Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science

by Society for Scientific Advancement
Play Video
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science
Lab grown meat discussion
Lab grown meat discussion

Given the realities of the pandemic, STEPS went virtual this year! We maintained our hands-on approach for our 150+ students! Our theme this year, “Do good for yourself, do good for the world”, had an overarching focus on climate change. Original videos and interactive games were created to engage students with concepts such as how agriculture, nutrition and technology can be utilized to improve the climate crisis by improving time on the climate clock.

 

Students learnt about modern inventions aimed at improving farming practices and how limiting the use of pesticides can decrease the run-off into neighbourhood water sources. They were also eager to learn how to be more eco-friendly and the importance of managing their food waste. Overall, they were excited to learn about the links between technology and agriculture processes that could either benefit or harm the environment.

 

Our participants found the sessions informative and interesting. They loved how interactive the sessions were, with over 90% giving a score of 8 out of 10 for how much fun they had! The students also left comments describing their STEPS experience, such as “This is a dream come true” and “I used to think STEM was boring, but now I think it is extremely fun”. One repeat participant said “This is even better than the first time I came to a STEPS workshop”, which perfectly reflects SOSA’s commitment to continuously improve the value of the program. Many students are in anticipation of their next invitation.

 

SOSA is definitely reaching its goal of creating ambassadors for STEM, as one student was sure to let us know “I am now considering to be a scientist and help the world”. It is exciting to see the impact of our program given the pandemic and we are happy to announce that we have more virtual programming coming up very soon!

 

Thank you for enabling us to continue to reach these students! Look out for more to come!!

Learning about Cell Culture!
Learning about Cell Culture!
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Participant location by parish
Participant location by parish

The world is in the middle of a pandemic and we are all adjusting to a new normal. This is no different at SOSA, where we have had to be nimble to quickly pivot and adjust to keep our programmes running and our youth engaged.

The result of this was STEPS Online 2020 where we took our summer programmes virtual. Our first event was hosted on June 22 and 23, 2020 and was a resounding success!

The workshop focused on Computer Science (Learning to Code), Virology, and Epidemiology - a very timely component as the world watches as scientists track the development and spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

Participants loved the workshops with almost 70% ranking the 2 days at an 8 and above on a 10-point scale for fun factor. As for the impact of the workshop, this participant summed it up nicely,I did not know that R was a programming language, I had no idea what bioinformatics was about, and I also had never heard about Scratch as a programming language.”

In July, we hosted another 2-day workshop covering non-communicable diseases such as cancer and heart disease, and engineering, including 3D printing and aerospace engineering. Students joined us for a mixture of presentations and hands-on learning guided by specialist speakers. This event saw SOSA expanding its reach all across Jamaica.

Once again, participants found the sessions to be fun and a majority (86%) indicated that their interest in science was an 8 and above on a 10-point scale at the end of the workshop. This represents a whopping 68% increase in the interest level prior to the beginning of the workshop!

Comments from our participant included:

“I have an increased urge of wanting to be a scientist.”

“I wasn't sure what career and educational path I wanted to pursue but [now] I know about a lot of different careers in STEM which I could pursue.”

Go team SOSA, job well done!

 

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

We'd like to begin by thanking you for your continued support in these uncertain times. As you know our programming is usually local in Jamaica, but as the world copes with COVID-19, SOSA evolves. For seven years we have offered an on the ground, hands-on experience for our students, but in 2020, STEPS is going virtual! Despite being spurred by the pandemic, in actuality, we will actually be accomplishing a long-term goal of providing international exchange, through virtual interactions among underserved and under-resourced youth in Jamaica.

Students from the anywhere in the region are currently registering to participate in our two-day workshop that showcases virology, epidemiology and computer engineering, with at least 50% of participant space allotted to Jamaican students. We will be exploring the study of viruses, how humans track diseases, and computer science, with team discussions among primary/middle school aged students. In just a short time we already have hundreds of applicants, and look forward to providing our cohort a unique and enriching experience. 

Stay tuned to hear about how our pilot virtual event goes! Thank you again for your continued support. Without you, we would not be able to get our programming off the ground ….…(no pun intended)!


Attachments: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
CRISPR Group Activity
CRISPR Group Activity

A large warning sign greets you as you stumble to the hospital entrance: "DENGUE OUTBREAK: CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE". The viral disease that once spread only through the bite of a mosquito has now mutated! Dengue X is now able to spread from person to person! As you wander the city, quarantined houses on either side of the road, a bold thought comes to mind: "Why can't I, a junior scientist, combine my knowledge of molecular biology and immunology to find a cure for Dengue fever?" You quickly call up your colleagues from university and rent a laboratory space - there's still time to save the city!”

This is the scenario our high school STEPS students who participated in SOSAvember 2019 were tasked with. Using techniques associated with gene-editing and immunology, 93 high school students interacted with each other to eradicate a special strain of Dengue Fever from their community. We used concepts such a CRISPR (which has been utilized as a gene-editing tool to repair genetic mutations responsible for causing specific diseases), and ELISA (which uses antibodies to detect the presence of the virus in blood or other body fluid) to expose our students to technologies that allowed them to take the role of a researcher, and devise possible ways to eradicate diseases like Dengue.

In addition to learning how to detect if patients were infected and learning how we could use gene-editing to eliminate mutated genes, our hands-on experiments gave students an understanding of how herd immunity can protect those who are immunocompromised, or those who have allergic reactions to certain vaccines. 

Our high-schoolers found that the possibilities are endless in a lab setting and they were superstars in using their imagination to think of how techniques like these can be applied in the future!

Thank you for your continued support – onward and upward in STEM!!

Enjoying ELISA
Enjoying ELISA
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Are you ready??

SOSAvember 2019 is just around the corner!

We are gearing up for an AMAZING STEPS program with exciting experiments that include teaching our younger students about the international space program. Here we use techniques such as aerodynamics and gravity.

Our high school students will be immersed in experiencing how to utilize the gene editing tool CRISPR for immunotherapy. Both of these topics are prominently featured in the news as cutting-edge breakthroughs in science and healthcare!! Not only will the students be introduced to the topics of genome editing and immunotherapy, we will engage them in current topics surrounding its possible impact on human health. We hope to spark a healthy debate of the ethical issues surrounding gene editing and herd immunity after completing the experiment.

We have over 200 students registered already for STEPS and numbers continue to grow! SOSA is extremely excited and looking forward to a successful program in the upcoming month! Thank you for your continued support in helping us to deliver such high-quality programming – please help us to spread the word as we approach November – tell your friends, family, network – EVERYONE!

THANKS SO MUCH!!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Society for Scientific Advancement

Location: Orlando, FL - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @thesosaorg
Project Leader:
Keriayn Smith
Orlando, Florida United States
$24,024 raised of $35,000 goal
 
506 donations
$10,976 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Society for Scientific Advancement has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.