Week 2 in Dakar

posted in: CV STEM 2015 | 0

Farmata, Empowerment Agent in Dakar

July 19, 2015

The second week of the iNERDE camp was a great week. We started the week off by playing jeopardy to test the knowledge acquired during the first week. It went pretty well for a first try. We were joined by Michael Leventhal, the Chief Nerdy Development Officer. He came in on Monday and taught the kids about computer science. He dissembled a computer to show them the different parts and functions that help a computer to run. The kids were really fascinated to be able to see the different parts of the computer. This held their attention and they were eager to learn more. We taught the theory of Newton’s apple with the kids through rocks, paper and by building a parachute. This was a fun and interactive way of teaching the kids about gravity and getting them to understand it better.

The following day was what I like to call CATAPULT day. The kids built their own catapults and tested it out using different angles in order to get a greater projectile. Seeing the amazement on the kids’ faces after seeing the work of a catapult really made my day. I felt empowered to do more to bring them that same amazement. We also progressed on our projects and talked to the kids about the ways to present it. We did a small sketch on the environment in order to bring their attention on the importance of preserving the environment around us and keeping it clean.

As part of the camp experience, we went on a field trip to TFM, a very popular TV station in Dakar. As I was absent for the field trip, I came back and the kids told me everything they had seen. From the expressions on their faces, I could tell that they had a lot of fun and learned a lot. They also told me that they had met Kouthia, a very popular comedian that has a TV show on TFM. Just by hearing the kids tell it, I felt like I had gone on the field trip with them. As an afternoon activity, Michael held an election for the next Senegalese President of SABS. The kids were each asked to write a speech about how they would help their country, why they should be trusted, and what would they change. All I can say is that by the end of the day, I looked at each child differently. They really got to me. If ever they do decide to run, they each got my vote.

Thursday was Election Day. We elected a female president named Mame Diarra Ndiaye and a vice president named Souleymane Sall. I believe that SABS has a great president. She will do a lot of good for her country. With the help of Momo and Michael, we played a game based on the functions of the CPU and the compiler. We had the kids be the processor, Miss Khady was the compiler and Momo was the CPU. He had to follow the instructions of the compiler in order to reach the information he needed. The kids we really into the game and Michael did a wonderful job at teaching the kids more about the computer and its function in a way that they wouldn’t forget. We had a guest speaker by the name of Mr. Badji come in and inspired the kids. He was an ex-pilot for Air Afrique. The kids were really fascinated by him because they kept on asking him a lot of questions. Mr. Badji had a fun way of implementing the importance of being in the STEM field in order to become a pilot. He talked about his many experiences and different incidents he came across while piloting a plane. The kids were really inspired by his visit and had them really think about their futures.
So what else can I say, WEEK TWO was a success. We kept on inspiring and empowering the kids.