2015 STA Science Exhibition

Our Standard 4 and 5 students have been working on an exciting project with Scientist Lena Lorenz, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine!

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Our students were asked to brainstorm answers to the following questions:

  • What makes you happy and healthy?
  • What makes you sick?

For the next few weeks students explored the answer to these questions through photography, video and posters. At the end of the project the students presented their work to their parents at our first ever Science Exhibition.

In Tanzania there are many health issues such as dirty drinking water, malaria, and poor nutrition that affect the lives of our students and families. It was interesting to see which issues the students felt most affected their health, in a positive or negative way.

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Setting up for the STA Science Exhibition to share projects with family and friends

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Students creating a graph using the photographs they took that show what makes them healthy and happy

The standard 4 and 5 students were joined by our standard 1/2 class to listen to some scientists from the Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) in Bagamoyo. The scientists spoke to our students about sanitation, water filters (made by a Tanzanian organisation MSABI), malaria and how science is used in many different jobs. The students had a lot of great questions in all areas of science including how planes work, which gases are in the air and why dissecting animals is important in biology.

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Looking at mosquitoes through the microscope

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Listening to a Scientist speak about sanitation and water

Each student took a camera home and took photographs to answer the two research questions. The students then explained how the photo answered the question. 

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Athumani, Standard 5 ~ This is about a good thing. If you eat beans you get a lot of protein in your body so that makes your body grow and being healthy all the time.

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Doris, Standard 4 ~ It's a dirty environment. It makes us sick when we step on it and when some kids see maybe an apple they take because they think maybe it's good but it's rotten. The kids get sick because some insects got in the apple.

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Husna, Standard 5 ~ That photo is of the well where people drink water. That is not safe for our health because it is not covered. Every time people might go at night and for example they might dump things in the water and then in the morning they will come and fetch and they will not know that people have put some things there.

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Siwajibu, Standard 4 ~ That photo is telling us that it can make us happy and sad. If you climb that electricity and touch those wires you get shocks. But it makes me happy because in some houses there is electricity so you don't have to buy candles. When candles pour down you can get a fire in your house.

 

The students were very proud to show their friends and family their science projects. Our visitors had a lot of questions and were very grateful to their children for sharing their hard work with them. We also had some scientists from IHI visiting on the day of the exhibition who enjoyed viewing the student work.

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Asha's presentation and Salim showing his younger sister his work

 We hope some of our junior students will take part in a similar science project in the future. We are also thinking of different topics in science and other subjects that the students can explore in a similar way using cameras, art and story telling. The teachers at STA have also taken on board the feedback from the project and are already thinking about what areas of science students need more support in and ways that they can engage students more in science.

Wanafunzi Questions

  1. What makes you happy and healthy?
  2. What makes you sick?
  3. What does it mean when you are proud of someone?
  4. Which health issues did the STA students think were the most important?
  5. Are you interested in science? Why or why not?

 

Wanafunzi Lesson Ideas

Teachers can create their own science project exploring public health issues.

  1. Get students to brainstorm the following questions (using a mindmap or other graphic organiser: What makes you happy and healthy? and What makes you sick?
  2. Encourage students to explore the answers to these questions using cameras. Have each students select one or two photographs to enlarge for an exhibition. Have students explain which question the photo answers and how.
  3. Encourage students to explore the answers to the questions in whatever way they would like to. Students can be as creative as possible (posters, stories, paintings, models, a play).
  4. Students present their work to family and friends at a science exhibition.
  5. The teacher can look at the work of the students and assess what they think is important to health and illness and what they don't think is important (by what they have and have not taken photos of, written about etc...). For example, our students as a whole thought that dirty environments, dirty water, poor nutrition and malaria were the biggest health problems they faced. Few to no students mentioned HIV/AIDS, domestic abuse, vehicle accidents or cancer as health risks they face.
  6. Share what you discover with us! We'd love to hear from you! Email info@steventitoacademy.org if you'd like help setting up your science project or if you want to let us know how it went.
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