients and protein and have very minimal water or food needs!
Renewing Yiya's School Partnerships
In February we met with the administrators and Head Teachers at our partner schools to renew our partnership and address any concerns or challenges that they perceive in our implementation of the Yiya program, as well as brief them on our planned program activities for 2019.
Head Teachers continue to be very excited about the Yiya program. Their only complaint was that our program is not large enough…they want all the students at their schools to receive the Yiya engineering lessons!
We reassured Head Teachers that we are working hard to empower teachers so we can reach more students throughout their schools. We also shared with them that we’ve discovered through our M&E surveys that even the non-Yiya students at their schools are demonstrating impacts from the Yiya program. We attribute this increased impact to our increased focus on teachers and changing their methodologies in ALL their classes, not just the Yiya lessons.
We are proud to report that 100% of our Head Teachers reported on their surveys that they would be very likely to recommend that our Yiya R-E-A-L teaching methodology be included in the Ugandan national curriculum in order to improve STEM education. In addition, 100% of Head Teachers said they would recommend the Yiya program to other schools. This is the highest compliment a Head Teacher can give and it was great feedback to our team that they feel that the Yiya program is indeed improving STEM education in their schools!
Jumpstarting 2019 School Year with our Partner Teachers!
After re-affirming our partnership with Head Teachers, we had an equally exciting workshop with their respective Yiya partner teachers. This workshop began with Yiya teachers engaged in an activity based on the American reality TV show: the Amazing Race, where they accomplished a variety of STEM education tasks, competition-style, to remind them of the many ways to make STEM lessons engaging and relevant to their students!
They also practiced teaching STEM lessons to one another and gave each other feedback on how to make their lessons REAL. Teachers practiced using our Yiya teaching checklist after teaching, which they will complete once per week during the school year. We are hopeful that this teaching checklist, which will be completed both before and after a teacher teaches a lesson, will induce behavior change amongst teachers and increase the number of lessons in that are hands-on, relevant to students’ lives, and learner-centered. Checklists have been shown to improve skilled performance in fields as wide-ranging as medicine and aviation, so we are really excited to see if they can be equally impactful in education!
We will have results of this teaching checklist experiment late in Quarter 2 and we will keep you posted.
Please find below our 2018 Annual Report!
Practicing teaching with the Yiya checklist
Yiya Teachers in the Amazing Race!
Singing a song about Newton's Laws!
They've crowned their STEM king
Teaching is more fun with active energizers