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
Primary Sch. student using microscope for 1st time
Primary Sch. student using microscope for 1st time

Dear Friends!

Our hearts just about burst when we saw the raw excitement on students' faces as they entered the registration space for STEPS 2016 and saw for the first time the laboratory that they would be working in. We heard comments like "is this really where we will be today?", "this is just like the movies" and giggled along with them as they suited up in gloves and labcoats to do activities like "Identify Squirmies in Pond Water," "Making Test Tubes Vanish," and "Solving the Zombie Acopalypse!". 

Yes, in morning and afternoon sessions, we hosted 204 students from schools including Half Way Tree Primary, Mona Heights Primary, Swallowfield Primary, St. Richards Primary, Rock River Primary, Allman Town Primary, St Catherine Primary, Immaculate Conception, St. Francis Primary and Infant School, Papine High, Holy Childhood High, Jamaica College, Ardenne High, Jose Marti Technical High, Norman Manley High and Spanish Town High Schools! All thanks to you!

This lab was full to capacity. We will seriously have to think further on how to accommodate all schools that are interested especially as we expand further outside of the corporate area. We view this as a good problem to have!

On this #GivingTuesday, please consider donating to the project once again and telling all your contacts! Please feel free to circulate this report to all your familty, friends, colleagues, everyone!

When we reflect on the joy on their faces and how they just appeared to 'feel bigger' in their "STEPS Ambassador pins" when the workshops were dismissed, we are sure we doing a good thing.

Thank YOU for enabling us to reach these young minds once again!

Workshop - Full to capacity!
Workshop - Full to capacity!

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The promise of STEPS
The promise of STEPS

What time of year is that you ask?? SoSAvember!!

Yes, that right – It’s August, nearly September. Do you know what that means? Wheels are a-turning!

What do we have in store? Year 4 of STEPS! Can you believe it? We are now in full preparation to receive our 4th cohort of STEPS students, who will become science ambassadors to their schools, a majority of which have very limited resources.

Not only are we bringing even more kids into advanced laboratories to gain exposure to cutting-edge science using everyday materials, getting them excited about their future, and the promise it holds –  BUT….we are gearing up to outfit our first science laboratory at a primary school that’s much in need!

Your support, yes – Your support has helped us to reach over 1000 students so far. Can you tell we are excited?

As we approach our biggest time of year, please tell your friends about SoSA’s work! Thank you for your continued support.

 

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SoSA Intern and elementary school students!
SoSA Intern and elementary school students!

Life changing, inspiring and impactful are a few words that describe my experience with SoSA to say the least. To start, my journey with SoSA began two years ago when I became involved with the organization as an intern. Through months of planning, fundraising and networking, the pieces fall together for an outreach trip filled with learning. From my experience, the most memorable part of my journey would be the daylong science workshops provided by volunteers to the local elementary/middle school students. Students throughout Kingston are exuberant and fill the room with their presence, ready to conquer science! The smiles and excitement that glow on the student’s faces when they see something under the microscope for the first time or watch in amazement after creating a chemical reaction are priceless. It is the joy of learning and exploring the wonders of science that enlightens them to pursue a degree, to one day become professionals. Captivated by the excitement they have when learning, as a volunteer my heart fills with joy. It is a reminder why I chose the career I did and the difference I can make in others. To me, ‘blessed’ would be the word I choose to describe being given this opportunity. 

I grew not just as a student, but also as a person. Knowing I was capable of teaching and enlightening students about the wonders of S.T.E.M. careers keeps me longing for the year to come when I can once again teach science.  

A special thank you to the wonderful ladies that created such an amazing organization. You didn’t only change the lives of the students you help, but you’ve also changed the lives of those who volunteer. Thanks to you both, new doors have been opened up for those involved and minds have been filled with creativity. To me, this is only the beginning. With the years to come, SoSA will become more than you both dreamed of. Thanks again for being such beautiful souls and great mentors!

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Oh yes! Budding scientists!!!
Oh yes! Budding scientists!!!

We often report the impact our programs have on students in Jamaica. This time around, we thought we would share the impact on some of our volunteers - who happen to be undergraduate students themselves! 

