Uplift Jamaican Schoolchildren Through Science

by Society for Scientific Advancement
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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

SOSA takes pride in its volunteer opportunities! Our STEPS workshop is designed to excite and ignite the love of science in each young person who engages in the activities. We have found that not only does the workshop make a difference in the lives of our young students, but also in the lives of our volunteers. Volunteers for STEPS include anyone with a love for science ranging from local undergraduate students, to those who travel from the U.S. to seek a cultural volunteer opportunity, to graduate students, health professionals, college professors and even retirees. What we have experienced over the years is growth for all. Each person can touch the life of another, learn and grow from this experience. Our STEPS students rave about our volunteers making comments such as “I did not interact with scientists before, but today I did and it was really fun!” and our November 2018 workshop feedback indicated 97% of the students believed their interaction with STEPS scientists positively influenced how they now thought about science. Our volunteers come away with an equally rewarding experience, stating feelings of gratitude and that the passion for learning that the students show is inspirational. The cross-cultural experience of those who travel to volunteer for STEPS, as one volunteer described as, “Extremely beneficial and really opened my eyes to the world outside of my community putting things into perspective regarding our priorities vs. those in another country.” STEPS was designed to ignite the love of science in young people, but we have found that each person at our workshop impacts the life of the other. Each one reaches another!

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SOSA is dedicated to exposing our students to cutting edge scientific theories. This past STEPS event we gave our high school students a taste of CRISPR. CRISPR is a gene-editing technique with applications such as developing biotechnology products and treatment of diseases such as Sickle Cell and Alzheimer’s Disease. Students were exposed to the elements of conducting a CRISPR experiment and there was riveting discussion in the ethical implications of gene replacement and its effects in our society.

 

Groups of students from each school competed against each other to see who could find the “mutated” gene and replace it with a “good” gene to “cure” the diseased patient first! With this interactive and fun method, we were able to not just expose students to the ethical implications of gene-editing but excite them of the process and promote inter-school interactions. Students responded with enthusiasm for learning about CRISPR as noted by quotes such as “….I got to learn how to cure some people’s diseases and help my family when they get sick” and “…I can make a society and the individuals lifespan longer and decrease the risk of death”.

 

It is our goal to expose as many students as possible to the innovative technologies in science and technology and we are happy to see that they are enjoying the process!

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Allman Town visit
Allman Town visit

2018 ended on an exciting and productive note! On our most recent trip to Jamaica, we visited Allman Town Primary School for an assessment of our lab equipment donation!

SOSA had previously outfitted a science lab for Allman Town, with equipment that corresponded with their students’ curriculum. As you can imagine, we were excited to see how the equipment donated had been used! The school reported that approximately 39 students each week in Grade 6 alone now had hands-on lab time to accompany their science classroom lecture that takes place twice per week. We were informed that not only do Grades 4-6 benefit from the use of the lab space and equipment, but even students in their lower school such as Grade 2 were able to utilize the materials like the skeleton model!

Their principal and science teacher informed us that students are making use of equipment such as anatomy models of the whole skeleton, lungs, heart and brain, and that students have been able to examine the soil and its various components, while understanding the concepts associated with different layers. Our most exciting takeaway was that by providing these equipment to them, Allman Town is able to facilitate hands-on learning for multiple individuals, as opposed to only having access to just enough material for teacher demonstrations, with only observations possible for students. Allman Town has expressed the need for more equipment such as more anatomy models and prisms, and we plan to continue this working collaboration, as well as providing for additional schools with similar limitations.

Thank you for helping us to do this!!

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STEPS has expanded and it was a success!!! 
STEPS expanded outside of Kingston and the surrounding corporate area to conduct our stimulating experiments in St. Elizabeth Jamaica. STEPS on the road was held at ST. Elizabeth Technical High School, about 96km from our usual home base lab at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus.
We had approximately 30 students participate with riveting feedback. One student exclaimed that "although I had the mindset about becoming a scientist, this workshop motivated me a lot more". Our volunteers included a veteran volunteer from the inauguration of STEPS and 4 graduate students from UWI.
Expanding outside of Kingston posed challenges such as transportation, however, this can easily be overcome in the upcoming years. 80% of students rated their level of interest in science greatly improved after attending the workshop and the feedback from students say they are looking forward to engaging in STEPS again!
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Red to blue line chart
Red to blue line chart

Checking feedback is important to us, as a quality control measure - after all, we are scientists!

We ask our student participants about their perception of science, their interests, their past interactions with scientists and try to get an idea of their future outlook.

Here go responses from high schoolers!

Students came with a positive attitude! 98.2% were excited about being selected for the workshops and 99.2% were cognizant of the importance of attending university.

The majority, 83% had not interacted with scientists before, and 95.6% reported that the interaction with scientists influence the way they now think of science.

At the end of the day, the number who considered a career in science (see pie chart) increased from 61.2% to 86.3%. Overall, we saw a shift in the level of interest in science (see red to blue shift in line chart) - Yayyy!

These students are on the ball, and were certain to let us know that we have some more work to do – some students indicated (gave a score less than 8/10 – see plot with blue dots!) that the teachers were not fully able to help them to understand what they were doing.

They also contributed to our future planning – the majority of students showed an interest in doing more of these activities in after-school programs at their school – we will definitely incorporate this into our plans!

Thank you for helping us to influence how GenerationNEXT receives science! Please encourage your network to jump on board!!

Pie chart
Pie chart
Blue dots
Blue dots
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Organization Information

Society for Scientific Advancement

Location: Orlando, FL - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @thesosaorg
Project Leader:
Keriayn Smith
Orlando, Florida United States
$23,966 raised of $35,000 goal
 
503 donations
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