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A major problem in Egypt is the low quality of elementary education. Teachers and exams depend on memorizing textbooks and teaching methods driving the innovative side of the students especially in science subjects are totally absent. This results in students being only “receivers” of knowledge, not “creators”. The problem gets worse in low-income governmental schools (by far the most common type of schools in Egypt). With under-qualified teachers, huge number of students and extremely low budget for any equipments, students have no access to quality education.
YouTeach Science Van project addresses this problem in an innovative way, that was never implemented in Egypt previously.
YouTeach Science Van project consists of 3 main phases:
- The first phase is giving students (age group: 11- 15 years) a series of very interactive workshops under the title "Let's play science differently". These workshops teach them how to think critically about what they learn, apply their creative thinking and introduce them to the "Scientific Method".
- After that, students have one month time to choose a scientific topic they find interesting, and turn it into an experiment that simply visualizes this concept and makes it easy and interesting to understand by anyone. The best experiments (around 25) are selected to go on the Science Van.
- The high-point of the project is the science van tour. The selected experiments are all put on a van to form a traveling science fair. The van travels with the experiments, our team and the students on board around the city of Alexandria, and stops at different public places for 1-2 days each. During these days, students engage the public in trying out the experiments and explain them the scientific concept behind it. At the final day of the tour, a jury consisting of educational specialists selects the top three experiments. The winners receive awards during a closing ceremony.
The complete project cycle is repeated twice during an academic year.