When asked - Overall what did you take away from the overall experience?

“I took away the idea that we can all make a difference in this world whether it is big or small. Something as simple as doing a science experiment with the elementary school kids made such an impact on them and gave them something to look forward to. I believe that because of this trip, I have become more grateful for the opportunities I have been given and have seen a new aspect of the world that I know I can continue to impact as I grow up,” – KW 

When asked - How has the experience impacted your career outlook?

“This experience has only strengthened my goals of working to care for people,” – ES 

When asked - What impacted you the most?

“The children’s personalities and expressions throughout the workshop impacted me the most. Seeing how excited they were about science was what we were waiting for, and really was amazing to see come to life!” – MD 

When asked - How did the workshop experience complement your area of study?

“Being that I’ve studied Biology and Health Sciences teaching and explaining the experiments with the students was a test of my knowledge. I had to think back to previous education of when I learned the water cycle and about microbes in pond water. Putting my knowledge about blood typing was rewarding because of how fascinated the students were to learn about it, the experience reminded me of how fascinated I was when I first learned about it too,” – AM 

 

We are thrilled that STEPS is impacting not just the initial intended target audience, but these young volunteers too! Reaching GenerationNEXT across the board! 

We look forward to your continued support so that we may continue to do this work. Thank you & Stay tuned for more updates!!!

Together we can!
Together we can!
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Dr. Webster interviewing a primary school student
Dr. Webster interviewing a primary school student

November is SoSA’s busiest month! Yes, we hosted our 4th Annual Conference. Yes, we launched a symposium focused on ‘science policy’ and ‘the business of science’. But…a major driving force behind all that we do is reaching GenerationNext! And in the recent workshop on November 19th, we hosted nearly 150 primary and high school students in an advanced Biochemistry lab at the University of the West Indies to do hands-on science activities!

Primary school students came from Allman Town Primary, St. Catherine Primary, Dunrobin Primary, Spanish Town Primary, Shortwood Practising and Half Way Tree Primary and gee, did they melt our hearts with their enthusiasm and zeal for learning!

Why were they excited you ask?

Because, they got to see microscopic critters wriggling around in water from different sources – pond water, ‘dirty water’ from mud, and tap water.

Because, they learnt to ‘make clouds rain’ using shaving cream, water and food coloring.

And because, they left grasping the idea of density and surface tension using different liquids such as milk, honey, oil and dish soap by making ‘tie-dye milk’ and density columns. Here, most of the programs were done with common household items so that these kids can continue to explore the world of science when they go home and back to class!

High school students came from Bridgeport High, Holy Childhood High, Jamaica College, Dunoon Technical and Norman Manley High, and we took these high-schoolers on a journey into forensic science – simulated – CSI style!  The task put to them was to identify a robber who got into a physical altercation with a homeowner at the scene of a burglary, and these young minds jumped right in! The excitement showed on their faces as they identified ‘blood splatter’ from the robber which glowed in the darkened room, did ‘blood-typing’ to eliminate suspects and even simulated DNA fingerprinting to identify the culprit.  

What was the result? A ‘can-do’ attitude. Students expressed newfound excitement for science! Students expressed that science can in fact be fun and exciting! And most of all, students express that they find that science is something that they can do and look forward to in the future! Oh yes, we were thrilled to hear this.

Another fulfilling aspect for us – the volunteer pool of young people that facilitated this workshop. In addition to SoSA’s dedicated members, a group of 12 undergraduates and recent graduates from the University of Central Florida travelled to Jamaica to volunteer to deliver STEPS to these students. Can you say gung-ho? Oh yes, the tie-dye shirts tell the story!

We are crunching the numbers on the feedback from student participants, so next time we will have numbers for you! Please continue to spread the word on the difference these programs are having on Jamaican youth – we thoroughly enjoy carrying on this work. Thank you for your support!!

STEPS in action!
STEPS in action!
Tie-dye shirts for tie-dye experiments, UCF group!
Tie-dye shirts for tie-dye experiments, UCF group!
The STEPS masses!
The STEPS masses!

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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
$24,024 raised of $35,000 goal
 
506 donations
$10,976 to go
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