This year, for its 5th edition, the water school is undergoing an exciting revamp. After an in-depth evaluation by Dar Si Hmad, its board, and in response to feedback from former students, we've determined ways we can improve and build upon the work we've done over the last four years with the Water School. This year, Dar Si Hmad will be launching the "Oasis School," a permaculture focused updated of the Water School.
Dar Si Hmad is in a very unique position to take advantage of its overwhelming success with the fog project. After the installation of our new, state-of the art fog nets this past January, over twice as much fog-water is being collected, much more than the beneficiaries consume. Therefore, Dar Si Hmad has begun a very exciting new program in Ait Baamrane where we work, focusing on sustainable permaculture practices, and aiming to eventually develop income-generating gardens within the communities.
As we did with the Water School, we believe that teaching youth is an important way to spread knowledge within a community. Younger generations can help their families learn and will carry those tools into the future. Therefore, the beginning seeds of the permaculture project will start with our Oasis School, teaching local students invaluable agricultural techniques, and the importance of taking care of the land around them.
Please find attached the film that our Dar Si Hmad team created to celebrate the 4th successful edition of our Water School. The transformation in this group of children has been simply astounding. This year we worked in some of the most poorly serviced schools in the region and despite that, those children never failed to show up, to participate, to learn and to remain eager and inquisitive. It was obvious to our water school teachers how much the students thrived in the welcoming, supportive, extracurricular environment they only get because of Dar Si Hmad's Water School. Young girls especially came out of their shells and participated with as much energy and enthusiasm as the boys. Our end of the year closing ceremony was also a huge success, a few special guests and students from all of our schools came together to celebrate their time in the Water School.
We hope to work with these schools again next year, thank you to the Global Giving Community for making this possible!
In Ait Baamrane, as in many places around the globe, girls are discouraged from pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the premise being that girls are less rational and smart than their male counterparts. With our WS, we witness firsthand how girls are eager and excited to learn new topics, and especially STEM fields. For this 2017 edition, the participating girls are revelling their new discoveries. During this entire month, girls discovered how to identify the unique flora and fauna of their environment, how to operate microscopes, and understand the importance of environmental conservation. Their favorite activity is the nature walk during plant biology sessions, led by our Water School teacher Fatiha, where they had the chance to take a closer look at their environment through magnifying technology. They also learn and practice water conservation in farming and gardening, and discuss which local plants, fruits, and veggies are able to grow in their communities. We all celebrated World Water Day (March 22nd) by creating a banner of all the important uses of water!
After 3 years of successful editions of our Water School, this year, Dar Si Hmad is planning to host its dynamic program in a new set of schools in the region. With the expansion to three new schools in the Tangarfa rural commune in Ait Baamrane, Southwest Morocco, we are excited to help the spread knowledge across this underrepresented area of the country.
The Water School will take place from February to May, 2017, with the participation of around 80 students, girls and boys, eager to learn about the environment and what they can do on their own to protect it.
Our dedicated team of volunteers and educators are working hard to design fun, creative, and challenging opportunities for our students this year so that they learn and grow. By following last year’s thorough and innovative curriculum, our Water School combines fun and interactive activities with serious scientific and environmental academic instruction.
We appreciate the GlobalGiving community's continued belief in our mission and all the support we get from our donors!
One of the most innovative aspects of Dar Si Hmad’s water school is its use of a progressive STEAM-style curriculum. STEAM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics, is a new approach to education that builds on the concept of STEM, adding the vital Arts component. While STEM-focused initiatives are productive and effective in and of themselves, including the Arts builds curricula where students are also pushed to be creative, thoughtful, ingenious, critical thinkers.
In Dar Si Hmad’s water school, application of STEAM manifests in activities like modeling the water cycle with different materials on hand, learning different ways to express an idea by writing and acting the life cycle of a water droplet, performing photosynthesis plays to teach one another, and more. Dar Si Hmad has successfully integrated all aspects of STEAM into its new curriculum and can’t wait for the next session of our Water School to begin.
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